We Have a Problem…
Texans – the citizens, that is – have always amused me with their unique sayings. The Houston Texans football team, however, has been much less entertaining on the gridiron this season. On paper, they have a decent football team. In reality, they epitomize underachievement. After dropping their third straight game of the season, it seems as if the Texans couldn’t pour piss out of a boot with a hole in the toe and directions on the heel. And, with his third straight playoff-less season likely on the horizon, head coach Gary Kubiak must be sweatin’ like a virgin at a prison rodeo.
On a rare positive note, rookie running back Steve Slaton (my preseason pick for Offensive ROY – seriously) has done a decent job filling in for the perpetually injured Ahman Green (has only played in 7 games since becoming a Texan in 2007), and is making a strong case for himself to assume the roll as a full-time starter. But, as history has proven, relying on a rookie to carry your team is always a roll of the dice. The following are a few issues that come to mind when examining the Texans’ winless start to the season:
Where the hell is Andre Johnson? Is he on sabbatical? Did he make an unfortunate comment about Matt Schaub’s mama to his face? I realize that he is probably being double-covered on every play, but solving those types of dilemmas is what offensive coordinators are paid to do. No one can deny that Johnson is a playmaker, and he would be an effective wide receiver in any offensive system. Unless they decide to say the hell with double coverage and grant Johnson the chance to earn his keep, he will be little more than a $60 million decoy.
The What If Factor
While it isn’t entirely fair, I still love to play the what-if game when it comes to the NFL draft. The Texans just happen to be my poster child when it comes to missed opportunities. Back in the 2002 draft, the Texans had the number one overall pick. They decided to build their franchise around Fresno State quarterback David Carr, and coincidentally passed on North Carolina’s Julius Peppers – who was selected second overall by the Carolina Panthers. It is also worth mentioning that David Garrard – who ironically led the Jaguars to victory over the Texans this week – was selected in the fourth round of that same draft. Having another number one overall pick In 2006, the Texans seemed to be making up for passing on Peppers by selecting a defensive end, NC State’s Mario Williams, instead of Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush of USC. To make matters worse, Domanick Davis – the Texans’ starting running back at the time, and sole justification for passing on Bush – suffered a season-ending injury shortly before the ‘o6 regular season began. Fast forward to the present day, and we could have been looking at a team with Garrard at QB, Bush at RB, and Peppers anchoring their defense.
You Gotta Dance With the One That Brung Ya
Head ball coach Gary Kubiak seems to be waffling on the decision to stick with Matt Schaub as his field general amidst pressure from both local and national media. While he hasn’t lived up to the hype, Schaub is a very capable quarterback. Benching him would be like punishing George W. Bush’s speechwriters for his inability to correctly pronounce the word nuclear. If Schaub’s supporting cast doesn’t raise their own level of play, his productivity will naturally be limited – and, that logic can be applied to any individual player in any team sport. Give Schaub the opportunity to play without the burden of having to constantly look over his shoulder at backup Sage Rosenfels, and if he still fails to show any improvement, his subsequent removal will be inarguable.
There’s not much more that I can say about the Texans – the football team – so, I’ll leave you with a few more pearls of wisdom that only Texans – the citizens – could possibly conjure up: never kick a fresh turd on a hot day, never ask a barber if you need a haircut, and don’t squat with yer spurs on. Oh, and last but not least, don’t ever finish an NFL season without a single win.