What do Roger Staubach, Terry Bradshaw, Doug Williams, Jeff Hostetler, Jim Plunkett, Tom Brady and Trent Dilfer all have in common? They all came off the bench in replacement of starting QBs and led their teams to the Super Bowl to win it all.
How did they do it? With coaches who knew how to adjust to adversity. Coaches who knew that the battle plan goes out the window once the fight begins. Coaches who adapted and overcame injuries, penalties, and just plain bad luck.
What happens when the Houston Texans lose a player or lose a game?
People come out of the woodwork with excuses, piling up single file in the “Bill O’Brien Apologist” line, ready to blame the loss on injuries, penalties, and plain old bad luck. Every time, O’Brien gets a pass on his inability to adjust, adapt, or find a way to win.
Well, when you come off a 4-12 season, lose to the one team you need to beat to make your mark, then go on to lose to a team missing their starting quarterback, BOTH starting offensive tackles, the starting tight end, and sporting a rookie head coach who you should know inside and out, and when your roster is far more talented, all those excuses simply don’t hold water.
Especially when the song has remained the same entering the fifth season.
Firing a coach during the season pretty much never improves a team’s chances of making the big show, but it can get a jump start on the following season.
Maybe it’s time to hand the keys over to John DeFilippo, Dabo Swinney, David Shaw or, if a more permanent solution doesn’t exist, even Romeo Crennel for the interim. Even Chip Kelly seems like a better option than what we’re seeing on the field right now.
Either way, Bill O’Brien’s legacy is fairly well set at this point.
· He’s wasted J.J. Watt’s greatest years.
· He’s proven that he doesn’t get the concept that games are won and lost in the trenches, which requires an offensive line that can block.
· He continually runs an offense that’s clearly shown he isn’t the offensive guru he was purported to be when hired.
· He’s shown he has no concept of clock or game management.
At this point, Houston might even be better off fishing in the Madden Championship Series for a better game manager.
Now, from the “every blind squirrel finds a nut” file, there will be a few games this season, if B’OB remains (and chances are, Bob McNair won’t cut him loose prior to Week Ten or Week Twelve), where the team lights up someone. At that point, we can cue the Bill O’Brien apologist bandwagon and people will line up once again to sing his praises.
But the following game will be marred with poorly timed A-Gap runs, seven-step drops inside our own 10-yard line, 30 second huddles in the final minute of the game, and draw plays on third and long. Oh, and the ever-present special teams gaffe that makes every Texans fan cringe when they replay it on Sportscenter over and over again.
Trotting O’Brien’s offense back out on the field and expecting anything other than what we’ve experienced over and over again for the last four seasons is just plain crazy.
Letting Bill O’Brien call the team’s plays is more of the same. Pull the plug, use the rest of the season to develop younger players while keeping the wear and tear off guys like J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins, and then come out firing next season with a new and improved Houston Texans. Otherwise, this season is going to be another lesson in frustration and futility.
What do you think? Are you in the apologist line or are you already three steps down the road with a new coaching staff picked out, just waiting for offer letters? Tell us how you would handle this in the comments section.