Thursday, March 22, 2007

Houston Texans, What The Hell Is Wrong With You Guys?

Last year the Houston Texans had the #1 overall draft pick and could have picked anyone they wanted to. Their choice, Mario Williams, a defensive end who they think will be a pass rusher like Jevon Kearse or Michael Strahan. This guy was probably the best defensive end available, but hardly even close to the best possible pick. Defensive end is a relatively unimportant position, especially for the Texans who needed help at literally every position. Before the draft they gave a vote of confidence to David Carr by signing him to a contract extension and basically guaranteeing that they wouldn't choose a quarterback with the first pick.

Given that then they had two logical choices in last year's draft: Reggie Bush or D'Brickashaw Ferguson. Reggie Bush is the most versatile running back since Marshall Faulk and has game changing ability. D'Brickashaw Ferguson is an offensive tackle, and a left tackle at that. The recent wisdom in football is that the left tackle is the second most important position behind quarterback because he protects the QB's blind side on the pass rush. The average salary for starting left tackles is only below the average salary for starting QBs, which tells you how important the position is. Given that they had just signed David Carr to an extension, and that he is the QB who has taken the most sacks of any other QB in every season he's been in the league, they should have drafted someone to protect him. Instead they drafted Mario Williams, who is a good player, but clearly did not deserve to be the #1 overall pick ahead of guys like Bush, Ferguson, Vince Young, Matt Leinart, and Jay Cutler, among others who were chosen in the first round.

Today, the Texans made that already very bad decision into one of the worst decisions in football history by trading for Matt Schaub, Michael Vick's backup in Atlanta, and promptly naming him the starter. If the Texans decided to stick with Carr, then they should have done that. He is a good QB with a dreadful offensive line and not many other weapons. Matt Schaub is essentially a carbon copy of Carr and will have similar success with the club. This is essentially a lateral move. If they weren't going to stick with Carr, then last year's draft was a disaster because they clearly now in retrospect should have chosen Vince Young with the #1 pick.

I will not use much space to describe how amazing of a player Vince Young is, except to say that he reminds me of John Elway, but faster, and of Randall Cunningham, but bigger. He's obviously not reached John Elway status yet, but in his first year in the league he singlehandedly led his team to victory at least 4 times, including once against the Giants that I'd like to forget (as would Matthias Kiwanuka) and once against the Texans themselves in overtime with a 35 yard touchdown run.

Vince Young is from Houston. He went to college at the University of Texas where he led that team to a national championship. He is beloved in Texas and would have been a perfect pick for the Texans in any scenario, even over Reggie Bush, who might end up being a better player. Even if Vince Young didn't end up being a good pro QB, which was nearly an impossibility, no one would have ever questioned the Texans choosing Young first overall. Instead they chose to stay with David Carr, and today they chose to throw that all out the window.

I know it's not your fault at all, but good luck trying to ever live this down, Mario Williams. I hope you don't end up being the Sam Bowie of the NFL, but something tells me you will.

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