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Vinny
07-22-2005, 01:06 PM
Fantastic four?
By Carter Toole
www.HoustonTexans.com

It's been a busy five weeks for Dom Capers.

Houston's head coach hasn't stayed in one place for very long, hopping from Ponte Vedra to New York to his hometown in Ohio. Capers even checked out the Astros in St. Louis last weekend while he was in town for a wedding.

One more free weekend awaits. And then it's back to his comfort zone. It might be hard for fans (and, frankly, many people in this building) to believe that training camp is upon us. But for Capers it can't come soon enough. He hasn't been this excited about a football season in some time. We're guessing some of you feel the same way.

Why?

From college stints to presidential terms, a fourth year usually indicates some winding down and reflection are in order. But as the Texans enter their fourth year, they get the sense that they’re just getting started.

Three years ago today, 97 players hit the field for the Texans' first-ever training camp practice. There was plenty of buzz surrounding the session, but mostly for the sheer novelty factor. Not much was expected of the expansion Texans.

But Houston won four games that season and methodically increased its win total from four to five to seven over its first three years in the NFL. Now the next step is the most logical – and also the most difficult.

The Texans, like so many other clubs in a parity-driven league, hovered around the .500 mark in 2004 with a 7-9 record. Houston easily could have won a few more games, and the same could be said for the 10 others teams that won between seven and nine games a season ago. And all of those teams, including the Texans, have reached the proverbial fork in the road as training camp approaches. Full article here (http://www.houstontexans.com/news/news_detail.php?PRKey=1769)

Ibar_Harry
07-22-2005, 04:46 PM
Yes, Vinny, but you left out this part of the article as stated by Capers.

“If someone were to ask what the two top priorities were in the off-season, it would be better pass protection and fewer sacks allowed on offense and more sacks on defense,” Capers said.

I would say three, not two, but that's just the way I look at it. And what has everyone been saying around here? And what have the Texans done about that? I would say these are pretty damning comments if the O-line fails, because he has stated he knows these are a priority. He can't say he didn't understand the problem.

Vinny
07-22-2005, 05:08 PM
I Left out most of the article Ibar. I'm getting you to click to the actual article. I'd say that Capers would make a better football coach than most of the posters here. Crazy stuff....I know.

Ibar_Harry
07-22-2005, 09:33 PM
My point is very simple Vinny. That is, many have been saying the same thing and that is probably the biggest single problem this team faces centers offensively around protection for Carr. Capers states he is aware of that and that he knew it must be fixed. Apparently that was made abundantly clear at the end of last season. If it ain't fixed, then he has to take responsibility. Quite frankly, I hope it is. I hope the Texans have a great year and we can all sit back and cheer. There are a great many out there questioning the Texan's moves towards fixing this problem. Many of your posts make abudately clear that you don't think that much of Carr. Others of us feel that Carr is a very good QB who has not been able to show case his talent because the obvious lack of an O-line that can pass protect. If he had a O-line and then failed to perform, then I would say Vinny your right and we need to find another QB. But he really hasn't had much of a chance - and I dare say - if placed in the same spot most QB's would be screaming bloody murder or residing in a hospital bed asking what happened. TC is almost here and so is the preseason. Its going to be very hard to judge what is happening in preseason, because they will be testing the rookies for the most part. We may get one solid look in preseason before the start of the regular season. The 1st two games are going to define the season. If Carr survives those games then we might be alright for the season. Frankly, if the O-line isn't fixed, Carr might be on the injury list for the rest of the season. Why, do I say that? I say it, because those teams, particularly Pittsburg, go after the QB and you had better be able to protect him.

Carr Bombed
07-23-2005, 02:56 AM
Okay the Texans pass protection was a Joke last year. IT WAS JOKE. No team, even the Cardinals, miss pass rushers than these Jokers in the line. They are all back this year with depth that does not exist.

So we fix it by drafting a 5th rounder and a reject from the Saints?

Yep, I have been thinking the same exact thing this entire offseason. If this line doesn't get its crap together this year some heads need to roll. I really don't think Carr is going to just sit silent and take another beating either. If he has another year of eating dirt, I really think we'll see him speak out and say enough is enough. God knows I would, he really doesn't get the credit he deserves for being as patient as he has been. Think about it who in the history of this league has been sacked 140something times in their first 3 years and you barely hear a peep out of him.

I was really excited at the end of the season when Mr. Ncnair said "something would be done!" and then nothing really happened. I don't know, heres to everything hopefully magically working out, I have no answers.

utahmark
07-23-2005, 07:57 AM
This was the straw that broke the camels back for many. We were willing to give Charley and Dom plenty of slack over the first few years. But this was the final straw. They knew the o-line stunk and then willfully ignored the problem and did nothing about it.


they didnt just ignore the problem. they went after plenty of free agent o-linemen. just cause you want something doesnt mean your going to get it. my mom taught me that.

dalemurphy
07-23-2005, 09:06 AM
This was the straw that broke the camels back for many. We were willing to give Charley and Dom plenty of slack over the first few years. But this was the final straw. They knew the o-line stunk and then willfully ignored the problem and did nothing about it.


What is your problem? It's not fantasy football. There's much more to it than acquiring bigger names. They haven't ignored it at all and saying they have only shows your ignorance. In addition to their efforts to get Orlando Pace and Shelton they sat with Palmer and had him alter his protection scheme philosophy. In addition, they've worked with members of the OLine in minicamps on areas of weakness. Finally, they've explored utilizing them in different positions and have really openned it up for competition.

Also, how about separating Casserly's role with Capers'. Casserly is accountable for free agency and the draft. Capers can not be held accountable for something that isn't his responsibility. Capers is acountable for how the players perform when they hit the field. And, you can't fairly judge either until you see how this year's team performs.

STEEL BLUE TEXANS
07-23-2005, 09:33 AM
They worked on the pass protection this season by adjusting the offensive scheme (shorter routes) and incorporating more timing routes and 3 step drops.

Ibar_Harry
07-23-2005, 11:46 AM
They worked on the pass protection this season by adjusting the offensive scheme (shorter routes) and incorporating more timing routes and 3 step drops.

I think if you look at the record you will find they did the same thing in year 2 and that's why there was a large improvement in the number of sacks. A lot of it was attributed to having Carr get rid of the ball sooner. Why did they revert in year 3? I'm sorry, but I firmly believe the problem is in the coaching staff and not the players. Its interesting, because all you hear are excuses like if only they executed. Its interesting if you look at Parcells and the cowboys. Now, don't get me wrong I don't like Parcells, but I will say this when things went bad who did he blame. He blamed himself and said things were going to change and he had to figure out what was wrong. I have a feeling he did and the cowboys may surprise a lot of people this year. I wish that wasn't the case, but time will tell. Leaders get a grip on their problems and move forward. I have not seen that happening with the Texan's offense. Its not the lack of change I question, its the lack of improvement based on what ever plan they implimented to fix the problem.

HardKnockTexan
07-23-2005, 12:14 PM
we're a 4th year team and if we wanna be competitive 10 years from now we cant address every issue at this moment. I think they're doing the best with what they have and hopefully once the season starts all this o line badmouthing cant be put to rest.

Historyhorn
07-25-2005, 09:52 AM
If we don't make the playoffs this year, we'll be the only expansion team since the merger in 1970 not to make the playoffs in the first four years of their existence.

Granted, we play in the far tougher AFC, but that stat is interesting.

Will we make the playoffs with no personnel changes in the OL, but changes in tactics and execution? I sure as heck hope so, but I'll have to see it on the field in the first couple of games.

You can pretty much take this formula to determine who the playoff teams will be.

First -- Defense
Second -- Coaching
Third -- Offensive Line

Here's how I think we stack up in those three areas.

Defense -- I think we'll be above average to good in this area. I like the changes made in the secondary and how we worked to get better at LB. We have some added depth on the DL and hopefully we'll take advantage of that and turn that into better pressure of the QB.

Coaching -- I think this is an area where you can give a grade of "good". Dom has done this expansion team to the playoffs thing before. He may not be Hall of Fame stuff, but he's a solid gameday coach who has a track record of success.

Offensive Line -- If this unit can just be adequate, we'll probably make the playoffs as a wild card this year. I can't say I'm overly optimistic about that occuring, but the possibility exists. Maybe the scheme and execution changes will work magical wonders and turn us into an offensive juggernaut. Maybe Carr will be roadgraded into injury before we reach mid-season. My guess it will be somewhere in between.

That leaves us with a 9 win season where we'll know if we're a wild-card on the last week of the season.

Go Texans

Meloy
07-25-2005, 11:31 AM
I will have an offensive lineman that is 23 years old and can play 15 years and guarantee no sacks or missed blocks, a defensive lineman with no less than 15 QB sacks and Lord while I am at my wish list guarantee us a winning season! I just can't understand why the Texans just did not over spend on the OLINE with Pace. Can you imagine the messages in a couple years complaining how we were the Tennesse Titans of the salary cap? Hey we are OK. As a fan I always want more, but I think management has done best possible. You can't get something to fix team if nothing reasonable is available.

bckey
07-25-2005, 11:55 AM
Coaching -- I think this is an area where you can give a grade of "good". Dom has done this expansion team to the playoffs thing before. He may not be Hall of Fame stuff, but he's a solid gameday coach who has a track record of success.


He got fired the last time he did it. As a head coach he has had 1 winning season out of 7.

STEEL BLUE TEXANS
07-25-2005, 12:23 PM
The Rams were asking for 2 first round picks. No thanks

Historyhorn
07-25-2005, 02:42 PM
bckey,

Is the contention that Dom is not a good coach? Would you give him an "average" or "failing" grade? Aside from having six losing seasons in the first three years with two different expansion teams, what evidence is there to really back that claim?

By the way, the Rockhounds "own" the Hooks. :)

Vinny
07-26-2005, 01:48 PM
Here's the thing Texans' fan, lets wait till after those first two games to see whether or not we burn or praise management and coaching staff for the job they did with the o-line.
Yeah...most of the complainers act like we have already had the results of the 2005 season in and the Texas plan has already failed. Ouija boards and crystal balls are cool and all, but I'm going to wait to complain about future blocking....that's just me though.

eriadoc
07-27-2005, 09:13 PM
I have noi idea what will happen this year, but from where I'm sitting, last year's Wand experiment turned out badly. How it turns out long term, I don't know.