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View Full Version : QB play is still the key


Texanmike02
01-17-2008, 09:03 AM
As much as I've harped about all of the needs on this team. Secondary, Line, LBs and RB, the key to next year will be the QB position. Our QB play was better this year but we turned the ball over way too much. We had trouble sustaining key drives and clock management was an issue until very late in the year.

Contrary to what most would believe, while Sage did a good job as a backup for most of the year it was against some pretty bad teams. If Schaub comes in and plays like Sage did it won't matter what we do around him. We will continue to play well against bad teams and get beaten soundly by good teams. I do think Schaub can be an upgrade in the long run and I'm very upbeat about the long term (and even the short term) future of this team. I think that until Schaub establishes himself in this league that teams will be content to dare us to beat them through the air.

This is a Quarterback's league these days. That's not to say that you don't have to build around them, and you may get the occasional "game manager" who can be successful but its rare. Sometimes a dominant defense will make it through but its no coincidence that the top QB's in the league made the playoffs. All but one of them (Gerrard) won their division.

Manning is the only QB with a rating under 90 to make it out of the wild card.

Back to the texans. While we were 8-8 for the first time we lacked a true quality win. Not that there is anything wrong with beating up on the bad teams in the league; there are a lot of them and in most divisions you can rack up at least 4 wins by playing bad opponents inside your division. That's not the case in this division. Look at our wins last year. Don't count Jacksonville for obvious reasons. Our signature win was Tampa? Outside of tampa and Jacksonville (who was nice enough to send their JV squad in to play us) nobody we beat won more than 7 games and they averaged a stagering 6 wins. Conversly Our losses... all but two of them were against playoff teams. Those teams won an average of almost 10 games (9.8 if you're curious).

The good news is we have a young QB with a lot of potential. The bad news is we still have a relatively young unproven QB.

My origional point that I kind of got away from was that you can gameplan for a good reciever or a good RB but its hard to gameplan for a top flight QB. There's really only one way to beat a smart accurate QB and that's to get pressure on them.

Mike

HOU-TEX
01-17-2008, 09:57 AM
Nice post Mike. Unlike many around here, I still have alot of faith in Schaub. He's still wet behind the ears as you mentioned, but he's shown us several glimpses of what a real QB looks like here in Houston. I have all the faith in the world he'll continue to get better because unlike YKW, Schaub has the intelligence to grasp what Kubiak coaches.

Other than wanting Schaub to continue picking Kubiaks brain, I'd like to see (or hear of) him hitting the weights after rehabbing the shoulder. He'll never be a speed demon so why not add a bit more strength?

:texflag:

Texans_Chick
01-17-2008, 10:09 AM
I'm am optimistic for a couple of reasons.

1. Alex Gibbs is likely going to result in a reliable running game. Reliable running game makes it much easier to pass, and not have to force it to tight spots.

2. Kubiak has shown he can improve QB play. Even ocho viejo managed to get $$$ and be pursued as a starter after working with Kubiak, and then promptly looked the worst he has ever looked.

3. The Texans were 4th in red zone scoring, even though AJ was out for much of the season.

4. The league is all about QB play. Most of the teams got into the playoffs because of their solid QB play or that they had a defense so good it helped mask just getter done QB play. I think that on the offensive side of the ball, the coaching staff has the possibility of making this a tremendous offensive machine.

Shanahan Sr. has said in the past that it takes 3 years for a QB to really master what they are doing in Denver. From what I've seen so far in Houston, I am optimistic.

Texanmike02
01-17-2008, 10:39 AM
I'm am optimistic for a couple of reasons.

2. Kubiak has shown he can improve QB play. Even ocho viejo managed to get $$$ and be pursued as a starter after working with Kubiak, and then promptly looked the worst he has ever looked.



Are you saying he can improve it or that he can't. Its thursday and my brain has already taken the weekend off.

Mike

Texans_Chick
01-17-2008, 11:30 AM
Are you saying he can improve it or that he can't. Its thursday and my brain has already taken the weekend off.

Mike

CAN improve QB play.

He improved Carr the most that Carr could be improved under the circumstances. Based on that performance, Carr was being pursued as a starter and a backup and made coin as a backup. Then Carr proceeded to pull a full on Jerry Lewis once he wasn't coached by Kubiak--Carr said he was going to go back to feeling more like himself and more natural.

Kubiak had the good sense to cut bait on that experiment.

Plummer got improved.
Steve Young had his most impressive season playing under Kubiak and credited Kubiak in his HOF speech.
Schaub and Rosenfels looked more composed than a ton of quarterbacks with similar experience levels.

I've seen enough to say that in a QB-driven league, I am happy to have a head coach with a quarterback's eye for that position.

The1ApplePie
01-17-2008, 11:38 AM
I doubt all the coaching in the world can make Fragile Matty take a hit any better.

Texanmike02
01-17-2008, 11:44 AM
CAN improve QB play.

He improved Carr the most that Carr could be improved under the circumstances. Based on that performance, Carr was being pursued as a starter and a backup and made coin as a backup. Then Carr proceeded to pull a full on Jerry Lewis once he wasn't coached by Kubiak--Carr said he was going to go back to feeling more like himself and more natural.

Kubiak had the good sense to cut bait on that experiment.

Plummer got improved.
Steve Young had his most impressive season playing under Kubiak and credited Kubiak in his HOF speech.
Schaub and Rosenfels looked more composed than a ton of quarterbacks with similar experience levels.

I've seen enough to say that in a QB-driven league, I am happy to have a head coach with a quarterback's eye for that position.


Ok. Just checking and for the record I agree.

HoustonFrog
01-17-2008, 11:48 AM
Nice post Mike!!

I agree. Despite the bandwagon for others out of the blue this year I was very impressed with Schaub in his first full year of starting. He looked good in the pocket and with a full team was looking like a top flight QB. I think TC hit the nail on the head with the running game. Once we can get a consistent ground game going that defenses have to respect then its going to open things up in the air. I think with injuries last year we were forced to chose last year. Some games we just started throwing all game and others we ran Dayne. Last week was a good example of how this is a QB driven league. San Diego's main weakness...many thought..was QB. So people would stack the box against LT and make Rivers play well. Well he did and they won. It even opened things up for their backup backs.

I'm with Hou-Tex too that I'd like to see Schaub hit the weights and rehabbing hard to get a little sturdier.

Lucky
01-17-2008, 12:07 PM
I think that until Schaub establishes himself in this league that teams will be content to dare us to beat them through the air.

Manning is the only QB with a rating under 90 to make it out of the wild card.

I don't see teams daring the Texans to beat them in the air. I don't remember the Texans facing a lot of 8 man fronts. More like teams are daring the Texans to run. Which was a strategy Kubiak has admitted after certain games that he didn't take advantage of.

Schaub had a QB rating of over 100 in the 3 of the 4 games both he and Andre Johnson were healthy. With AJ out, the rest of the receivers overachieved. And I think Matt (and Sage) should share some credit for that.

I agree that QB play is important. I think the QBs are ready to win. They're the least of my concerns, now.

Texans_Chick
01-17-2008, 01:23 PM
I agree that QB play is important. I think the QBs are ready to win. They're the least of my concerns, now.

Agreed.

Most of my concerns lie on the defensive side of the ball.

The offensive line is a mess right now, but I think they are going to try to coach up whatever they put together.

The defense has been abysmal for years, and I would like to feel optimistic that they can be coached up too.

Texanmike02
01-17-2008, 01:58 PM
I definately think Schaub is the right guy. I just think it will take time. I think that if Schaub plays like he did in his first two starts we're gonna be rocking and rolling. There are definately other needs which we need to address. I think however that the line is a priority this year. I keep flipfloping between Line, secondary and rb. I think those are definately the top 3 but every time I watch a different game again I think the need changes. But wow. We're down to talking about 3 or 4 areas of need instead of 3 or 4 areas of strength. One thing's for sure... that represents progress.

Mike

Texan_Bill
01-17-2008, 02:01 PM
Schaub will be just fine. People need to put things into perspective: He has about 13 career starts and that includes a couple of starts in Atlanta. That (13) is the least amount of starts in our division..

Texanmike02
01-17-2008, 02:14 PM
I agree Bill. But people are on (or were on don't know so much about now) the Sage bandwagon and I just wanted to point out that what he did last year will likely result in an 8-8 season if we get the same production. Schaub looked sharp the first 3 games really, then injuries all over the place kind of slowed him down. Anyone want to set goals for next season? 3300-3600 yards 24 tds and like 12 ints. Do it Matt.

Mike

HOU-TEX
01-17-2008, 02:35 PM
I definately think Schaub is the right guy. I just think it will take time. I think that if Schaub plays like he did in his first two starts we're gonna be rocking and rolling. There are definately other needs which we need to address. I think however that the line is a priority this year. I keep flipfloping between Line, secondary and rb. I think those are definately the top 3 but every time I watch a different game again I think the need changes. But wow. We're down to talking about 3 or 4 areas of need instead of 3 or 4 areas of strength. One thing's for sure... that represents progress.

Mike

True, very true. I was just watching the NO game at lunch and it reminded me of this thread. Schaub played very well in this game too. IIRC, he was around 16/18 for about 190 yards at halftime. The play action was working to perfection, the WR's were making plays, Owen 'Tha Weatherman' Daniels was playing awesome with a busted up beak and Kubiak was breathing fire from the bogus calls the officials were making.

Having said that, you're correct about the 3 needs of the team.

Ron Dayne can't and never will be able to attack the outside. He's also constantly missing the cut-back lane due to lack of vision. Too slow hitting the LOS.

Our secondary is forced to play too much zone due to lack of talent. Von Hutchins is a dime back at best. CC's inconsistant. I will admit Demps can and will lay the wood given the chance. Bennett is up and coming and hopefully he continues to improve.

We need an LT and a C. Whether they are on the current roster or not is for Gibbs to figure out. His hiring alone drastically improves this current need.

And just to add a couple smaller holes:

Clark was impressive against his old teams, but where was he the remaining 14 games? Greenwood's average at best, below average in coverage.

Weaver did nothing opposite MW. I expect Okoye to be much better next season. TJ needs to continue to get better and maybe add another 10-20 pounds

Just thought I'd throw my :twocents: out there.

Texanmike02
01-17-2008, 02:54 PM
LB is for me that 4th hole. It goes untalked about but we need speed on the outside. But its a very distant 4th. I've said before, Ryans doesn't run a sub 2 second 40 so he can't cover the entire field. My ultimate hope is that within the next 3 years this defense is made up of mostly people under 25 who are quick to the ball and able to read and recognize plays. I'm not a big greenwood fan but I was pleasantly surprised with Clark. Neither is a long term solution and both must be addressed before we are a real title contenders. I don't think however, that is this year. Maybe you address one side but I think our other needs and the QB production would put us in a position to really compete for the playoffs.

On Weaver. He certainly isn't a sack master but he's solid against the run. One thing he does do well is drive his man back. I think that may be (I'll go watch it as soon as I get my dvr hooked back up - I'm still living out of a suit case) one reason that Mario looks better coming off the left. I remember thinking, durring the last several games that Weaver does push his man back he just never beats him but I'll double check that before I swear to it. He's not useless but for a guy who can play DT in a pinch, or DE he's not bad. He's just overpaid. I also think that if you just want a pass rushing specialist you can go get a guy for obvious passing situations and turn him loose. Doesn't even have to be that great... just a guy you can let out of his cage from time to time.

Another guy who I thought never got any run but played well every time I saw him was Cochran. Dude had 20 total tackles in pretty limited play time last year. He looked to me to have a good sense of when the runner had broken the LOS and was in the area for a lot of plays.

Just an observation.



Mike