View Full Version : NFL First-Round Recap: Houston Texans

02-01-2008, 07:30 PM
Great writeup, Texans_Chick!


Looking Into the Future: In sum, Okoye showed enough this last season that even without much of a secondary behind him and often the defense playing from behind that he has the potential to be a special player. Rookie defensive tackles often struggle, and few make a splash their first year. Finishing at year with 5.5 sacks for a position on the field where sacks are hard to come by is an accomplishment.

To put his season in context, his regular season sacks tied with Tampa Bay's Gaines Adams. Darnell Dockett led the league in sacks for defensive tackles with 9. Chicago's Tommie Harris, an athletic player that Okoye has been compared to, finished second in the league with 8 sacks, his highest career sack number. Harris, in his fourth year in the league, had never had more than 5 sacks previously.

Personally, I think he was better than expected, given the struggles in the Texans secondary and is one of the bright spots for this defense. The coaches praised his ability to run stop early in the season, but he appeared to struggle with the rookie wall and nagging injuries as the season progressed.

Would They Do It All Over? Probably. The Texans had Okoye as their highest rated defensive player on the draft board. Okoye is the type of high motor, high character player that the Texans want to build their defense around. That being said, Kubiak has mentioned recently the imbalance of the Texans defensive line. Former first round pick Travis Johnson was originally acquired to be that athletic explosive DT (not a space eater) that is the same role that Okoye has now. The Texans don't have a typical two gap DT. And the defensive end position on the other side of Mario Williams is filled by an injured guy not known for his pass rush and a try hard older guy. Adding Okoye didn't really help with that line imbalance.

Linebacker Patrick Willis was rarely mentioned for the Texans because they already had DeMeco Ryans, but I'm guessing that they would have been good together..

Grade: B+. He played significant time in all 16 games and showed some tremendous potential in a position on the field where it is difficult for rookies to shine. Is Okoye the phenomenal guy that the Texans saw the first half of the season, or the invisible guy who hit the rookie wall for the second half of the season? The Texans want to see more consistency from him game to game, down to down.

02-02-2008, 12:38 PM
was okoye really ever praised for his run-stopping?? i thought that was a consistent weakness and criticism of his game all year long

02-02-2008, 02:26 PM
was okoye really ever praised for his run-stopping?? i thought that was a consistent weakness and criticism of his game all year long

Yes. The concern in camp was that he was ahead in his passing game but that run stopping would be a problem.

After the season began, Kubiak was praising Okoye for his run stopping. I'm guessing you can find that information sometime in September. I alude to it here (http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/10/03/amobi-okoye-named-nfl-defensive-rookie-of-the-month/).

Actually, some people believed in college that Okoye's best ability was his run stopping early in his career. He lost a little weight and was better at his pass rush his last season at Louisville.

The question for him is going to be at what weight can he do both. I've talked to some with the Texans who say that believe that his build really isn't right to support a ton more weight.

02-02-2008, 02:32 PM
Great writeup, Texans_Chick!


Indeed, very good writeup. Seeing what Patrick Willis was doing all season (20 tackles in 3 different games, wtf), and was itching to turn back the clock and pick him.

But-- at the same time I still wanted the keep Okoye. He has the potential to be something really great in the seasons to come.

Now after the seasons over, I'm glad we have a legit pass-rushing DT on the team. :) That's one less need for the defense.

Rex King
02-02-2008, 07:30 PM
"GM Rick Smith hasn't targeted any of these heavier players, and it is hard to say if defensive coordinator Richard Smith even wants a heavier-type defensive tackle because we have little sense of what defense he is trying to run."

Good point. They just did their evaluations last month, and they may now see it as a need, but who knows. They may be thinking smaller and more athletic, like the Broncos, which I wouldn't be too happy with.

Some funky new smilies on here.