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rittenhouserobz
06-18-2004, 02:28 AM
I found this in Yahoo Sports.

preview (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=fanball-trainingcamppreviewh&prov=fanball&type=fantasy)

I think that this preview more or less confirms many of the opinions I see on the board. Still its good to get a subjective view. I apologize in adavance if it has been posted already. :twocents:

Scooter
06-18-2004, 06:13 AM
The only other significant addition to the offense is tight end Mark Bruener, a blocking specialist who left Pittsburgh to sign with the Texans as a free agent. He won't start, but the Texans' depth at the position could lead to plenty of two-tight end sets, especially in short-yardage situations.

that might answer an ongoing discussion on these boards

aj.
06-18-2004, 07:30 AM
Who's John Tuvey and why should we believe him? Fanball usually has pretty good insight but I'm not down with this one.

If the Texans come out in anything but four wides for their first play from scrimmage against SD, Bruener will most likely be lined up to Wade's right. That's my feeling anyway.

El Tejano
06-18-2004, 11:40 AM
I believe that is exactly why we brought Bruener in, to help Wade on that left side. It also leads me to believe we will be a running team more than a passing team.

wags
06-18-2004, 01:25 PM
I believe that is exactly why we brought Bruener in, to help Wade on that left side. It also leads me to believe we will be a running team more than a passing team.

Wade plays RT. Do you mean Wand, our LT.

El Tejano
06-18-2004, 02:12 PM
Thanks wags. I do mean Wand, after all he is the second year guy and not Wade. Man that is going to be one thing we will all need to make ourselves clear on for a while, the names are so similar.

nunusguy
06-18-2004, 02:36 PM
While I'm as pleased as anyone with last years improved running game and
especially the surprise in discovering D.Davis, he is only a 4th round pick.
Far and away our biggest investment in the draft has been our QB &
WRs from Florida. In other words, I don't think we're moving towards a ball control (running, possession receving) type offensive when
Mr. McNair has made the investment in the long range fire power he has,
even though the more conservative approach might be DCs prefered mode.

infantrycak
06-18-2004, 02:43 PM
While I'm as pleased as anyone with last years improved running game and
especially the surprise in discovering D.Davis, he is only a 4th round pick.
Far and away our biggest investment in the draft has been our QB &
WRs from Florida. In other words, I don't think we're moving towards a ball control (running, possession receving) type offensive when
Mr. McNair has made the investment in the long range fire power he has,
even though the more conservative approach might be DCs prefered mode.

We aren't moving toward a ball controll offense--we have always been one--or a team that attempted to have one. Where the draft picks are spent is a function of value and where you have to spend them to get performance at that position. DD was available in the 4th so the package of talent of AJ in the 1st and DD in the 4th was better than a RB in the 1st and a WR in the 4th. If you recall the 2003 draft, the first RB taken was a gimp that couldn't play for a year at #23--McGahee. The Texans were at #3. AJ was worth #3, no RB was. Also, the Texans invested not only a 4th into the running game, but signed a free agent--Mack, and used a 2nd on Hollings. That is a lot of attention to the position in one year.

nunusguy
06-18-2004, 03:21 PM
"Where the draft picks are spent is a function of value and where you have to spend them to get performance at that position."
If I understand what you are saying, the "function of value" refers to the
"best player available" concept and the rest of the statement refers to the
needs of the team ?
Sure there was no RB last year worth a 3, but how about Jordan Gross at LT -a very strategic position and I'm not so sure we made the right choice (don't
get me wrong - I'm a big AJ fan). I guess I'm saying taking a WR at 3 and not a LT, for example, kinda means you've made a commitment to throwing some passes.
As far as the RBs we took, Mack wasn't much of a cash investent and we only used a 4 on DD - if anybody had a clue 'bout DD he would have been gone way before 4. Cass (and the rest of us), just got lucky there.
And you are right 'bout Hollings - they wanted him real bad but I think it was a real reach. Cass does spend aggresively for the guys he wants. I'm still trying to understand the Babin pick - he was really expensive. Maybe he will be worth it ?

Vinny
06-18-2004, 03:28 PM
Sure there was no RB last year worth a 3, but how about Jordan Gross at LT -a very strategic position and I'm not so sure we made the right choice (don't
get me wrong - I'm a big AJ fan). The team had more confidence in Pitts than you obviously have and have developed Wand to man the LT spot. AJ at the 3 looks like an astute move to me. Having Jordan Gross and Taylor Jacobs (next WR taken in the second rd that year) is less appealing to me than taking a dominating physical speciman like AJ early. Gross wasn't worth the 3rd pick either.

It is very hard to find special players after the top 10 picks. Gross is a solid Tackle but he isn't any better than Pitts is or what Wand may become.

nunusguy
06-18-2004, 04:46 PM
Scratch my remark 'bout taking Gross instead of AJ, my heart really wasn't
in that argument. AJ is a great talent and truly could become a super
star in the league. But I think Gross is quite a bit more than "solid", though
probably not in the category of the top tackles in the league - yet. I think he is definitely better than Pitts though - if we were
sold on Pitts as our LT(and apparently we're not since he'd stay put if we were), Wand would't be trying LT.

infantrycak
06-18-2004, 05:21 PM
if we were sold on Pitts as our LT(and apparently we're not since he'd stay put if we were), Wand would't be trying LT.

The Texans never were sold on Pitts at LT--they were forced into it. Pitts was drafted to play LG with Boselli at LT. Once Boselli was out Pitts had to play LT. Bringing in a good but not spectacular rookie LT last year would have been no better than Pitts so they left him there and obtained value by drafting a small school project to develop for 1-2 years into starting LT--Wand. Evidently they are pleased with his progress and are ready to throw him into the fire this year.

I guess I'm saying taking a WR at 3 and not a LT, for example, kinda means you've made a commitment to throwing some passes.

Or as the facts bear out for the 2003 draft there was not a LT worth that pick. (Gross by the way did a very good job last year, but at RT, not LT.) In any event, I suspect if you polled people about what was more important to the passing game, one hot shot WR or a fantastic LT you would find a big group supporting the latter so I am not sure you can draw any committment to passing conclusions from the choice.

Fiddy
06-18-2004, 05:23 PM
I have a question: Do you take McGahee if he doesnt have the injury or AJ??? (You dont know the future)

I still take AJ because his gives Carr a target and most backs havent been taken in the first round, like Portis

infantrycak
06-18-2004, 05:34 PM
I have a question: Do you take McGahee if he doesnt have the injury or AJ???

AJ in a heart beat for a couple reasons. First, WR's with his combination of size, speed, athleticism and very importantly character don't come along often--undeniably worth a #3 pick. Second, recent history seems to have shown better luck finding non-first round gems in RB's than WR's--teams seem to have recognized this and have been more hesitant to spend high first round draft picks on RB's.

2004 5 WR's taken before 1st RB
2003 3 WR's taken before 1st RB

wags
06-18-2004, 05:36 PM
I like drafting RB's later in the draft, because of the punishment they take in the NFL. Your starting to see more GM's adopt this stance also. What was the first RB taken this year, like 24th or something?

Fiddy
06-18-2004, 05:37 PM
What was the first RB taken this year, like 24th or something?Yeah, Steven Jackson to the Rams

CoachJim
06-19-2004, 10:20 AM
This is the part of the year I hate the most ... The last 3 weeks leading up to training camp. All the mini-camps have just ended & there is virtually nothing going on in football land. My little league football team, the Pasadena Bears are in the midst of signups but the next one is not for a few weeks too so I guess I'll just sit here & watch the paint peel like everyone else.

beerlover
06-19-2004, 12:07 PM
I would think adjustments will be made based upon this years performance of Dominack Davis (is he for real & will he stay healthy?) Tony Hollings (how he progresses after another year removed from acl surgery) and if any other player comes through and develops into solid back (Jammal Lord).

Certainly there is more cap room left in the RB position than any other skilled position currently in the Texans infrastructure. Which leads me to believe if there is a RB available in next years draft the Texans love when its their turn to pick, Casserly will select a RB with the first pick somewhere around #20.

Vinny
06-19-2004, 12:18 PM
Lord is a Free Safety. I doubt we use him as a running back. Also, I think you will find most teams draft a RB every year or two. That is not uncommon. I cannot see a scenario outside of injury where we take a back that high (first round) unless some guy with a high grade drops.

beerlover
06-19-2004, 12:41 PM
Lord is a Free Safety. I doubt we use him as a running back. Also, I think you will find most teams draft a RB every year or two. That is not uncommon. I cannot see a scenario outside of injury where we take a back that high (first round) unless some guy with a high grade drops.

Sorry V_ just listed as you posted idonno:

Round 6
#175 - Jammal Lord - FS Nebraska
Position: Running Back
Drafted: Round 6, 175th Overall
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 220
College: Nebraska
Birthdate: January 10, 1981
NFL Comparison: Eric Crouch

anyways, there is no telling what will happen just yet thats why I preface it with certain conditions coming into play, like adjustments during a game :rolleyes:

Vinny
06-19-2004, 12:43 PM
That was off HoustonProFootball.com's profile. Copied and pasted as the draft unfolded so that's understandable. I guess they meant that he was drafted as a RB but is being converted to a FS (they have both positions in that copy n paste). They have changed it a bit since I copied it however (just looked). I never noticed it though. Thanks.

nunusguy
06-19-2004, 02:55 PM
I don't think it was the Texans intension to draft Wand to be "the LT". Perhaps their hope, but not their expectation. If they had that kind of confidence in his potential, they wouldn't have waited until the 3rd round
to take him. After all, they gave up 3 picks to move all the way into the
1st round this year to draft another project. Cass is not bashful 'bout betting the farm on his hunches.
As for Pitts, even though he apparently does not have the quickness, agility to be a top-notch LT, he's been the most productive 2nd round pick they've made so far - Gaffney has been a bit of a disappointment and last years 2s (including Hollings - another one of Cass's hunches), are too banged up to
make a contribution.
By the way, Gross will be doing a very good job again this year - playing LT.

Vinny
06-19-2004, 03:27 PM
Sure they would have. Teams pick Tackles late and develop them all the time. Look up some history. Why draft Gross when Pitts does a good job? That is a bit redundant. Pitts played fine last year and can do it again if need be. He is our best lineman.

Hollings and Gaffney dissapointments? Not to me. Hollings wasn't supposed to play last year and Gaffney needs to have the ball thrown to him to catch it. Carr has been a bigger dissapointment to me than them so far.

nunusguy
06-19-2004, 04:11 PM
Let me try to make my point again - Cass is a plunger, a gambler. He tends
to overcompensate for his players in his efforts to secure their services. What
they gave Todd Wade (10 M signing bonus), was until now unheard of for right tackle. The picks they gave up this year for Babin is
a real head scratcher - I think. Had we not traded up for Babin, we could have had Travis LaBoy (a player very comparable to Babin) and Randy Starks
and a 3rd player with our 4th pick. But Cass heard steps and made the deal
with the Titans. He would have taken Wand way before waiting for him to
fall to him in the third round if he really thought he, realistically, was going to
be our long term LT.
But Pitts was a decent selection, though they seem to think he's only an interim answer for LT. I don't know 'bout Gaff - got my doubs. Hollings -
he only played 4 games as an RB. I bet he hasn't a clue 'bout how to block or catch a pass ? I hope I'm wrong, but second round picks don't grow on trees.
But this is the year for Carr to show his stuff - he's got more to prove than
the franchise in general. Leftwich may leap frog him as the fair haired boy in
the AFC South.

Vinny
06-19-2004, 05:39 PM
The Texans didn't give up any more for Wade than say Jon Runyon received from the Eagles (relative to the time frame) when they pursued him for their RT a few years back. We had a glaring hole at RT and it is now resolved. Risk? Hardly. Some say the Eagles over-paid Runyon but I don't think the Eagles regretted that move one bit and "unheard of" is an overstatement. They have been a dominant team ever since. Having a journeyman RT and being 4-12 and 5-11 isn't a huge coincidence. Games are won and lost at the LOS.

For Babin we gave up a net of ONE first day pick and some second day selections. Not too bad if he is the edge rusher we have never had since year one. I don't see how moving up to the 27th pick and giving up 103 and 93rd overall as displacement as too much net cost unless you think that more marginal players is what we needed instead of a key starter at a key position. Most people considered LaBoy a reach and he is not going to be a full time starter in TN and doesn't have Babin's run stopping abilities (supposedly) so he will likely only be a situational pass-rusher for Tennessee. Babin is already a starter in our defense. Laboy would be another project, and last I checked, we have tons of them already at linebacker. Starks? His knock is being immature and he didn't grade out that high last year, hence the free fall to the third round.

Hollings was a back in High school so its not like he is a lumberjack turned running back. Its a bit early to say what he is or isn't at this point.

And yeah, Carr will likely do better, but that is not what we are debating now is it? You were talking about being dissapointed. So far, for the first overall, he is my big one to date. To each his own. You have your opinion, I have mine. Its not a bad thing, but I am known to take on anything I disagree with. Call it a trend if you will but heck, that's the part I enjoy about message boards. :rolleyes:

texman8
06-19-2004, 06:50 PM
Many people decried the Babin trade when it happened. Especially because we traded with the Titans (tetons?) .. I say ; let's wait and see. If Babin has a season like D. Freeney of Indy; we should be celebrating ( in the playoffs, hehe) Who knows if and when Laboy, Starks, and Schoebel can replace Kearse and R Smith. They're rookies and they won't all panned out.IMO.Haynesworth? Pickett? Seems some want instant gratification.

BuffSoldier
06-19-2004, 07:37 PM
Alot of you people want to give the Texans a certain type of offense, either a run first O or a pass first O. This is where most of the arguments get started. I dont think we will be either, the way the offense is panning out I think we will be a really balanced offense running early in games and setting up play-action pass and alowing Carr to get easier passes down field. We will have a very balanced offense. And alot of people arent talking about the affect DD will have on our pass game. He can catch the ball out of the backfield with the best of them.We will most likely start Billy Miller, to tell you the truth, I would start Joppru over Bruener for the fact that he can make plays down field. I think that Bruener will come in on obviouse run downs and in some two TE situations, say it is 3rd and inches, hes coming in the D already knows youre going to run no point in trying to hide it. Miller is a great pass catcher and will more than likely be the starter come regular season.



"The Texans spent so much money on RBs because they want to run first", NO, this is because after year 1 that was our biggest weakness, our passing game wasnt even that bad other than the sacks. We drafted DD as a returner and a 3rd down back, we signed Mack because we had no good RBs and we gave a 2nd rounder for Hollings because we needed a young back to groom for the future, plus Mack was just slow, they were not trying to buile the ultimate run offense.


"If McGahee didnt get hurt would he be a Texan" I think so. You say that people dont take RBs high any more, thats not true, Willis was projected as a high first rounder. Only one WR was picked before the top 2 RBs in 2002. In 2001 LaDanian Thomlinson was taken before any WR. In 2000 Jamal Lewis was taken #5 only one WR taken before him and another RB was taken at #7.And in '99 Edgerin James and Ricky Williams were taken before Torry Holt. This years draft didnt have any unbeleivable RBs. Jackson was projected as a Mid first rounder, not high. Clarret was projected as a hig first rounder after his freshman year, if he hadnt messed up and gotten kicked out of college hed probably be a top 5 draft pick next year. Someone said that we would have taken AJ because they wouldnt have passed up a chance to get a physical fast WR. NO, they knew Roy Williams was comeing out next year, probably Reggie Williams, dont even let me have to say Larry. AJ was the BPA thats why we drafted him.


And we didnt sign Bruener to help Wand, first of all we got him because he was one of the best blocking TEs, he will help the run game but he cant helpa a LT by standing next to him, and 2 because traditionally TEs line up on the right.

nunusguy
06-19-2004, 08:25 PM
"Babin is already a starter on defense" - that's not a serious statement is it -
everybody is in T-shirts, nobody has hit anybody yet - he got the assignment
gratis Cass & Capers 'cause they exchanged 3 picks (2,3,4 picks), and if he
doesn't work out C & C are gonna look like dumb azzs who are squandering
corp. resources. He's being handed every possible opportunity to succeed.
"If Babin has a season like D. Freeney of Indy", or if Babin is another LT,
or if Babin is the second coming of the Christ child, or if "if & buts were candy & nuts - oh what a Merry Christmas !"

BradK10
06-19-2004, 09:27 PM
By the way, Gross will be doing a very good job again this year - playing LT.

I think you've got to be a fool to say we should have tried to get Gross instead of AJ.

texman8
06-19-2004, 09:37 PM
"Babin is already a starter on defense" - that's not a serious statement is it -
everybody is in T-shirts, nobody has hit anybody yet - he got the assignment
gratis Cass & Capers 'cause they exchanged 3 picks (2,3,4 picks), and if he
doesn't work out C & C are gonna look like dumb azzs who are squandering
corp. resources. He's being handed every possible opportunity to succeed.
"If Babin has a season like D. Freeney of Indy", or if Babin is another LT,
or if Babin is the second coming of the Christ child, or if "if & buts were candy & nuts - oh what a Merry Christmas !"
Hey , nu.... Are you really that much of a sour puss? Guess you are so down on Babin ; if he doesn't work out, we will see " I told you so" posts. Or " Fire Charley Casserly" posts. Sorry, I prefer to be supportive and positive. Let's just agree to disagree. Go Texans!

BuffSoldier
06-20-2004, 02:47 AM
Let me try to make my point again - Cass is a plunger, a gambler. He tends
to overcompensate for his players in his efforts to secure their services. What
they gave Todd Wade (10 M signing bonus), was until now unheard of for right tackle. The picks they gave up this year for Babin is
a real head scratcher - I think. Had we not traded up for Babin, we could have had Travis LaBoy (a player very comparable to Babin) and Randy Starks
and a 3rd player with our 4th pick. But Cass heard steps and made the deal
with the Titans. He would have taken Wand way before waiting for him to
fall to him in the third round if he really thought he, realistically, was going to
be our long term LT.
But Pitts was a decent selection, though they seem to think he's only an interim answer for LT. I don't know 'bout Gaff - got my doubs. Hollings -
he only played 4 games as an RB. I bet he hasn't a clue 'bout how to block or catch a pass ? I hope I'm wrong, but second round picks don't grow on trees.
But this is the year for Carr to show his stuff - he's got more to prove than
the franchise in general. Leftwich may leap frog him as the fair haired boy in
the AFC South.


What do you mean he would have jumped on Wand earlier, no he wouldnt have, he knew what Wand was worth and he knew he was going to be there in the 3rd. Plus why would you use a 2nd round pick on a project LT anyway? Then you have to know that the 3rd round really isnt that late in the draft, its a 1st day pick, its not like he was a 4th or 5th rounder he did go high in the 3rd.

nunusguy
06-20-2004, 09:38 AM
I'm not down on Babin - actually I'm more intrigued with him than any player
we have ever selected. But he is, to be sure, a big time project. He not only
didn't he play major league competition in college, but he will be playing a radically different position. We aren't talking 'bout switching from guard to
tackle or safety to corner, rather we are talking 'bout going from a DL position to playing upright as a LB. Oh maybe he played some backer in college, but he was basically and for the majority of the time a DL rushing from a 3 point stance. Apparently Suggs made this transition smoothly last
year as a rookie for the Ravens - lets hope it goes as well for Babin and the
Texans.
By the way, I subscribe to the Larry Bird philosphy that (A) says we should be able to talk openly & candidly 'bout Sports & Race (B) recognizes the economic significance that in the NFL (like the NBA), the brunt of the racial
makeup of the fan base is white (economically and numerically), therefor it
would be economically relavant if key players(like QBs & elite edge pass rushers) are white (or not white). So this is a very clumsy segway to my question, but does anybody know what Babin's ethnic/racial background is: Lebonese (or other Mid Eastern), Bro, Italian or Greek, just a real swarthy
European-American ? My apologies to all the hyper sensitive PC types on the
board, but I'm really curious. And if you think this makes me a bit of a racist,
well so be it. Anyway, Larry Bird is not bad company to be with.

aj.
06-20-2004, 10:14 AM
He... didn't play major league competition in collegeI guess Michigan State, Michigan, Purdue, Virginia Tech and Virginia isn't major league?

Lucky
06-20-2004, 12:38 PM
I'm not down on Babin - actually I'm more intrigued with him than any player
we have ever selected. But he is, to be sure, a big time project. He not only
didn't he play major league competition in college, but he will be playing a radically different position. We aren't talking 'bout switching from guard to
tackle or safety to corner, rather we are talking 'bout going from a DL position to playing upright as a LB...
Here's a link (http://www.wmubroncos.com/sports/football/releases/babin.pdf) to Babin's bio at Western Michigan. BTW, they do play Division IA at Western Michigan. In 3 career starts vs. Big 10 schools (Michigan, Michigan St., Purdue), Babin averaged 7 tackles, 3.3 TFL, and 2 sacks. Not too bad for a "project". All rookies are projects, more or less. And the transition from pass rushing DE to pass rushing OLB has to be one of the most overrated. If Capers uses Babin in a similar fashion to how he deployed Kevin Greene in Carolina, Jason will be rushing the passer and getting penetration into the backfield on most plays, anyway. Like all rookies, the biggest adjustment for Babin will be the speed of the game.

Will there come a day when sports and society's racial issues become separated? I've never, ever cared about the ethnic background of an athlete I've watched perform. Just whether or not he had game. Isn't the game enjoyable enough? Watch the strategy, the emotion, the artistry...yeah artistry. Passing, receiving, running, blocking, tackling...brutal yes, but art just the same. Why would someone want to bring in baggage to a spectacle such as this? I don't get it.

nunusguy
06-20-2004, 02:14 PM
"All rookies are projects, more or less. And the transition from pass rushing DE to pass rushing OLB has to be one of the most overrated."
You're football knowledge is apparently confined to watching games from the
prone position of a comfortable sofa on weekends, because the project is not for a DL to learn to pass rush from the upright position - rather it's learning how to cover pass receivers. See, you probably slept thru the video presentation of NFL 101, but pass coverage is a foreign concept to defensive
linemen.
And football is physically demanding, can be exausting - sometimes even very painful, but not brutal. Irag - now that's brutality.

BuffSoldier
06-20-2004, 03:38 PM
"All rookies are projects, more or less. And the transition from pass rushing DE to pass rushing OLB has to be one of the most overrated."
You're football knowledge is apparently confined to watching games from the
prone position of a comfortable sofa on weekends, because the project is not for a DL to learn to pass rush from the upright position - rather it's learning how to cover pass receivers. See, you probably slept thru the video presentation of NFL 101, but pass coverage is a foreign concept to defensive
linemen.
And football is physically demanding, can be exausting - sometimes even very painful, but not brutal. Irag - now that's brutality.

By the way in a 3-4 scheme the OLBs main purpose is to supply a pass rush and get to the QB so Lucky was right, yes they do cover but I have a think that DC is smart enough to know which LB to put in zone coverage and which one to blitz. Babins main concern this year will be the pass rush and he will learn to cover as he progresses in the defense.

nunusguy
06-20-2004, 05:03 PM
Continuing with our football discussion, here's an excellent article on the
3-4 featuring some comments by some real experts on the subject. If you've
already seen the article, my apologies for the repeat material. It's relavant.
http://www.baltimoreravens.com/template.php?subsection=single_news_show&section=press&content_id=2360

Lucky
06-20-2004, 05:07 PM
"...the project is not for a DL to learn to pass rush from the upright position - rather it's learning how to cover pass receivers...
What I was attempting to say was that Babin's pass coverage requirements would be limited because he would be rushing upfield on most pass plays. I didn't get my point across, I guess I'm in a slump. My bad. Hey, it's the offseason, I'm allowed to be off my game (what I have, anyway). Catch me again come training camp and see if I can't do you proud.

Texansbacker
06-20-2004, 08:05 PM
Good story on the 3-4 via the link nunusguy, thanks.

BradK10
06-21-2004, 01:05 AM
John Mobley is a Pro Bowler, and he went to Kutztown.....KUTZTOWN!!!!!

BuffSoldier
06-21-2004, 01:48 AM
July 11, 2003
RAVENS PART OF 3-4 TREND

From NFL.com


“The dominating outside linebacker is the most critical position. Most colleges aren't using the 3-4 and smaller guys are playing linebacker. If you're playing outside linebacker in this defense, you're half defensive end and half linebacker. You need a defensive end’s size and the athletic ability of a linebacker at that position.” ...“If you have two outside linebackers who can really rush, offenses can’t slide their protection to one of those linebackers because you don't know which one is going to come.”

Isnt that what I just posted idonno: , OLBs are counted on to pass rush more than cover most of the time.