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.