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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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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