Head coach Gary Kubiak talked to the media Monday about assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman taking over as head coach at Texas A&M.
Sherman to Aggieland: Assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was introduced as Texas A&M's coach Monday morning at a news conference in College Station. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak could not have been happier for his colleague and friend.
"We're very proud as an organization," Kubiak said. "Our football team is very happy for Mike and his family. You guys know I'm a former Aggie, and it just means the world to me to know that he's going to be the guy there leading that program."
Kubiak, a former Texas A&M quarterback, said that the Sherman did not come to him for advice, but the Texans head coach would have encouraged Sherman to return to his college roots.
"We're a family," Kubiak said. "And you want the best for your players, you want the best for your coaches. Everybody in this organization's busting their tail for us to be successful. When they get an opportunity that's in their life to better their career, you want to support them and do everything you can for them, because they've done that for you. So that's our philosophy and that won't change, and we're just very proud of what's happening with Mike Sherman."
Sherman coached the offensive line at Texas A&M from 1989-93 and then again from 1995-96. He joined the Texans in 2006 after spending six seasons as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. Sherman will coach the remainder of the season for the Texans before departing for College Station.
"I'm sure Mike will have to make a few phone calls along the way, but I'm looking forward to continuing to work with him and butt heads with him for a few more weeks," Kubiak said. "We're all going to miss him, but we're all very proud of him.
Kubiak said that Sherman has made the entire team better, particuarly a young offensive coaching staff that includes quarterbacks coach Kyle Shanahan, tight ends coach Brian Pariani and offensive line coach John Benton.
"He's done a tremendous job with those guys as coaches," Kubiak said. "Our guys really respect him a great deal, so he's going to be sorely missed."
Players felt the same way. Center Steve McKinney, who had been recovering from ACL surgery, played for Sherman for two years at Texas A&M. McKinney said Sherman was a good fit for the job because he understands the traditions and culture of A&M football, but the center said it would be hard to say goodbye to such a talented coach.
"It's kind of bittersweet," McKinney said. "I'm not happy that he's not going to be with us any more, but at the same time, he's going to my alma mater, so I'm kind of winning on this situation a little bit."
Turnover plague: Turnovers have plagued the Texans this season. The team has committed 29, most in the league and four more than last season.
Curing the turnover epidemic has been no easy task, but Kubiak is determined to find a way for his team to hold on to the ball.
"We're going to find something to do about it," Kubiak said. "We have tried a lot of different things, but obviously nothing has worked.
"We have been trying to do everything we can to fix it. Ultimately, the players fix it when they're on the field protecting the ball. It's getting our team beat, and if we don't fix it, that's not going to change."
Defense holds up: The Texans defense limited the Browns to three of 13 on third-down conversions. Defensive end Mario Williams recorded his sixth sack of the season, taking down quarterback Derek Anderson for a five-yard loss. And rookie cornerback Fred Bennett grabbed his second career pick, retuning the interception 33 yards.
In sum, the defense held up in Cleveland and gave the Texans a chance to win the game. Kubiak said the unit could have put more pressure on the quarterback, but he was proud of the defensive effort.
"I think we were doing the right things yesterday," Kubiak said. "But we can still do a better job with our four guys of rushing the quarterback. There comes times you've got to get more aggressive and try to make some plays, but I think we had our football team in position.
"Defensively, I thought they kept us in the game, kept us within striking distance and battled and battled and battled. We didn't take advantage of the opportunities they gave us."
Running back roundup: Starting rusher Ahman Green's swollen knee has not improved despite Green sitting out the team's previous two games. Kubiak said he does expect Green to play Sunday against the Titans.
Ron Dayne has been starting in Green's place and getting the job done. In the last three games, Dayne has carried the ball for 289 yards. By halftime in Cleveland, he had notched 55 yards rushing. Kubiak said he wished he had given Dayne the ball more in the second half.
"As I said after the game, and I haven't changed my view, we probably should have run it more," Kubiak said. "He was effective. We were effective running the ball. I probably should have stuck with him and given him more of an opportunity. He's been playing good football for us."
Running back Darius Walker was brought up from the practice squad last week, but did not play against the Browns. Kubiak will continue to evaluate his play in practice this week.