Houston Texans: 10 Reasons Bob McNair Knows What He's Doing
Bob McNair is not familiar with what it feels like to be criticized as an NFL owner, but recently he's been starting to hear more and more of it.
McNair seems to have a lot more faith than fans think he should in head coach Gary Kubiak. Given the Texans' overall 37-43 record, the Houston faithful are starting to question the overall decision-making abilities of their owner.
Texas has the richest tradition of football in the United States. The passion for football is unmatched in any city, state or country. Houston's fans want to win, and they want to do it consistently year in and year out.
McNair has some positives playing for him, though, and has made good decisions about what direction the team will be headed next season.
10. Texans Hire Wade Phillips As Defensive Coordinator
Dallas fans couldn't wait for their coach, Wade Phillips, to be ousted after a disappointing start to their season.
However, Phillips found a more welcoming team in Texas. McNair hired the ex-Cowboys head coach to take the reins of the defense and try to steer them in the right direction.
Phillips obviously doesn't have any favorites on the Houston team, which will lead to more rational decisions from the coaching staff. Without any previous relationships with young Texans players, Phillips will look at his defense more in-depth and won't stick with previous disappointments that he doesn't want to give up on.
9. McNair Decides to Keep Gary Kubiak As Head Coach
Gary Kubiak is very unpopular in Houston right now, along with owner Bob McNair. But there are some bright sides to keeping the coach, who has been less than .500 in his stint with the Texans.
Kubiak is an offense-oriented coach, and when you have an offensive duo like Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson, that is exactly the kind of coach you want.
If you don't look at the records that Kubiak has been posting, you'll see that he has steadily worked on improving his offense. He transformed running back Arian Foster from an undrafted free agent into a superstar, something that was overlooked by many fans.
With Kubiak working to establish a running game, it will be easier for Schaub and Johnson to hook up for bigger plays, and they will be a lot more effective moving the football.
8. McNair Has Kept His Staff with a Young Defense to Work with
The Houston Texans had the youngest defense in the NFL last season, and that is not a bad thing at all. With a new defensive coordinator coming in to try to coach this team back to health, it will be easier to work with young players.
It's easier for coaches to work with young players because young players aren't entirely used to anything in particular in regards to coaching. They won't have a preference of coach and are more likely to accept the new coach and play their parts on the team accordingly.
On the other hand, this can bring a lot of inexperience to this side of the ball, which is a positive and a negative.
On the positive side, Wade Phillips has young players that he can transform and mold into the kind of players that he thinks will work best for the Texans organization. But working against that is the fact that when they're playing teams like the Colts, they don't have very many veterans that can lead the way.
All in all, I think that McNair has done the best thing for his organization by sticking with the younger squad.
7. McNair Didn't Pursue Gruden or Cowher
No one said that either Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher was coming out of retirement this season. But rumors started to float around about McNair dropping Kubiak and trying to sign one of these two big name coaches.
It was a great decision by McNair to try to sign one of these coaches. If McNair drops Kubiak and neither one of those coaches wants to coach, the Texans are put into a situation where they have to hire an inexperienced coach who doesn't know how the Houston Texans do things.
It's better to have faith in a coach that already understands your system, because hiring a coach that doesn't know anything about your players, scheme or city can make a lot of people unhappy. Having unhappy players almost always ends in an unhappy season.
6. McNair Is Keeping Andre Johnson Happy
Andre Johnson is the best player on the Houston Texans, and I think that most people would agree with me on that. McNair knows that the NFL isn't so much of a game anymore, and it's just as much about the money as it is about the passion for football (which I don't see as much as I would like to anymore).
Johnson signed a new contract with the Texans last August that made him the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL. Some people say that's a dumb decision, considering Andre isn't getting any younger.
But look at Randy Moss—up until last season he was still one of the most dominant receivers in the NFL, and he's also one of the oldest.
Johnson's deal was a great move on McNair's part, because just like all great wideouts in the NFL, he has the ability to singlehandedly win games and make the team's quarterback better. Andre Johnson also has the ability to make Bob McNair look better.
5. Keeping the Faith in Matt Schaub
This topic is as much of a coaching plus as it is an owner plus. Matt Schaub didn't have a great year last season. That's no secret. But when your team's star quarterback, the guy who is supposed to keep you in every game, starts to take you out of games, that scares the owner.
McNair, although he's never said that he wouldn't, kept Schaub in a Texans uniform last season. However, you have to believe that trading him or benching him came up in front office conversations at least once or twice.
Schaub and Johnson form one of the most highly regarded duos in the NFL, along with Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings and Tom Brady and Wes Welker. Keeping faith in a struggling quarterback shows a lot of character and can drastically improve the team's recovery from an upsetting season.
I'm not saying this ever happened, but it has to cross your mind, and having Schaub on your payroll improves your team a lot.
4. Worrying About the Wins AND the Money
Bob McNair has been harassed by fans over and over again because they think that McNair only cares about the money he's making every year. Fans want to see wins, and quite frankly, the fans couldn't care less about the amount on McNair's paycheck.
I'm here to say that the fans do need to care about how much money your team's owner is making. Without making any money, you aren't signing any players worth watching, and you aren't keeping players you already have.
McNair is a businessman—always has been, always will be. He is one of the richest men in the world according to Forbes.
I can assure you that McNair doesn't want to put millions of dollars into a team and watch it lose. He's doing the right thing; the NFL is a business. With more money to work with, McNair can improve this team.
3. Bob McNair Follows the Rules
Last season, Bob McNair ordered that there be a search of the entire Texans locker room for performance-enhancing drugs.
This is one of the best stories I've ever heard come from the front office in the NFL, because we all know there are many owners who just say, "Don't get caught."
McNair respects the game, and that's one of the best qualities that an owner can have, because by doing this he is not only respecting his team, but is showing respect for the entire league as well.
2. McNair Keeps His Coaching Staff on Their Toes
Coaches need to know that when you are coaching an NFL team, losing is not acceptable. McNair makes that known to his coaches, and going back to where Texans fans don't think that he cares about wins, this proves that he does.
McNair fired four defensive coaches after last season before going out and landing defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Coaching is the centerpiece of winning, and McNair wants to make sure that his team is only surrounded by winners.
He's showing more and more every season that he wants to take a serious shot at a Super Bowl, and apparently he knows that coaching is a huge part of the equation.
1. Arian Foster
Bob McNair says that this bad season will only make the team better. Taking a risk, as a head coach (Kubiak) and owner, like starting an undrafted free agent is a bold move. But the credit to this goes to the whole Houston Texans organization.
Foster had the best season ever by an undrafted rookie, and you can bet he will be getting a fat paycheck this offseason. Bob McNair and Foster were working to "compensate" Foster for his performance last season.
McNair is going to try as hard as he can to keep Foster in a Texans uniform and develop an offense around him. With the Texans developing such a potent offense for next season, you can bet that McNair will be focusing more on the offensive line and acquiring another go-to receiver. Once he has done this, I think that the Texans have one of the best offenses on the NFL.
Bob McNair does know what he's doing, but it's not wrong to be disappointed after a long season with no results. McNair will make the organization win, or he'll do something about it. Houston fans, stay faithful, because your team and your owner are making all the right moves for next season.