HOUSTON (CBS-Houston) – Frightening to say the least, a traumatized crowd of 71,778 fans, largest in franchise history, and media watched helplessly as Houston Texans head football coach, Gary Kubiak, collapsed to the ground at halftime of Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Texans were enjoying a comfortable 21-3 when the unthinkable ensued sending the entire Reliant Stadium crowd to an almost complete silence. Initially, there were questions regarding the identity of the individual. But, thanks to twitter, it was quickly discovered that Gary Kubiak was the victim.
Houston, for the moment, had a problem. The City was without its’ Head Coach and the team was without its’ leader. Not a good feeling for Kubiak’s family, the City, or the team says current Texan’s and former Houston Cougar star quarterback, Case Keenum.
“It was really weird. Obviously, (we were) coming in and started yelling for a trainer. They said that he has passed out. We were all very worried. We went back out (and) they told us he was alright, he was stable. Didn’t know what was going on yet. Obviously, we were all upset about that, but trying to stay focused at the same time.”
It’s hard to believe for one minute that the Texans remained focused after halftime. No disrespect to Texans defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips who took over on an interim basis for the fallen head coach, or offensive coordinator Rick Denison who was in charge of play-calling.
But how could the team remain intensely motivated to finish off a seemingly weakened Colts team playing without their best receiver in future Hall of Famer Reggie Wayne, while the health of their Head Coach was in question?
“Anytime something like this happens it’s an extremely difficult situation,” says Texans Pro Bowl defensive end, J.J. Watt. “Our thoughts are with the Coach. You want to go out there. You want to win football games – tough deal.”
It’s a tougher deal for the Head Coach and his family who on Tuesday was released from the hospital after suffering what has been diagnosed as transient ischemic attack (TIA).
The Texans released a statement noting that Kubiak had undergone multiple tests and diagnostics and is expected to make a full recovery.
Good health is the minimum any decent human-being should wish for another. Worldly status and job performance are maybe second to good health. That stated, no matter what you might think of Gary Kubiak’s coaching ability, he is a man with a family first, coach second, and by the way, a pretty good coach at that. Unfortunately, the Texans are not a good team right now at 2-6 so the criticism is fair and Kubiak has indicated that many times. It comes with the territory.
However, if the Texans are to recover and make a last-dash effort towards winning more games than they will lose, playoffs are in the far distance by the way, it will take a change of heart and some real soul-searching. Remember how many times the Head Coach said it was on him? Even when he wasn’t on the field to make the play or plays needed to win a game, he absorbed the blame for the player or players who weren’t physically able or, for whatever reason, weren’t able to come through in the clutch.
Well, for the time being, the players don’t have Kubiak to take the blame. Might Wade Phillips be willing to step up and accept it? Should he put himself in that position? The answer is no!
It’s now time for the players to absorb a little of that blame and play the type of football they were expected to play before the season started. They get paid well to play a very violent game. Ask Texans LB Brian Cushing or safety Danieal Manning. ‘Violence’ is listed in the job description.
Speaking of violent, the disgust that J.J. Watt shows during post-game interviews, both verbal and non-verbal, is every indication that these Texans don’t and haven’t given enough especially when considering that Gary Kubiak almost put his life on the line for the game and his players.
By the way; the Texans lost on Sunday to Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Indianapolis, 27-24. Several things went wrong including one too many missed field goal attempts.