Kubiak: Schaub couldn’t audible out of “very, very poor play”

AP

The Texans threw the game away on Sunday when quarterback Matt Schaub threw an awful pass to Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, which Sherman returned 58 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. On Monday, Texans coach Gary Kubiak acknowledged that it was a terrible play all around but said Schaub had to run it because that’s the play that was called.

Asked if Schaub had the freedom to audible out of that play, Kubiak answered, “No, once we called it, started the motion, it was game on. So we just had a very, very poor play like I told you.”

That answer is hard to understand: If Schaub saw that the play wasn’t going to work, why didn’t he have the authority to call an audible? And if he didn’t have the authority to call an audible, what about calling timeout? Or taking delay of game and calling a different play after the five-yard penalty? Or if he absolutely had to run the play, why not throw the ball out of bounds, or take a sack, or take a knee? Anything would have been better than a pick-six.

But the fact that Kubiak said he didn’t give Schaub the authority to call an audible suggests that Kubiak doesn’t have a lot of confidence in Schaub’s decision making. Asked about Schaub being on a short leash, Kubiak answered, “How short of a leash is he on? He’s our quarterback. Like I said, we’ve all got to do things a little better.”

One thing the Texans need to do better is figure out how to avoid any more “very, very poor plays.” Those are the plays that lose games.

73 responses to “Kubiak: Schaub couldn’t audible out of “very, very poor play”

  1. Shaub’s been playing this game to long to give the game away like he did against Seattle. That pass was inexcusable. It’s becoming clear that Schaub will never lead a team to a championship. It remains to be seen whether a team can carry Schaub to a championship – on win one despite him.

  2. @ peytonshead

    How do you have Matt Schaub’s name throughout the article several times, even RIGHT ABOVE your comment, and you STILL manage to spell it wrong?

  3. I personally think the schaub criticism is too heavy. The guy got my fantasy team a win Sunday so I can’t complain. Who else are they gonna play? Yates? Come on.

  4. The Texans played good tough football for basically the whole game. Seattle had work for every inch in that game. Richard Sherman jumped in front of the receiver on that throw.

    It was a great play by Sherman and a bad look by Schaub.

  5. Kubiak does not believe in audibles, it’s not Schaub. Do your research, he has been saying that for years. It’s arrougance on kubiaks part, not incompetence on schaubs. I think the same is true for his mentor, shanahan and son, and their qb rg3.

  6. Matt Schaub (83 starts in Houston):

    122 td — 70 int — 36 fumbles

    Joe Flacco (84 starts in Baltimore):

    107 td — 63 int — 50 fumbles

  7. Head coach is at least as much to blame as Schaub.

    Having said that, if they ran and IF they didn’t make it because Seattle is stacking vs the run, Seattle uses its second time out, Houston punts and Seattle gets it on their own 20 (or so) with about 2:30 left and 1 timeout.

    If instead the play fake works and Schaub completes that pass for 10 yards, they’re in field goal range with a 1st down and the game is essentially over.

    Sometimes teams get too cute with their calls but despite the outcome I’m not sure it was horrible; just the outcome was horrible.

  8. Schaub will never be elite. He’s a good solid QB, and it’s not like they have any other options. Start Yates? He’ll probably make more mistakes than Schaub. Sign Freeman? Yeah I’m sure that 45% completion rate will propel them to the super bowl…

  9. “That answer is hard to understand: If Schaub saw that the play wasn’t going to work, why didn’t he have the authority to call an audible? And if he didn’t have the authority to call an audible, what about calling timeout? Or taking delay of game and calling a different play after the five-yard penalty? Or if he absolutely had to run the play, why not throw the ball out of bounds, or take a sack, or take a knee? Anything would have been better than a pick-six.”

    I know this might be hard to understand, but the play that was called didn’t call for a pick 6 at the end. Heck, it probably didn’t even call for an interception. Sometimes guys throw picks as a mere accident.

  10. Coming from Kubiak, that’s nothing less than the head coach taking the blame and sweeping his QB’s inadequacies under the rug. To tell me that a QB with his experience in that offense is not given the freedom to call an audible is laughable.

  11. Kubiak is fling on the grenade for his QB , nothing more. If Schaub can’t salvage the season then management has a tough decision to make. Blowing up a roster and starting over isn’t always an easy fix like in seattle. Too much is made of mistakes at QB , what about beast mode running through the entire defense for a 50+ yard run or letting Russell Wilson take over the game late?

  12. Cotton Schaub is soft in the head. Problem is Texans fans thought they had a special quarterback. Well, they do – this just in Matt Cotton Schaub recently diagnosed with a just a smidgen of Down’s Syndrome…awwwww, “special” QB, indeed. Little Matty makes pick-6! Yay……….

  13. Schaub just isn’t getting it done. He is on a team with a SB defense, more weapons on offense…. he is really holding them back.

    This couldn’t have happened at a worse time for him. Texans play in primetime this weekend. Schaub is terrible in primetime games. They have KC in a few weeks, 2 games with INDY, DEN, NE….. He’s got to get it together.

  14. “That answer is hard to understand: If Schaub saw that the play wasn’t going to work, why didn’t he have the authority to call an audible? And if he didn’t have the authority to call an audible, what about calling timeout? Or taking delay of game and calling a different play after the five-yard penalty? Or if he absolutely had to run the play, why not throw the ball out of bounds, or take a sack, or take a knee? Anything would have been better than a pick-six.”

    Yeah, because that play was totally designed to be a pick 6. I’m sure he totally intended to throw a pick 6 on that play. Give me a break, take it for what it is. It wasn’t a horribly designed play. It was a lazy, albeit rushed, throw and great anticipation and execution by Sherman. Don’t discount Sherman’s playmaking on that play.

  15. I’m pretty sure coach wasn’t saying QB didn’t have the authority to audible – but that once the player went in motion it was too late.

    Still, there’s no reason he has to throw the ball.

  16. doctorrustbelt says:
    Sep 30, 2013 6:07 PM
    Matt Schaub (83 starts in Houston):

    122 td — 70 int — 36 fumbles

    Joe Flacco (84 starts in Baltimore):

    107 td — 63 int — 50 fumbles
    ______________

    Schaub: Kubiak, Andre Johnson, consistent o-line
    Flacco: Cameron, Derrick Mason, o-line?

    I hate the Ravens and Flacco but comparing him to Schaub is downright laughable.

  17. Cracks me up how some are saying that Schaub threw the ball to Sherman and that the Texans “gave” the game away.

    It’s the NFL, nothing is given. Seattle simply wanted to game a little bit more when it came down to it and they took it when the opportunity presented itself.

    Matt Schaub didn’t allow Seattle’s offense to drive 99 yards to cut the deficit to 7 points. He also didn’t allow for Seattle to drive into field goal range in Overtime.

    There’s a reason the Texans offense was held to 0 points in the second half and the pass rush for Seattle became effective after the first half. And guess what? It has nothing to do with Matt Schaub.

    Teams do NOT lose or win games based on a single play. Go get your subscription to NFL Rewind because there were ALOT of other plays not made or botched by other Texans players.

  18. @ peytonshead

    How do you have Matt Schaub’s name throughout the article several times, even RIGHT ABOVE your comment, and you STILL manage to spell it wrong?

    ——-

    auto (in)correct, my friend.

  19. “If Schaub saw that the play wasn’t going to work, why didn’t he have the authority to call an audible?”

    If….

    There’s your answer. Random Monday hypotheticals slapped on a website don’t do much for anyone…

  20. The curtain is drawing on this sad production.

    Kubiak has somehow survived many years longer than he has deserved to, as has Schaub, by constantly floating the promise of better tomorrows.

    Well, the reality was laid bare for everyone to see yesterday, and it ain’t pretty. Time to clean house.

  21. The one thing that I can say to all the people jumping off the Schaub wagon, or had already given up on him enforce this. Look at joe flacco. Many thought he wasn’t very good as of last year. He even put up 2 of the 5 worst games in nfl history last season and then he went on to win the Super Bowl that same season. So even through Schaub is struggling right now, it’s very early in the season and we have seen this team play much better than what we have seen so far. So even though you might be upset with him right now, just wait for weeks 14-17 and into the playoffs and see what we look like then. Because how we play right now means nothing in regards to what we will look like in December and January.

  22. Looks like Houston may possibly win four more games this season, finishing 6-10. 1 win Rams; 1 win Cardinals; 2 wins over Jags. Adios Kubiak.

  23. As a Seahawks fan, I think that Texans fans should probably step back from the ledge. The Texans are a very good team and they played another very good team yesterday. Seahawks were got some lucky breaks to win that game. As for Schaub, he put up stats that QBs simply don’t put up against our defense. Yes, he made one terrible decision. But you have a damn good team that has a chance to be great, just like the Seahawks do. Chill. And beat the 49ers this week!

  24. This is a joke. A bunch of bandwagon fans. Schuab is a very smart qb, not elite, but above average. The problem is the play caller. So predictable. Schuab picked seattle apart all day and one bad throw when the whole defensive line is chasing you is understandable. The lose is more kareem jacksons fault then anybodys with the suplex. He is the piece of crap. He gets burned every game or gives up a big penalty. Schuab also has no right side protection and with brown out he bow has no left side protection. Putting keenum in would do no good. He is a good college qb but has never played an nfl game in his life.

  25. These two have been together too long for this kind of stupidity to happen. REALLY? In this case I audible out of it, coaches be damned. Not being able to audible out shows me that the coach doesn’t trust the QB and if they have been together this long and that is the case, someone has got to go.

  26. That’s what happens when you only have 4 plays in your playbook.

    1) Zone stretch run right

    2) Play action stretch right, boot leg left pass

    3) Zone stretch run left

    4) Play action stretch run left, roll right pass

    Kubiak has been running these same plays all the way back since Denver w/ Jake Plummer. You can only fool defenses with mis-direction for so long.

  27. Schuab is an above average QB in the NFL, no worse than $100m/yr SB MVP Joe Flacco. Probably in the 10-12 range out of 32. If Texans fans think Schuab is awful then they’re going to have a rude awakening when his successor eventually comes into town. More likely than not, he’ll be worse.

  28. If it is true that Kubiak won’t allow his quarterback to audible at the line, especially one that has Schaub’s experience, then the Texans need a new head coach. Schaub was unbelievable in the first half, but he looked much more like the Matt Schaub I saw last year in the New England game in the second half. I haven’t seen enough of him to have too much of an opinion.

    I do know that in Seattle they are saying the Hawks anticipated that play, which I believe, since this is the only game in recent memory that I saw Sherman drop the outside receiver and cover the guy coming out to the flat, not just on the interception play but also earlier in the game. Sherman generally takes his man one on one anywhere he goes. The Hawks had disguised Chancellor’s blitz pretty well, so I don’t believe Schaub would have called an audible even if he had recognized the defensive coverage. There is a real good chance that coaching is what beat the Texans.

  29. The QB MUST be able to audible in circumstances like that. There are a bunch of guys that have not been allowed by their coach and it killed whatever potential they might have had.

    If a head coach cannot trust his QB to audible out of a doomed play the one of two things must happen. Either:

    1) Find a way to deal with giving him that authority, or,

    2) Find a QB that is trusted enough to be granted the authority to play the game as needed based on the actual circumstances at the line of scrimmage.

  30. Schaub is a 2 time pro bowler, Kubiak’s answer was to save him from death threats. All of you diehard Texans fans need to calm down, they can’t make it to the super bowl with the right side of their line, regardless of Schaub. Besides Schaub is as top 12 QB.

  31. Schaub and the Texans will be okay. Its not like they play an elite defense that can get pressure on the defense EVERY week. I mean, who do they play this week?…… San Francisco?! Uh oh….well at least they’re in the relative safety of their home stadium then!….uh oh…. ok but I bet it’ll be lost in the shuffle of Sunday afternoon. ……awwwwwww.

    I am, of course, just having a bit of fun there. This is still an ultra talented Texans team with a good offense and darn good defense. It’ll be a great game for sure and whoever wins it’ll be a hard fought win.

  32. Once the play clock reaches 15 seconds the coach cannot talk through the helmet radio. Obviously defenses will take advantage of this, especially if they know the quarterback cannot call an audible.

  33. Pete Carroll (on KJR radio in Seattle) said that we had seen the play on film, many times… and disguised our defense to do exactly what we did with Sherman ‘hiding’ until the ball was released then cutting off the route for the INT.

    Pete offered that the team had practiced the exact play… we new what was coming.

    To me, that puts it on the coach and his staff, not the QB…

    js

  34. If I’m a Texans fan, that’s a pretty scary quote from Kubiak, in essence: you must run the play I called even if it’s clearly a bad play for the circumstances. Just as bad is the timidity of Schaub that he wouldn’t even take a time out or throw the ball away. However it spills out, it certainly doesn’t look like a very healthy relationship between the coach and his starting QB.

    An overly controlling coach and a QB who may not have the personal confidence (leadership) to even call a time out or throw the ball away sounds like a recipe for mediocrity. Or worse.

  35. No, what really happened is that Schaub couldn’t audible out of a killer defense.

    And don’t get too excited Colts fans. You’re next.

  36. Kubiak has not allowed Schaub to audible since they traded for him. Kubiak controls every play that goes in and he gives Schaub one or two other plays as options to use. He’s been controlling Schaub since day one, even during the years when Schaub was considered one of the top 10 QB’s a couple of years ago.

    This is the main reason why Schaub is so limited as a QB – Kubiak makes it so.

  37. jshawaii22 says:Sep 30, 2013 8:43 PM

    Pete Carroll (on KJR radio in Seattle) said that we had seen the play on film, many times… and disguised our defense to do exactly what we did with Sherman ‘hiding’ until the ball was released then cutting off the route for the INT.

    Pete offered that the team had practiced the exact play… we new what was coming.

    To me, that puts it on the coach and his staff, not the QB…
    ————————————————
    Kubiak stated in his press conference today that teams do that to each other – the Texans were practicing situations that the Seahawks would run and vice versa. Nothing new there.

  38. No elite quarterback in the NFL would have done what he did. Period. Schaub is okay, but won’t win you any Super Bowls.

    Every elite quarterback has done what he did!

  39. Kubiak is going way overboard trying to deflect heat off of his players. Admirable but not what we need to hear. Bilecik would have said” we made a bad play” and left it alone. It is really this simple… Schaub is bad under pressure.

  40. Matt Schaub is an elite quarterback, just hasn’t won a championship yet. Compare his stats with Drew Brees’ stats, they are similar. You should be calling for Kubiak’s head, not Schaub’s. You imbeciles need to stop thinking through your emotions. I suppose it was Schaub’s fault that Ben Tate fumbled the ball? Is it Schaub’s fault that the defense couldn’t get to Wilson after Cushing went out? Schaub is doing what he can considering the Texans only have half an offensive line and defenses are in his face. Starting Yates / Keenum or signing Josh Freeman is the equivalent of starting a jackass instead of a thoroughbred in a horse race.

    Schaub stopped throwing the deep ball once Kyle Shanahan left and Rick Dennison came in. Let Schaub throw like he used to, then you’ll see a Lombardi Trophy in Houston. Get rid of Kubiak, and bring Kyle Shanahan back as a head coach, then you’ll see a Super Bowl ring on Schaub’s finger.

    Matt Schaub is NOT the problem.

  41. I have read through the comments and after digesting this meltdown a bit and having lived through Schaub’s career with the Texan’s here is my take:
    To those that say Schaub is not the problem, it’s Kubiak…There is some truth here for sure. To those that say there were beat by a better team, maybe true but not Sunday. On Sunday there were a lot of contributing factors to the loss but the deciding one was that play. I agree the game was not over but for a guy that had thrown 3 pick 6’s in as many weeks…his confidence was done.
    I do think the play call was 100% asinine when you consider the game situation, time on the clock and simply any coach that understands playing percentages. The sad part is Kubiak is ultra-conservative and up until this year we could have 100% be assured he would have been playing not to lose. In this game, even with Cushing out (with the way lechler has been pinning opponents inside the 20), that would have put the game away.
    Aside from Sunday, the problem the Texan fans have with Schaub are his obvious limitations and this year he is good for at least one bone headed, gift wrapped int a game. The prior interception (1rst quarter attempt to Owen) was an example. Even though it became a tip drill, it was ill-advised and shows his lack of ability to go through progressions. He has 2 players he trusts and if has almost decided he is (pre-snap) going to one or the other on almost every play. Sure, other tight ends make plays, but that is simply Owen’s play interchanged with Graham. He has zero pocket presence and as mentioned, if the play breaks down he is going down or INT. People outside of Houston seem to think we are on some ledge…we are not. I think we are collectively tired of watching new QB’s with some athleticism come into the league year end and year out and have more poise than Schaub ever will. His stats, minus the int’s piling up, are great but the sound you here all around Houston in any pressure situation is the collective puckering of every fan’s a$$hole praying he doesn’t do the….oh hell, he just did mistake. There is zero excuse for a player that can look elite for 3 quarters of a game completely change the outcome on 1-2 plays every game. He is Romo with less mobility and I would rather have David Carr at this point. (that’s a joke). I think we are simply tired of knowing he has the skills but ultimately, not the mental toughness. This is not to say he is weak because he has proven he can take hits and he will play hurt. The difference is in the moment, under duress, he simply does not have the mental awareness/toughness to be the leader of what any contender needs. It’s just unfortunate and I hope I have to eat these words.

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