Gary Kubiak: Three Questions To Be Answered Without The Same Tired Script
3. What is your policy on curfews for your coaching staff?
I ask this quite simply because I was out in Denver late Saturday night before the Broncos game at a very respectable local establishment, enjoying a few beverages with friends, and your defensive coordinator Frank Bush was there until close (around 2 a.m.), just like me. To be VERY clear, Bush didn't appear to be doing anything Deadspin-worthy, he was just socializing with people and appeared to be enjoying himself. Like the rest of us.
However, he's not like the rest of us. He's the defensive coordinator for your team and the game is in twelve hours.
So that's why I'm asking you, Gary -- is this normal? Is it okay for coaches to be out the night before a game (even drinking a club soda) until two in the morning? If it is, then Frank Bush wasn't doing anything wrong according to your rules. If it's not, then the guy you've taken bullet after bullet for all season long was very publicly breaking your rules.
This is not meant to stir controversy, I truly am curious if this is acceptable. Are NFL teams good with coaches going out the night before one of the sixteen biggest days of the company's year as if they're traveling for pleasure? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.
Regardless, something is seriously wrong, Gary -- either with your rules if they allow for this, or with Frank Bush's adherence to them if they don't. Seriously wrong, and let me tell you why.
Let's pretend I'm a Texans season ticket holder (and, in fact, I was at the bar with people who are season ticket holders). I spend three or four grand a year on my seats to see a product that has been severely flawed for virtually its entire existence. This season the defense is performing at an historically terrible level to the point where, if you had to create a Mount Rushmore for Houston Texans Franchise Failure, then Frank Bush's face would be etched alongside David Carr, Charley Casserly, and Brian Cushing's attorney.
And when I say "historically terrible," I'm saying so with nary a hint of hyperbole. The passing yards allowed, the late-game comebacks surrendered, this defense is a punch line. It's not the only reason that 2010 has been a colossal failure, but it's easily the biggest reason. And said failure by the defense has infected the psyche of the city, and put people's jobs at risk.
Hell, it's put you at risk, Gary. It's a joke.
So again, pretend I'm a Texans season ticket holder, and twelve hours before kickoff I'm closing out my bar tab simultaneously with the guy who coordinates my team's defense. Forgive me, but even if he were just there drinking water (which he may have been), this would piss me off. I can tell you, it pissed off the actual season ticket holders sitting with me.
Frank Bush should be doing one of two things at 2:00 a.m. in Denver the night before a game -- sleeping or figuring out a way to stop the Broncos. Gary, at 5-10, if your system allows for anything other than that late at night before a game, I think it's broken. Badly.
Some will argue (and some have actually argued with me over the last two days) that there have been plenty of us who have been out too late the night before work. My response to this? Fair enough, but if any of us were performing our jobs as poorly as Frank Bush, we'd have been fired at the bye week.
Also, comparing a random sales call or a morning radio show to an NFL game is comparing apples and bowling balls. The self-esteem of your entire city and the welfare of your team and indirectly several other businesses (sponsors and sports bars, to name two) ride on YOUR performance, Gary. You and your staff. There are EIGHT road games a year in the NFL -- this is a night that Bush has to go out? He can't hold off for one of the 357 other nights this year?
Is it out of line for me to draw a correlation between the judgment of someone who doesn't understand the perception of a team leader being in a bar twelve hours before kickoff and the judgment of someone coordinating the 32nd-ranked pass defense in the NFL? Someone whose defense allowed one of the least NFL ready rookie quarterbacks in recent memory to throw for over 300 yards? I don't think it is.
I'm only asking because, as a fan (and every fan I've spoken with about this agrees), I would draw the same correlation for a head coach whose rulebook allows the latitude for their staff to be out that late and a 5-10 record.
So which is it, Gary? At 10-5, I really wouldn't care. What you're doing would be considered "working." But you're 5-10, and like it or not, all of this scrutiny is fair. All three of my questions are fair.
Your system is broken, Gary. The process is a mess. Your team gravitates to failure. And now there are signs that your staff lacks either self-awareness or discipline.
And you hired all of them.
You want to stay for 2011, Gary. But we need answers.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.