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texan279
08-03-2006, 01:27 AM
http://www.houstonchronicle.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/4090973.html

Both should get playing time at defensive end

Neither Jason Babin nor Antwan Peek is a textbook fit. Peek, in particular, is definitely on the small side for an NFL defensive end.

But compared with the square pegs in round holes they used to be as artificially downsized outside linebackers in Dom Capers' 3-4 defense, they're much better suited for the job each is now trying to win. Together, they should give the Texans' new 4-3 a fully fleshed-out, four-man front.

The competition between Babin and Peek at right end will be analyzed and scrutinized from every conceivable angle before the preseason ends. In fact, it could become the Texans' most closely watched position battle. However, the actual consequences of who starts and who comes off the bench appear minimal.

"We're going to have an eight-man rotation up front," coach Gary Kubiak promises, "so they're both going to need to play that position very well. Between Jason and Antwan, we have to have that position covered. You'd hope one is playing so well you can't get him off the field, but realistically, you've got to rotate people to be good. You've got to stay fresh."

Babin and Peek sound thrilled to have the opportunity, no matter how things shake out.

"This defense is attack-oriented," Peek said, citing the Texans' changed philosophy as much as the position change for his ramped-up enthusiasm. "We're constantly attacking, attacking, attacking."

"This feels so natural," Babin said of his return to the D-line. "It's unbelievable. And no more stupid diets."

Babin is 25 pounds heavier — essentially back to his college fighting weight — and 100 percent happier "putting his hand down," which is to say firing off from a set position. Peek, for his part, hasn't had as much luck beefing up for his retro role, but everybody agrees it's not critically important.

At 250 pounds, which is where he figures to stay until he stops sweating through two-a-day practices, Peek is still heavier than Indianapolis' Robert Mathis, who has turned into a relatively pint-sized, Pro Bowl-caliber sack specialist for the Indianapolis Colts.

"I've told him, 'Hey, Antwan, I don't care if you weigh 250 or 279,' " Kubiak said, " 'Just go play football.' "

Gladly, Peek replies.

"Football is about heart, about loving the game," he said. "If you don't love the game, you won't be successful no matter how big you are. Mike Singletary (the Chicago Bears Hall of Famer) was a smallish guy, and look at his career.

"And Robert Mathis — he's a prime example. You can tell that guy loves the game. He comes out and plays with passion every day. That's what I can be myself."

The conventional wisdom holds that Babin will emerge as the first- and second-down guy, with Peek coming on in passing situations. The former is more fundamentally sound, whereas Peek tends to pin his ears back and bull rush, proper technique be hanged.

It helps considerably that neither seems unduly hung-up about who starts.

"This is a team game," Peek said. "Your twos (backups) are supposed to be able to come in and play just as good as your starters. We can be a two-headed monster. Tackles are going to have problems with both of us. When you have guys fresh all the time, there's going to be pressure on the quarterback."

Peek, who calls himself the defense's resident "utility man," may still see some occasional linebacker duty. But Babin assumes — and definitely hopes — he is done forever with that position. He was miserable in his previous Texans incarnation, always "feeling out of place."

"I think you could ask anybody who knows me, and they'd tell you I'm happier in this situation," Babin said. "This defense, playing this position — it fits my attitude. Reading, diagnosing, pass coverage — I did it. I gave it my best, but this is where I should be playing."

Babin feels physically stronger at his current 265 pounds — "I'm still eating healthy; just with bigger portions" — but he admits that, because of the extra bulk, he'll need Peek's help.

"I can't play 70, 80 plays a game at this weight," Babin said. "Sure, somebody gets to be the starter, and somebody doesn't. That's the way it goes. But there's going to be plenty of opportunities for both of us. This is the NFL. Guys get nicked, hurt. Things can change pretty quick. There's no reason for either of us to hang our heads, whatever happens."

As for how the competition is affecting their relationship, Babin said: "We're not being (jerks) to each other. We both want to get better. We both want to get paid."

"We're friends," Peek said. "We're competitors. But at the end of the day, we're teammates. We've got to come together for the good of the team and help us win some ballgames. It's the coaches' decisions to do what they have to do. I'm sure what they decide will be the best for the team."

Music to Kubiak's ears.

"The pressure's on us to get them in position to make plays," he said. "If we have success and do things right, our guys will all have smiles on their faces."

TexanSam
08-03-2006, 01:30 AM
I like that. Attacking oriented. From all the quotes I've read in the paper and elsewhere, it seems like the coaching staff under Capers was a complete joke. Only time will tell if Kubiak and his staff will be any better, but I have a feeling he will be.

texan279
08-03-2006, 01:33 AM
I like that. Attacking oriented. From all the quotes I've read in the paper and elsewhere, it seems like the coaching staff under Capers was a complete joke. Only time will tell if Kubiak and his staff will be any better, but I have a feeling he will be.

I agree, I also like the part about the 8 man rotation on the line and keeping people fresh, I really liked the comment about the "two headed monster" though. Babin, Williams, Weaver, Payne, Robaire, and Peek rotating on the line, I think we might get to see what a real defense looks like this season! :redtowel:

TexanSam
08-03-2006, 01:42 AM
I agree, I also like the part about the 8 man rotation on the line and keeping people fresh, I really liked the comment about the "two headed monster" though. Babin, Williams, Weaver, Payne, Robaire, and Peek rotating on the line, I think we might get to see what a real defense looks like this season! :redtowel:

With all the depth on the defensive line, are Travis Johnson and N.D. Kalu going to be seeing playing time. Granted, there will probably be a few injuries (a guy might miss a quarter or so), but assuming they all stay healthy the whole season I wonder what the rotation will be like. I want to see the depth charts!!

texan279
08-03-2006, 01:46 AM
With all the depth on the defensive line, are Travis Johnson and N.D. Kalu going to be seeing playing time. Granted, there will probably be a few injuries (a guy might miss a quarter or so), but assuming they all stay healthy the whole season I wonder what the rotation will be like. I want to see the depth charts!!

I would think Williams, Babin, Peek, Weaver, Payne, Robaire, Kalu, and maybe TJ would be the 8 man rotation on the line. Only one I wouldn't be sure of is TJ at this point.

ocd
08-03-2006, 03:21 AM
An 8 man rotating D line!?! Our boys are gonna be fresh and aggressive...love the sound of that after what we've been thru the last 4 friggin years.

One thing I predict right now...offenses are gonna throw in some no huddle to stop that rotation from happening as often as we try.

And then we'll adjust.


:yahoo:

TexansCM
08-03-2006, 05:57 AM
Depth is something the Texans have never had before. The top 6-7 D-lineman could play a lot of plays or start for almost every other NFL team. What did we have last year maybe 2-3. Talented depth is the best thing about this year, there are always injuries and this year they are a little less of a concern with the DLine we have now.

nunusguy
08-03-2006, 07:42 AM
"At 250 pounds, which is where he figures to stay until he stops sweating through two-a-day practices, Peek is still heavier than Indianapolis' Robert Mathis, who has turned into a relatively pint-sized, Pro Bowl-caliber sack specialist for the Indianapolis Colts."
*****************************************
We had a fairly lengthy exchange the other day on another thread when I said that John "Hollywood" McClain had said on SR 610 that Peek's weight had dropped to 250, and many others disagreed including one poster who said he personally overheard Peek himself say he was at 266. Maybe Peek said that in the context of that comment "I'd like to get to 266" ?
But to further muddy the waters about these players weight, Robertson says
in this article that Babin has added 25 pounds and he's now at 265. But backin out that 25 would suggest that Babin was only at 240 last year? So I'm
still confused, because I've not heard anywhere about him playing at the low
a number ever ?

texan279
08-03-2006, 07:55 AM
"At 250 pounds, which is where he figures to stay until he stops sweating through two-a-day practices, Peek is still heavier than Indianapolis' Robert Mathis, who has turned into a relatively pint-sized, Pro Bowl-caliber sack specialist for the Indianapolis Colts."
*****************************************
We had a fairly lengthy exchange the other day on another thread when I said that John "Hollywood" McClain had said on SR 610 that Peek's weight had dropped to 250, and many others disagreed including one poster who said he personally overheard Peek himself say he was at 266. Maybe Peek said that in the context of that comment "I'd like to get to 266" ?
But to further muddy the waters about these players weight, Robertson says
in this article that Babin has added 25 pounds and he's now at 265. But backin out that 25 would suggest that Babin was only at 240 last year? So I'm
still confused, because I've not heard anywhere about him playing at the low
a number ever ?

Babin weighed about 275-280 I believe in college and dropped 15-20 pounds or so for the combine I believe. I could have my numbers all screwed up here.

Runner
08-03-2006, 08:02 AM
...But to further muddy the waters about these players weight...

Weight is an odd thing right now. Under Capers I think the player had to meet goal weights toward the end of camp. This wasn't too bad for the bigger guys, because they typically lost quite a bit of weight during camp even if they were trying to keep it on.

Kubiak wanted the players at weight at the start of camp. I don't know if the players find it easier to maintain their slimmed down weight than they did maintaining weight when they came in heavier. I'll be interested in finding this out.

Some players' performance may have been affected early in camp because they lost weight pretty quickly in the last month or two. They are a) playing lighter and quicker b) playing with less strength/energy due to the weight loss. Combine this with the weather, and the first weekend of camp was very tough on some as they acclimated.

Kaiser Toro
08-03-2006, 08:59 AM
Terrific article. Kubiak's philosophy has seeped into the player's vernacular which is a great first step. The next step is to see some success on the field to make this a viable and lasting program that becomes plug and play with your players.

I have never been as excited except for our inaugural game. Pre season matters this year, make no mistake about it.

Seρor Stan
08-03-2006, 09:13 AM
Terrific article. Kubiak's philosophy has seeped into the player's vernacular which is a great first step. The next step is to see some success on the field to make this a viable and lasting program that becomes plug and play with your players.

I have never been as excited except for our inaugural game. Pre season matters this year, make no mistake about it.

I am hoping that the Chiefs fans will be the ones saying "Hey, chill, its only preseason!"

jerek
08-03-2006, 09:13 AM
What I like about this article -- other than it echoes everything I've said to this point -- is the apparent emphasis on teamwork and the rotating defensive line. Not only do we have a ridiculous amount of depth on our defensive line this year, but our coaches seem intent on maximizing its potential. I like the rotating idea.

As KT said, preseason matters this year.

Oh, and I have a very hard time believing Peek is only 250. I would still put him upper 250s-low 260s. Possible that I am wrong but I am pretty convinced on this one. Regardless, that's not that light for an NFL DE and I believe Peek will receive a lot of his reps in passing situations, where he will be a speed rusher. I believe they are targeting Babin as a first and second down end.

Meloy
08-03-2006, 09:47 AM
I guess we could say the Texans had a rotating O & D line last year. This year it is depth not injuries and so so players. Injuries are always going to be a factor, but it would be nice if they were few this season so players and fans could see what team could do with all parts clicking.

MYDAUGHTER'STEXANS
08-03-2006, 09:58 AM
I vote for Peek, just like Kubiak said you have to love the game and have heart, which Peek does, he is always going to give you a 110% no matter what, that's what counts, I still think Babin is worried about his Deer lease in south Texas and not playing Football to his fullest....:shoot:

HOU-TEX
08-03-2006, 10:06 AM
I vote for Peek, just like Kubiak said you have to love the game and have heart, which Peek does, he is always going to give you a 110% no matter what, that's what counts, I still think Babin is worried about his Deer lease in south Texas and not playing Football to his fullest....:shoot:

True, Peek might give a 110%, but that percentage is all about bull-rushing to the QB and being pushed to the outside. Peek doesn't have the disipline to play the run very well. Babin on the other hand, is more of a finess type player IMO. I'm sure Babins focused 100% on football right now. If he wasn't, I doubt he would even be considered a starter.:rolleyes:

infantrycak
08-03-2006, 10:08 AM
I still think Babin is worried about his Deer lease in south Texas and not playing Football to his fullest....:shoot:

Never will understand why people feel the need to take cheap shots at their non-favorite players.

PS--it is a ranch in east texas.

Kaiser Toro
08-03-2006, 10:18 AM
Never will understand why people feel the need to take cheap shots at their non-favorite players.

PS--it is a ranch in east texas.

It is a strain akin to Carr's religion effecting his play.

What is important is that they and we have a good work/life balance in order to lead a successful life, with success being defined by the individual through achievable goals.

mikoto
08-03-2006, 10:18 AM
What I like about this article -- other than it echoes everything I've said to this point -- is the apparent emphasis on teamwork and the rotating defensive line. Not only do we have a ridiculous amount of depth on our defensive line this year, but our coaches seem intent on maximizing its potential. I like the rotating idea.

As KT said, preseason matters this year.

Oh, and I have a very hard time believing Peek is only 250. I would still put him upper 250s-low 260s. Possible that I am wrong but I am pretty convinced on this one. Regardless, that's not that light for an NFL DE and I believe Peek will receive a lot of his reps in passing situations, where he will be a speed rusher. I believe they are targeting Babin as a first and second down end.


Yeah, Jerek, I'm with you on this one. I weigh 250, granted I have more fat than Peek but am not a "fat guy", but he is flat-out bigger than me. Taller, broader in the shoulders, bigger arms, bigger thighs, just bigger. I would have guessed 260-265 or so with a very low body fat %. If he weighs 250 his body fat must be in the 4-6 range, amazing athlete.

texan279
08-03-2006, 10:19 AM
Never will understand why people feel the need to take cheap shots at their non-favorite players.

PS--it is a ranch in east texas.

I agree, from what Babin was quoted saying he seems to be really excited about going back to DE and I for one am anxious to see him play DE for us. He played well when he played out of a 3 point stance last season.

KKHouston
08-03-2006, 10:21 AM
Terrific article. Kubiak's philosophy has seeped into the player's vernacular which is a great first step. The next step is to see some success on the field to make this a viable and lasting program that becomes plug and play with your players.

I have never been as excited except for our inaugural game. Pre season matters this year, make no mistake about it.

Exactly. After following Denver since 1987, this change took place after Dan Reeves and Baby Bum left, and Shanahan took over. The whole Plug and Play concept works well once you get the players to buy into it. It sounds like Kubiak has this going, and going well. C'mon Pre-Season!

Runner
08-03-2006, 10:23 AM
Never will understand why people feel the need to take cheap shots at their non-favorite players.


On this board? Are you sure? :sarcasm:

nunusguy
08-03-2006, 10:35 AM
I have a theory that Babin is unpopular, even resented by his DL teammates,
and the main reason is ther're symathetic to their good buddy Peek.
BTW, let me say right now I don't think it's a racial thing, because Seth Payne is not only said to be popular but is considered a team leader among his peers.
IMO it goes back to Babin's rookie year when the Capers-Fangio combo just handed Babin a starting position as an OLB in their 3-4. And I think most people felt that Peek, who had already been with the team for a year, was
being groomed to be a starting OLB along with incumbant Keilee Wong.
And Peeks kinda a personal screw-up waiting to happen all the time. He's got a lot of financail obligations off the field because of several mistakes he made earflier in his life. And he reportedly had a tough childhood.
And this is no reflection on Jason, who is a fine young family man by all accounts and a very dedicated player who had the good fortune (no pun intended) to become a very well to do if not rich man at a young
age because his Draft value was probably overrated by the previous
regime.

texan279
08-03-2006, 10:39 AM
I have a theory that Babin is unpopular, even resented by his DL teammates,
and the main reason is ther're symathetic to their good buddy Peek.
BTW, let me say right now I don't think it's a racial thing, because Seth Payne is not only said to be popular but is considered a team leader among his peers.
IMO it goes back to Babin's rookie year when the Capers-Fangio combo just handed Babin a starting position as an OLB in their 3-4. And I think most people felt that Peek, who had already been with the team for a year, was
being groomed to be a starting OLB along with incumbant Keilee Wong.
And Peeks kinda a personal screw-up waiting to happen all the time. He's got a lot of financail obligations off the field because of several mistakes he made earflier in his life. And he reportedly had a tough childhood.
And this is no reflection on Jason, who is a fine young family man by all accounts and a very dedicated player who had the good fortune (no pun intended) to become a very well to do if not rich man at a young
age because his Draft value was probably overrated by the previous
regime.

I think some of the fans don't like Babin because of the trade involved to draft him. I honestly had no idea who he was when he drafted him, but I have loved the guy since his first game when he made two open field tackles on LaDanian Tomlinson for a loss. I'm excited to see him at DE this season.

Kaiser Toro
08-03-2006, 10:42 AM
If nobody liked him to the point where it was absolute scourge in the locker room then they probably would not be here or he would not be here. The big omission from last year's line was Gary Walker, and the big additions were Williams and Weaver. The line, scheme and coaches have all changed. I think that says it all.

MYDAUGHTER'STEXANS
08-03-2006, 12:58 PM
We will just have to see who works harder for the spot, as for Jason Babin he needs to play then like a first round pick just like he was drafted in 04 for the 27th pick in the first round........Good luck to both of them........whoever does not receive the starting job will still be a great back up........:ok:

MYDAUGHTER'STEXANS
08-03-2006, 01:09 PM
Sorry infantrycak east Texas on the Deer Lease :hunter:
Sorry if I offended anyone, on this topic but we all have our favorite players, and the only thing that truely matter's is that we are all HOUSTON TEXANS FANS, the greatest team in the whole world.........

jerek
08-03-2006, 01:12 PM
I agree, from what Babin was quoted saying he seems to be really excited about going back to DE and I for one am anxious to see him play DE for us. He played well when he played out of a 3 point stance last season.

I got dogged for a few hours the other day for saying Wand looked "out of it," (me and my darned negativity and voodoo) so FWIW, I think Babin looks much sharper this year. Not just skillwise, but in terms of excitement and mental engagement. He'll never crack my Top 10 Plays The Angriest Football Players list (Peek is a permanent resident), but he looks like he is very much embracing the return to DE and is excited to be there.

I'd never been really high on Babin, but have always acknowledged that he has the athleticism to be upper echelon (primarily at DE; was never a good 3-4 OLB, but chalk that up to Capers drafting and using a guy where he didn't belong.) At times I have questioned his fire, but I think he is responding to the "real" coaching and I am excited to see his substantial improvement at this point. I still think he will edge out Peek in terms of reps received this season, but is a better first and second down DE.

jparrish
08-03-2006, 01:27 PM
I'm excited. I think both of these guys can make an impact at DE for us. It's so much more natural play at a position you've been for most of your career. Even for D-linemen moving from end to tackle can be confusing at first. I don't wanna know how confusing it'd be to go from being a hand down player to a stand up player. I think both Peek and Babin will have some big plays this season at DE.

texan279
08-03-2006, 08:57 PM
I got dogged for a few hours the other day for saying Wand looked "out of it," (me and my darned negativity and voodoo) so FWIW, I think Babin looks much sharper this year. Not just skillwise, but in terms of excitement and mental engagement. He'll never crack my Top 10 Plays The Angriest Football Players list (Peek is a permanent resident), but he looks like he is very much embracing the return to DE and is excited to be there.

I'd never been really high on Babin, but have always acknowledged that he has the athleticism to be upper echelon (primarily at DE; was never a good 3-4 OLB, but chalk that up to Capers drafting and using a guy where he didn't belong.) At times I have questioned his fire, but I think he is responding to the "real" coaching and I am excited to see his substantial improvement at this point. I still think he will edge out Peek in terms of reps received this season, but is a better first and second down DE.

Thanks for the insight Jerek, always good to hear an opinion from someone who has seen things first hand. texanpride

South Texan
08-03-2006, 09:33 PM
An 8 man rotating D line!?! Our boys are gonna be fresh and aggressive...love the sound of that after what we've been thru the last 4 friggin years.

One thing I predict right now...offenses are gonna throw in some no huddle to stop that rotation from happening as often as we try.

And then we'll adjust.


:yahoo:

I suspect they will have most of the same guys on the d-line on a drive, and maybe substitute 1 on 3rd down if need be. Next drive, new set of fresh guys.

ccdude730
08-03-2006, 09:46 PM
I think some of the fans don't like Babin because of the trade involved to draft him. I honestly had no idea who he was when he drafted him, but I have loved the guy since his first game when he made two open field tackles on LaDanian Tomlinson for a loss. I'm excited to see him at DE this season.
he showed alot of hustle getting down the field to knock his a** out of bounce too. IMO he is better all around. if he needs work in one area its his pass rushing, but im confident he can get better at that. for better run support and play recognition, i would rather him be in there than peek

texan279
08-03-2006, 09:57 PM
he showed alot of hustle getting down the field to knock his a** out of bounce too. IMO he is better all around. if he needs work in one area its his pass rushing, but im confident he can get better at that. for better run support and play recognition, i would rather him be in there than peek

I agree, but if we can use Babin on 1st and 2nd down and then bring in Peek on 3rd down and obvious passing situations, it should keep both of them fresher throughout the games and throughout the season.

Texans34Life
08-03-2006, 11:57 PM
Now if we can have this same enthusiasm spreading within our OL....

The Duke
08-21-2006, 10:38 AM
Is it just me or does Babin look twice as big this year as he did last year?

TEXANRED
08-21-2006, 10:42 AM
Is it just me or does Babin look twice as big this year as he did last year?
After he made the tackle and was running back I thought "Man that guy has some wheels for a fat guy." Then I saw his name was Babin and then questioned "When did we get another player named Babin?" Then I saw the tats. I couldn't believe that was Babin!

real
08-21-2006, 11:23 AM
I don't know about you all, but I don't think either one of them should start...I think the starters should be Weaver Johnson Payne Mario...I liked how our line looked against the rams...And bringing in Babin and Peek here and there just to change the pace and mix things up...Peek needs to be in on every definite pass attempt...

pittbull
08-22-2006, 12:12 PM
If you have looked at preseason, both have looked good. If one has the edge, it would be Peek. He brings absolutely more enthusiasm to the defensive side of the ball, has more passrushing moves, more athletic and has a more intimidating presence. Babin has rushed the passer well, but still looks like he holds things back. I would love to see Williams, Weaver, Smith, and Peek on the field 1st and 2nd down, and Williams Johnson, Weaver, and Peek on 3rd downs. I'm sure Babin will get his time, but with Williams and Peek on the field at the same time, it's down right scary!:fireball: :bowser:

tsip
08-22-2006, 12:26 PM
If you have looked at preseason, both have looked good. If one has the edge, it would be Peek. He brings absolutely more enthusiasm to the defensive side of the ball, has more passrushing moves, more athletic and has a more intimidating presence. Babin has rushed the passer well, but still looks like he holds things back. I would love to see Williams, Weaver, Smith, and Peek on the field 1st and 2nd down, and Williams Johnson, Weaver, and Peek on 3rd downs. I'm sure Babin will get his time, but with Williams and Peek on the field at the same time, it's down right scary!:fireball: :bowser:

Both are improved players that have gotten better every year--no doubt Peek is a 'monster' pass rusher but the 'knock' against him as been dealing with the running game--hence many posters suggest his strenghth would be as a 'pass,sack' specialist on obvious passing situations, with Babin more of an 'every' down player. Peek still has that 'fiesty' temper (1 time Sat) but that too seems better. However, as you suggest, if Peek improves his 'running game' to a higher level, he'd be an awesome 'every' down player!:cool:

Runner
08-22-2006, 12:29 PM
However, as you suggest, if Peek improves his 'running game' to a higher level, he'd be an awesome 'every' down player!:cool:

Until then I can't wait to see a relatively fresh situational Peek against a tired LT in the 4th quarter.

edo783
08-22-2006, 01:58 PM
Until then I can't wait to see a relatively fresh situational Peek against a tired LT in the 4th quarter.

Yup, and with Maio next to him, it will be a real foot race to the QB.

Wild.Bill
08-22-2006, 02:20 PM
After watching last weeks preseason game against the Rams, I would feel good if our starting line was: Weaver, R. Smith, T. Johnson, M. Williams and rotate in Babin, Payne, and Peak.

Those guys really dominated the point of attacked and allowed our linebackers the freedom to make plays. Travis Johnson has the ability with his quickness and strength to get into the backfield and be very disruptive as he displayed on Saturday. All he needed was some motivation to get him going.

I'm feeling positive about our d-line play, however will be curious to see how they perform against Denver this week. Kansas City drove the ball right down our throats on their second or third possession (can't remember which) that had me concerned that we weren't going to be able to stop the run again this season.

Divebomb
08-22-2006, 02:36 PM
Wild Bill I agree with that front 4 and the rotation.