Peter King on M&M: Matt Schaub to blame for collapse of Texans that cost Gary Kubiak his job
|12.06.13 at 1:01 pm ET|
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King made his weekly Friday appearance on Mut & Merloni, minutes after the story broke that the Texans had fired coach Gary Kubiak.
“I think the Texans were seriously considering firing Kubiak after the first Jacksonville loss, but the problem was the schedule that was coming up — they’ve got the Patriots and then the Jaguars in a short week,” King said, adding: “I’ve felt strongly he was going to get fired for the last two weeks. Obviously he had an opportunity to save himself, but clearly he couldn’t save himself. And that’s what today is all about. You can’t lose to the Jaguars twice in 11 days and lose 11 games in a row and keep your job. It’s ridiculous. I don’t care what injuries they had. The fact is, this is a team that vastly underachieved this year.”
Added King: “The ownership felt like it’s time, we’ve given this guy more than enough time. And they have.”
King placed the majority of the blame for Houston’s collapse on quarterback Matt Schaub.
“You saw in Houston this year how much one single player can influence your franchise. And that one single player — throwing pick-sixes three weeks in a row — was Matt Schaub,” King said. “Matt Schaub imploded. And as nice a guy he is and as much as he’s done for that franchise, he is the guy that got this team on their death spiral.”
The Texans are loaded with talent, making this an appealing job, especially with them in line for a very high draft pick.
“If you have J.J. Watt coming back, you’ve got Brian Cushing coming back from injury ‘¦ you’ve got the basis of a very good defense,” King said. “And you’ve got Andre Johnson. It looks like they’ll probably lose Ben Tate, whose a good running back, but they’ve got plenty — plenty — of talent on that team to contend in 2014. If you add [Louisville quarterback Teddy] Bridgewater to that team, they’re going to be very, very good.”
Looking at other NFL news from the past week, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was fined $100,000 but not suspended for stepping on the field during a kickoff return in the team’s Thanksgiving Day loss to the Ravens.
“I didn’t think he deserved a suspension,” King said. “First of all, Mike Tomlin has done absolutely nothing in the whatever it is, six years since he’s been the coach of this team to either bring embarrassment, disgrace, anything on his team or on the league.
“You say it was obvious. I say it’s very suspicious. I don’t think it’s obvious. If I had to guess, just by watching it, I think he did it on purpose. But I don’t know, and you don’t know, nobody really knows. With his history being very, very positive, I think the league was really inclined to basically say, ‘We’re going to be watching you pretty closely now, so be careful. And we’re giving you a break by only giving you a hundred thousand dollar fine.’ But I just don’t think they thought it rose to the level of suspension.”
Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard is in Nebraska addressing some legal issues, and King said he’s not sure how the league will handle it.
“This is a weird situation, because it doesn’t fit into the NFL’s template for suspending guys.” King said. “It’s going to be a really, really interesting one to see what the penalty is. I think he might get suspended for a game or two. I don’t know that, because I think there are extenuating circumstances, obviously. When the incidents happened is No. 1. So I think it’s going to be one of those things that bears watching. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The Patriots are in action Sunday against the Browns, who are in a desperate situation at quarterback due to injuries.
“It’s hard to make an argument that [the Browns are] going to be very competitive in this game,” King said. “But they’ve got a pretty good defense, they’ve got Josh Gordon. ‘¦ You’re never going to be really good as an offense and really a a quarterback-receiver combo until you get that chemistry where you know who your quarterback’s going to be every week. He’s had three of them this year, and he added a fourth this week. I think it’s a tremendous tribute to Josh Gordon that he’s been so dangerous the last couple of weeks. Obviously, if you’re Bill Belichick, if you’re Matt Patricia, you’ve got to be telling Aqib Talib, ‘You’d better be healthy this week. We need you.’ ”