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Texans_Chick
07-22-2006, 11:22 PM
Link: New-look Texans seeking new-look results. (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/texans/2006-07-22-preview_x.htm)

Kubiak, Denver's longtime offensive coordinator in his first season as a head coach, faces the unenviable task of turning around a team that sunk to the NFL's worst record and the poorest mark in the team's four-year history last season.

He isn't the type to make predictions, but he does have a specific goal for Houston.

"I don't put a number on anything. Our No. 1 goal is to become a winner," Kubiak said. "It's been in existence for four years, it's never had a winning season, and the first step is for this team to become competitive week-in and week-out."

The Texans took what was widely considered a big gamble by passing on Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush with the No. 1 pick in the draft in favor of Williams, a hulking defensive end.

While risky, the choice does make sense. Houston has Domanick Davis, who has 3,195 yards rushing in his three-year career and a new spring in his step since he wasn't ousted from his job by Bush.

What they haven't had is a legitimate pass rush or a run defense. Houston allowed 364 yards per game last season, including a league-worst 143.9 rushing.

Gone along with fired coach Dom Capers is his 3-4 defense as Houston moves to the 4-3 this season, creating a need for true defensive ends. The Texans hope the answer comes in the form of the 6-foot-7, 291-pound Williams, who has been described as a disruptive pass rusher.

Houston also added Anthony Weaver, a defensive end who moved to tackle with the arrival of Williams.

The Texans also targeted their linebacking corps by picking DeMeco Ryans, the 2005 SEC defensive player of the year, with the first pick in the second round.

The outside pressure for Williams to excel immediately doesn't bother Kubiak.

"I know there's a lot of pressure coming from the fact that he's the No. 1 pick, a lot of expectations, but the bottom line is we want Mario to do his job," Kubiak said. "We want him to play his spot well, and if Mario does that, he's going to make everybody better on our defense."

Kubiak thinks the attention defenses pay to Williams will make threats out of players such as Antwan Peek, Jason Babin and Weaver.

While all eyes will be on Williams on defense, the pressure on offense will fall squarely on the shoulders of last year's most-sacked man, David Carr. A former No. 1 pick himself, Carr has yet to live up to lofty expectations.

He had his best season in 2004, with 3,531 yards passing with 16 touchdowns, but regressed last season and often looked shell-shocked.

Yet the Texans expressed their faith in him by exercising an $8 million contract option that will keep him in Houston for three more seasons. The decision likely had a lot to do with Kubiak, a former quarterback who liked Carr from the start.

"He has all the physical tools that it takes to be successful in this league," Kubiak said. "Does David have to play better than he played last year? Of course he does. We all have to. But we expect a lot of him, and we're going to try to build this football team around him and help him be successful."

Kubiak, who backed up John Elway in Denver and later coached him, said quarterbacks often "play their best football from year 5 to 11 or 12" exactly the phase of his career Carr is entering.

"I'm hoping his best is in front of him, and the sooner the better," Kubiak said.

Carr has already at work learning Kubiak's new offense, and top receiver Andre Johnson will be joined by Eric Moulds, who was traded from Buffalo.

After struggling through his worst season in 2005, Johnson has been rejuvenated by the mere presence of Moulds. He is giddy over having a mentor as well as another receiving threat, and hopes are high that their chemistry will translate to on-field success.

Of course the key to all this will be Houston's ability to assemble an effective offensive line.

It's unclear what combination of players the Texans will line up to protect Carr, but the unit will be anchored by veteran Steve McKinney at left guard. They added tackle Ephraim Salaam in free agency and gargantuan tackles Eric Winston of Miami and Charles Spencer from Pittsburgh in the third round of the draft. Winston is 6-7, 307, and Spencer is 6-5, 352.

The group could get a boost from the hiring of Mike Sherman, a longtime offensive line coach who was fired as Green Bay's head coach after last season. Sherman will be Kubiak's assistant head coach for offense.

"I think we'll be very good up front," Kubiak said. "The question is: Which five guys is it going to be? Our competition in that position at training camp will probably be about as fierce as any position that we have."

Texan Asylum
07-22-2006, 11:31 PM
Another good read TC. Thanks for the post!

Texansfan36
07-22-2006, 11:36 PM
Great read. Thanks TC!!

Go Texans!!!:mario: :yahoo: :fireball: :bowser:

SAMURAITEXAN
07-22-2006, 11:39 PM
Thanks TC.

Scooter
07-23-2006, 12:24 AM
good stuff. mckinney will likely be at RG however with pitts at LG.

Hardcore Texan
07-23-2006, 12:54 AM
good stuff. mckinney will likely be at RG however with pitts at LG.


I caught that too. It is good to hear that the competition will be fierce on the OL. We need a cohesive unit on the field this fall. I think we will suprise a lot of people this year, we have had a great offseason.

Scooter
07-23-2006, 01:18 AM
I caught that too. It is good to hear that the competition will be fierce on the OL. We need a cohesive unit on the field this fall. I think we will suprise a lot of people this year, we have had a great offseason.

agreed, there's nothing better going into training camp than legitimate competition for a starting position. however, these reports of "all 5 of our linemen are out of position" are very exaggerated. flanagan is going to be playing center under a mike sherman offense. pitts has been playing LG for the past 2 years, and mckinney saw time at RG last year and played guard with the colts. weigert has seen time at RT and wand has started almost a full season at LT. these guys are light on experience for the most part obviously, however it's not the musical chairs situation that many reporters would lead us to believe.

BigDTexansFan
07-23-2006, 01:23 AM
here us what he said..."faces the unenviable task of turning around a team that sunk to the NFL's worst record ", let me see 2-14 not good but surely not as bad as 1-15 or 0-16, which I recall many people saying they felt Texans would not win a game. To counterpoint Mr. Happyface, I would recall Carolina Panthers of 2001 going 1-15 and a scant two years later going 11-5 in 2003 and playing in Super Bowl :francis:

Runner
07-23-2006, 02:07 AM
When the "fierce competition for the o-line positions" topic is brought up, the discussion usually turns to tackles around here. Does anybody want to discuss the odds of Weary beating out McKinney for right guard?

Texans Pride
07-23-2006, 02:15 AM
It's unclear what combination of players the Texans will line up to protect Carr, but the unit will be anchored by veteran Steve McKinney at left guard. They added tackle Ephraim Salaam in free agency and gargantuan tackles Eric Winston of Miami and Charles Spencer from Pittsburgh in the third round of the draft. Winston is 6-7, 307, and Spencer is 6-5, 352.

I'm a bit suprised Mike Flanagan wasn't mentioned here. That is who I am counting on to anchor this line.

Runner
07-23-2006, 02:19 AM
It's unclear what combination of players the Texans will line up to protect Carr, but the unit will be anchored by veteran Steve McKinney at left guard. They added tackle Ephraim Salaam in free agency and gargantuan tackles Eric Winston of Miami and Charles Spencer from Pittsburgh in the third round of the draft. Winston is 6-7, 307, and Spencer is 6-5, 352.

I'm a bit suprised Mike Flanagan wasn't mentioned here. That is who I am counting on to anchor this line.

I'm taking the bolded statement with a grain of salt, since it's an AP article. I was just wondering what the people on the board thought. I'm not sure that McKinneys performance in the past years, albeit at out of position at center, guarantees him a "lock".

TexanSam
07-23-2006, 02:22 AM
here us what he said..."faces the unenviable task of turning around a team that sunk to the NFL's worst record ", let me see 2-14 not good but surely not as bad as 1-15 or 0-16, which I recall many people saying they felt Texans would not win a game. To counterpoint Mr. Happyface, I would recall Carolina Panthers of 2001 going 1-15 and a scant two years later going 11-5 in 2003 and playing in Super Bowl :francis:

I think it meant the worst record last season...which we did have.

CenTexNative
07-23-2006, 04:20 AM
Good stuff. Thanks for the update

Scooter
07-23-2006, 04:25 AM
I'm taking the bolded statement with a grain of salt, since it's an AP article. I was just wondering what the people on the board thought. I'm not sure that McKinneys performance in the past years, albeit at out of position at center, guarantees him a "lock".

i dont want mckinney on this team, and i've made that perfectly clear for years. mckinney is NOT any good ... his feet are fine, but his hands and decision making are fubar'd, both of which are too late in his career to correct. as for weary, he's been disappointing even as a backup IMO (BUT, he's servicable for the price). however i'm in full agreement with texanspride that the acquisition of flanagan is too far under the radar. a probowler anchoring the worst offensive line in NFL history, under his transferred (and very successful) head coach, and using arguably the most productive scheme in NFL history ... this should be the focus of the pundits. we have the worst possible unit, and the largest possible gain in place, however they're overshadowed by a 33 year old receiver and a rookie DE (both of which i love, but we're talking about the texans). my head hurts.

even if both of our draft picks are busts (not likely), we're twice the line we've ever been because of coaching alone. wand is one of the smartest and most physically gifted linemen we'll see. pitts is solid anywhere on the line. flanagan's a probowler. weigert & mckinney are bad, but they're servicable and can hold up until our rookies and/or free agents can take over. if even one of our draft picks can start next season, we're in position to jump from the worst line ever into one of the top 15. the ripple effect from this change is obvious to even novice fans. better blocking means both better passing and running games. these mean more time on offense and less on defense. this means a more refreshed defense and better pass rush ... combined with a focus on a dominant defensive line and we've become the jaguars on defense, and the broncos on offense. WOW. it ALL starts in the trenches and the broncos have learned this ... the texans are on our way because we're leaning on the lines. i've been a fan my entire life and i've NEVER been more excited about a football team.

TexansSeminole
07-23-2006, 04:35 AM
Yea, it has been a exciting offseason.

That's a positive article about the Texans? Amazing.

South Texan
07-23-2006, 05:25 AM
I'm taking the bolded statement with a grain of salt, since it's an AP article. I was just wondering what the people on the board thought. I'm not sure that McKinneys performance in the past years, albeit at out of position at center, guarantees him a "lock".

When they wiped out the depth chart on the web site, I took it to mean NOBODY has a lock.

aj.
07-23-2006, 08:02 AM
I bet this guy is not a MENSA member
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
here us what he said..."


This particular AP contributor happens to be female.

How is that article "good stuff?" (from a newsiness perspective) To me, the article reads like a general summary overview that could have been penned in May or June. It does hit on the salient offseason talking points that make it suitable for the intended readership I guess - a national audience that is not as familiar with each and every little detail about the Texans as we are -- or maybe those who went on a two month cruise to a desert island with no cell phones, tv, or internet and are just now getting back and need a quick catch up. On second thought, any semi-positive article about the Texans in a national outlet is a good thing.

They shuffle guys around, yes, but McKinney anchoring the line at LG is probably news to Chester...

BigDTexansFan
07-23-2006, 11:34 AM
I think it meant the worst record last season...which we did have.


EVERY year some team has worst record in that season, but it is an AP article so he didn't have to make sense. god I miss UPI

PapaL
07-23-2006, 11:41 AM
It's unclear what combination of players the Texans will line up to protect Carr, but the unit will be anchored by veteran Steve McKinney at left guard. They added tackle Ephraim Salaam in free agency and gargantuan tackles Eric Winston of Miami and Charles Spencer from Pittsburgh in the third round of the draft. Winston is 6-7, 307, and Spencer is 6-5, 352.

I'm a bit suprised Mike Flanagan wasn't mentioned here. That is who I am counting on to anchor this line.

Aren't we expecting Pitts at LG and McKinney at RG? McKinney at LG would be a bit up of a shock to me. But then again, lets get the best guys on the field and light up the scoreboard.

HoustonFan
07-23-2006, 11:43 AM
I can't wait for the season to begin. Good read TC. I'm not expecting all that much from the team.... just 8 - 8. That's fair. The bare minimum, 7 - 9.

NoBullTexan
07-23-2006, 05:39 PM
"The Texans took what was widely considered a big gamble by passing on Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush with the No. 1 pick in the draft in favor of Williams, a hulking defensive end."

That quote is pure B.S. Why was it a gamble? Because we didn't take matchstick legged Reggie Bush, who might, or might not, sign with New Orleans. Mario is, and has been, signed. He will be a positive force on a defense that sorely needed one. The quote, to me, is just one more example of east coast yellow sports journalism. In a word, they don't know "Jack"!

Hardcore Texan
07-23-2006, 10:44 PM
i dont want mckinney on this team, and i've made that perfectly clear for years. mckinney is NOT any good ... his feet are fine, but his hands and decision making are fubar'd, both of which are too late in his career to correct. as for weary, he's been disappointing even as a backup IMO (BUT, he's servicable for the price). however i'm in full agreement with texanspride that the acquisition of flanagan is too far under the radar. a probowler anchoring the worst offensive line in NFL history, under his transferred (and very successful) head coach, and using arguably the most productive scheme in NFL history ... this should be the focus of the pundits. we have the worst possible unit, and the largest possible gain in place, however they're overshadowed by a 33 year old receiver and a rookie DE (both of which i love, but we're talking about the texans). my head hurts.

even if both of our draft picks are busts (not likely), we're twice the line we've ever been because of coaching alone. wand is one of the smartest and most physically gifted linemen we'll see. pitts is solid anywhere on the line. flanagan's a probowler. weigert & mckinney are bad, but they're servicable and can hold up until our rookies and/or free agents can take over. if even one of our draft picks can start next season, we're in position to jump from the worst line ever into one of the top 15. the ripple effect from this change is obvious to even novice fans. better blocking means both better passing and running games. these mean more time on offense and less on defense. this means a more refreshed defense and better pass rush ... combined with a focus on a dominant defensive line and we've become the jaguars on defense, and the broncos on offense. WOW. it ALL starts in the trenches and the broncos have learned this ... the texans are on our way because we're leaning on the lines. i've been a fan my entire life and i've NEVER been more excited about a football team.

Great assesment! I agree almost whole heartedly. I think McKinney will be decent at RG... but good post man.

Brandon420tx
07-24-2006, 12:37 PM
Great article TC, in the respect that is a good summary of everything we Texans fans already know, though they didn't mention our depth at TE (Something we're optimistic about). I for one would have liked for our vast improvement to be hidden from the eyes of our opponents so we can surprise the hell out of them... on the other hand its nice to be noticed for the good things on our team rather then the bad.

Vinny
07-24-2006, 12:46 PM
I thought McKinney had his best year ever last season. I wasn't too hot on him before last season but I think he can do the job at RG after watching and reviewing as much of last years games as I could.

Also, I wouldn't put much stock in national takes on the team...most of them are made by people who only have second hand knowledge of the team at best.

Titan "Tack" Fan
07-24-2006, 12:52 PM
I don't mean to be negative all the time but when I think "new look" I immediately think new QB and new Running back. You guys still have the same ones. But maybe they're not your problem area, who knows. This season will tell.

Vinny
07-24-2006, 12:53 PM
I don't mean to be negative all the time but when I think "new look" I immediately think new QB and new Running back. You guys still have the same ones. But maybe they're not your problem area, who knows. This season will tell.We will have a new offensive playbook and coach, new Center, new LT, new RT, new TE, new WR2, new FB....that's more than half the offense right there.

Double Barrel
07-24-2006, 12:55 PM
I think (predict) we'll see something we've missed in these parts since the Texans were born: a solid, consistent offensive line.

Coach Kubiak, of all people, knows the importance of the line. Nothing can be established without those five men making holes at precise times and protecting the pocket long enough for the QB to make reads and get the ball off. With Mike Sherman on board, a proven football mind (as well as winning coach), the focus has clearly been improving trench play.

HOU-TEX
07-24-2006, 12:55 PM
We will have a new offensive playbook and coach, new Center, new LT, new RT, new TE, new WR2, new FB....that's more than half the offense right there.

That's not even including the "new look" on defense.:yahoo:

Titan "Tack" Fan
07-24-2006, 01:01 PM
You guys having the same avatar is confusing sometimes

HOU-TEX
07-24-2006, 01:05 PM
You guys having the same avatar is confusing sometimes

It's obvious that Vinny is much more of a veteran on this MB than I am. I've always gone by the name, the avatar is just a picture/symbol to me. Sorry for the confusion. If Vinny wanted me to change it I would due to the fact I'm newer to the MB.:shades:

Brandon420tx
07-24-2006, 01:06 PM
We will have a new offensive playbook and coach, new Center, new LT, new RT, new TE, new WR2, new FB....that's more than half the offense right there.

New offensive scheme, new defensive scheme (4-3 baby) 1 new DT 4 new DEs (Wow, rough estimate though) new FA LBs.