Texans G.M. says Schaub needs to play better in big games

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The leadership of the Houston Texans may be sending a message to Matt Schaub.

Yesterday we had Texans quarterbacks coach Karl Dorrell saying Schaub needs to be a better “crunch time” player. Today Texans General Manager Rick Smith appeared on NFL AM and said that Schaub has to play better in the biggest games, against the best teams.

“Quarterbacks are judged by championships,” Smith said. “That’s just a function of the position. That’s just the reality. And he understands that. He knows that. And he does have to play better in those situations for us to take our team to the next level.”

Smith wasn’t necessarily knocking Schaub — he also referred to Schaub as “tremendously successful” — but he was making a point about where the Texans are as a franchise right now, and where they’re trying to go. A 12-4 record and a playoff win is good, but it’s not good enough for Smith. And if Schaub can’t help the Texans go beyond that this year, Smith may be looking for a new quarterback next year.

50 responses to “Texans G.M. says Schaub needs to play better in big games

  1. Wow, thats why he is the GM! Brilliant!
    But it won’t happen, if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, its a dag gone Texans Quarterback!

  2. Schaub is just not that type of Quarterback. Pressure situations or having to go 92 yds to win the game, he can’t handle. They do have a great D though, and some new weapons on offense. If those things click and the D can play consistent all year.. Maybe?

  3. Sometimes the lack of understanding on the part of NFL GMs and owners just astounds me. Here is what they say: “Hey, Schaub, you don’t play well in crunch time and you have to play better in championship situations. But, oh by the way, here is a 5-year contract extension worth $66 million dollars.”

    And then you see people like Russel Wilson making $750,000 a year or Colin Kaepernick making under $3 million outplaying him, and all we can do is shake our heads. NFL Management let your words and your actions and your contracts all match up. Walk the talk, gentlemen.

  4. Schaub and the defense both need to play better in big games. What QB’s win games with defenses giving up 40+ though?

    Schaub does have a 15-1 regular season stretch under his belt if you count the last 4 games of his 2011 season (before injury) and first 12 of 2012.

  5. The Texans are a franchise that has yet to take that next BIG step towards potentially contending for AFC Championships and Superbowls, but the recipe for success is there. That defense is one of the best in football, Arian Foster has the potential to be the very best back in the NFL if he plays 16 games, Andre Johnson is a top-5 WR, and the rookie Hopkins will be quite a threat as well. JJ Watt is the best defensive player on the planet, and I see a very talented team on both sides of the ball. Success in Houston relies almost entirely upon Shaub becoming an elite QB this season.

  6. Not gonna lie, I think Schaub’s struggles have been greatly exaggerated. Weird splits happen sometimes, and Schaub’s apparent struggles in prime time games could be just that. I remember someone doing an analysis and discovering that Reggie Wayne had way more recieving yards and touchdowns against teams with blue as one of their primary colors.

    Maybe Schaub really does struggles psychologically under the bright lights of prime time. But maybe he just happened to have a few bad games and those games just happened to be played at 8pm rather than 1pm.

  7. Another theory: the Texans passing game is really very dependant on play action and the running game. When they get far behind quickly and are forced into passing situations, thier passing game struggles.

    I don’t remember exactly what teams the Texans played in prime time last year, but I remember the Packers got out to a quick lead on them and Schaub had to pass a lot more than he would have liked. Ditto the Patriots.

    It could be that Schaub struggles against teams with high-octane offenses because his team has to abandon the run.

  8. I agree. The Texans virtually had HFA wrapped up 1t 11-1, then they get blown out by the Pats followed by losses to the Vikings and Colts.

    Don’t get me wrong — Schaub has been outstanding during the regular season in the last 2 years (excluding the games he missed). But it’s disappointing that they virtually went from having a first round bye to playing in the wild card round.

    This is a good team but if they want to win the big one they need to do a better job closing out games near the end of the season as well.

  9. @irishgary— that’s very good, I caught that. NOW, if there was at least one OWNER in Texas.

  10. Technically speaking, every QB in the league except the one who wins the last game has to play better.

  11. He may be right, but this is not the kind of thing to say in public if he wants to make his QB and his team play better.

  12. Schaub is a good QB. He is above a game manager…but if your team is down more than 14 points, there are probably 15 other QB`s that you would rather have…

  13. well, isn’t matt schaub the reason why the texans are where they are now??? which is to fail on big games? Texans is a good team only if they can pass better.

  14. If your QB don’t have the “IT” factor, there’s no sense committing the $20M+ to him. Your team is better off spreading the $5M-$6M on other areas to compensate for a QB that “can’t go 90+ to win the game”. These team’s other option is to cut bait and try to draft the next Wilson or Kapernick to win while they are still in their rookie contracts. No sense in floating in purgatory like how the Texans, Falcons, Chargers and Cowboys find themselves in every year.

    With that extra $5M-$6M paid to the SB type QBs, you are essentially buying je ne se quoi.

  15. He might as well have said water is wet and 2+2=4.

    Nothing he said was something Schaub dand Texans fans don’t already know…

    @dickjagger… I don’t think it’s that Schaub isn’t that type of QB, I think its that the Texans are built to play from ahead. Strong running game and good defense.

  16. @justintuckrule

    You aren’t going to be sitting with an agent hammering out a multi-million dollar deal using “he doesn’t have “it”” as leverage.

  17. In his defence, it doesn’t help when peyton manning is in your division for your entire career!

  18. GM is right about this, but I don’t know if Schaub can really be any more than what he’s been……….a slightly above average QB.

    When the run game & defense is clicking you can be average, but when Green Bay comes to town like last year and completely rips you a new one- you have problems.

    Look at Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Brees….. these guys guarantee you at least 14 points every time they step on the field.

  19. Yates??! Not so much! I don’t think he is even close to what Shaub brings to the table! If the texans can win the “big one” with the Defense they have, along with the 2nd best RB in the game, it’s on the coaching! They should be able to grind it out and Shaub has proven he can make all the necessary throws to be well above average! The whole team needs to step it up when it counts. How they let my Vikings beat them last season when home field was on the line still baffles me! I bet against my squad that game, was I wrong!!

  20. redfield11 says:
    Jul 17, 2013 1:14 PM
    @justintuckrule

    You aren’t going to be sitting with an agent hammering out a multi-million dollar deal using “he doesn’t have “it”” as leverage.
    ———————
    I totally agree with you. As long as there are perpetually QB-starved teams out there desperate enough to pay $20M+ for a Shaub/Romo/Rivers type QB, an owner can’t use “it” factor as leverage.

    The point I was trying to make is that it might behoove these owners NOT to pay $20M+ to QBs without “IT” factor because if a QB has proven himself not to have “IT”, then why commit such a huge percentage of cap space to him to the detriment of the rest of the team when it’s clear that better players are needed to compensate for an “IT-lacking” QB’s deficiencies? I don’t know if I’m being clear. The way I see it, there’s two ways to win the SB. Have a $20M QB that rises to the occasion or have a severally underpaid highly touted rookie on a cheap contract so that you can spend the $20M on the rest of the team. If you have that intermediate QB, you’re kinda screwed.

  21. donth8thehorns says: Jul 17, 2013 1:54 PM

    Shaub has proven he can make all the necessary throws to be well above average!
    ____________________

    My one real gripe with Schaub is the arm strength… how many times have you seen Andre have to come back to a ball on a streak route? It doesn’t matter that Andre may or may not have lost a step. Schaub can’t out throw the coverage any way.

    I swear he’s cost Dre at least 10 TDs over the years with his underthrows.

    He’s a middle of the field kind of guy who will carve you up between the 20’s, but Kubiak always gets so conservative down in the red zone…. I can’t remember the last time I saw them throw a fade route to Dre in the end zone??

  22. Schaub > Ryan in the clutch. Though, you are bound to see the same result: failure.

  23. He’s 32 – are we really expecting sudden improvements to elite caliber? The Texans can win a Divisional Round game – but it, frankly, has less to do with Schaub and more to do with “learning how to stop elite offenses” and “having more weapons than Andre Johnson”. Schaub is who he is at this point – a decent enough NFL starter.

    The Texans couldn’t stop Welker, and they had nothing to move the ball beyond #80. They got some legit help for #80 but did they do much to stop elite offenses? That depends basically on whether Ed Reed can still play – which it sure as heck doesn’t seem like it.

  24. Schaub is not the issue. I frankly don’t see the point in making the comment the GM did. The Texans are still on the upswing. Also, it’s not like you have a guy ready to boot Schaub out of his starting role. It just seems like unnecessary pressure for a guy that just helped the team win its first playoff game, ever.

  25. camdenyard says:
    Jul 17, 2013 12:35 PM
    …which is why Joe Flacco, stone cold assassin with a 9-4 playoff record, got $120MM.
    ==============================
    Stone cold assassin that the Ravens fans couldn’t wait to get rid of until last season’s playoffs.

    Sounds about like Schaub.

  26. Someone has to light a fire in his rear end because the status quo on offense is not championship caliber. The D did their job when he was hurt and made Yates look better than avg. Where was the offense when the D was injured & struggling last season? Elite qb’s in this league don’t have to run good but know how to adjust w/chess game pkayed on the green and white chess board and until Schaub can stand up for himself to his coach, get involved w/game plan adjustments on the fly,start coming up w/contigent game plans on his own, open up the play book to keep defenses on their heels it doesn’t matter what ANYONE tells him…it’ll have to come from the voice in his head to find that courage & hope actions will follow, hopefully as Super Bowl champs.

  27. Someone has to light a fire in his rear end because the status quo on offense is not championship caliber. The D did their job when he was hurt and made Yates look better than avg. Where was the offense when the D was injured & struggling last season? Elite qb’s in this league don’t have to run good but know how to adjust w/chess game pkayed on the green and white chess board and until Schaub can stand up for himself to his coach, get involved w/game plan adjustments on the fly,start coming up w/contigent game plans on his own, open up the play book to keep defenses on their heels it doesn’t matter what ANYONE tells him…it’ll have to come from the voice in his head to find that courage & hope actions will follow, hopefully as Super Bowl champs.

  28. QBs are criticized more than any position. Rodgers, Eli, Ben, Flacco, etc. all get killed in the media and on these blogs. Bad news Texan fans: It won’t stop if Schaub wins a SB. Ravens fans love Joe Flacco, but have to defend him all the time.

  29. frankiesweep says: Jul 17, 2013 4:39 PM

    Mark Sanchez 4-2 in the playoffs… Beat Brady and Manning on their home turfs…
    ————————-

    Sanchez 0-1 vs the Butt Fumble….

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