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Frills
07-07-2006, 10:30 AM
http://www.covers.com/articles/articles.aspx?theArt=84220&tid=27&t=1

Houston Texans season betting preview

By Stephen Nover
Fri, Jun 30, 2006


(Editorís note: This is the third in a series of NFL previews by Covers Senior Analyst Stephen Nover. Today: Houston Texans)

It seemed so promising for the expansion Houston Texans when they upset the Dallas Cowboys on national television in their first game ever.

That was back in 2002. Since then the Texans have dropped 44 of 63 games. Quarterback David Carr has been sacked an average of 52 times during these four seasons, and Houstonís defense hasnít been as good as it was that first year when it ranked a mediocre 16th.

The Texans have averaged a measly 4 Ĺ wins per season during their four years in a league that does everything to ensure parity.

Some bookmakers believe Houston will be improved under first-year head coach Gary Kubiak. Pinnacle, for instance, has an over/under of 5 Ĺ wins for the Texans. Future book odds for Houston, of course, are still in the 100-1 vicinity.

Recreational bettors wouldnít touch Houston last year, especially after the Texans failed to cover five of their first six. This forced linemakers to inflate Houstonís pointspread on numerous occasions, which got professionals involved. The Texans actually went on a 6-2 pointspread run until failing to cover their last two games.

The Texans probably are going to be undervalued this season. That doesnít mean theyíre going to win six games, though. They may finish ahead of Tennessee, which would have meant something three years ago. Today it means very little.

Kubiak, with a Mike Shanahan background, could be the most promising of the 10 new head coaches. He believes he can help Carr take that next step, calling him the most improved player this off-season.

But weíve been hearing about how improved Carr is supposed to be for three straight years now. If it doesnít happen this season, it may never happen. Kubiak intends to let Carr be Carr, which means rollouts and an option to run instead of just sitting in a crushed pocket.

Eric Moulds and tight end Jeb Putzier give Carr a couple of legitimate receiving options, especially Moulds, in case security blanket Andre Johnson is double-teamed.

Mario Williams, the No. 1 overall pick, and tackle Anthony Weaver significantly upgrade a defensive line. Houstonís special teams are good, too, except for the erratic field-goal kicking of Kris Brown.

Taking Williams, however, cost the Texans Reggie Bush. By leaving Bush on the table, the Texans are gambling Domanick Davis starts the season healthy. Davis hasnít been able to practice during the offseason because of swelling in his knee.

Davis could be in for a monster season under Kubiak, who favors Denverís style of zone blocking. But Davis never has played a full season during his three years in the league. Heís only 5-foot-9 and frequently is nicked up.

Other factors keep me from proclaiming the Texans can win six games. The Texans open against the Eagles, Colts, Redskins, Dolphins, Cowboys and Jaguars. So they could be looking at 0-6, which would drain a lot of optimism away.

Only San Francisco surrendered more yards last season than Houston. Disposed Texans Coach Dom Capers played a 3-4 even though he didnít have enough of the right personnel. Wisely, the Texans are switching to a 4-3. Unfortunately, they may not have the right personnel to play that either.

Houstonís offensive line doesnít look a whole lot better unless veteran center Mike Flanagan still has something left and rookie tackles Charles Spencer and Eric Winston can come through. Flanagan has much wear-and-tear and Spencer and Winston were taken in the third and fourth round, respectively.

Houston ranked third-from-the-bottom in passing. The leaky offensive line was a major reason, but Carr often did a Rob Johnson impersonation taking unnecessary sacks. You canít blame the shell-shocked Carr, but it seemed he would give up too early, especially on a downfield pass. This can happen to a quarterback when heís been sacked more than any other quarterback three of the past four years.

Thatís a problem with picking Houston to go over 5 Ĺ wins. You have to deal with their mental state. Carr is suffering from battered quarterback syndrome, the defense hasnít found their direction and Davis might not be 100 percent.

Itís a lot to put on a rookie coach, even one as potentially gifted as Kubiak.

DocBar
07-07-2006, 11:01 AM
Good article. I'm gonna have to look into placing a few bets this year. Maybe I'm daft after the draft, but 51/2 is a cinch.

Tx'nFanLostInSkinCountry
07-07-2006, 11:29 AM
Doc I agree with you 5 1/2 easy. but the one thing that grabed me was this guy saying Spencer and Winston taken in the 3rd and 4th round. NOT both were taken in the 3rd so how much research did it guy do for his Texan article. And I dissagree with not having the players to play the 4-3 def. IMO we have the right players to play this sys. Most of are def. players are going back to their natural positions. On the up side I hope every team in the NFL reads this article, then when the true Texans whip-that-*ss, the other team lookes at Mr. Novers article and says that just not right.

DocBar
07-07-2006, 11:52 AM
Doc I agree with you 5 1/2 easy. but the one thing that grabed me was this guy saying Spencer and Winston taken in the 3rd and 4th round. NOT both were taken in the 3rd so how much research did it guy do for his Texan article. And I dissagree with not having the players to play the 4-3 def. IMO we have the right players to play this sys. Most of are def. players are going back to their natural positions. On the up side I hope every team in the NFL reads this article, then when the true Texans whip-that-*ss, the other team lookes at Mr. Novers article and says that just not right.
good post. I wasn't going to nitpick the draft order stuff. And we have got some good guys for a 4-3. Watch out for TJ. He wasn't a 1st rounder for nothing. He's going back to his natural position and will make huge strides this year.

HOU-TEX
07-07-2006, 11:54 AM
good post. I wasn't going to nitpick the draft order stuff. And we have got some good guys for a 4-3. Watch out for TJ. He wasn't a 1st rounder for nothing. He's going back to his natural position and will make huge strides this year.

Let's hope. Right now he looks like a really large Sloth.:stirpot:

Brandon420tx
07-07-2006, 11:55 AM
Doc I agree with you 5 1/2 easy. but the one thing that grabed me was this guy saying Spencer and Winston taken in the 3rd and 4th round. NOT both were taken in the 3rd so how much research did it guy do for his Texan article. And I dissagree with not having the players to play the 4-3 def. IMO we have the right players to play this sys. Most of are def. players are going back to their natural positions. On the up side I hope every team in the NFL reads this article, then when the true Texans whip-that-*ss, the other team lookes at Mr. Novers article and says that just not right.
while I agree that he did mess up on the winston and spencer pick, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, maybe it was an error made by his editor, or a typo gone bad. Most of his other information is more accurate than what other reporters have been saying though.

nunusguy
07-07-2006, 12:39 PM
but the one thing that grabed me was this guy saying Spencer and Winston taken in the 3rd and 4th round. NOT both were taken in the 3rd so how much research did it guy do for his Texan article.
OK, you got the author on a technicality since they were both 3rd rounders,
but otherwise I think the article was basically factually correct ?
And I got to go along with a lot of his analysis, which at times was brutaly
frank, especially if you're a Texan fan. For example:
*******
"The Texans open against the Eagles, Colts, Redskins, Dolphins, Cowboys and Jaguars. So they could be looking at 0-6, which would drain a lot of optimism away."
*******
That 6th game is here against the Jags who we do well against, we should
win that, but opening 0-5 is a real possibility, even if we play at or near our
talent level.
The key will be how good Kubiak and his staff are. And this guy is generous in his appraisal of Kubiak:
*******
"Kubiak, with a Mike Shanahan background, could be the most promising of the 10 new head coaches. He believes he can help Carr take that next step, calling him the most improved player this off-season. "
*******
But then he goes on to say:
*******
"Itís a lot to put on a rookie coach, even one as potentially gifted as Kubiak."
*******
Kubiak will have to make over-achievers out of the Texans until they develope some experience and continuity with their new systems and repair
their psyche from the trauma of last years terrible season.

Buffi2
07-07-2006, 12:51 PM
"The Texans open against the Eagles, Colts, Redskins, Dolphins, Cowboys and Jaguars. So they could be looking at 0-6, which would drain a lot of optimism away."

I fear that scenario would be devastating to all - fans/players/owner/coaches - especially after last season:hides:Talk about trying to "repair a team psyche from the trauma of last years terrible season." Try repairing last year plus losing the first six this year - I'm not sure Vince Lombardi could do that.

Since this is the off-season and the best time to be optimistic - I'm going to hope that even the football gods couldn't be that cruel and we will at least eek out a couple of wins in the first 6 games. Cancel that - I'm hoping for at least 4 wins.

:fans:

AFD1717
07-07-2006, 01:04 PM
Interesting that he called Anthony Weaver a tackle. We definately brought Weaver here to be a DE. I wonder if he has done enough homework to realize that Mario and Babin/Peek will probably get most of the reps at DE leaving Weaver to play mostly DT or if he just screwed that up like he did when he called Winston a 4th rounder. Doesn't really matter I guess.

DocBar
07-07-2006, 01:04 PM
Let's hope. Right now he looks like a really large Sloth.:stirpot:
That's hilarious. Kinda reminds me of Gilbert Brown. I think he is a talent and the current regime will show him how it's supposed to be done.

DocBar
07-07-2006, 01:05 PM
Interesting that he called Anthony Weaver a tackle. We definately brought Weaver here to be a DE. I wonder if he has done enough homework to realize that Mario and Babin/Peek will probably get most of the reps at DE leaving Weaver to play mostly DT or if he just screwed that up like he did when he called Winston a 4th rounder. Doesn't really matter I guess.
Good question. I've asked myself that a few times. I think Weaver is a good addition, but there are only so many reps to be given at a position.

HOU-TEX
07-07-2006, 01:13 PM
That's hilarious. Kinda reminds me of Gilbert Brown. I think he is a talent and the current regime will show him how it's supposed to be done.

HAHA! You said Gilbert Brown!! The king of all hefers:penguin:

I think he has the talent as well, but he needs to get his act together SOON.:hairpull:

the wonger need food
07-07-2006, 01:28 PM
good post. I wasn't going to nitpick the draft order stuff. And we have got some good guys for a 4-3. Watch out for TJ. He wasn't a 1st rounder for nothing. He's going back to his natural position and will make huge strides this year.

Maybe. It seems there have been questions about him (skills and/or work ethic) dating back to the last offseason...

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/fb/texansfront/3321308.html

Defensive end Travis Johnson, who's learning both sides and moves inside to play tackle in a four-man front, is a work in progress.

"Travis needs to pick it up and become more efficient," Fangio said. "He's got a good toolbox, but he's not a carpenter yet."


I'm starting to realize that "more efficient" was code for "less lazy" during the previous regime.

TheCD
07-07-2006, 01:34 PM
I agree with y'all in saying this guy didn't do much research. Our offensive line was shakey last year, but that was because of so many injuries. When that line had a chance to work together the year before...well, we all know how we did.

HOU-TEX
07-07-2006, 01:35 PM
Maybe. It seems there have been questions about him (skills and/or work ethic) dating back to the last offseason...

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/fb/texansfront/3321308.html

Defensive end Travis Johnson, who's learning both sides and moves inside to play tackle in a four-man front, is a work in progress.

"Travis needs to pick it up and become more efficient," Fangio said. "He's got a good toolbox, but he's not a carpenter yet."


I'm starting to realize that "more efficient" was code for "less lazy" during the previous regime.

I agree, and from what I gather I don't think coach Kub is going to put up with any of that crud.:twocents: That's why I hope he gets it together because we definetly can use him.

Fangio said he's got a good "toolbox". Figures:wacko:

the wonger need food
07-07-2006, 01:40 PM
I agree with y'all in saying this guy didn't do much research. Our offensive line was shakey last year, but that was because of so many injuries. When that line had a chance to work together the year before...well, we all know how we did.

Shakey is an understatement. And I believe it had more to do with a lack of talent and schemes more than injuries. I mean, any team that has Victor Riley (not in the NFL 1 year removed) and Todd Wade (2nd worst pass-blocking T in the NFL last year) as bookends, you are in a world of hurt.

ATX_Texan
07-07-2006, 01:41 PM
Disposed Texans Coach Dom Capers played a 3-4 even though he didnít have enough of the right personnel.

This is really a indication of how truly horrible the last FO was. After many drafts and free agency, they were unable to assemble the personnel needed to run the great Capers defense. As opposed to the Cowboys, who were able to retool their entire defense from 4-3 to 3-4 in half the time.

Here's hoping the new FO knows how to put together the right people to run the new defense. Thank goodness we finally seem to have someone who knows what they are doing.

Tx'nFanLostInSkinCountry
07-07-2006, 02:24 PM
I understand what most are saying on this thread about this guy, and saying that he is just pointing out the hard facts. My problem is I dont see him realy taking a hard look at our off season. And all the major changes that have been made to improve our team. I talked about it before and I think players getting to go back to natural positions will greatly inprove all the positions this guy basicly slams I.E. the DL and OL. Babin returns to DE,TJ returns to DT,Peek back to DE, and Cowart has played the 4-3 before, Greenwood is a true LB, Kalu a true DE, and then we get to add payne, polk, rainer, demeco, orr, r. smith and o-yea our number one draft pick super mario. This is the problem I have not just with Mr. Nover but also most main stream sports org. IMO Houston sport teams get zero respect. And nobody give me that thay have to earn it Rockets have a been to the top twice and got no respect during their time and the stros where in the WFS last year and thay get very little national media this year. Now my rant is over. Do I realy need to point out the changes on the OL we have all discussed them at length. By the way someone mentioned weaver as a DE he's listed on the roster as a DT and I read somewhere he was playing DT this year and thats the position he played in college.

nunusguy
07-07-2006, 02:52 PM
"Travis needs to pick it up and become more efficient," Fangio said. "He's got a good toolbox, but he's not a carpenter yet."
I'm starting to realize that "more efficient" was code for "less lazy" during the previous regime.
Yea, that's pretty suttle language Fangio used but I agree with your interpritation. I think Kubiak has already been more blunt on his comments
about TJ.
With all the money they invest in scouting personel, why can't they do enough home work on the teams #1 pick to determine whether or not the
guy is lazy ?
Just think if TJ had half the work ethic that Joppru has, who reportedly is one
of the first to get to work and one of the last to leave each day even after the setbacks he's incurred over the last 3 years.

TexansSeminole
07-07-2006, 03:01 PM
I understand what most are saying on this thread about this guy, and saying that he is just pointing out the hard facts. My problem is I dont see him realy taking a hard look at our off season. And all the major changes that have been made to improve our team. I talked about it before and I think players getting to go back to natural positions will greatly inprove all the positions this guy basicly slams I.E. the DL and OL. Babin returns to DE,TJ returns to DT,Peek back to DE, and Cowart has played the 4-3 before, Greenwood is a true LB, Kalu a true DE, and then we get to add payne, polk, rainer, demeco, orr, r. smith and o-yea our number one draft pick super mario. This is the problem I have not just with Mr. Nover but also most main stream sports org. IMO Houston sport teams get zero respect. And nobody give me that thay have to earn it Rockets have a been to the top twice and got no respect during their time and the stros where in the WFS last year and thay get very little national media this year. Now my rant is over. Do I realy need to point out the changes on the OL we have all discussed them at length. By the way someone mentioned weaver as a DE he's listed on the roster as a DT and I read somewhere he was playing DT this year and thats the position he played in college.

Haha, it would be funny to see the ESPN guys talk about a Texans game if we won a game in the playoffs. Change their tune i'd bet.

Vambo, the Marble Eye
07-07-2006, 03:10 PM
[QUOTE=Frills]
It seemed so promising for the expansion Houston Texans when they upset the Dallas Cowboys on national television in their first game ever.
QUOTE]

But does he understand that most of us will be happy and look on 2006 as a winning season as long as we beat the Dallas "girls" ! I can live with being the 2006 Texas Champions!

Tx'nFanLostInSkinCountry
07-07-2006, 03:20 PM
TexansSeminole I'm telling you right now the four letter network would be jumping on the band wagon and praising the texans left and right only to be the first in line to bash the Texans when thay lose. I'm on the east coast so the four letter is basicly all I get (unless it wash. or balto.)I know how that they see themselves as the one and only source. It would not suprise me if thay took credit for Hou. picking mario if he has a good year.

fan no matter what
07-07-2006, 03:33 PM
the texans may have a tuff start but i dont think the eagles or the dolphins will be that big of a challenge. maybe the colts and the redskins but we should be able to pull out at least 500 in the first 6 games

:redtowel:

fan no matter what
07-07-2006, 03:47 PM
just quoting some funny stuff

Historyhorn
07-07-2006, 03:54 PM
Aside from some factual errors, the asessment is pretty much right on. What really hurts are the accurate comments about two areas.

1) After four years, we didn't even have the right personnel to run the damn 3-4 Defense. Capers has always been a 3-4 guy. It wasn't like we started in a 4-3 and had to re-tool. We were starting from scratch. That's simply a crime in drafting and player selection in free agency.

2) At no point prior to this year's draft did our front office either spend any serious money or invest high level draft picks on help for the most obvious and glaring weakness on the team...the O-line. We all closed our eyes and hoped that experience and adjustment of scheme would make up for a lack in talent. That resulted in anemic offensive out-put and a QB needing counseling just to don football pads again.

As a state, Texas knows its football. It's a football mad state. I can't believe it took this long to realize that a team with one of the worst O-lines in the league and with defensive personnel that didn't match the scheme would struggle mightily.

It looks like we're at the beginning of the long process to turn things around, but I can't help but wonder about opportunities wasted & blunders which kept this team from being one of the league's powerhouses both in the revenue department as well as on the field.

----Rant Over----

Go Texans

DocBar
07-07-2006, 04:54 PM
Aside from some factual errors, the asessment is pretty much right on. What really hurts are the accurate comments about two areas.

1) After four years, we didn't even have the right personnel to run the damn 3-4 Defense. Capers has always been a 3-4 guy. It wasn't like we started in a 4-3 and had to re-tool. We were starting from scratch. That's simply a crime in drafting and player selection in free agency.

2) At no point prior to this year's draft did our front office either spend any serious money or invest high level draft picks on help for the most obvious and glaring weakness on the team...the O-line. We all closed our eyes and hoped that experience and adjustment of scheme would make up for a lack in talent. That resulted in anemic offensive out-put and a QB needing counseling just to don football pads again.

As a state, Texas knows its football. It's a football mad state. I can't believe it took this long to realize that a team with one of the worst O-lines in the league and with defensive personnel that didn't match the scheme would struggle mightily.

It looks like we're at the beginning of the long process to turn things around, but I can't help but wonder about opportunities wasted & blunders which kept this team from being one of the league's powerhouses both in the revenue department as well as on the field.

----Rant Over----

Go Texans
Dude, you're making me feel all bad about myself. What you say is true. And I hate you for it.
:sarcasm: in some of it.

bayoudreamn
07-07-2006, 05:02 PM
Doc I agree with you 5 1/2 easy. but the one thing that grabed me was this guy saying Spencer and Winston taken in the 3rd and 4th round. NOT both were taken in the 3rd so how much research did it guy do for his Texan article. And I dissagree with not having the players to play the 4-3 def. IMO we have the right players to play this sys. Most of are def. players are going back to their natural positions. On the up side I hope every team in the NFL reads this article, then when the true Texans whip-that-*ss, the other team lookes at Mr. Novers article and says that just not right.

I saw four paragraphs in that article that made arguments that are at best weak. Any one of those turns out wrong and the whole thing is junk. I'll sell now.

bayoudreamn
07-07-2006, 05:09 PM
Yea, that's pretty suttle language Fangio used but I agree with your interpritation. I think Kubiak has already been more blunt on his comments
about TJ.
With all the money they invest in scouting personel, why can't they do enough home work on the teams #1 pick to determine whether or not the
guy is lazy ?
Just think if TJ had half the work ethic that Joppru has, who reportedly is one
of the first to get to work and one of the last to leave each day even after the setbacks he's incurred over the last 3 years.

Carr said on 610 yesterday that "joppru had really 'cut himself up'" this offseason. I guess that's a little physical proof to go with the claims that he's ready to go. Good luck BJ!!!

bayoudreamn
07-07-2006, 05:11 PM
TexansSeminole I'm telling you right now the four letter network would be jumping on the band wagon and praising the texans left and right only to be the first in line to bash the Texans when thay lose. I'm on the east coast so the four letter is basicly all I get (unless it wash. or balto.)I know how that they see themselves as the one and only source. It would not suprise me if thay took credit for Hou. picking mario if he has a good year.

Give ESPN a break. It's hard to do research and quality reporting when you're busy answering the phone fielding questions from NFL coaches about who they should pick in the draft.

DocBar
07-07-2006, 05:12 PM
Give ESPN a break. It's hard to do research and quality reporting when you're busy answering the phone fielding questions from NFL coaches about who they should pick in the draft.
Don't forget plugging for your favorite NE team

bayoudreamn
07-07-2006, 05:40 PM
Don't forget plugging for your favorite NE team

That too..... we need to do our part for charity and support the east coast.

TheCD
07-08-2006, 01:56 PM
It would not suprise me if thay took credit for Hou. picking mario if he has a good year.



I really don't see this happening. My estimation is that if Mario has a phenomenal year, and Reggie tanks...they'll just air a 2-part NFL Live set about how Reggie just didn't have the right personnel, or that he hasn't had time to flourish.


They've done everything to Mario but burn him in effigy, so I don't expect any turn-around from them until his 2nd or 3rd Pro-Bowl (assuming that happens of course).

DocBar
07-08-2006, 02:01 PM
I really don't see this happening. My estimation is that if Mario has a phenomenal year, and Reggie tanks...they'll just air a 2-part NFL Live set about how Reggie just didn't have the right personnel, or that he hasn't had time to flourish.


They've done everything to Mario but burn him in effigy, so I don't expect any turn-around from them until his 2nd or 3rd Pro-Bowl (assuming that happens of course).
Should be quite a Thanksgiving...a whole bunch of "draft experts" eating crow. Hopefully, MW has them doing just that by turkey day.

Wolf
07-08-2006, 02:15 PM
maybe the :homer: in me and I don't see us going to the playoffs, but I see us as a team that is better than the 2004 team talentwise and that team went 7-9...

but IMO the key things
how quick we pick up the defensive scheme and buchanon: Can he play to his talent level.

and how quick we pick up the Offensive scheme, we have better talent than the 2004 squad offensively and a better offensive coaching staff(on paper)

I see us hovering around what the 2004 season was.

and again probably the :homer: in me but I don't see us as the 2-14 team