Former Houston Texans special teams coordinator Joe Marciano is the new special teams coordinator of the Detroit Lions. To get a better idea of what he's all about, I sent five questions to Brett Kollmann from Battle Red Blog, SB Nation's Texans blog. You can check out his answers below.
1. The reaction to Marciano that I've seen from Texans fans has been overwhelmingly negative. Were his special teams units really that bad in Houston?
Yes. Houston's special teams under Marciano were almost impressively awful. Even when the Texans' offense and defense were darn near elite in every category, we could always count on special team to cost us multiple wins per season. It's not a stretch to say that Marciano's tenure actually prevented Houston from going to the playoffs more than once.
2. What would you say was the Texans' biggest weakness on special teams under Marciano?
All of it. Just... all of it. We couldn't protect, we couldn't block, we couldn't tackle, we couldn't stop getting penalties on damn near every kick and punt (seriously, I'm not kidding). You name an aspect of special teams, and we were terrible at it.
3. On the flip side, were there any strengths that emerged on special teams under Marciano?
Other than improved draft position?
4. Did the Texans noticeably improve on special teams following Marciano's departure?
"Noticeably" is an understatement. They weren't elite, but they weren't so bad that you wanted to rip your eyes out either. For the first time in a long time, the fate of our wins and losses were decided by offense and defense rather than our return men taking kicks out from the back of the end zone and getting tackled at the 11-yard line when everybody decided to blow their blocks simultaneously. 2014 was quite... peaceful.
5. Is there one specific play involving the Texans' special teams units that sticks out to you from Marciano's time in Houston?
The Texans under Marciano once had penalties on nine straight punts to start a game -- both as the receiving team and as the kicking team. There wasn't a punt without a penalty until the fourth quarter. I wish I was joking.
This is awful, and I am sincerely sorry for what you are about to go through. Detroit doesn't deserve this.