"It all gets back to football." -- Gary Kubiak on the Tuesday release of safety Ed Reed
After convalescing for a week or so on the heels of a mini-stroke suffered at halftime of the home game against the Colts 11 days ago, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak returned to work on Wednesday to begin preparation for the game this Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.
In a normal workplace, a popular employee like Kubiak would return to a workspace with streamers, decorations, maybe a banner or two welcoming him back.
But an NFL football team is not a normal workplace, and Gary Kubiak returned to stuff that, even by football standards, was fairly abnormal.
Namely, the DeAndre Hopkins Instagram Hacking Caper. In case you missed it, here is what we know -- the Texans rookie wide receiver had a "first person point of view" (or POV, for you porn aficionados) video of an African American male masturbating sent out on his Instagram account yesterday morning while he was in meetings.
Shortly after the link to said Instagram broke the Internet, this tweet was sent from Hopkins's Twitter account:
Instagram was hacked , this is his girlfriend he's in meetings with no phone , have some respect ppl
— Deandre Hopkins (@Nukdabomb) November 13, 2013
Yeah, you people and your lack of respect are appalling!
Now, publicly Kubiak was not asked about Hopkins's peccadilloes, but privately I'm sure this was a fun little teaching moment for the head coach. I'm not sure where in the NFL head coach's manual the chapter exists on what to tell a rookie when his
girlfriend accidentally puts a video of him jacking off on Instagram Instagram account gets hacked and a lewd video of a wiener is sent out, but I suppose Kubiak could now write that chapter if they need him to do so.
For his part, Hopkins backed up his girlfriend's version of the story, stating merely:
#Texans' DeAndre Hopkins: "It's not my genitals."
— Brian T. Smith (@ChronBrianSmith) November 13, 2013
All righty then.
Hey, perhaps jacking off on Instagram was Hopkins's way of saying he approved of the waiving of Ed Reed, who, by the way, much like the video on Hopkins's Instagram account, went unclaimed on Wednesday. The assumption by many is that the timing of Reed's waiving indicates that his critical (and truthful) comments about the team's being outplayed and outcoached on Sunday against Arizona were the impetus for his release from the team. It's quite logical.
However, Kubiak painted a much different picture yesterday after practice when asked about the future Hall of Famer's being put on waivers:
"(Reed's) role became diminished the last few weeks," Kubiak said at Reliant Stadium. "In all fairness to him, like I told him, in respect to his career and what he's done ... I thought it was fair to him to give him an opportunity to play somewhere else or do whatever he wanted to do."
So there you have it. The Texans weren't punishing Ed Reed for his insolent assessment of the team's lack of execution chops on Sunday. No, no, no...they were doing him a solid because he's been such a great player the last decade or so. Something like that.
Sure they were.
Of course, the "opportunity [for Reed] to play somewhere else or do whatever he wanted to do" could cost Reed over $400,000 if nobody signs him ($62,500 per game bonus times seven remaining games). That doesn't sound to me like a great favor, but I'm not a Hall of Fame safety or an NFL head coach, so what do I know?
Finally, the money shot from Kubiak came when he was asked about the quarterback situation and whether or not Case Keenum was being evaluated to see if he can be a starter in the NFL:
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"No, I wouldn't say that. I'm going to keep going week-to-week. Matt's (Schaub) working really hard. I know what Matt wants back on the field. I think Case has played really well and done a lot of good things. He has made a lot of mistakes too that he's got to correct. We've been in some close ball games with the ball in his hand at the end of the game and we've got to get over the hump there. I think we just keep going. I think he needs a little pressure on him to continue to have to play well and stay in there. I'm not going to give anybody anything, much less a quarterback."
Says the coach who has handed Matt Schaub the starting quarterback job every season with no competition since 2007, and who includes the rest of the team when anyone asks about individual criticism of Schaub.
Many faintly praise this Texans team as the "best 2-7 team" they can remember. I don't know if that's true, but they're certainly the least boring.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.