Fire Gary Kubiak Before Another Season Is Wasted

Vik VijCorrespondent INovember 29, 2009

ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 01:  Head coach Gary Kubiak of the Houston Texans looks on during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 1, 2009 in Orchard Park, New York. Houston won 31-10. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

The Houston Texans played almost a flawless first half and jumped out to a 20-7 lead at halftime.  Sure, some points were left on the field and there were a few mistakes, but leading the Colts by 13 at the half is pretty good.  At one point the Texans were up 17-0. 

(Photo caption: Gary Kubiak looking away from another Houston field goal attempt)

Then the second half started.  Something snapped.  The wheels came off the bus.  The Texans took their foot off the gas and scored exactly ZERO meaningful points while the Colts went up and down the field and scored four unanswered touchdowns to take a 35-27 victory.  Jacoby Jones' touchdown with 18 seconds left might have made the onside kick meaningful, but it did little to change the game.

What happened in the second half?  Where was the leadership?  Matt Schaub certainly made some mistakes and threw two back breaking interceptions.  Let's break these down a bit further.

On the first pick, there was some sort of breakdown.  Andre Johnson ran one route and Schaub threw to a second route.  The only problem was that two Colt defenders were there to pick off the errant pass.  It was like fielding a punt the throw was so offline. 

At this moment, there was some sense or feeling that things were going to get worse.

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And worse they got.  Schaub threw another horrible interception that was returned for a touchdown by linebacker Clint Session.  Schaub just made a poor decision and made a bad pass to James Casey.  Apparently, he didn't see Session undercutting the route.

Schaub also held onto the ball too long and was stripped by Robert Mathis when the outcome of the game was still in the air. Chad Simpson scampered into the end zone moments later and the game was effectively over.

But this loss does not fall onto Schaub's shoulders.

Why did the Texans take their foot off the gas?  You can't let a great team like the Colts hang around.  The Texans must learn how to finish games.  Houston's lack of killer instinct came back to haunt them again.

What is the problem?  Is it the talent?  I don't think so.  The offense is loaded with play makers even without injured Owen Daniels.  Andre Johnson is flat out amazing.  He routinely makes incredible catches. James Casey looks promising in his rookie year.  The offensive line is playing well.  Steve Slaton is (hopefully) over his fumbling issues.  Kevin Walter is a very effective second receiver.

On the other side of the ball, the defense has come around.  Mario Williams pressured Peyton Manning all day.  Brian Cushing and Demeco Ryans are good linebackers.  Bernard Pollard and Glover Quin have made the secondary better.

One quick note.  There is a major problem with Dunta Robinson, however.  He cannot cover anyone anymore.  Granted, Reggie Wayne is a great receiver, but Robinson couldn't get near him without interfering.  Was there a bigger off season blunder bigger than Robinson's leaving $23 million guaranteed on the table?  He's not going to get anything close to that in the future. 

My point is, the talent is there.  That's not the problem.  Again, I urge you examine Gary Kubiak's role in another loss. 

Who made the decision to take the foot off the gas?  Who is the leader of the team?  Who made minimal at best half time adjustments?

Kubiak.  Kubiak.  Kubiak.

There is almost a sense of panic in the way that Kubiak coaches.  When the Colts got a little momentum, Kubiak went for a big play down field.  Never mind that the running backs had just picked up 15 yards on two plays to move the chains.  That seems like a great time to go for a home run. 

Now, I'm all for being aggressive.  This is football, not soccer.  But being aggressive just for the sake of it?  Insane. Can Antonio Smith's three personal fouls in the past 6 days be indicative of the panic coming from the head coach?  Is Smith's lack of composure a reflection of Kubiak's?

Kubiak seemingly panics whenever adversity shows up.  It's permeating the entire team.  People always say that a team takes on the personality of the head coach.  Well, the Texans seemed to panic and were unable to finish the game.  Sound familiar?

There is too much talent on this team being wasted by an inept and ineffective coach.  As a offensive coordinator under a strong willed head coach in Denver, Kubiak was successful.  Let's pause to mention Mike Shanahan and John Elway.  But, note the strong head coach.

In Houston, Kubiak has hired baby-faced Shanahan Junior and a first time defensive coordinator in Frank Bush.  Where is the strong personality leading the team?  Who is the one in charge?  Is is the coach who doesn't even look at field goal attempts?  I say, emphatically, no!

The Texans were 5-3 and are currently riding a three game losing streak.  Every game has been close, minus the season opener.  Couldn't some better coaching help this team win even one of those games?

Blown challenges, poor clock management, poor leadership.  Minus the success and 200 pounds, Kubiak does a pretty good Andy Reid impression.

Could the Texans win out and make the playoffs?  Yes, it's not entirely out of the question but it seems unlikely. 

But isn't four years enough time to determine what kind of coach Kubiak is? 

I say, again, yes.  It's been enough time.  We've seen what Kubes can do.  It's time for a real coach.  Dom Capers led the team through four playoff-less seasons before Bob McNair showed him the door.  I think Kubes has been at the helm long enough to show what he can and can't do. 

It's time to fire Kubiak after the season.  Firing him now would not solve anything.  Interim coaches rarely do anything positive.  Mike Singeltary was a huge exception to this rule.  But, the time for Kubiak to go has come.

Before another season is wasted.


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