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Texans34Life
05-04-2009, 07:20 PM
http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcsouth

Last week I pointed you to links that gave you a chance to chime in on some questions about the Texans.

Here's a review of where things stand over at SportsNation, with commentary.

What's the best case scenario for the Texans?

* Win Super Bowl
* Deep playoff run
* Early playoff exit
* Miss playoffs

Right now, 53 percent of you say early playoff exit. Correct. If things fall into place for the Texans, I see them as a one-and-done team gaining valuable experience.

Is Matt Schaub a franchise quarterback?

* Yes
* No

Right now, 53 percent of you say yes. Correct again. This depends on your definition of franchise quarterback. But I believe the Texans are in better shape at quarterback than 15 other teams with Schaub in place as their starter and that's a yes to me. Of course staying healthy and not turning the ball over so much could really solidify his case.

How should Texans fans feel about their team as compared to last year?

* Significantly better
* Slightly better
* Slightly worse
* Significantly worse
* About the same

Right now 60 percent of you say slightly better. Correct. They've improved the defensive line, got a lead linebacker in Brian Cushing and will be deeper and more effective at tight end. But there were no definite upgrades in the secondary.

Which player could the Texans least afford to lose to a long-term injury?

* Andre Johnson
* Amobi Okoye
* DeMeco Ryans
* Matt Schaub
* Mario Williams

Right now, 60 percent of you say Johnson. Correct. He's the team's best player. And the Texans are a team capable of really lighting it up on offense. If they do everything else can find their niche and fit in. If not, they could crumble.

Will Brian Cushing open the season in the starting lineup?

* Yes
* No

Right now, 86 percent of you say yes. Correct. And how this isn't 100 percent is a mystery. Who do you want starting ahead of him?

ObsiWan
05-04-2009, 07:28 PM
I voted pretty much with the majority. The one exception being I voted "Deep Playoff Run" in the first poll.
Hey, whaddaya want from me; I'm a :homer:

SteveSlaton20
05-04-2009, 09:08 PM
I voted pretty much with the majority. The one exception being I voted "Deep Playoff Run" in the first poll.
Hey, whaddaya want from me; I'm a :homer:

this
:shades:

DBCooper
05-04-2009, 09:16 PM
What's the best case scenario for the Texans?

* Win Super Bowl
* Deep playoff run
* Early playoff exit
* Miss playoffs

Right now, 53 percent of you say early playoff exit. Correct. If things fall into place for the Texans, I see them as a one-and-done team gaining valuable experience.



I wonder what the Titans learned last year.

Texaninlild
05-04-2009, 09:26 PM
I wonder what the Titans learned last year.

They learned that they wasted their 3rd pick in the 2006 draft.

IlliniJen
05-04-2009, 09:39 PM
They learned that they wasted their 3rd pick in the 2006 draft.

This statement makes Vince Young a sad panda.

http://mybroadband.co.za/photos/data/500/sadpanda.jpg

m5kwatts
05-04-2009, 09:49 PM
This statement makes Vince Young a sad panda.

http://mybroadband.co.za/photos/data/500/sadpanda.jpg

[Mack Brown] what are you talking about? I have complete confidence the guy will be in the football hall of fame some day [/Mack Brown]

Ole Miss Texan
05-04-2009, 10:36 PM
Which player could the Texans least afford to lose to a long-term injury?

* Andre Johnson
* Amobi Okoye
* DeMeco Ryans
* Matt Schaub
* Mario Williams

Right now, 60 percent of you say Johnson. Correct. He's the team's best player. And the Texans are a team capable of really lighting it up on offense. If they do everything else can find their niche and fit in. If not, they could crumble.
This is the only one I disagree with. While losing AJ (well any of our guys) long term would suck, I don't think that would be the worst for our team. The guy's totally awesome and imo the best WR in the league but we lost AJ for several games in 2007 and we've got a 'deep' WR group. I think we'd lose offense for sure but it wouldn't be the biggest impact.

The way I read the question "least afford", to me means "what would impact the team the most". And that's Mario Williams. Mario is dominate. without him, we'd have Antonio Smith and probably Tim Bulman starting. Connor Barwin would see much more PT but is still a rookie. I feel really good about our DL but if we lost Mario, I don't think they'd be very productive. AJ may be the BEST player but I think Mario is our most Valuable. He got, what..14 of our 25 sacks last year!?

Nawzer
05-04-2009, 10:51 PM
Goal should be to win the Super Bowl every year. Is it realistic? Probably not. But these guys get paid to win a Super Bowl ultimately not to just make the playoffs and exit.

RTP2110
05-04-2009, 10:57 PM
Good point OMT. WR is actually one of the deepest postions on the team. One could argue that losing Schaub would be worse than losing AJ.

m5kwatts
05-04-2009, 11:18 PM
This is the only one I disagree with. While losing AJ (well any of our guys) long term would suck, I don't think that would be the worst for our team. The guy's totally awesome and imo the best WR in the league but we lost AJ for several games in 2007 and we've got a 'deep' WR group. I think we'd lose offense for sure but it wouldn't be the biggest impact.

The way I read the question "least afford", to me means "what would impact the team the most". And that's Mario Williams. Mario is dominate. without him, we'd have Antonio Smith and probably Tim Bulman starting. Connor Barwin would see much more PT but is still a rookie. I feel really good about our DL but if we lost Mario, I don't think they'd be very productive. AJ may be the BEST player but I think Mario is our most Valuable. He got, what..14 of our 25 sacks last year!?

You read my mind OMT great post

Goldensilence
05-04-2009, 11:23 PM
This is the only one I disagree with. While losing AJ (well any of our guys) long term would suck, I don't think that would be the worst for our team. The guy's totally awesome and imo the best WR in the league but we lost AJ for several games in 2007 and we've got a 'deep' WR group. I think we'd lose offense for sure but it wouldn't be the biggest impact.

The way I read the question "least afford", to me means "what would impact the team the most". And that's Mario Williams. Mario is dominate. without him, we'd have Antonio Smith and probably Tim Bulman starting. Connor Barwin would see much more PT but is still a rookie. I feel really good about our DL but if we lost Mario, I don't think they'd be very productive. AJ may be the BEST player but I think Mario is our most Valuable. He got, what..14 of our 25 sacks last year!?

Really could go both ways with AJ and Mario. After a some thought i have come to the conclusion Barwin might be a big gamble but looking past Mario and Antonio smith we've got no one that we know that can play DE. I'm still concerned with how raw he is though and this somewhat new staff's ability to coach up and develop players.

I'd also think there is a VERY strong case that we can't afford to lose Steve Slaton. Unless Johnson or Foster turns into a gem or we grab someone in FA this running game might grind to a halt.

IlliniJen
05-04-2009, 11:56 PM
Really could go both ways with AJ and Mario. After a some thought i have come to the conclusion Barwin might be a big gamble but looking past Mario and Antonio smith we've got no one that we know that can play DE. I'm still concerned with how raw he is though and this somewhat new staff's ability to coach up and develop players.

I'd also think there is a VERY strong case that we can't afford to lose Steve Slaton. Unless Johnson or Foster turns into a gem or we grab someone in FA this running game might grind to a halt.

I would be torn between Schaub and Slaton. Schaub and the offensive were able to move the ball without Johnson. Remember the other Andre? Davis was effective two years ago. He sort of disappeared last year (which I didn't understand), but I think our WR is pretty durn good, so losing AJ wouldn't cripple the team. Schaub going out for any length of time just scares me.

Losing Slaton means we would have to depend on....uh....who exactly to run the ball? Lose that dimension of our offense and we're back to the Ron Dayne "lost years."

Wolf
05-05-2009, 12:01 AM
I would be torn between Schaub and Slaton. Schaub and the offensive were able to move the ball without Johnson. Remember the other Andre? Davis was effective two years ago. He sort of disappeared last year (which I didn't understand), but I think our WR is pretty durn good, so losing AJ wouldn't cripple the team. Schaub going out for any length of time just scares me.

Losing Slaton means we would have to depend on....uh....who exactly to run the ball? Lose that dimension of our offense and we're back to the james allen "lost years."

fixed it for ya :shades:

gtexan02
05-05-2009, 12:14 AM
The first question seems stupid to me. The best case scenario for any team in the NFL is a superbowl win. "Any Given Sunday" means that any team can win the big game. And if you make the playoffs, you certainly have a shot.

I voted superbowl win. It says "best case scenario." Not "Most likely scenario" If he thinks we're likely to get a one and done in the playoffs, how is that our best case scenario?

ObsiWan
05-05-2009, 04:47 AM
Losing Slaton means we would have to depend on....uh....who exactly to run the ball? Lose that dimension of our offense and we're back to the Ron Dayne "lost years."

We believe Ron Dayne was the most impactful player the Texans' have ever had.

signed,
The Krystal Donut shops of greater Houston

ObsiWan
05-05-2009, 04:50 AM
The first question seems stupid to me. The best case scenario for any team in the NFL is a superbowl win. "Any Given Sunday" means that any team can win the big game. And if you make the playoffs, you certainly have a shot.

I voted superbowl win. It says "best case scenario." Not "Most likely scenario" If he thinks we're likely to get a one and done in the playoffs, how is that our best case scenario?


given that your assertion is true, every team covets a Super Bowl win at the outset of the season, I interpreted the question as a "most likely scenario" query. Otherwise, why even ask?

Vinny
05-05-2009, 11:52 AM
This is the only one I disagree with. While losing AJ (well any of our guys) long term would suck, I don't think that would be the worst for our team. The guy's totally awesome and imo the best WR in the league but we lost AJ for several games in 2007 and we've got a 'deep' WR group. I think we'd lose offense for sure but it wouldn't be the biggest impact.

The way I read the question "least afford", to me means "what would impact the team the most". And that's Mario Williams. Mario is dominate. without him, we'd have Antonio Smith and probably Tim Bulman starting. Connor Barwin would see much more PT but is still a rookie. I feel really good about our DL but if we lost Mario, I don't think they'd be very productive. AJ may be the BEST player but I think Mario is our most Valuable. He got, what..14 of our 25 sacks last year!?

Mario isn't anywhere is as dominant at DE as AJ is at WR. The offense totally changes with AJ out and there is no way we have a top 5 unit again without him long term. With Mario out our bad defense is still bad.

beerlover
05-05-2009, 12:01 PM
Andre could not achieve his status until he had a QB that could get him the ball on a consistant basis, a lot of parts go into that but clearly a healthy Schaub is the real MVP :specnatz:

Yankee_In_TX
05-05-2009, 12:05 PM
This is the only one I disagree with. While losing AJ (well any of our guys) long term would suck, I don't think that would be the worst for our team. The guy's totally awesome and imo the best WR in the league but we lost AJ for several games in 2007 and we've got a 'deep' WR group. I think we'd lose offense for sure but it wouldn't be the biggest impact.

The way I read the question "least afford", to me means "what would impact the team the most". And that's Mario Williams. Mario is dominate. without him, we'd have Antonio Smith and probably Tim Bulman starting. Connor Barwin would see much more PT but is still a rookie. I feel really good about our DL but if we lost Mario, I don't think they'd be very productive. AJ may be the BEST player but I think Mario is our most Valuable. He got, what..14 of our 25 sacks last year!?

....and when AJ was out, I kept saying over and over that 1 player cannot make that much of a difference, we have other issues. I stated we would improve when he was back, but that everyone was over-reacting.

I was proven dead wrong.

When he came back, how our offense played and how defenses played us changed - it was night and day with/without AJ.

Polo
05-05-2009, 12:06 PM
Which player could the Texans least afford to lose to a long-term injury?

* Andre Johnson
* Amobi Okoye
* DeMeco Ryans
* Matt Schaub
* Mario Williams



I don't understand how the answer isn't Mario Williams here. I think that Johnson going down hurts us, but I think that if he were to miss time we could manage very well with the other recievers on the roster.

If we lose Mario I think that would have a much greater impact on the defense.

Ole Miss Texan
05-05-2009, 12:07 PM
Mario isn't anywhere is as dominant at DE as AJ is at WR. The offense totally changes with AJ out and there is no way we have a top 5 unit again without him long term. With Mario out our bad defense is still bad.
I don't think I ever said he was more dominant at his respective position than AJ. My arguement was his IMPACT on our team. I understand what you're saying but I still think losing Mario would have a bigger impact on our W/L record than losing AJ. I don't care about where we stand in relation to the league on stats. We could have the 32nd ranked defense that gives up 35 points a game. By your measure the defense couldn't get any worse but by my measure the real figure is 35 not #32. If we lose the MVP on defense what are we left with and would that hypothetical defense still be 32nd ranked but give up 45 points a game!? A team can always get worse even if their "ranking in the league" doesn't reflect that.

At the end of the day I think we're all arguing which came first, the chicken or the egg. Losing Schaub would mean Orvlasky is our QB. Losing AJ would suck and our offense would drop off. Losing Demeco would suck, losing Mario would suck, etc. etc. Sheesh, losing Slaton would be hugely detrimental. I don't think there's necessarily a right or wrong answer here.

Vinny
05-05-2009, 12:09 PM
I don't think I ever say he was more dominant at his respective position than AJ. I understand what you're saying but I still think losing Mario would have a bigger impact on our W/L record than losing AJ. I don't care about where we stand in relation to the league on stats. We could have the 32nd ranked defense that gives up 35 points a game. By your measure the defense couldn't get any worse but by my measure the real figure is 35 not #32. If we lose the MVP on defense what are we left with and would that hypothetical defense still be 32nd ranked but give up 45 points a game!? A team can always get worse even if their "ranking in the league" doesn't reflect that.

At the end of the day I think we're all arguing who came first, the chicken or the egg. Losing Schaub would mean Orvlasky is our QB. Losing AJ would suck and our offense would drop off. Losing Demeco would suck, losing Mario would suck, etc. etc. Sheesh, losing Slaton would be hugely detrimental. I don't think there's necessarily a right or wrong answer here.
Taking Mario off of a bad defense still makes it a bad defense. Taking AJ off a top 5 offense would put too much pressure on the running game long term and I'd bet money that our offense would be middle of the road at best over the course of a season.

BigBull17
05-05-2009, 12:15 PM
This is the only one I disagree with. While losing AJ (well any of our guys) long term would suck, I don't think that would be the worst for our team. The guy's totally awesome and imo the best WR in the league but we lost AJ for several games in 2007 and we've got a 'deep' WR group. I think we'd lose offense for sure but it wouldn't be the biggest impact.

The way I read the question "least afford", to me means "what would impact the team the most". And that's Mario Williams. Mario is dominate. without him, we'd have Antonio Smith and probably Tim Bulman starting. Connor Barwin would see much more PT but is still a rookie. I feel really good about our DL but if we lost Mario, I don't think they'd be very productive. AJ may be the BEST player but I think Mario is our most Valuable. He got, what..14 of our 25 sacks last year!?

QFT. Mario is a machine, and would make us a very sad defense.

Vinny
05-05-2009, 12:16 PM
QFT. Mario is a machine, and would make us a very sad defense.so, how good do you think our defense was last year anyway?

BigBull17
05-05-2009, 12:27 PM
so, how good do you think our defense was last year anyway?

Got me. Could your ranking fall to 33rd? Behind USC. As bad as it was last year, can you even imagine no Mario? No one within a block of any QB. Running free even more. We would have been 32nd. No doubt.

Mario was also responsible for turning momentum at times. It seemed when we would be playing poorly, he would get a sack or a big tackle and just pump up everybody. I just don't see anybody making a feel good play without him on the field.

beerlover
05-05-2009, 12:27 PM
you know who Mario Williams sorta reminds me of? KC great DE Neil Smith also wore #90. always a great player but needed that speed rusher Derrick Thomas to compliment his strengths :)

nero THE zero
05-05-2009, 01:09 PM
In '07 without Andre, our offense managed games of 317 yds, 294 yds, 259 yds, and 290 yds passing, and an average of 250 passing YPG. And, a pro-personnel scout told LZ that his team views Mario Williams as the second most impactful defensive player in the NFL.

Arguing Mario and Andre is like arguing Heidi Klum and Elizabeth Hurley. But, for my money I'm taking Heidi, err... Mario.

Ole Miss Texan
05-05-2009, 01:09 PM
Taking Mario off of a bad defense still makes it a bad defense. Taking AJ off a top 5 offense would put too much pressure on the running game long term and I'd bet money that our offense would be middle of the road at best over the course of a season.
I think you're still missing my point. Taking Mario off of a bad defense doesn't still make it a bad defense... it makes it a terrible defense. You can get more worse than bad. You can get less pressure on the QB than last year, you can allow more yards and more points scored. bad to bad doesn't matter, it's bad to worse. You're making it out that our defense was so bad that it can't be any worse which is untrue.

Yankee_In_TX
05-05-2009, 01:21 PM
I think that Johnson going down hurts us, but I think that if he were to miss time we could manage very well with the other recievers on the roster.

One would think. But go watch the games after Carolina (I think that's where he got hurt). Then watch the games after he returns. Shocking - maybe part of it was coaching, but it was amazing the difference.

Hardcore Texan
05-05-2009, 01:37 PM
Originally Posted by Texans34Life
Which player could the Texans least afford to lose to a long-term injury?

* Andre Johnson
* Amobi Okoye
* DeMeco Ryans
* Matt Schaub
* Mario Williams

I am thinking Matt Schaub or Andre Johnson. Suprised more people aren't at least mentioning Schaub based on position alone.

HOU-TEX
05-05-2009, 02:33 PM
I am thinking Matt Schaub or Andre Johnson. Suprised more people aren't at least mentioning Schaub based on position alone.

I think with most teams it would be the QB that makes the offense successful. I think our "system" is what makes our offense successful. IMO, a QB with some intelligence and a little talent can successfully run our offense.

Forgive me if I'm not making sense, I'm currently overwhelmed by paint fumes. :)

BigBull17
05-05-2009, 02:34 PM
I think with most teams it would be the QB that makes the offense successful. I think our "system" is what makes our offense successful. IMO, a QB with some intelligence and a little talent can successfully run our offense.

Forgive me if I'm not making sense, I'm currently overwhelmed by paint fumes. :)

This is a very QB friendly system.

Polo
05-05-2009, 02:35 PM
One would think. But go watch the games after Carolina (I think that's where he got hurt). Then watch the games after he returns. Shocking - maybe part of it was coaching, but it was amazing the difference.

I agree. Andre Johnson is an amazing plus for the offense.

But something you have to remember about that season was our ground game situation. Since then we've added more weapons.

Imagine if we would have had Slaton in those games after Carolina...Imagine if we would have had someone better than Ron Dayne or whoever it was taking hand-offs...Since then our offense has evolved...I'd say that just about every player over there has pretty much proven that they are better players since that Carolina game...save AJ who was a beast then and remains so...

I think that with all the guys we have now, we could actually still be very productive but obviously AJ adds an explosive dynamic...

Now our defense...question marks galore...Demeco's production has slipped...Questionable DB's...D-Rob un-happy...Questionable DT's...Don't know what Antonio Smith will do....

The only other pass rushing ends are Bulman and a rookie 2nd rounder....And I don't even really know if Bulman qualifies as such...

Take Mario away and that makes us more vulnerable against the pass and the run...

Who will be the other DE opposite Smith? Bulman or the rook?

Sorry, but to me this is a no brainer...If I had to choose, give me our team with a healthy Mario over a healthy AJ and I like our chances a lot better...

Killer Bee
05-05-2009, 07:30 PM
This is a QB driven league, so I’m going Schaub here with a slight edge over Mario. Though the talent drop off from losing Mario or AJ is greater, consistency at the QB position is paramount.

barrett
05-05-2009, 08:03 PM
loosing Schaub in week 1 could be devistating. Loosing him in week 8 would be different. I expect Orlovsky to actually do pretty well in our offense. I think I would have a hard time arguing between loosing Schaub early, Slaton or Mario. Loosing Johnson would in my opinion, be the least crippling. (as proven in 2007) All that WR/ TE depth is that much deeper now then it was then. Loosing Slaton would be toughest perhaps because even though I think our offense can opperate on a 45-60 pass attempts kind of thing for a while, our smallish ZBS OLine would not hold up to that kind of attack when they know we have no run game. The balance of the two phases is possibly the most important aspect to this offense. Without the running game, the passing game would eventually be dead in the water. As would Schaub most likely so in fact, loosing Slaton could potentially cause us to loose Schaub too therefor, that's the most critical.

TheRealJoker
05-05-2009, 09:56 PM
Losing AJ still leaves us with K Dub, AD, and Anderson at WR. Losing Mario leaves us with Antonio Smith, Connor Barwin, and Tim Bulman.

Its unknown how Smith and Barwin will do for us. If Mario were injured last season our top pass rusher would have been Bulman and we'd be competing with KC to see who could stay at single digit sacks as a team. Bulman was second on our team with 4 sacks, had Mario not been in the lineup who could possibly pick up the slack and even so much as threaten the QB? With Mario out, opposing running backs can pick their running lane because then we wouldn't have a DL worth avoiding.

Runner
05-05-2009, 10:42 PM
I'm not sure Mario strikes the fear into other teams as much as some think. Since no one else on the line is doing much damage, Mario's impact is less than it might be.

Schaub has a penchant for injuries, so the backup QB is important. After the failed choice of Rosenfels, the staff is left with another untested backup.

Dre is the best football player on the team. There are other decent options in the passing game, although they become less effective without him.

So.......

I think an injury to Schaub would have the worst effect on the team. I think the lack of a good backup is an area where this staff is culpable. I also think Schaub will miss a few games this year; his health is the achilles heal of the team.


Nevertheless, I still think Dre is easily the best player on the team.

nero THE zero
05-06-2009, 09:08 AM
I'm not sure Mario strikes the fear into other teams as much as some think.

I'd argue to the contrary and I have evidence to prove it.

In '07 without Andre, our offense managed games of 317 yds, 294 yds, 259 yds, and 290 yds passing, and an average of 250 passing YPG. And, a pro-personnel scout told LZ that his team views Mario Williams as the second most impactful defensive player in the NFL.

Arguing Mario and Andre is like arguing Heidi Klum and Elizabeth Hurley. But, for my money I'm taking Heidi, err... Mario.

Runner
05-06-2009, 09:21 AM
I'd argue to the contrary and I have evidence to prove it.

My point is that while Mario may make a large individual impact, other teams don't really "fear" the effect of that impact, since he's the only one doing much of anything. Even when Mario gets his, the rest of the line is usually being handled.

BigBull17
05-06-2009, 09:27 AM
I expect Orlovsky to actually do pretty well in our offense. .

Our offense is very QB friendly. It would hurt us, but not be season ending.

Ole Miss Texan
05-06-2009, 09:53 AM
My point is that while Mario may make a large individual impact, other teams don't really "fear" the effect of that impact, since he's the only one doing much of anything. Even when Mario gets his, the rest of the line is usually being handled.
If that's the case, then what happens if we were to lose Mario? If he's the only one doing much of anything... the others get handled... what happens when he's not their?

awtysst
05-06-2009, 10:01 AM
If that's the case, then what happens if we were to lose Mario? If he's the only one doing much of anything... the others get handled... what happens when he's not their?

Thats why you need several solid D players. With a new scheme, hopefully we see tons of pressure and let the Dline roate to keep everyone fresh.

Runner
05-06-2009, 10:02 AM
If that's the case, then what happens if we were to lose Mario? If he's the only one doing much of anything... the others get handled... what happens when he's not their?

Then the defense gets worse

This isn't a zero sum game - the question is which player's loss would have the most impact. I think it goes Schaub, Andre, Mario. That doesn't mean I think losing Mario has no negative effect. However, with or without Mario the offense still has to score a lot of points.

Polo
05-06-2009, 10:21 AM
I think it's Mario by a long shot...

I think that if either Schaub or Andre goes down we can still field a good offense with the weapons that we have and the fact that we are able to run the ball now...

With Mario on the field there is hope that the defense can make plays (atleast from my perspective)...If Mario goes down I don't see any way that we could fill that void or still function in the same capacity...

Now if you're assuming that our defense is going to be bad again this year then I can see your position...I'm of the opinion though that we'll be better...