Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The Big Question: Will swap slow Schaub?
By Paul Kuharsky ESPN.com
Does the loss of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan mean the Texans' offense will struggle through an adjustment period?
Rick Dennison takes over the Texans' offense from Kyle Shanahan, who joined his father's staff in Washington.
Shanahan went to Washington to join his dad’s new staff with the Redskins. The Texans’ offensive system isn’t going to change a lot as Rick Dennison takes over the post. Like Kubiak and Kyle Shanahan, Dennison comes from Denver roots with Mike Shanahan.
The Texans will do everything possible to make for a smooth transition. Still, even with a top-flight quarterback (Matt Schaub) and one of the game’s best receivers (Andre Johnson), Dennison is a different guy and his own man and there is likely to be an adjustment period.
Change at coordinator can often be underrated with regard to that settling-in time. Look no further than Houston’s change -- by choice, not necessity -- last season when Frank Bush was elevated to defensive coordinator. The defense was shaky early and it dented their season. The Texans recovered and played much better later, but their 9-7 record left them just short of the playoffs. (Yes, Bush took over a unit that needed big changes, and Dennison has a group that has proved productive.)
Houston is looking to revamp its interior offensive line and will add a running back it hopes can work in tandem with Steve Slaton. Dennison will be charged with helping weave a more effective running game into an already-explosive passing offense.
There is a lot of reason for optimism there. But how the change affects relationships, tempo, play-calling and more is something we must monitor early on in Dennison’s term.