March 24, 2018

A Houston Texans Christmas Carol

December 22nd, 1996. On a cold, bleak day in Baltimore, the Houston Oilers played their final game. Next fall they would hang their hats in Tennessee and leave Houston football fans without a team to call their own. Making matters more painful, they were leaving with young, emerging star players at quarterback and running back with Steve McNair and Eddie George. Scrooge Adams had finally stolen the spirit of football from Houston.

The Ghost of Texans Past: David Carr

After watching tumbleweeds roll across the parking lot on Kirby for five years, football finally returned to Houston in 2002. With the new team came a rookie quarterback selected first overall and once again Houston football fans had hope to cling to. Like a child who doesn’t know any better, Texans fans early on were optimistic. They knew their team wouldn’t be very good at first but it was just nice to have the NFL back in town and they believed in a quarterback who was the consensus best player available at the position that year, and in a coach who previously took another expansion team to the conference title game in just the franchise’s second season. David Carr led the nation in passing yards and passing touchdowns by a wide margin during his senior season at Fresno State and appeared to have all the tools necessary to become a great quarterback. Carr had the size, the arm strength, the athleticism, and had proven to be a winner after leading his mid-major school to three wins over BCS teams and taking Fresno State into the top 10 in the polls.

Then 2-14 happened. The shine on Houston’s team faded away in 2005 after they chased their failed selections on the offensive line in the expansion draft with bad draft picks and free agent moves in an attempt to fill those holes. Their misses weren’t limited to only the offensive line, but their failure to stabilize the line shattered their prize quarterback’s confidence and left him shell shocked, and had the fans wearing number 8 jerseys muttering bah humbug! After four seasons the Texans would once again pick first overall.


The Ghost of Texans Present: Gary Kubiak

The Texans hit the reset button before going into the 2006 season and once again attached their hopes to a coach and quarterback. Rebuilding took longer than many fans had hoped, but eventually Gary Cratchit and Tiny Tim Schaub had the Texans in position to finally make a Super Bowl run. In 2011 the Texans looked to be the favorites to win the AFC after their first 10 games, but Tiny Tim Schaub became seriously ill (Haynesworth-itis) and their season came off the tracks. The ‘Bulls on Parade’ spirit was strong, but no matter how hard they believed in the idea of ‘next man up’, the Cratchit’s weren’t provided with enough to get the job done. Texans fans gathered around the table once again in 2012 with hopes of a deep playoff run, but the cupboard was bare after another off-season of salary cap casualties and they once again were left feeling empty.


The Ghost of Texans Future: Drafted Quarterback

The signs were all there. The spirit showed us what the Texans future would be with Schaub under center, but he was foolishly given a contract extension. Kubiak couldn’t divorce himself from Schaub and ultimately his job and the team were dragged down by pick-six after pick-six after pick-six after pick-six. Unless a change was made soon, the Texans would be doomed a cold, sad, depressing fate. Scrooge McNair now has a second chance after seeing the error of his ways and the Texans future will hinge on what he does with that chance. Will McNair provide his next Cratchit with an anonymous turkey and a raise or will history repeat? I hope the lesson he has learned is that Tiny Tim at quarterback is not good enough. There was a time when building a strong defense and running game around an average quarterback was good enough to become a Super Bowl team. Not in today’s NFL. Every year the rules move more and more in the favor of the offense and in particular to help out the passing game. The Patriots and Colts for years had average talent across most of their roster, but their star quarterback kept them in the chase every season. The Texans have a chance with the first pick to draft that special quarterback. Is that quarterback Bridgewater? Is it Manziel? Is it David Carr’s younger brother? I’m not sure, that’s for their scouting staff to figure out. Texans fans have waited a long time for that player, the front office has to figure out who he is to give their fans a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: