A bright spot of 2010: Neil Rackers.
Writer's note: I don't have time to do my usual NFL Week Preview/Pick 'Em Update this week, but I wanted to shout-out Jahon, who won Week 16. Congrats, Jahon! Hopefully, I'll be able to give ya a proper winner's segment when I do the Wild Card Preview/Pick 'Em Stuff.
Before I get into the Blueprint to end my first season as a Texans blogger, I wanted to take a moment and say thanks to all the staff, commenters, and readers for reading my poorly constructed thoughts and sharing in the misery that is the 2010 Houston Texans season. It may not have been the season we envisioned, but we've done our best to have a good time with it, right?
As for this game between the Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7) and your Houston Texans (5-10), I know many don't care about it. It's really the end of a miserable season and, hopefully, some coaching careers in Houston. In fact, I know many are hoping the Texans drop the game to pick as high as second in the 2011 NFL Draft. Given all that, I won't be looking at match-ups or statistics for this game.
Yes, the Blueprint makes another change below the jump. As opposed to the game on Sunday afternoon, I'll lay out a Blueprint as to what needs to happen shortly afterward.
1) Fire defensive coordinator Frank Bush and his entire defensive staff.
The defense has been so terrible that it really deserves its own announcement. I wouldn't be opposed as to having some time to let the fans enjoy this long overdue firing either. As for Frank, I'm sure he'll be laughing until 2 AM at a bar, so don't worry about him.
2) Hire Tony Dungy or someone comparable as a senior consultant to the Owner.
I'm not touching the whole Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith mess, but it's become painfully obvious that Bob McNair has no plan or direction for the franchise. Maybe it's me, maybe I'm overreacting, but he really needs someone who has a clue to offer him feedback about how his team is being managed and coached. Hire Dungy (or someone) as a one-time consultant to give his honest opinion about who should stay and go.
In short, I want Bob McNair to have a plan for his franchise because I'm growing more and more concerned with each tweet and report about 2011.
3) Here's a list, thanks to the Examiner's Alan Burge, of potential Texans free agents. Whether it's Rick Smith or a new general manager, I'll offer my thoughts on whether to retain a player or let him walk.
Jason Allen - With good coaching, he could probably become a solid #2 cornerback. He has some technique issues, but he does make plays on the ball. I'd re-sign him to be among the top four cornerbacks next season (Allen, Quin, Jackson, and hopefully newly signed free agent)
Kevin Bentley - Great special teamer, solid reserve, and I hope he returns in 2011.
Rashad Butler - Some team (Buffalo?) will likely sign him to start on the line or push for a spot. He's talented and older, but Houston should let him walk and draft another tackle to develop.
Shaun Cody - As a reserve, Cody could be nice depth, but I'd let him walk if he wants starter's money.
Owen Daniels - With injuries slowing him down, I could see his price being knocked down. If it's knocked down enough, I'd like to see him back, as he has shown flashes this year between hamstring issues.
Zac Diles - Under no circumstances should he return.
Jacoby Jones - He's still a good deep threat, but someone's going to overpay him. I imagine it'll be Washington, since the Shanahans are familiar with him and could use some more deep threats.
Vonta Leach - Re-sign him. Please. He's a Pro Bowler.
Matt Leinart - I'd like to see him come back to back-up Matt Schaub, while Houston cuts Dan Orlovsky and drafts a project/developmental guy in the 7th round.
Bernard Pollard - I like Pollard when he's in the box, blitzing, and not in the deep zone. He's good for run support and can create problems as a blitzer. I'd re-sign him if the new defensive coordinator realizes that and pairs him with a real free safety.
Kasey Studdard - No.
Matt Turk - He should retire so Houston can target Nebraska K/P Alex Henery.
Derrick Ward - He's been a pleasant surprise, but the return of Ben Tate makes him expendable.
Mike Brisiel - He was playing very well before the injury, so I'd like to see him tendered.
Arian Foster - Whether it's a tender or Jamaal Charles-like deal, Foster will be back to the joy of Houstonians everywhere.
That's what I have for this week's Blueprint. Chime in below with your own evaluations of the potential free agents or how you want to see the coaches be fired. Let's have some fun with this while we can.