Cal McNairs comments prior to the trade deadline, were deemed naive and it seemed yet more blind faith being bestowed in those who don’t deserve it.
The hesitance to move salaries off the books, is admirable at a time when revenues are dipping, but there’s been no sign of spending cuts, quite the opposite. The Texans, at 2-6, are the most expensively assembled team, in terms of 2020 cash flow. What is behind the hesitance to save cap dollars, isn’t necessarily clear for a disappointed fan base. As the remaining games leave little to play for, it appears more hope is emanating from the owner than most football people would logically conclude.
There’s little doubt that personnel moves have set this team back, at a minimum, of two years. There’s no overlooking the fact that Cal deserves his share of blame for allowing these moves to happen, as the team has drowned in the current of the NFL’s premier talent, faced early on the schedule.
There are talented players on the offence, the most investment a single unit has seen at any point in team history, across the draft, trades and free agency. Although this has been wholly at the expense of an ailing defence which continues to undermine their fortunes every Sunday. Regardless if the investment had been astutely acquiring talent, their inability to win appears to be evermore routed in poor coaching and schematics.
As will be common for these preceding years, many of the teams issues will be born out of the decisions O’Brien was allowed to make. The position coaches, bye-week interviews were particularly telling. Many of these coaches have limited track records but were hired due to perceived alignment to O’Brien’s sought personality or footballing philosophy.
When considering the lack of player development, there will be little for these coaches to proclaim at their next interviews, once they’ve are inevitably relieved of their duties, come the close of Week-17. Many players, particularly the skill positions, haven’t been drafted and moulded into quality starters. Look no further than Jordan Thomas, Keke Coutee, D’onta Foreman, Jalen Strong or Braxton Miller as concrete examples over a number of seasons and coaches.
Ultimately, too many players have left the building no better at football than when they arrived.
Also there is the clear issue of the scheme, which hems in the talent of the Texans skill players. This offensive line still suffers form the same fundamental issues they faced when their talent was arguably far more sparse. The constant has been re-appearing mistakes and wildly variable levels of play. It’s often point towards “the fundamentals” – something the players cannot improve upon, with the absence sufficient coaching. For too long, Texans players have been devoid of the requisite standard to be successful at this level.
Not many coaching staff’s around the league would still have Danny Barrett and Mike Devlin around considering how these units have failed. As the Texans have been held back due to their inability to run the ball in 2020, despite the pass attack’s ability.
The biggest win for this offence, retention of said skill players aside, could be accurately assessing a running back’s fit and implementing a scheme that gets the best out of their available talent. Adding Watson’s ability to that, it’s difficult to see how that wouldn’t improve their offensive output, in the years ahead.
Though it cannot be misunderstood, this team will never be in a position to progress unless it removes Jack Easterby and allows the next regime to flourish. His actions continue to implode this organisation and detract from its ability to improve. His firings of Brian Gaine, Chris Olsen and now Amy Palcic, are clear indications that he should not been given such autonomy when every moves strikes universal uproar. Just as these coaches done, just their mistakes are week by week and shown on a third down, rather than a media headline.
Again, all of these have been under Cal’s watch as he seems to be developing a sizeable list of moves, which are becoming even more egregious in the eyes of their fans and on lookers alike. He continues to pay people who aren’t able to help this team to win, swiping the prime years of Deshaun Watson.
If Cal can oversee a search that can attain effective levels of coaching, then and only then, they may stop holding back a star quarterback and build towards a level of sustained success, in a quest for an inaugural championship. But correcting this team’s course off the field, appears to be more imperative before they derail their efforts of the new regime, prior to even being hired.