When Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak took the blame for Matt Schaub's crippling interceptionSunday, it sounded like a coach sticking up for his player. Perhaps Kubiak was just being honest.
"I take responsibility," Kubiak said. "I put him in a bad situation as a coach. Obviously we have to protect the ball. I put him in a bad situation. Probably should have run the ball there and punt and play defense. But trying to be aggressive and trying to make a play and we didn't and it ended up killing us, hurting us. I take my responsibility. I could have obviously called a better play."
That wasn't just coachspeak. On the play in question, Schaub was asked to bootleg to his right. The Seattle Seahawks showed an obvious blitz before the snap, which is normally when an experienced quarterback like Schaub would audible. But Kubiak, who is sticking by Schaub as the team's starter, confirmed Monday that Schaub isn't allowed to change the play.
"Once we called it, started the motion, it was game on. So we just had a very, very poor play like I told you," Kubiak said.
The admission raises the question: Is Kubiak's offense too old school? Mike Martz famously didn't let his quarterbacks audible either, but the NFL has changed. Quarterbacks need to be able to adjust at the line of scrimmage to all the sub-packages and varying blitzes they face on a down-to-down basis. If Schaub couldn't call a timeout, shouldn't Kubiak have called a timeout to save him?
Kubiak wants Schaub to be "franchise quarterback", but he doesn't have the same responsibilities as other starters. And Kubiak's quotes on Sunday indicate that the Texans' station-to-station offense is only going to get more conservative.
It's hard to win a championship that way in today's NFL.