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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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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