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jppaul
11-05-2009, 03:20 PM
Good stuff.

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcsouth/post/_/id/5296/pollard-a-big-piece-of-texans-improving-d

"In October, the Texans were the fifth-best defense in the league based on yardage surrendered, and 10th in scoring defense. The defensive improvements from the first three games to the last five are remarkable, as you can see in this handy chart the team provided.

....

Pollard has not solved the Texans' troubles by himself. He has been a positive influence in exemplifying the theme thatís so popular around the league: Do your job while trusting that the guy to your right, to your left, in front of you, and behind you will do his. He said heís seen that trust grow, and with success comes additional confidence.

....

Tackling was a major issue early this season, when, for example, Tennessee Titans halfback Chris Johnson accounted for 284 yards against Houston. Sixty-nine of them came when he lined up wide to the left uncovered. Kerry Collins got the ball to him immediately, and the Texans didnít even have a chance to miss tackles. It was Barberís mistake, and he was benched for it with Busing replacing him.

Now concerns over such matters are much smaller.

..."

jppaul
11-05-2009, 03:33 PM
BTW, 260 yards a game allowed is good for 1st place on defense, and 58 yards a game allowed is good for 1st place by 20 yards over the steelers. 202 yards a game allowed passing is good for 13 overall.

TexCanada
11-05-2009, 03:41 PM
While numbers are a lot of fun to play with, and a decent way to compare ourselves to other teams, our true measuring stuck will be the game this sunday.

gtexan02
11-05-2009, 03:51 PM
While numbers are a lot of fun to play with, and a decent way to compare ourselves to other teams, our true measuring stuck will be the game this sunday.

Not really. Bad defense and good defenses get lit up by the Colts. Sometimes good defenses get lit up by bad offensive teams when they are in the same division (see Cleveland vs Cinci this year).

If we win or lose, get blown out or dominate, it really doesn't tell me a whole bunch because its a divisional road game against Peyton the devil

GP
11-05-2009, 04:18 PM
Pollard says all the right things, too. He talks his teammates up.

And he isn't trying to claim to be good at everything. He admits that he does a couple things really well: Being in the right spots and taking the right angles on ball carriers, and hitting hard/tackling well.

You have to like a guy who isn't trying to do everything. If he can do one great thing, he does it with consistency and he lets others do the other things he can't.

The problem we had with our secondary was a lack of game-to-game consistency. Heck, it even appeared they didn't know what to do or where to be half the time. Pollard is obviously a student of the game, and he (like Eugene Wilson did) has brought that student mentality to our secondary.

I can't believe I feel THIS good about our secondary, but Dunta, Reeves, Glover, Wilson, and Pollard are doing a pretty good job of being consistent.

I also think we can't begin to comprehend what Cushing has brought to this defense, either. Not to slight DeMeco or Diles. But he completed our LBs, IMO. DeMeco needed two reliable guys in there with him.

At first, I was shaky about our chances vs. the Colts. But the past few days, my confidence is growing. I was laying in bed last night, and I was tired from work. And I thought "I'm 33 and feel run down and tired, and I haven't put in all the hours of film work, meetings, training, practice, and actual NFL games. How do those guys do it? How do they do it for so long?"

It's then that you realize why so many turn to PEDs and other things to keep them going. Think about the absolute punishment your mind, emotions, and body is taking over the course of an NFL season that starts with camp in June or July and then ends 6 or 7 months later. Wow.

It also made me think about toning down how critical I am during a game when one of our guys doesn't do as well as we want him to. I'm going to have a better respect and understanding of what those guys go through so that we can enjoy watching football.

I think what started my introspection about all of this was when I read SheTexans' post about being behind the bench at the Texans-Bills game and how she felt when she saw OD injured and on the sideline. The absolute conviction in her post, about how she felt and how she wanted to somehow help the guy, made me think about what those guys do and the price they pay.

TheRealJoker
11-05-2009, 05:03 PM
These quotes from the article in particular stuck out to me from Pollard:

I take pride with my tackling, I take pride in being in the right places,Ē he said. ďI watch games around the league and you see guys get interceptions. I wish that could happen with me. But I donít have time to try to bait quarterbacks, because when you try to bait, things happen. Some guys get away with it.

ďIím not that player. I am a player if you expect me to be wherever on the field, thatís where I am going to be. If that makes the quarterback go to another read, then thatís going to be a coverage sack or heís going to go somewhere else. But I take pride in tackling, I take pride in coming in with high intensity and trying to get my teammates around me to get pumped up.Ē

Pollard has proven to be quite the diamond in the rough for the Texans and has basically salvaged our season. After the first 3 games the holes in our defense were obvious and we would be lucky to finish 8-8 again. But with him in the lineup we've gone 4-1 and now our defense looks like the perfect complement to our offense. Our defense can actually keep us in games when our offense tries to give them away early (as evidenced by the 1st quarter of the Bills game) and now we can actually have confidence that our defense will be able to "seal the deal" and finish a game when the other team is driving for the game winning td (49ers game).

Pollard has had a Bob Sanders effect on our defense. He isn't the playmaker Sanders is, but the defense around him is a whole lot more talented than the defense Sanders was on when the Colts won the SB. He's brought consistency to the defense which is the most we could've really asked for of any safety candidate this offseason.

Porky
11-05-2009, 05:28 PM
You know what though - this just validates what me and SWT for that matter 99% of the fans on this board were saying. The safety play was atricious and for 8 years this team thru multiple regimes just totally ignored it. Now we have average...to dare I say above average safety play with Wilson and Pollard and viola all the sudden the D looks good. Granted, I know there are other pieces in place as well (see Cushing, Brian) but it pisses me off that this team treated the safetys like some sort of interchangable part that didn't even matter for practically a decade. What the hell is that?

Now Pollard isn't elite. He isn't going to have a Sanders, Troy P, Ed Reed type impact nor does he have their talent. But he is good at what he is good at, knows his assignment and always seems to be where he is supposed to, is at least "capable" in the passing game, excellent in the run game, plays with heart and passion and compared to Barber and his ilk is a huge upgrade. Pollard is the best safety we have seen cross thru these parts in 8 years. That says more about the Texans than it does Pollard, but thank goodness that KC's loss was our gain.

TimeKiller
11-05-2009, 05:32 PM
I don't even know if it's just Pollard or the fact that we have someone at the SS who is actually contributing to the defense. Guy is a solid run stopper and puts that on display every game which is a new thing from Texans SS's. Gotta have some of that "seek and destroy" mentality to play SS and I think we've become a little to used to seeing "watch and hope something good happens"

JimC
11-05-2009, 07:26 PM
Pollard is exactly the type of player that requires good coaching. He does certain things well and consistently, and his abilities and weaknesses are well understood. It is up to the coaches to put him in a position to maximize the benefits of his abilities and avoid the costs of his weaknesses. So far, the coaches seem to be doing a good job, and Pollard is doing everything being asked of him.

Unfortunately, that may include taking him out of the game this week. Payton Manning has a great ability to manipulate his offense and the opposing defense to create mismatches. If he is consistently able to get Pollard isolated against a quick tight end or slot receiver, the coaches may be forced to pull Pollard out in favor of a better cover safety. Of course, then you have to worry about Manning isolating the other safety on a running play...

That is one of the disadvantages of facing someone like Manning who can change the play and the formation based on how the defense lines up.

thunderkyss
11-05-2009, 08:32 PM
You know what though - this just validates what me and SWT for that matter 99% of the fans on this board were saying. The safety play was atricious and for 8 years this team thru multiple regimes just totally ignored it.

but it pisses me off that this team treated the safetys like some sort of interchangable part that didn't even matter for practically a decade. What the hell is that?


I don't know if Kubiak just had bigger fish to fry, or if he just finally gave up.... he came in saying the safety position needs to be interchangeable, and not have a true FS, and true SS.... & that was the way they always treated our safeties.... 4-3 under also requires the safeties to interchange as well as the Will & SAM.

But maybe that was Richard Smith's deal, and Kubiak just didn't know any better.

I also think crediting Pollard with this huge turnaround is a little naive.

Reeves came back, & Dunta & Cushing started playing better. We started seeing more Barwin...

Not to mention week 5 is only 8 games (including the preseason) under Frank Bush's scheme. Which so far is very different from what we did last year, and every bit as aggressive as he said it would be.

TimeKiller
11-05-2009, 08:48 PM
Unfortunately, that may include taking him out of the game this week. Payton Manning has a great ability to manipulate his offense and the opposing defense to create mismatches. If he is consistently able to get Pollard isolated against a quick tight end or slot receiver, the coaches may be forced to pull Pollard out in favor of a better cover safety. Of course, then you have to worry about Manning isolating the other safety on a running play...


I think he'll be fine for the most part but I am curious to see if maybe they stick Quin in on passing downs. 3rd and longs. If Dallas Clark is burning BP up Quin gives you the coverage over the top and you don't lose too much in tackling.

DocBar
11-05-2009, 09:39 PM
I don't know if Kubiak just had bigger fish to fry, or if he just finally gave up.... he came in saying the safety position needs to be interchangeable, and not have a true FS, and true SS.... & that was the way they always treated our safeties.... 4-3 under also requires the safeties to interchange as well as the Will & SAM.

But maybe that was Richard Smith's deal, and Kubiak just didn't know any better.
I also think crediting Pollard with this huge turnaround is a little naive.

Reeves came back, & Dunta & Cushing started playing better. We started seeing more Barwin...

Not to mention week 5 is only 8 games (including the preseason) under Frank Bush's scheme. Which so far is very different from what we did last year, and every bit as aggressive as he said it would be. I never understand that thought process. How could an offensive coach not have as much understanding of the defenders role as the defensive coaches? They couldn't devise ways to exploit them if they didn't. That should be the same on either side of the ball. I would think that Kubiak listened to his DC on personnel a little more than he should have when the product on the field was shown to be different.
One thing to add about the defense is that Bush is on record as admitting he has limited his playbook since week 3 or 4 so the D could concentrate on being in the right spots to help eliminate some of the big plays we gave up.

Hookem Horns
11-05-2009, 09:55 PM
What really shocked me in that article is the Texans have the #1 rushing defense in the league for the last 5 games. Now who would have thought that when Rob Bironus could have rushed for 100 yards against us during those first 3 weeks?

jppaul
11-05-2009, 10:29 PM
Funny, I remember the players saying that the D coordinator was putting them in position to make plays but their gap discipline was off. Great to see it finally working

thunderkyss
11-05-2009, 10:52 PM
What really shocked me in that article is the Texans have the #1 rushing defense in the league for the last 5 games. Now who would have thought that when Rob Bironus could have rushed for 100 yards against us during those first 3 weeks?

What's really cool about that, is that Cedric Benson was the league leader in rushing when we went to Cincinnati. Frank Gore was having a great season before coming to Houston. Fred Jackson & Marshawn Lynch was a threatening 1-2 punch..... & we played them all in that 5 week window.

mattieuk
11-05-2009, 11:27 PM
What really shocked me in that article is the Texans have the #1 rushing defense in the league for the last 5 games. Now who would have thought that when Rob Bironus could have rushed for 100 yards against us during those first 3 weeks?

There were a few who were of the opinion that the defense was turning, after the Titans debacle, but sure enough, the changes were being made, and it just took a little to really start clicking. Sure Pollard has been a great addition to the team, but I think that Bush has really, really changed things, and that hasn't solely been because of the Cush, and sorting out the Safety issue.

Man is it good to have a defense that we can feel proud about, and not have to worry about typing 'stop playing prevent' over, and over, and over.

Insideop
11-06-2009, 10:08 PM
Great article on Pollard.

At the Draft this year I was hoping the Texans would get Chung, the SS out of Oregon, but the Pats got him early in the 2nd rd. I just wanted them to get someone, like Sanders, who was a big hitter and played with an attitude. I was disappointed we only picked up a safety in the 7th rd. Another one of those "tweener" types, Troy Nolan, who ended up on IR early.

Needless to say, I'm ecstatic that we were able to get Pollard off waivers (What the heck was KC thinking?) and have him come in and play the way he has. He definitely has made a big difference on this defense. I know he is just part of the equation of this defense playing as well as it has, but I'm just glad all the pieces are finally coming together at the same time. It's time to enjoy the ride! Go:d:and kick some arse!

76Texan
11-06-2009, 11:18 PM
I don't know if Kubiak just had bigger fish to fry, or if he just finally gave up.... he came in saying the safety position needs to be interchangeable, and not have a true FS, and true SS.... & that was the way they always treated our safeties.... 4-3 under also requires the safeties to interchange as well as the Will & SAM.

But maybe that was Richard Smith's deal, and Kubiak just didn't know any better.

I also think crediting Pollard with this huge turnaround is a little naive.

Reeves came back, & Dunta & Cushing started playing better. We started seeing more Barwin...

Not to mention week 5 is only 8 games (including the preseason) under Frank Bush's scheme. Which so far is very different from what we did last year, and every bit as aggressive as he said it would be.Everybody wished their safeties and OLBs are interchangeable.
But you can't find good players that easily.

We played better the last 5 games because:
- The interior line played better.
- The LB corp played better (they were already good at the start)
- The CBs played better overall.
- The new SS played better.

With so many players stepping up, it was little wonder the D has become so tough.

PHAROAH
11-07-2009, 03:43 AM
While numbers are a lot of fun to play with, and a decent way to compare ourselves to other teams, our true measuring stuck will be the game this sunday.

I agree with you this is the true test this week and we have them 3 weeks later so this game is huge for us and a win would be true indicator of how far we have come.




:fans::roast:

HJam72
11-07-2009, 04:43 AM
Looking at many of the long runs against our D in those first 3 games, it was obvious that we had guys out of position getting the whole D burned....and that the SS was majorly at fault. I'll say it in a negative sense, because it's easier to say that way and get the point across (I think), but Pollard is good for this team because he is neither selfish enough or dumb enough not to be where he knows darn well he is supposed to be. He plays for the team and lets somebody else be the hero in the O's backfield.

whiskeyrbl
11-07-2009, 05:14 AM
This is somewhat off topic but not that much. The Texans signed former USC safety Darnell Bing(Oakland Raiders LB) to their PS. With our depth at LB do y'all think we will try and put him back at his normal position of safety? He was good in college but the Raiders tried to convert him to LB and he never really got going. The reason I ask is because we seem to have made a good move in getting Pollard here and he is a big safety at 6'1 224, and Bing is 6'2 220. Could you imagine those two big safeties in at the same time laying the wood? Thoughts'??????

HJam72
11-07-2009, 05:33 AM
Somebody's gotta be a FS. Is Bing that good in pass coverage at that size, because (extreme example) we don't need two SSs against Manning.

whiskeyrbl
11-07-2009, 05:57 AM
Somebody's gotta be a FS. Is Bing that good in pass coverage at that size, because (extreme example) we don't need two SSs against Manning.

They had him down as a 4.5 40 SS. I just remember the guy was a standout at USC. I guess they couldn't be on the field at the same time.

thunderkyss
11-07-2009, 09:40 AM
They had him down as a 4.5 40 SS. I just remember the guy was a standout at USC. I guess they couldn't be on the field at the same time.

I watch very little college ball, but I do remember Bing. If I recall correct, he was an in the box safety, ala Roy Williams of the Cowboys. He was basically a 4th LB for the Trojans.

I remember he was being projected to be a LB in the draft, & no one was surprised by the Raiders making him a LB.

I would also love to have a WILL that used to be Safety, because we need LBs with Range who can/will lay the wood.