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Monday, September 27, 2010
Applause for Kubiak candor on pass D

By Paul Kuharsky

Bravo to Gary Kubiak for what he had at his Monday press conference about a couple of Dallas touchdown passes plays a day earlier in Houston's first loss of the season.

Far too often, coaches pussyfoot around in the postgame conversation and on Mondays after watching films, refusing to name names as if players will get their feelings hurt. Coaches also fear they’ll appear to be passing the buck, but there is a way to convey a message of personal responsibilities without throwing a guy under the bus. I think Kubiak knows how and should teach some seminars.

Mistakes have been thoroughly dissected in film review by the time a coach comments. And while a player like safety Bernard Pollard talked a bunch Saturday about accountability “to each other,” a similar accountability with the media and the fans does two things: It wins good faith and it assures the wrong guy isn’t fingered as a culprit.

Kubiak said rookie corner Kareem Jackson was not expecting safety help when Tony Romo altered a run play and threw a quick, short pass that Roy Williams took 63 yards for a score.

“It was just an adjustment on their part and Kareem has got to make that play,” Kubiak said. “He’s in bump-man. No, he’s not getting any help. He’s just got to lock him down and they’ve got a bad play [for Houston]. He gets out of whack. Roy is a big kid and threw him, got his body out of whack and it ends up being a home run. But no, he was not expecting any help.”

Even thought Eugene Wilson might have had no responsibilities there, once Jackson fell down and Williams was behind him, Wilson seemed gimpy or half-hearted or both in his pursuit of Williams.

On Williams' earlier 15-yard TD catch, nickel corner Brice McCain was beat but turned with palms up toward Wilson after the play as if he had expected something different.

“McCain is in man coverage there also, sitting on his outside shoulder” Kubiak said. “There’s help in the middle of the field, but there’s not help vertical. So he’s got to squeeze that route and make that play.”

As for the defensive failures so far for the Texans, Kubiak said his team hasn’t lived up to the offseason emphasis on 60-minute efforts.

“I thought we played very good defense for 40 plays,” Kubiak said. “We had us in a 10-3 game, had kept them in check and gave us many opportunities offensively to be in the ball game. We thought we’d be in a game like that. We had a span, from the 41st play to the 54th or 55th play, 14- or 15-play span, where we gave up 182 yards and two touchdowns. Big plays have been our Achilles' heel on defense up to this point in this young season. It’s something that has to get fixed. There’s no reason for somebody to walk in our stadium and for us to give up 385 yards of offense. I don’t care who we’re playing. We’ve got to get it fixed, whether we’re young on the back end or not. None of that matters. We’ve got to get it fixed…”

“I keep seeing spurts of us playing very good defense. First off, you go to the Colts game and up until the point where GQ [Glover Quin] may get that pick in the fourth quarter, we’re fixing to hold Indy to 10 points. That’s unbelievable to do that. But yet, we didn’t. We got bad at the end of the game. Washington, we played very poorly for three quarters, and in the fourth quarter we hold them to 20-something yards and come back and win the game. Then yesterday, we played 38 minutes of great, great defensive football. So there are signs that we are capable of doing that and the fact that we get bad in certain periods of the game, for whatever reason, is causing us to give up way too many yards and too many points and too many big plays. It’s just about consistency, and the only way to get it is to go do it. This would be a good week to start.”