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View Full Version : Kudos to Rick Smith's Off-Season work.


dalemurphy
04-04-2009, 04:39 PM
I know it's not exactly a thrill a minute being a Texan fan during the off-season, but I sure do like the way Rick Smith handles things. He has really done a nice job of deepening the talent on the roster with guys with some upside and in areas where our team lacked quality depth. Also, adding a 4th round pick in this draft, which is so deep, and immediately getting a young QB with a ton of ability and some experience as Schaub's backup.

Hopefully, after the draft, he'll be able to get some of these guys extended:
Dunta, CPitts, OD, DRyans, RButler, KWalter. It appears that the team, after signing picks, will still be $7- $10 million under the cap. That will be useful in re-signing this group- to be able to frontload some of these contracts so we don't get into trouble moving forward.

Here's a brief look at how he's improved the team this off-season, by position:

QB- Orlovsky played fairly well in his first 7 starts as a pro. His TD/int ratio was much better than Sage last year and obviously he was working under tougher conditions. He's a big and athletic guy with a strong arm. So, even if his QB skills don't improve much (which they should under Kubiak), he'll be more effective running bootlegs and stretch the defense with his deep balls. Considering Sage was in his last year under contract and is 4 years older, getting a 4th and Orlavsky under contract for 3 seasons is a really nice move. By the way, the Schaub trade is starting to look really good!

RB- Nothing so far. I'm assuming 2 things: 1. They've solidified other areas in preparation for some draft focus at RB. 2. They plan to pickup someone after the draft, probably one of the 15 RBs currently on Denver's roster.

WR- I like that they matched DAnderson's deal. He's a nice, small part of this team and I appreciate that Kubiak and Smith have a holistic view of the roster and aren't simply concerned about the top 30 or so players... some organizations actually do work that way (Washington, Dallas)

TE- High tender on OD was a no-brainer but also smart. And, I like the Dressen extension.

OT- The Rashod Butler pickup from '07 is going to payoff this year. He was tendered and is in position to be the swing tackle. I anticipate them to draft another OT late now that Salaam is gone.

OG/C- I'm worried a bit here. Pitts will be a FA after the season. Briesel, again, an excellent pickup a couple seasons ago. CMyers also was an excellent move. He's not a world-beater but for the money he's getting and for only a 6th round pick, he was very solid for us. We have no depth (CWhite, Studdard) and haven't addressed it at all. I'm thinking at least one interior lineman by round 4. There are at least 5 centers than are ready for the NFL in this year's draft.

DE- The only real money we spent was on Antonio Smith. I like what I've seen and heard from him so far. Clearly, though, the jury is still out. I do appreciate that our focus in FA is on younger guys with a good work ethic. I don't understand the dismissal of Earl Cochran- that's a head-scratcher. We tendered Bulman which was a good move because of his effort, versatility.

DT- Shaun Cody is a very inexpensive signing. He hasn't been able to rush the passer as a pro but he should at least compete with TJ and Okam as a run stuffer and perhaps we'll uncover some more of his talent.

LB- Buster Davis could compete for a backup role and is a good ST player. He'll probably compete for the last roster spot (7th LB) with Kevin Coley. I love the Cato June signing. He's excellent depth at the WILL if Adibi beats him out and stays healthy. Certainly 2 million is a little pricey for a backup, but he also will likely sub in nickel and dime packages and immediately becomes our best pass defending LB. Looking back to last season, the Bentley signing was a quiet yet brilliant one. Bentley is still pretty young and he was excellent on ST and when he subbed in at MLB or on the outside.

CB- Faggins was let go which speaks to our improved depth. The Reeves signing looks pretty good now. Even if Reeves regresses this season, his cap hit going into 2010 will be negligiable. I expect we may draft another CB at some point. However, I think the team believes it's 4 deep right now (Dunta, Reeves, Bennett, Molden). I'm glad they franchised Dunta. Giving him $25 million guaranteed is awfully steep so soon after the injury he had. Clearly, Smith mishandled how he expressed his intention not to franchise Dunta but I doubt that will be an issue moving forward. If nothing gets done this season, as long as the other contracts are taken care of, they can franchise him again if needed.

S- I guess that 6th round pick spent on DBarber is looking good. I'm glad they let CCBrown go and am thrilled with the EWilson pickup and his re-signing. They wisely re-signed Nick Ferguson as well. We need to get more athletic at safety and I expect an early to mid round pick spent there. I'm thoroughly confused as to why we didn't talk to Sean Jones. Phillie got him for almost nothing 2 weeks into FA.


Our only glaring roster needs as of today are: RB, interior OL, S... all of which can be adequately addressed in the mid-rounds. It's refreshing to see how many minor deals and pickups have ended up shaping this team:

KWalter (trade 7th round pick)
E Wilson (FA dirt cheap)
Bulman (FA dirt cheap)
Bentley (FA, about $1 million per year)
CMyers (trade 6th round pick)
Briesel (FA, minimum salary)
Dressens (FA?)
NFerguson (FA, vet minimum, i think)
RButler (pulled of carolina practice squad, i think)
VLeach (cheap FA)
ADavis (pretty cheap FA, then re-signed for 4yrs -$11 million or so)

that's a pretty impressive list of guys that we got off the streets cheap or in minor trades. that doesn't even include our late round draft picks (4-7)... below are some of those:

ODaniels (4)
DAnderson (7)
FBennett (4)
DBarber (6)
Adibi (4)

Hardcore Texan
04-04-2009, 04:53 PM
Just simply.....awesome post man. :thumbup

Lucky
04-04-2009, 05:15 PM
I think Smith and Kubiak still have an incomplete on their report card. Yeah, they replaced Weaver with Antonio Smith. Should be a very good swap. But, they still lack an edge rusher opposite Mario on passing downs. As you pointed out, they have yet to address the lack of depth at RB or the interior offensive line. Smith and Kubiak seem a little too confident in the safeties, for my taste. And to me, Shaun Cody is too much like the DTs already on the roster to expect much of an impact.

Regarding getting the extensions on the main guys like DeMeco, Dunta, and Daniels, this is a tough offseason to make that happen. I'm not going to give or take away props on handling these situations, because we really don't know what these players are asking for.

Smith and Kubiak have put a lot of pressure on themselves to fill holes in this draft. While I don't have many problems with what they've brought in during free agency, I just don't think it is enough. Still, the offseason is far from over, and there is time get the job done. I'll reserve the back slapping for when they actually get the job done.

dalemurphy
04-04-2009, 07:18 PM
I think Smith and Kubiak still have an incomplete on their report card. Yeah, they replaced Weaver with Antonio Smith. Should be a very good swap. But, they still lack an edge rusher opposite Mario on passing downs. As you pointed out, they have yet to address the lack of depth at RB or the interior offensive line. Smith and Kubiak seem a little too confident in the safeties, for my taste. And to me, Shaun Cody is too much like the DTs already on the roster to expect much of an impact.

Regarding getting the extensions on the main guys like DeMeco, Dunta, and Daniels, this is a tough offseason to make that happen. I'm not going to give or take away props on handling these situations, because we really don't know what these players are asking for.

Smith and Kubiak have put a lot of pressure on themselves to fill holes in this draft. While I don't have many problems with what they've brought in during free agency, I just don't think it is enough. Still, the offseason is far from over, and there is time get the job done. I'll reserve the back slapping for when they actually get the job done.



a few things:

1. we should definitely be able to get extensions done for all of the 4year NFL players: OD, DRyans, Butler... because until collective bargaining is reached- those guys have to worry about not becoming FAs until 2012. So, that is a huge bargaining chip that the team should use:

"Demeco, here's a 5 year deal that will make you the 7th highest paid LB in football. It's the best we can do. If you choose not to accept then you may have to come back for the next two seasons with only a 20% raise off your current, relatively small salary. Under the deal we are offering, you'll see $20 million between now and the end of 2011. If a CBA isn't reached, you'll only see $2.5 million during that same time.

2. Don't you find the list of small deal guys from Smith's first 2 years to be quite impressive? And, in the regard, I anticipate some of this season's will work out as well. The main compliment, however, is the efficiency for which they are adding depth, youth, and potential to the back end of the roster.

again, here's that list:
KWalter (trade 7th round pick)
E Wilson (FA dirt cheap)
Bulman (FA dirt cheap)
Bentley (FA, about $1 million per year)
CMyers (trade 6th round pick)
Briesel (FA, minimum salary)
Dressens (FA?)
NFerguson (FA, vet minimum, i think)
RButler (pulled of carolina practice squad, i think)
VLeach (cheap FA)
ADavis (pretty cheap FA, then re-signed for 4yrs -$11 million or so)

Malloy
04-04-2009, 07:38 PM
Really good stuff, thanks mate :)

Pantherstang84
04-04-2009, 07:48 PM
But but what about Demeco and Dunta? We haven't given them their cash yet?

Don't they get an F on that basis alone?

/sarcasm

steelbtexan
04-04-2009, 08:04 PM
We still need

1. young SAM
2. Speed rusher DE
3. 2 RB's
4. DT who can stop the run & in 2010 replace TJ
5. CB Later in the draft 4-5th rd to replace Petey
6. S It would be great to get an impact S but I will settle for S depth for 09

With that said I think that Smithiak have done a great job of filling needs considerinng the budget constraints that Uncle BoB has them under.

With the FA's Smithiak have picked up they can take the BPA (defense). Instead of having to be forced to draft for need.

There's still much work to be done.

alphajoker
04-04-2009, 08:20 PM
Great post dalemurphy!

alphajoker
04-04-2009, 08:27 PM
I think Smith and Kubiak still have an incomplete on their report card. Yeah, they replaced Weaver with Antonio Smith. Should be a very good swap. But, they still lack an edge rusher opposite Mario on passing downs. As you pointed out, they have yet to address the lack of depth at RB or the interior offensive line. Smith and Kubiak seem a little too confident in the safeties, for my taste. And to me, Shaun Cody is too much like the DTs already on the roster to expect much of an impact.

Regarding getting the extensions on the main guys like DeMeco, Dunta, and Daniels, this is a tough offseason to make that happen. I'm not going to give or take away props on handling these situations, because we really don't know what these players are asking for.

Smith and Kubiak have put a lot of pressure on themselves to fill holes in this draft. While I don't have many problems with what they've brought in during free agency, I just don't think it is enough. Still, the offseason is far from over, and there is time get the job done. I'll reserve the back slapping for when they actually get the job done.

Just out of curiosity, what holes do you think they need to fill in the draft with immediate impact players that they didn't already bring in free agency? The Texans needed a DE...check, DT...check, and a LB...check. That's fewer holes that need to be filled during the draft and come to think of it, I may already be able to answer that question by saying we still need secondary help, whether Safety or CB, and a bruiser at RB. IMO, I think we fill those needs in the first two rounds which eases the pressure on Smith and Kubiak to go BPA the remainder of the draft.

Lucky
04-04-2009, 08:28 PM
Don't you find the list of small deal guys from Smith's first 2 years to be quite impressive?
I think the Walter deal was excellent. Though Smith gets no credit, as he was working in Denver at the time of the trade. That was Kubiak's deal. And really, all of the deals Smith has done since joining the organization have been with Kubiak's blessings. Smith doesn't work in a vacuum.

Rick Smith has a reputation for finding low cost and street free agents who perform above their price tag. Thus far as a GM, his record for signing higher priced free agents has been poor. I'm going to examine what he and Kubiak have done thus far in 2009 without such prejudice based upon past successes or failures. Whatever has or hasn't been done in the past doesn't have an effect on what needs to be done now. I'm not giving credit for something that has yet to happen.

dalemurphy
04-04-2009, 08:36 PM
I think the Walter deal was excellent. Though Smith gets no credit, as he was working in Denver at the time of the trade. That was Kubiak's deal. And really, all of the deals Smith has done since joining the organization have been with Kubiak's blessings. Smith doesn't work in a vacuum.
Rick Smith has a reputation for finding low cost and street free agents who perform above their price tag. Thus far as a GM, his record for signing higher priced free agents has been poor. I'm going to examine what he and Kubiak have done thus far in 2009 without such prejudice based upon past successes or failures. Whatever has or hasn't been done in the past doesn't have an effect on what needs to be done now. I'm not giving credit for something that has yet to happen.



I agree. And, in regards to this off-season, I appreciate the focus on inexpensive, young players with some upside at positions where they don't have to become great players in order to improve our depth.

I also agree that Kubiak and Smith work together and will share credit and blame for a lot of what they do. That being said, if I'm discussing how much a player has improved over the course of his time in Houston, I'm going to give particular credit to the coaching staff and Kubiak. If I'm discussing strictly draft picks and FA signings, then I'll be sure to primarily credit/blame Rick Smith, though I realize that Kubiak has something to say about it as well.

Lucky
04-04-2009, 08:40 PM
Just out of curiosity, what holes do you think they need to fill in the draft with immediate impact players that they didn't already bring in free agency? The Texans needed a DE...check, DT...check, and a LB...check.
Antonio Smith is a DE, and should fill that need. But, he doesn't bring a resume as an accomplished pass rusher. Mario Williams has accounted for 46% of the Texans QB sacks over the past 2 seasons. He must get help in pressuring the QB in order for the Texans to create turnovers and get the opposing offense off the field. Unless someone from the current roster emerges as that pass rusher, it is still a huge hole to be filled.

Regarding the DT and LBs brought in, it's a major stretch to label them as immediate impact players. At best, they could push for starting jobs and provide quality depth. At worst, become training camp fodder. I will credit Smith and Kubiak for these signings when they produce on the field.

steelbtexan
04-04-2009, 09:01 PM
If Bush wants to play pressure defense Smith needs to add an OLB & DE in rds 1-3.

I think we will have a much improved defense with these additions.

Adibi has added 20lbs of muscle & is my pick for most improved player in 09

Insideop
04-04-2009, 09:16 PM
that's a pretty impressive list of guys that we got off the streets cheap or in minor trades. that doesn't even include our late round draft picks (4-7)... below are some of those:

ODaniels (4)
DAnderson (7)
FBennett (4)
DBarber (6)
Adibi (4)

Great post dm! :thumbup

That 4th round sure seems to be our "money" round, and we have 2 of them this year! :yahoo:

edo783
04-04-2009, 10:18 PM
I would guess that the 3rd would now become our money round. Reason; We used to have over night to study what was left over from the 1st day and plan our picks accordingly. Now the time to study the left overs is the 3rd round. Just seems to make sense that we would pick better when they aren't under the gun and have a few moments to think about the next selection. No doubt about it though, they have made some nice selections in the 4th.

alphajoker
04-04-2009, 10:24 PM
Antonio Smith is a DE, and should fill that need. But, he doesn't bring a resume as an accomplished pass rusher. Mario Williams has accounted for 46% of the Texans QB sacks over the past 2 seasons. He must get help in pressuring the QB in order for the Texans to create turnovers and get the opposing offense off the field. Unless someone from the current roster emerges as that pass rusher, it is still a huge hole to be filled.

Regarding the DT and LBs brought in, it's a major stretch to label them as immediate impact players. At best, they could push for starting jobs and provide quality depth. At worst, become training camp fodder. I will credit Smith and Kubiak for these signings when they produce on the field.

Of course, that will be the only way to know if they're getting what they invested for once they get on the field and get the chance to produce. Getting Antonio Smith isn't a guarantee to relieve most the double teams for Mario but he was taken because DE was a position of need and on top of that, he has upside because of his veteran presence and experience in the playoffs (Super Bowl). Also, in 5yrs., he has 14.5 sacks as oppossed to Weaver at 15.5 in 7yrs. Shaun Cody is a little meh' to me but at one point he was a highly touted DT coming out of the draft a few years back and although he didn't have great success at Detroit, maybe a change in scenery could help him. As I'm sure you recall, Detroit did go 0 - 16 which only leads me to believe that the coaching probably wasn't very good so maybe Bush and Co. can turn him around. Now, my favorite signing right now is Cato June. He brings playoff experience as well as a Super Bowl ring and I believe he made the Pro Bowl in 2005, too. I don't know why he had a decline in TB but once again, maybe a change in scenery would help him, perhaps being back in the AFC South can do that. *cross fingers* LOL Now on the other side of the coin, drafting highly touted players in the draft is always a crap shoot, no matter what pick, whether a top 10 or later in the 1st RD...these picks are based off potential and statistics taken at the combine for 40 yd. time, vertical, Bench Press yadda yadda yadda, whereas, Smith and June have statistics of already producting in the NFL. In conclusion, whether we draft players that fill the needs or through free agency, no one will ever know just exactly what they will accomplish until Training Camp starts and they compete for the position. Then once the season starts, only then will they have the chance to show whether they produce or not. I'm excited for the season and these signings only reinforce that. Just my :twocents: and opinion.

:fans:

Jackie Chiles
04-04-2009, 10:25 PM
If Bush wants to play pressure defense Smith needs to add an OLB & DE in rds 1-3.

I think we will have a much improved defense with these additions.

Adibi has added 20lbs of muscle & is my pick for most improved player in 09

Where did you hear that Adibi put on 20lbs?

Jackie Chiles
04-04-2009, 10:26 PM
We still need

1. young SAM
2. Speed rusher DE
3. 2 RB's
4. DT who can stop the run & in 2010 replace TJ
5. CB Later in the draft 4-5th rd to replace Petey
6. S It would be great to get an impact S but I will settle for S depth for 09

With that said I think that Smithiak have done a great job of filling needs considerinng the budget constraints that Uncle BoB has them under.

With the FA's Smithiak have picked up they can take the BPA (defense). Instead of having to be forced to draft for need.

There's still much work to be done.

The salary cap?

alphajoker
04-04-2009, 10:34 PM
Where did you hear that Adibi put on 20lbs?

Right here homey:

http://www.houstontexans.com/news/blogs.asp?post_id=469

Linebacker Xavier Adibi chimed in, “There is nothing like a Ray Wright workout.” Adibi looks like he’s packed on about 20 pounds since December, if that’s any indication of the results this program is getting.

Jackie Chiles
04-04-2009, 11:20 PM
Right here homey:

http://www.houstontexans.com/news/blogs.asp?post_id=469

Hell yeah, that is promising.

nunusguy
04-04-2009, 11:24 PM
With with the FA signing of LB Cato June, it's been a fairly active active offseason for the Texans. BTW, I'd say that the June signing has potential implications for this months Draft in terms of our priority level at LB.
But I'm still puzzled by the signing of DE/DT of Antonio Smith ?
And I wish Smith hadn't bungled the negotiations with D-Rob by reneging on his promiset not to play the "franchise tag". I've never thought D-Rob is the kind of guy one can take for granted.

dalemurphy
04-04-2009, 11:34 PM
With with the FA signing of LB Cato June, it's been a fairly active active offseason for the Texans. BTW, I'd say that the June signing has potential implications for this months Draft in terms of our priority level at LB.
But I'm still puzzled by the signing of DE/DT of Antonio Smith ?
And I wish Smith hadn't bungled the negotiations with D-Rob by reneging on his promiset not to play the "franchise tag". I've never thought D-Rob is the kind of guy one can take for granted.

Clearly the Antonio Smith signing will be a questionable one until we see what he does on the field. That was a lot of money for a guy that hasn't sniffed a probowl. I happen to like the signing but it's simply optimistic conjecture at this point.

Regarding DRob, clearly RSmith needs to be more careful about how he communicates intent. That being said, Dunta was offered a contract with well over $20 million in guarantees. I don't think anyone anticipated him turning those numbers down. Once that happened in conjuction with the ludicrous CB market that was taking shape (K. Hayden for $43 million, for instance), Rick Smith was left with no choice. At that point, he better renig!

infantrycak
04-04-2009, 11:47 PM
Clearly the Antonio Smith signing will be a questionable one until we see what he does on the field. That was a lot of money for a guy that hasn't sniffed a probowl. I happen to like the signing but it's simply optimistic conjecture at this point.

Regarding DRob, clearly RSmith needs to be more careful about how he communicates intent. That being said, Dunta was offered a contract with well over $20 million in guarantees. I don't think anyone anticipated him turning those numbers down. Once that happened in conjuction with the ludicrous CB market that was taking shape (K. Hayden for $43 million, for instance), Rick Smith was left with no choice. At that point, he better renig!

Yeah, let's compare these two for a moment. Smith got $12.5 mil guaranteed. Dunta turned down $23 mil guaranteed. Dunta hasn't sniffed a pro bowl either at this point. Folks are getting pretty judgmental on imperfect information on Dunta. Did RS say "I guarantee we won't franchise you?"--somehow I doubt that. I'd bet it was something more like "we don't intend to franchise you" and then Dunta spun that into a guarantee.

dalemurphy
04-05-2009, 12:07 AM
Yeah, let's compare these two for a moment. Smith got $12.5 mil guaranteed. Dunta turned down $23 mil guaranteed. Dunta hasn't sniffed a pro bowl either at this point. Folks are getting pretty judgmental on imperfect information on Dunta. Did RS say "I guarantee we won't franchise you?"--somehow I doubt that. I'd bet it was something more like "we don't intend to franchise you" and then Dunta spun that into a guarantee.

My guess is that he won't get extended before the season. However, I think that if the team has a successful season, he may be a little more eager to re-sign. That being said, if we want to re-sign him, we need the franchise tag to be available to at least threaten him with. Otherwise, particularly if it's an uncapped season and he had a good year, some maniac will offer him a $30 million bonus. So, we need to take care of our business with Demeco, OD, KWalter, Pitts this season and wield the Franchise tag in front of him if we want to keep him around in 2010. All of that being said, Bennett and Reeves could both have improved years and Molden could turn into a stud. If all that happens, perhaps we let him test the market. Then, if he leaves, we get room under the cap and a 3rd round compensatory pick.

Goldensilence
04-05-2009, 12:21 AM
Great original post.

Only thing i still disagree is on the David Anderson offer sheet match, I don't think his value matches the contract he got. He might have a bigger year then last but I don't see how. He's buried on the WR corps behind AJ, Kevin Walter, Owen Daniel, and Andre Davis (whom I would like to have to stretch the field opposite AJ more) and while this might be his last year Jacoby could get his head on straight. None of that even includes the passes Slaton will likely see out of the backfield. It would be different if he could field Kicks or is a special teams ace.

Do really agree on the interior of our line being a concern. I'm hoping we address that in the draft this year.

nunusguy
04-05-2009, 12:27 AM
Regarding DRob, clearly RSmith needs to be more careful about how he communicates intent. That being said, Dunta was offered a contract with well over $20 million in guarantees. I don't think anyone anticipated him turning those numbers down. Once that happened in conjuction with the ludicrous CB market that was taking shape (K. Hayden for $43 million, for instance), Rick Smith was left with no choice. At that point, he better renig!
I don't think D-Rob is the kind of guy one lies to and assumes he will forget about it. That's the big problem here, not the deal Robinson was offered. If it was just the money I'm confidant that they could work have worked it out but I'm afraid Smith may have permanently alienated D-Rob.
Then there's something else. I dunno if D-Rob wants to be here in Houston, or be a member of the Texans regardless of what he has said said to the contrary ?

dalemurphy
04-05-2009, 12:30 AM
Great original post.

Only thing i still disagree is on the David Anderson offer sheet match, I don't think his value matches the contract he got. He might have a bigger year then last but I don't see how. He's buried on the WR corps behind AJ, Kevin Walter, Owen Daniel, and Andre Davis (whom I would like to have to stretch the field opposite AJ more) and while this might be his last year Jacoby could get his head on straight. None of that even includes the passes Slaton will likely see out of the backfield. It would be different if he could field Kicks or is a special teams ace.

Do really agree on the interior of our line being a concern. I'm hoping we address that in the draft this year.



Thanks.
I think the price tag on DAnderson was a little steep for his production. However, it isn't the kind of deal that adversely affects the salary cap. And, I think it says some good things to other players about the organization rewarding its own guys for hard work, etc... I agree that he would be more valuable if he played ST. I think he can return punts and my guess is we may see him in competition to do that this summer since JJ is on the hot seat. Going inton 2010, JJ will be a RFA, so some decisions are coming up on him. Also, I'm not sure how the coaches feel about JJ fielding a punt in the 4th quarter of a divisional playoff game where we are winning by 3 points.

twelvegage
04-05-2009, 02:51 AM
I think the Walter deal was excellent. Though Smith gets no credit, as he was working in Denver at the time of the trade. That was Kubiak's deal. And really, all of the deals Smith has done since joining the organization have been with Kubiak's blessings. Smith doesn't work in a vacuum.

Rick Smith has a reputation for finding low cost and street free agents who perform above their price tag. Thus far as a GM, his record for signing higher priced free agents has been poor. I'm going to examine what he and Kubiak have done thus far in 2009 without such prejudice based upon past successes or failures. Whatever has or hasn't been done in the past doesn't have an effect on what needs to be done now. I'm not giving credit for something that has yet to happen.

True, but what I like is that they haven't had problems swallowing their pride and letting them go, ie: green and weaver.

i'm very excited about the Cato June signing, I think this puts us in EXCELLENT position to trade back. I think these signings open up opportunities for us to further improve our offense in the draft even.

I can't wait till the draft!

mussop
04-05-2009, 04:53 AM
I know it's not exactly a thrill a minute being a Texan fan during the off-season, but I sure do like the way Rick Smith handles things. He has really done a nice job of deepening the talent on the roster with guys with some upside and in areas where our team lacked quality depth. Also, adding a 4th round pick in this draft, which is so deep, and immediately getting a young QB with a ton of ability and some experience as Schaub's backup.

Hopefully, after the draft, he'll be able to get some of these guys extended:
Dunta, CPitts, OD, DRyans, RButler, KWalter. It appears that the team, after signing picks, will still be $7- $10 million under the cap. That will be useful in re-signing this group- to be able to frontload some of these contracts so we don't get into trouble moving forward.

Here's a brief look at how he's improved the team this off-season, by position:

QB- Orlovsky played fairly well in his first 7 starts as a pro. His TD/int ratio was much better than Sage last year and obviously he was working under tougher conditions. He's a big and athletic guy with a strong arm. So, even if his QB skills don't improve much (which they should under Kubiak), he'll be more effective running bootlegs and stretch the defense with his deep balls. Considering Sage was in his last year under contract and is 4 years older, getting a 4th and Orlavsky under contract for 3 seasons is a really nice move. By the way, the Schaub trade is starting to look really good!

RB- Nothing so far. I'm assuming 2 things: 1. They've solidified other areas in preparation for some draft focus at RB. 2. They plan to pickup someone after the draft, probably one of the 15 RBs currently on Denver's roster.

WR- I like that they matched DAnderson's deal. He's a nice, small part of this team and I appreciate that Kubiak and Smith have a holistic view of the roster and aren't simply concerned about the top 30 or so players... some organizations actually do work that way (Washington, Dallas)

TE- High tender on OD was a no-brainer but also smart. And, I like the Dressen extension.

OT- The Rashod Butler pickup from '07 is going to payoff this year. He was tendered and is in position to be the swing tackle. I anticipate them to draft another OT late now that Salaam is gone.

OG/C- I'm worried a bit here. Pitts will be a FA after the season. Briesel, again, an excellent pickup a couple seasons ago. CMyers also was an excellent move. He's not a world-beater but for the money he's getting and for only a 6th round pick, he was very solid for us. We have no depth (CWhite, Studdard) and haven't addressed it at all. I'm thinking at least one interior lineman by round 4. There are at least 5 centers than are ready for the NFL in this year's draft.

DE- The only real money we spent was on Antonio Smith. I like what I've seen and heard from him so far. Clearly, though, the jury is still out. I do appreciate that our focus in FA is on younger guys with a good work ethic. I don't understand the dismissal of Earl Cochran- that's a head-scratcher. We tendered Bulman which was a good move because of his effort, versatility.

DT- Shaun Cody is a very inexpensive signing. He hasn't been able to rush the passer as a pro but he should at least compete with TJ and Okam as a run stuffer and perhaps we'll uncover some more of his talent.

LB- Buster Davis could compete for a backup role and is a good ST player. He'll probably compete for the last roster spot (7th LB) with Kevin Coley. I love the Cato June signing. He's excellent depth at the WILL if Adibi beats him out and stays healthy. Certainly 2 million is a little pricey for a backup, but he also will likely sub in nickel and dime packages and immediately becomes our best pass defending LB. Looking back to last season, the Bentley signing was a quiet yet brilliant one. Bentley is still pretty young and he was excellent on ST and when he subbed in at MLB or on the outside.

CB- Faggins was let go which speaks to our improved depth. The Reeves signing looks pretty good now. Even if Reeves regresses this season, his cap hit going into 2010 will be negligiable. I expect we may draft another CB at some point. However, I think the team believes it's 4 deep right now (Dunta, Reeves, Bennett, Molden). I'm glad they franchised Dunta. Giving him $25 million guaranteed is awfully steep so soon after the injury he had. Clearly, Smith mishandled how he expressed his intention not to franchise Dunta but I doubt that will be an issue moving forward. If nothing gets done this season, as long as the other contracts are taken care of, they can franchise him again if needed.

S- I guess that 6th round pick spent on DBarber is looking good. I'm glad they let CCBrown go and am thrilled with the EWilson pickup and his re-signing. They wisely re-signed Nick Ferguson as well. We need to get more athletic at safety and I expect an early to mid round pick spent there. I'm thoroughly confused as to why we didn't talk to Sean Jones. Phillie got him for almost nothing 2 weeks into FA.


Our only glaring roster needs as of today are: RB, interior OL, S... all of which can be adequately addressed in the mid-rounds. It's refreshing to see how many minor deals and pickups have ended up shaping this team:

KWalter (trade 7th round pick)
E Wilson (FA dirt cheap)
Bulman (FA dirt cheap)
Bentley (FA, about $1 million per year)
CMyers (trade 6th round pick)
Briesel (FA, minimum salary)
Dressens (FA?)
NFerguson (FA, vet minimum, i think)
RButler (pulled of carolina practice squad, i think)
VLeach (cheap FA)
ADavis (pretty cheap FA, then re-signed for 4yrs -$11 million or so)

that's a pretty impressive list of guys that we got off the streets cheap or in minor trades. that doesn't even include our late round draft picks (4-7)... below are some of those:

ODaniels (4)
DAnderson (7)
FBennett (4)
DBarber (6)
Adibi (4)

:goodpost: :perfect10:

Would rep you but have to spread around. Not actaully sure what it means by spread it around. I assuming I cant rep the same person twice. Anyone know how this works?

HJam72
04-05-2009, 05:13 AM
:goodpost: :perfect10:

Would rep you but have to spread around. Not actaully sure what it means by spread it around. I assuming I cant rep the same person twice. Anyone know how this works?

It means you have to give me rep before you can give it to anyone else again. :)

Joe Texan
04-05-2009, 09:04 AM
I like it Dale an no sugar coating analysis of the performance this far and I like it. We are well on our way to building a young champion

The Pencil Neck
04-05-2009, 01:26 PM
:goodpost: :perfect10:

Would rep you but have to spread around. Not actaully sure what it means by spread it around. I assuming I cant rep the same person twice. Anyone know how this works?

You have to rep something like 5-10* other people before you can rep someone again. This keeps a couple of people from sitting there and repping each other over and over to build up their rep unnaturally.

(I'm not sure about the number.)

awtysst
04-05-2009, 01:47 PM
I don't think D-Rob is the kind of guy one lies to and assumes he will forget about it. That's the big problem here, not the deal Robinson was offered. If it was just the money I'm confidant that they could work have worked it out but I'm afraid Smith may have permanently alienated D-Rob.
Then there's something else. I dunno if D-Rob wants to be here in Houston, or be a member of the Texans regardless of what he has said said to the contrary ?

I don't think he lied to Dunta. From what I can tell, Smith is not stupid. Only a stupid GM would guarantee to a player that he would never use the Franchise Tag on him.

What likely happened is Dunta asked Smith if the Franchise tag would be used. Smith probably said he would prefer not to use it and then drew up a contract with 20 mill in guarantees that he thought Dunta would sign. When Dunta did not, RS realized the only way to keep him (and not completely lose him) would be a franchise tag.

The franchise tag is a funny thing: Dunta did not want it and RS did not want to have to use it. But Smith is a smart GM and that is what a smart GM has to do sometimes.

But there is nothing that I have read that indicates that Smith lied to Dunta.

painekiller
04-05-2009, 10:03 PM
Yeah, let's compare these two for a moment. Smith got $12.5 mil guaranteed. Dunta turned down $23 mil guaranteed. Dunta hasn't sniffed a pro bowl either at this point. Folks are getting pretty judgmental on imperfect information on Dunta. Did RS say "I guarantee we won't franchise you?"--somehow I doubt that. I'd bet it was something more like "we don't intend to franchise you" and then Dunta spun that into a guarantee.

IIRC Rick Smith said in an interview that he said to Dunta that he does not want to use the tag.

painekiller
04-05-2009, 10:04 PM
dale this is one of the best breakdowns I have seen, again you have out done yourself.

Big Lou
04-05-2009, 10:26 PM
Great post Dale!!!!! I agree almost 100%, I'm a Rick Smith fan, and I'm not ashamed.

I know this might be a stretch, and there were other factors but the Broncos really started to suck after his departure.

Anyway every year around this time, I think wow this is the year that we'll get over the hump, and every year it's 8 and 8 or worse. However I can say that this year I feel like the way I felt before was nothing in comparison.

I don't know how much Rick Smith is involved with the coaching staff, but if you include those moves he's done well. There's Gibbs (Obviousley a lot of Kubiak on this one), but Kollar is a great move, so come on Regular Season!!!!!!!!!!

dalemurphy
04-05-2009, 11:17 PM
dale this is one of the best breakdowns I have seen, again you have out done yourself.

Thanks, I appreciate it. I love this site- to be able to get on here and talk football with real fans in freakin' April. Amazing!

HOU-TEX
04-06-2009, 10:43 AM
Antonio Smith is a DE, and should fill that need. But, he doesn't bring a resume as an accomplished pass rusher. Mario Williams has accounted for 46% of the Texans QB sacks over the past 2 seasons. He must get help in pressuring the QB in order for the Texans to create turnovers and get the opposing offense off the field. Unless someone from the current roster emerges as that pass rusher, it is still a huge hole to be filled.

Regarding the DT and LBs brought in, it's a major stretch to label them as immediate impact players. At best, they could push for starting jobs and provide quality depth. At worst, become training camp fodder. I will credit Smith and Kubiak for these signings when they produce on the field.

I agree with everything said here, but I'd like to add a Kool-Aid soaked thought.

From what I've gathered by reading coachspeak and previous articles concerning the A. Smith signing, they're going to count on Smith being one to bring a pass rush that has been sorely missed. It has been said the Cards run a hybrid type 3-4 which always pushed Smith inside. In his initial interview A. Smith mentioned playing inside was not really his forte and that he'll be playing one position here (LDE). Which means he's going to be counted on to bring the pressure from the left side.

Now, my realistic thought is to take the "wait and see" approach as I always do. :)

Ole Miss Texan
04-06-2009, 11:05 AM
Great post Dale. In rebuilding this team, I've been a huge fan of the approach Rick Smith has taken. Many here want to see the huge Julius Peppers type of signings but I'm not at that point yet. I love the "low end" free agent signings like we've done recently that fill needs, add depth and create more competition.

Guys like Bentley and Cato June. I really like the June signing as a worse case back up WLB for Adibi. Buster Davis was a guy I liked coming out of college so I'm excited to see him in camp. I think he should be the back up MLB if he makes the team... but he'll push everyone for that spot. I still see SLB as a position to address either in front of or behind Zac Diles, depending on how the coaches feel about him. I like the Wilson and Ferguson signings and re-signings. I also like bringin in Cody for DT. I think he can be a part of a good rotation at that spot but I'm not expecting him to be a lights out starter.

The next level up, I view as more "need" signings such as Jacques Reeves and Antonio Smith. Without addressing those spots, it creates a MUST in the draft. That is usually a very bad spot to be in and that's when you reach on a player to fill that particular need. I really like the signing of these two respective players. I'm not expecting pro bowl numbers but only solid starter contributions.

Loved the trade for Chris Meyers but I still think the enterior OL needs to be addressed in the draft. Startes at C/RG or backups, I'll take either. The matching of D. Anderson's offer was kind of a surprise. I love the kid and fully support it but that is a steep price, we now have 4 fairly high priced WRs. I think they really like him and trust him when he's in the game. Without DA, I see us as having to find a replacement for him in the draft of FA so this elleviates that need now. Trading Sage was great, IMO especially considering he'd be gone next season or he'd hold out for a big contract from us- he wants to start. I really like the Orlavsky signing and think he's a more than capable backup QB.

RB is the biggest position that I see we didn't address. Since we haven't brought anyone in, I can see them addressing the RB spot in rounds 1-4. The extra 4th gives us a cushion incase we see a prospect dropping to either trade up for him using this ammo, to hold out till that pick or to go ahead and "reach" in the 4th if we don't think he'll last till our 5th.

I think it's been a solid offseason to say the least and they did a great job in filling some needs and depth. This leaves us going into the draft with the ability to go BPA in the majority of the rounds and take some players they really think will be special in this league.

joedinkle
04-08-2009, 10:07 AM
I like Rick, but once that trade for Kellen Winslow went down, he should've ensured that OD was signed before Kellen. Winslow got stupid money...and you know what that means. $$$

drewmar74
04-08-2009, 10:11 AM
I like Rick, but once that trade for Kellen Winslow went down, he should've ensured that OD was signed before Kellen. Winslow got stupid money...and you know what that means. $$$

Hopefully it means that we'll let OD walk at the end of his contract if he expects "I'M A ********* SOLDIER" money.....

joedinkle
04-08-2009, 03:00 PM
Hopefully it means that we'll let OD walk at the end of his contract if he expects "I'M A ********* SOLDIER" money.....

lol, almost forgot about that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I82BPA5QAaQ