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October 8, 2013

Houston's Kubiak sticking with Schaub

HOUSTON — Matt Schaub still has his starting job.

Houston coach Gary Kubiak is sure of that. He's less certain of how to get his veteran quarterback back on track and the Texans back in the win column.

But he knows it isn't by benching him.

"You watch the struggle and you just want to be a part of the solution," Kubiak said.

"You want to be a part of helping him work his way through that. The only way I know how to do it is you play our way through that stuff. So that's what I'm trying to help him with and figure out and push him through it, so that our football game can push through it."

Schaub threw three interceptions in Houston's blowout loss to San Francisco on Sunday night that extended the team's losing streak to three games.

His first interception was returned for a touchdown, marking the fourth straight game that an opponent had taken one of his interceptions for a score.

Kubiak is worried about Schaub's confidence and is looking for ways to help him be successful again.

"That's only natural," he said when asked about the possibility of Schaub's confidence wavering. "For some of those things to happen to you over a period of time, yeah you worry about that. But the reason he's played a long time is because he's very tough mentally, physically."

Kubiak said he isn't concerned that he'll have discord in the locker room if he doesn't make a change at quarterback. Houston's other quarterbacks are T.J. Yates, who led Houston to its first playoff win two years ago when Schaub was hurt, and Case Keenum, who had a record-setting career at the University of Houston.

"Our football team respects his work and how he goes about getting ready to play," Kubiak said of Schaub. "Obviously, we're all disappointed because we're having to overcome way too much. But I do have a belief that it can be fixed and get corrected and get headed in the right direction."

Kubiak said that the Texans "can't survive" if Schaub continues to make mistakes such as he has the past three games. He added that the coaching staff was hard at work on Monday trying to figure out how to help Schaub turn things around.

The 10-year veteran has already thrown nine interceptions through five games after being picked off just 12 times all of last season. He's thrown for 1,366 yards with eight touchdowns and is completing about 64 percent of his passes, which is on par with his performance last season.

Kubiak is baffled about why Schaub has been making so many mistakes this season. But he's quick to point out that the quarterback shouldn't shoulder all of the blame for the miscues.

"You're trying to put your players in the best position to be successful," Kubiak said. "So you call something and something goes wrong, you look at yourself. That's just the way you're built. I've been that way my whole career."

Houston hosts St. Louis on Sunday in what suddenly has become something of a must-win game for this preseason Super Bowl contender which has fallen to third in the AFC South at 2-3. The Rams are also 2-3, but are last in the NFC West.

"I think it's a huge game," Kubiak said. "It would be big either way, but, yeah, it's big because of what we've gone through these past three weeks. I see a group of guys that are very close, very committed to each other, very hurt ... the only way you fix things is you go back and play and do things better. I can't wait for that opportunity to get here."

 

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