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View Full Version : Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!


dalemurphy
10-19-2010, 10:53 PM
One month ago, I would have argued that our starting linebackers (including Cushing) were, perhaps, the best group of 4-3 backers in the NFL. Well, Demeco is out for the year, Diles is playing horribly the past few weeks, and Cushing has been inconsistent in his two games since returning from suspension. It is going to be very interesting to see how MLB is addressed over the next few days. Judging by Diles’ performance and the confusion of the defense after he slid over to MLB at halftime, I am doubtful he is the solution there. However, there are a host of problems if it is someone else. First, Xavier Adibi is the linebacker the Texans like first off the bench. However, he is exclusively a WLB. So, starting Adibi would mean Diles has to move to the middle. Bentley is a solid option at MLB. He’s a good tackler and can handle the defensive calls. However, his lack of speed is a serious liability in coverage. And, if he is inserted at MLB due to his ability to run the defense, he will still be removed in nickel, which would mean someone else would take over quarterbacking the defense. Daryl Sharpton has the ability to play every down at MLB. However, not only is he a rookie, but he has been inactive most of the regular season due to injury. And, I’m not sure how excited the Texans are about replacing the defensive leader with a rookie in the midst of all the issues with the youth in the secondary. That hardly seems like an ideal way to create stability and lessen the confusion that has been evident.

All of that being said, this is a deep and talented group of linebackers. Replacing Demeco may actually improve the athleticism at the position and could be especially beneficial in coverage. At least the staff has the extra week to work on the solution.

Below is some unpleasant video of Cushing and Diles from the KC game. One thing for certain: these two will need to play much better if this team can prosper without Demeco… and, maybe the Ryans’ injury will serve as a wakeup call for them.

(We didn’t have the heart to film David Nixon lowlights. The FCC would probably levy a hefty fine for indecency if we did)

VIDEO OF Diles and Cushing (http://www.texansbullblog.com/zac-diles-cush-lbs/featured-articles/isolated-review/)

devo-x
10-19-2010, 11:10 PM
Do we need to start different LBs (already on the team) or sign a free-agent LB to improve this group's performance?

dalemurphy
10-19-2010, 11:16 PM
Do we need to start different LBs (already on the team) or sign a free-agent LB to improve this group's performance?

I think any signing will be for depth only. You need the MLB to make defensive calls, etc... and, I can not imagine that working with a guy who has only been with the team for 10 days. I think the decision comes down to whether the Texans value the leadership and steadiness of Bentley over the athleticism of Sharpton. I think they will refrain from moving Diles to the middle. He seemed lost. However, maybe being prepared to play it with a week a practice would change that... I'm not sure.

beerlover
10-19-2010, 11:18 PM
Sharpton is the most gifted & natural MIKE of the bunch. Initially I thought the Texans had him projected as the #2 behind DeMeco. Didn't understand why they would post him weakside unless they were not real happy about Diles, which was never mentioned. Cushing, Sharpton, Diles should come out swinging @ Indy, remember their MLB is also a rookie, Angerer & sharpton shows better intstincts for the ball, very quick read & react :twocents:

sorry can't rep you yet must spread around

hradhak
10-20-2010, 06:45 AM
If Sharpton is healthy, I say you play him. He's got the physical skills to replace Demeco. He needs the experience, and we can't really get any worse.

CloakNNNdagger
10-20-2010, 07:23 AM
Funny, how just a few weeks ago, in the context of having such a poor rush and terrible secondary play, the Texans and many fans were saying "At least we don't have to worry about the LB corps with Cushing coming back and all our depth."

But don't worry, Kubiak has assured us, we'll be solving our problems "in house."

http://www.selfhelpdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/square-peg-in-a-round-hole.jpg

Goatcheese
10-20-2010, 07:34 AM
Queue TTP talking about how we needed to draft Clay Mathews because he is the long hard peg that fits in our soft round hole.

gtexan02
10-20-2010, 07:44 AM
What ever happened to Danny Clark?

TimeKiller
10-20-2010, 07:48 AM
Funny, how just a few weeks ago, in the context of having such a poor rush and terrible secondary play, the Texans and many fans were saying "At least we don't have to worry about the LB corps with Cushing coming back and all our depth."

But don't worry, Kubiak has assured us, we'll be solving our problems "in house."

http://www.selfhelpdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/square-peg-in-a-round-hole.jpg

I see what you did there....I expect a Adibi - Diles - Cushing LB crew out there against the Colts but I'm not exactly excited for it. Diles practically walks into blocks and missed tackles, at least Cushing has the excuse of returning from suspension and even then he's more active than anyone other than Antonio Smith. By the way, if we had another DL like Smith we should be good to go, that guy is in the backfield on practically every play.

These film studies are getting worse. It's like they don't understand how a coverage is supposed to contain, let alone STOP a play. DM/B are totally correct that the secondary is a group of individual players instead of just being a group. Zone is trust and their zone/trust in each other is dookie piles.

Hooray for 2 weeks to FIX THE PROBLEM. I mean, at this point it's almost as easy as "Hey, you know how you aren't dropping into your zone....okay so DROP INTO YOUR ZONE!!!"

TEXANS84
10-20-2010, 07:56 AM
What ever happened to Danny Clark?

Danny Clark was picked up after we cut him here. (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=danny+clark+profile)

silvrhand
10-20-2010, 09:07 AM
I see what you did there....I expect a Adibi - Diles - Cushing LB crew out there against the Colts but I'm not exactly excited for it. Diles practically walks into blocks and missed tackles, at least Cushing has the excuse of returning from suspension and even then he's more active than anyone other than Antonio Smith. By the way, if we had another DL like Smith we should be good to go, that guy is in the backfield on practically every play.

These film studies are getting worse. It's like they don't understand how a coverage is supposed to contain, let alone STOP a play. DM/B are totally correct that the secondary is a group of individual players instead of just being a group. Zone is trust and their zone/trust in each other is dookie piles.

Hooray for 2 weeks to FIX THE PROBLEM. I mean, at this point it's almost as easy as "Hey, you know how you aren't dropping into your zone....okay so DROP INTO YOUR ZONE!!!"

That's the good thing about our zone coverage issues they are MENTAL lapses that you see in high school, these SHOULD be fixable. I don't really understand how you can regress this way unless someone is doing a horrawful (shaq refence) job of coaching them...

thunderkyss
10-20-2010, 09:24 AM
VIDEO OF Diles and Cushing (http://www.texansbullblog.com/zac-diles-cush-lbs/featured-articles/isolated-review/)

Is it just me, or are all those run plays to Antonio's side?

On that first play in the Cushing video, please tell me they called that hold against Mario.... please, actually both ends were being held, but that one on Mario was blatant. That must have been one of the plays he didn't take off, since he was in on the tackle on the other side of the field.

scourge
10-20-2010, 09:27 AM
I may be in the minority, I'm not really sure, but I think as soon as Merriman is healthy and released we should do what it takes to sign him. Throw him on the outside and move Diles to the middle. Diles as our MLB isn't exactly encouraging, but the best thing we've got.

BigBull17
10-20-2010, 09:29 AM
I kind of get Cushing, since he is getting up to speed of the game off of a suspension. Diles is who I thought he was.

Goldensilence
10-20-2010, 10:30 AM
I may be in the minority, I'm not really sure, but I think as soon as Merriman is healthy and released we should do what it takes to sign him. Throw him on the outside and move Diles to the middle. Diles as our MLB isn't exactly encouraging, but the best thing we've got.

We both might be in the minority then. Unless Diles just dramatically improves, which is possible considering he played MLB at K-state and has two weeks to ease into the transition better, I sit him and put in Sharpton at MLB.

scourge
10-20-2010, 10:34 AM
We both might be in the minority then. Unless Diles just dramatically improves, which is possible considering he played MLB at K-state and has two weeks to ease into the transition better, I sit him and put in Sharpton at MLB.

I'd be fine with that, though I'd prefer we ease Sharpton in by Diles initially starting with Sharpton being subbed(sp?) in more and more frequently to see if he can handle it.

76Texan
10-20-2010, 10:40 AM
That's the good thing about our zone coverage issues they are MENTAL lapses that you see in high school, these SHOULD be fixable. I don't really understand how you can regress this way unless someone is doing a horrawful (shaq refence) job of coaching them...

I think they are trying to get the players to do too much.
Football players (almost all of them) are not rocket scientists.
I hate to say it again, but our defense is still one of the youngest in the league. That's not even counting all these players who missed games.

In order for all eleven of them to stay on the same page, I would think the coaches should have simplified their assignments to begin the season.
Then they can add things as they see fit.

silvrhand
10-20-2010, 10:43 AM
I think they are trying to get the players to do too much.
Football players (almost all of them) are not rocket scientists.
I hate to say it again, but our defense is still one of the youngest in the league. That's not even counting all these players who missed games.

In order for all eleven of them to stay on the same page, I would think the coaches should have simplified their assignments to begin the season.
Then they can add things as they see fit.

If they are asking our players to do too much in this defense I'd hate to see us move to something like the Jets/Steelers play.. ugh..

76Texan
10-20-2010, 10:46 AM
We both might be in the minority then. Unless Diles just dramatically improves, which is possible considering he played MLB at K-state and has two weeks to ease into the transition better, I sit him and put in Sharpton at MLB.

I think a lot of it depends on the health of these guys.

If they are all healthy, I think (and prefere) that they put Bentley at MLB (experience - he had played MLB for us before) and keep Diles at WILL (experience.)

Get Sharpton to share the load at MLB and give Adibi some snaps at WILL.

In nickel situation, I can see Cushing & Adibi (Sharpton).

In the 4-3, but in obvious passing situation, I see Cush, Sharpton, and Adibi.

Diles is better playing downhill.

76Texan
10-20-2010, 10:47 AM
If they are asking our players to do too much in this defense I'd hate to see us move to something like the Jets/Steelers play.. ugh..

Got to go... will get back later.
But yeah, you need to learn to walk before you can run.

DexmanC
10-20-2010, 11:00 AM
I kind of get Cushing, since he is getting up to speed of the game off of a suspension. Diles is who I thought he was.

A marginal 7th Round LB'er who's playing his worst ball during his contract
year?

BigBull17
10-20-2010, 11:10 AM
A marginal 7th Round LB'er who's playing his worst ball during his contract
year?

A great guy to have as a back up/special teamer but a guy who needed to be replaced as a starter.

DexmanC
10-20-2010, 11:13 AM
A great guy to have as a back up/special teamer but a guy who needed to be replaced as a starter.

Kubiak evaluated him as a "probowler." He was adamant about it all
preseason, refusing to move him from the WILL spot. I guess Diles
is Morlon Greenwood 2.0

False Start
10-20-2010, 11:15 AM
Kubiak evaluated him as a "probowler." He was adamant about it all
preseason, refusing to move him from the WILL spot. I guess Diles
is Morlon Greenwood 2.0

Hes a good kid, that battles, and bust his tail. :texflag:

BigBull17
10-20-2010, 11:28 AM
Kubiak evaluated him as a "probowler." He was adamant about it all
preseason, refusing to move him from the WILL spot. I guess Diles
is Morlon Greenwood 2.0

Well, either Kubiak is wrong, or our Defensive scheme is so bad it's making pro bowlers look like 7th round draft picks from Kansas State.

thunderkyss
10-20-2010, 11:51 AM
I may be in the minority, I'm not really sure, but I think as soon as Merriman is healthy and released we should do what it takes to sign him. Throw him on the outside and move Diles to the middle. Diles as our MLB isn't exactly encouraging, but the best thing we've got.

I can kind of agree with this. Having two rush backers in Cushing & Merriman will allow us to rush the QB from either side.

But I don't believe Merriman would be much of an improvement over Diles in our pass coverage.

If I were going to make a move to fix my problems, that's where I would be going, a LB to produce in pass defense.

BigBull17
10-20-2010, 11:55 AM
I can kind of agree with this. Having two rush backers in Cushing & Merriman will allow us to rush the QB from either side.

But I don't believe Merriman would be much of an improvement over Diles in our pass coverage.

If I were going to make a move to fix my problems, that's where I would be going, a LB to produce in pass defense.

However, when you cant cover, and you cant blitz, means you are in trouble. We know Merryman can rush the QB, and he cna't cover worse than Diles, so whatever.

thunderkyss
10-20-2010, 12:20 PM
We know Merryman can rush the QB, and he cna't cover worse than Diles, so whatever.

We know Merriman used to be able to rush the passer.... back when he spiked his koolaide.

:kitten:

The1ApplePie
10-20-2010, 12:30 PM
Cush played MLB at USC for a few stretches when Rey Rey went down and beasted there.

We need more muscle in the middle of the defense, especially with our DTs being the worst in the NFL.

BigBull17
10-20-2010, 12:37 PM
We know Merriman used to be able to rush the passer.... back when he spiked his koolaide.

:kitten:

Valid point.

IDEXAN
10-20-2010, 12:57 PM
Kubiak evaluated him as a "probowler." He was adamant about it all
preseason, refusing to move him from the WILL spot.
Exactly, that's Kubiaks opinion, which is really the only one that's really important to the NFL career of Zac Diles here in Houston.. Then there's DMs opinion of Diles which along with 50 cents or a buck or whatever will get you a cup of coffee.

scourge
10-20-2010, 01:25 PM
We know Merriman used to be able to rush the passer.... back when he spiked his koolaide.

:kitten:

Same as Cushing, though Cushing hasn't yet put up Merriman numbers prior to end of his juicing days... maybe Cush can take him to the gym so he can work on jumping over 64" hurdles:thinking:

Rey
10-20-2010, 09:14 PM
Maybe Diles has lost some of his edge. Some legit competition for his spot next year should cure that.

thunderkyss
10-20-2010, 09:29 PM
Maybe Diles has lost some of his edge. Some legit competition for his spot next year should cure that.

With the similarity to Demeco, and our coaches praise, I doubt Kubiak will be looking to replace him anytime soon. Well be frustrated with his "neglect" of the WILL just like he's "neglected" the FS "neglected" the CB & "neglected" the DT positions for years.

Or...... we'll realize that what Kubiak is looking for in a player is not what we think he should be looking for in a player.

Kubiak seems to like LBs that are fast... sideline to sideline.. & strong downhill players. He doesn't care much for cover LBs.

silvrhand
10-20-2010, 09:33 PM
With the similarity to Demeco, and our coaches praise, I doubt Kubiak will be looking to replace him anytime soon. Well be frustrated with his "neglect" of the WILL just like he's "neglected" the FS "neglected" the CB & "neglected" the DT positions for years.

Or...... we'll realize that what Kubiak is looking for in a player is not what we think he should be looking for in a player.

Kubiak seems to like LBs that are fast... sideline to sideline.. & strong downhill players. He doesn't care much for cover LBs.

I still don't get what you think Demeco has dropped off on, he's got no help in the center and is still making a ton of tackles per year..

JB
10-20-2010, 09:40 PM
I still don't get what you think Demeco has dropped off on, he's got no help in the center and is still making a ton of tackles per year..

Demeco is a terrific run defender, but is a liability if he has to cover anything in pass defense. He is not the best cover 2 mlb in the league at all.

thunderkyss
10-20-2010, 09:42 PM
Demeco is a terrific run defender, but is a liability if he has to cover anything in pass defense. He is not the best cover 2 mlb in the league at all.

Cover 2, man, cover 3... doesn't really matter. Demeco plays behind the LOS, which is cool....

silvrhand
10-20-2010, 09:47 PM
Demeco is a terrific run defender, but is a liability if he has to cover anything in pass defense. He is not the best cover 2 mlb in the league at all.

Ok, he's still one of top MLB in the game right now, 5th or so?

JB
10-20-2010, 10:00 PM
Ok, he's still one of top MLB in the game right now, 5th or so?


Absolutely! Without a doubt he his in the top 5 in the NFL. But, pass coverage is his weakest link.

Rey
10-20-2010, 10:01 PM
With the similarity to Demeco, and our coaches praise, I doubt Kubiak will be looking to replace him anytime soon. Well be frustrated with his "neglect" of the WILL just like he's "neglected" the FS "neglected" the CB & "neglected" the DT positions for years.

Or...... we'll realize that what Kubiak is looking for in a player is not what we think he should be looking for in a player.

Kubiak seems to like LBs that are fast... sideline to sideline.. & strong downhill players. He doesn't care much for cover LBs.

I don' t know if he'll be looking to replace him anytime soon, but he did draft Sharpton fairly high...

Who would you say Sharpton has the best chance of taking snaps away from...

Demeco, Cushing or Diles?

I don't even think that the team is past drafting another LB next year in the mid rounds...Especially with all the injury problems we have there...

Heck, Sharpton could be that legit competition I was talking about...let a lone us drafting or signing a talented guy...

Rey
10-20-2010, 10:05 PM
I still don't get what you think Demeco has dropped off on, he's got no help in the center and is still making a ton of tackles per year..

Morlon Greenwood used to make a ton of tackles too...

Don't get me wrong, Demeco is worlds better than Morlon, but I haven't seen many plays from him where he pops off the screen like an elite player...

He's good in run defense, but his pass coverage is really suspect...

And with the defense that the team wants to play, he's not going to get big guys in the middle taking up blocks...He's gonna have to be able to fight off some blocks cuz we want our DT's trying to penetrate and shoot gaps...

That alone means that our DT's role is not to keep linemen off of the LB's...In Richard Smith's 4-3 that is what out DT's used to do...Read and react...Hold up linemen so the LB's could read and make the play...

Now the LB's have to be a lot more athletic and still be strong so that they can fight off or flat our avoid getting blocked...

thunderkyss
10-20-2010, 10:24 PM
I still don't get what you think Demeco has dropped off on, he's got no help in the center and is still making a ton of tackles per year..

I don't think Demeco has "dropped off" on anything. He's elite, he's irreplaceable..... but he sucks in pass coverage.

Cushing is very adequate for a LB in pass defense.... Demeco's liability doesn't really hurt, if Diles could be better.... being the Will, he should be.

Morlon Greenwood used to make a ton of tackles too...

I'm definitely not comparing Demeco to Greenwood. Demeco played on the other side of the LOS, Greenwood played in the secondary.

And with the defense that the team wants to play, he's not going to get big guys in the middle taking up blocks...He's gonna have to be able to fight off some blocks cuz we want our DT's trying to penetrate and shoot gaps...

Now the LB's have to be a lot more athletic and still be strong so that they can fight off or flat out avoid getting blocked...

Right.... Demeco had a burst that allowed him to shoot through the line, or past OLmen.... didn't see it as consistently as we saw it in years past, but I don't think that was a drop off.... I just felt like he was playing cautious......

The DLmen create holes by penetrating... that hole RBs run the draw through are usually caused because Amobi's man is chasing him to the outside.

PapaL
10-20-2010, 10:51 PM
Can any of our TE's play LB?

Yeah...probably not...

Rey
10-20-2010, 11:00 PM
Can any of our TE's play LB?

Yeah...probably not...

Texans probably won't do it, but I think Casey may be able to at least play a Connor Barwin type role...

Andre_Johnson
10-21-2010, 12:29 AM
Have we even thought about moving Mario to WLB with Ogunleye and Smith on the ends? He's probably not that great in coverage but he should be able to handle covering a RB or FB out of the backfield.

Am I wrong?

wagonhed
10-21-2010, 12:44 AM
Don't yall think it's in really poor form to criticize Demeco's play after he gets hurt and is out for the season? Why don't we let his performance in the past lie and give him the support he deserves in recovery. Then we can talk about how to move forward at MLB.

thunderkyss
10-21-2010, 05:02 AM
Have we even thought about moving Mario to WLB with Ogunleye and Smith on the ends? He's probably not that great in coverage but he should be able to handle covering a RB or FB out of the backfield.

Am I wrong?

He's actually better at coverage than our WiLL is, so why not? Then we can rush either Cuhing or Mario... I really didn't think Mario would do well as a 3-4 OLB... he's definitely a "slow twitch" guy. But this year (in a small sample size) he has shown to be more than adequate.

Don't yall think it's in really poor form to criticize Demeco's play after he gets hurt and is out for the season? Why don't we let his performance in the past lie and give him the support he deserves in recovery. Then we can talk about how to move forward at MLB.

Well I've been saying he wasn't great in coverage for two years now, so it's not like I started the minute he went down.

I still think he's a pro-bowler at the position, so it's not like I'm saying he sucks.

silvrhand
10-21-2010, 08:00 AM
He's actually better at coverage than our WiLL is, so why not? Then we can rush either Cuhing or Mario... I really didn't think Mario would do well as a 3-4 OLB... he's definitely a "slow twitch" guy. But this year (in a small sample size) he has shown to be more than adequate.

Well I've been saying he wasn't great in coverage for two years now, so it's not like I started the minute he went down.

I still think he's a pro-bowler at the position, so it's not like I'm saying he sucks.

Ugh I can't even imagine putting Mario at 3-4 OLB, that's just a disaster waiting to happen, and the matchups he be put in once ew committed to that would be horrawful..

Rey
10-24-2010, 12:25 AM
Have we even thought about moving Mario to WLB with Ogunleye and Smith on the ends? He's probably not that great in coverage but he should be able to handle covering a RB or FB out of the backfield.

Am I wrong?


I think mario does ok in zone coverage, but I don't see him as having the agility and hips that would be needed to guard a TE or RB in man to man coverage. I also don't see him as a guy that would be able to run side line to side line all day long.

He's a big human being. Very athletic for his size, but I would not put him a WLB. That would be awkward.

BigBull17
10-25-2010, 11:19 AM
So, are we just not going to fill the two roster spots? I haven't seen anything, and the bye seems like the best time to do it.

TexansWest
10-25-2010, 12:15 PM
Am I wrong in thinking that the defense will be in nickel most of the game against Indy? That is what I remember seeing in the 1st game. And with Dallas Clark out for the season, what does that do to the matchups? New here to the forums, read alot but do not post much, as you can see. Please be kind in repsonding,lol.

The Pencil Neck
10-25-2010, 12:28 PM
Am I wrong in thinking that the defense will be in nickel most of the game against Indy? That is what I remember seeing in the 1st game. And with Dallas Clark out for the season, what does that do to the matchups? New here to the forums, read alot but do not post much, as you can see. Please be kind in repsonding,lol.

In the first game against Indy, we were in Nickel almost the entire game. I expect that we'll be in nickel the entire game again.

It's going to be interesting to see what the Colts do in response to their injuries and suspensions. Without Clark, Collie, and Addai (and possibly Brown), The Son of Satan will just make some other unknown player look great. It doesn't really matter too much who he's throwing to, they just have to catch the ball and he'll get it to them in a way that they can.

Andre_Johnson
10-26-2010, 10:16 AM
So, are we just not going to fill the two roster spots? I haven't seen anything, and the bye seems like the best time to do it.

We're probably just going to fill in those two spots with what we have on our PS, we have all week to let someone battle for the spots. :gun:

May the best men win...