Greetings Texans Fans!
Today’s spotlight is on arguably the most important player on the field. Matt Schaub. He received a four year sixty-two million dollar extension at the start of the 2012 season with hopes riding high for a deep playoff run. These hopes dimmed in the back quarter of the season after their near perfect 11-1 record, ended with a 1-3 collapse.
Starting this season Schaub is over a year removed from a season ending Lisfranc fracture suffered in the 2011 season. That year he played extra coach, mentor and cheerleader as backup QB T.J. Yates took the reigns and recorded the Texans first playoff victory. In 2012 Schaub managed to taste post-season success followed with a terrible performance against the New England Patriots.
Schaub has been hounded for lacking the mental toughness to handle leading a team in the big games, and 2012 did little to change this perception. However, head coach Gary Kubiak and Texans owner Bob McNair back Schaub 100%. He also has full support of his locker room.
Going into 2013, the Texans lost two key members of their offense, FB James Casey and WR Kevin Walter. Casey signed with the Eagles while Walter, a mainstay workhorse at the number two slot was released for salary cap reasons as much as production. Both will be missed by the fans, but their replacements give hope that this year the Texans can really push a more aggressive Offense on the field.
Bring in DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins, a young talented wide receiver who set records while at Clemson ready to take the stage opposite Andre Johnson in giving Schaub more targets to throw to. In the back field, the Texans added Fullback Greg Jones to help get their running game back on track. The help doesn’t stop there as the O-Line has added new faces and returning veterans to protect Schaub, get the run game back into dominance and bring the most feared weapon in the Texans arsenal back into play.
The roll-out play action deep pass. This one play, keeps defensive coordinators awake at night and cornerbacks wondering if they’ll be on the wrong end of a highlight reel the next week. Last season we hardly saw the Texans use this weapon in big games, as defenses double covered Johnson and Schaub seemed off the back half of the season. Whatever was going on, be it an injury to Schaub that went unreported as some have suggested or adjustments made due to a less effective offensive line hampering the Texans normal play flow are at this point moot. The Texans have taken steps to correct these deficiencies.
Now it’s all on Matt Schaub; is he just a game manager or the franchise QB Texans fans, coaches and players believe him to be? The pieces are in place, will Kubiak let it all hang out. This is why we watch football, and this year… is going to be the year the Texans prove they are not just in it to beat the Bengals in the playoffs and go home empty handed. It all starts with Matt Schaub.