PDA

View Full Version : Put your eggs in one basket


badboy
06-17-2009, 03:09 PM
It is past Easter but what one position is the key for Texans this season? Support your choice.

I am going with quarterback. If Schaub misses many games, we are in trouble. I really like Orslovsky but hope he does not have to get on field until way late in season. Rex? Well, he has better receivers but we still have nothing but Slaton to hand off to. TC will offer me unbridled hope for RB or crush me unmercifully. Schaub is the key to a deep play off run.

HOU-TEX
06-17-2009, 03:13 PM
Defensive Coordinator

badboy
06-17-2009, 03:27 PM
Defensive CoordinatorI was thinking player, but you do bring up a good point.

Double Barrel
06-17-2009, 03:27 PM
Defensive line

HOU-TEX
06-17-2009, 03:29 PM
I was thinking player, but you do bring up a good point.

Yeah, I know, but IMO it's kind of hard to pinpoint one position for overall team improvement.

badboy
06-17-2009, 04:22 PM
Defensive line
Don't take the easy way out. Which position? If Mario goes out is the season lost? Does Barwin give us a fall back that keeps us in the game? If Okoye proves to not have had just a sophomore slump and TJ is ..well TJ do we have another poor year stopping the run? Is that enough to keep us out of the playoffs? Can Kube's survive even a 9-7 season?

badboy
06-17-2009, 04:25 PM
Yeah, I know, but IMO it's kind of hard to pinpoint one position for overall team improvement.Sure but the team or even one side of the ball can be better and the season is lost if one player is out. Where would we have been if Mario had missed the entire season? Or Myers? Many knock him, but what would the offense have been if White had to replace Myers for 16 games? See what I mean?

HoustonFrog
06-17-2009, 04:27 PM
Secondary.

Let's say for example that the rookies and Antonio Smith start a little slow and Mario is again the only guy bringing the heat for the first 5 weeks or so. Well then you start using the improved group of LBs to put on the heat by brining a guy here and there. Overall you are leaving the secondary out there and hoping the can cover when the others aren't getting there. No matter what strides were made in the past the secondary always was suspect. If it takes some gelling up front you need the secondary to hold the fort and support their weight to stop games from being a shootout. I guess you can say my explanation should mean my answer is D-line but they go hand in hand in my book.

76Texan
06-17-2009, 04:36 PM
Nobody can replace Mario on Defense.
Nobody can replace A.J. on Offense.

badboy
06-17-2009, 04:41 PM
Nobody can replace Mario on Defense.
Nobody can replace A.J. on Offense.Actually, Andre Davis did replace AJ and did a fine job.

76Texan
06-17-2009, 04:42 PM
Actually, Andre Davis did replace AJ and did a fine job.

Not by a LONG LONG shot, my friend!

rmartin65
06-17-2009, 04:47 PM
Defensive Tackle. If they preform, we should end up with a top 10 D, and a playoff berth. If not, 8-8 again.

Double Barrel
06-17-2009, 04:47 PM
Don't take the easy way out. Which position? If Mario goes out is the season lost? Does Barwin give us a fall back that keeps us in the game? If Okoye proves to not have had just a sophomore slump and TJ is ..well TJ do we have another poor year stopping the run? Is that enough to keep us out of the playoffs? Can Kube's survive even a 9-7 season?

Well, it's not the easy way out. I think the defensive line - as a whole - needs to step up it's game and put some consistent pressure on our opponents' passing game. Our secondary is not good enough to hold coverage if the QB never feels pressured, which has seemed to be one of the defense's problems the last couple of years.

I feel confident about Mario (obviously), so if I had to go position, I'd say defensive tackle. Will they be able to put any pressure up the middle and stop the run? This will be the key to our defense improving, IMO.

JB
06-17-2009, 04:52 PM
Free Safety

If we lose Wilson, our secondary will be in a world of hurt. Probably the one position that we do not have depth at.

HOU-TEX
06-17-2009, 04:53 PM
Sure but the team or even one side of the ball can be better and the season is lost if one player is out. Where would we have been if Mario had missed the entire season? Or Myers? Many knock him, but what would the offense have been if White had to replace Myers for 16 games? See what I mean?

Well, the offense kept afloat after AJ went down a couple years ago. Mario's been a part of a poorly run defense and has been a beast, but has he alone made our defense better overall? Nah, our D has been consistantly bad since 03.

*Disclaimer* This statement is meant for discussion only. By no means does HOU-TEX want to see us lose MW or AJ.

Nobody can replace Mario on Defense.
Nobody can replace A.J. on Offense.

I don't think anybody's irreplacable. The NFL's like the circle of life, lol. Sure, they are badass players, but they can and will eventually be replaced.

CloakNNNdagger
06-17-2009, 04:55 PM
After reading the posts on this thread, I'm expecting a couple of eggs to be broken when the basket is dropped. Makes me remember the old saying that one cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs... but it is amazing how many eggs one can break without making a decent omelet. Reminds me of the past. Hopefully, this year we are amazed how few "busts" will occur and still lead to a decent team.:pirate:

76Texan
06-17-2009, 04:59 PM
Actually, Andre Davis did replace AJ and did a fine job.

I'm trying to find a comparison.
Perhaps like... A.J. is not quite Kobe, and A.D. is not quite Artest.

But if I have to pick one position and one position only, I will have to go with Mario.
At this point in time, I don't think we can afford him not being in the line-up.

badboy
06-17-2009, 05:03 PM
Not by a LONG LONG shot, my friend!Yes for the games he replaced AJ , Davis did very well leading him to signing a new contract for a very nice dollar value. I understand that he is faster than AJ. I realize it was not for an entire season but he did very well. I am not saying Davis is the better guy. Far from it, yet if AJ is lost for the season, our corps of receivers are solid. I think Mario is much more important to the team this season than AJ.

badboy
06-17-2009, 05:05 PM
Well, it's not the easy way out. I think the defensive line - as a whole - needs to step up it's game and put some consistent pressure on our opponents' passing game. Our secondary is not good enough to hold coverage if the QB never feels pressured, which has seemed to be one of the defense's problems the last couple of years.

I feel confident about Mario (obviously), so if I had to go position, I'd say defensive tackle. Will they be able to put any pressure up the middle and stop the run? This will be the key to our defense improving, IMO.Thanks and very well said. Do you agree with me that if Mario is lost for the season, the playoffs are out of reach?

badboy
06-17-2009, 05:06 PM
Free Safety

If we lose Wilson, our secondary will be in a world of hurt. Probably the one position that we do not have depth at.Do you think Kubes would move Glover Quinn to FS if Wilson is out? I like Quinn in that position.

76Texan
06-17-2009, 05:07 PM
Yes for the games he replaced AJ , Davis did very well leading him to signing a new contract for a very nice dollar value. I understand that he is faster than AJ. I realize it was not for an entire season but he did very well. I am not saying Davis is the better guy. Far from it, yet if AJ is lost for the season, our corps of receivers are solid. I think Mario is much more important to the team this season than AJ.

Well then, we are in agreement!
About the worth of Mario.

But, as far as our receiving corp, it was patched up.
They stayed "afloat" for a period of time.
Nobody commend the double team at all.

And HT, we are talking this coming season, not the far-ahead future!

JB
06-17-2009, 05:09 PM
Do you think Kubes would move Glover Quinn to FS if Wilson is out? I like Quinn in that position.

I like Quin also. But, it would be a rookie and at a position
he never played before.

And with a less than stellar SS next to him.

badboy
06-17-2009, 05:14 PM
I like Quin also. But, it would be a rookie and at a position
he never played before.

And with a less than stellar SS next to him.I place my optimism on all the hype Quinn is getting at CB. He should be even better at FS. 4.50 speed is pretty darn good for that position. I am hoping our CBs are so strong Gary chooses to allow Quinn to get some reps at safety.

SS; so you are not buying the hype on Barber? or who?

76Texan
06-17-2009, 05:16 PM
Thanks and very well said. Do you agree with me that if Mario is lost for the season, the playoffs are out of reach?

I don't like where this is heading, 'cause I don't want to think of Yao.
But where would the Magics be without Howard?

Mario not only plays defense, he creates opportunities for the rest.
He also presents the offense the best hope to get the ball back into their hands.

JB
06-17-2009, 05:20 PM
I place my optimism on all the hype Quinn is getting at CB. He should be even better at FS. 4.50 speed is pretty darn good for that position. I am hoping our CBs are so strong Gary chooses to allow Quinn to get some reps at safety.

SS; so you are not buying the hype on Barber? or who?

Not buying the hype on Barber or believing that Ferguson is anything more than just a guy.

76Texan
06-17-2009, 05:22 PM
Kubiak has been touted Mario as a very strong candidate for defensive MVP not without reason.

Even as you watch Manning, you can tell he was always aware of where Mario about on the field. That one ought to be the clincher, at least in my book! :smiliedance:

Double Barrel
06-17-2009, 05:57 PM
Thanks and very well said. Do you agree with me that if Mario is lost for the season, the playoffs are out of reach?

yeah, Mario is the anchor of that line. And without him, no double-teams or having to constantly account for where he's at. Without a decent pass rush, I think a winning season is out of reach. Our defense has to win the trench battles if it's going to be effective. JMO

infantrycak
06-17-2009, 06:09 PM
Yes for the games he replaced AJ , Davis did very well leading him to signing a new contract for a very nice dollar value. I understand that he is faster than AJ. I realize it was not for an entire season but he did very well. I am not saying Davis is the better guy. Far from it, yet if AJ is lost for the season, our corps of receivers are solid. I think Mario is much more important to the team this season than AJ.

AD had production when AJ was gone but it wasn't similar in nature. He isn't a grind it anywhere on the field WR. AJ was out games 3-9. Look at AD's production and you'll see the number of receptions is half of what is typical for AJ and half his yardage production comes off getting one or two big plays per game. Big plays are great but you can't build a consistent time of possession offense with them as your primary asset. The Texans were 2-5 in those games by the way and one of the W's was a come from behind last drive. As for the contract he was given, much of that was predicated on his 3 TD's on kick returns which matched his 3 receiving TD's. Now Kubiak manages to offensive guru his way around O guys going down better maybe but that is more a testament to Kubiak and his system than AD.

Having said that, I'll go with Schaub as the single most important player, not because he is the best player on the team but because of how well he runs the O and utilizes the talent on O. Doesn't matter how good AJ and OD are if the QB isn't getting them the ball effectively. Mario while one of the most talented on the team is part of a D that hasn't performed well yet. Until they play well it is hard to project any loss on that side being a huge difference in W's.

CloakNNNdagger
06-17-2009, 08:04 PM
Kubiak has been touted Mario as a very strong candidate for defensive MVP not without reason.

Even as you watch Manning, you can tell he was always aware of where Mario about on the field. That one ought to be the clincher, at least in my book! :smiliedance:

Unfortunately, he used that information to hide on the "safe" side.........and the other side was always the "safe" side. Hopefully, this year he can choose whether he would prefer to be skewered from the right or the left.:texflag:

ObsiWan
06-18-2009, 04:21 AM
AD had production when AJ was gone but it wasn't similar in nature. He isn't a grind it anywhere on the field WR. AJ was out games 3-9. Look at AD's production and you'll see the number of receptions is half of what is typical for AJ and half his yardage production comes off getting one or two big plays per game. Big plays are great but you can't build a consistent time of possession offense with them as your primary asset. The Texans were 2-5 in those games by the way and one of the W's was a come from behind last drive. As for the contract he was given, much of that was predicated on his 3 TD's on kick returns which matched his 3 receiving TD's. Now Kubiak manages to offensive guru his way around O guys going down better maybe but that is more a testament to Kubiak and his system than AD.

Having said that, I'll go with Schaub as the single most important player, not because he is the best player on the team but because of how well he runs the O and utilizes the talent on O. Doesn't matter how good AJ and OD are if the QB isn't getting them the ball effectively. Mario while one of the most talented on the team is part of a D that hasn't performed well yet. Until they play well it is hard to project any loss on that side being a huge difference in W's.

Winner!
(must spread rep... blah, blah, blah...)
Both Orlovsky and Grossman are unknowns compared to RosenCopter - brainfarts notwithstanding, we knew he could run our offense. They may be better than Sage. They may not.

Now I think both have stronger arms than Schaub but I don't know where they are with respect to accuracy or timing in our offense... And then there's that "leadership" aspect. If Matt goes down again, which guy has the 'nads to take control and lead the team? Until we see them pressed into action and they show they can effectively step in, that's a unknown that makes me nervous.

Goldensilence
06-18-2009, 11:50 AM
AJ and Mario are obvious respective anchors on offense and defense and we can't really afford to lose either IMO.

I don't think Antonio Smith could possibly be as bad as Weaver. Guy who I think needs to step up is Amobi. If we can get him producing like he was early in his rookie year our DL is going to be tough to deal with reguardless of who else is lined up next to him. I'm hoping to see Deljuan Robinson get more snaps as well.

badboy
06-18-2009, 12:38 PM
Not buying the hype on Barber or believing that Ferguson is anything more than just a guy.Me either but am hoping one of the safeties can hold down the position. I know folks on here will squeal but if our corners are as strong as I think and DR returns, I'd like to see Robinson considered for SS.

infantrycak
06-18-2009, 12:49 PM
I'd like to see Robinson considered for SS.

Don't hold your breath because neither Dunta nor the Texans want that.

badboy
06-19-2009, 03:21 PM
Don't hold your breath because neither Dunta nor the Texans want that.
Yeah, I agree. However, I think DR has about one more year as starter at CB and maybe not that long. I really like him but Bennett is the CB of future and Reeves might have the other side.

Texanmike02
06-21-2009, 06:19 AM
I'm gonna chime in... I've been lurking for a while and haven't seen enough said about one position on the field. DT. I think our defense hinges on our ability to motivate our DTs. Ryans' biggest weakness as a MLB is his inability to shed blockers. We're gonna have a young cushing and whichever wins the 3rd spot, we don't really have anyone who will be capable of shedding blockers. Our run defense will again suffer if we don't get that fixed. Maybe we have and I don't know it but if there is one thing i'm nervous about that's it. Imagine a guy who could collapse the pocket from the middle. Imagine having to chose between going to Mario or Conner's side.

Mark this down... if you see guards/centers on LBs and getting to the second level again this year its gonig to be an 8-8 season again.

Mike

Lucky
06-21-2009, 11:31 AM
Ryans' biggest weakness as a MLB is his inability to shed blockers.
I agree with your post, in that the opposing offensive line must be preoccupied with the defensive line in order to free the LBs. But as far as Ryan's "weakness" regarding shedding blockers, 250 lbers are going to have trouble getting off 300 lbers. And the don't have to be on them long for a NFL back to burst past.

Ray Lewis became a superstar when he had monster 2 gap DTs Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams tying up blockers in front of him. When those guys left due to age and free agency, the Ravens run defense slipped. Lewis was still making tackles. Just further downfield. The Ravens then brought in the massive Haloti Ngata in 2006, and they've finished in the top 3 versus the run since.

For the most part, the Texans don't believe in massive DTs. Yes, they did draft Frank Okam last year. But, they wanted him to get down to 325 lbs and have yet to give him significant playing time. There's more than one way to skin a cat. But, the 3 teams that have been the best at stopping the run over the past 3 seasons (Ravens, Steelers, Vikings) employ massive 2 gappers like Ngata, Casey Hampton, and Pat Williams. So, there's a difference in personnel philosophy between the Texans and these teams.

The Ravens, Steelers, and Vikings get the cat skinned every season. The Texans have yet to do so. We will see if they know something these other teams don't.

Goatcheese
06-21-2009, 12:07 PM
If Slaton goes down the season is over.

Why? Because as soon as he goes down we have no running game, and we become a passing team. Nobody on this board thinks Schaub will survive more than a few weeks in a row dropping back 50 times a game. He's going to get killed. Without Slaton and Schaub the offense won't be able to do anything which will leave the defense on the field more exposing them to injuries.

It's like a snowball rolling down hill.

If Slaton goes down Smith might as well resign. Every one knew we needed a 1B RB in either FA or the draft and he failed miserably.

Goldensilence
06-22-2009, 01:18 AM
Me either but am hoping one of the safeties can hold down the position. I know folks on here will squeal but if our corners are as strong as I think and DR returns, I'd like to see Robinson considered for SS.

Dunta not even signed into playing CB and we still see let's move him to not only a safety, but SS safety nonetheless. An 180 lb SS, amazing.

If Slaton goes down the season is over.

Why? Because as soon as he goes down we have no running game, and we become a passing team. Nobody on this board thinks Schaub will survive more than a few weeks in a row dropping back 50 times a game. He's going to get killed. Without Slaton and Schaub the offense won't be able to do anything which will leave the defense on the field more exposing them to injuries.

It's like a snowball rolling down hill.

If Slaton goes down Smith might as well resign. Every one knew we needed a 1B RB in either FA or the draft and he failed miserably.

I'm not convinced that Brown will remain healthy but, I do like what we have behind him if he can't. I don't think Moats is a guy that can carry it all by any means but I really like what Johnson and Foster bring to the mix. Problem IMO will be if either doesn't make the squad I'm not so sure either will last long enough to land on the PS.

Really interested in seeing if we go 3 or 4 deep at RB this year.

threetoedpete
06-22-2009, 01:42 AM
I can think of no other worse case scenario than losing Duane Brown and Erick Winston simultaneously. No offense to Butler or the other back ups, but they lose those two early....together, the season is basically down the drain at that point. The second one has to be Steve Slaton. He is our lead back. But until he does it seventeen touches a game....sixteen games, no one knows for sure. So far he has met and exceeded everyone's wildest expectations. With him this offense is very dynamic. With out him, it's very two dimensional. They are loaded with depth every where else.

76Texan
06-22-2009, 11:40 AM
It is past Easter but what one position is the key for Texans this season? Support your choice.

I am going with quarterback. If Schaub misses many games, we are in trouble. I really like Orslovsky but hope he does not have to get on field until way late in season. Rex? Well, he has better receivers but we still have nothing but Slaton to hand off to. TC will offer me unbridled hope for RB or crush me unmercifully. Schaub is the key to a deep play off run.
Well, first of all, we need to set clear premises for this thread.

What is the definition of key?
(a) A deep play-offs run or (b) just getting to the play-offs?
(b) requires that we win at least 10 games in the regular season, but most likely 11 games (so which is the magic number here?)
(a) requires that (b) is attainable and more, but how deep is "Deep"? Getting to at least the Conference Championship game?

Next, how many games when we talk about "If Schaub misses many games, we are in trouble."???

And last of all, should everything else remain constant?
ie. the rest of the team should be at least healthy as last year (which I presume to be about average for an NFL team.)

The RB's situation for example. Ahman Green lost half a step but contribute. Moats contributed some.
Slaton's progress was on the positive side.

So let's say when we talk about how we can afford to lose Matt Schaub, we need to assume that:
- Slaton should continue to at least have the same season as last year, but probably better.
- Either Chris Brown comes back and have a decent year or one of the two Adrian Foster/Jeremiah comes in and contribute.
- Moats continues to contribute, now totally familiar with the running scheme.

And so on for other positions.
Otherwise, if we have too many variables, it becomes impossible to assign any kind of probability at all. - Right, TexanMike?!? :cool:

badboy
06-22-2009, 12:15 PM
Well, first of all, we need to set clear premises for this thread.

What is the definition of key?
(a) A deep play-offs run or (b) just getting to the play-offs?
(b) requires that we win at least 10 games in the regular season, but most likely 11 games (so which is the magic number here?)
(a) requires that (b) is attainable and more, but how deep is "Deep"? Getting to at least the Conference Championship game?

Next, how many games when we talk about "If Schaub misses many games, we are in trouble."???

And last of all, should everything else remain constant?
ie. the rest of the team should be at least healthy as last year (which I presume to be about average for an NFL team.)

The RB's situation for example. Ahman Green lost half a step but contribute. Moats contributed some.
Slaton's progress was on the positive side.

So let's say when we talk about how we can afford to lose Matt Schaub, we need to assume that:
- Slaton should continue to at least have the same season as last year, but probably better.
- Either Chris Brown comes back and have a decent year or one of the two Adrian Foster/Jeremiah comes in and contribute.
- Moats continues to contribute, now totally familiar with the running scheme.

And so on for other positions.
Otherwise, if we have too many variables, it becomes impossible to assign any kind of probability at all. - Right, TexanMike?!? :cool:I don't think Slaton will have the same type of year as last if Schaub is out. Part of his effectiveness was his ability to catch passes. Not known is how Orslovky or Grossman will do in place of Schaub. Same for the O line adjusting to any new QB. Not only that but the WR and TE's will have to adjust. We did lose a sense of familiarity with Rosenfels leaving. Can Slaton or other backs adjust and have good years? Sure but I think the opposite effect has higher percentage of occuring.

(a) of your post was addressed in the thread; deep. To me is at least the 2nd round with a shot at the SB.
(b) I think last seasons W-L for playoff teams indicate a certain number does not get a team in or keep a team out of first round. If Schaub is out, I see less than 8 wins and no playoffs.

76Texan
06-22-2009, 01:20 PM
I don't think Slaton will have the same type of year as last if Schaub is out. Part of his effectiveness was his ability to catch passes. Not known is how Orslovky or Grossman will do in place of Schaub. Same for the O line adjusting to any new QB. Not only that but the WR and TE's will have to adjust. We did lose a sense of familiarity with Rosenfels leaving. Can Slaton or other backs adjust and have good years? Sure but I think the opposite effect has higher percentage of occuring.

(a) of your post was addressed in the thread; deep. To me is at least the 2nd round with a shot at the SB.
(b) I think last seasons W-L for playoff teams indicate a certain number does not get a team in or keep a team out of first round. If Schaub is out, I see less than 8 wins and no playoffs.
Improvement on the Defense and more speed at ST will help.
Slaton's speed and the play action will help.
A healthy line and their familiarity with each other will also help.
The back-up QB will have more weapons to work with than they ever did before.

I'd venture to say that with MS, probability is 75% ???
without MS, ?????, 35% ????

badboy
06-22-2009, 02:41 PM
I'm more 90- 10. If Schaub plays as he did end of the year, he could be up there with best NFL QBs.

spurstexanstros
06-22-2009, 06:19 PM
If Slaton goes down the season is over.

Why? Because as soon as he goes down we have no running game, and we become a passing team. Nobody on this board thinks Schaub will survive more than a few weeks in a row dropping back 50 times a game. He's going to get killed. Without Slaton and Schaub the offense won't be able to do anything which will leave the defense on the field more exposing them to injuries.

It's like a snowball rolling down hill.

If Slaton goes down Smith might as well resign. Every one knew we needed a 1B RB in either FA or the draft and he failed miserably.

Ding ding ding....the true winner.


Its what I have been saying...If slaton goes down.... we are screwed. Especially, when the Texans had their choice in the second round...but we decided to add ...what the sixth or seventh defensive end drafted in the last 5 years...not to mention the high priced one we just signed...hmmm maybe Barwin can line up in the backfield. I hope I am proven wrong that one of our running backs will step up if he goes down and that barwin has 5 to 10 sacks and 100 plus tackles..(which alone would justify us not drafting a rb at the 2nd rnd)

that 2nd round pick doomed our draft to suck...we needed a rb not another DE...or two more tight ends for that matter.

ObsiWan
06-23-2009, 03:45 AM
If Slaton goes down the season is over.

Why? Because as soon as he goes down we have no running game, and we become a passing team. Nobody on this board thinks Schaub will survive more than a few weeks in a row dropping back 50 times a game. He's going to get killed. Without Slaton and Schaub the offense won't be able to do anything which will leave the defense on the field more exposing them to injuries.

It's like a snowball rolling down hill.

If Slaton goes down Smith might as well resign. Every one knew we needed a 1B RB in either FA or the draft and he failed miserably.

I cannot agree.
If Slaton goes down BUT we still have our O-line intact (and under Gibbs for a 2nd yr) AND our 8-to-80 connection is clicking like last year, we can salvage the running game with Foster/Moats/whoever.

Remember, Schaub-to-Johnson clicked before Slaton got here, when our only "running game" was Ron Dayne and Darius Walker. So its not like Slaton was the guy who turned our offense around. We had a fair-to-good offense without Slaton and before Alex Gibbs.

Now there's no doubt that Slaton gave our running game a turbo boost, but all is not lost if he gets dinged up. With the O-line going into year 2 under Alex Gibbs and the best of Foster/Johnson/Moats/Brown at RB we can still make the running game something to be respected even without Slaton.

OTOH, if there's no A.J. deep threat (and I'm not sure there is without Schaub getting the ball to him) defenses won't worry about our passing attack beating them deep. So they'll put the 8 in the box and neutralize Speedy Stevie. Slaton's good, but he just ain't gonna carry this offense if there's no Schaub-to-A.J threat.

Goatcheese
06-23-2009, 11:48 AM
I cannot agree.
If Slaton goes down BUT we still have our O-line intact (and under Gibbs for a 2nd yr) AND our 8-to-80 connection is clicking like last year, we can salvage the running game with Foster/Moats/whoever.

Remember, Schaub-to-Johnson clicked before Slaton got here, when our only "running game" was Ron Dayne and Darius Walker. So its not like Slaton was the guy who turned our offense around. We had a fair-to-good offense without Slaton and before Alex Gibbs.

Now there's no doubt that Slaton gave our running game a turbo boost, but all is not lost if he gets dinged up. With the O-line going into year 2 under Alex Gibbs and the best of Foster/Johnson/Moats/Brown at RB we can still make the running game something to be respected even without Slaton.

OTOH, if there's no A.J. deep threat (and I'm not sure there is without Schaub getting the ball to him) defenses won't worry about our passing attack beating them deep. So they'll put the 8 in the box and neutralize Speedy Stevie. Slaton's good, but he just ain't gonna carry this offense if there's no Schaub-to-A.J threat.

Two things:

1. While the 8 to 80 connection is a huge part of the offense, they work best off of play action. If Slaton goes down I just can't see teams biting on the play fake, ever.

2. Is Schaub's health. Without a good running game this offense is going to be very pass heavy. Without Slaton to worry about teams will pin their ears back and come after #8 so he doesn't have time to look for #80. We'll either get Matt killed or end up running the bubble screen to AJ 15 times a game.

ObsiWan
06-23-2009, 02:01 PM
Two things:

1. While the 8 to 80 connection is a huge part of the offense, they work best off of play action. If Slaton goes down I just can't see teams biting on the play fake, ever.

2. Is Schaub's health. Without a good running game this offense is going to be very pass heavy. Without Slaton to worry about teams will pin their ears back and come after #8 so he doesn't have time to look for #80. We'll either get Matt killed or end up running the bubble screen to AJ 15 times a game.

Here's where we disagree. Slaton was not here in 07 and we made play-action work with Ron-freekin'-Dayne. I'm thinking that, with a healthy/intact O-line (and 3TP is right, this is a also big key!), Foster or Moats or even Chris Brown (for the few games he's healthy) will be effective enough to make play action a threat that must be respected.

WRT your item #2; there are adjustments we can - and will - make if Slaton goes down. I think we can make defenses pay for all-out blitzes without Slaton in the lineup by adjusting our blocking schemes and blitz recognition with appropriate hot routes/audibles. That's not HWWNBN at QB; this Schaub guy can actually make pre-snap reads. So....
- Maybe Schaub calls quick slants to A.J./K.W./O.D. or uses 3-step drops when he sees a blitz...
- Maybe we use Leach in the backfield and let him knockout whoever the blitzer is.
- Maybe we run more double TE sets and see if Hill is the stud blocker he's supposed to be.
- Maybe we do all of the above.

Think about it... if we "know" defenses are inclined to blitz because Slaton is out (and, like some of you they think we HAVE to pass) but we counter with max-protect, that leaves some poor CB one-on-one with A.J. or O.D. covered by some LB...

That doesn't sound like a bad thing to me.