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Sunday, July 31, 2011
McNair: Kubiak can say more

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Bob McNair thinks the time for the Texans to win is now. John McClain sat down with him for a story in Sunday’s Houston Chronicle.

That sounds like a familiar refrain, doesn't it?

I found the stuff he said about coach Gary Kubiak of particular interest.

That Kubiak has always maintained control of the locker room is a big part of why the owner backs him so steadfastly, McNair said.

But he would like to see his coach be more candid when assessing what’s gone wrong when things go off track, rather than jumping on the grenade so often.
"Every time we lose, he can't just say, 'It's my fault. That's on me.' The players appreciate that, but that's not being candid. You don't have to throw individual players under the bus, but if it's obvious our defense let us down, there's nothing wrong with saying, 'I'm really disappointed with the way we played. I thought we had the game won, but our defense didn't step up when they needed to, and we've got to improve on that.'
"The fans read, 'It's my fault,' so they're more critical of Gary. And they don't appreciate that he's as good a coach as he really is."

I agree with McNair on this point, though the fans recognizing or not recognizing how good Kubiak may be is not the reason why.

Kubiak is definitely hard on himself.

While his tendency to want to shield players and take the blame when things go wrong is admirable and scores him huge points in the locker room, it can also have a bad side effect.

Without more public accountability, some players know they can botch stuff and not suffer the sort of consequences that come with being called out. That can be a good thing for some guys. Others would be better off having those buttons pushed.

Will Kubiak change the way he works in this area? It depends on how strongly McNair has expressed these thoughts to his coach, and how willing Kubiak is to stray from what seems to be a hard line tenet of the way he operates.