PDA

View Full Version : Why the Texans are still "shaky" at LT


nunusguy
05-14-2007, 07:48 AM
"Consider this: Of the 32 projected starters at the primary pass-protection tackle position in 2007 (left tackles for teams with right-handed quarterbacks and right tackles for the three clubs that have left-handed passers), all but four are with the franchise that originally drafted them. That number could be reduced by one if Houston Texans second-year left tackle Charles Spencer successfully rehabilitates from the broken leg he suffered last season and is ready for training camp. "
**
"Ephraim Salaam, Houston
The consummate short-fix guy, Salaam became the starter at left tackle for the Texans early last season when rookie Charles Spencer fractured his leg."
**
"Indeed, going the free-agency route to find a pass protector is just as problematic, it seems, as drafting one. The "bust rate" on free-agent tackles in recent seasons is, in fact, deplorable. Plus, good tackles rarely make it onto the market anymore. The veterans who are projected as starting blind-side tackles for 2007 still have an average of more than four seasons remaining on their current contracts.
And such long-term contracts for tackles, at least in the past five years, have become pricey. That's another reason -- the ability to fix a team's costs at the premium tackle slot for five or six seasons -- why the preferred route for getting a top tackle now is to draft one.
**
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=pasquarelli_len&id=2867242
********************************
ESPNs Pasquarelli writes a very lengthy but informative article about the all important LT position.
I dunno if it belongs here or in the NFL section ? Its basically about LTs in the NFL in recent years, with some specifics about the Texans.

infantrycak
05-14-2007, 08:04 AM
We'll leave it here for now and see if it veers Texans specific or heads more general.

Here is a giant piece of the equation for the Texans:

Between 2001-06, teams invested 127 draft picks in tackles, including 15 in the first round and six highly regarded prospects in the top 10. But such an emphasis on tackles in that six-draft stretch -- in particular on the left tackle position, certainly the highest profile blocking spot, given the inherent pass-protection responsibilities -- produced just three Pro Bowl performers.

During the Texans era that is just two probowl OT's. One we had a very good shot at since he was taken with our original draft pick--Jamaal Brown although most of the fan base would have passed on him for Derrick Johnson. Marcus McNeil would have come at the expense of DeMeco. Ironically, both were considered to have a serious risk of being RT's compared to many of the other players drafted during the same period.

TK_Gamer
05-14-2007, 08:09 AM
Part of the reason teams still have their drafted left tackle is mainly because the gamble of changing left tackles, even if you found and could afford a free agent that was any good they would still have to gell with your current personel and scheme. It's plain just not worth the gamble. I also believe LT's are some of the most unique specimens in the game. the strength, quickness, footwork, stamina, and resistance to injury required is insane compared to other positions on the lines. so the chances of a college player being good enough for the job is rare to say the least, but the good news is, alot of whats required can be taught or developed, players can get quicker and stronger, they can be taught proper technique and footwork. so longevity or resilience is probably the most important trait. so the lesson is, develop your young talented lineman as long as they are sturdy enough for the learning /development curve. just my oppinnion. I think the longer we keep our unit together, the better they will get.

Texans_Chick
05-14-2007, 10:26 AM
I'll keep this Texans specific....

One of the things that I wish the Texans put on their TV stuff of the the draft lunchon was Kubiak talking about the LT position. He said a lot of similar stuff. He basically says that all the teams in the league are in perpetual lookout for the longterm future at left tackle. Because it is a hard position to play, to get through free agency of find in the draft. They believe they found their guy in Charles Spencer but that they can't count on him so they have done the best they can in having other options. But that they were not going to reach in either the draft or free agency for something that wasn't there.

At least that's my summary. Kubiak said it better.

Rex King
05-14-2007, 10:35 AM
This was intersting article analysing draft risk by position over 15 years:
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=kluck/offensiveline/070425

First-Round Bust Percentages
QB -- 53 percent
RB -- 49 percent
WR -- 45 percent
DT -- 33 percent
OL -- 31 percent
DE -- 31 percent
CB -- 29 percent
LB -- 16 percent
S -- 11 percent

First-Round Pro Bowl Percentages
(Percentage of players making at least one Pro Bowl)
S -- 53 percent
DT -- 40 percent
LB -- 39 percent
RB -- 36 percent
DE -- 33 percent
QB -- 33 percent
WR -- 31 percent
OL -- 26 percent
CB -- 23 percent

While he provides criteria for success, he doesn't set any definite criteria to be classified as a bust.

Drafting an o-lineman high doesn't look so bad in comparison to drafting say, a WR, especially considering the importance of the position.
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/draft07/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=2806572

Pasquarelli also wrote about the high bust rate at DT:
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/draft07/columns/story?columnist=pasquarelli_len&id=2844964


Anyway, this line is slowly being built through the draft. If Spencer comes back this season, four of the five starters will have been drafted. If Studdard, Frye, or Lucas (can I count him?) make it at center, that will be all five. I think this is just more confirmation of what's been knocked around - that specifically Casserly paid a lot of money for o-linemen that weren't very good, going for skill players in the early rounds instead...and we paid for it.

I think the logic behind building the lines first is that they take longer to develop and gell as you say, but also tend to have more longevity. So by the time you draft the skill players, your lines will be ready to go. Draft the skill players first, and your lines won't be ready to go until the next cycle of skill players. I think that's where we're getting to right now.

BTW, Texans Chick, did you write about that part in your blog or somewhere else? Because I remember reading that. And I think that's the point a lot of these guys panning our draft for not taking a tackle are missing. Who was there to draft? It doesn't seem they rated Staley that highly to take him at 10 and it would be a gamble to trade down to draft him later.

Porky
05-14-2007, 10:36 AM
I'll keep this Texans specific....

One of the things that I wish the Texans put on their TV stuff of the the draft lunchon was Kubiak talking about the LT position. He said a lot of similar stuff. He basically says that all the teams in the league are in perpetual lookout for the longterm future at left tackle. Because it is a hard position to play, to get through free agency of find in the draft. They believe they found their guy in Charles Spencer but that they can't count on him so they have done the best they can in having other options. But that they were not going to reach in either the draft or free agency for something that wasn't there.

At least that's my summary. Kubiak said it better.

I agree with that philopshy, but it will still cause me to cringe if Spencer is finished, and there is a slight chance he is finished, and a decent chance he will never be the player he would have been. But, you still cannot reach. That's not the way to build the best overall TEAM. One piece at a time! :cowboy1:

Wolfiegrrl
05-14-2007, 10:53 AM
I think Kubiak, Smith, and Sherman are doing a decent job at building our line up. If you look at our sack stats from 2005 to 2006 our sacks dropped from 68 to 43. What a huge difference 25 sacks makes. I watched all of those games last year. Granted, Salaam is not the long term answer, but I think those guys did a heck of a job with all the injuries they had.

LT will soon be solid for us. I just can't help but think of all the horrible picks that Casserly and Crew wasted in their attempt to force players into a system. Kubiak and Smith are doing it right. Find players that fit your system, don't force them to conform.

:fans:

Honoring Earl 34
05-14-2007, 11:08 AM
What's been trendy lately is convering a TE to LT . Robert Gallery is the first example ... he is quick , good feet , fluid , and not doing to well . Why ... who knows , maybe it's a strength issue or the nasty streak thing but as of today he was'nt worth the 2nd pick in the draft .

This year Joe Thomas and Joe Staley were first round LTs that were tight ends . Levi Brown is a natural OT , while not as fast he has more mass and is still pretty nimble . This draft could be a good indicator on converted TEs compared to players who natural OTs .

TexanSam
05-14-2007, 11:36 AM
What's been trendy lately is convering a TE to LT . Robert Gallery is the first example ... he is quick , good feet , fluid , and not doing to well . Why ... who knows , maybe it's a strength issue or the nasty streak thing but as of today he was'nt worth the 2nd pick in the draft .

This year Joe Thomas and Joe Staley were first round LTs that were tight ends . Levi Brown is a natural OT , while not as fast he has more mass and is still pretty nimble . This draft could be a good indicator on converted TEs compared to players who natural OTs .

I thought Staley and Thomas were natural tackles? Did both of them play tight end early in college?

Honoring Earl 34
05-14-2007, 11:54 AM
I thought Staley and Thomas were natural tackles? Did both of them play tight end early in college?

I'm pretty sure they both started college at TE . I'll double check .

Hagar
05-14-2007, 12:53 PM
I thought Staley and Thomas were natural tackles? Did both of them play tight end early in college?Staley started his college career as a TE and was moved to RT in Sophmore year.

Joe Staley Draft Prospect Footballs Future (http://www.footballsfuture.com/2007/prospects/joe_staley.html)

Not having a franchise LT is not for want or trying. It seems like the position is jenxed or something.

IMO, given the press we were seeing at the time, if there was an adequate trade on draft day, the Texans would have traded down in the draft and gone after Staley. Apparently, the trade possibilities were too one sided and things didn't work out.

I'm hopefull that Spencer will come back and play. In lite of it, I hope Eric Winston steps up and takes over the position. I originally picked Winston to win the position, so I'm a little biased.

Texans_Chick
05-14-2007, 12:55 PM
BTW, Texans Chick, did you write about that part in your blog or somewhere else? Because I remember reading that. And I think that's the point a lot of these guys panning our draft for not taking a tackle are missing. Who was there to draft? It doesn't seem they rated Staley that highly to take him at 10 and it would be a gamble to trade down to draft him later.


Yeah, I wrote about it on my AskTC Texans Talk blog, and a little bit on the Texans FanHouse blog.

badboy
05-14-2007, 01:20 PM
Maybe my understanding is incorrect, but I think the scouting for Casserly played a definitive role in the players CC signed off on. The fact that the Texans recently let several scouts walk supports this. We saw last year that Smith's contacts did really well, especially as a bandaid. I trust Smith's decisions. I think Kubes/Smith will build solidly yet push for a win each Sunday. Last years draft of who's? that became starters blew me away. I am hopeful of the same this year.

Honoring Earl 34
05-14-2007, 01:37 PM
When you have a good draft it's because you picked players who were better than where they were taken . That's my best definition .

1. Last year Mario could'nt go anywhere but down .

2. Demeco ... defensive ROY . Should have gone in the 1st .

3. Spencer ... Kubiak said he would have done for the OL what Demeco did for the defense . If that's the case ... where should he have ?

3. Winston ... a lot of you wanted him in the 2nd .

4. Daniels ... good player .

Maddict5
05-14-2007, 02:14 PM
Between 2001-06, teams invested 127 draft picks in tackles, including 15 in the first round and six highly regarded prospects in the top 10. But such an emphasis on tackles in that six-draft stretch -- in particular on the left tackle position, certainly the highest profile blocking spot, given the inherent pass-protection responsibilities -- produced just three Pro Bowl performers.

imo thats a pretty weak argument because there are certain higher profile LT's that always get into the pro-bowl every year even if they dont deserve it...

look at this year- i saw a good few (5 or 6) saints games and jammal brown played pretty well in them but i dont think he deserved to go to hawaii.. i saw a couple pretty bad plays from him- the 1 that sticks in my mind the most is a play when he inexplicably turned in to help the LG (and ended up blocking no1 because the G didnt need help) and gave the RE a free run at brees who got clobbered...

thats nothing personal against brown because every T makes mistakes and get beat occassionally but it just shows how you dont have to be a 'great' LT to make the pro-bowl because most fans dont watch them and usually just vote by name or winning teams...

then on the other hand you have excellent tackles like levi jones of the bengals who have never made the pro-bowl...

PapaL
05-14-2007, 05:45 PM
We'll leave it here for now and see if it veers Texans specific or heads more general.


I had already posted this under the NFL section (under the article title, link (http://www.texanstalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38557))