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Wolf
03-26-2005, 02:05 PM
Team Needs: Houston Texans
Lane Adkins - Scout.com
March 17, 2005 at 1:26pm ET

Constructing the Houston Texans from the ground up hasn't been the slow, tedious process many thought it would be. Not wanting to short cut the process, the Texans have been a modest player in free agency and built the team mainly through the draft.

Coming off a 7-9 record in their third season, the Texans are on the cusp of becoming a consistent competitor in the NFL. The team's front office led by general manager Charley Casserly understands player evaluation and has a realistic sense of direction.

Even though quarterback David Carr endured an up-and-down year, wide receiver Andre Johnson proved to be the ultimate weapon at wide receiver, and running back Domanick Davis was a solid contributor. The Texans also received a little taste of the defensive talents of cornerback Dunta Robinson and linebacker Jason Babin .

Improving speed and quickness throughout the roster will be a major focus in the offseason. The Texans were ranked 24th against the pass, with the lack of a pass rush being the key factor. Consistent pressure on the quarterback is a necessity if the defense is going to improve in 2005.

LOOKING AHEAD

The signing of Miami linebacker Morlon Greenwood indicated that the Texans are serious about improving their defensive front seven's speed and quickness. The athletic Greenwood is slated to play on the inside and, with his good range and solid coverage skills, is expected to provide the defense a different look. Despite not having the reputation of a difference maker, Greenwood appears to be a solid fit in Houston's scheme.

The Texans have given starting linebackers Jamie Sharper and Jay Foreman permission to seek a trade this offseason, but it would be surprising to see both of them leave. Still, Houston, which holds the 13th overall selection in the draft, has been rumored to be evaluating linebacker prospects.

When healthy, the Texans have a stout defensive line. Gary Walker , Robaire Smith and Seth Payne make up a solid front. Injuries have prevented Walker and Payne from playing a full season in either 2003 or 2004, but both will take part in spring practice.

The offense still needs a few tools to complement the talents of Carr and Johnson. The offensive line has been a work in progress for three seasons, with Carr taking the brunt for the line's inexperience, marginal talent and inconsistency. The performance at offensive tackle remains questionable and the guard play has been average at best. Another talented wide receiver opposite Johnson is also a necessity.

SALARY CAP STATUS

The Texans approximately have $3 million under the league-mandated 2005 salary cap.

TEAM NEEDS

Offensive line If there is one aspect of the Texans' building process that has failed, it has been the development of an offensive line to protect David Carr. Easily sacked and pressured more than any quarterback in the league over the last three seasons, Carr should be begging the front office to improve his line's quality and depth. With linemen flying off the free agency board, the draft is the place where the Texans can find Carr some help.

Safety Strong safety is a weak link in the defensive backfield. Glenn Earl was questionable as the starter, so the Texans will be looking for a replacement.

Cornerback Dunta Robinson had a solid rookie season and could become a shutdown cornerback. After Robinson, though, the position is questionable in both talent and depth. Veteran Aaron Glenn is on the downturn of his career, and another cornerback in the mold of Robinson would allow the defense to play a more aggressive style.

Wide receiver Andre Johnson needs a running mate to open up the passing game. The position needs depth, too.
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=citadel-2_360925_116&prov=citadel&type=story

they didn't seem to go out on a limb on this.
I will be suprised if we go find a replacement for Earl at this time..

ArlingtonTexan
03-26-2005, 02:50 PM
I keep missing what Gleen Earl did so terribly last year after he was the starter. We know that Eric Brown was not effective, but Earl did not seem to be the negative that the internet scouts want to make him out to be.

D-ReK
03-26-2005, 03:02 PM
I keep missing what Gleen Earl did so terribly last year after he was the starter. We know that Eric Brown was not effective, but Earl did not seem to be the negative that the internet scouts want to make him out to be.

It's easy to see that Earl is being used as a scapegoat by the internet scouts...Our pass defense was in the bottom third of the league, if I remember correctly, and of course that needs to be remedied...These "scouts" look over our depth chart and see D-Rob, Glenn, and Coleman and think, "They're all solid players, so it must be the 4th round rookie strong safety's fault," completely overlooking the real problem, which is the lack of a pass rush...

Hottoddie
03-26-2005, 03:12 PM
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=citadel-2_360925_116&prov=citadel&type=story
I will be suprised if we go find a replacement for Earl at this time..


I agree. But, if they were looking to take another SS in the draft, look for them to make a run at James Sanders, if he's there in the late rounds. With the release of Brown, they just might draft another SS in the late rounds.

JAMES SANDERS (http://www.nfl.com/draft/profiles/2005/sanders_james)

OVERVIEW

A physical defender who can cover and hit, Sanders was considered one of the top defenders in the Western Athletic Conference. The Fresno State staff called Sanders the best defensive back to ever wear a Bulldogs uniform. The coaches cite his football intelligence and stellar play for the team's defensive accomplishments in 2004. The Fresno State squad ranked fourth in the nation in passing defense efficiency that season, with a mark of 97.9 and led the conference in total defense, allowing only 331.7 yards per game.

ANALYSIS

Positives: Shows good upper body definition, with a thick chest, broad shoulders, good arms, tight waist, good bubble and hamstrings Plays hard consistently, and has a non-stop motor Has good balance and body control with quickness and better-than-average speed Good open field tackler who might not be as athletic as the Rams' Adam Archuleta, but shows the same desire and urgency in getting to the football, especially in backside pursuit Anticipates and accelerates to the ball with no hesitation Ball-hawk type with that "go up and get it" attitude to the thrown pass, doing a very good job of timing his leaps Has a very sharp burst to the ball and stays in control when he gets to it Has the athletic ability and body control to adjust to the ball Good open-field tackler who can chase down the plays along the perimeter Effective wrap-up tackler who is better making plays in the open field or in the backfield rather than at the line of scrimmage Has the football savvy needed to read, react and cover ground vs. plays in front of him in zone coverage Has a good feel for the receiver in the zone, getting a quick jump on the ball once he locates it Flies to the football with good speed The type of defender who looks natural looking the ball in, extending for it at its high point with hands extended away from the frame Plays with good functional strength and hits with explosion as a tackler Has an effective swim move to slip off the blocker's shoulder coming off the edge Times his hits and when he lowers the boom, the receiver will feel it for several plays Very good at anticipating the snap count and finding a clear lane to disrupt action in the backfield.

Negatives: While he has good strength, he does not possess great bulk Can get stonewalled at the line of scrimmage by the offensive linemen due to size issues Needs to stay in control, as he sometimes is so intent on attacking the ball, he forgets to wrap, secure and tackle Susceptible to play action, but has the foot quickness to recover Has good open field acceleration, but lacks the top-end speed to stay with the speedy receivers on deep routes Backpedal needs refinement, as he looks slow trying to open his hips and turn in transition Good in man coverage vs. the tight ends and backs, but his hip stiffness prevents him from turning and mirroring outside the short area Better working outside the box, as his lack of bulk causes him to get bounced around when trying to work through trash.


AGILITY
4.63 in the 40-yard dash 320-pound bench press 35-inch vertical jump.

keyfro
03-26-2005, 03:14 PM
yeah what the internet scouts don't know is a lot of the passing yards we gave up were because of inaffective linebackers who couldn't cover guys like antonio gates, dallas clark, or kyle brady of all people...foreman always looked loss out there and babin was learning the justs of coverage...you throw payton manning at us twice a year with his offense there is no wonder why we were in the bottom third in pass defense...duh :wacko:

Errant Hothy
03-26-2005, 03:14 PM
It's an articel written by Lane Adkins...who?...that's right the great Lane Adkins, you know the great sports reported from yahoo.com, you lnow the definitive source for sports news. I mean c'mon this guy is NEVER wrong. :listening :listening :listening

gg no re
03-26-2005, 04:13 PM
Doesn't the entire AFC South rank dead last in pass defense?

keyfro
03-26-2005, 08:30 PM
yes for the most part the entire afc south ranks at the bottom of the list

TexansTrueFan
03-27-2005, 03:09 AM
we have a secondary that has the ability to be one of the top in the league, if the DL can get a little pressure on the QB, so he wont have all day to throw the ball than our secondary wouldnt have to chase WR around the field all day, which i'm sure is not an easy job. We need just a few more pieces/healthy players in place and we will have a top ranked Defense/secondary !

Texansbacker
03-27-2005, 10:18 PM
So what is the general consensus on Glenn Earl? I was really hoping from all they hype surrounding his selection that he was going to be the next coming of Blaine Bishop or Bubba McDowell.

The Oilers had some great Defenses I would like to rekindle again in H-town.

Check out this link to some pictures of the old timers from the Oilers.

http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/nfl/tenhou/houoilerspics.html

TexansTrueFan
03-27-2005, 10:23 PM
i think earl played the position very well when he stepped in but some on this board dont think so, say he's poor in coverage, i persoanlly never say him give up and big pass plays. But he was good against the run !

Texansbacker
03-27-2005, 10:30 PM
And wasn't Earl still recovering from a knee injury? I would think coming into the NFL as a rookie at less than 100% would be difficult for even the best athletes. I hope he is a terror in camp this year!! I am also hoping for Joppru to bust out and be a real gem but then again I was hoping that last year. However, patience is a virtue.

TexansTrueFan
03-27-2005, 10:50 PM
i think a lot of people forget that Earl was still recovering from knee surgrey and wasnt 100%, he was prolly still pretty cautious !

Vinny
03-27-2005, 11:01 PM
i think earl played the position very well when he stepped in but some on this board dont think so, say he's poor in coverage, i persoanlly never say him give up and big pass plays. But he was good against the run !I read all the posts and don't recall much of this kind of comment if any. You could point it out to me if you would be so good, but I think you are just commenting just to comment again.

The Texans defense had its best moments once he started at the end of the year.

"By the second half of the season, Robinson was our best defensive player. Glenn Earl became our starting strong safety over the second half of his rookie season.

"We weren't a good defensive team over the first half of the season, but we really started to come on. Over our last four games, we allowed three defensive touchdowns, and that included a game against the Colts. We went 13 straight quarters without allowing a touchdown.
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/fb/nfl/3103909

wags
03-27-2005, 11:06 PM
The Texans defense had its best moments once he started at the end of the year.

I don't think you can attribute that to Earl though. Just like it would be unfair to say that our defense is best when Marcus Coleman is on IR.

Vinny
03-27-2005, 11:09 PM
Earl solidified a problem position. I think he had something to do with our defense improving. I don't think it is a coincidence like you imply.

texasguy346
03-27-2005, 11:11 PM
I think Earl made his own contribution to the defense improving, but I think the maturation of Babin and Robinson was key as well. The intensity I saw in the Texans defense in the beginning and the end of the season was like day and night. If they continue to improve like they have we should have a formidable defense for years to come.

TexansTrueFan
03-27-2005, 11:15 PM
I read all the posts and don't recall much of this kind of comment if any. You could point it out to me if you would be so good, but I think you are just commenting just to comment again.

The Texans defense had its best moments once he started at the end of the year.


http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/fb/nfl/3103909


ok Vinny well i couldnt find the Earl thread, and i think earl helped out or D, it seemed when Brown was in there we were always getting burned deep (he had no coverage skills) !!! But i was just implying that there WAS a thread talking about Earl and there WAS quite a few people talking about how we need to draft for the postion cause Earl was not starting quality, if you'd like to try to find the post be my guest, cause i couldnt.

wags
03-27-2005, 11:23 PM
but I think the maturation of Babin and Robinson was key as well.

Dunta was really good during the latter part of the season, and I think Babin played well also. D-Rob is going to be the leader of our defense next year IMO.

As far as Earl goes, I think it's hard to argue he's good or bad. The man didn't do a whole lot. It's hard to say he looked good or bad, because he was almost invisible at times. I think if a safety deserves credit for the end of the season it would have to be McCree. He filled in for Coleman and actually played well.

Vinny
03-27-2005, 11:24 PM
Since he wasn't isolated and lit up I think that it is a good sign. When you are a weak link you get picked on. Matt Stevens, Eric Brown and Jay Foreman can tell you that.

wags
03-27-2005, 11:26 PM
Eric Brown and Jay Foreman can tell you that.

I would have liked to have seen if Earl could have covered Gates, because Brown sure couldn't.

Panther5407
03-27-2005, 11:26 PM
Dunta was really good during the latter part of the season, and I think Babin played well also. D-Rob is going to be the leader of our defense next year IMO.

As far as Earl goes, I think it's hard to argue he's good or bad. The man didn't do a whole lot. It's hard to say he looked good or bad, because he was almost invisible at times. I think if a safety deserves credit for the end of the season it would have to be McCree. He filled in for Coleman and actually played well.

I think as far as Earl he did pretty good. You didnt hear his name alot duriing plays. That seems to pretty good not hearing "the reciever blows past earl for a touchdown" or anything on those lines. He kinda quietly did his thing last year.

texasguy346
03-27-2005, 11:30 PM
Perhaps I'm a bit biased about Earl. I tried to watch him closely when he was in the game, and for a young safety coming off an injury he played pretty well. I don't recall him blowing coverage, and he always seemed to be where he was supposed to be. He played well against the run, but he could certainly improve. I fully expect him to excell next year and I'm looking forward to see him lay the wood on some people. I really want to see him thumping RBs when he meets them in the hole. I'm sure we'll all admit that he played much better than Brown did at SS, and that's pretty good for a rookie.

D-ReK
03-28-2005, 12:22 AM
Earl played well last year and deserves to be our starting SS next year...That said, last year he didn't prove himself to be a difference maker...In games he started, he averaged about 4 tackles a game with no sacks, no INTs, no forced fumbles, and no fumble recoveries...I'm not saying that he won't prove to be a playmaker in the future, but for he, he still has to prove himself...

Texansbacker
03-28-2005, 01:10 AM
Since he wasn't isolated and lit up I think that it is a good sign. When you are a weak link you get picked on. Matt Stevens, Eric Brown and Jay Foreman can tell you that.

Those are 3 definite weak links and Coleman, Earl, & Greenwood are all definite upgrades at each position, certainly a much faster team. Add a LB, like a Michael Barrow, to replace Sharper and our team will have rapidly improved.

Then hope that LB Derrick Johnson falls to the Texans.

TexansTrueFan
03-28-2005, 01:15 AM
Those are 3 definite weak links and Coleman, Earl, & Greenwood are all definite upgrades at each position, certainly a much faster team. Add a LB, like a Michael Barrow, to replace Sharper and our team will have rapidly improved.

Then hope that LB Derrick Johnson falls to the Texans.


i like all the ugrades, but i was think we have wong move back inside with Greenwood and have babin and peek on the outside,,,but if we were to get DJ thatd be awesome,,, but even so i'd still like the starting outside to be peek and babin,,,with wong coming in to keep them fresh !

D-ReK
03-28-2005, 01:29 AM
Add a LB, like a Michael Barrow, to replace Sharper and our team will have rapidly improved

I've got to disagree with you on this...Barrow is soon to be 35 and coverage has never been his strong point...I don't think Barrow would be an upgrade over Sharper...

rittenhouserobz
03-28-2005, 08:23 AM
The OLB's need to improve the pass rush for the coverage to improve. You could have cloned 4 Deon Sanders in his prime to play the in the Texans secondary and they still would have had trouble against Peyton with our inconsistent pass rush.

BornOrange
03-28-2005, 10:28 AM
One underlooked aspect of the pass defense from last year is that injuries at different times really prevented the Texans from using the personnel they wanted to. Once Earl took over for Brown, I'm sure the Texans wanted Earl to only be a two-down player with Jason Simmons coming in for him on third downs. Unfortunately, Simmons was out of the lineup due to his concussion. Then, when Simmons returned Coleman ended up on injured reserve so Simmons had to finish the year playing free safety.

If everyone remains healthy, I expect Simmons to step in for Earl when the Texans go into their nickle and dime packages. Earl will get to concentrate on stopping the run and learning to read passes on first and second down. Eventually, Earl will become an every down safety. He actually didn't do a bad job last year when forced into playing more than the Texans would have liked, but with Simmons on the team the Texans would be foolish not to switch him in for Earl in passing situations.

Texansbacker
03-28-2005, 11:09 AM
I've got to disagree with you on this...Barrow is soon to be 35 and coverage has never been his strong point...I don't think Barrow would be an upgrade over Sharper...


Sorry, I didn't write that right. I meant we should pick-up through the draft a Michael Barrow "type" not actually Michael Barrow. Like the rookie Mike Barrow coming in on the Oiler's Buddy Ryan 46 D, replacing big Al Smith at linebacker who was injured. He increased the intensity of the D.

I agree with you that a 35 year old Barrow would be a step backwards from 31 year old Sharper.

Texansbacker
03-28-2005, 11:14 AM
The OLB's need to improve the pass rush for the coverage to improve. You could have cloned 4 Deon Sanders in his prime to play the in the Texans secondary and they still would have had trouble against Peyton with our inconsistent pass rush.


I agree with you that the Texans need to improve their pass rush, but we were getting after Peyton when the Colts were at Reliant this past season, but the refs were unmerciful in bad calls. A CONSISTENT pass rush will be the key to success of our D.

cadahnic
03-28-2005, 01:03 PM
DJ would be perfect compliment inside with Greenwood and then Peek and Wong fight it out for the starting ROLB position. BABIN better bring it this year cause I am still not convinced we did not reach for him and give up some damn good player depth in order to get him. Peek and Wong can provide pass rush and babin to me seems kinda like Teddy Brushi without the coverage skills. Greenwood is serviceable and no real upgrade. Please ohh please let him prove me wrong.

TheOgre
03-28-2005, 01:05 PM
Lets see what Earl can do before we replace him. I don't think many will dispute that he played better than Brown. Lets see what he can do this season with more experience and an additional year removed from his major injury.