Blame Gary Kubiak All You Want, But Rick Smith Shares the Responsibility for the Texans' Failure
So Gary Kubiak's been fired and it looks like Wade Phillips is coaching himself out of a job. But truth of the matter is that Bob McNair could con Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy into taking this job and that still wouldn't be enough.
Weren't they supposed to be a Super Bowl contender?
The problems with this team go far deeper than Gary Kubiak and his inability to adjust to what other teams are doing. The team has cap issues to deal with, aging superstars, an unsettled QB situation and two key players in Arian Foster and Brian Cushing who cannot stay healthy.
Then there's GM Rick Smith, who, somehow, despite everything, still has a job. He's managed to convince McNair that he's blameless for everything that's happened with the team, and that absent the interference of Kubiak, he will fix everything.
Smith reminds me of Dayton Moore, the general manager of the Kanas City Royals. The Royals were a down-and-out formerly great baseball franchise when Moore was hired in 2006. Moore was a highly sought after assistant GM for the Atlanta Braves, who were then, and remain, one of the envies of MLB. And he got a lot of the credit for Atlanta's deep farm system. Unfortunately for Royals fans, Moore's tenure with KC has been one of losing seasons, head-scratchingingly inexplicable trades, stupid free agent contracts and bumbling managers -- kind of the MLB equivalent of the Texans.
But despite everything, Moore keeps his job. No matter that the Royals have yet to actually contend for anything despite huge contracts and bad trade after bad trade. He's somehow earned the trust of ownership despite the Royals' continued failures, and he continues to destroy a once great franchise.
The Texans have never been a great franchise, but the parallel remains valid. Smith has gained the trust of McNair, and is seemingly without blame. He claims to have just done Kubiak's bidding, to have gotten the players Kubiak wanted. But that doesn't explain all of the bad contracts. It doesn't explain letting Glover Quin depart to be replaced by Ed Reed, especially since it now appears the Texans coaching staff didn't want Reed.