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Texans-Chargers: Looking for a Light, Feeling Like a Coyote

Early during the first period of yesterday’s Aeros game, I got an anguished text message from a good friend: “Awful. This team is defeated before they get to the stadium. Horrible coaching. And prep is far worse than Pardee.”

Hmm, that’s funny, I thought, because I knew my friend wasn’t at the Aeros game, and I don’t think that it can be said that the Aeros are ever unprepared.

When the period ended, I left the press table and happened upon a TV. A TV that just happened to be tuned in to the Texans-Chargers game. I thought I had some kind of trouble with my eyes when I saw the 35-3 score in the second quarter. Well, I thought I was either having trouble with my eyes or the people working graphics for CBS were having problems. So I asked the guy next to me. He said what I saw was correct.

And it all made sense. My friend wasn’t talking about the Aeros. He was talking about the Texans. And the Pardee comparison was to Gary Kubiak, not Kevin Constantine.

I’ll be honest. I didn’t see the game. I was at Toyota Center watching the Aeros. So I can’t really comment on just how bad the Texans looked, though I’m gathering from a 35-3 halftime score that they looked bad. Damn bad.

And all that I can say is that I told you so.

That I thought Gary Kubiak wasn’t the genius the PR guys at the Chron said that he was. That signing Ahman Green was going to be a huge waste of money. (Do you ever wonder if Brett Favre has stopped laughing over that signing?) That it didn’t matter who the QB was if there was no protection. That the media would turn on Schaub.

But I’ve got this to say. I don’t think Jack Pardee should be compared to Gary Kubiak. The Oilers lost games under Pardee, including many playoff games. But I don’t think the Oilers problems ever had to do with not being prepared. The Pardee Oilers often jumped out to big leads before blowing games. And blowing games in spectacular fashion. I always thought those teams were prepared. They couldn’t execute when it mattered, but they were prepared.

I don’t sense that from the Texans. I just never feel that Gary Kubiak has his teams prepared. Or the coaches. And execution doesn’t matter if the team’s not prepared.

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Later during the Aeros game, I got another message from my friend: “the players are pussified. They have no kill mentality. Too nice. We need a few bad boys, killers, and cheap shot artists.”

First, we do have one cheap shot artist in Travis Johnson, but otherwise, I agree with the message. I think the Texans are a bunch of nice guys. That they don’t have any attitude. Or swagger. I’ve written before that I don’t want this team to be a bunch of criminals like the Bengals, but I think signing players on the basis of high moral character is a big mistake. The Texans reportedly passed on Reggie Bush because of questions about his character.

The Patriots don’t seem to care about high moral character. They want guys with swagger. With attitude. With talent. Bill Parcells was about getting guys who wanted to win, not guys who wanted to have a prayer circle on the 50-yard line after the game. Tom Landry was supposed to be all about moral character, but that didn’t stop him from getting Hollywood Henderson.

But just let it be known that I sense your frustration. That I share your frustration. And that I wish there was a light at the end of the tunnel. But I fear instead that light is an oncoming train. I suppose that just as Wile E. Coyote knows in his head that that latest package from “ACME” isn’t going to get him the roadrunner, I know in my head that the latest package from the draft isn’t really going to get to the Texans to the Super Bowl. – John Royal

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