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badboy
06-19-2007, 02:58 PM
For several months I've been reading posts that call for Texans to get a solid center. Some even suggested picking one in first round this last draft. Flannagan and McKinney do not seem to excite fans as solid starters and both suffered injuries. Hodgdon is a ? IMO. I have never considered the position as needing a first or second round pick to upgrade and evidently neither have the coaches. I do understand the role the center plays but is this a bigger need to upgrade than I think?

Second Honeymoon
06-19-2007, 03:20 PM
I really wanted them to address this in the draft or via FA. If Flanagan is healthy (and that is a big IF) he is a quality NFL starter. If McKinney or Hodgson are at Center it just hurts you so much in pass protection.

I am hoping that they can turn Studdard into a Center, but to expect that to happen overnight is just pie in the sky thinking. Hopefully this season will inject some life into our current Center prospects, but we can't afford an injury to Flanny or McKinney because then its Hodgson time, and that is always a bad time. The guy is just bad.

Texans Horror
06-19-2007, 03:30 PM
The centers that are available are just filler until something better comes along. None of them are a true answer to the position, and none of them were quality material this last year. The same can be said for the left tackles (better left for other threads). Unfortunately, these are the two most important positions on the line.

Getting a great center is huge for a team. He leads the line and keeps the count. He also allows the QB to be able to step up when defensive players get past the tackles. But if the Texans centers are constantly pushed around (and backwards), how is the QB supposed to evade the defensive ends shooting around the tackles?

I think the Texans are set at the guard and right tackle positions. Unfortunately, the two most valuable components of this machine - left tackle and center - are the weakest on the Texans line.

badboy
06-19-2007, 03:46 PM
The centers that are available are just filler until something better comes along. None of them are a true answer to the position, and none of them were quality material this last year. The same can be said for the left tackles (better left for other threads). Unfortunately, these are the two most important positions on the line.

Getting a great center is huge for a team. He leads the line and keeps the count. He also allows the QB to be able to step up when defensive players get past the tackles. But if the Texans centers are constantly pushed around (and backwards), how is the QB supposed to evade the defensive ends shooting around the tackles?

I think the Texans are set at the guard and right tackle positions. Unfortunately, the two most valuable components of this machine - left tackle and center - are the weakest on the Texans line.

Why has basically nothing been done to address this if center is one of the two most valuable components? Not arguing, just trying to figure the moves made in draft and off seasons since Kubes has been here.

Texans Horror
06-19-2007, 04:07 PM
Why has basically nothing been done to address this if center is one of the two most valuable components? Not arguing, just trying to figure the moves made in draft and off seasons since Kubes has been here.

Off the top of my head, I think there's a couple reasons center hasn't been addressed. In no order of importance:

1. Flanagan was a Packer for Sherman and was brought here by him, so there is a loyalty there that Sherman won't replace him.
2. The team is all about depth this year, and without putting anybody else in the position, there are at least three guys who can play Center. So why upgrade a position that already has enough depth.
3. Centers overlooked and not the most coveted players on the market (my apologies to St. Randy of the Cross). Why get a center when you can get a receiver/linebacker/cornerback/etc.
4. The Texans have lots of needs. Lots. Another reason they get overlooked.
5. Just cause we think it's a need, doesn't mean the coaches/FO agrees...

quicksilver
06-20-2007, 02:52 AM
Texas Horror, my friend, it sounds to me as if you're overlooking the fact that players typically develop over time. We're not totally devoid of players behind Flanagan and McKinney.

Chris White is a guy who was on our practice squad last season. And he was on the Packers' practice squad when Sherm was there. I'm hearing that our coaches are bullish on White's development. We picked up Enoka Lucas after the draft as an UDFA. He was widely regarded as the 6th best center coming out of college this season.

Both Brandon Frye and Studdard have been described as having the potential to be effective if moved in to center. I'm sure that would be a longer term scenario.

TK_Gamer
06-20-2007, 04:09 AM
The centers that are available are just filler until something better comes along. None of them are a true answer to the position, and none of them were quality material this last year. The same can be said for the left tackles (better left for other threads). Unfortunately, these are the two most important positions on the line.

Getting a great center is huge for a team. He leads the line and keeps the count. He also allows the QB to be able to step up when defensive players get past the tackles. But if the Texans centers are constantly pushed around (and backwards), how is the QB supposed to evade the defensive ends shooting around the tackles?

I think the Texans are set at the guard and right tackle positions. Unfortunately, the two most valuable components of this machine - left tackle and center - are the weakest on the Texans line.

I would have to say for a right handed QB its LT,LG, C in that order of importance. most teams put their weakest lineman on the opposite side. and most RG, RT guys are ones that werent quite good enoug to play the left side for whatever reason, quickness, strength , footwork. I think we could have used Kalil but we are not in that bad of shape really. fred weary is actually the weak link in the line, he plays inconsistently, good day, bady day kinda thing. flanigan is very good at center if healthy, and mckiney plays decent at C and RG. IMHO we have our problems at RG when Mckinney has to slide over at Center and Weary comes in to replace him. we saw that some at the end of last year.

Runner
06-20-2007, 05:40 AM
Why has basically nothing been done to address this if center is one of the two most valuable components? Not arguing, just trying to figure the moves made in draft and off seasons since Kubes has been here.

The Texans only had the budget and resources to address a certain amount of needs this off season. Combine that with player availability and we ended up not doing too much at LT and center.

For instance, had they made a splash at LT in free agency they may not have been able to afford signing Green. Then we'd be wondering why RB and center were virtually ignored, although they were obvious needs.

nunusguy
06-20-2007, 09:04 AM
Texas Horror, my friend, it sounds to me as if you're overlooking the fact that players typically develop over time. We're not totally devoid of players behind Flanagan and McKinney.
Chris White is a guy who was on our practice squad last season. And he was on the Packers' practice squad when Sherm was there. I'm hearing that our coaches are bullish on White's development. We picked up Enoka Lucas after the draft as an UDFA. He was widely regarded as the 6th best center coming out of college this season.
Both Brandon Frye and Studdard have been described as having the potential to be effective if moved in to center. I'm sure that would be a longer term scenario.

Right On QS !
The idea of using a first or second round pick on a center is a luxury the Texans can't afford, especially when one reviews the Denver model of selecting starting OLinemen in later rounds and even as undrafted FAs. Especially guards & centers.
They have a reasoanble good veteran presense at center while having several young prospects for future years.

Texans Horror
06-20-2007, 09:09 AM
Texas Horror, my friend, it sounds to me as if you're overlooking the fact that players typically develop over time. We're not totally devoid of players behind Flanagan and McKinney.

Chris White is a guy who was on our practice squad last season. And he was on the Packers' practice squad when Sherm was there. I'm hearing that our coaches are bullish on White's development. We picked up Enoka Lucas after the draft as an UDFA. He was widely regarded as the 6th best center coming out of college this season.

Both Brandon Frye and Studdard have been described as having the potential to be effective if moved in to center. I'm sure that would be a longer term scenario.

Lot of potential and a lot of what-ifs. Hopefully they pan out, but with what we have at LT I was kind of thinking that Frye might be the team's LT next year. That leaves the Texans with a sixth-round draft pick, a UFA, and a practice squad guy. Call me crazy, but I just think that realistically, the odds are stacked against these guys that they will develop into the starting center. One or two of them might be great depth, but right now the Texans are oozing with depth. We have so much depth some of them are starting for us.

badboy
06-21-2007, 12:46 PM
Lot of potential and a lot of what-ifs. Hopefully they pan out, but with what we have at LT I was kind of thinking that Frye might be the team's LT next year. That leaves the Texans with a sixth-round draft pick, a UFA, and a practice squad guy. Call me crazy, but I just think that realistically, the odds are stacked against these guys that they will develop into the starting center. One or two of them might be great depth, but right now the Texans are oozing with depth. We have so much depth some of them are starting for us.My question would be what sort of player do we have with Flannagan & McKinney age wise and health wise? Personally I do not see the physicality of the position as important as the signal calling. Flannagan should handle that aspect quite well. Our guards and tackles in the ZBS should be able to hide the weakness at center. Green at RB and a quicker decision by Schaub can also avoid the defensive push through the center. The rule against the defense lining up directly over the center should also help. I'm not optimistic about any center backups on today's roster, but as with Walters at#2 WR and whomever at #2 CB, I am "wishing on a star".

real
06-21-2007, 12:49 PM
Our guards and tackles in the ZBS should be able to hide the weakness at center.

How is that ?

badboy
06-21-2007, 01:16 PM
How is that ?My understanding of the ZBS is the offensive player goes in a predetermined direction and blocks any defensive player coming into his zone rather than bull rushing the player directly across from him. I would run the play towards the LT or RT spot on line of scrimmage for the most part including pass plays. This would decrease the dline nose from blocking the center back collapsing the pocket. There would of course be exceptions where the QB moves with the pocket to the right and throws back across to the left. We did not see that often with Carr & I have no idea if Schaub will use that type of mis-direction play. Draws or run between guards and tackles would also be used, but increases involvement by center which worries me. I think both Flannagan and McKinney like to power block straight ahead, but IMO that wears them down quicker.

awtysst
06-21-2007, 01:33 PM
Weary could be our Center. We could groom Studdard to be a RG.

Texans Horror
06-21-2007, 01:50 PM
My question would be what sort of player do we have with Flannagan & McKinney age wise and health wise? Personally I do not see the physicality of the position as important as the signal calling. Flannagan should handle that aspect quite well. Our guards and tackles in the ZBS should be able to hide the weakness at center. Green at RB and a quicker decision by Schaub can also avoid the defensive push through the center. The rule against the defense lining up directly over the center should also help. I'm not optimistic about any center backups on today's roster, but as with Walters at#2 WR and whomever at #2 CB, I am "wishing on a star".

I thought the ruling about lining up over the center was only for kicking team. Is that not correct?

I am leary about any scheme that tries to hide a weakness. Granted, every team tries to hide their weaknesses, but the Texans in particular have a LOT of them. This year will be particularly difficult since teams will be hitting the LT will everything they've got. They know it is our biggest offensive weakness, the Achilles heel on Paris, sort to speak.

badboy
06-21-2007, 01:52 PM
Weary could be our Center. We could groom Studdard to be a RG.I understand Weary has been tried at center and immediately moved back to guard.

Fox
06-21-2007, 01:54 PM
Weary was supposed to be a solid center or guard prospect coming out of college. He seemed to immediately fall out of favor with Capers and Co. and I don't recall him ever getting a shot at playing at center. Anyone have an idea why he was thought highly of as a center coming out of college yet he's never been seriously considered there in the NFL?

Goldensilence
06-21-2007, 02:01 PM
Weary could be our Center. We could groom Studdard to be a RG.

Would be nice to have Flannigan healthy this year. I'd rather not see McKinney on the field but if he is please be at guard.

I am curious about Studdard. If nothing else i hope he brings some attitude to the line that he played with at Texas.

badboy
06-21-2007, 02:04 PM
I thought the ruling about lining up over the center was only for kicking team. Is that not correct?

I am leary about any scheme that tries to hide a weakness. Granted, every team tries to hide their weaknesses, but the Texans in particular have a LOT of them. This year will be particularly difficult since teams will be hitting the LT will everything they've got. They know it is our biggest offensive weakness, the Achilles heel on Paris, sort to speak.My understanding the rule was for every play. Maybe someone could clarify? Maybe we don't have as many weaknesses as you think. Obviously, Kubes thinks Black/Salaam is an upgrade and Salaam did pretty well considering everyone said, yeah but he can't be a starter. He was just that. I see him playing a more productive role as there will be a better back up to allow him some time off field. Other changes to team also should decrease the spotlight on LT. I do not see center as a major weak spot this season. We can win without a #2 WR of great quality. Our TEs, RBs and AJ did ok last season as we did not get from Moulds what most hoped for. The glaring weakness is #2 CB. We have the same DBs as last year. Our LBs are slightly better on paper anyway and the Dline hopefully will disrupt the QB. It doesn't take too many whoops and there goes another 6 points against us.

Texans Horror
06-21-2007, 02:21 PM
My understanding the rule was for every play. Maybe someone could clarify? Maybe we don't have as many weaknesses as you think. Obviously, Kubes thinks Black/Salaam is an upgrade and Salaam did pretty well considering everyone said, yeah but he can't be a starter. He was just that. I see him playing a more productive role as there will be a better back up to allow him some time off field. Other changes to team also should decrease the spotlight on LT. I do not see center as a major weak spot this season. We can win without a #2 WR of great quality. Our TEs, RBs and AJ did ok last season as we did not get from Moulds what most hoped for. The glaring weakness is #2 CB. We have the same DBs as last year. Our LBs are slightly better on paper anyway and the Dline hopefully will disrupt the QB. It doesn't take too many whoops and there goes another 6 points against us.

LT: As far as LT goes, I recognize that you thought Salaam did pretty well last year. IMO, he had a rough time picking up ends and missing blocks, so I grade him much more poorly.

C: Even when Flanagan was healthy, the pile still tended to push him back. I remember there being many occassions where Carr was hit from the inside rather than the outside, so I think it will be a major concern for Matt.

Defense: I agree with you that secondary is another huge weakness - IMO, second only to the offensive line. I am curious why I haven't heard more people assert that the secondary has been fixed, though, because the Texans drafted Bennett and Harrison. It seems that by drafting a cornerback and safety in the fourth and fifth round, the Texans did a better job of targeting defensive secondary than they did the o-line, which they drafted in the fifth and sixth rounds.

Bennett having been mentored in college by Dunta, it will be interesting to see how he develops in Houston being mentored by Dunta.

real
06-21-2007, 02:21 PM
My understanding of the ZBS is the offensive player goes in a predetermined direction and blocks any defensive player coming into his zone rather than bull rushing the player directly across from him. I would run the play towards the LT or RT spot on line of scrimmage for the most part including pass plays. This would decrease the dline nose from blocking the center back collapsing the pocket. There would of course be exceptions where the QB moves with the pocket to the right and throws back across to the left. We did not see that often with Carr & I have no idea if Schaub will use that type of mis-direction play. Draws or run between guards and tackles would also be used, but increases involvement by center which worries me. I think both Flannagan and McKinney like to power block straight ahead, but IMO that wears them down quicker.

The pocket isn't going to really 'move' on roll outs...in fact on passing plays like that the QB has less protection...on some bootlegs the gaurd opposite the rollout (same side as the play action) will pull out in front of the QB and pick up the first threat, but on play actions it's about how well the O-line initially sells the run.....And it's up to the QB to make a quick decision to either pull it down and run, or find the open man...(because as I said the OL will be selling the run and he won't have a pocket)

As far as run blocking, everyone on the line has an important role, especially the center...

In the ZBS if it is a play to the right depending on the technique the nose gaurd is playing (either a head up or slightly to to either side) the LG may be expected to take over the center's man...the only way that the LG will be able to do this is with the centers help (the center needs to take good steps and get the nose outleveraged in order to allow the backside gaurd to 'reach' him or take him over...If it's a 4-3 and it is an inside zone the then the center then needs to go to the next level and pick up the mike...if it's outside zone he probably won't be able to reach him because the LB's will be flowing hard to the outside; so therefore he should be looking for the backside LB...If the center is covered often times he will be passing his man of to either gaurd and having to block a LB...

In denver they run a lot of outside Zone vs GB where they run a lot of inside Zone. In Denver their runs set up the pass a lot also.

Having said all of that, if the Center lets the Nose tackle get toom much penetration it screws up everything...

1) you will have a LB running free because the center didn't get to him
2) the RB or QB will have to change their desired path because the DT is in the backfield

Not a good situation.

I don't know if any of that makes sense because there is so mch more to the ZBS and one play can be blocked several different ways depending on the defenses personnel, playing style and mostly what kind of front they line up in....but long story short. The gaurds and tackles can't really 'make up for' a weak center...

Goldensilence
06-21-2007, 02:30 PM
LT: As far as LT goes, I recognize that you thought Salaam did pretty well last year. IMO, he had a rough time picking up ends and missing blocks, so I grade him much more poorly.

C: Even when Flanagan was healthy, the pile still tended to push him back. I remember there being many occassions where Carr was hit from the inside rather than the outside, so I think it will be a major concern for Matt.

Defense: I agree with you that secondary is another huge weakness - IMO, second only to the offensive line. I am curious why I haven't heard more people assert that the secondary has been fixed, though, because the Texans drafted Bennett and Harrison. It seems that by drafting a cornerback and safety in the fourth and fifth round, the Texans did a better job of targeting defensive secondary than they did the o-line, which they drafted in the fifth and sixth rounds.

Bennett having been mentored in college by Dunta, it will be interesting to see how he develops in Houston being mentored by Dunta.


I'm curious as well about how that will turn out. IMO i think the Fletcher signing could be under the radar for a lot of people. He hada solid year in Detriot. I know that doesn't say much but he held his own. Will be an interesting TC for sure.

real
06-21-2007, 02:36 PM
My understanding the rule was for every play. Maybe someone could clarify?

It's been that way for Punts for a long time...long as I can remember...

Just recently made it a field goal thing...

And on defense you can line up over the center....

badboy
06-21-2007, 02:37 PM
Weary was supposed to be a solid center or guard prospect coming out of college. He seemed to immediately fall out of favor with Capers and Co. and I don't recall him ever getting a shot at playing at center. Anyone have an idea why he was thought highly of as a center coming out of college yet he's never been seriously considered there in the NFL?
You remember as I do. Seems Weary was tried in practices especially after our centers got hurt. Hodgdon was moved in also for a few plays but appears to be another bust.

real
06-21-2007, 02:39 PM
Does anyone know if Weary has been getting any time at center this off-season ?

badboy
06-21-2007, 02:45 PM
The pocket isn't going to really 'move' on roll outs...in fact on passing plays like that the QB has less protection...on some bootlegs the gaurd opposite the rollout (same side as the play action) will pull out in front of the QB and pick up the first threat, but on play actions it's about how well the O-line initially sells the run.....And it's up to the QB to make a quick decision to either pull it down and run, or find the open man...(because as I said the OL will be selling the run and he won't have a pocket)

As far as run blocking, everyone on the line has an important role, especially the center...

In the ZBS if it is a play to the right depending on the technique the nose gaurd is playing (either a head up or slightly to to either side) the LG may be expected to take over the center's man...the only way that the LG will be able to do this is with the centers help (the center needs to take good steps and get the nose outleveraged in order to allow the backside gaurd to 'reach' him or take him over...If it's a 4-3 and it is an inside zone the then the center then needs to go to the next level and pick up the mike...if it's outside zone he probably won't be able to reach him because the LB's will be flowing hard to the outside; so therefore he should be looking for the backside LB...If the center is covered often times he will be passing his man of to either gaurd and having to block a LB...

In denver they run a lot of outside Zone vs GB where they run a lot of inside Zone. In Denver their runs set up the pass a lot also.

Having said all of that, if the Center lets the Nose tackle get toom much penetration it screws up everything...

1) you will have a LB running free because the center didn't get to him
2) the RB or QB will have to change their desired path because the DT is in the backfield

Not a good situation.

I don't know if any of that makes sense because there is so mch more to the ZBS and one play can be blocked several different ways depending on the defenses personnel, playing style and mostly what kind of front they line up in....but long story short. The gaurds and tackles can't really 'make up for' a weak center...

I want our center "handing off his man to another Olineman" as you said. I also would rather he go against a linebacker every play than an Dlineman who might be able to match our center in strength. These are examples of what I meant by hiding weakness. The ZBS is a very confusing offense and hopefully our guys will do better in their 2nd year. If not we can just change the offense again. j/k.

real
06-21-2007, 02:46 PM
I just want our QB to gain the confidence of the staff so that he can audible out of a bad play.

badboy
06-21-2007, 02:48 PM
I'm curious as well about how that will turn out. IMO i think the Fletcher signing could be under the radar for a lot of people. He hada solid year in Detriot. I know that doesn't say much but he held his own. Will be an interesting TC for sure.Everything I've read seems to lock in Fletcher as a nickle CB.

badboy
06-21-2007, 02:50 PM
It's been that way for Punts for a long time...long as I can remember...

Just recently made it a field goal thing...

And on defense you can line up over the center....Ok, thanks for clearing that up. I thought it was every play as I stated. My mistake.

badboy
06-21-2007, 02:51 PM
Ok, what do all of you think? Better O line this year by a little or a lot? Spencer coming back at any point is simply icing.

infantrycak
06-21-2007, 02:59 PM
The ZBS is a very confusing offense and hopefully our guys will do better in their 2nd year.

The Texans ran ZBS for the last two years under Capers. Now it isn't all coached the same and this year they appear to be mixing in more of the power blocking as well.

Vinny
06-21-2007, 03:02 PM
I think the team is comfy with Flanagan and McKinney at center for one more year...I don't see this changing in camp.

Texans Horror
06-21-2007, 03:41 PM
It's been that way for Punts for a long time...long as I can remember...

Just recently made it a field goal thing...

And on defense you can line up over the center....

Field goal. That's where they made the change. Thanks.

badboy
06-21-2007, 03:51 PM
I think the team is comfy with Flanagan and McKinney at center for one more year...I don't see this changing in camp.So, do they draft someone next year or go free agency as they did with both guys in your post? Or do you think we have the 'next guy' on the roster?

badboy
06-21-2007, 03:55 PM
The Texans ran ZBS for the last two years under Capers. Now it isn't all coached the same and this year they appear to be mixing in more of the power blocking as well.I agree. There has been several posts I believe on the ZBS under Kubes with Denver vs Greenbay thrown in. Texas Chick has mentioned this I know. There should be much more familiarity with what will be used this season.

Runner
06-21-2007, 04:58 PM
I think the team is comfy with Flanagan and McKinney at center for one more year...I don't see this changing in camp.

I don't share their comfort, especialy if Flanagan is the starter. I worry that he will go down to injury sooner rather than later. I like McKinney as a run blocker, but his pass blocking is suspect. I'm interested in seeing the schemes they use this year to protect our weaknesses and leverage our strengths on the line.

real
06-21-2007, 07:48 PM
I'm interested in seeing the schemes they use this year to protect our weaknesses and leverage our strengths on the line.

I suspect they will stress the importance of the run..

If they come out and assert themselves as a good running team, opposing defenses will have to respect that, which in turn will open up the pass...

That's something that we struggled with early last year...

I excpect their play calling to be better and more crisp as well...

I don't think everything will be perfection by any means, but I do expect to see an improved more functional offense...

Runner
06-21-2007, 08:14 PM
If they come out and assert themselves as a good running team, opposing defenses will have to respect that, which in turn will open up the pass...


This is a key point. I'll make my prediction now: McKinney starts game 1 at center. Not only is he an effective run blocker, but that also puts the more injury prone player in the reserve slot where his health is more protected.

They may be halfway there. Now they just have to figure out a way for Schaub to have room to step up and pass when Salaam/Black gets beat.

vtech9
06-21-2007, 08:21 PM
I don't share their comfort, especialy if Flanagan is the starter. I worry that he will go down to injury sooner rather than later. I like McKinney as a run blocker, but his pass blocking is suspect. I'm interested in seeing the schemes they use this year to protect our weaknesses and leverage our strengths on the line.

I'm right there with you on that one. I was just not that impressed with Flanagan even when he was healthy. Before he got hurt, I remember wishing for Hodgedon or McKinney to come in and replace him, and that says a lot since I have never really cared for McKinney. I'm hoping that Enoka Lucas will turn out to be the answer. From watching video of Enoka, he seems to have a very quick first step, good technique, and the strength needed for the position.

real
06-21-2007, 08:50 PM
I think I'm going to be sick....

I just created this long thread breaking down the whole O-line player by player, how many sacks I thought they'd give up, each of ,what I considered to be, their strengths and weaknesses...and then combined it to how many sacks I thought we'd give up as a team and then when I clicked submit thread a page popped up asking me for my username and password...

:barf:

Runner
06-21-2007, 09:12 PM
I think I'm going to be sick....

I just created this long thread breaking down the whole O-line player by player, how many sacks I thought they'd give up, each of ,what I considered to be, their strengths and weaknesses...and then combined it to how many sacks I thought we'd give up as a team and then when I clicked submit thread a page popped up asking me for my username and password...

:barf:

Join the club - that happened to me once. I usually do a copy before I submit a lengthy post, especially since I spend a lot of time revising them to get them right. I forgot once and that time out hit me. Bummed me out so much I didn't bother to reconstruct it.

jlam
06-25-2007, 05:35 PM
Importance of center

Well, if you're Adrian McPherson, apparently it's not much.