And so it begins.
Looking to deflect the blame from his incompetence, Gary Kubiak lowered the boom on three of his defensive coaches today, firing defensive coordinator Richard Smith, defensive backs coach Jon Hoke, and defensive line coach Jethro Franklin.
The Texans defense sucked this season. And Richard Smith often looked outclassed from head coaches and opposing offensive coordinators across the NFL -- really, did you see what the Oakland Raiders did to the Texans? I don't quite understand the Franklin firing as, under his tutelage, Mario Williams has grown into an elite defensive lineman and Gary Kubiak and GM Rick Smith are to blame for the rest of the mediocrity that Franklin had to work with. As for Hoke, there's only so much a coach can do when his stud, Dunta Robinson, is injured for most of the season and he's stuck with working with duds like Jacques Reeves and Demarcus Faggins.
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Kubiak said during his press conference that he will start his search for their replacements next week, and seeing how all of his other coaching searches have turned out, I wouldn't expect much. The Chron says to not expect Eric Mangini and Romeo Crennel -- both failures as head coaches but excellent as defensive coordinators -- because they don't run Gary Kubiak's preferred defensive system. (What's that, letting the opposition run and pass up and down the field?) To me, that's kind of like saying you'll take a pass on Joe Montana because he's not a classic pocket QB. I would think you would want to get the best coach that you can, just as you would want to get the best player you can. But Kubiak seems to be one of those people who think the system is more important -- kind of like his former boss Mike Shanahan, and as is evident by the recent failures of the Denver Broncos, Shanahan's success was more a product of John Elway than it was his system.
In the end, the defense was bad. But the reason the Texans are nothing more than a mediocre team is because Gary Kubiak is just a mediocre coach. Bill Cowher or Bill Parcels could be running the Texans defense, but as long as Gary Kubiak is running the team, the team is never going to be good.
-- John Royal