- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Saturday’s mailbag led with a note from a frustrated Jags fan.
It was such a big hit, I thought we’d give a frustrated Texans fan a chance.
LX Aguirre from El Paso writes: Will the Houston Texans show some signs of intelligence any time soon???? After their first playoff appearance and a small taste of victory on wildcard weekend, I expected more from them. The only moves they've made so far were the retention of Myers and Foster. You may reason that the team's inactivity is due to salary cap issues, but that excuse becomes irrelevant when the team is willing to trade its Defensive Captain and lose money in the process. The betrayal to DeMeco was magnified because the team had just lost M. Williams, the most powerful defensive weapon; and the lopsided trade showed that management has a disregard for team continuity, fan loyalty, and esprit de corps. For the Texans, continuity involves getting rid of their good players like Williams and D. Ryans (Pollard, Leach, Robinson in previous years) while stubbornly holding on to unproductive failures like J. Jones, K. Jackson (ESPECIALLY KAREEM JACKSON!!!!), and Quinn. With Manning gone, the division is almost a guarantee, but the Texans will lose the crown this year because of indecisiveness and lack of aggression.
Paul Kuharsky: I am taking a deep breath … OK, I am ready.
Has it been a good offseason? Of course not. But good teams tend to be up against it financially and lose good players. They took an additional $750,000 loss on Ryans this year to save a ton of money over the next three years. That money will help them be able to sign guys like Duane Brown and Connor Barwin, and prevent you from ripping them next year for not holding the team together.
DeMeco Ryans was a great leader, but no longer a very good player. He wasn’t even on the field for 60 percent of the team’s defensive plays. You think they’d have been sitting him so often if he was great for them?
You wanted them to keep Bernard Pollard, who couldn’t cover, and Vonta Leach, who got way too much money and plays one-third of the snaps, and Dunta Robinson, who was not close to worth what Atlanta gave him? I’d argue that you are being too emotional.
Glover Quin (with one N) is a good player, I don’t know why you would lump him in with Jacoby Jones and Kareem Jackson. Do they like those two guys too much? Sure. But it’s too early to give up on Jackson and the savings would be minimal at this point. And why cut Jones right now without a replacement in sight? Dumping him wasn’t going to save a guy they lost.
The three areas you list as dented are all not nearly as relevant to team success as you may think.
Continuity is nice (especially on the offensive line). But teams regularly turn over 25 to 35 percent of their roster.
You don’t really want teams making decisions based on fan loyalty, do you? Fan loyalty can change week-to-week, and a lot of fans are loyal to Tim Tebow despite the fact he can’t throw with anything close to NFL-caliber accuracy. Should the Broncos have kept him because of fan loyalty? Should the Texans have overspent on Leach and Robinson just because you liked them?
Esprit de corps? Sure, guys are upset in the offseason when they see good players and friends leave. When it comes time to play, if they are pros, they go out and do their job and expect the guys beside them to do theirs. Collectively, they should get good results. Trust me, come the first huddle, an NFL players mentality doesn’t allow him to look around in there and sentimentally contemplate who isn’t there.
The Texans have work to do. But it’s not a train wreck. They showed good depth last year. Now they need guys to step into roles that opened and for players like corner Brandon Harris and outside linebacker Bryan Braman to be that depth. They’ll restock with the draft and contend for the division and a deep run into the playoffs, I’d bet.