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Texans Horror
07-05-2007, 02:34 PM
From SI (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/bucky_brooks/07/04/tc.preview.afc.south/index.html)

Challenge No. 1: Make Matt Schaub comfortable in a new offense

After watching David Carr struggle in his first season running his offense, coach Gary Kubiak brought in highly regarded backup quarterback, Matt Schaub, to be the new face of the franchise. Schaub has been stellar in the past two preseasons, but he enters the season with only two careers starts. With so little playing experience, his performance in preseason games is critical. Not only does he have to work out the kinks of playing in a new offense, he has to perform at a high level during the preseason to earn the respect and confidence of his teammates. With so much pressure and focus on his play, it is important that the Texans make Schaub comfortable in Kubiak's version of the West Coast Offense. Schaub's experience running the system in college and with the Falcons will surely help him with the transition, and that knowledge of the basic concepts and principles should give him a chance to hit the ground running with the Texans. But with little game experience, he may need to log more snaps than usual to get comfortable.

Challenge No. 2: Find another threat in the passing game

Schaub and two-time Pro Bowler Andre Johnson are the foundation for the Texans' passing game, but they'll need the presence of another receiving threat to truly keep a defense on its collective toes. Tight end Owen Daniels displayed potential with 34 receptions and five touchdowns during his rookie campaign last year. Though he is not the most athletic player, his emergence as a threat in the middle could alleviate some of the safety attention that Johnson garners and give Schaub a security blanket underneath. If Daniels does not become that alternate option, the Texans are hoping that promising rookie receiver Jacoby Jones can develop into a reliable threat on the other side of the field. Jones has the speed and quickness to take advantage of single coverage, but making the transition from small college star to productive NFL player typically takes time. Other options are available in veterans Kevin Walter and Andre Davis, but neither has been very productive during their careers. Don't rule out the additions of a veteran receiver.

Challenge No. 3: Get better play out of the defensive line

The Texans' defensive struggles start with the ineffectiveness of their defensive line. Despite repeatedly selecting defensive linemen in the first round of the draft, Houston has failed to find the right combination up front to create a consistent pass rush. But now with Mario Williams, Travis Johnson and '07 draftee Amobi Okoye slated to start, the onus is on this crew to produce some pressure on opposing signal-callers. That task has to be led by Williams, who possesses the size, speed and athleticism to be the dominant player on that unit. Toe injuries hampered plagued him last season, but he showed flashes with three-and-a-half sacks during a four-game span in October. Johnson's ineffectiveness as a rusher allowed teams to double Williams without fear. If Johnson can recover from his season-ending calf injury and provide a push inside, Williams should begin to see less of the double teams that he faced last season. And if Williams can be the difference maker off the edge, the rest of the defensive line will have an easier time getting to the quarterback.

Pretty lukewarm review, but I do agree that all three are challenges. I am hopeful that, in particular, Owen and Mario make big moves forward. Training Camp isn't here yet, but I don't know that TJ is really in the starting picture, just like Babin.

It does raise the question of whether we will see Matt on the field more than usual during the offseason.

Porky
07-05-2007, 02:52 PM
From SI (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/bucky_brooks/07/04/tc.preview.afc.south/index.html)



Pretty lukewarm review, but I do agree that all three are challenges. I am hopeful that, in particular, Owen and Mario make big moves forward. Training Camp isn't here yet, but I don't know that TJ is really in the starting picture, just like Babin.

It does raise the question of whether we will see Matt on the field more than usual during the offseason.

Kubes has to balance the need to get Matt comfortable, with the bigger picture of not wanting to have an injury take him out or something (whew, knocked on wood).

I think this is a fairly balanced piece. Nothing really new for Texans fans, but most of this kind of thing is for the more casual or general NFL fan.

I think we are getting pretty close to having about 20 days until camp. It seems like a 5 year offseason, but it's getting ever closer!:fans:

Ryan
07-05-2007, 03:01 PM
the first time i haven't heard somebody put the blame on the o-line

Texan_Bill
07-05-2007, 03:58 PM
Challenge 3b: Defensive secondary, should challenge 3 not be successful. It will be interesting to see what this seconday really can do, if the D-line can get 'some' pressure on opposing QB's

Challenge 4: Fix the O-line
:stirpot:

(sorry disturbedtexansfan513)

Texans Horror
07-05-2007, 04:22 PM
Challenge 3b: Defensive secondary, should challenge 3 not be successful. It will be interesting to see what this seconday really can do, if the D-line can get 'some' pressure on opposing QB's

Challenge 4: Fix the O-line
:stirpot:

(sorry disturbedtexansfan513)

Fixing the two most maligned areas of the team without much reseeding of stock will be a definite challenge for the team, but clearly it is not a priority of the Texans, and I think that is at least in part where the article is coming from. Their three big challenges are to get Matt feeling good, find another receiving threat, and to get the line clicking. I anticipate this being Richard Smith's last year if the line doesn't do "awesome" (in quotes for the subjective measure).

Double Barrel
07-05-2007, 04:38 PM
Establishing a consistent running game needs to be somewhere on our list of priorities. Play action doesn't work if the defense has no run game to worry about.

Texans_Chick
07-05-2007, 04:45 PM
Challenge No. 1: Make Matt Schaub comfortable in a new offense

After watching David Carr struggle in his first season running his offense, coach Gary Kubiak brought in highly regarded backup quarterback, Matt Schaub, to be the new face of the franchise. Schaub has been stellar in the past two preseasons, but he enters the season with only two careers starts. With so little playing experience, his performance in preseason games is critical. Not only does he have to work out the kinks of playing in a new offense, he has to perform at a high level during the preseason to earn the respect and confidence of his teammates. With so much pressure and focus on his play, it is important that the Texans make Schaub comfortable in Kubiak's version of the West Coast Offense. Schaub's experience running the system in college and with the Falcons will surely help him with the transition, and that knowledge of the basic concepts and principles should give him a chance to hit the ground running with the Texans. But with little game experience, he may need to log more snaps than usual to get comfortable.

Challenge No. 2: Find another threat in the passing game

Schaub and two-time Pro Bowler Andre Johnson are the foundation for the Texans' passing game, but they'll need the presence of another receiving threat to truly keep a defense on its collective toes. Tight end Owen Daniels displayed potential with 34 receptions and five touchdowns during his rookie campaign last year. Though he is not the most athletic player, his emergence as a threat in the middle could alleviate some of the safety attention that Johnson garners and give Schaub a security blanket underneath. If Daniels does not become that alternate option, the Texans are hoping that promising rookie receiver Jacoby Jones can develop into a reliable threat on the other side of the field. Jones has the speed and quickness to take advantage of single coverage, but making the transition from small college star to productive NFL player typically takes time. Other options are available in veterans Kevin Walter and Andre Davis, but neither has been very productive during their careers. Don't rule out the additions of a veteran receiver.

Challenge No. 3: Get better play out of the defensive line

The Texans' defensive struggles start with the ineffectiveness of their defensive line. Despite repeatedly selecting defensive linemen in the first round of the draft, Houston has failed to find the right combination up front to create a consistent pass rush. But now with Mario Williams, Travis Johnson and '07 draftee Amobi Okoye slated to start, the onus is on this crew to produce some pressure on opposing signal-callers. That task has to be led by Williams, who possesses the size, speed and athleticism to be the dominant player on that unit. Toe injuries hampered plagued him last season, but he showed flashes with three-and-a-half sacks during a four-game span in October. Johnson's ineffectiveness as a rusher allowed teams to double Williams without fear. If Johnson can recover from his season-ending calf injury and provide a push inside, Williams should begin to see less of the double teams that he faced last season. And if Williams can be the difference maker off the edge, the rest of the defensive line will have an easier time getting to the quarterback.

Some things in that article that are close but not quite on the mark...

I really do think that Kubiak likes Walter more than others do. He hasn't had much opportunity. The few times he was in games, he did pretty well.

The discussion of the defensive line is crap.

The toe "hampered plagued" Mario in camp, but it was the plantar fascitis that resulted in him having to get one to two painkilling injections a game. I had a very minor bout of that this summer, and I can't imagine trying to play football. They better have his shoe stuff figured out.

I do not think that the Texans are relying on Travis Johnson for the success of their line. I do not think that TJ's play resulted in more double teams for Mario. I do not think that TJ's play in 2007 is crucial to Mario having a better 2007, though I do think that better play from the DT position in general is something that would be helpful.

As for Schaub's performance in the preseason, I will say that I was impressed with how the Texans looked in the preseason last year. Carr looked better but still Jerry Lewised a bit, and Rosenfels looked really good. I expect that Schaub will have a good preseason against vanilla defenses.

Double Barrel
07-05-2007, 04:50 PM
yeah, his focus on TJ - who may or may not make the team, IMO - kind of revealed his understanding of the team (shallow understanding, at best).

And as we learned last season, pre-season wins are fool's gold and mean absolutely nothing in the big scheme of things.

awtysst
07-05-2007, 04:55 PM
Establishing a consistent running game needs to be somewhere on our list of priorities. Play action doesn't work if the defense has no run game to worry about.

YES! Thank you! A consistent run game takes pressure off Schaub, helps open up receivers, helps the Oline, helps eat clock(thus helping D). You nailed it on the head DB!
Rep coming your way!

edit: you must spread reputation around before giving it to Double Barrell again.

Buffi2
07-05-2007, 06:41 PM
link (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/bucky_brooks/07/04/tc.preview.afc.south/)

B. Brooks has 3 training camp challenges for each team in the AFC South.

Texans challenges are:
1. Make Matt Schaub comfortable in a new offense.
2. Find another threat in the passing game and
3. Get better play out of defensive line.

I think Schaub and the defense will come along nicely. I don't think those two "challenges" are as insurmountable as they have been in years past. Finding someone to take some of the heat off of Andre is another kettle of fish entirely.

I can't wait for the season to start. I do believe we are on our way to the playoffs by next year for sure.:fans:

The rest of the article pertains to the other AFC South teams and their challenges. Makes for interesting reading while waiting for training camp, season ticket arrival, and finally, the 2007 season.

GuerillaBlack
07-05-2007, 07:31 PM
The D-Line stuff is bull****, but everything else was about right.

Spike
07-05-2007, 10:49 PM
Fixing the two most maligned areas of the team without much reseeding of stock will be a definite challenge for the team, but clearly it is not a priority of the Texans, and I think that is at least in part where the article is coming from. Their three big challenges are to get Matt feeling good, find another receiving threat, and to get the line clicking. I anticipate this being Richard Smith's last year if the line doesn't do "awesome" (in quotes for the subjective measure).

I can't imagine that this is Richard Smith's last year under any circumstance. Smith wasn't around when they decided to sign to a three year extension and I don't think that he was even around for the draft. However, he was the one responsible for picking up two players off the street last season that ended the year being more productive than the players they replaced and will likely start this year.

Rick Smith and Kubes have made some agressive moves...some of them that I don't agree with, but you have to give them more than one year. Smith didn't have much to work with this offseason, but still got a couple of solid players on both sides of the ball and took the necessary steps to clean up the financial situation of this team this year.

I am disappointed that we were able to resolve the QB, RB, o-line, d-line, and secondary all in one season, as well as resolve over $30M in dead money, but you have to be realistic.

Texans Horror
07-05-2007, 11:22 PM
I can't imagine that this is Richard Smith's last year under any circumstance. Smith wasn't around when they decided to sign to a three year extension and I don't think that he was even around for the draft. However, he was the one responsible for picking up two players off the street last season that ended the year being more productive than the players they replaced and will likely start this year.

The reason I see Smith on the limb is that there is another coach ready to swoop in - Frank Bush - who Kubes has said he was after originally but could not get due to contracts. I don't think it's a knock on Smith, but with Bush there, Smith may be on the way out if the defense does not perform to par this season. JMO.

Runner
07-05-2007, 11:53 PM
I can't imagine that this is Richard Smith's last year under any circumstance. Smith wasn't around when they decided to sign to a three year extension and I don't think that he was even around for the draft...

Rick Smith and Kubes have made some agressive moves...


You do know Richard Smith and Rick Smith are two different people? Richard Smith the defensive coordinator has had a few problems - luckily some of his position coaches picked up the slack. As defensive coordinator he had little to do with the "three year extension".

Bull Pen 1
07-06-2007, 12:22 AM
My #1 prioroty is winning more games. I went to a meeting with the Texans last month about traditions. I said we need to start a new tradition of winning more games than we lost!!!!!:fans:

quicksilver
07-06-2007, 06:00 AM
You do know Richard Smith and Rick Smith are two different people? Richard Smith the defensive coordinator has had a few problems - luckily some of his position coaches picked up the slack. As defensive coordinator he had little to do with the "three year extension".

I haven't come across this suggestion before. I would be very curious to learn more detail about what problems RS has had, who picked up what slack, and how.

HOU-TEX
07-06-2007, 10:37 AM
I haven't come across this suggestion before. I would be very curious to learn more detail about what problems RS has had, who picked up what slack, and how.

IMO, Frank Bush will have most of, if not total control of the defense this season.:d:

Texans_Chick
07-07-2007, 01:49 PM
Minorly off topic:

This SI.com article got clowned over at PFT, and I'm clowning it on FanHouse some, ""Best Offseason Analysis of the Houston Texans" (http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/07/07/best-offseason-analysis-of-the-houston-texans/)"

You have to wonder some about how SI is being run. Check out this link:

Sports Illustrated Steals From FanHouse and Got Punk'd (http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/07/07/sports-illustrated-steals-from-fanhouse-and-got-punkd/)

Basically, the FanHouse ran an imaginary interview with P. Diddy, and SI stole the quotes from the *interview* without attribution. Then they got busted for it and removed the quotes from their article. Then they apologized to the readers and PDiddy for the quotes but didn't apologize to the folks that they stole from.

Specnatz
07-07-2007, 02:16 PM
True journalism is almost dead. Bloggers like Steph are trying to keep it the way it was ment to, with facts and opinions, where you can tell the differance between the two. Also actually having seen said event also helps, to bad the others do not follow these guide lines.

TK_Gamer
07-07-2007, 02:46 PM
On the subject of Frank Bush and Richard smith, This year could be a little shaky at the start. I mean we barely got the ball rolling with Richar Smith's defense and now things are bound to change with Frank Bush comming in, not to mention a new Line coach. The good news is we should know early on in the preseason whether the changes are productive or just different, if you know what I mean.

Double Barrel
07-07-2007, 03:17 PM
On the subject of Frank Bush and Richard smith, This year could be a little shaky at the start. I mean we barely got the ball rolling with Richar Smith's defense and now things are bound to change with Frank Bush comming in, not to mention a new Line coach. The good news is we should know early on in the preseason whether the changes are productive or just different, if you know what I mean.

Actually, the defense was really coming together the second half of the season. If you look at the last 10 games, our stats show us to be a top 10 defense, IIRC. So they were getting it, and with another TC and pre-season under the belt, there is no reason to think that they can't come out of the gate swinging this year.

We'll still be running a 4-3, and Smith's plays will still be in effect. I think Bush will temper Smith's emotional playcalling tendencies, though, which is a good thing, IMO.

Plus add a second year DeMeco, a healthy Mario starting at one spot, and the other additions, we've got a young group of guys that want to prove themselves. I really hope they take advantage of the homefield advantage that Reliant can provide, because Houston fans will make some serious noise when given the chance and inspiration.