That’s only three little words. Yet they are the distillation of the most serious problems the Texans have.
Dunta Robinson took the field last Sunday with cleats that had the words “Pay Me Rick” embroidered on the back. He was referring to Texans GM Rick Smith.
The Texans are confusing. On the field, they have one the most talented starting units in the league. On offense, with Andre Johnson, Matt Schaub, Steve Slaton, and Owen Daniels, the team has some of the most talented players in the league at each of the skill positions. This is true on defense also with Mario Williams and Antonio Smith on the line, DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing at linebacker, and Dunta Robinson in the defensive backfield. This shouldn't be a surprise; the Texans have been building this team, almost exclusively through the draft, for years. This was supposed to be the year it all came together.
Now, we are only one game into the year, and I don't want to write them off just yet, but in that game they didn't score on offense and let a rookie quarterback in his first game throw all over them.
Something is obviously missing. In my mind this is leadership, maturity, and a focus on winning.
Which brings me to Mr. Robinson. Was his stunt funny? Maybe. Was it sophomoric and out of line? Definitely. Robinson said he had the shoes made three months ago, which makes sense because that's when he and Smith weren't exactly seeing eye to eye. But now, after signing a tender that makes him one of the highest paid DB's in the league, it doesn't make sense. Rick did pay him. The decision to wear these shoes, and make a spectacle of himself, shows that he is not focused on winning. He shouldn't still be concerned about his contract. He got his money; he should be focused on getting out there on the field and leading his young defense to wins. Rodney Harrison, former Patriots defensive back and multiple-time Super Bowl Champion (he knows a thing or two about winning), now works for NBC and said, “Now it's time to go out and play football.”
This incident also shows the Texans don't have much leadership elsewhere in the locker room. Harrison said that if something this had happened when he was playing he would have approached the player and told him to be professional. Evidently the Texans don't have someone on the team like this.
They're not supposed to play to make a show of themselves. Why do they play? Like Herm Edwards said, “Hello! You play to win the game.”
The Texans suffer from a lack of focus, a focus on winning. Great teams, perennially successful teams, have a razor sharp, undeterred focus on winning. Winning is paramount. They hate to lose and expect to win. The Texans need to get like this or else they will always be a talented team that goes nowhere.
Note: Dunta Robinson was fined $25,000 by the team for his stunt.
About the Author
Written by Gabriel Rodriguez
Born in Germany, early childhood in NYC, raised in the D.C. area, currently reside in Charlottesville, VA. Big fan of the NY Giants and San Antonio Spurs.