Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Texans in Two-Step; Kubiak, Carr Team Up, Show Improvement in Their First Year Together

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Texans in Two-Step; Kubiak, Carr Team Up, Show Improvement in Their First Year Together

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL C. WRIGHT

Not to go overboard with comparisons here, but David Carr and Gary Kubiak really are similar to Ricky Williams and Mike Ditka.

Forget about Williams' biceps bursting through a lacy wedding dress for a 1999 magazine cover in which he posed stoically next to Ditka. Instead, focus on the words accompanying that now-infamous cover, which read: For better or worse.

Interestingly, that's exactly the situation in Houston between coach and quarterback -- Kubiak and Carr.

Like the Williams and Ditka scenario that played out eight years ago in New Orleans, "worse" seems to be coming sooner than "better" for the Texans, who will host the Jaguars on Sunday afternoon.

"We knew that when we got started," Kubiak said of 1-4 Houston's tough times. "It's so different right now, but our work has been good, and we're going to keep battling."

In his first year as an NFL head coach, Kubiak considers Carr's development to be one of his main responsibilities. Kubiak has enjoyed past success with John Elway and Jake Plummer in Denver and with Steve Young in San Francisco. Should Kubiak succeed in transforming Carr into an elite quarterback, the Texans and their fans will benefit for years to come.

That's the outlook Kubiak brought to his hometown when the team hired him in January. Despite the Texans' horrid start in 2006, all indicators point to Carr finally living up to the expectations associated with being the No. 1 overall pick of the 2002 NFL Draft.

"I don't know what they've asked him to do in the past," Kubiak said of Carr. "I'm just trying to teach him how to prepare like a quarterback has to prepare in this league, week in and week out, to have any chance to be successful. ... He's busted his tail."

Carr's hard work translated to better statistics. He leads the NFL in completion percentage (69. …

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