July 5, 2022

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What If? The Beginning Quarterback for the 2006 Texans is…

For Houston, the 2005 season couldn’t finish quickly sufficient. A season that began with promise and hope for a serious breakthrough noticed a staff undergo a large breakdown throughout the board. Not surprisingly, a whole lot of coaches and staff executives discovered themselves on the lookout for new employment. The defensive-minded Dom Capers gave solution to the offensive model coach Gary Kubiak and the skilled GM Charley Casserly yielded to rookie Rick Smith. The brand new regime was charged with rebuilding the younger Texans and getting them again on the profitable path. A giant a part of that problem centered on the Quarterback.

On the finish of the 2005 season, no matter luster the title David Carr as soon as held lengthy since vanished. No extra exposes in Texas Month-to-month, and no extra discuss of him being the prince of the town. The bust label appeared extra prominently subsequent to his title. Whereas it was not all on him alone, as struggling over 200 sacks and numerous extra QB hits in his 4 years rendered him a sack-shy wreck. He definitely couldn’t elevate the play of his teammates. A variety of followers would have been simply advantageous to see Carr depart with the opposite C’s (Capers, Casserly).

All is modified…and but, nothing is modified.
Photograph by Hunter Martin/NFLPhotoLibrary

Nonetheless, Kubiak didn’t essentially really feel that manner. There have been nonetheless many Carr defenders on the market, and Kubiak, a former back-up QB, felt Carr could possibly be salvaged. New teaching and certain new personnel additionally factored in, as maybe the brand new guys may do what the older palms couldn’t; defend David Carr and get the passing sport on monitor to be greater than Andre Johnson. Moreover, the staff had Domanick Williams (nee Davis) coming off back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons. Placing that right into a Shanahan working offense augured nicely for the Texans.

Carr began out nicely the 2006 season nicely, placing up one of the best passing effectivity numbers in his profession (75% completion share with 4 TDs/0 INTs). He would end the season together with his highest profession completion share (68.3, up practically 8 share factors from his 2005 numbers). Nonetheless, the season would see him end with extra interceptions than TDs. Additionally, whereas he improved his passing yardage numbers, the numbers have been nowhere close to the numbers he put up in 2004. Most tellingly, there have been video games the place Carr was benched whereas wholesome, permitting new back-up Sage Rosenfels to take beginning snaps. With the top of the 2006 season, Carr’s time was finished.

This begs the query, may the Texans have gone a distinct route for beginning QB, and who may which were? With the 1st decide within the draft, the Texans may have repeated their 2002 draft by choosing the highest QB prospect. For 2006, this might have meant Vince Younger. A 2 time-Rose Bowl MVP and up to date nationwide champion, the home-state hero was a preferred selection amongst many followers. A dual-threat QB like Younger supplied the escapability that Carr considerably possessed, however to a a lot better diploma.

NCAA Football - Rose Bowl National Championship Trophy Presentation - January 5, 2006

What number of needed to see this man below heart for the Battle Purple?
Photograph by Kirby Lee/Getty Pictures

Younger confronted questions on his suitability in a pro-style offense, with issues about passing accuracy and pocket presence. NFL offenses again within the mid-2000 have been nonetheless extra of a pocket-passing primarily based scheme, because the unfold ideas that present dominate the sport have been years sooner or later. Additionally, some would query whether or not Younger may have dealt with being the “Chosen One” in Houston. In the end, Younger would go to the previous Houston staff at #3, and his profession began out nicely sufficient, profitable Offensive Rookie of the Yr and sweeping Houston in each of their match-ups.

Nonetheless, if the Texans continued on the timeline of not utilizing one other #1 general decide on a QB, then who may the squad have turned to? With Tony Banks’ time on the staff finished, the squad was available in the market for a brand new QB. Enter Sage Rosenfels. A free agent from Miami, Rosenfels had proven some success as a back-up, main Miami to 2 main come-from-behind wins in 2005. When Carr was benched in a Week 8 tilt in opposition to Tennessee, Rosenfels acquired off to a tough begin, throwing a fast interception that the Titans became one other landing. But, he would shake that off and lead the staff to 19 second half factors in a livid comeback effort that fell simply quick. He wouldn’t get the possibility to usurp Carr in 2006, however he confirmed sufficient promise that some publications felt that Rosenfels could be a shock participant in 2007.

Houston Texans v St. Louis Rams

Sure, an precise publication (Sporting Information) predicted that Rosenfels could be the Tony Romo of 2007 (Narrator: He didn’t change into something like Tony Romo).
Photograph by: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Pictures

These are the 2 almost certainly candidates for who the Texans may have turned to for QB success if Kubiak determined that he needed a very new begin at QB. Most within the fanbase would have accepted that notion as nicely. Nonetheless, who would or ought to Kubiak have gone with? For the entire pleasure that Younger would have introduced, a few of the similar issues that plagued Carr may have derailed Younger. Whereas Houston lacked the gamers on the 2006 Titans had, Younger would have been given some grace by the followers, given the rebuild of the Texans. Nonetheless, points with maturity, management and elegance of play would ultimately derail Younger, as they did Carr. Maybe Younger nonetheless does win Offensive Rookie of the Yr and his dual-threat nature, mixed with the Shanahan model working assault, portend an offensive revolution. But, if historical past reverts to type, the Texans could be on the lookout for a brand new franchise signal-caller by 2010-11. Younger’s points harm him in Tennessee, however it might have been far harder for him being again in Texas with extra enablers and fewer individuals to maintain him grounded.

Rosenfels would additionally not look like a viable choice as a starter. Whereas he had his moments all through his profession previous to 2005, he by no means projected as greater than a backup. It’s doable he may have performed his manner right into a beginning position, particularly given a few of his successes in 2007, when he led the Texans to a 4-1 report as a starter. Nonetheless, it doesn’t appear doubtless {that a} new coach and GM would stake their reputations on a commodity like Rosenfels, particularly to begin the 2006 season.

Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars

What if this man got here to Houston in 2006?
Photograph by Michael DeHoog/Sports activities Imagery/Getty Pictures

Is there a wild card on this situation? Maybe. After Younger, two different QBs went off the board within the first 11 picks. Younger’s rival within the 2005 Nationwide Championship Recreation Matt Leinart went at 10 to Arizona and Jay Cutler of Vanderbilt went 11 to Denver. Each of these two prospects rated extra within the mildew of the drop-back passer which higher match the NFL offensive schemes of that point. For some, Cutler was the highest prospect of the draft, resulting from perceptions that Cutler had the strongest arm. Each Cutler and Leinart began of their rookie seasons with various levels of success.

Cincinnati Bengals vs Denver Broncos - December 24, 2006

Okay, what about this one?
Photograph by Garrett Ellwood/Getty Pictures

Definitely the fanbase wouldn’t have been thrilled if the staff took a QB not named Vince Younger. Nonetheless, the staff could nicely have drafted a QB, particularly in the event that they felt that this one would do what Carr couldn’t: lead the staff to better success. Maybe Leinart is the one. The cash favourite for #1 decide within the 2005, he returned to highschool for yet one more season. His play didn’t essentially undergo, however as compared with Younger, teammate Reggie Bush and defensive finish Mario Williams, Leinart simply didn’t overshadow them. In actuality, Leinart would be a part of the Texans in 2010, serving as a backup for 2 seasons. Possibly he dons the Battle Purple/Metal Blue a number of years earlier.

Would Leinart, or Cutler for that matter, have made a giant distinction? In all probability not. Arizona had extra expertise and was in a greater place when Leinart joined them. Houston was in main transition. Leinart would have been brisker, and never as overwhelmed down by sacks, however he would have taken greater than his share of lumps. It might need been fascinating to see how a participant like Leinart, who performed in a pro-style offense at USC, might need advanced below Kubiak. Maybe the Texans don’t really feel the necessity to ship off a number of draft picks to acquire Matt Schaub from Atlanta to begin the 2007 season. But, it’s simply as doubtless that circa 2009/2010, they’d be trying but once more for a franchise QB.

In all of those eventualities, it’s unlikely that the Texans do a lot to enhance upon their 6-10 report. Moreover, since they doubtless don’t draft a pass-rusher like Williams, they’d nonetheless have a major hole to handle for 2007. They might nonetheless have the remainder of an awesome draft class (assume DeMeco Ryans), however they’re nonetheless on the skin trying in for a playoff staff. Whereas it might not have been the favored selection, Kubiak doubtless made one of the best play to see what that they had in Carr for 2006, permitting Rick Smith to draft expertise at different positions (DE, LB, OL), and reengage on the QB query for 2007.

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