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View Full Version : March Assessment of the Roster


dalemurphy
03-03-2009, 06:05 PM
QB- Schaub is clearly in the top 1/2 of the league as a starter and Orlavski is young, talented and comes with experience. I would expect Kubiak to help him become an excellent backup. Also, since he's a better athlete than Sage or Schaub, he should be very effective with the zone system and the bootleg.

RB-I'm concerned about our depth here! I love Slaton, but I'd like to keep him between 250-300 caries this season. I'm sure we will draft a couple of RBs but I thought we could use another veteran RB to compete with Moats for a roster spot. I think we missed out on Maurice Morris or Correll Buckhalter- both went relatively cheaply. We better hit on a RB in the draft!

WR- I love AJ, KW, AD but I think DA is gone and JJ is unreliable. Hopefully we find someone in the late rounds. Kevin Walter may be one of the most underrated players in the NFL.

TE- OD is great and I think he became a very good run blocker last year and he was a big reason why the run game improved. I've liked what I've seen from Dressen and think this is a very strong position for us. We're going to need a 3rd guy but I hope we get someone with some athleticism and don't look for a Bruener clone. I'd just assume have a tackle eligible instead of a TE that can't move.

OT- I really liked what I saw from Duane Brown last year. He certainly was schooled a few times and could afford to lose 15 lbs but he looks like a heck of an athlete with some nastiness. Winston was very good in the run game but I think may always be slightly suspect as a pass blocker due to his shorter arms. Good riddins to ESalaam! He ended up on his butt way too often and was blocking better players from playing time. Rashod Butler!- love the guy and wouldn't worry at all about him having to start if one of the tackles were injured.

OG- Briesel struggled early but improved. I'm hopeful he continues to improve. His occasional whiffs were bothersome. Pitts was very good last season and am looking forward to his best season with his contract year coming this year. I'm terrified with Studdard being the primary depth. I think he's horrible and the fact that he tries hard is of little consolation. We have to upgrade the depth here, IMO.

C- Myers is limited but I certainly appreciate his work last year. I'd really like to see a surprise in the draft and see us trade down in the first and get Unger, who is very nasty and athletic and can actually play any position on the OL. I'm not particularly comfortable with White either. Though he won't embarass himself if he sees action. I'm concerned that the Oline can't become great with Myers at center.

kiwitexansfan
03-03-2009, 06:10 PM
I agree with the general feel of what you have said, hopefully we can still find some Interior Line depth because that is one point of real (ongoing) weakness.

Overall I don't see anything that has particulalry hurt or improved the 5th overall offense.

TimeKiller
03-03-2009, 06:15 PM
Can you over use tackle eligible? I mean does the ref just get tired of announcing it and say no eventually?

I think your OL analysis is pretty good. I wouldn't mind one of the 2nd round C or G either for depth/replace Brisel.

dalemurphy
03-03-2009, 06:17 PM
DE- the combination of Mario and ASmith has me very excited. I think it'll be a great season for those guys but I would like to see McClover make the team and be a pleasent surprise and would also like to see a speed rusher get drafted. I'd prefer Bulman and Cochran to participate more in the DT rotation.

DT- I'm hopeful their production will be dramatically improved by the addition of Kollar and elevation of Bush. Okoye seems serious about improving his strength. I hope Cochran can stay healthy because he looked good next to Mario on passing downs before his injury. Robinson and Bulman are both guys that can add to a strong rotation. Perhaps TJ improves as well but 4 years is a long time to see so few flashes of playmaking ability. I do like his nastiness though. I don't think Okam makes the team. It will be interesting to see how this position is assessed by the new staff. I really hav no idea what the priority is for this group right now.

LB- I know people are expecting this position to get addressed high in the draft. That's fine with me but I think it's our strongest/deepest position on defense. DRyans is steady and very good. I thought the light went on for Diles in week 4 and he was excellent before the injury. Adibi can make plays rushing or dropping if he can stay healthy. And, I think Bentley is a very good backup MLB and would be solid on the Weakside also. I think CTHompson could do some really good things on the strong side and blitzing if he's healthy. FInally, I really liked what I saw from Coley in the preseason. I think he's a sure thing to make the active roster because I think he'll be a very good special teams player.

CB- Assuming Molden can play, which I do, we are 4 deep with solid CBs. It will be interesting to see how good they can be if we generate a pass rush and actually disguise coverages. I'm hopeful we will see a dramatic difference in each of their play.

S- I really like Eugene Wilson. I thought Barber was good on Special Teams. I don't know if Barber has the speed to play every down at SS though and think this is clearly the weakest and thinnest position on the team. I really hope we make a run at Sean Jones and also address it in the draft.

TimeKiller
03-03-2009, 06:36 PM
Ah, sorry I didn't mean to post in the middle of your posts dude. I think DE priority took a pretty serious hit in the draft maybe 3rd or 4th now, definitely LB or S in the first. Hopefully we can get someone who'll make a difference later.

I hope Kollar can flip the switches on TJ and Okam, those are two big dudes who are pretty quick. I wish Okam would just be a big nasty dude without crossing over to dirty play. Physical, hard to handle Oline wise just beasting down the gates for Mario and the troops...I CAN"T WAIT FOR FOOTBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWW!!!!

Dapper
03-03-2009, 07:35 PM
great assesment.
i'm with you on studdard. we need more talent and depth. wonder if they would trade back and pick up unger or mack and are they the type that could play c or g? would add serious depth and we could be solid for years. i'n not too old to remember the munchak/matthews days.
i too feel like safety is a place for a real impact player for the type of defense bush wants to play. we need a real head hunter that can cover but i have no idea who that could be.
every great defense has one these days.

good job!

PhilpW
03-03-2009, 07:47 PM
I'm one who thinks we could go LB early and you nailed the reason. "when healthy..." is a major concern. IF Diles, Ryans, and Adibi are healthy enough to last the season, LB is indeed our strongest position.

barrett
03-03-2009, 07:49 PM
I'd really like to see a surprise in the draft and see us trade down in the first and get Unger, who is very nasty and athletic and can actually play any position on the OL.

I LOVE this idea!!!!!!!!!!!

smartest thing you've ever said Dale except for the time you admitted that I'm I'm brilliant.

kiwitexansfan
03-03-2009, 08:52 PM
I really hope your wrong about Okam, although given the emphasis on penetration and aggression that the new D coaches are pushing you could be right.

Id love him to clog up a few OL each play and let the other 3 go one on one with their men, if Okam needs two because of his sheer size/strength, Williams needs two because he is who he is, that leaves Okoye and Smith against pretty weak blocking, or it means the offense is having to keep guys in, limiting their options.

Im with you on the LB side of things too, I would prefer investment in the OL, some safety help or even on that pass rushing specialist before a LB.

steelbtexan
03-03-2009, 09:37 PM
Great job Dale

We are seeing the same things.

I hope we trade JJ & DA to get more picks alongwith trading down in the 1st rd to get even more picks.

I would like to see what Smithiak could do with 10-12 picks.

History says they would clean up in rds 3-7.

Spike
03-03-2009, 09:57 PM
I like the idea of trading JJ, but if we don't match the offer for David Anderson - I think that the plan is to keep him around.

If we match the offer - which most think that we will - I would only trade him for a at least a third rounder. He was drafted as a development type player, so for anything less, I think it would be worth letting him play it out and see how he develops.

BullBlitz
03-03-2009, 11:03 PM
Good review.

I know everyone wants more defense, and so do I, but our achilles heel is at RB. We need a tandem and we are not close to finding one. Maybe we will find another gem in the draft.

If we don't we are one play away from our offense being crippled.

Dapper
03-03-2009, 11:21 PM
what a stupid i am. should have read the whole thing. sorry bout that dale.
i bow at your greatness.

and yes bull... we are one play away from having a dominic williams II

do we still have the rights to chris brown?

threetoedpete
03-04-2009, 02:21 AM
I'm one who thinks we could go LB early and you nailed the reason. "when healthy..." is a major concern. IF Diles, Ryans, and Adibi are healthy enough to last the season, LB is indeed our strongest position.

You have my premision to post anytime you want. You get it.

Rashod Butler!- love the guy and wouldn't worry at all about him having to start if one of the tackles were injured.



You know this because ?


I'm thinking they've got someone targeted.....

dalemurphy
03-04-2009, 02:40 AM
You have my premision to post anytime you want. You get it.



You know this because ?


I'm thinking they've got someone targeted.....


He was a very talented and athletic tackle coming out of Miami drafted by Caroina in the 3rd round of the '06 draft but was a little undersized, especially for the teams that like maulers at RT. He played opposite Winston at Miami.

In Carolina, he got sick and kept losing weight. I think he was down in the 260 lb range when we picked him up and it took months to find out the problem. They figured out what was wrong and addressed it. He put on about 35 lbs and is now a strong and very athletic 300 lb tackle. It is well known that Alex Gibbs really likes the guy. Also, if you watched the OLine last preseason, Rashod Butler played about 75% of every snap (at both L and R tackle). He was great! He held up well in pass protection and looked great in the run game, particularly blocking on the second level. His athleticism really showed up there. In Kubiak's press conferences the next day after 2 preseason games, Butler was singled out as a top performer on the Oline.


That's what I know.

threetoedpete
03-04-2009, 02:45 AM
So what you know for a fact that is that Butler is great against the back ups and the camp fodder. Wake me when he gets a regular season start and the bullets are flying all the way live. I think you've got damn little to hang your hat on there. Well see. As I posted : I believe they will target someone in the draft.

dalemurphy
03-04-2009, 03:06 AM
So what you know for a fact that is that Butler is great against the back ups and the camp fodder. Wake me when he gets a regular season start and the bullets are flying all the way live. I think you've got damn little to hang your hat on there. Well see. As I posted : I believe they will target someone in the draft.

Well, whoever they target in the draft will have even less evidence of success against NFL starters than Butler does. Butler has a college history also and was rather highly thought of coming out of college. He was drafted in the 3rd round... Are you suggesting that the Texans are going to address the backup tackle position with a higher draft choice than that? It seems to me you're hanging your hat on even less than I am by believing in a player whose name you don't even know. With Salaam's release, they certainly will have to sign or draft an additional tackle- they only have 3 right now but I would be pleasently shocked if that player beat out Butler for ths swing spot on openning day.

In case reading comprehension isn't your strong suit, I think I offered more than his success against camp fodder. Here's a list for you:

1. Alex Gibbs really likes him.
2. Gary Kubiak has spoken highly of his play as well.
3. He was a 3rd round pick with some health problems which have been corrected.
4. He has the athleticism that's ideal for Gibbs' ZBS.
5. He played almost every snap last preseason successfully playing both LT and RT and looked good doing both. He was playing against starters in much of the second and third preseason games. While not perfect, preseason performance is a good tool that coaches use to evaluate players. He was clearly not overmatched by NFL players.
6. the Texans cut Salaam, despite cap room, even though they have no other tackled on the roster.

badboy
03-04-2009, 05:22 PM
DE- the combination of Mario and ASmith has me very excited. I think it'll be a great season for those guys but I would like to see McClover make the team and be a pleasent surprise and would also like to see a speed rusher get drafted. I'd prefer Bulman and Cochran to participate more in the DT rotation.

DT- I'm hopeful their production will be dramatically improved by the addition of Kollar and elevation of Bush. Okoye seems serious about improving his strength. I hope Cochran can stay healthy because he looked good next to Mario on passing downs before his injury. Robinson and Bulman are both guys that can add to a strong rotation. Perhaps TJ improves as well but 4 years is a long time to see so few flashes of playmaking ability. I do like his nastiness though. I don't think Okam makes the team. It will be interesting to see how this position is assessed by the new staff. I really hav no idea what the priority is for this group right now.

LB- I know people are expecting this position to get addressed high in the draft. That's fine with me but I think it's our strongest/deepest position on defense. DRyans is steady and very good. I thought the light went on for Diles in week 4 and he was excellent before the injury. Adibi can make plays rushing or dropping if he can stay healthy. And, I think Bentley is a very good backup MLB and would be solid on the Weakside also. I think CTHompson could do some really good things on the strong side and blitzing if he's healthy. FInally, I really liked what I saw from Coley in the preseason. I think he's a sure thing to make the active roster because I think he'll be a very good special teams player.

CB- Assuming Molden can play, which I do, we are 4 deep with solid CBs. It will be interesting to see how good they can be if we generate a pass rush and actually disguise coverages. I'm hopeful we will see a dramatic difference in each of their play.

S- I really like Eugene Wilson. I thought Barber was good on Special Teams. I don't know if Barber has the speed to play every down at SS though and think this is clearly the weakest and thinnest position on the team. I really hope we make a run at Sean Jones and also address it in the draft.Good review we agree 100% on LB. I just do not see need of taking a day one guy unless we get a very good trade down offer and get someone like Matthews late in 1st and get another 2 or 3. i think Chaun Thompson could be a hidden gem and do good things if he is healthy.

I think TJ and Okam will be fighting for their careers this season. I am pulling for Okam as I do not think we'll get Raji or Brace

CBs again right on target. Bennett and Molden may not play up to potential but there is no reason to believe that will happen. I do not have a corner on my mock. I think a FS like Delmas or Rashad Johnson (my 3rd round) will strengthen play of D. I am cautious also on Barber but hope he is all Kubes thinks he can. Steve

dalemurphy
03-09-2009, 09:43 AM
Over the past week, I've rewatched the Texans versus Green Bay, Tennessee, and some of the Chicago game. I couldn't make myself watch the Oakland game again. Anyway, some things of note as to the way this team finished the season and how it might impact the off-season:

1. Matt Schaub looked like an elite NFL QB. He and AJ were in a zone. He didn't look frail nor did he look like a QB that could be rattled by pressure. Instead, he generally reacted to blitzes as an opportunity for a big play- That's the kind of leadership and QB play we've never seen here. Off the top of my head, I can count 8 blitzes over those games where Schaub read a blitz and went for a big play instead of dumping the ball down. Keep the man healthy!

2. Gotta love Slaton! However, the dropoff in talent at RB when he wasn't playing was so large that it changed the identity of the team. I see RB as perhaps the top priority for the rest of the off-season. First, we need someone that can spell Slaton and limit his carries. Second, we need depth at RB so that an injury doesn't derail the season. IMO, I take a RB in the 1st round and another in the 4th if he's at the top of the board. If Moats is anything more than our 4th RB going into the regular season, Smithiak has made a mistake.

3. All this talk about Mario playing exclusively RDE is pretty silly. He played a lot of LDE over the last month and much of his pressure and at least 2 sacks over those three games came from the defense's left side.

4. Okoye really did look like a different player in December. He needs to get stronger because his game, at its best, was still limited to beating the G/C through the gap. And, even when he did, he'd still get washed away from the play sometimes. He really needs to be able to hold his ground once he gets into the backfield.

5. LB play was very good other than Greenwood. Adibi, Bentley, and Ryans all played very well. I don't understand how Bentley didn't get more playing time. I think that if the team believes Diles will be healthy then there's no reason to reach for a LB in the draft.

6. Dressen and OD shared the field a lot more late in the season. I didn't notice how Dressen blocked but just noted that he saw the field a lot more.

7. I think it's worth considering taking a RT and moving Winston inside. I realize how unpopular this is, but Winston is so much better run blocking and really struggled against less than elite pass rushers like Javon Kearse and Aaron Kampman. I would hate for us to pass up on an elite tackle in the first or second round. We are at a point with this team, when solid isn't the goal anymore. Winston is solid at RT. But, if we can get better there and also at guard with him sliding in, I don't know why we wouldn't consider it. Also, it's not a move that has to happen in '09. Barring injury, we can sit a 1st or 2nd round rookie on the bench. We don't have a talent deficit anymore and the draft has to be more forward-looking than it has in the past. Pitts will be a FA after the season and Briesel has a low ceiling IMO so stockpiling talent at OL makes some sense.

8. I sure didn't see Dominique Barber on the field much on defense. I can't figure out why the team is so confident in our safety situation right now. We need some safeties!