Over the course of the last two weeks Houston Texan fans have steadily questioned why the Texans play as poorly as they do and haven’t met expectations. As a former player being on the inside, I’ll clear this up for you in a short but sweet answer. There are certain things needed to be successful in the NFL. Yes, some talent or ability is needed, but it’s not as important as you think. The NFL game is 90% mental and 10% talent. After close examination I have come to this conclusion about the Texans.
Houston has talent at certain positions, QB, WR, RB, and linebacker. Mario is a talent when he decides to show up and Antonio Smith has played the best out of them all this year. The rest of the defensive line is average at best. The O-line I would say is just above average, the secondary is poor. Still that’s not the ultimate problem. What I see as the problem for the Texans is schematics, attention to detail, and poor situational awareness. Which based off of my 90-10 ration is a huge problem.
On offense, instead of being themselves, a zone running, play action pass team, they decide to get pass happy and panic. On defense, they are playing a scheme that they do not have the talent or players for. You can not load up the box to stop the run and not have the players in back that can succeed in single coverage. Also up front, I don’t see enough games being run to create pressure. In certain situations, ie. third down I also don’t see the awareness of knowing what teams run depending on the down and distance. The Texans defense looks as if they just play whats called. Offensively it is not as bad, yet they are predictable as to what they run.
Bill Parcells had a drill for us. All the coaches had to get off the field, players only, He created a scenario like, 1:56 left in the game, the offense needed a touchdown, and had one timeout. He would place the ball anywhere. Both offense and defense had to make the calls on their own. We did that every week and it prepared us during games because we already knew what to do. Detail and awareness, very key. The majority of the time when teams are beat on offense or defense it is the lack of these things and not so much the physical aspect.
Now, where is the blame to fall ? Both player and coach are responsible for doing the things I mentioned above. Yes, the coach has to help prepare them and guide them, but the players have to do extra work and prepare diligently as well. If you are skeptical of my opinion, then look at the Indianapolis Colts. Talent is not great, but they have a system in place on both offense and defense. Watching them play u can see where the detail and situational awareness is displayed by all players. You may not agree with my opinion. I base this solely on my experience. All teams are gonna make some plays, whether planned or by luck, but the teams that come out ahead are the ones that are more detailed and aware of all situations.