EDITOR'S NOTE:Texans fan Alan J. Burge will continue to write a "Voice of the Fan" column throughout the 2005 season. His latest installment is below. Alan's views do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.
All week I've been reading various headlines such as "Texans' new offensive boss gets message across," "Texans appear energized by Pendry's intensity," and "Carr enjoying change with Pendry calling the shots."
I have one question: Is that supposed to make us feel better?
Then on GM Charley Casserly's Friday morning show on SportsRadio610, I heard Casserly and host John Granato talking about the renewed enthusiasm and crispness in practice this week.
With apologies and all due respect to Allen Iverson and his mother, you're talking about practice, man. How about going out and kicking someone's butt for a change? In a game.
During his show, I also heard Casserly say something to the effect that "you have to play good before you win and we haven't played good yet," and the Texans "have to establish an identity and find the formula for winning."
No disagreement there, but this is Year 4 not Year 1.
Only time will tell how much of an effect, if any, that the firing of Chris Palmer will have on this team. The offense, with Pendry watching from the sideline and Kippy Brown up in the booth, will be running plays from the same playbook as before. The focus now, we're told, will be to find something that works and go with it until someone can stop it. That's fine if you can find something that works.
It's not just the offense that's on notice. Shantee Orr and Petey Faggins will start on Sunday in place of Jason Babin, Phillip Buchanon, and the five really high draft picks we gave up to get them. I'm happy for Shantee. He's one of the few players, along with Dunta Robinson and Antwan Peek, who have shown fire and playmaking ability on defense in recent weeks.
The Texans' defense has two sacks in two games and is reacting instead of attacking. Let 'em play, Vic. Making the front seven think too much is even more demoralizing to them as the Cover 2 is to the offense.
Now here we are in Week 4 with a battle cry of "it's a 14-week season." While that might be a nice way to look at things from an optimistic "don't look back" perspective, the ugly truth is that it's a 16-week season and the Texans are in an 0-2 hole that could end up rivaling 1994 in depth if they don't get things turned around quickly.
All sarcasm and cold hard facts aside, I truly hope we see a team with fire and grit show up on Sunday. But I find very little to be optimistic about until I see a semblance of a competitive team on the field. At least get it turned around so my trip to Seattle won't be a total loss.
The Voice of the Fan (that's you) is a powerful force. Let the players, coaches, management, and owner know when you're not happy, but never abandon the Houston Texans, especially when they need us the most. Persevering during the hard times will make the good times even sweeter.
*You can email Alan Burge at: **firstname.lastname@example.org*