Some people avoid reading blogs because they believe bloggers tend to focus on the negative of their focal subject and have an overly cynical view towards everything. I myself am often guilty of this practice with the Texans. The team's year-to-year record is easy to be negative about, and the more negativity I see from other writers, the more negative I find myself. This is not meant to sound preachy; I believe that a certain measure of accountability is necessary especially when you're writing about a team you have a vested interest in. If you lose that accountability, you lose all credibility.
The latest target within the Texans organization of the collective negativity is the man at the top--Bob McNair. Much has been made of his decision to not fire Gary Kubiak. Writers have clamored over his franchise's terrible nine year record, killed McNair for not hiring a "football person" to help him run the franchise, and accused him of only caring about how lucrative his investment is and not how many games the team wins. While I haven't written anything to that effect, I certainly didn't go out of my way to disagree with any of it and saw the logic in a lot of the complaints about the owner.
Dale Robertson wrote a great piece on McNair this morning that answers a lot of these questions. There is room to dismiss it as a P.R. response to the issues listed above, but I will let you read it and allow you to make your own determination. I personally took it as a reminder of what we owe McNair. I spent the first few paragraphs of this column one day last week to call out Bud Adams and why the City of Houston has justification to loathe him, but I never take time to cite why Mr. McNair should be appreciated, especially in the face of criticism.
As much as we complain about the Texans, we possibly still wouldn't have football if McNair hadn't ponied up $700 million dollars to get the NFL back to Houston. For that money, he can worry about his bottom line all he wants. He has certainly made some bad decisions along the way, but I don't think there is any malice in his errors and moreover, I think he is learning from them. I personally believe Bob McNair wants to win, not just make money.
The NFL is an instant gratification league. People want to see results immediately. I am not happy about the past nine years, but the simple truth is I'm not going anywhere. I root for my hometown team, which happens to be the Texans. Knowing that I will likely be a fan of this team for better or worse for the rest of my life, I believe that McNair will learn from his mistakes and create a winning franchise. There will be ups and downs, but McNair is too committed to doing things right not to be successful, even if he makes mistakes or makes some money along the way.
Now that I'm done with my soapbox speech, follow the jump for other things I may or may not be appreciative of.
Yesterday the glorified flag football game known as the Pro Bowl was played in Hawaii. While I am not necessarily appreciative of the game, I am thankful for the two Texans representatives in that game. As Barrett Walton points out, Pro Bowl FB Vonta Leach was well deserving of the honor.
Much has been made of where two players that were Pro Bowlers for the Texans last year should fit into the new defensive scheme. Anthony North gives you the chance to weigh in on where Mario Williams and Brian Cushing belong.
One thing to be happy about as a Texans fan is the offense. Stephanie Stradley did a great job breaking down the offense according to Pro Football Focus' statistics that's definitely worth the read.
Jacoby Jones will likely not be a Texan in 2011, but for the time being he is still a representative of the team. Jones won the 60 meter dash in the 104th running of the Millrose Games in New York on Friday. It's a shame that Jones was never able to match consistent catching ability with the rest of the talent he possesses.
While the product on the field is still a work in progress, Daniel Charles points out that at least the Texans cheerleaders are successful.
I personally am thankful for everything draft related, especially this season, considering the lack of free agency. Here's Rob Rang's account of risers during last week's Senior Bowl. Doug Farrar also accounts for his risers on both the North and on the South squads, and also talks about who helped themselves in the actual game. I'll have my own Texans specific risers from last week later, including an individual player that changed my personal draft preferences with his play in Mobile.