Monday, October 19, 2009

An Open Door to Success

While it's nice to know you've got players who will run through a brick wall for you, wouldn't it be nice if you coached as if you realized the benefit of instead just using the open door?

For the second consecutive week, the Houston Texans defense has made halftime adjustments on the road that have kept Kurt Warner-Anquan Bolden-Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer-Cedric Benson-Chad Ochocinco offenses SHUTOUT in the 2nd Half. Say that out loud and let it wash over you.

Resist your inclination to point out shortcomings in individual ability and a slow start this season. This is a good defense, finally playing to their strengths...which brings me to my point about the offense:

Despite a coaching staff's distaste for a pass-happy yet effective offense, this is a talented group with potent weapons and sound leadership. With an interception the only blemish on an otherwise stellar day, Matt Schaub had a 124 quarterback rating on 70% passing efficiency just shy of 400 yards, and 4 touchdowns spread to Daniels (2), Jacoby Jones, and Steve Slaton.

Coach Gary Kubiak has said in the past that he wanted to limit Matt's passing to diminish his risk for injury. Ironically, it is precisely that mindset and accompanying strategy that has put Matt in predictable situations in which the opponent's defense could tee off on him. Schaub's safety is enhanced when the staff finally stops trying to "square peg in a round hole" the strengths and opportunities of this squad with ineffective, run-heavy playcalling.

This is one of those rare groups that doesn't have to run to set up the pass. Defenses have to honor that Matt can accurately hit one of five targets regardless of the look they give him. Stop trying to run through a brick wall...there's an open door right in the middle of it!

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