I keep thinking about how our solution to getting improvement from our defense every year since Gary Kubiak was hired is to simplify the system so the players can "just react" and "play faster letting their natural talent take over". I feel like I've heard that every year since Richard Smith arrived and began having less than stellar results in 2006. Now don't get me wrong. I understand this is not at all uncommon in the NFL. New coaches come in and implement a new system then the players maybe don't pick it up quite as fast as they should and so the coaches choose to try and pare things back a bit. I'm not complaining that the Texans have done this. I'm complaining because we've done this every year of Kubiak's tenure under both Richard Smith and Frank Bush. That I think raises some pretty big flags. Go back to 2002 and look at how long it took Vic Fangio and Dom Capers to install the defense we began our existence with. Yes, we had veteran players across the board and two of them were Pro Bowlers that year but the defense was implemented in one training camp and within a few weeks of the start of the season they were playing solid football. Many times that year the defense was left hanging by the inept offense but they played well enough to win more often than not that year (and in fact won one game all by themselves). Look at the 1993 Oilers who installed the 46 defense in training camp. We had Buddy Ryan as our DC and he's the man where the 46 is concerned but it still took 4-5 weeks into the season before our players started to really make some noise within the scheme. That's just two examples of installing a defense and how long it took. Somebody in the NFL is trying to install a different defensive scheme just about every year somewhere I think. It doesn't take 5 damn years to put in place. The thing is, why are our players not getting it? Is the scheme overly complex? Are our defensive coaches inept? Are our players stupid? I tend to doubt that the Texans are doing anything too terribly complicated or outrageous on defense (prior to "simplifying things"). If they were and this system was complicated and cumbersome then we'd have heard players complaining about it already. Still the idea that we have to simple things up every year tends to kind of point to either an overly complex system or overly stupid players. I question whether we've hired good teachers. It's not just a DC we're talking about. It's the entire staff. We've seen bad coaches here go on to be very good coaches in other places and in other systems. Chris Palmer was our "lousy" offensive coordinator. He goes to New York to work with Eli Manning and he's enjoying his Super Bowl ring now. Vic Fangio's defenses were considered complicated and difficult to learn here but he goes on to coach in Baltimore where he works with linebackers (and they got some linebackers in Baltimore) before going on to being Stanford's defensive coordinator. They arent' doing too bad. You give these "bad teachers" good students and all of a sudden they're good teachers. That brings me back to the players. Did we consistently manage to find athletically gifted dumbasses who can't play in a pro defense? If so how are we seemingly finding all of the dumbasses? Is it smarts or just bad football instincts? If it's the latter then you would think that this would show up before we pick them in the draft or sign them in free agency. Bad football instincts can be spotted on tape. We've seen players put up respectable careers elsewhere, come here, and then sort of slowly fade into mediocrity right before our eyes. We've seen players leave here as busts or scapegoats, go somewhere else, and resurrect their careers. We can't help but notice that our 2003 draft is in the process of trying to go to this years Pro Bowl while playing for Atlanta and Tennessee. Both of those guys left here on the current administrations watch. I agreed (and still believe) that it was time for the Texans and Dunta Robinson to part ways. The "marriage" so to speak was broken. I don't however think it was predestined to fail. This scheme looked bad with the holdovers from Capers team. It's looked bad with every draft pick and free agent we've added. It always looks bad until we strip it down to a very basic defense that then gets some results. over the last half of the year. This year it doesn't look like we're even going to see that. At some point if you put enough vanilla on tape then the coaches and players in this league are going to come out and exploit it. We're not going to get away with simplifying this anymore. I believe the scheme is unsound and I believe that neither of our defensive coordinators during the Kubiak era have been good enough to understand that hence they continue to trot this same basic system out year after year getting the same results regardless of who we plug in at what position. That these players can't do well in it year after year says a lot about it being no good. That they have usually improved their performance once the system is suitably vanilla'd up tells me that they are not lousy defensive players with bad football instincts by and large. They are not being put in a position to succeed by this coaching staff. True some of them are less than what we'd hope they'd be (Okoye, Kareem Jackson so far) but if you look at most of our players who've been here for more than a year or so you see that they do play better when the coaches get the system out of their way. I think that pulling the system back to "Defense for Dummies" levels hasn't helped anybody in the long run. When the 1993 Oilers weren't getting Ryans 46 defense he didnt' scale it back to help the short bus guys keep up. He stayed the course, said it will get better, and it did. All Frank has done by following Richard Smith's path is to put a defense on the field that everybody knows on sight. Now there's nowhere else to take this. The defensive coordinator must go and his replacement must be a known quantity with a known history of success. He should be allowed to hire and/or dismiss his coordinators without interference from Kubiak and he needs to be given the upcoming draft dam near in its entirety to get whatever pieces he needs to fix this.