Gary Kubiak needs to be fired. Or immediately sent to rehab.
The Houston Texans coach clearly carries an unhealthy addiction to Matt Schaub, one that's certainly doomed his future in Houston. Kubiak somehow manages to make a second loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 11 days even more embarrassing than one imagines that would be. He turns the Texans' 11th straight loss into an absolute circus, benching the potential quarterback of the future for no good reason.
Schaub cementing a 27-20 loss to the Jaguars with a horrific interception that has the NFL Network's Mike Mayock looking to the heavens for a logical explanation and a sack on back-to-back possessions to end the game is utterly predictable. But the result isn't the killer. The decision is. From the instant Kubiak pulls Keenum, it's apparent he is no longer capable of making sound choices for this franchise. How can Texans owner Bob McNair and general manager Rick Smith justify keeping Kubiak any longer now?
It's time to wonder where Kubiak has the Matt Schaub tattoo.
Listening to Kubiak talk in his postgame press conference about Schaub, the coach's bottomless denial becomes apparent.
"Matt's what he is," Kubiak says in remarks broadcast live on CSN Houston. "He's a damn good player . . . He's going to play a lot more football."
Say what? Did Schaub lead a great comeback that all those Scandal-enraged Houstonians somehow missed? Did he not throw another crushing how-does-he-make-that-decision interception? How is Gary Kubiak talking up Matt Schaub after this?
"He's got to see that," Mayock practically groans on Schaub's INT. "Just a poor read . . . "
If Kubiak still doesn't realize Matt Schaub is done at this point, there is no hope for him. He's only doing damage to the Texans' future now. It doesn't really matter if Gary Kubiak's made up his mind on Case Keenum. It's not going to be his decision to make. Continuing to allow Kubiak to rob Keenum of a real shot only sets the Texans back.
The coach inserts Schaub into the game with 4:10 left in the third quarter — though, for some reason, Schaub seems to think he's going to be playing all night.. He wears his helmet on the sideline like an overeager benchwarmer. Which is exactly what he needs to remain.
The instant Kubiak pulls Keenum, it's apparent he is no longer capable of making sound choices for this franchise.
Instead, Kubiak throws away the future for another desperate grab at the past.
This is much worse than even Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez (who actually got to a few AFC Championship Games) ever was. It's time to wonder where Kubiak has the Matt Schaub tattoo.
Jerking Keenum around makes absolutely no sense. If Smith and owner McNair are at all on board with these Schaub decisions, this franchise sits on shakier ground than an earthquake site.
What's the reward even if Schaub wins? Kubiak's only proving that he is capable of ruining a young quarterback before it's apparent how good he can be. Who in their right mind would give him the chance to coach another one taken high in the NFL Draft?
It was absurd when Kubiak benched Keenum in that Raiders game. And it's even more ridiculous this Thursday night.
Keenum puts up 31 points against Bill Belichick and the Patriots — and that buys him little more than two and a half quarters?
"I just keep myself ready to go," Schaub says in his own televised podium moment.
"I thought that he gave us the best chance to win," Kubiak says of Schaub. "I thought Case struggled with some things."
How is this guy still calling the shots? Keenum finishes 16 of 29 for 159 yards. He leads one great touchdown drive and throws one bad interception (though not as bad as Schaub's crushing interception). How does Kubiak rationalize that this is enough evidence?
NFL Draft Dreams
In the end, the Texans once again win for losing. The 2-11 Texans are closer than ever to getting to see what Smith does with the No. 1 pick.
OK, the Houston Texans take this playing to lose thing a little too seriously.
Kubiak's only proving that he is capable of ruining a young quarterback before it's apparent how good he can be.
Midway through the first quarter, they have many more penalty yards against them than yards gained. At halftime, it's still frighteningly close (164 total yards, 115 penalty yards — another dubious franchise record achieved in a season full of them).
Rookie safety D.J. Swearinger so completely gifts an end-of-the-half field goal to the Jaguars with two arrogantly dumb penalties that Jaguars coach Gus Bradley must now think that Santa wears No. 36. Kubiak gets in Swearinger's face on the sidelines after the series is over. But he doesn't bench him.
"That is my fault," Kubiak tells the NFL Network's Alex Flanagan of the Texans penalty binge in a halftime debriefing.
It's hard to argue with the self finger pointing. But there is plenty of horrific blame to go around.
Veteran cornerback Johnathan Joseph — remember back when he used to be a difference maker for the Texans? — spends the night, seemingly determined to commit every pass interference and holding penalty known to man. Rookie receiver DeAndre Hopkins cannot come down with a touchdown pass that's in his vaunted hands.
And then Kubiak makes it all moot. He turns his crazy, tired, old decision making into the story again.