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View Full Version : Observations of Titan Game after DVR review


dalemurphy
12-19-2008, 03:38 AM
Well, I haven't done this for awhile and just spent 3 hours going through the game in great detail. Before my list of observations, I must say that this team is sooo much better than the one I was watching in September and October, especially from a confidence standpoint. It really looks like this team matured a lot this year. Okay, now for some specifics.


1. Bentley is probably the best backup LB we've ever had on the team. He's consistantly in the right place, doesn't overpursue and secures his tackles.

2.Greenwood is garbage and I look forward to him being cut this off-season.

3. Okoye actually caused the interception. He beat the guard and hit Collins arm right up the middle on as he was throwing the post into the endzone. Actually, Okoye won his battles about 1/2 the time. Interestingly, he either ended up in the backfield or totally washed out of the play. My guess is that is because he's quick and explosive but not strong enough yet to hold up at the POA. I think another year in the weight room and a thicker NT will help him greatly.

4. TJohnson is garbage. He can pursue along the line okay but doesn't get penetration and can't stand up to any double teams.

5. We only blitzed about 5-6 times but they were well timed and disguised better than in the past. Also, each blitz was unique. There was a safety blitz. There were a couple of variety of LB blitzes. There was even a delayed blitz on the 3-11 towards the end of the game.

6. Bulman, Robinson, Okoye, Weaver all got penetration in the run and pass throughout the game- though I wouldn't say any of them were dominate.

7. Dunta is still a little unsure about exploding off of his leg. He'll be better next season.

8. Salaam is done. He was on his butt, rocking backwards, getting thrown to the side all night long... not to mention a couple of penalties and the inability to dominate at any point.

9. Brown is still inconsistant. He only got beat badly twice... both times by Haynesworth, once on a bull rush and the next time on a speed rush, oddly. Clearly Haynesworth was in his head a little- understandable.

10. Briesel is light years better than he was in October. He made a number of excellent blocks in the run game and wasn't ever embarassed in pass protection. He's come a long way and this is from a guy whose been screaming for an upgrade at RG.

11. Myers handled Haynesworth pretty well. He got a lot of help but was rarely thrown back. And, he had some nice second level blocks. He's also looked better of late.

12. Pitts was very good on the back side of running plays. Especially Slaton's 13 yard run at the end of the game. He rode a guy from the middle of the field literally to the opposite sidelines. He seems to prefer not to cut and generally stays engaged even on the back side.

13. Winston got beat on a couple speed rushes. Both he and Brown had great moments but also some pretty bad ones. I guess that's not surprising for NFL tackles.

14. Once again, ODaniels made a number of good blocks and was left isolated on Kearse a couple times in the run and pass game. He handled himself quite well.

15. Slaton continues to impress picking up blitzers and helping in pass protection. He did have two breakdowns. But he also made a number of very good blocks.

16. Schaub looks great and doesn't seem so fragile anymore. He took some licks and was never rattled nor woozy!

17. I find it a little odd that the Texans don't ever run the end around or fake the end around on the zone stretch. I'm not sure why that is. However, they have been run a play that looks like the zone stretch but a TE actually doubles back and blocks on the back side- like a counter... I suppose that is the run play they're using to keep the overpursuit honest?

18. The passing game is basically unstoppable right now. And Schaub is getting much better understanding situation and taking care of the ball.


Guys, this team is right on the cusp! I can't wait until '09. By the way, we're gonna beat the heck out of Oakland this weekend. That, I guarantee.

nero THE zero
12-19-2008, 06:05 AM
17. I find it a little odd that the Texans don't ever run the end around or fake the end around on the zone stretch. I'm not sure why that is. However, they have been run a play that looks like the zone stretch but a TE actually doubles back and blocks on the back side- like a counter... I suppose that is the run play they're using to keep the overpursuit honest?

They also do that with Kevin Walter.

I've noticed a distinct difference in the playcalling this year. I don't know if it's the addition of Gibbs, promotion of Shanahan, or the absence of Sherman, but the play action boot and the Walter end arounds have been missing this season. We seem much more vanilla on offense. But hey, whatever works.

Runner
12-19-2008, 07:01 AM
They also do that with Kevin Walter.

I've noticed a distinct difference in the playcalling this year. I don't know if it's the addition of Gibbs, promotion of Shanahan, or the absence of Sherman, but the play action boot and the Walter end arounds have been missing this season. We seem much more vanilla on offense. But hey, whatever works.
The addition of a big play running back affects what they have to do to move the ball. I don't know that it is vanilla as much as having other options.

dalemurphy
12-19-2008, 07:55 AM
They also do that with Kevin Walter.

I've noticed a distinct difference in the playcalling this year. I don't know if it's the addition of Gibbs, promotion of Shanahan, or the absence of Sherman, but the play action boot and the Walter end arounds have been missing this season. We seem much more vanilla on offense. But hey, whatever works.

I don't think it's vanilla. They do some interesting stuff. I just thought that the end around is a staple of that offense and I think I've seen it tried twice all year and faked once or twice.

BigBull17
12-19-2008, 07:57 AM
The addition of a big play running back effects what they have to do to move the ball. I don't know that it is vanilla as much as having other options.

Good offenses dont have to be tricky. We understand that the only team that can stop us is us. No need to get cute.

noxiousdog
12-19-2008, 08:31 AM
9. Brown is still inconsistant. He only got beat badly twice... both times by Haynesworth, once on a bull rush and the next time on a speed rush, oddly. Clearly Haynesworth was in his head a little- understandable.

Did Haynesworth line up outside, or was it a stunt?

dalemurphy
12-19-2008, 08:33 AM
Did Haynesworth line up outside, or was it a stunt?

He lines up outside quite a bit against us on passing downs. Both instances I'm referring to that was the case.

nunusguy
12-19-2008, 08:40 AM
Good stuff Dale. Keep it coming.

El Tejano
12-19-2008, 08:43 AM
I was looking for an outside opinion so I asked my friend at work who is a Titan fan, what was the difference in our team. He said it was our ability to not let a bad play or event in the game make us quit. He said in years past he could count on one thing happening to make momentum shift in the Titans direction that would cause us to lose hope and quit but this time around, that never happened.

I thought that was interesting considering he never heard Kubiak and players talk about how Kubiak asked the team to work on not letting negative plays affect us anymore and to just make better plays to erase the negative ones.

BigBull17
12-19-2008, 08:52 AM
I was looking for an outside opinion so I asked my friend at work who is a Titan fan, what was the difference in our team. He said it was our ability to not let a bad play or event in the game make us quit. He said in years past he could count on one thing happening to make momentum shift in the Titans direction that would cause us to lose hope and quit but this time around, that never happened.

I thought that was interesting considering he never heard Kubiak and players talk about how Kubiak asked the team to work on not letting negative plays affect us anymore and to just make better plays to erase the negative ones.

Thats spot on. Normally, a turnover in our territory is automatic 7. This game, it was 3. Thats a huge difference.

El Tejano
12-19-2008, 09:27 AM
Thats spot on. Normally, a turnover in our territory is automatic 7. This game, it was 3. Thats a huge difference.
Just finished talking to a Packer buddy of mine and he mentioned the same thing " All I kept thinking was if this team is making mistakes and still beating us, how can they be as bad as thier record says they are?"

GP
12-19-2008, 09:39 AM
This is an awesome thread with great posts.

Too many to quote.

Invisible rep to everyone on here.

dalemurphy
12-19-2008, 09:48 AM
I was looking for an outside opinion so I asked my friend at work who is a Titan fan, what was the difference in our team. He said it was our ability to not let a bad play or event in the game make us quit. He said in years past he could count on one thing happening to make momentum shift in the Titans direction that would cause us to lose hope and quit but this time around, that never happened.

I thought that was interesting considering he never heard Kubiak and players talk about how Kubiak asked the team to work on not letting negative plays affect us anymore and to just make better plays to erase the negative ones.

While I certainly think attitude has something to do with it, I think the added talent and playmaking ability really makes a difference. So many more players on the field that can make something happen: that adds something tangible and to the intangible confidence level as well.

El Tejano
12-19-2008, 10:06 AM
While I certainly think attitude has something to do with it, I think the added talent and playmaking ability really makes a difference. So many more players on the field that can make something happen: that adds something tangible and to the intangible confidence level as well.

I agree man. You can't underestimate how much better we became when Xavier Adibi entered the starting line up. I feel that his speed allowed us to cover the middle of the field better and use Ryans in so many different ways along with Robinson coming back to the starting role.

GP
12-19-2008, 10:11 AM
We've talked about how Richard Smith, for three straight seasons, has played timid the first half and then came out with guns blazing the remaining games.

But I don't remember the defense looking THIS together, THIS poised and focused in the past two seasons at this same point of the year. Do ya'll?

I held firm to the belief that Richard Smith had NOT been benched, but now I am wondering if something didn't happen behind the scenes?

Scenario 1: There's been speculation that the bad defense was due to Kubiak meddling in the defensive scheme, and now RS has been given free reign. I am not too sure about THAT possibility. Kubiak doesn't strike me as someone who gives a flying rip about anything but the offense.

Scenario 2: There's been speculation that RS plays timid to begin a year, then goes bananas once we're out of the playoff hunt and there's nothing left that's risky enough to get him fired for being too aggressive and getting burned for it. I think this is plausible because it's human nature to maintain something average rather than risk going for the big finish and falling flat on your face.

Scenario 3: And there's been speculation that Kubiak has had some sort of "Come to Jesus" meeting where he has told RS to get in gear...or else. I don't think that's what has happened. If it has, it marks the third year Kubiak would have demanded better strategy, at the same juncture of the season, which would mean Kubiak has awful skills as a HC who is supposed to be responsible for the whole ship. David Carr embarassed Kubiak, and was gone the next year.

Scenario 4: Finally, there is speculation that someone else has been handed the controls of the defense. This one, I think, is plausible. But it comes at the time of the year where RS normally does a complete turn-around anyways, so who can know for sure? Only the offseason will tell: If RS is still here, I think that's the answer to this scenario of "Has RS been benched, and control given to someone else?" If he's still the DC...then I think Scenario 2 is the answer.

Can we stand another year of being flat, on defense, the first half of the season...only to see us come marching back in the last half, but with no playoffs to shoot for? You can end the season on a high note, but it's a long time from then until the first regular season game. This is a playoff team if we stay healthy and play from the beginning like we play at the end of the year.

Big Lou
12-19-2008, 04:05 PM
They also do that with Kevin Walter.

I've noticed a distinct difference in the playcalling this year. I don't know if it's the addition of Gibbs, promotion of Shanahan, or the absence of Sherman, but the play action boot and the Walter end arounds have been missing this season. We seem much more vanilla on offense. But hey, whatever works.


I think this is due to Sherman bieng gone. He was a fan of the Power/Zone Scheme.

Big Lou
12-19-2008, 04:08 PM
I was looking for an outside opinion so I asked my friend at work who is a Titan fan, what was the difference in our team. He said it was our ability to not let a bad play or event in the game make us quit. He said in years past he could count on one thing happening to make momentum shift in the Titans direction that would cause us to lose hope and quit but this time around, that never happened.

I thought that was interesting considering he never heard Kubiak and players talk about how Kubiak asked the team to work on not letting negative plays affect us anymore and to just make better plays to erase the negative ones.


I couldn't agree more with this!!!! I have said it for years now. When a questionable penalty would go against us, we'd just snap. If anything took the wind out of our sails we'd crack.

Now it's just the turnovers!!!! Kubes needs to make the print on the shorts bigger next year in training camp.

Big Lou
12-19-2008, 04:12 PM
We've talked about how Richard Smith, for three straight seasons, has played timid the first half and then came out with guns blazing the remaining games.

But I don't remember the defense looking THIS together, THIS poised and focused in the past two seasons at this same point of the year. Do ya'll?

I held firm to the belief that Richard Smith had NOT been benched, but now I am wondering if something didn't happen behind the scenes?

Scenario 1: There's been speculation that the bad defense was due to Kubiak meddling in the defensive scheme, and now RS has been given free reign. I am not too sure about THAT possibility. Kubiak doesn't strike me as someone who gives a flying rip about anything but the offense.

Scenario 2: There's been speculation that RS plays timid to begin a year, then goes bananas once we're out of the playoff hunt and there's nothing left that's risky enough to get him fired for being too aggressive and getting burned for it. I think this is plausible because it's human nature to maintain something average rather than risk going for the big finish and falling flat on your face.

Scenario 3: And there's been speculation that Kubiak has had some sort of "Come to Jesus" meeting where he has told RS to get in gear...or else. I don't think that's what has happened. If it has, it marks the third year Kubiak would have demanded better strategy, at the same juncture of the season, which would mean Kubiak has awful skills as a HC who is supposed to be responsible for the whole ship. David Carr embarassed Kubiak, and was gone the next year.

Scenario 4: Finally, there is speculation that someone else has been handed the controls of the defense. This one, I think, is plausible. But it comes at the time of the year where RS normally does a complete turn-around anyways, so who can know for sure? Only the offseason will tell: If RS is still here, I think that's the answer to this scenario of "Has RS been benched, and control given to someone else?" If he's still the DC...then I think Scenario 2 is the answer.

Can we stand another year of being flat, on defense, the first half of the season...only to see us come marching back in the last half, but with no playoffs to shoot for? You can end the season on a high note, but it's a long time from then until the first regular season game. This is a playoff team if we stay healthy and play from the beginning like we play at the end of the year.

I wished I still lived in Houston and could attend a game and try to sit near the Texans side line to see how involved RS is during the game, or to see if someone else is in Kubiaks ear when the D is on the field, but I'm sure that would be tough to determine with the head sets and such.

dtran04
12-19-2008, 04:18 PM
Well isn't Richard Smith in the booth? He calls the play to Holland who then relays it to Demeco if I remember correctly. On TV, Kubiak ihalf the time is looking at his play chart while the defense is on the field. I don't think he has too much control. LOL

nero THE zero
12-19-2008, 04:54 PM
The addition of a big play running back affects what they have to do to move the ball. I don't know that it is vanilla as much as having other options.

Well, vanilla insofar as being non tricky.

Vinny
12-19-2008, 07:22 PM
Actually, Okoye won his battles about 1/2 the time. You either don't know what you are looking at or he is your brother-in-law or something/sarcasm...I couldn't read anymore past that to be honest though. Okoye lost his battles on the majority of snaps and was probably a push on a small % of snaps and he won his battle on a small % of snaps.

Giant Tiger
12-19-2008, 07:39 PM
Just finished talking to a Packer buddy of mine and he mentioned the same thing " All I kept thinking was if this team is making mistakes and still beating us, how can they be as bad as thier record says they are?"

Wow! Packer fans up here told me the same thing :)

dalemurphy
12-19-2008, 10:03 PM
You either don't know what you are looking at or he is your brother-in-law or something/sarcasm...I couldn't read anymore past that to be honest though. Okoye lost his battles on the majority of snaps and was probably a push on a small % of snaps and he won his battle on a small % of snaps.

I have a physical list of about 7 plays where he clearly got penetration. He caused the interception, had the 3rd and one stop in the backfield and also had a very quick pressure and hit on Collins.

By a win, I'm not saying that he dominated or made a great play. Simply, about half the time he achieved penetration. The rest of the time he generally was washed away. 1/2 was an estimate. The point I was making is that his ability was on display- the quickness and explosiveness at the snap. Also on display was his weakness at the POA and also something that LZ mentioned a few weeks ago, that perhaps he doesn't have the athleticism/speed to get to the QB in time even when he wins his battles.

If you rewatch the Titan game, you will see him successfully shoot a gap as often as you see him get diven back or washed out. I wasn't trying to give him praise, only to communicate the good and bad about him that was on display during that game.

DexmanC
12-19-2008, 10:21 PM
They also do that with Kevin Walter.

I've noticed a distinct difference in the playcalling this year. I don't know if it's the addition of Gibbs, promotion of Shanahan, or the absence of Sherman, but the play action boot and the Walter end arounds have been missing this season. We seem much more vanilla on offense. But hey, whatever works.

Kubiak said, several times, that when Gibbs came aboard they cut down
on the number of things they do. Gibbs wants them to do the few things
they do well. Even Erik Winston, on his show, has said as much. The Texans
offense is much more efficient, as evidenced by the ability to put 400+ yards
on ANYBODY. I like what I'm seeing out of this bunch.

dalemurphy
12-19-2008, 10:27 PM
Kubiak said, several times, that when Gibbs came aboard they cut down
on the number of things they do. Gibbs wants them to do the few things
they do well. Even Erik Winston, on his show, has said as much. The Texans
offense is much more efficient, as evidenced by the ability to put 400+ yards
on ANYBODY. I like what I'm seeing out of this bunch.

Here's another think I've noticed which speaks to the offense and Schaub in particular:

Have you noticed how seldom the ball is being thrown in a negative situation. Either the player is open, has an athletic advantage on single coverage, or it's thrown away. Schuab's decision-making the past 3 weeks has been almost flawless. The interception in GB and Jacksonville were just late in both cases, I believe. Other than that, there were a few bombs in the GB game that were thrown into tight coverage but they were all pretty much single coverage or a very late arriving safety. It's been pretty darn impressive.

Big Lou
12-20-2008, 12:44 AM
I haven't seen every game this year, but I was wondering why they don't have Slaton run outside the tackles that much?????

I'm thinking this doesn't really gel with the ZBS.

I just think with his speed, he would be so darn dangerous in space. I could be wrong, but I think I have seen a pitch or two, but not too many plays to exploit Slatons speed. As I said before maybe this goes against the ZBS strengths.

DexmanC
12-20-2008, 12:59 AM
The reason Slaton isn't used as a "scatback" is because the Texans
believe he's more effective as a traditional halfback in this system.
When Slaton breaks a long run on a stretch play, the Texans are able
to boot Schaub in the same formation, in the opposite direction.

The Texans run a zone playaction scheme, which punishes a defense
with big plays. Actually I think this form of offense is very entertaining,
and the league knows how effective it is. The Texans are virtually
unstoppable as an offense (with Schaub under center,) and once
they quit stopping themselves (turnovers in the red zone), we will
see them win MANY games in the coming years.

If they stack the box, Schaub-to-Dre is a given. Dre is unguardable in
one-on-one situations, even against the best corners. Once they
empty the box to key on Dre, a Slaton 20-yarder is in store for the
defense.

Let Kubiak and Shanahan do what they do.

Vinny
12-20-2008, 08:23 AM
I have a physical list of about 7 plays where he clearly got penetration. He caused the interception, had the 3rd and one stop in the backfield and also had a very quick pressure and hit on Collins.

By a win, I'm not saying that he dominated or made a great play. Simply, about half the time he achieved penetration. The rest of the time he generally was washed away. 1/2 was an estimate. The point I was making is that his ability was on display- the quickness and explosiveness at the snap. Also on display was his weakness at the POA and also something that LZ mentioned a few weeks ago, that perhaps he doesn't have the athleticism/speed to get to the QB in time even when he wins his battles.

If you rewatch the Titan game, you will see him successfully shoot a gap as often as you see him get diven back or washed out. I wasn't trying to give him praise, only to communicate the good and bad about him that was on display during that game.
I've re-watched it twice and the second time was after your breakdown post and just see a guy who is pushed out of way easily. If you think "penetration" is letting a Guard let you run 5 yards deep away from being relevant in a given play...then you may want to think about how you assess line play. Try to watch Robinsons snaps and compare them to Okoye's snaps and there is a world of difference in their relevance in a given play. Robinson isn't pushed around at will by the offensive line like Okoye is play after play. Bottom line is that I just really take issue with your first post praising Okoye and barely mentioning Robinson when Robinson clearly outplayed Okoye. I think you lose credibility with that kind of "breakdown".

dalemurphy
12-20-2008, 10:05 AM
I've re-watched it twice and the second time was after your breakdown post and just see a guy who is pushed out of way easily. If you think "penetration" is letting a Guard let you run 5 yards deep away from being relevant in a given play...then you may want to think about how you assess line play. Try to watch Robinsons snaps and compare them to Okoye's snaps and there is a world of difference in their relevance in a given play. Robinson isn't pushed around at will by the offensive line like Okoye is play after play. Bottom line is that I just really take issue with your first post praising Okoye and barely mentioning Robinson when Robinson clearly outplayed Okoye. I think you lose credibility with that kind of "breakdown".


The last thing I wanted to do is give the impression that I thought Okoye outplayed Robinson. I think Robinson, Bulman, Cochran have all been better than Okoye this season. I had already been discussing Robinson's game in some other threads and wasn't really focusing on it when I rewatched the game. I thought our best 4 man pass rush this season was when Cochran was lining up next to Mario on passing situations before his injury.

I do get your point regarding a guard allowing Okoye to run himself out of the play. Perhaps that did happen a couple times. It didn't look like that to me but it is difficult to tell sometimes if it's not clearly a run designed to go the other way. Again, though, my point about Okoye is that his quickness does enable him to make plays but he needs to get a lot stronger.