H-Town Sports

Houston Sports Blog - Real sports cities have TWO Conference USA teams

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Is There Hope for the Texans in '06?

Looking at the preseason predictions for the '06 Texans made by Tim and me in August, the season has really not gone all that astray. My prediction of Ben Joppru being a "Guy to Watch", in hindsight, may not work out (though it may in Chicago), but both Tim and I had the Texans pegged for 2-3 at this point in the season, which is just one game off pace. I had (and still have) the Jags winning this Sunday against the Texans, and Tim has the Texans pulling off the upset. Without question the schedule lightens up a bit in the middle, but even a perpetual optimist like me will admit that nine wins may be a bit unlikely based on the fact that the Texans have not just been losing - they have been getting humiliated. Consistently. So what should the next step(s) be?

1. Cut Ron Dayne - He may know the plays in his head thanks to his stint in Denver, but he sure as hell cannot execute them on the field effectively. Wali Lundy and Chris Taylor showed nice potential in the preseason, and they deserve to get the bulk of the carries from here on out. Let them prove whether or not they are serious prospects for a long-term role with this team. I think that there's a guy in the Texans' pep band named Dayne who could average 2.9 yards per run, and I am confident that both Taylor and Lundy would do no worse. If you want to have a "veteran" to help with pass protection in the backfield, Sam Gado is that guy. Dayne serves no purpose other than the Raul Chavez role of Tamale vacuum in the locker room.

2. Bench Morlon Greenwood - Greenwood has been an absolute non-factor this season, despite the much-advertised transition to a 4-3 alignment, which was supposed to unshackle Greenwood. Charlie Anderson or Troy Evans could not be any worse - give them a shot, and Kailee Wong's return to action provides further depth at the linebacker position. I was not all that upset that the Texans passed on Derrick Johnson in '05, but looking back, he sure would look nice at the WLB spot right now.

3. Encourage Aggressive, even Reckless Play - The Texans appear to be either over-thinking or afraid to make a mistake on both sides of the ball. They play as if they are blanketed in fear. There is absolutely no reason for this team to look that way. Even the players' mothers have zero expectations at this point. The franchise is unquestionably the laughingstock of the NFL. There is only one way to lose that label: win games. Playing conservative, cautious football has not worked. Not only is it failing to produce wins, but it is also not helping to convert the fan base from angry to apathetic. The outcome is predetermined (loss), and the game action is tedious. Why attend a game? Why care at all? Gary Kubiak must convince the players that they have nothing to lose, and the best way for him to do so is to coach that way. Call a few trick plays. Throw the ball deep. Blitz more. Fake a punt. The status quo from the Capers era has unfortunately been maintained, and that is not a good thing. Now would be a great time for Kubiak to put his name on this franchise, and if he does, I still believe that there is the potential for the 2006 season to be labeled a 'success'.


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