- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Sometimes people send stuff to my mailbag just to stir me up. This one worked.
LX from CHUCO, TX writes: Do you think the Texans will pay to keep (Brian) Cushing or is he as expendable as DeMeco was last year? The Def did not collapse while he was out; a similar situation to the ones surrounding the banishment of Ryans and disinterest in Williams. Recent history shows that HOU has a disregard for Def players because they prefer gambling on cheap prospects while refusing to pay veterans.
On Offense, of course, they reward inept players like Schaub; a system QB that will never be elite and has been seamlessly replaced by a rookie in TJ Yates and an average backup in Sage Rosenfels. Smith keeps drafting D players because Kubes is not concerned with retention on the D; he is more interested in legitimizing the lopsided trade he made with ATL in 2007.
Paul Kuharsky: First off, Cushing is under contract for another year, so they have time to work out an extension. John McClain of the Chronicle wrote today that extending Cushing and defensive end Antonio Smith ranks as a priority for the team this offseason.
DeMeco Ryans was absolutely expendable, and they traded him, they didn’t cut him. No one could have foreseen the slew of injuries at inside linebacker, and the second guy on the inside is not on the field full-time. It’s really some revisionist history to suggest a guy who didn't fit the defense and had became a part-time player was a substantial loss.
I think you are way off base in assessing the way the franchise has approached defensive players.
It had to make some tough cap decisions, and based on what Mario Williams did in his first season in Buffalo, letting him sign elsewhere as opposed to breaking the bank for him was completely reasonable. To pay him close to what he got from the Bills, the Texans would have had to cut even more players.
It was just two seasons ago when they spent significant money to bring in cornerback Johnathan Joseph and safety Danieal Manning. Those were giant additions, though the two defensive backs weren’t as good last year as they were their first year. That's not disregarding the defense. Neither was spending high picks on J.J. Watt, Brooks Reed and Whitney Mercilus.
Two second-rounders for a starting quarterback is hardly lopsided. Is Schaub one of the league’s best? No. But if you don’t have one of them, then you need to have a functional guy and build a good team around him. The Texans have done that over the last two years. Kubiak has his shortcomings, but being caught up in trying to justify a six-year old trade is not one of them. Time for you to let it go. Look, Schaub finished poorly and has not proven he can win the big game. But it’s a major stretch to say Sage Rosenfels or T.J. Yates could be as good or better over the long haul.
Were you railing about Schaub after he threw for 527 yards and five touchdowns on Nov. 18, in what was the biggest passing-yardage game of the NFL season?
I'd bet very strongly not.