Blame Gary Kubiak All You Want, But Rick Smith Shares the Responsibility for the Texans' Failure

Categories: Sports

Weren't they supposed to be a Super Bowl contender?
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.

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.

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I don't know what you're smoking but all of them, Kubiak, Smith, & McNair, are to blame.  Kubiak for being a dimwit who runs an outdated, predictable, repetitive offense. Smith for being a dimwit for letting good players go to other teams without getting anything back for them, for screwing up the salary caps that forced us to give up good players, and for making Schaub one of the highest paid players in the NFL to the detriment of our ability to retain good players at the O-Line and other positions. McNair for being a dimwit who stayed with Kubiak this damn long! No other headcoach ever had Kubiak's record and still working for this many years, none! Also McNair for still wanting to keep Smith after all the mess he has created and some, such as letting Jacoby Jones, Trindon Holiday, DeMeco Ryans, Chris Jones, Eric Winston, and Mike Brisiel go for nothing, just to be stars for other teams and prove how inept Kubiak and company are at coaching.


There was a rumor long ago that Charlie Casserly actually left Houston due to McNair meddling.  (The Ed Reed signing has been laid at McNair's feet. Could be Smith panders to his boss.)  The problems Royal laid out are all true, and I'm sure plenty of coaches are allergic to being put the position of answering to the second coming of Ladd Herzog.  This won't end well.  One of the folks on sport talk radio has a thing for Rex Ryan, and I do believe if the Jets can him that he'd take the job since his ego rivals his father's but he is NOT the answer.


If given a choice most football people aren't willing to work for the Texans


Boob McNair is the reason the Texans are lousy.


I've got to disagree with this analysis. The Texans' problem hasn't been talent; they've got an incredibly talented team. Of course there are deficiencies; the right side of the offensive line was decimated by free agency, and we still could use another top defensive back.

The problem has been twofold: Injuries and an overly conservative approach, both in terms of offensive playcalling and tough personnel decisions.

Matt Schaub is a good quarterback. But he's not elite, and as he's aged, his deteriorating athletic abilities have taken him farther away from elite status. Kubiak should have made the tough decision two seasons ago and demanded a new QB. Any idea of what the Texans would be like right now had they picked up Peyton Manning? I'd be willing to bet that those 2nd half losses by a touchdown or less would have been victories the majority of the time.

This gets back to the conservative approach. McNair gave Kubiak way too much time to field a competitive team. Kubiak gave Schaub way too much time to lead the team to the Superbowl.

We've had a steady stream of very good talent on the team, and I think Rick Smith should be commended for this. It would be a big mistake to let him go.

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