You know, it's been a long time since I've written anything about the Texans, but when your team has just blown two games in spectacular fashion and your coach comes out with comments that were likely authored by Milhouse, sometimes you get that itch to fisk again (not to be confused by other itches).
I sometimes think that Kubiak would be great for one of those Coors Light commercials with the coaches doing news conferences.
Drunk guys: Coach, we're running out of Coors Light, can you spot us some cash?
Kubiak: Yeah, this one's on me.
Drunk guys: Sweet coach! By the way, don't you think we should plan better next week so that we don't run out of beer?
Kubiak: Well, we just have to do a better job.
Drunk guys: Yeah, I guess. One more thing, since you make all this money, shouldn't we be drinking something better than this carbonated piss water? I mean, I know Tim's in charge of drinks around here, but would it kill you to get a bit of Shiner in here?
Kubiak: I believe in him.
Onward and upward.
(on Football Night in America criticizing the coaching for CB Jason Allen’s positioning on the 42-yard pass to WR Braylon Edwards) "I don’t know anything that happens on these shows, so obviously you know more than I do. We’re playing two-man. He was not supposed to be on the outside. He’s working his inside hip. We’re in trail all the way, but we’ve got to stay with him. Obviously, as a safety we can keep our width and not get so involved with the inside routes, so we can play the coverage better. I don’t know what they’re talking about."
So you're saying that the scheme actually called for him to play the inside and give up the sideline even though they had no time outs and pretty much the only way they can beat you is with a deep ball to the sideline? Perhaps we all know more than you do.
(on the positioning of CB Brice McCain on the four-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards and leaving the middle open) "We’re in a zero-coverage. You’re right. We should take away the inside. No, there’s no way we should get beat on a slant right there, so we’ve got to get that fixed. That’s our fault as coaches.
Well, for starters, I'm pretty sure we're always in zero coverage (rim-shot!). I actually struggle with this one. On hand, you have to question any scheme that would allow for such coverage, but on the other hand, shouldn't McCain be standing out there thinking, "This is stupid." I mean, do we not allow the players any free will out there?
On the bright side, I'm fairly certain McCain was in position to stop the pass to that retarded kid with the fireman's helmet.
Actually, probably not.
(on the same positioning error with CB Brice McCain on the 41-yard touchdown pass to WR Santonio Holmes) "No, we’re in man coverage right there. He’s got help in the middle of the field. We’re in a totally different coverage. Brice is supposed to be playing his leverage the way he played it. He just needed to play it tighter and play his hip better. That’s two totally different plays and two totally different coverages."
For those of you who don't speak Kubiak, "playing the hip better" means don't fall down. We also learn here that McCain has the ability to blow multiple coverages. He's very versatile.
Let's play him more!
(on how he can justify keeping defensive coordinator Frank Bush right now) "Because I believe in him. I think we played much better defense yesterday. I think if we finished the game yesterday, we’d be talking about how much better we were. There were a lot of good things that went on. I believe in the guy. That’s why he’s here with me. We’ll figure out a way to get it done."
Ah... "better". Here are some things that are better than other things.
- Getting punched in the face is better than getting kicked in the nuts.
- Yao Ming's foot is better than Joe Theismann's leg.
- Coors Light is better than Clorox.
- East St. Louis is better than the south side of Chicago.
- Frank Bush's defense on Sunday was better than Frank Bush's defense the week before.
(on the improved pass rush yesterday and if there is any defensive back playing well right now) "First off, yesterday was the best we’ve rushed the passer all year long. Probably the thing we did which wasn’t good, was we had about four or five chances, where we’ve got to get ourselves, body-wise, in better position to finish the play and sack the quarterback. We even had two opportunities in the last four plays. We were very active up front. As far as the back end, yesterday, I thought (CB) Kareem (Jackson) played better on the back end. There were a lot of good things that went on back there. You give up a couple plays late in the game and it negates everything that you did positive. It’s the same thing. If you get beat, it goes back to the two or three negative things that you did. When you don’t win, it’s not good enough by everybody, but there were some guys doing some good stuff."
Not sure if this is a true story or not, but I heard that when Kubiak's kids were little, Gary tried to build them a tree house. Unfortunately, Gary knows little about the construction and the thing was a little unstable. He also put this up in a young and fairly flimsy tree, so whenever the kids would climb it it would sway in the breeze. One day, a particularly strong wind caused one of the walls to fall the whole thing collapsed, killing the neighbor's dog.
Still, to this day, Kubiak can't stop talking about how "good" the paint job was.
(on people saying he didn’t even want to score a touchdown following the interception and that’s why they continued to run the ball) "We want to score a touchdown every time we run a play. We ran our three best four minute, two-tight plays, where we tighten down the formations. We’re trying to make sure we stay in bounds. The goal was to make them use their timeouts. The other goal, obviously, is if we can score, we want to score. I think we did everything we possibly wanted to do there other than the fact we didn’t score a touchdown. We made them use their timeouts. We gave them the ball back with 49 seconds. We’re up by four. We should win that game."
I know I'm in the minority here, but I actually don't hate the play calling here. You were up by one late in the fourth, killed a minute off the clock, forced them to use all their time outs, and made it so that they need a touchdown instead of a field goal to win.
My high school football team should be able to hold that lead, and I'm not talking about the current team. I'm talking about the guys that actually played when I was in high school who are now probably all fat and in jail.
I think criticism of that play calling is the most damning statement one can make about our defense.
(on FS Eugene Wilson’s positioning QB Mark Sanchez’s deep pass to WR Braylon Edwards to set up the game-winning touchdown) "We just need to keep our width better. I don’t think anybody is out there trying to do something wrong. We need to play better from both perspectives, from a corner and safety. The kid made a tremendous throw. He made a great play, give them some credit. Nobody is out there trying to make that mistake. I know (FS) Eugene (Wilson) and he’s not trying to either."
I have an idea. Since EWWW sucks so badly, maybe he should try to do things wrong and his inability to do what he's trying to do might accidentally cause him to make a play.
(on what FS Eugene Wilson said to him after the game regarding that play) "Not much, other than the fact that we need to get wider and blow it up and stop the play."
Some of Eugene Wilson's other suggestions are that North and South Korea try to work things out, that the government should try to improve the economy, and that professional athletes should avoid texting.
(on why DE Mario Williams hasn’t showed up like a big-time player since the Washington game) "I disagree with you. I don’t think it’s been since Washington. (DE) Mario (Williams) has been consistent. Mario gets doubled, tripled. He gets battled all the time. He sees a lot of variations for people to stop him. I think his effort has been consistent. His play has been consistent. Obviously, it shows up more yesterday because of sacks, but I think Mario gives us what he’s got week in and week out. Anytime you’re not getting it done, everybody can do something better and that would include Mario."
I actually side with Rivers on the notion that Mario Williams probably ranks about fifteenth on the list of "things wrong with our defense". I don't chart games -- in fact, I usually spend my Sunday evenings pretending they never happened -- but I do try to focus in on Mario a lot and he does see a ton of double teams. I also agree that I would LOVE to see him develop more of an arsenal of moves, but to me, the biggest thing wrong with our pass rush is that receivers are wide open about 1.5 seconds after the snap. I think a team would have success passing on us if their offensive line just stood still to avoid injury because the pass rush still couldn't get there in time.
(on why they are giving up more yards passing than last year) "I could sit here and give you all kind of—there’re no excuses. We’re obviously struggling back there. Statistically, that’s where we’re struggling so people attack us that way. It’s like the Jets yesterday. They’ve got a 23-10 lead and we’ve got them backed up and they come out throwing. That actually gets us back in the football game. In this league, when you’re struggling in one area, that’s where people come after you. That hasn’t changed. That’s the way I see it right now."
So they're attacking the area where you suck. That's deep, insightful, and often referred to as "coaching".
(on if he has considered going up tempo the entire game) "I look at the start yesterday and we had three possessions in the first quarter. I could be wrong. You know the stats better than I do. I think we had the ball at the 5, 19 and 22 (yard lines) and so we had poor field position. We got the ball out of the hole a couple times. We did flip the field and got them pinned on their end a couple times. When you’re playing a team that good defensively and of that caliber, that’s okay. Would I like to score 28 points in the first quarter? You bet. We did a couple things that got the field position flipped the way we wanted it. We got a big drive against them and took the lead 7-3. We had a chance to make a huge play in the second quarter that I know (WR) Kevin (Walter) would love to have back. It could’ve been a big play in the game. This team has given up, I think, 71 points in the first nine games in the first half, so it’s a pretty good football team. You can’t get frustrated. At the end of the day, you’ve got to find enough to win the game. We moved the ball pretty good and over the course of the third quarter, we had seven snaps, but we found a way to score 27 points. We should find a way to win the game. You’re always looking for more when it’s not enough."
I sometimes think Kubiak makes up his own question because this answer has absolutely nothing to do with playing up tempo, but this thing is getting a lot longer than I thought it would, so I'm just skipping this one.
(on why a timeout wasn’t called as time wound down in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Jets) "I should have (called a timeout). I wanted us to spike the ball. I was trying to get that relayed to (QB) Matt (Schaub), to spike the ball. There would have been about 11 seconds left, we would have had a timeout left. The ball was on the 40 or 41. I was not going to try a field goal from there because I thought the ball wasn’t carrying that way, which was evident when their kicker kicked the field goal. I would have loved to have the timeout and the 11 seconds to run another play but we didn’t get that done, so I wish I would have called it."
Once again, I'm struck by this coach's decision versus player's decision thing. Are the players not allowed independent thought out there? Can't Schaub say, "Wow, we're losing time here, I should take a time out or spike the ball?" We've known for a long time that Kubiak can't handle time management for anything, but I think Schaub deserves equal flack for this. The only hope is that perhaps he can still be taught.
(on the television graphic shown during the game regarding Houston’s two-minute offense being 0-for-14 on the season) "I’ll have to go back and look at that. But I don’t think that’s right."
That's actually not right. The Texans have scored three times inside two minutes this year, but I think only one of those counts.
- There was a 7-yd TD to Walter at the end of the Dallas game, but we were already down 27-6 at that point.
- Against KC, AJ caught a TD with 28 seconds left for the win, and though the drive technically started with 2:22 left, I think that counts.
- We scored a FG at the end of the first half against the Chargers, but that capped a 6+ minute drive, so I don't think that counts either
Also, a few of those 14 "drives" were kneel downs, so my guess is that CBS just looked at any time the Texans got the ball within 2:00 and how many times we scored. Not a good metric.
Hey, Kubiak got one right! But don't get too excited. He'll still blow the press conference at the end.
Ok, this is getting long, so I'm going to skip a few. I guess I need to work on that fisking endurance.
(on what he would tell fans who have given up on the Texans’ season) "I would tell them that we sure as hell aren’t giving up. There is a lot of football left to play. We’re two games behind in our division. We’re going to play a bunch of division games. We get ready to go play again this week; a big game against Tennessee here at home. We got a lot of things that happened yesterday that we need to hang onto. But in some tough situations, I’ve got to do a better job. I’ve got to figure out a way. I’ve got to put us through every possible situation I can in practice so we can handle some of these things better. So that’s what I’m concentrating on right now. The effort is good. Obviously, we need a win with the effort."
Ok. This is mostly coach-speak, and Kubiisms that have been beaten to death already, but what gets me is the end bit. Kubiak has some faulty logic here that he always uses, and it drives me nuts. If your effort is good and the results still suck, then obviously something else is wrong! Perhaps something.... different... is in order.
(on the play of CB Jason Allen against the Jets and his plan for Allen going forward) "Well, he played 40-something plays. We’ve only had him eight days, so that’s a big, big challenge for (defensive backs coach) David (Gibbs) and (senior defensive assistant) Ray (Rhodes) and (defensive backs assistant coach) Perry (Carter), to get a kid ready to play that many plays in an eight-day period of time. But I thought he came in and did a good job. We got to go talk about the end of the game there and just staying with your coverage right there and staying in his pocket. But for a short period of time, I think the guy helped us and should help us even more in the future."
He did a good job. If you discount the ones that sucked. And if you compare him to Brice McCain.
(on words of encouragement he has offered to defensive coordinator Frank Bush) "Well, I thought he came down and handled the group very well. I thought we re-grouped better yesterday and I think that has a lot to do with (defensive coordinator) Frank (Bush) being down there. After they went down and scored, and we got beat in the zero coverage that time, Frank calmed them down on the sidelines. He kept them going and we made big plays on defense to get us back in the game. The one fumble gave us a chance and of course, the interception, which we thought had a chance to close the game. So, I thought he had it under control very well. There were a lot of good things going on but the last 49 seconds were not good enough. I’ll keep Frank going. Frank works very hard. These players will keep him going. We’ll get it fixed."
Better words of encouragement would have been: "Hey Frank, thanks for the time, but we're going to protect you from the Texans masses by just leaving you in New York. It's real nice during the holidays."
(on if it was his decision to bring defensive coordinator Frank Bush out of the coaches’ box and onto the sideline against the Jets) "It was just to do something different. We needed to do something different with our guys. I think we need to continue to do that. I don’t know what that’ll be this week or next week, we’ll see. But I think anything that we try to get better at something, and our business is always about trying to improve; I’ve got to improve this team in situations, situational football at the end of (the) game. I have to figure out a way for us to handle those situations better. So, start by looking at myself."
I had this problem at work the other day, and it was just killing me. I spent two days trying to figure it out, but then I turned my chair 30 degrees to the left and everything worked itself out.
Look, I can appreciate Kubiak falling on the sword for his players and coaches, but if falling on the sword leads to a long, painful, agonizing death, shouldn't other people just mercifully kill you already?
(on if Eugene Wilson will continue to start at free safety) "Yeah, he will. We’re playing (S) Troy (Nolan) more. I think Troy played 30 plays yesterday; he played a lot of special teams. Yeah, (FS) Eugene (Wilson) will stay back there and like I said, Eugene did do a lot of good things yesterday. But everybody is contributing, everybody is playing."
In my best Dr. Zoidberg voice, "Enough with the 'good' already!"
(on the play of LBs Brian Cushing, Kevin Bentley and Darryl Sharpton) "That’s the best the group has played. (SLB Brian) Cushing obviously went back to his spot, (he) has factored a lot more. (MLB) Kevin Bentley gets better every week. I thought he played exceptional yesterday as a veteran player in really leading our group. (WLB Darryl) Sharpton got an opportunity, an unforeseen opportunity, he took advantage of it. He’s going to play a great deal; he deserves the opportunity to go back out there and play some more."
After responding to the persistent reporter, Coach Kubiak turned his head slightly and whispered in a voice that only he could hear, "But he won't."
(on if he thinks the players still believe in this season) "You know, our job is to win. Our job is to win football games; it’s very difficult right now on players, coaches, everybody, families, fans, you guys (the media). It’s very difficult on everybody. All you do, is you work hard, keep pushing, keep battling at what you’re doing. I’ve told you guys over and over again that our players are great. They work extremely hard. They work extremely hard in here, extremely hard on the field and I know they will continue to do that and we will do so."
Results be damned!
(on if he is worried about losing his job) "I told you all before, I never worry about myself. We’ve to a lot of players, coaches, people to worry about; I don’t worry about myself."
Didn't Brad Childress say the same thing only a few weeks ago?
(on if he’s worried about the coaches he’s hired) "That’s what I said. I worry about a lot of other people, I don’t worry about myself."
Oh, please let this end like the Brad Childress thing. Only without the whole Defensive Coordinator taking over bit. Let's just Childress the lot of them and let the players coach themselves. I mean, they've already proven an ability to think things through on their own, right? RIGHT??
(on if he has had a chance to look at the Tennessee Titans) "No. I don’t really know much about their situation right now. Obviously, the things I’ve heard today regarding injuries and that type of stuff, so I don’t know. I’m just getting started on it."
Tomorrow we'll get to start on the game plan that will include justifying the Randy Moss signing, making Rusty Smith look like a Pro Bowler, and disappointing our fans in new and even more dramatic ways, forcing innocent people to come out of blogging retirement to make fun of my news conference.