As of now, it doesn't seem to me anything's changed. Is it possible we have Stupiak-Lite? Or, maybe it wasn't Stupiak's interminable insistence to do things his way only and never ever deviate or else suffer the splinters on the bench. Maybe the real villain here is Rick Smith.
Many times in my working life I have seen work-mates who somehow got their claws so deeply imbedded in the boss they could do...or not do...anything they wanted and nary a word was ever said about it when things went disastrously wrong. Yet, let any of the rest of us lose a five cent wing nut and it was a borderline firing offense. This is where I think Rick Smith is with Bob McNair.
How could Rick Smith survive the house cleaning that took place when he was so intimately involved with the workings and personnel on that team? He and Stupiak were joined at the hip from Denver and shared all the decisions made where it came to personnel. Rick Smith is the one who has the organization in a quandary about what to do with a broken quarterback they owe millions to. When a team goes into a season as potential Super Bowl contenders, and then stink it up with a fourteen game losing streak, it's time for a full cleaning of the house. But, not in McNair's eyes. The blood letting was tremendous, but when the guillotine got too dull from chopping heads, Smith's was still on his shoulders. Makes one wonder.
And now, we have free agency come upon us in prep for the 2014 season. In a different kind of way, we have another cleaning, but this is a bloodless type. The Texans opened the door and let the rest of the NFL pick and choose among their free agents. On the surface, this is understandable as it opens up a lot of cap space to pursue your own players to fill the needs you have at various positions. One would logically assume that a 2-14 team would have personnel needs. One would think, anyway. However, the Texans opened the exit door, but never opened the entrance door. They did wake up long enough to sign Garrett Graham...a very good utility tight end. But, he was already a Texan. Our secondary is very suspect, and with the loss of Bryce McCain, it becomes even more suspect. The Texans had a chance at Aqib Talib and Darrelle Revis, but didn't even sniff in their direction. They had a chance at Demarcus Ware and Jared Allen, to compliment J.J. Watt, but poo-pooed the option and turned away.
The fact they didn't even wave a dollar bill in Ware or Allen's direction cements the decision in my mind they are going to pick Jadeveon Clowney. McNair likes him, since I'm sure Rick Smith has infused Uncle Bob's mind with all the dazzling prospects the young man can bring to the defense. It is very possible that Matt Schaub will return, but not probable. If he should come out on the field as the starting quarterback, then we can all assume that Bill O'Brien is insane and get ready for another streak of lost seasons.
No, you can't build a powerhouse through free agency. I think the Texans are right to build up primarily in the draft. But every team needs experience in playing and in winning and that only comes from veteran players that have been there and done it. In my opinion, the 2014 season will not begin like the 2013 season did. There should be no expectation of this team being able to compete if the present regime doesn't have a good draft and a good answer for the quarterback position. If things continue to go this way, look for a 4-12 or a 5-11 season. I'll be watching, and I know that scares them. It really really does.