Justice: ‘Win now or tear up the blueprint’

In preparation for the large scale kick-off of the 2005 NFL season, I was reading today’s Houston Chronicle which was obviously focused primarily on the Houston Texans. Chronicle writer, Richard Justice, had a nice piece about it ‘being the time to win’ for the Texans.

The article was actually written in a manner where you could almost replace the ‘Texans’ with any team/program that has been building towards supposed future success. I liked what Justice said and thought that I would archive it here in the event that it had any use for any future Wolfpack conversations.

The following are some excerpts from the article:

“The Texans want you to know it’s not just about the numbers. Except, of course, it is.

It’s about nothing else…It’s no longer about building or progressing or any of that. It’s about the bottom line…

The Texans have had enough time. They’ve had four drafts and four tries at free agency. If they don’t have enough talent, it’s because they’ve made too many personnel mistakes. If they’re not cohesive, if they don’t walk and talk like a team, then someone messed up…

As Texans owner Bob McNair said: “Sometimes things happen that are out of your control.”

McNair also understands expectations. He knows his team has them this season. He understands the first three seasons were about building a franchise, about acquiring players and shaping an organization. He understands this season is about delivering…

In the end, it’s about becoming a team that learns how to close out close games. When we last saw the Texans in a game that counted, they were being booed off the field at Reliant Stadium after an embarrassing 22-14 loss to Cleveland last December.

The Browns had nothing to play for that day. The Texans were playing for a .500 season. They barely showed up. The Browns rolled up 364 yards of offense and controlled the ball for 34 minutes. Quarterback David Carr was booed. His wife had a cup of beer thrown on her. If he thought the love affair with his adopted hometown would go on forever, he found out otherwise.

Carr says that game might end up being good for the Texans. He believes it might have forced them to make changes they wouldn’t have made otherwise.

If that’s true, shame on them. If his coaches didn’t understand that Carr was being hit too much, if they didn’t understand their offense needed to be changed, then they’re not nearly the model organization they’d like you to think they are.

In the end, though, it’s not about personnel. It’s about making plays when it counts. It’s about doing whatever necessary to win.

Last season, they lost three of the four games decided by seven points or less. Those games are the difference between making the playoffs and staying home.

In their first three seasons, they did almost everything right preparing to win. Now, it’s about actually winning.