During a recent interview with John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, Texans owner Bob McNair said it’s time for the Texans to not only make the playoffs, but do something when they get there.
“I want to see us do more than just make the playoffs,” McNair said. “That’s what I expect. I think we have the talent to do it. I think we’ve got the coaching staff to do it.”
Read the entire article here.
McNair spoke about several topics related to the state of the franchise. Let’s take some of the more significant comments and slice and dice, one-by-one.
On the quote above about doing more this season than just making the playoffs:
Houston Texans Examiner (HTE): Great. Agree wholeheartedly. The bar needs to be set high enough so that even if you don’t reach your goal, you’ve achieved something more than what you have in the past.
On what would happen if the Texans have another losing season:
McNair: “We’re all accountable. If we don’t deliver value for our fans and make for a happy experience when they come to Reliant Stadium, (Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith) won’t be there. But (just) Gary and Rick? (The jobs of) everybody in the organization (are) on the line. They all know that. We’ll be patient and give people the resources and give them enough time to get the job done, but if they don’t do it, then we have to get somebody else.”
HTE: Patience and loyalty are admirable qualities in a person. Being able to recognize when you’re being patient and loyal to a fault is even more admirable.
On McClain stating the obvious that McNair doesn’t want to fire Kubiak:
McNair: “Nobody wants to win more than Gary does. He’s from Houston. He’s a good person. He’s a good coach. His players like him. He’s never lost control of the locker room – a lot of things fans don’t take into consideration.”
HTE: Okay, here we go. This is the part that almost prompted me to start writing this at 2:30 this morning.
- “Nobody wants to win more than Gary does” >> Okay, I’ll give you that one. That’s probably true. But wanting to win and knowing how to win are two distinctly different things.
- “He’s from Houston.” >> So what? I’m from Houston. We’re all from Houston. Give me a guy from Alaska or Timbuktu – as long as he can coach winning football.
- “He’s a good person” >> I think we all know that about Gary, he’s a helluva nice guy and character is at the top of McNair’s list of priorities, but when you start rationalizing this into the equation, that’s how you get to a head coach with a 37-43 record entering his sixth year in the league.
- “He’s a good coach” >> Some argue that he’s a great offensive mind, a great offensive coordinator, but lacks the leadership skills that make good head coaches.
- “His players like him. He’s never lost control of the locker room” >> Losing the locker room is the kiss of death for coaches, so yes, that’s important. And of course his players like him because he’s a nice guy. But being a nice guy doesn’t mean you’re a good leader. I think any of us that have been in the working world for a while have run across members of management that are really nice guys or gals but aren’t very good managers.
- “(these are) a lot of things fans don’t take into consideration” >> You’re right. Fans don’t place top priority on whether our head coach is a “nice guy” or that he’s from Houston or that his players really like him. We care about the number in the win column being larger than the number in the loss column. If you’re a winner and you happen to be a nice guy too, then great, bonus. This is what some fans refer to as the “holding on to David Carr too long syndrome” – because he was such a nice guy.
Read >>> Does Gary Kubiak have what it takes to be a good leader?
Read >>> More analysis on Kubiak’s leadership style, if you’re so inclined
Now, back to the article.
On Kubiak being too hard on himself after losses
McNair: “Every time we lose, he can’t just say, ‘It’s my fault. That’s on me.’ The players appreciate that, but that’s not being candid. The fans read, ‘It’s my fault,’ so they’re more critical of Gary. And they don’t appreciate that he’s as good a coach as he really is.”
HTE: Give us some credit. Mr. McNair. “It’s on me” is legendary around these parts. We get it.
On his management vision
McNair: “They know that I’m patient, but at the same time, I expect people to perform. I don’t go in and beat up on them. I don’t think that gets you the best results.”
HTE: I agree that ‘beating people up’ is usually not a good approach to get production out of your staff. It’s just that patience thing again, and how much is too much?
On the defense
McNair: “We analyzed (last) season and what the problem was. Well, our defense was the problem, so we decided it was time to make changes.”
HTE: Ya think? I hope it didn’t take too much analysis to reach that conclusion. Richard Smith and Frank Bush were bad decisions – and both were Kubiak decisions. What head coach gets to hire three defensive coordinators over five seasons while not making the playoffs? But I think most are board with the Wade Phillips decision. It feels like ‘all in’ in a game of high stakes poker.
On free agency
McNair: “It’s how you spend the money, not how much money you can spend,”
HTE: Exactly. That $30 million you gave to Todd Wade, Robaire Smith and Gary Walker, not to mention Ahman Green and the David Carr re-up should be prime lessons learned. We’re liking how 2011 free agency is shaping up so far with the re-signing of Jacoby Jones and Rashad Butler and the acquisition of Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning. So kudos on that. Find a way to get Vonta back in the fold and it’s all good. But we realize $4 million per season for a fullback is getting into that category of ‘how much’ should you spend.
If the Texans don’t make the playoffs
McNair: “I’m going to be extremely disappointed. We’re just like the fans. I’m tired of not being in the playoffs. The players are tired of not being in the playoffs. The coaches are tired of not being in the playoffs.”
HTE: We agree. And it should be playoffs or bust for this coaching staff this season.
McNair: “We’ve got the best fans in the league”
HTE: We agree. We’ve been through a lot. We haven’t had a playoff team in Houston since 1993. We are passionate and loyal, almost to a fault.
Great job on the article, McClain. And Mr. McNair, I know you read these so just remember – it’s not personal. We all just want to win.