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Co E-Z
11-01-2005, 12:10 AM
Why was Wells in at fullback? I saw him lead blocking for DD on a sweep play and...SIGH!!! Lets just say he needs some work at hitting a moving target. Did he beat out Norris?

Vinny
11-01-2005, 08:17 AM
I'm not sure what is running through the minds of our coaches. Wells isn't a very physical blocker and he does struggle locating his target.

chuckm
11-01-2005, 09:25 AM
Wells will eventually be a "numbers casualty" which is unfortunate because he's really grown on me over the last few years ..... unselfishness and special teams intensity is a good thing


*see Jason Bell

nunusguy
11-01-2005, 09:44 AM
Wells will eventually be a "numbers casualty" which is unfortunate because he's really grown on me over the last few years .....
I dunno....Wells is the hardest runner we've got on the roster inside the
tackles so he's valuable for short yardage/goal line situations and also is a contributing regular on Special Teams, which has easily been our best performing unit this year.

Runner
11-01-2005, 09:48 AM
I like Wells too. He has earned his roster spot the past couple of years by doing the things he asked to do. He's been good on special teams, and I thought he filled in well for Davis last year.

the wonger need food
11-01-2005, 09:53 AM
Norris is actually considered one of the better run blocking fullbacks in the league.

Wells is brought in for a different look. They probably had a fullback pass (I think there's a fullback pass somewhere in the playbook. Probably on the same page as the tight end pass) called and Carr switched it to the tried and true off-left-tackle audible.

Wells is the most under-utilized and under-rated players on this team... IMO. The guys brings it with heart when he gets playing time.

infantrycak
11-01-2005, 09:57 AM
I dunno....Wells is the hardest runner we've got on the roster inside the
tackles so he's valuable for short yardage/goal line situations and also is a contributing regular on Special Teams, which has easily been our best performing unit this year.

Wells has improved dramatically in the last couple of years and I suspect he will beat the numbers games for a while longer because of versatility, but at 250 lbs he still does not run anything close to as hard as DD at 220 lbs in between the tackles--that is part of why DD averages a full yd more between the tackles than Wells.

mean mark8
11-01-2005, 10:34 AM
... They probably had a fullback pass (I think there's a fullback pass somewhere in the playbook. Probably on the same page as the tight end pass) called and Carr switched it to the tried and true off-left-tackle audible.

Carr cannot audible from a pass to a run, he can only change sides to which a run is called.

We were told in preseason Wells was going to see some time at fullback. Well we've finally seen it. I thought it would be more out of a pro set where the defense couldn't just key on DD for a run and would have to respect the possibility that we may hand it off to Wells. I think for something like this to work, we will actually have to hand the ball to Wells at some point. IMO, his blocking skills did not earn him the position it's his ability to run that did.

SESupergenius
11-01-2005, 10:38 AM
I saw that play and Wells pulled a P-Buc whiff....well almost...Pbuc is the only one that whiff so good. Makes you forget Stevens. Anyways. It
s just sill for Wells to lined up as the FB, period. This team has no deception.

texasguy346
11-01-2005, 10:40 AM
Pbuc is the only one that whiff so good. Makes you forget Stevens.

I don't know if I'd go that far. I don't think I'll ever forget Stevens. I still have fears that the Texans will trade our 2nd and 3rd round picks to McDonalds in exchange for Matt "The Fry Boy" Stevens.:crying:

Ibar_Harry
11-01-2005, 10:51 AM
I'm not sure what is running through the minds of our coaches. Wells isn't a very physical blocker and he does struggle locating his target.

Vinny you have heard the coaches say time and time again that they reward work ethic. Wells is the darling of the coaching staff because he has worked so hard. He should be rewarded but not at the expense of the team. As hard as he has worked, he doesn't belong on the field if there's a better player playing better at the position. If the person is more skillful he deserves to be on the field. I think that's why you saw us release certain wide receivers and retain Hollings and Bradford. Its all part of the same coaching outlook. Its like T.O., you may not like him, but you don't bench him if you can help it. He's just to big an impact player to be benched even if he hasn't worked out as hard as you would like. This coaching staff really treats this team like its made up of a buch of HS athletes, not adults. That outlook prevades everything they do. No one has any lattitude and allowed to make decisions on the field. The one exception was Wong and he is out for the season.

thegr8fan
11-01-2005, 11:51 AM
I am so tired of reading what a workhorse and special teams guy Wells is. I don't see it at all. The guy can't block, runs like a girlscout with the ball, and isn't even that great of a tackler. I am always hearing about how great of a special team player he is and I was watching him the entire game Sunday and I just can't see it. He is on the left side of the 'wedge' formed when Mathis is running the ball, and most of the time he is still looking for someone to block when Mathis runs right by him. There were multiple times when he didn't block anyone at all. Rarely is he in on a tackle on our kickoff's, he just runs downfield and......well occupy's a roster spot.

The guy weighs in at 250 and as a RB runs like he is 180. As a Fullback he is even more of a joke.

why is he at Fullback instead of Norris, who the heck knows. It is just another of the endless list of things that our coaching staff does that makes more than a few people go 'HUH?"

beerlover
11-01-2005, 12:13 PM
the Texans are just so loaded at RB/FB they just don't ever get the chance to shine :sarcasm:

SheTexan
11-01-2005, 12:13 PM
why is he at Fullback instead of Norris, who the heck knows. It is just another of the endless list of things that our coaching staff does that makes more than a few people go 'HUH?"

I totally agree. M. Norris is a bull just waiting to get his chance to prove what he can do. I like this guys attitude as well. He's always fired up!

I can't figure out why our coaches are so stuck on Bradford over Armstrong either. Bradford couldn't catch a football thrown by my 6 y/o grandson, he would drop it for sure. Armstrong catches most anything that is catchable!! Plays like he really wants to help this team win a ballgame, not so CB.

nunusguy
11-01-2005, 12:57 PM
that is part of why DD averages a full yd more between the tackles than Wells.
I dunno about that Cak, isn't that kinda comparing apples to oranges ? I mean DD is the teams regular RB, and even though he's certainly not a burner, he breaks off a few runs for yardage now and then(atleast in past years) to bump up the average. And a lot of times those longer runs origionate inside the tackle, sometimes off tackle. With Wells, he's more apt to find himself at RB ( what few snaps he gets at that position) in short yardage situations.
If its 3rd and 1 and I've decided to run it up the middle, I'm definitely going with Wells.

infantrycak
11-01-2005, 01:14 PM
I dunno about that Cak, isn't that kinda comparing apples to oranges ? I mean DD is the teams regular RB, and even though he's certainly not a burner, he breaks off a few runs for yardage now and then(atleast in past years) to bump up the average. And a lot of times those longer runs origionate inside the tackle, sometimes off tackle. With Wells, he's more apt to find himself at RB ( what few snaps he gets at that position) in short yardage situations.
If its 3rd and 1 and I've decided to run it up the middle, I'm definitely going with Wells.

1st, IMO it is plain from watching the two run even just any 5 random runs a piece that DD is a far more physical runner than Wells despite the weight difference. As for DD breaking off long ones, Wells has had his proportionate opportunity to do the same. The Texans have not shown any proclivity to put Wells in for short yardage situations. In 3rd and 2 or less Wells has only been run 8 times since DD joined the team, for a total of 6 yds--.75 ypc. In the same time period DD has been run 26 times in 3rd and 2 or less for 159 yds--6.1 ypc. JMO, but both by eyeballs and stats DD is a harder interior runner.

Hervoyel
11-01-2005, 01:16 PM
I think it's like this.

In 2002 Wells didn't get much of anything when he ran. He didn't get many yards and he didn't get much blocking. "Merselis" didn't do any better and he was your average "thousand yard back" (which means not much really).

That's what most people seem to remember out of Wells and he doesn't come in enough to get "warmed up" and really get a feel for the game.

I personally would like to see Wells get a few starts and get allowed to really carry the running game.

Do I think he'll bust loose and go all "Earl Campbell" on us? No, of course not. That is for to laugh. I just think he'll do about what Davis does give or take .3 or so yards per carry. He's not a bad back but then neither is Domanick. They're upper level ordinary and can look really good behind great blocking (which they won't get here anytime soon).

Call it morbid curiosity.

TheOgre
11-01-2005, 01:20 PM
Wells is a fan favorite, but I think his days will be numbered under a new regime.

Hervoyel
11-01-2005, 01:26 PM
Wells is a fan favorite, but I think his days will be numbered under a new regime.


Wow. I don't think I've ever seen Jonathan Wells described before as a "fan favorite". I remember when he was only described as "soft" and everyone complained that he fell down the moment anyone touched him.

I kind of like seeing someone call him a fan favorite. It means that he's rehabilitated his image here to the point where he's liked in general and he's productive to the extent that he can be.

Lucky
11-01-2005, 03:05 PM
Call it morbid curiosity.
Well, it's certainly morbid to want Wells over Davis. He's not half the back DD is.

Wells has the right size and athleticism to play RB. I'm sure that's why a coach at somepoint in Jonathan's life lined him up there. But he doesn't understand how to use his body for leverage. How to turn his body to slip tackles. He doesn't see holes developing. Or have a feel for when to cut back. Or know to keep his feet moving. Wells doesn't own the collection of skills required to be a starting NFL RB. Davis does.

I go back to Wells rookie year, when he ran with some abandon early in the season & preseason. Jonathan had a handful a decent games, considering who was blocking for him. But Wells lost a fumble early in the Colt game at Reliant, and was pulled from the game by Capers (it was his only lost fumble for the season). He's never really been the same since. And Wells wasn't good enough to lose anything.

As a special teamer, Wells seems to be doing his job. He forced a fumble in the Seattle game (Seahags recovered). And he made a couple of good blocks on Mathis returns last Sunday. Wells won't de-cleat a defender. But he does do a good job of position blocking, and what you want to do on a kickoff return is let the defender going full speed take himself out of the play. Wells seems to have found his niche in the NFL, but starting RB it ain't.

rmartin65
11-01-2005, 03:13 PM
All teams need good special teamers.

TheOgre
11-01-2005, 03:20 PM
All teams need good special teamers.

True but you don't need 4 HB's on the same roster (DD, Morency, Wells, Hollings).

College Texan
11-01-2005, 03:29 PM
Then the obvious is to get rid of hollings who doesn't contribute any and who has lost appeal with morency being the new speed guy

Vinny
11-01-2005, 03:30 PM
Baxter didn't make the team so Wells is the reserve FB as well as a halfback.

Hervoyel
11-01-2005, 03:48 PM
Interesting. I really don't see it. I think the only real difference between what you get with DD and what you get with Wells is how they look running while they get you approximately the same number of yards. The biggest difference in their careers to date has been opportunity. Wells got the 2002 line and Davis got the 2003-2004 line.

Davis would have been good for the same basic yardage in 2002 if he'd been here and Wells could have gotten you 1000-1200 yards in 03-04 if he'd been getting the number of carries that Davis got.

Niether one of them stays the starter on my team for very long. The Texans should get this line problem solved and then draft themselves a franchise back. Davis goes to third downs or trade bait and Wells becomes 3rd or 4th string/fullback/special teams.

My point being that I don't particularly "want" either of them. They'll do just fine for now but the Texans need that back who demands other teams plan on stopping him. David Carr needs that kind of runningback behind him if he's ever going to have a chance to succeed in the NFL. Davis, Wells, hell probably even Morency. None of these guys are it.

Lucky
11-01-2005, 03:57 PM
...and Wells could have gotten you 1000-1200 yards in 03-04 if he'd been getting the number of carries that Davis got.
You'd think a guy who "could have gotten" 1000+ yards in a season would have gotten a sniff from a few teams during the free agency period. Wells was ignored by 31 teams. I don't think many share your opinion of Jonathan's abilities as a RB.

Davis' record stands on its own. He has done it, no guesswork. Not Earl Campbell, but the best the Texans have had by a very large margin.

MorKnolle
11-01-2005, 04:00 PM
Norris is one of the better blocking FBs in the NFL but they like to bring Wells in since he is a better runner so the defense can't key in on Davis as well. While Wells doesn't block as well on running plays, both he and Norris routinely get nice blocks and tackles on both sides of special teams play. It is an injustice that neither has yet been featured on Monday Night Countdown's "Jacked Up" segment they do on the best hits of the week because they have both had some nice ones.

Hervoyel
11-01-2005, 04:54 PM
You'd think a guy who "could have gotten" 1000+ yards in a season would have gotten a sniff from a few teams during the free agency period.

See "you" might think that but I don't. Guys who can get you 1000+ yards in a season are a lot more common than you seem to think. Did you see the crowd of GM's standing outside the Texans practice facility waiting on James Allen the day he retired? Allen got 1000+ yards for the bears in a season so surely he must have been in high demand right? Actually "wrong". Nobody so much as glanced his way when he retired.

Last free agent period we all watched backs who could easily get you 1500 yards in a season not get the slightest nibble in free agency so why would anyone think that Jonathan Wells would interest anyone other than people looking for special teams help?

Domanick is a nice back, he's just nothing special. Jonathan Wells is less exciting to watch than Domanick Davis but he's not that far off of Davis. He got his hundred last season when he started for Davis. His average was very close to what Davis did.

Lucky
11-01-2005, 05:09 PM
...Jonathan Wells is less exciting to watch than Domanick Davis but he's not that far off of Davis. He got his hundred last season when he started for Davis. His average was very close to what Davis did.
Guys who get 100 yards once in their career are much more common than backs who gain over 1000 yards in their first 2 seasons. There may be many RBs who have gained 1000 yards in a season, but only one has accomplished that feat here.

Take away that expansion season, and Wells average per carry is half a yard less than Davis' 4.1 ypc. That's a larger difference than LT or Edgerrin James have on DD. And they don't run behind the Texans line. By any reasonable metric you can find, Wells is far off from Davis.

infantrycak
11-01-2005, 05:13 PM
See "you" might think that but I don't. Guys who can get you 1000+ yards in a season are a lot more common than you seem to think. Did you see the crowd of GM's standing outside the Texans practice facility waiting on James Allen the day he retired? Allen got 1000+ yards for the bears in a season so surely he must have been in high demand right? Actually "wrong". Nobody so much as glanced his way when he retired.

Wells couldn't move James Allen to the bench--that says something right there. As for guys who can get you 1000+ yds--it isn't as common as people act. I may be off by one or two, but only 13 RB's out of over 1500 RB's ever have started their careers with back to back 1000 yd seasons--none before the 16 game season.

Last free agent period we all watched backs who could easily get you 1500 yards in a season not get the slightest nibble in free agency so why would anyone think that Jonathan Wells would interest anyone other than people looking for special teams help?

Not saying anyone would be interested in Wells, but James and Alexander are simply so different they don't provide any guidance. Wells can be had for league minimum and the guys you are talking about are looking for 7 year $50+ mil contracts at 27 and 28 years old. That is why no one traded for James and Alexander.

I don't think DD is elite, but JMO Wells in not NFL starter material--emergency backup maybe, maybe not that if Morency stops dancing. DD on the other hand is a legitimate starter.

Hervoyel
11-01-2005, 07:08 PM
Wells couldn't move James Allen to the bench--that says something right there. As for guys who can get you 1000+ yds--it isn't as common as people act. I may be off by one or two, but only 13 RB's out of over 1500 RB's ever have started their careers with back to back 1000 yd seasons--none before the 16 game season.

Wells could not move James Allen to the bench, that is true. He averaged 6 tenths of a yard less than James Allen while running behind the same line. Obviously I'm as shocked as everyone else here that the 4th round rookie runningback couldn't unseat the uncommon, 1000 yard rushing James Allen.

James Allen gave the Bears 1120 yards and a 3.9 average in 2000 by the way so is it safe to say that James Allen could run behind a good line. Nothing spectacular of course but then we aren't talking about spectacular runningbacks are we? The only thing that stopped James Allen from a pair of 1000 yard seasons was the emergence of Anthony Thomas so if that hadn't happened then how much more impressive would Merselis be if he'd come to the Texans with a pair of 1000 yard seasons? It's not like he wouldn't have gotten his 1000 yards if he'd been given the carries in Chicago.

Running for 1000 yards (or a little more than that) in a 16 game season is exactly as common as people act. It's about a bare minimum level of talent needed and a sufficiently capable offensive line combined with enough carries over the course of 16 games.

In 2000 James Allen got 290 carries and ran for 1120 yards. He also caught 39 balls that year for another 291 yards. He scored 6 touchdowns that year. The Bears were so thrilled to have a guy who could put up those numbers that they promptly spent a 2 on Anthony Thomas a year later. Looks like they were very impressed with their 1000 yard back.

In 2002 the Texans line was incapable of run blocking (as well as pass protection) and despite the fact that anyone with even a little sense could see this Jonathan Wells and James Allen were roundly criticized for being lousy runningbacks. Allens 1000 yards back in 2000 didn't get him out of the line of fire. He sucked just as much as the rookie according to the fans.

In 2003 Domanick Davis got 1031 yards on 238 attempts for a 4.3 average. No other back on our team averaged more than 2.8 yards per carry (and that was Wells who got a whopping 5 carries that year).
Wells was basically kicked to the curb by the team for failing to produce in 2002 which to me was ludicrous since nobody produced in 2002. They went and got Stacey Mack (who had a gaudy 2.7 yard average), had high hopes for Tony Hollings (matching Macks 2.7), and Davis emerged. If Jonathan Wells doesn't find a spot on special teams in 2003 then we never end up having this conversation because he was on the fast track out of town. James Allen was already history.

5 carries. Jonathan Wells got 5 chances to prove he was a runningback in 2003.

In 2004 Davis followed that up with a devastating 1188 yards on 302 attempts for a 3.9 average. Wells got 82 touches that season for 299 yards and a 3.6 average. Wells got 26 of those carries in one game against Oakland and he averaged 4 yards a carry against the Raiders. His remaining 56 carries and 194 yards came over the rest of the season and in spot work he averaged 3.4 yards per carry.

I'm sure you are familiar with the concept of a runningback getting better with increased carries? You are familiar with the fairly common situation where a running team beats on a defense all game long and begins wearing them down in the second half?

Wells only got to run behind the 2004 line a few carries per game with the exception of the Oakland game. When he got the chance to get into a rhythm he produced just like Domanick Davis did.

I'm not even arguing that Wells is as good as Davis. I'm only saying that neither one of them is anything special and that Wells could be doing very similar work right now. People act like Wells sucks and Domanick walks on water but Davis never had to run behind the 2002 Texans line and Jonathan Wells has rarely been given a chance to run behind the much better lines that have blocked for DD. It is not a fair comparison.


Also don't get real hung up over the "back to back 1000 yard seasons" stat. It's rubbish. 1500 running backs? How many of those running backs got the chance to start their rookie season? Toss those guys out because they didn't even get a chance to shoot for 1K. How many guys got hurt during their second season? Remember that you can't hold an injury against them. It has no bearing on their talent. One stuck foot on the turf and you're not as good a running back as Domanick Davis? I don't think so.

Shaun Alexander didn't do it so I guess he's not as good as DD. Same for Tiki Barber, Stephen Davis, Priest Holmes, or Deuce McAllister. I wouldn't trade DD and his pair of "1K Wonders" for any of those guys.

Ok yeah I would.


Not saying anyone would be interested in Wells, but James and Alexander are simply so different they don't provide any guidance. Wells can be had for league minimum and the guys you are talking about are looking for 7 year $50+ mil contracts at 27 and 28 years old. That is why no one traded for James and Alexander.

I don't think DD is elite, but JMO Wells in not NFL starter material--emergency backup maybe, maybe not that if Morency stops dancing. DD on the other hand is a legitimate starter.

Neither one of them is elite. Both of them could look really good running in Denver. Davis probably more so than Wells.

Hervoyel
11-01-2005, 07:23 PM
Oh yes, and in 2005? Davis is sitting pretty with 547 yards on 141 attempts. He's getting 3.9 yards per carry again and he's on pace to get around 1250 yards give or take. He's currently 15th.

What does that do for the Texans? They rank 18th in rushing with 27.3 attempts per game and 812 yards (4.3 average). All is not what it seems though.

Take out the 208 yards from David Carrs 37 attempts and we'd drop down to the 26 spot. Our running game isn't getting it done by a long shot and neither is our starting running back.

Fixing our offensive line problems is important. Getting a real LT who can own his side of the line is important. If you really want to see David Carr get time to throw then drafting or signing a real franchise running back is a necessity. Put someone behind him who can take over a game and frequently does. I have never seen (and never expect to see) Domanick Davis take over a game. Jonathan Wells couldn't do it either.

real
11-01-2005, 07:29 PM
DD is not the answer for a franchise. He's str8 for right now, but we really need to think about replacing him

Runner
11-01-2005, 07:41 PM
Thanks for posting last years stats Hervoyel. Good analysis. I thought that was the one year the most fair comparison could be made, but I didn't have the energy to look for the data. I think that Wells has always suffered from the fans' "aftertaste" of the inaugural season.

infantrycak
11-01-2005, 08:49 PM
Neither one of them is elite. Both of them could look really good running in Denver. Davis probably more so than Wells.

I don't think DD is elite, but JMO Wells in not NFL starter material--emergency backup maybe, maybe not that if Morency stops dancing. DD on the other hand is a legitimate starter.

Man Herv, that was a lot of work to come to a difference on shades of grey. In contrast to folks questioning the Texans' contracts for Wade, Walker and Greenwood--not one media outlet questioned the Texans signing DD to a starter's contract.

Hervoyel
11-01-2005, 09:35 PM
Yeah, I'm like that sometimes.

touttail
11-02-2005, 07:34 AM
Norris is one of the better blocking FBs in the NFL but they like to bring Wells in since he is a better runner so the defense can't key in on Davis as well. .

Yeah the defense can't key on DD. When we run we normally have a one WR set with tight ends. Hellooooooo run-run, the opposing defense stacks 8 men on the line. That is one reason why our offense is so predictible. Just like when Carr audibles it's DD run left! Why can't the coaching staff see this. The opposing defense does!!!!!

bobby 119C:brickwall