And with the 1st pick of the NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select Jadaveon Clowny, from the University of South Carolina. OK, maybe that is wishful thinking on my part considering I’m from South Carolina and a huge Gamecock fan. Let’s also add that the Texans currently have four active players from South Carolina in DeAndre Hopkins (Clemson), Ricky Sapp (Clemson), Jonathan Joseph (South Carolina), and D.J. Swearinger (South Carolina).
The real question is can the 2-8 Texans really get the 1st pick in the draft next year? Looking at their play these last few games, the first pick seems like a probable possibility. The Texans rank 8th in the NFL for offense averaging 378.0 yards a game and 2nd on defense only allowing 286.1 yards per game. Even with these numbers, the team has been unable to find a way to win the game.
There are many decisions that will have to be made after this season is over. Is the season over now? Of course so. The Texans are only playing for draft position. I know the die hard Houston Texans fans are eager to see this battle of the trenches on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, however, the season as a whole is completely over. No Superbowl, no playoffs, no winning season.
So where do the Texans go from here? Let’s start with head coach Gary Kubiak. Whether he likes it or not, his job is on the line. I personally hold him accountable for most of the Texans’ struggles. The second half continues to plague the Texans who have been outscored 130-32 after halftime of their eight losses.
“We’ve got team problems in the third quarter, big time,” head coach Gary Kubiak said Monday. “Yesterday, in the third quarter, we don’t move the ball a lick and defensively, give up some big plays in the pass game and the run game. I think it’s a team thing right now, coming out of the locker room in the third quarter and playing better football. We’ve had some leads. Two weeks ago, they had a lead and it happened against Seattle. Some of those things, I think it’s a team issue. I don’t think it’s a personal issue with one guy.”
In the third quarter of their 28-23 loss to Oakland, the Texans defense gave up two touchdowns, including an 82-yard run by Rashad Jennings. Houston’s offense remained scoreless and struggled, with Ben Tate rushing for just two yards on three carries. Case Keenum was 2-of-6 for 16 yards before being replaced by Matt Schaub who completed two passes for 28 yards.
So why do I care to mention this? Well each team’s coaches prepare a game plan all week for the upcoming game. Then, on game day, each coach hopes that their game plan works better than the others’. At halftime, each coach makes adjustments for their team to help propel them to victory. Somehow for the Texans, our halftime adjustments severely lack those of our opponents. With that being said, Mr. Kubiak sir, I’m sorry but yes you’re on the hot seat.
If the Texans decided to fire Gary Kubiak, who would be a good candidate for head coach? I had a chance to discuss this with Jayson Braddock of the Deep post on Sports Talk radio 790, and he brought up a great choice. Stanford’s head coach David Shaw would make a great choice in that role. Shaw has undoubtably groomed a top tier team at Stanford year after year without getting the best recruits. He has the discipline and structure around his players to get more than their best and compete consistently each year with the nation’s best. His pro style coaching and discipline would make for a great fit here in Houston.
What are the positions that need to be addressed after this season? Outside Linebacker and running back are two positions I feel are at the top of the list. The Texans need an outside linebacker that has great running ability to help cover the tight ends and backs better out of the backfield. Right now the texans lack that speed and cover ability to shut those plays down.
Some may disagree with my choice of running back but as great of a running back Arian Foster is, he has proven to be injury prone and it is unknown how effective he will be coming off of back surgery. Ben Tate will surely be traded after this season so the Texans need a back that could be the future running back of the team. Dennis Johnson is a great third down back and could be great on special teams. His speed provides a great change of pace to counter the style of running from both Foster and Tate. Even with those skills, I don’t see Johnson as a feature back.
We can also say that they need to address the offensive line, figure out if they want to re-sign Antonio Smith, and what they want to do with those cornerbacks. These are just my thoughts on the next steps for the Texans. Until the time comes I guess it’s not go Texans its, “Let’s get the Draft picks!”