This Better Work

So the Texans have themselves a new quarterback. On the plus side, he's not named Jake Plummer or Jeff Garcia. On the other hand, his jersey comes with an "8" on it, and that number can make any gathering of Texans' fans immediately re-enact the

Barf-a-rama scene

from

Stand By Me

.

So what does it all mean? Draft-wise, it's clear Houston was either not enamored with Brady Quinn or didn't think he'd still be around at the eight spot. Now, you have to think the Texans are eyeing my man, Amobi Okoye, LSU safety, LaRon Landry or speed freak, Ted Ginn Jr. And don't discount the club doing everything it can to trade down once again in an attempt to acquire more picks on draft day.

But you also have to consider this: What the Texans gave up to get Schaub almost certainly would have been enough to move into this year's top five. Knowing that would mean a shot at everyone's favorite, Adrian Peterson (not to mention the aforementioned Quinn or left tackle, Joe Thomas), would you still make the deal?

Like any trade, it all comes down to value. If Schaub is the second coming of Matt Hasselbeck, we win. If he's Scott Mitchell the remix, Reliant Stadium just might burn to the ground after all. Truth be told, I've been a Schaub guy for a couple years now. Well, I thought he'd be better for the Falcons than Michael Vick anyway. Now that he's on my team, I'm excited. Or, at least, I want to be. I see all the tools and potential. But Texans' fans have seen and heard about tools and potential for five years now. And let's face it, this franchise has a horrible track record when it comes to dealing picks for players. (Phillip Buchanon and Jason Babin, anyone?)

I can see it now: The Texans show flashes of good play during an up-and-down 2007 campaign. Next, we hear all about how it was Schaub's first full year as a starter (not to mention his first year under the tutelage of Gary Kubiak) and that he doesn't yet have all the pieces in place surrounding him to take his team to the next level. The O-Line is weak, there's no wide receiver to take the pressure off Andre Johnson, the running game was hurt by Ahman Green's inevitable injury woes, blah, blah, blah. I mean, we've been down this road before, haven't we? The truth is, this is still a mediocre team with glaring holes at nearly every position on the field.

I'm being a negative Nellie again, I know. I should be more like Texans' play-by-play guy, Marc Vandermeer, who has yet to say a critical word about the franchise. Even the Chronicle guys are on board. John McClain (who was quick to dismiss any talk of Schaub ever becoming a Texan as recently as last Friday) likes Schaub's size and mobility and Richard Justice thinks the 25-year-old Virginia grad will become a star. Of course, they'll be the first to jump ship at the slightest sign of trouble. The lesson: Never trust a sports writer unless his initials are J.C.F. And, even then, you should probably be a little wary.

Anyway, when I first read about this trade, my initial thought was that it would prove to be the defining moment of the Kubiak/Rick Smith era. That they'd either sink or swim on the back of a relatively unknown prospect from the birthplace of great quarterbacks, Pennsylvania. But then I remembered something. None of this would be necessary if we had just drafted Vince Young last year. Now THAT was the defining moment.

Like it or not, VY and David Carr are the faces of this franchise and will be for the foreseeable future. Like characters in a Shakespearean tragedy, they represent just how close, and yet so far away, we were to greatness once upon a time. Welcome to the play, Mr. Schaub. QB or not QB. That is the question. -- Jason Friedman

Read John Royal's take here.


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