April 27, 2006
by Ric Sweeney
Reggie Bush is the pick. A day prior to the annual Mel Kiper fest, and very few if’s, and’s or but’s remain, save for the butts in Houston who continue to beat Vince Young’s horse to death.
Don’t fret, though, Vince Nation – your push to try and convince us that the college football universe revolved exclusively around January 4, 2006, has not been a complete waste of your time. Nor were those full-page ads you ran and veiled threats you made about sponsoring and/or supporting the Texans.
No, it turns out your mind-numbingly endless campaign to sledgehammer Young into the Texans’ plans has inadvertently given us our first glimpse at what kind of coach the Texans hired in Gary Kubiak. And I have to admit, I like what I see. You would, too, if everything wasn’t being filtered through a blinding tint of burnt orange.
Kubiak’s decision to endorse the previously left-for-dead David Carr and not draft Young says a lot about the coach’s faith in his own abilities to mold young gunslingers. Because in case this isn’t perfectly clear, Kubiak wasn’t brought here to implement the 46 defense; he’s here to blow out the light bulbs on Reliant Stadium’s scoreboard. As such, his tenure in Houston will be measured as much by quarterback ratings as W’s.
And picking Young to try and accomplish that would have been the safer choice for Kubiak and his staff. First of all, it would have instantly ingratiated Kubiak to the locals, at least, the locals who won’t shut up about Young. More importantly, it would have bought the new coach time. A rookie quarterback doesn’t blossom overnight; it takes nurturing, long hours and endless patience.
Ahhhh, patience, something few of us have left when it comes to Carr, who has worn our collective goodwill down to the nub in just four short years. Is he good? Is he bad? Was he worth the giant extension the team gave him in February? None of us really knows, except that we’re tired of trying to guess.
So while Young would have given Kubiak a clean slate; Carr does not. His slate is dirty, filled with sacks and finger pointing and lots of head scratching, not to mention enough frustration and disappointment to fill an entire stadium, something the Texans’ play last year certainly couldn’t do. And because of that, Carr has to come out firing next September to quickly validate Kubiak’s decision. If he doesn’t, then both are going to be run out of town and things could get ugly.
And knowing that, Kubiak still took the road less traveled; convinced he could make Carr into a viable NFL starting quarterback, a proposition that has already cost two men their jobs. In that regard, you have to admire his gumption. This is the coach we’ve been waiting for, one filled to the brim with confidence who’s unafraid of going out on a limb, taking a chance and staring down failure. In other words, Kubiak is the Bizarro Dom Capers. At least so far.
Good for him. More importantly, good for us. My biggest knock against this franchise is, and remains, its lack of accountability. Everyone skated on the good will of just having a team again and failed to deliver. Kubiak is signaling a change to that notion: It’s put up or shut up time. At last.
And speaking of shutting up… So the cry for Vince Young did serve a purpose. But now it’s done. And I ask you all to please kindly embrace the direction this franchise has chosen and let the Vince Young saga die its rightful death. Stop asking Reggie Bush about him, John McClain. And stop running full page ads, Holly F. And stop threatening your corporate sponsorship, Mattress Mac.
Because Young isn’t the pick. But Gary Kubiak might just be the man, and that’s reason enough to get fired up for 2006.
No, Ric Sweeney is not spending his weekend creating Reggie Bush on his Madden 2006. How dare you make such an accusation.
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