Texans Reach the Breaking Point, Andre Johnson Walks Off


schaub-keenum.jpg
Surreal moment between QBs.
Was the kid a permanent solution? Probably not. But hey, at least playing offense was fun again. A big part of you had to feel energized, but at the same time a big part of you had to feel angry -- angry that a coach and an organization would allow a nuclear weapon of a wide receiver like you to go unused in so many ways for so many years.

Throw the ball to me and let me go get it. How hard can that be?

You're Andre Johnson. You hope that there are enough years left on the odometer to make up for lost time, catch more touchdowns, win more games, maybe win a Super Bowl. For now, the kid will do. He's clearly the best option on this roster, everybody knows this.

Or do they?

As it turns out, everybody knows this except one person, and unfortunately it's the one person making decisions.

It's Week 11, and the kid struggles (although no worse than the previous quarterback was struggling when he got yanked), the kid gets the hook, and back in comes the cement footed, physically limited, walking Ambien tablet that never threw you the ball in a spot where you could be ANDRE FUCKING JOHNSON.

And as Tony Soprano would say, that's what broke the camel's back.

In the third quarter of Sunday's 28-23 loss to the Oakland Raiders, Gary Kubiak gave quarterback Case Keenum ("the kid") the hook, and reinserted Matt Schaub ("the cement footed, physically limited, walking Ambien tablet") in an attempt to win a football game. Carrying with him a 2013 resume adorned in pick sixes and riddled with second half futility, Schaub entered the game to a chorus of boos so loud that, according to guard Wade Smith, the team had to use its silent counts to run plays.

Think about that -- Matt Schaub got a reception at home whose decibel level was commensurate with that of the Texans' worst enemies.

Oh eventually, it got quiet in the stadium, (That'll happen when half the place clears out and heads to the parking lot.) and the Texans were allowed to go to work, which for them unfortunately meant more of the same -- field goals, futility, and winding up on the business end of somebody else's Sportscenter highlights (That truck that hit you is named "Rashad Jennings," D.J. Swearinger).

Eight losses deep we are now in this streak, and the Texans still have only two touchdowns in the second half of games during this soul crushing stretch. In their failure, the Texans are consistent, if nothing else.

The game Sunday ended in a similar spot to the last time Oakland came to town in 2011, with the Texans down five points, on the doorstep of the Raiders goal line, with Matt Schaub throwing desperately and flimsily into the end zone, this time to Johnson who had no fewer than four white shirts around him.

What happened next will either be the beginning of a defining moment or just the latest chapter in the season of Playmakers that 2013 has become here in Houston. (Or both.) Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub, partners in a fairly productive, peaceful coexistence since 2007, yelled at each other on the sidelines, loudly and publicly.

How it started isn't important. What needs to be understood is that Matt Schaub, with millions watching and in the middle of his worst season, thought it was okay to critique and engage argumentatively with Andre Johnson publicly over screwing up. I don't know that Matt Schaub has ever had the equity to make what happened on Sunday acceptable, but if he did, he forfeited that equity several pick sixes ago this season.

Of all the moments Matt Schaub needed to realize he is Matt Schaub, this was it.

And now we know, tone deaf trickles down to the quarterback, in perfect lockstep with his head coach as they steer the franchise into the iceberg, they finally did the seemingly impossible -- they drove one of the few marquee wide receivers who eschews diva tendencies, who always puts team first, to go into business for himself.

With the way Gary Kubiak seems to grade certain players on a curve, I've had to say this many times in 2013 -- there is a breaking point where excess loyalty to poor performers crosses into disloyalty to star performers.

On Sunday, make no mistake, Andre Johnson finally reached that breaking point. On Sunday, Matt Schaub did to Andre Johnson what he's done to so many Texans fans this season.

On Sunday, Matt Schaub made Andre Johnson say, "F*** this."

Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.



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34 comments
Spencer Aleshire
Spencer Aleshire

Do an article on Andre walking off the field before the game was over. Great players have played on shitty teams. No excuse. Captains go down with the ship.

MrMajesti
MrMajesti

The sad part to all of this is the blame this time doesn't fall on who it should. The offensive line was atrocious that game. People blamed Carr when it was Capers who taught Carr to not throw at a person, but at a particular spot. Timing routes killed him. Schaub has seen what a good (not great) offensive line can do in the past and It's gotten us some great seasons. And for all of AJ's criticisms lets not forget the times he dropped balls that could have been touchdowns or firstdowns in his illustrious career. 

Bottom line, NONE of them are perfect in this.

bum102003
bum102003

nailed it ...yup yup yup yup yup. 

René Espinoza
René Espinoza

Am i missing something? People defending his antics... Just looks like him being a prima donna on the field to me. And Dez gets called a diva for doing the same thing a few weeks ago! Biased much folks?

sintex_error
sintex_error

Kubiak was a mediocre QB behind a great John Elway, he picked up a mediocre QB in Schaub to prove that he could win by building talent around him and the old school Denver system... it's time for a new coach and QB

michael_jozwiak
michael_jozwiak

Maybe Case Keenum will be the starter and Matt Schaub the closer in the 4th Quarter.

Michael Terry
Michael Terry

Andre's reply to Schaub was "yea, I ran the wrong route."

AMT1200
AMT1200

Boo'ing the teams QB when he walks out on the field is bad for the entire teams image and confidence.  Is Shaub the best QB on Earth? no. Is Keenum? No.

The Texans aren't playing well this year, and that combined with all the Boo'ing is a recipe for failure.   

People are all about Keenum now, thats fine, but when he screws up you need to boo him (and entire team) as well.   When our defense screws up, boo them too.   AND when Keenum plays the majority of the game and we still lose in the end, don't put the weight of the loss on Shaub like he is some kind of superhero and it's all his fault that we lost.  

Texans fans have become disgraceful.

John Hodges
John Hodges

Foster will be hurt again.. Get rid of him too.. Wade needs to stay coaching defense.. He can't help it he has crap for DBs.. That is Kubiak and Smith's fault..

Tony Gutierrez
Tony Gutierrez

As much as I like Cushing his career is basically done...Clean house fire Kubiak, Rick Smith, Wade Philips, Schaub...put Keenum as starter and Andre will be happy. With a hopefully healthy OD and Foster we will be back in playoff contention next year.

pkmurray
pkmurray

Clearly kubiack has suffered brain damage from his recent mini-stroke. The only other explanation could be is that schaub has photos of kubiack in compromising positions.

Evan_C
Evan_C

I don't even care about football and I thoroughly enjoyed this read. This Schaub guy really sounds like a disaster.

John Hodges
John Hodges

Dre isn't the team.... There are a few players just as good as he is...

Colby Jack
Colby Jack

He doesn't deserve a better team. He deserves a better coaching staff. Andre Johnson IS the team.

Jeff Wong
Jeff Wong

I think the Texans tend to forget...the reason why the NFL exists & they have a job is because the fans. Never think you're above the fans!

Alisa Gillman
Alisa Gillman

Sean Pendergast, I LOVE YOU! Expertly & beautifully written article. I've said it before & I'll say it again - KUBIAK & SCHAUB HAVE GOT TO GO! Period.

John Hodges
John Hodges

As well he should have... He deserves a better team than this. So does JJ, Cush, and Case..

Averylyssa
Averylyssa

My thoughts exactly. I love you referring to Case as "the kid". 


Puller58
Puller58

I had a hunch Kubiak was going to do this.  (His glib "Miss me?" to the press seemed to say he was either told by or got the feeling McNair wouldn't fire him.)  With that being the case, (And the last time he benched Schaub for Sage Rosenfels, it was with an apparent fear of being fired.)  he had made noises that Schaub wanted his job back, and he was somewhat critical of Keenum.  (And to be fair, the things I saw in pre-season are pretty much what you saw in this game.  Hiccups.)  But Keenum made some plays unlike the scatterarmed Schaub who once again made bunches of bad throws.  His tantrum with Johnson is likely frustration that Johnson made Keenum look good, so why not do the same for him?  I know, silly, but Schaub is deeply insecure, and fearful of being shipped off if Kubiak loses his job.  He can relax.  (Sad.)

davidh0809
davidh0809

Sean, you're g*dammed right! Top that off with Ben "I'm outta here on the next contact" Tate calling me "wishy-washy" and I'll sing the refrain to F@CK THIS...

marcusskog1
marcusskog1

@Spencer Aleshire  hes not the captain and to be honest if he didnt walk off the field then he wouldve did to shaub what he did to finnegan, so its probably best that he left

TexanTodd
TexanTodd

Dude, you obviously don't know shit about the game of football if your comparing Andre Johnson to Dez Bryant, LMFAO!

eryanwhite
eryanwhite

@AMT1200 

when you pay $500,000 fucking dollars for the right to watch a stupid football game, included in that..... is the right to "boo". 

jgdemeris
jgdemeris

@AMT1200 Maybe we should start a mercy rule in the NFL....what do you think? Oh and everyone gets a trophy!

pkmurray
pkmurray

@AMT1200 booing your favorite team is not disgraceful. i would argue it is disgraceful to sit there and not show your displeasure over the teams performance. even if the front office or the coaching staff doesnt hold anyone accountable. As a true fan, it is your right to hold the team accountable and boo when you are not pleased with the product that you are presented. booing is a fans only true recourse.

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