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Most underrated coaches: Gary Kubiak and Mike Smith

 
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Raz


Joined: 23 Oct 2009
Posts: 582
Location: Reykjavik, Iceland-Dallas, Texas.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:39 pm    Post subject: Most underrated coaches: Gary Kubiak and Mike Smith Reply with quote

Thoughts, is Gary Kubiak underrated?

http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2012-11-05/nfl-midseason-players-poll-most-underrated-coach-gary-kubiak-mike-smith
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Apollo Stallion


Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 5459
Location: Battle Red State
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally wouldn't deem Kubiak underrated unless we are comparing him to Rex Ryan. Kubiak has always been a great offensive mind who has managed to build one of the most consistent offensive machines with 1 inherited 1st rounder with AJ, 1 developmental late first rounder in Duane Brown and pieced together a bunch of lightly regarded spare parts like Schaub, Foster, Daniels, Myers, Wade Smith, and coaching up new parts each season. Keeping the team together last year with the Schaub, Foster, and AJ injuries while plugging in a 5th round rookie to get us to the playoffs went a long way to improving his standing as a leader while getting the team to embrace its "next man up" philosophy instead of folding up their tents and feeling sorry for themselves.

Where the "underrated" tag challenges me is that the only reason this team finally took the next step was that the power to influence the defensive side of the ball had to be taken from him. He failed twice by bringing in cronies and lightweights as Defensive Coordinators that wouldn't threaten his power until being told by ownership to keep his hands off and Wade Phillips essentially became the Defensive Head Coach while Rick Smith was given ultimate personnel authority. I still question his personnel decisions on offense and the Posey pick is the latest gaffe with Kubiak's signature all over it. While he hasn't made any major blunders in the past two seasons, it's largely because the defense allows him to revert to his hyper conservative nature in crunch time and not get burned as he was repeatedly in 06-10.

Now there are coaches out there deemed to be great that specialize in one side of the ball (Sean Payton, Mike McCarthy), but Kubiak's offense isn't so good that the team is defined by it and can be carried by it, but rather the offense is now tasked with not screwing up dominant defensive efforts. He's simply not one of the transformative types like Harbaugh, Belichick, or Coughlin who's teams take on his personality from top to bottom. I think Kubiak has rightfully ascended to the top third of coaches (maybe as high as 10th), but I think the credit he is receiving now is more rightfully split amongst Bob McNair, Wade Phillips, and Rick Smith as an organization rather than what Kubiak does individually.
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Raz


Joined: 23 Oct 2009
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Location: Reykjavik, Iceland-Dallas, Texas.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apollo Stallion wrote:


Now there are coaches out there deemed to be great that specialize in one side of the ball (Sean Payton, Mike McCarthy), but Kubiak's offense isn't so good that the team is defined by it and can be carried by it, but rather the offense is now tasked with not screwing up dominant defensive efforts. He's simply not one of the transformative types like Harbaugh, Belichick, or Coughlin who's teams take on his personality from top to bottom. I think Kubiak has rightfully ascended to the top third of coaches (maybe as high as 10th), but I think the credit he is receiving now is more rightfully split amongst Bob McNair, Wade Phillips, and Rick Smith as an organization rather than what Kubiak does individually.


Well Apollo, i think the Texans as a team are defined by Kubiak and that is were i think the "underrated" part lies.
He, as you said, builds the offense on spare parts and gives the defense all the talent in the world to succeed.

We all know Kubiak is conservative but i think that conservative approach keeps the team consistant and it minimizes mistakes on offense.

I love this defense we have now, but we would not have that personal talent on defense unless Kubiak was controlling the Texans as a HC, or would we?
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jargin


Joined: 13 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Apollo said, the organization itself deserves an enormous amount of credit for first of all being open to keeping Kubiak around, secondly to changing the structure of the team to have two head coaches and thirdly to allowing Kubiak to continue to "bring in his guys" which he has done since day one and he continues to do.

Kubiak Guys:
Schaub
Walter
Casey
Arian
Daniels
Graham
Meyers
Ben Jones

Notice they are all on offense.
Which one of them was picked in the 1st round? None of them.

I'm basically echoing everything Apollo has said.
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raz wrote:
Apollo Stallion wrote:


Now there are coaches out there deemed to be great that specialize in one side of the ball (Sean Payton, Mike McCarthy), but Kubiak's offense isn't so good that the team is defined by it and can be carried by it, but rather the offense is now tasked with not screwing up dominant defensive efforts. He's simply not one of the transformative types like Harbaugh, Belichick, or Coughlin who's teams take on his personality from top to bottom. I think Kubiak has rightfully ascended to the top third of coaches (maybe as high as 10th), but I think the credit he is receiving now is more rightfully split amongst Bob McNair, Wade Phillips, and Rick Smith as an organization rather than what Kubiak does individually.


Well Apollo, i think the Texans as a team are defined by Kubiak and that is were i think the "underrated" part lies.
He, as you said, builds the offense on spare parts and gives the defense all the talent in the world to succeed.

We all know Kubiak is conservative but i think that conservative approach keeps the team consistant and it minimizes mistakes on offense.

I love this defense we have now, but we would not have that personal talent on defense unless Kubiak was controlling the Texans as a HC, or would we?


No, that is exactly my point. Kubiak never understood that a defense was only as strong as its weakest link which led to years of substandard starters like Zac Diles, Morlon Greenwood, Eugene Wilson, Dom Barber, Amobi Okoye, Fred Bennett, Will Demps, Nick Ferguson, CC Brown, not to mention far too many years where guys that didn't even belong on NFL rosters playing significant roles for us like Jeff Zgonina, Earl Cochran, John Busing, Xavier Adibi, Petey Faggins, Brandon Harrison, Von Hutchins, etc. Like his two coordinators, Kubiak failed to understand that the paycheck players like Okoye and Mario (and Weaver and Dunta) were going to hold back the effort guys like Antonio and Cushing and that a leadership shift needed to happen or we'd continue to keep running guys like Okam and Adibi in and out of here.

You seem to forget that draft focus of Kubiak still always leaned to filling out the deepest corners of the depth chart on offense while leaving gaping holes on the defensive side of the ball. Sure, 4 years later Garrett Graham and James Casey may be impacting this team but coupled with the Anthony Hill and Dorin Dickerson picks (to a roster that already included OD and Dreessen) certainly were luxuries for a team that never bothered to draft a safety higher than the 5th round and still couldn't figure out why the pass rush was always a few steps short (hint: teams could kill us dumping off to RBs and TEs). Think it's a coincidence that Phillips first moves were to address BOTH safety positions, ditch Okoye, move Mario, and bring in high character blue collar guys like Joseph, Watt, and Reed and elevating Barwin to a prominent role.

The defense had an attitude problem partly due to Kubiak fearing change and running ineffective parts out there just because they were known (see our habit of resigning street free agents to two year contracts instead of realizing that the makeshift solutions required in season due to injury or ineffectiveness could be improved with offseason free agency vs. just accepting a guy like Will Demps was good enough). He was guilty of the same thing on offense with crappy personnel decisions like starting Chris Brown, Ryan Moats, Kasey Studdard, Chris White, sticking with Steve Slaton way too long, not to mention backup QB decisions like Grossman and Orlavsky and far too much effort trying to turn Jacoby Jones into a #2 WR not to mention the stupid money thrown at Andre Davis. Heck, while we love to give him credit for Arian Foster, let's not forget that the 2010 debacle was due in part to burning a 2nd round pick on Ben Tate that has offered nothing 2 years of 3 years while guys like Sean Lee, Terrence Cody, Pat Angerer, Major Wright would have provided instant impact at long ignored positions. Not recognizing that throwing Kareem Jackson out there as a rookie with Glover Quin and Brice McCain with two coverage challenged safeties like Pollard and Wilson remains the defensive equivalent of Rex Ryan thinking Mark Sanchez would be effective relying on Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill or that Shone Green was a workhorse back (or listening to Sporano or Shottenheimers assessments). Having Wade Phillips there with authority to run his defense his way, doesn't make Gary any smarter, it just shows how ridiculous it was for the Texans to give Kubiak this unwarranted Shanahan / Reid / Holmgren-esque power to elevate unqualified cronies to coordinator jobs and stick their nose in defensive personnel decisions and sacrificing obvious defensive priority areas while filling tertiary offensive needs.

Sure some of the moves are paying off today, but we missed at least two playoffs between 07-10 due to decisions solely attributable to Kubiak including coaching hires, personnel decisions, and poor in game management. I'm not going to pronounce Kubiak a genius because McNair stepped in and essentially stripped Kubiak of having a voice on defense and elevating Rick Smith over him in personnel decisions with the power to make moves Kubiak would never have such as ditching Dreessen, Winston, and Brisiel, so the defensive core could be retained this offseason.

As far as I'm concerned, Kubiak's power needs to be further curtailed this offseason so we don't end up bringing back James Casey, Caldwell, or Butler before Connor Barwin or Glover Quin or trusting him to again fill the 2nd WR spot next to AJ that he has failed at for 7 offseasons now aside from rolling Kevin Walter out there and overselling what WR blocking is worth. While we are at it, we need to stop giving Marciano the power to effect draft picks as we've burned late picks 3 years in a row trying to give him more talent (Dickerson, Holliday, McManus, Carmichael, Ozougwu, Carmichael, Bullock) not to mention that Martin and Posey have been awful under his tutelage.
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