Well fellow Texans fans, here we are. A part of me is glad that I was forced to see this team for what it really is, as opposed to another "one and done" playoff appearance and another offseason of excuses. Let me also say that the Kubiak Era was not a disaster and I think quite fondly of it as a whole. I do not blame Bob McNair for sticking with Coach Kubiak too long because up until this point I thought Kubiak was the man for the job, as well.
Going forward, I think the only way Kubiak should have a chance to keep his job, is to lead this team to the AFC Championship and I do not see that happening. Especially if he sticks with Schaub as our starting QB and continues to tailor the offense to hide his deficiencies. This brings me to the dilemma I am facing as a Texans fan that also roots for the University of Houston and saw Case Keenum absolutely destroy some admittedly non-respectable defenses during his time as their QB. I will not act like I know one thing about Keenum's potential at the NFL level.
In my opinion, the chances of him playing amazing and horrific are about the same. I can most easily imagine a scenario where his athleticism combined with lack of film study will allow him to be just successful enough to make our team look better and win more games than we lose in the second half of the season. In college, Case played in a system that had him chunkin' the rock, but make so mistake, Keenum takes care of the football. In his last 3 seasons with the Coogs he attempted a whopping 1,892 passes for 136 touchdowns and only 31 INTs at a 70% completion rate. His best year coming as a senior when he went 428/603 for 48 TDS and 5 INTs (!!!). That is absolutely incredible no matter the system/conference. He has a knack for making plays "off schedule" and always keeps his eyes downfield after escaping the pocket. A small, small part of me has high hopes for this team with Keenum at the helm. With that said, I know that Keenum will most likely look mediocre at best against NFL level talent and that the QB of the future is probably not on the Texans roster at the moment. Therefore, I fear that Keenum could come in and ruin everything for me right now. I could very easily see a scenario where Keenum could do just well enough to confuse the shit out of everyone involved. In my opinion, all this is for Case is an audition for a chance to compete with our first round QB that we select in next year's draft. It would take a spectacular performance to convince me he is our future, but is that all it would take to convince Bob or Rick to not select a 1st round QB or get rid of Gary??? I shudder at the thought. For this reason, I say we need to play Case against the Chiefs. Shielding him from the best defense in the league is only going to leave us all guessing at the end of the season about Keenum's true ability. After all, as much as I want to see Case get his opportunity, I want nothing to get in the way of a coaching change.
This brings me to our future at the heading coaching position. I am of the belief that we have a solid foundation of talent here and that a new HC and QB could have us right back in the playoff race within the next two seasons. However, if we are to expect this quick of a turnover we have to consider the way our team is built. Offensively, Kubiak has built the team based on the Zone Blocking Scheme. Our entire Oline has been built around the idea of having smaller guys that can beat defenders to a spot and get to the next level easily. Also, even though I consider Arian Foster to be a top tier talent at the running back position, I think he truly thrives in the ZBS with his style of running. So, if we bring in a new coach, should we look for someone with ties to the ZBS?
Now, in reality a new coach would (hopefully) get rid of Newton and Wade Smith immediately. Those guys could then be replaced with bruiser types and a power scheme could be implemented with my only concern being Chris Myers. He is a center that is made for the ZBS and so he may need to go as well. Could Ben Jones replace Wade Smith if we moved to a different scheme? These are all questions that arise if we went with a coach that ran anything other than a ZBS and all of that personnel turnover means more time, more drafts and the need for more cap space. I will get to that in a minute. So, and someone can help me here, I believe some of the teams that run variations of the ZBS are: Seattle, Green Bay, Oakland, KC, Washington and the Colts. Are there any college coaches that run this system that have had success? Which poses the obvious question- Does Wade Phillips stay as our DC if we bring in an unproven HC? Highly doubtful, IMO. So, lets use this thread to kick around coaching combinations with the ZBS in mind (if you think it's necessary).
To sum this up, there are certain things I want to avoid as an organization. Number one- do not fire Gary mid-season and give Wade a chance to lead the resurgence. Lets just clean house, let Wade get a HC job elsewhere and start fresh. Number two- don't let anything less than spectacular play from Keenum fool us into keeping this coaching staff or handing him the keys to the QB position for the future. Number 3- Don't let anything hold us back from targeting and acquiring the QB that we think may be special. I want this to be an overall QB/HC of the future thread and I got some polls to get a pulse on our community right now.