So Sherman's Leaving...What Now?

Now that we've had some time to digest the fact that Mike Sherman is stepping down as offensive coordinator of your Houston Texans to succeed Dennis Franchione at Texas A&M, let's examine how Sherman's eventual departure affects the Texans.  

Frankly, I question how much it really changes anything except how the offensive line is coached, and possibly future personnel acquisitions along the offensive line.  Title aside, the ultimate offensive playcalling of the Texans has always laid with Gary Kubiak.  Sherman, and Troy Calhoun before him, was responsible for calling in the play and/or scheme, but Kubiak always had the final call on what was sent in.  Presumably, that won't change, which you'd have to think is a big reason that twenty-seven (27) year old Kyle Shanahan is considered a serious candidate for promotion to offensive coordinator.  Indeed, Kubes' involvement with the offense may well be the central reason that the decision on who will replace Sherman won't be made until after the season. In other words, it's simply not necessary right now; Kubes can fill any gaps himself for the next five (5) weeks.

I do think, however, that we have the potential to see a noticeable shift in the blocking scheme(s) next year.  Since Kubes and Sherman arrived in town, the Texans have run a hybrid of Green Bay and Denver's blocking schemes (tip of the cap to Solis for recognizing this issue first; also, see here for a nice primer on the differences between zone and man blocking, as well as some deserved snide commentary about former Texans offensive line coach/temporary offensive coordinator Joe Pendry).  Now that Sherman won't be coaching the offensive line anymore, will Kubes revert to the pure zone blocking scheme popularized by Alex Gibbs during their time in Denver?  It's probably what he's the most comfortable with, so it would seem to be a logical move. In turn, this could affect personnel decisions on the line; traditional, heavy lineman often give way to quicker, smaller athletic types when a zone blocking scheme is employed. On final analysis, that may be the most visible result of Mike Sherman's exit from Reliant Park.

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