On a normal hot day in Houston, I sit in my office and stare at the slight bit of humidity in the air. Which leaves me a bit puzzled. How is there a slight film in the air although the sun is out and only a few clouds in the sky ? Why can’t the sun just burn off whatever it is in the air ? I am just as confused about the Houston Texans and what the decision-making process is there. I am befuddled by personnel decisions mostly. I do not understand what it is they see or don’t see. There are obvious needs for this team and they have not been addressed. And it doesn’t look like they will be any time soon.
The Houston Texans organization is very good. They have a pretty good reputation, a respectable and generous owner, and seem to have guys with “character” on the team. But Is this the reason for their mediocrity ? Is being a “goody too shoes’ hurting the Texans ? I think so, and if chances aren’t taken this will turn out to be an average team and organization. On the offensive side of the ball I think they are pretty set. Schaub has developed into a very good QB, they have in my opinion the best WR in the game in Andre Johnson. Owen Daniels is one of the top tight ends in the game, even coming off of an injury. The offensive line is good but not great and the running back situation has become better with Foster developing. I still think they need a real #2 wide out to help Andre. Kevin Walters is decent but he is more of a third WR than a #2, and David Anderson is definitely a third or fourth wide out at this point.
Here is where I am puzzled. The linebackers are the strength of this defense. Cushing is suspended the first four games, and that will hurt. The defensive line and the secondary are for sure the weak spots. Mario Williams has had up and down years, has been injured quite often, and has not been the dominating force as projected. He is the only real threat on the defensive line. Antonio Smith was signed from Arizona, but he has not lived up to the money he received. After that there is a huge drop off. The secondary is young, very young. Kareem Jackson is a rookie and Quinn is a second year player. Eugene Wilson has the most experience back there. The Texans did nothing to improve these areas of the team. Even teams that have been winning of a consistent basis still go out and find more players to elevate their team. Sure they drafted Jackson in the first round, but after that what’s left ? Plus, he is facing a learning curve himself. They have no real depth and no real experience overall. Failing to address these areas could be the key to why the Texans finish 9-7 again. Yep, just as I predicted last year.
You have to take some chances in this or any other business. If McNair is wanting to win now as he says, then he has to go out and get players to improve this team. Even if they have checkered pasts, as strong as the organization is, the change of environment might help ! Don’t just settle for what you have because the players here now are stand up guys. Last I checked morals don’t win football games, football players win football games. Look at the Redskins for example. Haynesworth has been a pain in the u know what, but when he is right he is a dominant player and Shanahan knows that. So hell yea they are going to keep him.
The Texans have this philosophy of building through the draft. That’s fine and dandy, but who is going to teach these young players how to play ? Eventually they learn on their own, but that’s after years of trial and error. How do they know if what they are learning fits the way they play ? Every player has a certain style, and they have to implement that style into the defense in order to be successful. It’s also up to the coaches to know what kind of player they have and know how to design and call the defense around them. Aaron Glenn and I were able to play both zone and man to man coverage. Coaches could leave us out on the island and not worry about us. Do you think that gave us an advantage ? I would think so. That’s why an experienced player is always needed . Coaches can say what they what in the film room, but when on the field it’s totally different. Considering how fast things happen, learning from someone who has been there is a huge advantage than just solely watching film.
In my opinion this is where the Texans are failing. No real experience and no real play makers or game changers in certain positions. They will always be a .500 team unless this changes. They have just enough to get by at this point. However, they will soon be left behind because everyone else around them is improving. And as the sun eventually will burn off the slight film in the air, I’m sure the Texans will come to the realization that certain changes have to be made and addressed. Difference is, the sun has time and it’s hand is not be forced. The Texans are on a much tighter time-table and a solar storm is sure to hit if things don’t change.