Seems like the local NFL quarterback is enduring quite the beating. And that doesn't include the nine sacks he suffered this season and the array of hits he withstood in Sunday's game against the Raiders. Schaub's getting pounded by fans on local radio talks shows. Talk show callers may overreact, they may not have a complete understanding of the game or whatever criticism that players and coaches often levy on anyone with an opinion. But the fans are not all wrong, and they are far from being right. As usual in these hotly debated issues, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
For those that believe that the Texans can't seriously contend in the AFC with Schaub because he's no top tier, All-Pro caliber player, history suggests that while indeed, it's uncommon, it's possible. Rex Grossman, Matt Hasselbeck, Jake Delhomme, Trent Dilfer and Chris Chandler are among the non-elite quarterbacks that have played in a Super Bowl. If a superstar caliber quarterback is a prerequisite for contention in the conference, then any team without a guy named Brady, Rodgers or Brees is in serious trouble. The list of elite-level quarterbacks is short, even if you include Mike Vick and Matt Stafford. So the theory that the Texans can't be a force in the AFC because of Matt Schaub is very shaky. Perhaps the Texans never make the playoffs during the Schaub era, but he will be far from the main cause.
Another irrational proposition is that the Texans must "get rid of" Schaub. And that silly phrase has often been applied to whichever local athlete the local fan base deems not worthy of wearing a Houston uniform. In the late 90's, the Astros' Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio sometimes were included in the "get rid of" category due to their poor playoff performance. Because Yao Ming wasn't an explosive, highlight player, there were those that believed that the Rockets had to "get rid of" Yao. Well, the Astros have done just fine since the BagwellBiggio era, right? And the Rockets? Yao's retirement has certainly solved all of their problems, correct? It's amazing how we often take special talent for granted. In fact, we often turn the whole thing inside out: The players that made these franchises viable all of a sudden become the reason the team can't win. Unless there is clear access to an upgrade, we should be cautious with the phrase "get rid of." And since Brees, Rodgers, Brady and Vick aren't free agents chomping to sign with the Texans, what's the clear alternative? Pretty good quarterbacks-the ones that aren't at the top of the food chain but rank as above average- aren't readily available. That's why the Redskins are going with Grossman, the Titans with Hasselbeck, the Seahawks with Tarvaris Jackson, etc.
Of course Matt Schaub is not among among the NFL's top-tier quarterbacks. The Texans would never say so publicly but they must know this. Schaub has limitations: He doesn't throw the tightest spiral in the league and his lack of athleticism is glaring. Yet he is normally an accurate passer and he executes the offense well. He simply needs plenty of talent around him because he doesn't possess the skill set to create plays on his own. But "get rid of" Matt Schaub? The Texans can't advance in the playoffs because of Schaub? Overreaction. Where's the clear upgrade?