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When Will The Texans Get Their Own Identity?

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Is “Patriots Lite” really the way to go?

Divisional Round - Houston Texans v New England Patriots Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Ever since Gary Kubiak was fired in 2014 and then won a title in greener pastures, the Texans have done everything they could to be the New England Patriots. While this idea is nothing new, it’s never been more obvious that all the desire in the world won’t replicate what Patriots brain trust Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have accomplished now that the Patriots have pantsed the Texans in the debacle that has been Houston’s search for a new general manager.

Shall we dub this “Gaine-Gate”?

Over at SB Nation, NFL writer Charles McDonald lays out all the evidence that proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Texans have the pro sports equivalent of a man-crush on the Patriots. And, honestly, it plays kinda sad and pathetic when all pulled together.

Not only is Houston desperately trying to be New England in a manner reminiscent of the class nerd hopelessly chasing the prom queen, but everyone seems to see how pathetic it’s coming across—except the Texans’ front office.

What happened to Houston football? What happened to the days of Earl Campbell bulldozing opponents, or Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips’ “Bulls on Parade”, or Houston’s smothering front seven? Has we really sunk so low that the best we can hope for is to be the plucky sidekick of the Super Bowl champs? The dork that follows them around, begging for attention and approval as they lose to them over and over and over and over again?

The state of Texas has a rich legacy of greatness, from Sam Houston’s defeat of Santa Ana, to weathering the last global economic fall better than any other place in the nation. Texans shouldn’t play second fiddle to anyone.

Yet here we are, lining up to lick Bill Belichick’s boots and entertaining the idea of giving up draft capital to hire yet another one of his cast offs.

Cal McNair—MISTER McNair—if you should ever happen to read this, do us all a favor and find what the Texans have lost in the Bill O’Brien era: Their own identity.

Say what you will about Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys, but they’ve never lost their identity.

Sadly, the identity of the Houston Texans can only be found on the sides of milk cartons these days. Trying to be the Patriots has gotten Houston absolutely NOWHERE. The team has been stagnant since Kubiak left; in fact, O’Brien and the rest of the ex-Pats haven’t even tied Kubiak’s best year.

This begs the question: Why keep trying? The Pittsburgh Steelers have just as many Super Bowl rings as the Pats, and with a higher win percentage. That’s no reason to try and emulate Mike Tomlin and Ben Rothliesberger. So why try to be Brady and Belichick?

Maybe if Houston just started stealing other teams signals, bugging the opposing locker rooms, or any of the other myriad things the Pats have allegedly done to keep their edge, Patriots South would work; thankfully, Houston still values character.

Maybe Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, Watt and Jadeveon Clowney would all know the feeling of smearing their sweaty fingerprints all over their very own Lombardi Trophy; Houston will have to try and win one another way, which should start with re-establishing their own identity.

What do you think? Totally content to “emulate greatness,” albeit in such a flawed manner that the team has done nothing but tread water for most of Nuk and Watt’s careers? Or are you tired of watching the Texans sell their identity to the highest Boston bidder?