2009 will be Kubiak's fourth season under the Texans. So far every season he's been "on schedule", up until this year, some can argue. What do you expect from 2009?
By "on schedule", I mean the "schedule" that Rick Smith and Gary Kubiak have set for this team. 2006 was transitioning into "his" team, and trying to instill a winning attitude. He did that, overhauling an extremely underwhelming roster and improving from 2-14 to 6-10. 2007 continued the roster overhaul, with the goal to play meaningful games in December. He did that, highlighted by bringing in Matt Schaub and going 8-8. The expectations for 2008 however, were to contend for a playoff spot.
Many things were to blame for this seasons shortcomings--hurricane Ike, a brutal schedule, that drunk driving bastard Jared Allen, Richie Smith's pathetic excuse for a defense, the Rosencopter, and turnovers. But the team, while finishing 8-8, looked like they took a step forward on offense. Bottom line, however, is that the Texans barely contended for a playoff spot and ultimately came up just a bit short.
So what do you expect for 2009? Would you be upset if we finish 8-8 again but make the playoffs? How about 10-6 but just miss out due to our competitive division? More importantly, perhaps, is this question: What justifies Kubiak keeping his job for 2010? Playoffs? Or an improved record? Or simply improved play, regardless of record or January games?