Texans fans want Kubiak fired, are planning protest

Texans fans are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore.

According to the Houston Chronicle and ESPN.com, fans who believe coach Gary Kubiak should be fired are organizing a rally for Sunday’s game to make their point.

Fans Brad White and Scott Carter are hoping the demonstration before Sunday’s season finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars will help convince team owner Bob McNair to change coaches, according to the report.

“I want to stress that I don’t want people to come out to bash Kubiak,” White told the Chronicle. “We don’t want vulgar signs out there. We’re not there to bash him. We’re there to say that we want a change.”

“Five years has been enough,” White said of Kubiak’s coaching tenure in Houston, according to the report. “We’ve regressed this year. Minus a couple players, we believe the players aren’t responding to [the coaching staff] anymore.”

I don’t disagree that Kubiak should be fired – his record (36-43) through five seasons speaks for itself. Many people believe that this team has had enough talent to at least make one playoff appearance in the past few years but it just hasn’t happened.

That said, the Texans had issues coming into the season that people wanted to look past because of their explosive offense. Everyone knew the secondary was highly inexperienced as a whole and would need time to gel. So it shouldn’t be surprising that opposing teams were able to shred Houston through the air on a weekly basis.

Everyone got excited when the Texans started 4-2, as well they should have. That win against the Colts in Week 1 was impressive and they showed some grit on the road in Week 2 against the Redskins.

But when a team has issues, they eventually come to the surface and that’s what happened in Houston. It didn’t help that Andre Johnson was banged up for most of the year, or that Owen Daniels was still recovering from knee surgery, or that Matt Schaub showed an inability to finish games strong. The wheels came off and unfortunately for Kubiak, he’ll be the one that has to pay for that.

But just because the Texans make a coaching change doesn’t mean that all of their problems will vanish. This isn’t a team that’s one missing piece away, which has to be disheartening to fans.

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Good to see an owner have a player’s back – McNair goes to bat for Cushing

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 04:  Linebacker Brian Cushing #56 of the Houston Texans delivers a hard hit to tight-end Zach Miller #80 of the Oakland Raiders at Reliant Stadium on October 4, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

While I think it’s a fruitless endeavor, you have to admire the way Texans’ owner Bob McNair has decided to go to bat for linebacker Brian Cushing.

McNair is lobbying the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell to reduce Cushing’s four-game suspension, which the linebacker received for violating the league’s steroid policy. McNair has said that he will present new evidence to Goodell today that he hopes will prove that Cushing has done nothing wrong.

From USA Today:

“We’re supportive of the league program and we’re not questioning that he did test positive for HCG,” McNair said. “We’re not questioning that at all.

“We’re concerned about the athlete and want to make sure that there’s nothing wrong with him and if this was something that was a natural occurrence, we then want to know about it because it could happen again.”

Now, who knows what McNair’s agenda is. After winning the 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year Award last season, it’s obvious that Cushing is vital to Houston’s success. Would McNair be going out on a limb for all his players or is he just doing this because Cushing is one of his key defenders?

Only McNair can answer that question, but the fact that he’s sticking his neck out at all deserves some praise. The owners are about to embark on a nasty battle with the player’s union regarding a new CBA deal, yet here’s McNair going to bat for one of his own. It’s admirable, even if Goodell upholds Cushing’s suspension.

Again, I think McNair is going to come up empty and it stands to reason that he’s a little naive too (especially when you consider that Cushing has been linked to steroids since he was in high school). Plus, what the hell is Overtrained Athlete Syndrome (the condition Cushing claims led to the positive drug test).

But what’s the worse that can happen? Goodell doesn’t think the new evidence is worthy enough to reduce Cushing’s suspension? So what – the Texans have already been preparing to be without Cushing for the first four games anyway. It’s not like anything changes if McNair fails.

But if he succeeds, then not only does Cushing get his suspension reduced but maybe the league will look to address holes in its testing program.

Paying Andre Johnson a classy, no-brainer move for Texans

ST. LOUIS - DECEMBER 20: Andre Johnson #80 of the Houston Texans hauls in a pass against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on December 20, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Texans beat the Rams 16-13.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Andre Johnson has seen his fair share of down years while playing in Houston over the last seven seasons. But to his credit, he has never once complained publicly about his team or vented his frustrations through the media like so many other players do across all sports.

To show their appreciation for what he’s done for their franchise, the Texans are prepared to make Johnson the highest paid receiver in the NFL according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. Johnson’s new deal will exceed the four-year, $40 million contract that Larry Fitzgerald signed in 2008 and likely come with a hefty signing bonus.

It’s hard to argue that Johnson doesn’t deserve to be the highest paid at his position. In the last two years, he has hauled in 216 passes for 3,144 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also hasn’t missed a game in two years, which is important considering he missed seven contests in 2007 while battling an injury.

But even if he has been deserving of a new deal, the Texans weren’t obligated to give him one. Let’s be clear: they had the leverage here, not Johnson. After signing an eight-year, $60 million contract in March of ’07, he wasn’t set to become a free agent until 2015. If the Texans wanted him to honor his contract, nobody would blame them.

That said, owner Bob McNair realizes what a special player the Texans have in Johnson and want to ensure that he finishes his career in Houston. The new contract is a classy gesture by McNair and a team that is moving in the right direction.

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