Texans Should Have Interest In Kaepernick

FEBRUARY 28, 2016

Are they or aren’t they? Not long after Ian Rapaport of the NFL Network tweeted that the Texans and Browns were interested in San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick if the 49ers were not, The Chronicle’s John McClain shot down the idea.

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How likely it is that San Francisco actually tries to trade Kaepernick is anyone's guess. Just last week new head coach Chip Kelly said, “It’s never been a question [keeping Kaepernick]. I’m excited to work with Colin.” About six hours later reports surfaced that Kaepernick’s agents requested permission to seek a trade.

Assuming that Kaepernick is attainable, why wouldn’t the Texans be interested? Owner Bob McNair has repeated multiple times his desire to obtain a franchise QB this offseason. It shouldn’t have to be via the draft.

Kaepernick has a better winning percentage, completion percentage, touchdown-to-interception rate, and quarterback rating than any QB short of Tom Brady that Bill O’Brien has managed.

That O’Brien has compiled a 16-16 record (0-1 in playoffs) with seven different starting quarterbacks is both recognition of his head coaching/quarterback guru skill, and an indictment of the talent procuring process of the Texans.

With the 22nd pick it’s impossible to believe the Texans can acquire either Carson Wenz or Jared Goff the “can’t miss” quarterback prospects in the ’16 draft. So instead of reaching with a first round pick, why not see what your quarterback whisperer can do with a QB that actually has some skills?

Sportsmanship – Try It

CamNewton

Sportsmanship - Try It

FEBRUARY 8, 2016

Once upon a time, sporting events were as much about building character, learning fairness and how to conduct yourself as they were about perfecting a skill. Today it would appear that "sportsmanship" has little to do with sports.

Instead, sports are all about building self-worth and personal enjoyment. Heaven help anything that gets in the way of those two goals.

Winning? Well, that's somewhere on the list of goals but certainly not above self esteem and fun.

I hate to boil this post Super Bowl discussion down to it's simplest form - okay no I don't mind at all. This love or hate of Cam has nothing (or very little) to do with race, it's about old school versus new school. Should our athletes display sportsmanship in victory - and defeat, or should they be completely self-absorbed and we can then be either entertained or outraged by their actions?

Newton acted as he wanted in running up a 17-1 record showing no regard for the feelings of those the Panthers were beating along the way. Cam simply called it "having fun" and anyone who saw it for what it truly was, a classless acts completely devoid of sportsmanship, were painted as racists. (Now, full disclosure, there are still too many fans that are racists and don't like Cam because of the color of his skin.)

Let me see if I can highlight the difference between old school versus new school as opposed to racism in viewing the public's love or hate for Cam Newton. Let's compare the general feeling most NFL fans have for Russell Wilson and Johnny Manziel. Wilson, a black person who carries himself in a way most old school fans would want to see their quarterback behave, is generally liked and respected. Manziel, who seems to care little about the consequences of his actions, is extremely polarizing. Much like Newton you either love or hate Johnny Football, not because of the color of his skin but because of the way in which he seems to show no regard for anyone other than himself.

Newton visiting hospitals or donating footballs to kids after touchdowns, much like the thousands of autographs Manziel gave freely to memorabilia dealers while at A&M, doesn't change the way they carry themselves as celebrities.

Newton couldn't show any class or sportsmanship in victory so it comes as no surprise that he couldn't handle defeat without petulance and the behavior of a spoiled brat.

I can do without the "dab" but I still enjoy watching Newton play. He's become a better NFL quarterback than I thought he'd be. He earned the MVP this season and I enjoyed watching him play. I also enjoyed watching Manziel at A&M and was hoping to see that QB in Cleveland, but his immaturity and personal demons seemed to have taken that opportunity away.

But don't blame the player. The "old school generation" is the one that can't understand why their children seem entitled and lacking grace and understanding. After-all they gave them 4' trophies for participating in tee-ball at five years old because the risk of having their kids earn a trophy by winning might have hurt their self-esteem if they actually had to, you know, earn it by winning.

College Football Restructuring At The Top

College Football Restructuring At The Top​​

NOVEMBER 23, 2015

It seems inevitable now that a coach with a 60-27 record in SEC play (110-32 overall), two conference titles, three division titles and a BCS title will lose his job a week from today. He might be joined by the dean of SEC coaches who has won 144 games in 15 seasons, along with two SEC titles and three division titles.

If the reports are true, and guys like Scott Rabalais of The Baton Rouge Advocate and Tommy Krysan of Pelican Sports Network are respected and trustworthy, then it would seem Les Miles will coach the LSU Tigers once more, when they host Texas A&M this Saturday. Will Mark Richt be coaching his last game as Georgia’s head coach next Saturday when the Bulldogs play Georgia Tech in Atlanta? (Lose to the 3-8 Yellow Jackets and that answer will be an easy YES.)

Regardless of how competitve college football has become, it is hard to believe a coach with a .775 winning percentage (Miles) or a .738 winning percentage (Richt) would be in severe danger of losing his job, particularly when both teams stand at 8-3 on the 2015 season and are favorites to finish 9-3. (As of this writing LSU is a 5 1/2 point favorite over A&M, the UGA-GT game is presently “off” the books.)
One the other hand, after 15 or 11 years at their respective schools, the decision-makers (AD’s, school presidents, and most importantly - influential alumni) at Georgia and LSU can’t be accused of making hasty decisions.

At LSU where reports today say that AD Joe Alleva has the boosters willing to pay Miles’ $15-million buyout if necessary, the “Mad-Hatter” has always been an enigma. On paper, the record speaks for itself. Using the “eye test” the results also speak volumes, just not flattering ones.

Whether it be poor preparation, clock management, or a general look of being unprepared, Miles has often looked “in over his head” on the LSU sideline. No team in college football during Les Miles tenure has been more talented (including Alabama). Miles deserves the credit from procuring that talent, but also the condemnation for not doing enough with the talent.

In Athens, GA, Richt can be viewed much the same way; a “players coach” that does an outstanding job recruiting, but even more damning for Richt, Georgia seems to lose at least a couple games each year that have no business losing. The Bulldogs were the SEC East favorites this year, but will likely finish third in a weak Eastern division.

Both Richt and Miles have also committed the fatal sin of looking bad in the games that matter most. Richt is just 5-10 against bitter rival Florida, and has been embarrassed three straight times by Alabama. (That’s 1-3 for Richt vs. Saban)

Miles has also found it difficult to beat a Saban-led Crimson Tide. Though 6-6 overall against Bama, LSU has dropped five straight    to Alabama.

I’ve never been a fan of the mindset, “We can’t fire [him/her] who will we get to coach?!” That’s a loser mentality, if you want to compete for national titles - which UGA & LSU clearly do, and more importantly should - ACT LIKE IT!

However, the “who will you get” syndrome applies here. The Dawgs and Tigers are not .500 teams, they are programs winning 75% of their games under their current coaches. A change cannot be made for change sake.

Word on the bayou is that Jimbo Fisher tops the LSU wish list. When asked today about the rumors, Fisher appropriately said he wouldn’t comment on them out of respect for the players at both Florida State and LSU. (The non-denial, denial.) Solid move Jimbo. Even more solid, and necessary, is for LSU to already have a deal in place for Fisher.

Same goes for Claude Felton, athletic director at UGA. If the timing is right for a change at head coach, Georgia better have a confirmation from Richt’s replacement already in place.

Both programs, fan bases, and head coaches deserve as classy a turnover as possible.

Don’t Overlook Most Significant Message At Missouri

Mizzou

Don't Overlook Most Significant Message At Missouri

NOVEMBER 19, 2015

When the African-American football players joined the protests against Missouri president Tim Wolfe and said they wouldn’t play until Wolfe was out, their wish was granted in about 24-hours. Jonathan Butler, a graduate student at Missouri and a member of a group of students called #ConcernedStudent1950 (I believe in today’s social media-driven collegiate society the hashtag is required.) had started a hunger strike on November 2nd. Nobody outside of Columbia took notice. When the football team threatened to strike, and team meetings were canceled on Sunday, Wolfe was done. 

The university and the social media mafia will celebrate and chalk up the president’s resignation as a victory for race relations. Those are self-absorbed, agenda-driven, myopic projections. I predict the events at Mizzou will be remembered years from now as the events that forever changed college athletics, not race relations.

The threat of players striking brought immediate reaction. Tigers head coach Gary Pinkel tweeted (cause that’s how true sincerity is defined today - by placing a Billboard on social media) that ,The Mizzou Family stands as one.” However, neither Pinkel, or any of the coaches on his staff, or any of the players not of color also struck. 

Months of of complaints fell on deaf ears. Hours of a threat by more than 30 football players produced results. Even those supposed “dumb jocks” can recognize the power they posses. 

After back-to-back SEC Title game appearances, the Tigers football team is 1-5 in SEC play and 4-5 overall. So how could a team that has lost four straight exert so much pressure? Because if Mizzou didn’t take the field against BYU this Saturday night in Columbia, the university would have owed Brigham Young one-million dollars and refunds to ticket-holders and we’re still dealing with peanuts financially. The real cost comes from the loss of television revenue.

Would a forfeit cost Mizzou their new home in the SEC? Would the cancelation of the game cost the SEC their contract with ESPN? (A contract which, despite its unparalleled success is being panned following the continued blood-letting at ESPN) One meaningless football game and we’re already into the billions of dollars.

Expect college football players to take this new-found power and see how quickly it can provide the financial relief they have craved for decades. 

O’Brien Acting Like The Wrong Choice

O'Brien

O'Brien Acting Like The Wrong Choice

OCTOBER 27, 2015

It would appear it's not going to be easy to explain the current state of the Texans following the second embarrassing defeat - this season. “I don’t have the answers to a lot of the questions I have posted…” MadRadio co-host Mike Meltser wrote in a blog post for SportsRadio 610 yesterday regarding whether or not the Texans hired the wrong coach when they named Bill O'Brien to replace Gary Kubiak. I do have an answer to that most important question Mike. I think you do as well. I think we all do. 

The deal is, we don’t want to come off as “knee jerk” by proclaiming a coach's fate 23 games into his tenure. However, the “Ready. Shoot. Aim.” approach to decision-making is as good of a reason as necessary for why we know Bill O’Brien won’t succeed as Texans head coach. 

O’Brien’s unprecedented approach to managing the quarterback position is foolhardy enough, but to willingly go into an NFL game with only one active quarterback is insane. Monday we learned that was O’Brien’s plan.

Per Garrett Heinrich’s story, “A source with knowledge of the situation told SportsRadio 610 on Monday that, “Mallett would have been walking home from South Beach” if the Texans had a suitable QB to take his spot.” Somebody in the decision-making process wanted to expose O’Brien.

Worst case scenario, the disagreement about whether or not to cut the immature Ryan Mallett before the game in Miami is the official start to the rats jumping ship. That O’Brien has final say over the roster is not breaking news. That GM Rick Smith has some veto power without needing owner Bob McNair’s vote is news - we’ve been told over and over that when O’Brien and Smith disagree, McNair steps in with the deciding vote - but that’s not what happened Sunday (or at least McNair being involved in the decision isn’t being leaked/reported). 

Best case, it’s another fatal example of a coach in over his head. A quarterback has to be a team leader. One would think “quarterback guru” O’Brien would know this, though his handling of the position would indicate otherwise. If you can’t properly manage the most important position on the team, how are you going to handle the small details that separate champions from also-rans? You won’t.

This team is a grease-fire mess right now - in every conceivable way. Bill O’Brien has now led the Texans team to its two worst losses in franchise history. The Texans have only allowed a team to score 40 points eleven times in 14-years. They’ve been down by more than 40 twice already this season. The previous “largest deficit” in franchise history was 35 points down (42-7) against New England in the famous “Letterman Jacket game” in 2012. 

I must admit I am surprised by O’Brien’s incompetence. I knew he’d come out looking good in Hard Knocks I just didn’t know it was because he was great at acting like an NFL head coach. I considered him the best available option when the Texans hired him. I’ve enjoyed interacting with him (guessing that’s over now). I thought he would be a very good coach and leader of this organization. The results say otherwise without any indication that the rapidly growing pile of horrific losses are some form of growing pains.

The verdict is in. How long will it take Bob McNair to accept that fact and move the franchise toward winning titles and away from O’Brien is anyone’s guess (mine is at least two, maybe three more years - that’s how long McNair gave Kubiak when it was already obvious to everyone Gary couldn’t get the job done).

A Mess In Texas

CharlieStrong

A Mess In Texas

SEPTEMBER 11, 2015

From the takeover of Wrigley Field last Friday to the invasion of South Bend you can’t help but be impressed by the commitment of the Longhorn fan base. My assumption would be there were somewhere in the neighborhood of 25,000 - 30,000 UT fans in the shadow of “Touchdown Jesus” for a season opening 38-3 beatdown by Notre Dame.

There are many college football pundits that say the UT nation is incredibly impatient and place too much pressure on coaches in Austin. Unless the handful of influential boosters have a significantly different mindset than the burnt orange fans that filled Notre Dame stadium, or have called or texted my show[s] in the five years I’ve been here in Houston, the pundits couldn’t be more wrong.

A coach in WAY over his head is why Texas was embarrassed in its third consecutive game, but an overinflated sense of success among the fan base is why he’s running the Longhorn football team.

Charlie Strong will not make UT a national title contender, it’s as simple as that. Following the loss to Notre Dame, Strong essentially changed his offensive philosophy for the third time in 14 games when he demoted co-offensive coordinators Shawn Watson and Joe Wickline for Jay Norvell. 

Congrats Longhorn fans the offensive problems should now be solved. Norvell was hired as wide receivers coach at UT this year after being fired as co-offensive coordinator at Oklahoma. That’s right, your new OC is essentially an old mattress left at the curb by your biggest[?] rival. Problem not solved. 

On a side note; Wickline whom Strong probably befriended when both coached under Billy Brewer at Ole Miss has never been more than an O-Line coach - sans one season as head coach at SW Mississippi Community College until Charlie applied the “Peter principal." Brewer was such an offensive savant that he installed a trap-option offense while trying to convince Peyton Manning to follow in father’s footsteps. For some odd reason Peyton chose the pro style offense David Cutcliffe was running as OC at Tennessee instead of the school he passionately followed growing up.

Perhaps the only thing worse than the Texas offense in the “Charlie Strong era” has been the recruiting. Allegedly, Strong thinks Texas kids are soft. He also has the elite recruiters in the SEC shaking their heads because UT is going after kids they have evaluated as not worthy of an offer.

So why was the consensus among the Longhorn fans that stayed to the bitter end in South Bend that Strong just needs some more time? A combustible mix of arrogance and ignorance - right 12th man? Texas IS one of the few premier programs in college football in every sense but on the field success.

Texas is tied with North Carolina for 54th in winning pct. since Colt McCoy went down with a shoulder injury in the BCS Title game. Under Mack Brown Texas was 4th in Division I winning percentage at 77%, which probably explains his “Not my fault” claims and provides further evidence that reality and perspective are sorely lacking on the 40 acres.

Texas went 35 years between national titles without “Top 10” program success between Royal and Brown. Eight different schools won multiple titles since Royal left, and those hated Sooners have more than doubled UT's Big 12 titles.

If I had an oil well for every UT fan that’s told me they were glad they didn’t get Nick Saban as head coach I’d have T Boone Pickens money. Coaching matters Texas, it’s time you pretend you understand that.

The Longhorn nation talks as if they were an elite program, when are they going to start acting like one?