Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, who is (by all accounts) a good man, recently suffered a mini stroke (technically a transient ischemic attack).
He wasn’t able to coach last weekend, but his doctors and the Texans decided he would be fine to coach THIS weekend. Two weeks after a major neurological event (not trying to be a smartass, just stating the facts).
Before this week’s game, I wasn’t so sure Kubiak should be back on the sideline. A Houston Cougar quarterback, after all, had to quit football after he suffered a brain injury early in the season. Texas Longhorn quarterback David Ash may face the same fate. Kubiak didn’t suffer a concussion, but a mini-stroke is not a trivial health/neurological issue.
So, here’s an excerpt from the Houston Chronicle‘s Astros-beat-writer-turned-Texans-beat-writer following today’s debacle:
Case Keenum was surprised. So was Matt Schaub. Reliant Stadium was stunned. Gary Kubiak thought everything about his shocking move made perfect sense.
Schaub, a former starter turned backup, suddenly replaced Keenum, a former third-stringer turned starter, with 2 minutes, 26 seconds left in the third quarter during the Texans’ 28-23 defeat to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Reliant Stadium.
As boos crashed down – forcing the Texans to turn to a silent count just so they could run plays – a season that was already surreal, depressing and embarrassing escaped description.
Keenum barely knew the move was coming. Schaub was equally caught off guard, only learning about his first series as the team’s starter in more than a month when word came down minutes before his promotion.
“It was a quick turnaround. I think right actually when the defense had a third down and we were about to get a punt, so I only got a few throws before I got to go back out there,” said Schaub, who finished 12-of-25 for 155 yards and a 67.9 rating, leading two field-goal drives but failing to convert a go-ahead touchdown on the Texans’ final possession.
Kubiak didn’t intend to make the move when he walked into Reliant on Sunday and didn’t mention the Texans’ horrible third-down conversion rate (2-of-16.) The eighth-year coach only cited two reasons for the change: The Texans wanted to increase their offensive tempo and Schaub, a 10-year veteran, was better equipped to handle in-game call changes that addressed protection issues.
“I knew he could get all that done and I thought it would be very difficult to put Case in that situation,” Kubiak said.
Left guard Wade Smith didn’t know anything about protection issues.
Wide receiver Andre Johnson – who became involved in a heated verbal exchange with Schaub at the end of the defeat – said the Texans’ game plan wasn’t altered when the former starter took over.
“The plays we were running were the stuff we normally run,” Johnson said. “I wouldn’t say it was a big change with anything.”
Again, not trying to be a smartass, but even the players aren’t backing up the coach’s bizarre decisions and reasoning on this one (and this is a player’s coach, so they almost ALWAYS have his back on virtually anything).
Is Kubiak well enough to be trying to coach an NFL team right now?