Benching Matt Schaub Would Change Very Little for the Houston Texans

By Mike Kerns
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I realize that the quarterback of a football team is going to get too much credit when a team wins and too much blame when they lose. For the past two years, it’s been mostly the latter for the Houston Texans.

After their embarrassing defeat in Baltimore last Sunday, even I can no longer defend the play of Matt Schaub.

I have gone on record numerous times with how I feel about the Texans maligned signal-caller. He’s a system guy and the epitome of a game manager. The reason the team was so successful with him in 2011 and the first three quarters of 2012 was because he didn’t make mistakes or turn the ball over. But since then, everything has fallen apart.

There is no reason a veteran starting quarterback should make the horrible throws that have led to a pick six in each of the last two weeks. The interception on the first play of the season we let slide because it was a fluke play, but even I could have jumped the route the last two weeks and made that play.

Something that has finally made me give up on the guy is simply a single play in this offense. He is one of the best in the NFL at selling the play-action. He completely fools the defense and rolls out into space with the field wide open in front of him. But instead of throwing it down the field, he consistently throws it underneath or out of bounds. He’s one of maybe only five quarterbacks in the league that can’t do anything with that play.

So it sounds like I’m agreeing with all of those who think it’s time to sit him down on the bench and give another guy a shot, right?


Why? Well the obvious reason would be because there is no one on this roster or available that is better. We can argue that all day, but T.J. Yates or Case Keenum aren’t leading the 2013 Texans anywhere. But this isn’t why I’m not joining the bench/cut Schaub movement. My reason is because Gary Kubiak is still the head coach.

I’ve been mighty critical of Kubiak through the years, and it’s sad that it takes poor game planning like this past Sunday to get the masses to see what I see. Never in all of my years of watching football have I seen a coach with so many offensive weapons coach so scared.

To say he is conservative would be a mighty understatement. He places the shackles on his quarterback no matter who it would be and he’s still living in that 1998 offense of short passes and time of possession. Sure, it can work sometimes — the Texans have won a lot of games doing it the past three years — but the game is moving on and he’s getting left behind.

Kubiak coaches like a deer in headlights week in and week out. He’s scared to take that shot down field to avoid the big mistake, and this year Schaub is making the mistakes anyways. Do you really believe that Yates or Keenum would start the game and be given the freedom to just sling the ball all over the place? No way. They would be micro-managed by Kubiak on every single down.

I’ll end this by saying whether you agree with me or not, the delusions that this team is going to draft a quarterback in the first round next year is simply a pipe dream. They’re still on the hook for too much money to Schaub and all the problems we see, Kubiak doesn’t.

Unless Bob McNair steps in and demands a change, nothing will be any different. Gary does just enough to not be fired and McNair sets the bar low enough that he never has to coach with any sense of urgency.

To expect a change at quarterback, or even any different results with a new quarterback under center, is being quite naive in my opinion. But you don’t have to agree with me. No one has changed their stance since I’ve been critical of Kubiak starting in 2008. Why would they change now?

Mike Kerns is a Houston Texans writer for Follow him on TwitterFacebook and on Google. You can also listen to his Texans Luv Ya Steel Blue podcast on iTunes.

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