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JohnsonFan
08-21-2007, 12:10 PM
Having invested four first-round picks on defensive linemen in the last four drafts, the Texans want an underperforming unit to step up now
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/fb/texansfront/5070397.html

"N.D. Kalu didn't need a stat sheet to assess the performance of the defensive line against the Arizona Cardinals. Texans defensive coordinator Richard Smith was concerned before the numbers ever landed in his hands.

Neither could have been comforted when they eventually saw the postgame statistics. Among the four starting defensive linemen — Kalu, Anthony Maddox, Amobi Okoye and Mario Williams — there was one tackle and one pass defensed.

Okoye was responsible for the former, Kalu the latter. Maddox and Williams didn't appear in the defensive stats in any category.

"We had a horrible, horrible pass rush (against the Cardinals)," Kalu said. "It was just horrible. When you (starters) don't lay a hand on the quarterback, especially when he's in the two-minute drill, well, that's why I call it horrible. We left our DBs alone, and that's not fair to them."

It was the second time thisvpreseason that Williams didn'tvappear on the stat sheet, and the 33-20 win marked the second time the starters didn't register a sack.

For a typical defensive line, it would be just a blip on the preseason radar. But for the Texans, it's more.

So much of the team's payroll is invested in the defensive line with four first-round picks from the last four years — Okoye, Williams, Travis Johnson and Jason Babin. Anthony Weaver arrived as a free agent in 2006 and received a $12.5 million signing bonus.

But the money isn't the issue right now. It's the lack of production.

"I'm happy we won the game, but once again, I'm not totally excited about the way we performed," Smith said. "There wasn't enough pressure on the quarterback. We have to go back and look at it, and evaluate it.

"The run defense I'm pleased with. I'm not pleased in terms of our pass defense. And it comes from a combination of things: pressure on the quarterback and doing a good job of our coverage."

So much of the focus is on Williams, but the coaches are seeking a solution that will boost the entire line. It's early, but the Texans don't want to see the trend continue. They are ranked 30th in the preseason in pass defense.

Against Dallas on Saturday, Johnson will see playing time with the first team for the first time in the preseason.

Kalu said it also will be important to get Weaver back on the field. The veteran defensive end still is working to regain strength in his surgically repaired shoulder.

"I'm not making excuses, but we've played without A.W.," Kalu said. "He's the leader of the defensive line. When we get him back, that'll be a big boost for us. It's going to get better. I really believe that."

That's what the coaches are counting on. But even when Weaver returns — possibly for the last preseason game on Aug. 30 at Tampa Bay, the spotlight will shine brightest on Williams.

Kubiak wants to see Williams develop into a player quarterbacks fear and left tackles hate facing.

"I don't worry as much about sacks as much as I worry about his disruption and his pressure and his presence on the football field, down in and down out," Kubiak said. "You know, Dwight Freeney is one of the best I've ever went against as a coach, and I think he had, what, last year — 5 1/2 sacks — but I can promise you he was there a bunch all day long and people had to double him and account for him."

Kubiak wants the same thing from Williams.

"I want him to become a disruptive player. If we don't get a lot of sacks, then I want him to sure as heck make them get rid of the football.

"And that's all of them (the defensive linemen). Big focus on him, but we've got to as a group get better up there.""[/FONT][/FONT]

Texan Asylum
08-21-2007, 12:12 PM
Can we have a link please? :shades:

edit: Thank you

JohnsonFan
08-21-2007, 12:17 PM
Amobi (2007)- 2006 Stats: 13 starts, 55 Tackles, 38 Solos, 8 sacks, 34 sack yards
Mario (2006)- 2006 stats:16 starts, 47 Tackles, 35 solos, 4.5 sacks, 21 sack yards
Travis Johnson(2005)- 2006: 8 starts, 11 Tackles, 8 solos, 0 sacks
Babin(2004) - 2006 stats: 3 starts, 25 tackles, 19 solos, 5 sacks, 29 sack yards

Mr. White
08-21-2007, 12:19 PM
Not to mention, the bold letters are a little hard on the eyes.

edit:thanks

Texans Horror
08-21-2007, 12:20 PM
From the Chronicle.

The rush needs to be comprised of something more than just hitting the guy in front of you. Nobody, much less Matt Lienhart, should have that kind of time. A lot of teams would have killed the Texans with that lack of Pass Rush.

To add salt to the wounds, there are the stats. Almost no tackles, no sacks, nothing, nada, zip.

Somebody needs to start bringing the wood. It was asked last week what we wanted to see in the game, and I said I wanted to see a flash of something great. Forced-fumble, interception, sack - I wouldn't be picky. I just needed something. Because of that, I think there will be even more pressure this week. A lot of time, money, and coaching has been placed on those front four guys. It needs to show for something, and I think that's frustrating fans.

JohnsonFan
08-21-2007, 12:20 PM
its in

threetoedpete
08-21-2007, 01:08 PM
From the Chronicle.

The rush needs to be comprised of something more than just hitting the guy in front of you. Nobody, much less Matt Lienhart, should have that kind of time. A lot of teams would have killed the Texans with that lack of Pass Rush.

To add salt to the wounds, there are the stats. Almost no tackles, no sacks, nothing, nada, zip.

Somebody needs to start bringing the wood. It was asked last week what we wanted to see in the game, and I said I wanted to see a flash of something great. Forced-fumble, interception, sack - I wouldn't be picky. I just needed something. Because of that, I think there will be even more pressure this week. A lot of time, money, and coaching has been placed on those front four guys. It needs to show for something, and I think that's frustrating fans.



The only pressure is what we make of a preseason match up. Dallas o-line blocked like road graders vs Denver. Barber is running like a man who's house is on fire and he has babies in the second story traped in a nursery. Expecting a marked improvement in this particular game is a little wishful thinking. I just hope we don't loose many warm bodies durring the game. One franchise has four rings and one franchise can't sniff 10-6. It doesn't take an Einstien to figgure out which way this one will go. Tampa Bay game will be the game to have your finger perched over the panic button.

threetoedpete
08-21-2007, 01:10 PM
Texans defensive coordinator Richard Smith was concerned before the numbers ever landed in his hands.


First thingy he better figure out is how the other teams are reading his mail when he sends two LB's. That'd be the first thing I'd be tring to figure out.

Texans Horror
08-21-2007, 02:04 PM
The only pressure is what we make of a preseason match up.

Yes, but I think as "educational" as a preseason game is supposed to be for players, certain fans (not including me) want to see something decided. It doesn't have to be good football either. It just has to be in the form of a sack, fumble, interception, etc. (Mario getting consistent pressure on the quarterback and stuffing lanes would not be as important to certain fans as is him getting one sack, is what I mean to say.) If the Texans can't do it during the Cowboys game, but falter throughout the season as might be expected of a young defensive line, their performance this week will come back to haunt them, especially from stat guys.

Expecting a marked improvement in this particular game is a little wishful thinking.
Expecting a marked improvement in any game is a little wishful thinking.