Forget about my call to hire Jim Harbaugh in 2010 or for going all-in for RGIII in 2012. Forget about my prediction the Colts would be #1 in division in 2013 if you didn’t find an answer to Andrew Luck. It didn’t then and it doesn’t now take a genius to understand that Andrew Luck is going to be so much better than Matt Schaub. The question today is what to do about it and it appears the TEXANS still have NO SUCH PLAN. My earlier suggestions & predictions DO NOT seem so outlandish today but the question NOW is how to fix the Texans in 2014 and going forward.
First and foremost, recognize the fact that the Texans do not have a Matt Schaub problem, they’ve a Gary Kubiak problem. With Kubiak teams you always expect a month where they collapse and go in to a funk. With Kubiak teams they often appear NOT well prepared in all 3 phases of the game. With Kubiak teams their record disappoints against teams that are .500 or better.
Mr. McNair you commented in 2006 that Bob Kraft was your friend and mentor since becoming an owner in the NFL. You also stated that going forward you wanted to model your team after the New England Patriots. Understandable after the Patriots had won 3 out of the last 5 Super Bowls. So you hired Gary Kubiak to be your Bill Belichick and Rick Smith to be Gary’s Scott Pioli. Mr. Kraft has stated the reason he hired Belichick to run his team is because Bill had an Economics degree and understood the bigger longer term picture of operating an NFL franchise. Belichick not only knows X and Os but is also well educated in financial management and how to organize a well run draft. The error in your Patriots Model is you hired a guy with a Physical Education degree who only understands the X and Os. The Texans bigger longer term picture has been compromised by a consistent lack of understanding and management of the salary cap.
Don’t get me wrong, I too think Gary Kubiak is a wonderful human being. When you call the roll there are not very many fine human beings as Gary Kubiak. I am sure we all wish there were more folks as kind, caring and as loyal as Gary. He’s also an outstanding offensive coordinator. Gary may want to win as much as Bill Belichick but he doesn’t know how to win like Belichick. There is also a difference in the level and standard to the “Commitment to Excellence”. Belichick wants smart minds, great teachers and coaches. Gary wants to reward his friends.
After 7 years, it is clear, Kubiak is not Belichick, Smith is not Pioli and Schaub is not Brady. The evidence is clear when you compare salary cap management and player personnel decisions. The current salary cap management has left the Texans beginning the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons with their hands tied with little or no room for improvement. The 2014 salary cap looks the same as the previous years and 2015 looks even more dire. Wanting to win is different than knowing how to win. Going forward a new GM and Head Coach should be afforded the opportunity to pick their own QB. To do otherwise is repeating 2006. To do otherwise is to repeat a decision that gave us the last 7 years, 2006 – 2013. To do otherwise is more of the same.
The last 2 years in the playoffs have created a false hope for the current Texans. There is a valid argument that the Texans limited successes had as much to do with other teams decline (absence of Fisher and Manning). There is also a valid argument that the Texans decline is directly due to the vast improvements these teams have made in 2013. There will be a greater concern because these teams also have the resources and the money to further improve in upcoming years, the Texans DO NOT. The Texans are limited and at a disadvantage because they’ve have mortgaged the future every year since 2010.
Because of these management decisions you’re bound to repeat the same pattern of behavior and operations that you’ve created in 2011, 2012 and 2013. It has become a downward spiral. While other teams are taking 2 and 3 steps forward your team will continue taking 1 and 2 steps backwards. Simply put, many of the teams the Texans are playing this year are much better and the Texans are not. For example, teams like the Ravens sign their QB to $100 million contract and are still able to sign 3 Pro Bowl free agents in 2013.
1. CLEAN HOUSE and FIX the SALARY CAP where each year you can get better rather than trying to find band aids to maintain status quo for the current year. Improve your player personnel with decisions based on the long term future and success of the Texans instead of just planning for the current season at hand.
2. Hire a GM in the mold of Ozzie Newsome or Ted Thompson. A friendly recommendation, your first call for a GM should go to a strong potential candidate, highly intelligent and well versed in the NFL.
ERIC DECOSTA, Assistant GM Baltimore Ravens. Eric started with Ravens 17 years ago at the bottom and has worked his way up through the ranks to be the assistant GM.
3. HEAD COACH, a back channel call to DAVID SHAW’s agent should be an immediate high priority.
DAVID SHAW has coached in the NFL for 9 years, son of an NFL coach and is well versed with the NFL. Shaw’s college team is ALWAYS WELL PREPARED in ALL 3 Phases of the game. Expect Stanford to play in this year’s National Championship Game.
BOLD RESULTS require BOLD ACTIONS. A few people know how to make things happen, most folks don’t. The time for Conventional thinking was yesterday, NOT today. By making the above wish list a reality and you would have your Ozzie Newsome, your Jimmy Johnson and if needed your Herschel Walker in JJ Watt.
Regards & Best Wishes going forward,