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Texans owner points out lack of linebacker depth

Bradie James, Shane Vereen AP

Texans owner Bob McNair bemoaned his team’s lack of depth, but the reality is it’s as simple as bad luck.

“Last year and this year for some reason, players that we’ve lost have been key players,” McNair said, via Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle. “It’s not our backup players; it’s some of our top players. As we develop more depth, when those things happen it’ll hurt us less and less.

“In this particular case, we got hit at one position with a lot of injuries. It made it very difficult. We’ll work on adding more depth and playing better.”

Every team has injuries, but the Texans’ happened to concentrate at a few spots, and the Patriots took full advantage. With inside linebackers Brian Cushing, Tim Dobbins and Darryl Sharpton on injured reserve, the Texans were scraping by, with Bradie James and signed-in-October Barrett Ruud at inside linebacker.

“We had no depth at linebacker,” McNair said. “We were up against one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and he knew that we were thin there. They just wore our linebackers out. Our linebackers played well; we just didn’t have the manpower. Brian Cushing’s in there, it’s a different story. We just need a little more depth. Keep working hard, and we’ll get there.”

The nerve of general manager Rick Smith, not anticipating needing to have an acceptable fourth and fifth option at inside linebacker. That’s not to say the Texans and other teams don’t have to plan for emergencies, but when you go through linebackers at the rate they did this year, it’s hard to cover every hole in the roster.

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14 Responses to “Texans owner points out lack of linebacker depth”
  1. rajbais says: Jan 14, 2013 9:26 AM

    Again, keep Schaub beyond 2013!!

    If you go far with less depth, reassess, and add more you’ll go closer to the Super Bowl.

    While you’re adding LBs, get some real WRs too!!! Apparently Brandon Lloyd did nothing for New England even though they added him after their SB loss to the Giants.

  2. jpb12 says: Jan 14, 2013 9:42 AM

    Yeah, that’s it. Give them Cushing and they win.

    Texans are the weakest of the weekend’s teams. There is no way they can beat Ravens, Broncos, Seahawks, Falcons, Packers or 49ers.

    Oh yeah and Gronkowski… I hear he’s pretty good.

  3. rdr4lif says: Jan 14, 2013 9:53 AM

    Uh there’s an elephant in the room you are not addressing……intitials MS as in “mighty short” or coming up “mighty short” in big games.

    I don’t see it in Kubiak either. That dude is in the Fox, Lovie Smith, Andy Reid coaching pool. Just below elite.

    Could have played this game in front of the home crowd no? The HC and QB had a lot to do with that not happening.

  4. proBirdie says: Jan 14, 2013 9:54 AM

    Maybe they shouldn’t have given up Demeco Ryans for a song?

  5. dwheel79 says: Jan 14, 2013 10:10 AM

    Jpb12….texans beat the broncos in denver and whipped the ravens… Can’t help that they had injuries.. Do your research b4 commenting…

  6. dalucks says: Jan 14, 2013 10:12 AM

    These are the 2 reasons why I am not buying those excuses:
    First, Rick Smith is on the competition committee so he can suggest that the rosters expand to 63 players on gameday to eliminate injuries for being an excuse for a team’s short comings. Every team has injuries to key players.
    Second, inside linebackers do not play offense. The Texans offense has started slow every game this season, the offense cannot score in the red zone, the offense kicks too many field goals, the offense stinks in 2 minute situations and the playcalling is conservative, vanilla and repetitive of the same 20 plays every game.
    The casual Texan fan might buy those excuses but I am a Texans fan who watched every game from the preseason to that collapse yesterday.
    If Bob McNair really wants to help the Texans then he should hire Norv Turner as the offensive coordinator, strip Gary Kubiak of the gameday playcalling duties and give the playcalling duties to Norv Turner, hire Chris Ault from Nevada to be the running game coordinator, fire special teams coach Joe Marciano and hire former Titans special teams coach Alan Lowery, and tell Rick Smith to stop signing terrible contract extensions to unproven people like Gary Kubiak and Matt Schaub. Wade Phillips is the reason for the Texans success for the past two season.

  7. ccjcsr says: Jan 14, 2013 10:27 AM

    Everybody has injuries, sounds like Texans are trying to play the excuse game.

  8. seabreezes51 says: Jan 14, 2013 10:30 AM

    Take concentrated hits at a single port of your team and you get torched as the other teams target that weakness.
    Linebackers for Texas, Oline for the Eagles…same thing.

  9. nou04 says: Jan 14, 2013 11:23 AM

    I like Houston, but this is pathetic. Dallas had so many injuries on defense, only starting 4, starters in week 17, from the original 11, but people just say, they suck. Now Houston is going to use this as an excuse that their defense sucked for the past month of the season? That is just sad.

  10. dienavinjohnson says: Jan 14, 2013 11:25 AM

    Yeah, they could really have used Cushing to cover Gronkowski and Woodhead on those short crossing routes yesterday…oh yeah, I forget, Gronk and Woodhead got hurt in the first 2 minutes forcing the Patriots to revise their game plan on the fly.

    Excuses are for losers. No team has been hit harder by injuries at linebacker than the Patriots. They just played Tracy White and Niko Koutivides instead of Donta Hightower and Brandon Spikes and kept on chugging.

  11. wolfpack152 says: Jan 14, 2013 1:35 PM

    The problem lies in coaching and preparation as well. Don’t forget the defense gave up 40+ points twice to the same team and was clearly not ready for Brady’s quick snaps that you had just seen 4 weeks before. And how does Kubiak, the OC, and Schaub keep dinking for 8 yards, taking 30 seconds a play in the 4th when your down 3 scores. Do you really need to huddle and discuss how to run routes in the middle of the field for 8 yards when the team is playing 4 deep / deny the edges umbrella coverage?? Besides special teams, my Texans looked unprepared, without leadership, and clearly outclassed. The talent is there, and Cushing is a big loss, but a philosophy change is needed.

  12. bluebongzilla says: Jan 14, 2013 5:13 PM

    It’s not that they don’t have enough linebacker depth. They have too much Wade Phillips.

  13. Dr. Jeff Kapp says: Jan 14, 2013 5:20 PM

    The problem is absolutely coaching. In addition to the above comments 1. How does Kubiak warrant not using the talent he does have? Forsett, Tate, Posey, Jean, to name a few, barely saw the field if they did at all. 2. Why is our offense so routinely predictable? 3. Again, Kubiak goes with a decades old offensive mindset; never a hurry up or no huddle; never any change in scheme as the game evolves; never anything to keep the opposing D off balance.
    The talent IS there, but the coaches must prepare the team, adapt as the games goes on, and utilize all of the talent on the roster! The Pats showed that all game long.
    Mr. McNair, please make a change. Your fans are pleading with you!

  14. damcmp says: Jan 14, 2013 7:39 PM

    ole Bob McNair never has a clue….Houston gave him a stadium to play in and he uses it like his own and takes credit for everything supported by the NFL in the city…Now he is commenting on player personnel like he knows anything(two years ago he was crying on the radio “they(league) took my money and never sent anyone down here to tell how to run a team or set one up I don’t know what to do start over?” that was when he thought he was going to have to fire Kubiak…then the brilliant idea to hire savior Wade ….Now he’s talking like Jerry Jones only Jerry pays for his own stadiums and players….Bob uses the city and fans money.

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