I'm going to begin the final Post-Game Breakdown of the 2007 season with a few words from our fearless leader:
"One thing for sure is that we definitely have to get a lot better," Kubiak said. "There's nobody walking out of here saying, 'We're 8-8, and it's the best record in franchise history, and we're in good shape.' Well, we're not OK. We've got a long, long way to go, and we're going to keep at it to get there."
"I've got to get so much better for our football team, and then our football team has to get better," Kubiak said. "Rick and I are going to do that. We're not going to rest. We're going to keep battling. We know that the next step we want to take is the toughest step, but we're willing to do the work, I promise you that. We'll make sure that our people around us are doing the same thing."
Makes you feel pretty good about the guys running the show at Reliant Park, huh? That said...back in August, if you had told any rational Texans fan that the hometown team would win eight (8) games, he/she would have been thrilled. We interrupt this PGB for the following gloating: We told you 8-8 back in April. I'm pretty sure that will win us a MacArthur Grant. It's easy to forget that this was a the worst team in the NFL two (2) short years ago, and that's probably the best testament to the tremendous job that the staff and front office have done. Still, as Kubes said, 8-8 ain't the goal. A championship is the goal, and there's no doubt that this team is closer to that now than they've ever been.
With the palpable successes that the Texans have had since 2006 (when Kubes rode into town), optimism should abound as the team enters the third offseason of the Smithiak Regime. What exactly needs to be addressed will be the subject of several later posts throughout the coming months, so let's keep the focus on the season finale against Jacksonville and the glorious fact that your Houston Texans have made the jump from 2005 (Worst Team in the NFL) to 2007 (.500):
- Pay him, Mr. McNair.
- Von Hutchins should donate part of his game check to a charity of his choice. That way, someone besides him will benefit from the absolutely disgusting performance he put forth. I honestly cannot recall seeing a CB get targeted and abused like he did. Not Petey Faggins. Not Phillip Buchanon. Not anyone. After a great start to the season at safety, Von looked increasingly lost since he was moved back to CB after the Oakland win. There's simply no way the Texans can reasonably expect him to consistently fill any starting role on the 2008 team. The good news is that it's clear that Kubes knows this.
- Very, very quiet game from Super Mario. He's spoiled the crap out of us, as we're now all officially shocked every time he doesn't notch a sack.
- Charlie Anderson came into training camp with a legitimate shot at winning a starting LB gig, only to get beaten out by Danny Clark. Although most of the season saw his impact limited to special teams, you have to like what he brings to the table at LB. Two (2) sack games from him are too much to ask, but the guy has a bit of DeMeco in him in the way he always seems to be around the ball when he's out on the field.
- Morlon Greenwood is the most underrated defensive player in the NFL. That's right. I said it.
- Sticking with LB play...Zac Diles intrigues me. He filled in admirably for DeMeco on Sunday in his first steady, non-special teams play of the season.
- Did Kevin Walter even have a pass thrown in his direction?
- Owen Daniels is a helluva athlete (witness that TD grab), but he still drops way too many passes.
- If Andre Johnson stays healthy next season, he'll get a Fathead commercial. But instead of yelling and mugging for the camera, he'll simply say, "This is Andre Johnson of the Houston Texans. Please buy a Fathead. Thank you for your time and consideration."
- With Chris Taylor coming back next season, there should be a rather heated competition at RB between him and Darius Walker in training camp. I figure Ron Dayne (assuming he re-signs) is the only RB on the team assured a roster spot.
- I still don't think Ahman Green is a Texan come September.
- Jameel Cook makes far too much money to be only a special teams player, though he's the the first guy down the field more often than not.
- With Sunday being Fan Appreciation Day and all, the Texans played a nice video montage dedicated to the fans at Reliant. The problem? It was set to Green Day's "Time of Your Life." I didn't realize the City of Houston built Reliant Stadium atop Dawson's Creek. Or that the decision to travel back to 1998 was made without asking for my input.
- You know when I'll have the time of my life? When the Texans win the Super Bowl. Not when they finish .500.
- Not to be overly critical, but Quinn Effing Gray threw for 302 yards and 4 TDs in a game that the Texans were far more interested in winning than the Jags were. Yeah, I'd say there's some issues in the secondary.
- You're Mike Sherman and/or Gary Kubiak. It's 1st and Goal on the JAC 1. Why would you not simply run Ron Dayne up the middle until he got it in?
- Fake Game Balls: Offense--Darius Walker. Defense--Charlie Anderson. Special Teams--Apostrophe Davis.