Every-Thing Sports

Making the case for Adam Gase: Texans could use another offensive mind

Adam Gase would help the Texans. Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Houston Texans have made it to the playoffs. The feat was all the more impressive considering they started the season by losing their first three games.The fan base is happy. Some believe the team has a shot to make a deep playoff run.

Others, such as myself, see room for improvement. We can all agree on some necessary changes. Offensive line, secondary, running back, and a few other positions either need new starters or quality depth. But these aren't the changes I'm looking forward to the most.

The change I'm most looking forward to is getting Bill O'Brien some help on the sidelines, or in the booth. He needs someone who can assist in play-calling duties, situational football, and another set of eyes/opinions in the development of Deshaun Watson.

Enter Adam Gase.

Gase is one of the young up and coming coaches in the league. The Dolphins fired him after three seasons. A 23-25 record can do that to a coach these days. Given the fact that he was asked to make chicken marsala out of chicken sh--, I think he fared well.

Known as an offensive guy, Gase has been in coaching since he graduated from Michigan State and became a grad assistant under Nick Saban at LSU in 2000. He's been coaching in the NFL since 2005. He actually started with the Lions in 2003 as a scouting assistant.

When you look back at some of the quarterbacks he's coached and offenses he's been in charge of, you'd be amazed. He was part of the staff that helped John Kitna have back to back 4,000 yard passing seasons in 2006 and 2007. In 2013, he was the offensive coordinator for the record-breaking Broncos offense. They set numerous records, Peyton Manning set new NFL records for passing touchdowns and yardage, as well as team records for touchdowns and points scored in a single season.

O'Brien may not like to have another offensive hotshot in the building, much less someone almost nine years his junior who was just fired from another head coaching job. If I'm Cal McNair, I'm telling O'Brien this is a hire I feel will only help this offense move forward and help Watson develop much quicker. I'd also mention how I'm writing the checks around here now in case he wants to get into a pissing match over power.

The best thing for this offense and Watson is another set of eyes. O'Brien has taken this thing as far as he can take it. Sure the line needs improvement, and quality depth is necessary at running back and wide receiver, but when you have the main piece in place, you have to do everything you can to make him successful.

I don't view this as a slap in the face to O'Brien. The best leaders know what they don't know and know how to compensate for those shortcomings. I bust my ass to provide good content, but I also know what I don't know and ask for help when I need it. I'm not too proud to ask for help, or admit when I need it. I'm also not a head coach in the NFL and my ego isn't as big as O'Brien's either (it's probably bigger, but that's another story for another day). Bottom line: Gase could be the missing piece in the coaching ranks on the offensive side of the ball that could stand in the way of this team possibly winning it all.

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McCullers Jr. had nine strikeouts over four

McCullers Jr. looks sharp in tune-up before Rangers overpower Houston's bullpen

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Despite watching their chance to clinch their playoff spot on the field slip away in the walk-off loss on Friday, the Astros benefited from a loss by the Angels later in the night, securing their playoff berth. That meant they could play conservatively in the final two games of the season against the Rangers in Arlington. Here's a quick rundown of Saturday's matchup:

Final Score: Rangers 6, Astros 1.

Record: 29-30, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Jimmy Herget (1-0, 3.20 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Brandon Bielak (3-3, 6.75 ERA).

McCullers Jr. looks playoff-ready 

With nothing substantial to play for, the Astros did not expect to ask Lance McCullers Jr. to go deep into Saturday's game, instead giving him a few innings for a tune-up before assuming whatever role he would play in the post-season. He looked impressive, a promising sign after his injury stint and struggles on the road at points this season.

He finished four innings, during which he racked up a season-high nine strikeouts while giving up no runs on just two hits, both singles, and two walks. His final line: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 0 HR, 61 P.

Both teams trade runs as  they go to their bullpens

Meanwhile, neither team was getting much going at the plate in the early goings, keeping it a scoreless game through the first five. Brandon Bielak took over for McCullers Jr. starting in the fifth but would allow the first run of the night in the bottom of the sixth as the Rangers would get three singles to take a 1-0 lead.

After Kyle Gibson held the Astros at bay for six innings, Houston would get on the board against Texas' bullpen, getting a leadoff double by Aledmyz Diaz in the top of the seventh. Diaz moved to third on a sac bunt, then scored on a sac fly by Jack Mayfield, making it 1-1.

Rangers blow it open in the seventh

The tie didn't last long, as Bielak would put two on base in the bottom of the seventh before giving up a three-run homer to make it a 4-1 Rangers lead. Andre Scrubb was next out of Houston's bullpen and allowed a solo home run on his first pitch. Scrubb would complete the inning, but not before allowing another run on three singles to push Texas' lead to 6-1.

Cy Sneed was next out of Houston's bullpen for the bottom of the eighth and tossed a scoreless frame with two strikeouts. Houston would not make the unlikely comeback in the top of the ninth, with the Rangers taking the game 6-1.

Up Next: The last game of the Astros' 2020 regular season will be Sunday at 2:05 PM Central, as are most other games on the MLB slate on the league's final regular-season day. Houston's starter is TBD as they will continue to preserve their arms for the best-of-three first round that starts on Tuesday, while Texas will send Jordan Lyles (1-6, 7.08 ERA) to the mound.

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