“I was just sort of overwhelmed by the comments that our competitors had to say about our team, because it had never happened before like this,” McNair said. "They were all, frankly, pulling for us after the way we came back… They just said it was just one of the most impressive comebacks they had ever seen. What was interesting was they didn’t talk about the overtime. They didn’t talk about the interception. All they could talk about was the comeback. They could just not believe it.
“The level of respect that they have for our team and how close they think we are to really being not just a good team but an outstanding team, it was nice to hear your peer group say that about you. So I just wanted the team to know how close not only we think they are, but how close our competitors think they are, to being an outstanding team.”
There’s the 2010 Texans in a nutshell: So close. But what effect will that have when it’s time to make the necessary changes?
McNair was asked if all the positive remarks from other owners would have an effect on Texans coach Gary Kubiak’s future with the team.
“I think what it does, it’s sort of an affirmation that we’re on the right track,” McNair said. "Clearly, we have to do better, because what we’ve done wasn’t good enough. But (it affirms) that we’re on the right track, and I’ve felt that way all along.
“We’ll review everything at the end of the year, and will we make some changes? I’m sure we will make some — we’ll see some things that need to be improved. But we’re very, very close to having the kind of team I think that we can all be proud of, and we just have to keep working hard and push it over the top. I think we’re close.”
“That’s one reason this game is such a great reflection of life. It’s what we face every day. And our fans, I feel their frustration and what have you. I get letters. I write them all back and tell them, ‘Hey, I’m just as frustrated as you are.’ But nobody wants to win more than I do, or Gary. I’ll tell you that.”"
I agree with Mr. McNair about a couple of things here: nobody can deny that this Texans team plays hard and is very close to being a good team.
The problem is, well, they were pretty close to being a good team in 2007. And 2008. And 2009. They still aren’t there yet. Undoubtedly, the defense has been the problem for the majority of the time, but you can point to several playcalls, playing time decisions, and time management issues that Gary Kubiak has flubbed that have been just as crucial in the course of one game as the poor defense.
McNair seems to be taking the simplistic approach that the defense has held this team back. While that may be true on a macro level, there is just as much evidence that Kubiak hasn’t seized the opportunities he’s had. That the team has become too dependent on it’s drafts. That players have been given too long of a leash after weeks of proving that they can’t get the job done.
Nevertheless, this is the closest indication we’ve had that the Texans will continue to do things the patient way with Gary Kubiak. Because that has worked out so well so far.