We'd Stumble In Their Footsteps. . .



Now I'm not looking for absolution
Forgiveness for the things I do
But before you come to any conclusions
Try walking in my shoes
Try walking in my shoes
You'll stumble in my footsteps
Keep the same appointments I kept
If you try walking in my shoes
If you try walking in my shoes


~Depeche Mode

"Walking In My Shoes"


As the 2010 Texans football season winds down, I think we need to remember that this was in fact the hardest schedule for all of the NFL. We had high hopes for our team. They came in early for training camp. They were all there for OTA's. We had no holdouts. We rocked the Colts. Even though we had lost Brian Cushing we still were prepared for the Colts. There wasn't a thing we did wrong in the off-season. There wasn't a thing we did wrong in the first game.


And then it was as if we had been preparing all off-season for one game instead of learning how to play the damn game.








If you look at the Texans and Titans schedules, I believe they were nearly identical. And as luck would have it -- they both faltered against the toughest schedule in the entire NFL -- if you compare their schedule versus any of the other 30 teams. In fact, I would argue that mediocrity would be the best you could realistically hope for given that we were starting with two rookie cornerbacks.


I can remember many of us here on BRB commenting that just about anybody would be better than Dunta Robinson. Well, it seems like Kubiak took y'all's advice on that. Apparently you need at least one veteran cornerback. Nevertheless, this was the season from hell, this was the schedule from hell. This season had no wiggle room -- we had no room for error.


Success in this season required that we didn't lose Duane Brown for four weeks that we didn't have astonishing amounts of injuries on defense that we didn't lose DeMeco Ryans to injury. Nor was there room for Owen Daniels to get an injury on his hamstring. This season required that  Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter caught every ball thrown at them. There was simply no room for error in this schedule. And it was unrealistic of us to expect more than mediocrity especially given what landed at our feet.


I think we could've survived one or two of these calamities and still made the playoffs. But when you encounter a whole avalanche of these things happening to us – – Andre Johnson being hurt from game one or two. Andre not being able to run up to catch Matt's throws. In a season with no wiggle room, it was simply insurmountable to get past all of these seemingly trivial problems.


I confess, I'm one of those guilty ones who thought we could make it all the way to the playoffs -- I thought that we could make it to the Super Bowl this season. But when I think of people like Mario Williams and Andre Johnson playing through pain -- game in and game out – – I am amazed at how hard players on this team have battled. And I am driven to remember the lyrics from Depeche Mode "Walking In My Shoes".


As painful as it was to watch our Texans lose to the Broncos, lose to the Titans, lose to the Ravens, it must have been 20 times more painful for these professional players to see their high hopes slip through their hands like sand on a stormy day.



And while I was listening to some Billy Squier, specifically "Learn How To Live"

Learn how to bend... learn how to break
Learn how to mend broken heartaches
Learn to forgive... learn how to wait
Learn how to live before it's too late

Run from the light, and you lock all your doors
It's harder to fight when you've gone down before
The scenes are so right - but they play out so wrong
So into the night it goes on and on and on and on...

(my emphasis)


All in all, I would agree that we definitely need a New Defensive coordinator. So many of those games that we lost this season could've been won if our defense had held the line. There were a handful of games where our offense couldn't pull it together. But I think it would be a horrible mistake to throw the baby out with the bathwater and get rid of Gary Kubiak.


Since I had unrealistic expectations, and since all of the fans who wanted better than an 8-8 season had unrealistic expectations I don't think we should get rid of Gary Kubiak. I realize that we are now down to a 5- 10 season but the Texans, in this most difficult schedule, are simply emotionally exhausted. They've played with such heart, for so long – – it's only human for them to have run out of steam. They've fought titanic battles. And as of this writing, of the 15 titanic battles that we've fought we've only won 5.


I'd like to remind all of the readers – – as Billy Squier said – –


It's harder to fight when you've gone down before
The scenes are so right - but they play out so wrong


Should Gary Kubiak have recognized that Frank Bush was a lost cause? In the 20/20 vision of hindsight, we can all conclude yes. But I really can't fault the man for being an optimist. We were all there right with him. We were all drinking the same Kool-Aid. Houston is an optimistic town. Gary Kubiak and Bob McNair are optimistic men.


I promise you -- you'll get more wins and more success out of the optimists than you'll ever get out of pessimists. Bob McNair and Gary Kubiak are the perfect men to lead the Texans forward. I know that some of us are probably blinded by the tears of anger and frustration.


And in truth, that's actually good that we care so much about our team. If we didn't care, it wouldn't matter. So go ahead and  rage, be angry at how many times we lost this season. But at the end of the day these amazing human beings battled for us on the football field. Clearly the results weren't what we wanted in the win/loss column. But just like after the loss to the Ravens, I still wouldn't trade this team for any other professional NFL football team. I really hope that the other fans remember that this was, in fact, the most difficult NFL season scheduled for this year. It would've been astronomical if we'd had a winning season.

Gary Kubiak can still get us to the promised land of the playoffs but we need a little more preparation or little more wiggle room – – or both.

** stay tuned next week when Battle Red Fan tells you how she'd improve the team if she were queen for a day.



*** had to go back and fix Kevin Walter's name. It's Barbara Walters and Kevin Walter. . . 

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