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Runner
03-22-2012, 10:50 AM
I've buried my big picture thoughts in threads dedicated to a single player, where the arguments can be mistakenly or deliberately attributed to consternation over the loss of a specific player. I'm starting this thread to try to focus on the big picture.

A rough summary:

1) The Texans have had holes open up in starters and/or depth at OL, LB, CB caused by salary cap problems/free agency.

2) They may lose more depth at RB and TE to free agency.

3) They have long existing depth problems at WR.

4)They have limited resources due to cap problems.

5) They want to build through the draft.

==========

I don't predict 5-6 immediate, high quality rookie starters coming in to plug the various holes. I also see depth being a major issue, as injuries always take a toll on NFL teams.

Given the Texans' weak division, they will probably make the playoffs, but I think they will be weaker than last year and have an early exit. I think this year has been sacrificed to cap mismanagement.


New team motto candidate, and this is best case:

Just win the-season-after-next, baby.

Playoffs
03-22-2012, 10:57 AM
My take is, in hindsight the Texans pulled out all the stops last year to push for the Super Bowl. Fans didn't know that, players didn't know -- now everyone is surprised with the consequences. Transparency is better.

Thorn
03-22-2012, 11:18 AM
My take is, in hindsight the Texans pulled out all the stops last year to push for the Super Bowl. Fans didn't know that, players didn't know -- now everyone is surprised with the consequences. Transparency is better.

I still think we win the division this year no matter what happens in free agency or the draft. After that, no predictions from me.

Runner
03-22-2012, 11:29 AM
I didn't intend for this to be a prediction thread, so I'll ask some open ended questions.

Do you think the Texans have the resources available to make this a better, more talented team? Do you think they will be about the same, a little better, or a little worse? Do you think they are in full rebuilding mode due to openings and a roster that is getting older or more fragile?

And why?

TdotTexas2Step
03-22-2012, 11:40 AM
I think they'll be about the same in terms of competitive level as last season. They may have lost a few key players, but the defense is what kept us afloat last year, and the guys are a lot more familiar with Wade's scheme. We'll also be getting a full training camp to install other elements of Wade's D.

With that said, there's a lot of unknown variables. IF Schaub is good to go, then I think we'll be more than fine. IF the O-line doesn't miss a beat and allows Schaub and Foster to do their thing, we'll be more than fine as well.

Playoffs
03-22-2012, 11:45 AM
Do you think the Texans have the resources available to make this a better, more talented team?Sure. They just have to draft well again.

Do you think they will be about the same, a little better, or a little worse?A little worse, but a little better with Schaub.

Do you think they are in full rebuilding mode due to openings and a roster that is getting older or more fragile?Not even close. Still a playoff team minus a few players, and in a now weak division.

Thorn
03-22-2012, 11:59 AM
Wade's second year history is not as good as his first year after taking over. I don't think that will happen this time, but I don't expect our defense will be so highly rated. I do think until a new on field defensive leader comes into his own to replace DeMeco, we can expect a small let down. With a good draft, our defense will still be scary.

As to the offense, if Schaub can stay on his feet we'll be OK. Somehow I think they'll get the offensive line going and our run game will be fine. I believe they'll draft a WR in the 2nd or 3rd round that will see some playing time.

We are not in full rebuilding mode, but we are in a "need to patch some holes" mode which is not quite as bad. The team will be a good one, maybe not quite as good as some of us hope for.

In the draft, I think in the first four rounds you will see them pick a LB, O-Lineman, and a WR for sure. After that, not sure.

Rey
03-22-2012, 12:01 PM
I don't predict 5-6 immediate, high quality rookie starters coming in to plug the various holes. I also see depth being a major issue, as injuries always take a toll on NFL teams.

I think this is where I disagree with you.

Why would we need "5-6 immediate, high quality rookie starters" ?

We haven't lost "5-6 high quality" veteran starters.

Of the guys that were starters at the end of the year we have lost Briesel, Winston, and Demeco who played ~60% of the snaps and wasn't all that productive.

Even if you look at the situation as a whole, we've really only lost 2 maybe 3 players that played a major role in what we did last year (Mybe Jason Allen and Demeco can be combined into a full person??)...

But I don't understand why You'd look at the situation as a whole anyways. We are replacing individuals with individuals.

Butler is slated to step in and compete for the RT spot. Caldwell will probably compete for the RG spot. Both positions have players that can step in and be starters that have been with the team for a while. Now I understand having reservations about the guys stepping in for them, but to me those converstations can be thread topics all by themselves.

The biggest lost that I've heard regarding Demeco being traded is his leadership. His actual on field production is not even being discussed because it wasn't all that. We've re-hashed the leadership stuff a a bunch too. I think we'll be fine in that department, but if you disagree...ok...

I mean...Really, production wise the biggest losses are probably Winston and Briesel and it can be argued that both can be replaced with minimal if any drop off and maybe we might even get a little better depending on who we pick up and how the pieces fit that we slide in...


I'm actually excited about the season now. I wasn't at first until all of this movement started happening. Hopefully we can use the extra fourth to grad a solid depth player and maybe the move up in the third will land us a player we might not have had access to before.

I'm excited about the possibilities now. I'm not worried about Butler at RT. Ipersonally think he'll be fine. Caldwell supposedly was battling a high ankle sprain last year, so hopefully he's healthy and can provide some solid play there if someone better doesn't beat him out.

Production wise I think we'll be ok at MLB.

I liked what Jason Allen did for us last year, but is anyone really shedding tears over him leaving?

Seriously, I don't get what the fuss is about. I think it's highly possible we will be better going forward.

Blake
03-22-2012, 12:04 PM
I don't predict 5-6 immediate, high quality rookie starters coming in to plug the various holes. I also see depth being a major issue, as injuries always take a toll on NFL teams.

You better hope they land 5-6 rookie starters. This team has ALOT of holes now and they seem to have the checkbook locked up.

We need another passrush OLB for our rotation and injuries. A starting caliber ILB, a starting caliber WR, backup RG/RT, a starting kicker. A starting punter. Another 3-4 DE.

I think they will come to their senses and sign a vet kicker back. But they have their work cut out for them in the draft if they want this team to be as good all around as last years.

Allstar
03-22-2012, 12:21 PM
You better hope they land 5-6 rookie starters. This team has ALOT of holes now and they seem to have the checkbook locked up.

We need another passrush OLB for our rotation and injuries. A starting caliber ILB, a starting caliber WR, backup RG/RT, a starting kicker. A starting punter. Another 3-4 DE.

I think they will come to their senses and sign a vet kicker back. But they have their work cut out for them in the draft if they want this team to be as good all around as last years.

The right side of the line and DeMeco who played 2 downs are the only significant pieces we've lost from last year's "super squad." calm down, Chicken Little.

OzzO
03-22-2012, 12:37 PM
Agree with Tdot and Rey above.

Big ol IF on this is Schaub and the people to fill in on the Oline. Yeah, we didn't lose "all that" on the Oline, but they knew their job and did it decent. Gut thinks we'll be alright.

Otherwise, agree we didn't lose the big names (that helped us specifically last year) and dropped the contracts that weren't reflective of their production.

As of now, I think they'll be the same if not a little better by the time preseason rolls around. Gotta take a look once FA and the draft are complete to have a better, but not 100% clearer, position on that.

Why do I feel that way? Cause it's the offseason and the koolade runs deep during the offseason. Plenty of time for pessimism during the season.

It's not a rebuilding, it's a tweaking... as you mentioned Runner, due to age and contracts. Can't keep everyone, but the Texans better keep a core. Comparing to the other playoff teams, seems the Texans are doing it correctly. IMO

michaelm
03-22-2012, 12:45 PM
I do think until a new on field defensive leader comes into his own to replace DeMeco, we can expect a small let down. With a good draft, our defense will still be scary.


I'm not expecting on-field leadership to cause a let down. JoJo will step into the role of veteran leader at the start of the season, along with Antonio, who has the respect of the entire team, IMO.
I expect JJ Watt to become the recognized leader on defense by year's end, and be made a defensive captain in 2013.
Cushing will always be the fire that lights the fuse.

disaacks3
03-22-2012, 12:48 PM
I didn't intend for this to be a prediction thread, so I'll ask some open ended questions.

Do you think the Texans have the resources available to make this a better, more talented team? Do you think they will be about the same, a little better, or a little worse? Do you think they are in full rebuilding mode due to openings and a roster that is getting older or more fragile?

And why? Honestly, a little worse. A weak division will certainly help, but I expect some troubles in the running game. Heck we had issues with only Caldwell replacing Brisel last year. Now we're replacing Winston as well. Our "run to the right" team will need some new dimensions.

We've done jack at WR and TE depth will likely take a blow too. The Defense I see as staying relatively neutral, but we'll have to see if losing the "QB of the Defense" is as important in the 3-4 world. Not quite colts-level full-blown rebuilding mode, but major overhaul to be sure.

I think this is where I disagree with you.

Why would we need "5-6 immediate, high quality rookie starters" ?

We haven't lost "5-6 high quality" veteran starters.

Of the guys that were starters at the end of the year we have lost Briesel, Winston, and Demeco who played ~60% of the snaps and wasn't all that productive.

Even if you look at the situation as a whole, we've really only lost 2 maybe 3 players that played a major role in what we did last year (Mybe Jason Allen and Demeco can be combined into a full person??)...

But I don't understand why You'd look at the situation as a whole anyways. We are replacing individuals with individuals.

Butler is slated to step in and compete for the RT spot. Caldwell will probably compete for the RG spot. Both positions have players that can step in and be starters that have been with the team for a while. Now I understand having reservations about the guys stepping in for them, but to me those converstations can be thread topics all by themselves.

The biggest lost that I've heard regarding Demeco being traded is his leadership. His actual on field production is not even being discussed because it wasn't all that. We've re-hashed the leadership stuff a a bunch too. I think we'll be fine in that department, but if you disagree...ok...

I mean...Really, production wise the biggest losses are probably Winston and Briesel and it can be argued that both can be replaced with minimal if any drop off and maybe we might even get a little better depending on who we pick up and how the pieces fit that we slide in...


I'm actually excited about the season now. I wasn't at first until all of this movement started happening. Hopefully we can use the extra fourth to grad a solid depth player and maybe the move up in the third will land us a player we might not have had access to before.

I'm excited about the possibilities now. I'm not worried about Butler at RT. Ipersonally think he'll be fine. Caldwell supposedly was battling a high ankle sprain last year, so hopefully he's healthy and can provide some solid play there if someone better doesn't beat him out.

Production wise I think we'll be ok at MLB.

I liked what Jason Allen did for us last year, but is anyone really shedding tears over him leaving?

Seriously, I don't get what the fuss is about. I think it's highly possible we will be better going forward. Winston, Brisel, Ryans all took > 50% of snaps. Allen took >50% at the end of the year. When you move your backups into starter roles, you need quality backups as well. We need FOUR for sure right now, 5-6 quality starters isn't all that far-fetched.

WolverineFan
03-22-2012, 01:04 PM
I'm not gonna be all "woe is me" on this subject.

Sure, we let Winston, Brisiel, and DeMeco go. But I have a feeling it's so that next year we can re-sign our elite FA's next year, just like we did this year. We re-signed 2 elite guys this year in Foster and Myers. Up next we have Brown and Barwin and then Cushing the year after.

You lock up your elite players and you let your good or great players walk because you have to. If we keep drafting this way then we can keep doing this same routine by locking up our elite guys and replacing the other guys with new ones. It's the way of the world in the NFL.

It's understandable that people are frustrated by what's happened and do not want these new guys starting. Want to know why? Because they were backups last year! Nobody wants to get worse, we want to see progression. However, how do we know Sharpton won't be a great player in a year or two. Hell, he outplayed DeMeco for most of the season last year.

Winston --> Butler
Brisiel --> Caldwell
Dreessen --> Graham
Ryans --> Sharpton
Mario --> Reed
Allen --> Harris/Carmichael

We already have the replacements here on the roster. Now we just need to add new guys to replace our future FA's. Cody and Barwin are FA's next year, maybe we grab an OLB and a NT in this draft to replace them next year.

Next Man Up

Lucky
03-22-2012, 01:25 PM
Resources) Obviously limited to the draft and street free agents. It's optimistic to find more than 2 or 3 immediate contributors from the draft. The Texans picked up 3 rookies that came through in 2011 (Watt, Reed, & Yates) and that's considered to be a banner class. Rick Smith has had some success in finding street free agents (Pollard, Wilson, Ward). He may need to pull a couple of more rabbits out of his hat.

Improvement/regression) There will be less talent at the beginning of the 2012 camp than there was at the start of 2011. That's a given considering the losses. But, it's not always about talent. My main concern is whether the chemistry has been altered with guys like Ryans, Winston, and (possibly) Dreessen leaving. I think the injuries in 2011 actually enhanced the chemistry. But defections from free agency and salary cap issues may not having the same bonding effect. Attitude and cohesiveness worry me more than roster spots.

Talent) Foster, AJ, Brown, Schaub, Daniels. Cushing, Joseph, Watt, Barwin, Antonio Smith. This team still has more than its share of talent. And its well spread over the varying levels of experience. Sure, there are holes were there is less than NFL average talent. Every team deals with this problem. The difference between last years and previous seasons, has been the coaching staff's ability to mask those imperfections. The talent level in the coaching staff has finally reached a level that is capable of winning.

Runner
03-22-2012, 01:32 PM
I'm not gonna be all "woe is me" on this subject.

Sure, we let Winston, Brisiel, and DeMeco go. But I have a feeling it's so that next year we can re-sign our elite FA's next year, just like we did this year. We re-signed 2 elite guys this year in Foster and Myers. Up next we have Brown and Barwin and then Cushing the year after.

You lock up your elite players and you let your good or great players walk because you have to. If we keep drafting this way then we can keep doing this same routine by locking up our elite guys and replacing the other guys with new ones. It's the way of the world in the NFL.

It's understandable that people are frustrated by what's happened and do not want these new guys starting. Want to know why? Because they were backups last year! Nobody wants to get worse, we want to see progression. However, how do we know Sharpton won't be a great player in a year or two. Hell, he outplayed DeMeco for most of the season last year.

Winston --> Butler
Brisiel --> Caldwell
Dreessen --> Graham
Ryans --> Sharpton
Mario --> Reed
Allen --> Harris/Carmichael

We already have the replacements here on the roster. Now we just need to add new guys to replace our future FA's. Cody and Barwin are FA's next year, maybe we grab an OLB and a NT in this draft to replace them next year.

Next Man Up

Sure, we can show the replacements are on the roster. Does that make the team better? The Texans are supposed to contend for a Super Bowl. They have to be better than last year, not just field a team. I don't think th jingo "Next Man Up" is a good management plan, especially when injuries start taking some of these next men out.

==============

And to respond generally to some other posts:

I don't know why discussing these concerns must be characterized as chicken little or woe is me. If you ask me, it shows more thought than ignoring the the fact that good players have been lost, or assuming that replacing them is easy because, well, just because. That reminds me of having your head stuck up...I mean...in the sand.

There. I can do it too.

=========


As far thinking it is silly to "look at the big picture". All I can say is "really?". Resources - draft picks, cap room - are limited. If I don't look at the big picture, I might plan to get a stud receiver with my first pick. And a pass rushing LB with my first pick. And an o-lineman with my first pick. There I've solved three problems individually.

Yes that is a dumb example, but "looking at the big picture" is why we know it is dumb.

Rey
03-22-2012, 01:32 PM
Winston, Brisel, Ryans all took > 50% of snaps. Allen took >50% at the end of the year. When you move your backups into starter roles, you need quality backups as well. We need FOUR for sure right now, 5-6 quality starters isn't all that far-fetched.

He said we need 5-6 high quality starters in the draft...Not 5-6 replacements.

And Demeco was not the QB of the defense.


We still have:

Cushing
J.Jo
Watt
A. Smith
Cody
Mitchell
Jamison
Kareem
Glover
Barwin
Reed
Nading
D. Manning
D.Brown
Smith
Meyers
Arian
OD
Casey
Andre
Kevin
Troy Nolan
Brice McCain
TJ Yates
Wade Phillpis
Gary Kubiak



Then we have some interesting young prospects in Mahael, and Jean and Shelly Smith.We also have Roc Carmichael and Brandon Harris and Braman on defense...

We have some veteran guys that should be able to step in without major drop off in production in Butler, Caldwell and Sharpton.

Then on top of all that we actually do have draft picks to play with and maybe we can sign a decent FA here or there. We've been pretty good with UDFA's.


But really, none of this doom and gloom stuff and "LOOK AT EVERYONE WE'VE LOST!!!!" talk started until we lost Demeco. Yeah, a few people were upset at Eric Winston, but it wasn't near this backlash. I think people are just shocked and upset that the team did something they didn't think was possible. JMO.

Blake
03-22-2012, 01:41 PM
The right side of the line and DeMeco who played 2 downs are the only significant pieces we've lost from last year's "super squad." calm down, Chicken Little.

Way to totally discount the 5 games from Mario Williams, our veteran kicker, our punter, Joel Dreesen, Vickers and Tim Dobbins.

And I love how you say the right side of the line so nonchalantly. Like its so easy to just swap out 2/5ths of an offensive line and not skip a beat.

And why are you quoting super squad? I call the team well rounded and you plug in "super squad?"

And dont call me chicken little. You obviously dont know how to correctly use it and come off as ignorant and obtuse.

Runner
03-22-2012, 01:41 PM
But really, none of this doom and gloom stuff and "LOOK AT EVERYONE WE'VE LOST!!!!" talk started until we lost Demeco. Yeah, a few people were upset at Eric Winston, but it wasn't near this backlash. I think people are just shocked and upset that the team did something they didn't think was possible. JMO.

That's because it was the straw that broke the camel's back. I understand from a previous post you don't consider "the big picture" a valid concept. If you want to make your participation in this thread about Demeco that's your choice. I don't think it makes a big contribution to the discussion of overall team health.

Rey
03-22-2012, 01:43 PM
As far thinking it is silly to "look at the big picture". All I can say is "really?". Resources - draft picks, cap room - are limited. If I don't look at the big picture, I might plan to get a stud receiver with my first pick. And a pass rushing LB with my first pick. And an o-lineman with my first pick. There I've solved three problems individually.

Yes that is a dumb example, but "looking at the big picture" is why we know it is dumb.

Can you think of a real life example, because that one didn't make much sense...

My point with thinking about the needs individualy instead of as a whole is that you aren't going to fix each problem you have with one wave of a wand. You have to have a plan on how to address each individual need, but of course you will need to make sure you have the total amount of resources to address each individual need...

That's like if my light, water, gas and car bill are due. I'm not going to pay them all with the same $300. This isn't a ponzi scheme...

Rey
03-22-2012, 01:47 PM
If you want to make your participation in this thread about Demeco that's your choice. I don't think it makes a big contribution to the discussion of overall team health.

Seriously?

Because I gave mention to Demeco?

Everything I've written in here besides that one blurb, IMO, has been dedicated to the thread topic about as well as you could expect on a message board.

drunkcookie
03-22-2012, 01:53 PM
I think people are just shocked and upset that the team did something they didn't think was possible. JMO.

It's "damned iffin ya don't, damned iffin ya do" with fans sometimes..

"This HC and FO don't have the testicular fortitude it takes to make tough decisions!"

then they make a tough decision:

"Waaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh..wahhhhhhhhhhhhh *sniffle*.. wh *sniffle* wh-wh-why *sniffle* did they g-get rid of *sniffle* DeMeco wahhhhhhhhhhhh"

I dunno if i could have made the decision they did... But i'm glad they did..

Runner
03-22-2012, 01:58 PM
Seriously?

Because I gave mention to Demeco?

Everything I've written in here besides that one blurb, IMO, has been dedicated to the thread topic about as well as you could expect on a message board.

My apologies. I guess I'm tired of the name calling and whining about people who want to seriously discuss this topic. Your Demeco comment was the post that broke my back, as it were.

I've come back to posting regularly for a week, and I've been called a moron and chicken little, been characterized as woe is me, a child, etc., mainly because I'm not all rah rah everything is good.

Internet tough talk doesn't bother me, because I think it says more about the poster who does it regularly than it does about his target. I also know that I can be drawn into the wordplay and I (sometimes) regret that.

It is just that this forum has historically been a place of good discussion, and I expect more from it.

WolverineFan
03-22-2012, 02:02 PM
Sure, we can show the replacements are on the roster. Does that make the team better? The Texans are supposed to contend for a Super Bowl. They have to be better than last year, not just field a team. I don't think th jingo "Next Man Up" is a good management plan, especially when injuries start taking some of these next men out.

How do you know the replacements won't be improvements? Maybe Sharpton has surpassed DeMeco because of his injuries. Maybe Butler can both pass protect and run block. Maybe Brisiel was just a cog and Caldwell can replace him.

Why can't the Texans still make a run at a Super Bowl despite losing a few players?

disaacks3
03-22-2012, 02:05 PM
He said we need 5-6 high quality starters in the draft...Not 5-6 replacements.

Fair enough, we still need 5-6 starter-level replacements that we don't currently have on the roster

And Demeco was not the QB of the defense.

Yes he was, per the coaches AND his teammates. Try again. :mariopalm:


We still have:

Wade Phillpis - hint - this isn't a player
Gary Kubiak - hint - this isn't a player

They coach talent, they don't acquire talent, that's the GMs job.


Then we have some interesting young prospects in Mahael, and Jean and Shelly Smith.We also have Roc Carmichael and Brandon Harris and Braman on defense...

How many snaps (other than Braman) combined there? :cricket:

We have some veteran guys that should be able to step in without major drop off in production in Butler, Caldwell and Sharpton.

We already played Caldwell to reduced production last year. You think losing Brisel changes this how?

Then on top of all that we actually do have draft picks to play with and maybe we can sign a decent FA here or there. We've been pretty good with UDFA's.

Great signings last off-season, and zip so far this year. The remaining hope is the draft and cast-offs from other teams when they don't make it out of TC. Fantastic.

But really, none of this doom and gloom stuff and "LOOK AT EVERYONE WE'VE LOST!!!!" talk started until we lost Demeco. Yeah, a few people were upset at Eric Winston, but it wasn't near this backlash. I think people are just shocked and upset that the team did something they didn't think was possible. JMO.

Meco may have pushed it over the edge, but it started with Winston and has gained speed since.


Responses in BOLD.

run-david-run
03-22-2012, 02:06 PM
I didn't intend for this to be a prediction thread, so I'll ask some open ended questions.

Do you think the Texans have the resources available to make this a better, more talented team? Do you think they will be about the same, a little better, or a little worse? Do you think they are in full rebuilding mode due to openings and a roster that is getting older or more fragile?

And why?


I think they have the opportunity to be better than they were last year for the simple fact that we can be healthier in key positions. If, and this is of course the mother of all ifs, we have a lucky season in regards to injury, I would be surprised by anything less than a 12 win season.

Yes, we've lost Mario, but we didn't really have him last year, and there really hasn't been that much correlation between his performance and our W-L record. Briesel and Winston are both big losses, but also the two most replaceable players on the O-line (although I fear that's a rationalization. Everyone remembers Myers struggling his 1st year in this system).

I truly believe KJ is ready to step up, and he should have more support from a healthy Manning, a more comfortable Quin, and hopefully an emerging Nolan, McCain and Harris. The secondary is potentially the most talented unit on this team, not including RB, which is only 2 or 3 players.

From there, we're looking at 5 wins just from a very weak division schedule and veterans like Schaub playing for a contract and AJ ready to make amends for the last two years.

This isn't how any of us saw the off season going, but making tough cuts isn't what kills a team, it's making bad signings when you cant afford them. We're taking our medicine now when we can afford to, and I think we'll be strong in the short term and even stronger in the long run for it.

Rey
03-22-2012, 02:14 PM
My apologies. I guess I'm tired of the name calling and whining about people who want to seriously discuss this topic. Your Demeco comment was the post that broke my back, as it were.

I've come back to posting regularly for a week, and I've been called a moron and chicken little, been characterized as woe is me, a child, etc., mainly because I'm not all rah rah everything is good.

Internet tough talk doesn't bother me, because I think it says more about the poster who does it regularly than it does about his target. I also know that I can be drawn into the wordplay and I (sometimes) regret that.

It is just that this forum has historically been a place of good discussion, and I expect more from it.

Understood.

And I've agreed with a bunch of your takes throughout the years. I try to stay away from the namecalling and express my views in a matter of fact manner. But we are all human and we bristle at times...

And I agree...The board is definitely a little differnt than it used to be...

Runner
03-22-2012, 02:16 PM
How do you know the replacements won't be improvements? Maybe Sharpton has surpassed DeMeco because of his injuries. Maybe Butler can both pass protect and run block. Maybe Brisiel was just a cog and Caldwell can replace him.

Why can't the Texans still make a run at a Super Bowl despite losing a few players?

True, the backups might be better. If they are worse the team has lost something.

However, if all the backups are better than the lost starters from last year.
1) I'd be very surprised.
2) We really do need new coaches who won't start the second string.

Their price/performance ratio may very well be better, but the performance by itself needs to be at a certain level too.

Blake
03-22-2012, 02:16 PM
My apologies. I guess I'm tired of the name calling and whining about people who want to seriously discuss this topic. Your Demeco comment was the post that broke my back, as it were.

I've come back to posting regularly for a week, and I've been called a moron and chicken little, been characterized as woe is me, a child, etc., mainly because I'm not all rah rah everything is good.

Internet tough talk doesn't bother me, because I think it says more about the poster who does it regularly than it does about his target. I also know that I can be drawn into the wordplay and I (sometimes) regret that.

It is just that this forum has historically been a place of good discussion, and I expect more from it.

The big picture plan. So our main losses so far, again.

Mario Williams - He will need to be replaced by a high draft choice. Yes, Barwin and Reed will be starting, but you cannot rely on both to stay healthy all season. A rotation of 3 starter caliber players is a necessity. They will select one by round 2.

DeMeco Ryans - Came off the field alot, but Dobbins is a UFA and his replacement (Sharpton) is coming back from from a quad tendon rupture. The same with OLB, we wont have the cash to sign a high priced FA, so we will use a draft choice on a starter or 2nd string ILB.

Joel Dressen - His replacement is already on the roster in Graham. Texans might spend a low draft choice on a 3rd string TE, or sign one for cheap when FA prices come down even more.

Eric Winston - He will be replaced by our swing tackle, Butler, and the new swing tackle is Derek Newton. Who knows how Butler is going to work out on the edge but I would prefer we spend a 3-4th rounder on a backup RG/RT.

Mike Brisiel - Texans are planning on Antoine Caldwell to replace him. I think Caldwell will be a fine replacement but I do not think we have his backup on the current roster. Shelley Smith and Thomas Austin do not do it for me. Maybe the coaches think differently. But we do not get the privilege of seeing their progress.

Neil Rackers - Veteran FA kicker. We need this dude back. I do not want a rookie kicker coming in here and getting the starting job. I expect the Texans to sign him back. We need stability and experience in our kicker since this is a playoff team.

Jason Allen - I think we are stacked at DB with Joseph, Jackson, Harris, McCain, McManis, Carmichael. No adjustments needed unless they want to use a late round choice or UDFA.

Derrick Ward - Can be replaced with an UDFA or late choice. Not worried.

Wide Receiver - Obviously when AJ goes down we seriously lack down the field plays. We are not bringing in any high priced FA's to play WR2. This will be filled in the draft in the first 2 rounds.

Again, this isnt a ***** and moan, or chicken little post. This is just an observation of where we stand and what I think needs to be done to be a well rounded team again.

michaelm
03-22-2012, 02:20 PM
IMO:

Winston -> Butler = Push
Briesel -> Caldwell = Lose
Demeco -> Sharpton = Lose, but IMO DeMeco's production can be replaced with an average ILB (leadership void will be filled or offset to an extent by current players)

Vickers -> Casey = Lose Blocking / Win Receiving & Versatility
Allen -> ? = meh (lots of bodies on the roster at CB, and that's what Allen was, a body)


Now, having said that, I agree that the team got weaker, and not better. I don't think anyone could rationally deny that. However, I choose to go with the "good is the enemy of great" mantra and expect the best. It may not be realistic, but that is what I choose to do... as long as they cut freakin jacoby Jones.

Runner
03-22-2012, 02:25 PM
The big picture plan. So our main losses so far, again.

Mario Williams - He will need to be replaced by a high draft choice. Yes, Barwin and Reed will be starting, but you cannot rely on both to stay healthy all season. A rotation of 3 starter caliber players is a necessity. They will select one by round 2.

DeMeco Ryans - Came off the field alot, but Dobbins is a UFA and his replacement (Sharpton) is coming back from from a quad tendon rupture. The same with OLB, we wont have the cash to sign a high priced FA, so we will use a draft choice on a starter or 2nd string ILB.

Joel Dressen - His replacement is already on the roster in Graham. Texans might spend a low draft choice on a 3rd string TE, or sign one for cheap when FA prices come down even more.

Eric Winston - He will be replaced by our swing tackle, Butler, and the new swing tackle is Derek Newton. Who knows how Butler is going to work out on the edge but I would prefer we spend a 3-4th rounder on a backup RG/RT.

Mike Brisiel - Texans are planning on Antoine Caldwell to replace him. I think Caldwell will be a fine replacement but I do not think we have his backup on the current roster. Shelley Smith and Thomas Austin do not do it for me. Maybe the coaches think differently. But we do not get the privilege of seeing their progress.

Neil Rackers - Veteran FA kicker. We need this dude back. I do not want a rookie kicker coming in here and getting the starting job. I expect the Texans to sign him back. We need stability and experience in our kicker since this is a playoff team.

Jason Allen - I think we are stacked at DB with Joseph, Jackson, Harris, McCain, McManis, Carmichael. No adjustments needed unless they want to use a late round choice or UDFA.

Derrick Ward - Can be replaced with an UDFA or late choice. Not worried.

Wide Receiver - Obviously when AJ goes down we seriously lack down the field plays. We are not bringing in any high priced FA's to play WR2. This will be filled in the draft in the first 2 rounds.

Again, this isnt a ***** and moan, or chicken little post. This is just an observation of where we stand and what I think needs to be done to be a well rounded team again.

Good post. If I wasn't on TapaTalk I'd rep you. Maybe later.

So you are looking at a couple of impact rookies to end up with a team with decent starters, and then they'd probably have much less depth than last year. Injuries will tell the tale in that scenario.

Incidentally, I really don't see the loss of Mario as a big deal. Frankly, I wouldn't have kept him at Winston's or Demeco's salary. He had the potential to be a game changer, but to me he was always just a cog.

Runner
03-22-2012, 02:28 PM
IMO:

Winston -> Butler = Push
Briesel -> Caldwell = Lose
Demeco -> Sharpton = Lose, but IMO DeMeco's production can be replaced with an average ILB (leadership void will be filled or offset to an extent by current players)

Vickers -> Casey = Lose Blocking / Win Receiving & Versatility
Allen -> ? = meh (lots of bodies on the roster at CB, and that's what Allen was, a body)


Now, having said that, I agree that the team got weaker, and not better. I don't think anyone could rationally deny that. However, I choose to go with the "good is the enemy of great" mantra and expect the best. It may not be realistic, but that is what I choose to do... as long as they cut freakin jacoby Jones.

I thought it was "better is the enemy of good enough".

G27RR
03-22-2012, 02:33 PM
I think we need more like 2 starters, 4 quality rotation/backups and then fill out the roster with the usual. More would be better, but you can't be stacked everywhere and we do have a lot of returning guys who are very good at their positions.

I think with the full offseason we'll be okay on the O-line. I'd like to be better, but I don't think they'll hold us back too much.

I'd like to see a new starter at WR. We could need a #2 TE but wouldn't necessarily need more than a serviceable guy if we add more of a playmaker at WR. We still have OD.

We could use a starter quality guy in the LB rotation since we've lost two LBs and will be elevating backups. After that we just need depth there.

So WR and LB are the starters I think we need.

We could use a quality guy at 3rd CB, but he might already be on the roster. Kareem showed significant improvement over year one, especially towards the end, so I don't think he goes anywhere. He could still turn into an above avg #2. We're obviously set at Joseph's spot.

We should be fine at RB with our top two guys locked up together for two years, so they only need depth there this year.

They will probably bring a vet kicker in before preseason; it's not unusual to wait to sign a kicker.

They should be able to sign a few good but not great UFAs (could include Rackers and Dreesen), get some guys in the draft, and be at least as good as last year. We could be better, especially if we have better luck with fewer injuries. However, if they don't draft well, I think we'll take a step back. It's too early to tell one way or the other yet.

The good news to me is that if their moves this year were done for the reasons I think they were, we're finally starting to set ourselves up for long-term success.

EVOLVIST
03-22-2012, 02:42 PM
True, the backups might be better. If they are worse the team has lost something.

However, if all the backups are better than the lost starters from last year.
1) I'd be very surprised.
2) We really do need new coaches who won't start the second string.

Their price/performance ratio may very well be better, but the performance by itself needs to be at a certain level too.

Thanks for posting this topic.

Last Tuesday Wade got on SP610 and pretty much unbidden he stated that they haven't lost any starters on the defense. He reiterated several times that Barwin and Reed were our starters at OLB, and they had been for most of the season. This was the same day DR was cut, I believe, so he knew about it.

Now, I'm not one to take a coach for his words, because these dudes have become politicos in our modern media age...but Wade really isn't anyone to blow smoke; so if he thinks he still has his guys on defense (although I cringed a little when he spoke so highly of KJ), then I'm going to take that as about, oh...I don't know...maybe 90% the truth? Yeah, that sounds about right.

Of course Wade doesn't speak for the offense either. Moreover, to me at least, it seemed that Wade didn't want to speak too much about the draft—which is understandable.

So, the offense? I think we've got a hell of a chance to knock this draft out of the park on both sides of the ball. We'll see.

But really, to answer your original question, I think our success is predicated on Matt Schaub and his health. If Schaub is healthy and he gets at least one more weapon, then we're a better team. We've tasted the playoffs. We're a better team for it. If Schaub is not healthy, and the season rests on Yates, then we are probably a little worse, though I expect that Yates will be better than last year.

The OL? If we didn't have guys on staff that were already used to the synchronicity of the ZBS, then I would worry. Yeah, I have some trepidation about Caldwell, but not so much with Butler. In fact, I'm kind of a Butler fan. But OL depth? Sure, we need to shore that up a bit.

I don't think any of this off-season derails them the Texans from shooting for a Super Bowl this year...or even making it! They had better be thinking that, at least. Because if not? They are already sunk.

Goldensilence
03-22-2012, 02:54 PM
I didn't intend for this to be a prediction thread, so I'll ask some open ended questions.

Do you think the Texans have the resources available to make this a better, more talented team? Do you think they will be about the same, a little better, or a little worse? Do you think they are in full rebuilding mode due to openings and a roster that is getting older or more fragile?

And why?

Years like this is really what you see what you have in the FO as far as being able to identify talent and if your coaching staff is good enough to ask for talent and develop it.

Pay dirt year for Gary and Rick IMO.

Can Garrett Graham step in the loss of Dressen? I think its possible. We've been stacking players at the position for a while.

Vickers to me isn't a HUGE loss. Can Casey turn into a much better blocker to match what he can do as an offensive weapon? Up to him and the staff. If not, I think we can find a capable FB post draft if need be.

Winston was a big loss. No he wasn't ace in pass protection, but did a good job paving the way in run blocking. Time to see what this staff thinks of Butler and if they make a high pick at Tackle.

Brisiel fit nicely with what the scheme, but no one should mistake him for being an elite G. Got a big payday from the Raiders..but who hasn't lately? I haven't been impressed with Caldwell at guard, but he might be out of position considering he was an All-American C at Bama. Shelley Smith might be a candidate as well for replacement. We could also look for value later in the draft or FA.

Sharpton was taking more reps last year and probably has a little better size to man the spot. People talk about Meco's leadership, but I think we have it in spades and at different levels on this defense. To me the moment Cushing stepped onto this team the attitude changed. the biggest thing we lost with trading Meco was making calls and letting Cush do his thing. Can Sharpton take that responsibility? We'll see. LBer is another spot where this team has been able to consistently develop talent at.

Addressing our Bigger FA keeps and loss:

If this was the Pats and they saw that they got consistent and good production without Mario Williams: they wouldn't have thought twice about letting him walk. Period.

I think the biggest thing we will have to really replace is having a third guy in rotation at OLB or in case Reed or Barwin go down. Which I hope doesn't happen. We do need to look at that either early in the draft or find a a vet in FA.

Myers retention was key in keeping the OL clicking hands down IMO. We also did it without breaking the bank.

Seeing Foster paid was rewarding on so many different levels. This guy's vision is elite and he's the focus of this offense. Despite only being a RFA I think the team had to show its own players and players around the league they will get rewarded here for hard work and coming out on top.



Wade's second year history is not as good as his first year after taking over. I don't think that will happen this time, but I don't expect our defense will be so highly rated. I do think until a new on field defensive leader comes into his own to replace DeMeco, we can expect a small let down. With a good draft, our defense will still be scary.

As to the offense, if Schaub can stay on his feet we'll be OK. Somehow I think they'll get the offensive line going and our run game will be fine. I believe they'll draft a WR in the 2nd or 3rd round that will see some playing time.

We are not in full rebuilding mode, but we are in a "need to patch some holes" mode which is not quite as bad. The team will be a good one, maybe not quite as good as some of us hope for.

In the draft, I think in the first four rounds you will see them pick a LB, O-Lineman, and a WR for sure. After that, not sure.

To me overall leadership isn't going to be an issue without Demeco per se. Physically, I think Sharpton is at least comparable. What we really lose is Demeco knowing the calls and being able to have Cushing let loose to do what he does best. Can Sharpton grasp it all in the off-season? Up to him and this defensive staff.

Allstar
03-22-2012, 03:03 PM
Way to totally discount the 5 games from Mario Williams, our veteran kicker, our punter, Joel Dreesen, Vickers and Tim Dobbins.

And I love how you say the right side of the line so nonchalantly. Like its so easy to just swap out 2/5ths of an offensive line and not skip a beat.


I obviously don't value the likes of Mario, Rackers, Vickers and the like as much as you do. Rackers could be had easily anyways, methinks. We chugged along fine without them, Mario especially. I have faith in the system when it comes to the right side of the line, which wasn't as all world as outsiders would believe.

And why are you quoting super squad? I call the team well rounded and you plug in "super squad?"
Yep, what's the big deal?

And dont call me chicken little. You obviously dont know how to correctly use it and come off as ignorant and obtuse.

I called you Chicken Little to imply that this situation isn't as doom and gloomy as you make it out to be, much like anyone else ever uses the term. Not sure how you got ignorant and obtuse out of that, maybe you are the one that doesn't know how to use it correctly :mariopalm:

I agree that our team hasn't gotten stronger, but I don't think we've dropped off too much, and with addition of a healthy Matt Schaub and a solid draft, I think we'll be just fine.

Blake
03-22-2012, 03:24 PM
I called you Chicken Little to imply that this situation isn't as doom and gloomy as you make it out to be, much like anyone else ever uses the term. Not sure how you got ignorant and obtuse out of that, maybe you are the one that doesn't know how to use it correctly :mariopalm:

I agree that our team hasn't gotten stronger, but I don't think we've dropped off too much, and with addition of a healthy Matt Schaub and a solid draft, I think we'll be just fine.

How you took my fact based information as doom and gloom is beyond me. Yeah you are right. We are a great team full of resiliency, starters 4 deep, sunshine and kittens! Go Texans!

/sarcasm

drunkcookie
03-22-2012, 03:33 PM
How you took my fact based information as doom and gloom is beyond me. Yeah you are right. We are a great team full of resiliency, starters 4 deep, sunshine and kittens! Go Texans!

/sarcasm

Hmmm, a little sarcastic doom and gloom there, with some hyperbole for added flare...

Whichever storybook/movie character did that, i call you them!

Big Lou
03-22-2012, 04:25 PM
If some back ups step up, we have a chance to not miss a beat. If we draft as well this year in rounds 1 and 2 we should be just fine. I think you'll see Rick trade some of those extra picks from this year, and maybe some anticipated picks from next year from FA departures to get another pick in round 2, and if the first three players we pick are decent we will plug holes.
Let's recap who's left:
Mario: Played well with out him last year, so who cares.

Briesel: A little concern, but Briesel was developed, perhaps they can repeat the formula.

Winston: I think Butler ha a chance to be just as good if not better. We had a different swing tackle last year since Butler was on IR, so very little change.

Allen: 50% of the board is worried about this and 50% are happy, I think he contributed, maybe KJ takes another step, but there is some guys ready for taking the next step to compete.

Vickers: We'll see how this plays out, if Casey can stay healthy I think we are fine.

Hot Tub Matt: He play less than a half, no big loss.

Meco: It sucks he was coming back last year, but has had health issues. Not a big drop off with Sharpton.

Potentially lose:
Dressen: I'm most concerned about this, but we will see what Graham has, OD will hopefully be closer to 100%, and who know we may draft 4 or 5 TE's this year.


If we can draft a WR, find a value FA that is left if there are any, or trade for one I feel good going in to next year. WR is our biggest hole.

drunkcookie
03-22-2012, 04:53 PM
Vickers is a cowboy now, Big Lou...

Lucky
03-22-2012, 05:10 PM
Sharpton was taking more reps last year and probably has a little better size to man the spot. People talk about Meco's leadership, but I think we have it in spades and at different levels on this defense. To me the moment Cushing stepped onto this team the attitude changed. the biggest thing we lost with trading Meco was making calls and letting Cush do his thing. Can Sharpton take that responsibility? We'll see. LBer is another spot where this team has been able to consistently develop talent at.

First, Phillips went to Cushing as the guy wearing the helmet receiver and getting the calls. That's because Cushing stayed on the field in the nickel while Ryans was replaced by a CB.

Second, exactly how does Sharpton have "better size" than Ryans to play the Mo LB spot. Smaller is better? Sharpton's contribution in 2011 has been way overplayed and he looked lost when the Texans defense was overpowered in 2010. I doubt that the LB that will lineup next to Cushing in 2012 is currently on the roster.

NitroGSXR
03-22-2012, 05:17 PM
I think we're at the point to where we can start plugging in filler players from FA. I think the success of our season rests more with how Schaub recovers at this point. Everybody's holding their breath here. Nobody really knows what to do. What we must not do is panic and blow the top off our cap. What we DID though is... forget Brown and Cushing for a minute... we cleared room because we are also going to be in the market for a QB whether that means a mega-contract to Schaub or even Brees. I don't know. A Brady-esque draft? I can't see us taking a QB too high considering our needs. What I do know is... As much as I like Yates, no way we roll with him as the future. He did an admirable job last season but admirable effort and excellent game managing is all it was.

pec0sb0b
03-22-2012, 05:46 PM
As a GM your goal is to get better every year. Free Agency and the salary cap work against that goal...that's part of the reason they were created. In addition, the better you get, the more other teams want your players. In other words, you can't continue to get better every year. Even the supposed zen master Belichik has had a hard time keeping the Patriot's roster on top. Each year is an entirely new landscape for the GM to navigate.

I actually think the roster is in better shape than it was at this time last year (I know it's in better cap shape). We had tremendous holes coming into the draft; CB, FS, SS, WR, OLB, DT. In 2010 the secondary was so bad that people were screaming for a corner in the first round instead of a receiver, the usual demand.

I think it's also useful to focus on depth instead of thinking of all positions as requiring a starter that plays 80% of snaps and a backup that plays the remaining snaps. Running backs are commonly platooned, as are offensive and defensive linemen. The Texans' situation at ILB last year is a good example. Demeco Ryans is a great run-stopper, but he can't pass-rush and he can't cover to save his life, much as we all love him. Accordingly he was able to contribute on first and ten or on short yardage plays when an opponent was more likely to run, and not able to contribute on passing downs. The Texans used Ryans and Sharpton to fill two different roles at the same position. Cushing has proven that he can provide run support, pass-rush and stay on the field on third down and provide zone coverage, but there aren't a lot of linebackers that can. That's why they would re-sign him for big money and not Ryans.

They hit a couple of home runs in last year's draft, and got a couple of extra-base hits, too, and I am optimistic about the draft. There's good depth in this draft if teams don't reach (some always do). You gotta go back a few years with this team to find a draft pick that really stunk up the field and I am confident they'll find some good players this year.

That being said, if they draft a player I don't like, I reserve the right to come back and complain.

Big Lou
03-22-2012, 05:46 PM
Vickers is a cowboy now, Big Lou...

He was in my gone column. I meant we will see how Casey does full time.

drs23
03-22-2012, 06:32 PM
I think they have the opportunity to be better than they were last year for the simple fact that we can be healthier in key positions. If, and this is of course the mother of all ifs, we have a lucky season in regards to injury, I would be surprised by anything less than a 12 win season.

Yes, we've lost Mario, but we didn't really have him last year, and there really hasn't been that much correlation between his performance and our W-L record. Briesel and Winston are both big losses, but also the two most replaceable players on the O-line (although I fear that's a rationalization. Everyone remembers Myers struggling his 1st year in this system).

I truly believe KJ is ready to step up, and he should have more support from a healthy Manning, a more comfortable Quin, and hopefully an emerging Nolan, McCain and Harris. The secondary is potentially the most talented unit on this team, not including RB, which is only 2 or 3 players.

From there, we're looking at 5 wins just from a very weak division schedule and veterans like Schaub playing for a contract and AJ ready to make amends for the last two years.

This isn't how any of us saw the off season going, but making tough cuts isn't what kills a team, it's making bad signings when you cant afford them. We're taking our medicine now when we can afford to, and I think we'll be strong in the short term and even stronger in the long run for it.

Good post. Perhaps a little ambitious but I find myself being the same way at times. If #8 can answer the bell then I'll feel much better. From what I've garnered here & there the prognosis isn't as rosy.

Guess we'll all find out about the same time.

Runner
03-22-2012, 10:55 PM
The closest thing to a consensus I can get out of this is that the Texans will be competitive, but:

1) They must have a very good draft
2) They can easily be derailed by injury


We shall see.

mussop
03-22-2012, 11:25 PM
Here's the big picture. Our depth at nearly all positions sucks!!!! Any injury to a starter this year and there will be a big drop off. We had good solid depth last year but they are all starters this year.

All I have been reading is how we have to draft a WR with one of our first two picks. How loosing Mario Williams means we need to add an OLB really early. Actually they are probably our two deepest positions behind QB and RB.

We are going to be fine as far as our starting units go, it's depth when our starters go down thats going to hurt us. We don't have much money for FA though I'm sure we will find a way to add a little depth here and there but our main focus on getting this team up to par depth wise will be via the draft. We will not be able to draft depth at every position so forget that line of thinking.

The early rounds of this draft need to be BPA that can come in and make the most impact followed by purely BPA.

We are weak in nearly every position depth wise.

WR is actually one of the least weak positions

JOHNSON, ANDRE Jones, Jacoby Jean, Lestar Iglesias, Juaquin
WALTER, KEVIN Maehl, Jeff Holliday, Trindon

LB's Inside is weak but Bramen and Nading aren't as bad as some of the backups at other positions.

LOLB 57 Nading, Jesse
LILB 97 Smith, Derrell
RILB 54 Alexander, Mister
ROLB 50 Braman, Bryan

Now take a look at the other positions depth.

TE A lot depends on what they intend to do with Casey. I don't see them moving him back to TE after letting Vickers go. If Dreeson comes back this position is fine. Graham has been a non factor since we drafted him. Why all the sudden anyone thinks he is going to become something is beyond me. If Dreeson leaves and Casey stays at FB we have no depth.

OL The depth here sucks. Which of these guys do you feel comfortable with starting?

LT 75 Newton, Derek
LG 61 Austin, Thomas
C 79 Wallace, Cody
RG 71 Smith, Shelley
RT 66 Gardner, Andrew

DL The depth here sucks. Again, Any of our starters go down we are in deep doodoo!

LDE 91 Harris, Sunny
NT 92 Mitchell, Earl
RDE 96 Jamison, Tim

Secondary Nolan and McCain are solid backups the rest are blah.

LCB 26 Harris, Brandon 36 Carmichael, Roc
SS 31 Keo, Shiloh
FS 33 Nolan, Troy 42Williams, Torri
RCB 21 McCain, Brice 22 McManis, Sherrick

Rey
03-22-2012, 11:33 PM
First, Phillips went to Cushing as the guy wearing the helmet receiver and getting the calls. That's because Cushing stayed on the field in the nickel while Ryans was replaced by a CB.

Second, exactly how does Sharpton have "better size" than Ryans to play the Mo LB spot. Smaller is better? Sharpton's contribution in 2011 has been way overplayed and he looked lost when the Texans defense was overpowered in 2010. I doubt that the LB that will lineup next to Cushing in 2012 is currently on the roster.

I agree with that for the most part.

Sharpton has not been overly impressive from what I've seen. Plus he's coming off injury.

bckey
03-23-2012, 01:38 PM
I agree with that for the most part.

Sharpton has not been overly impressive from what I've seen. Plus he's coming off injury.

This is why I hope the Texans take an ILB like Hightower in the upcoming draft. Save wr for a later round. Maybe DT but outside of Poe I don't want a dt in the first. I know the Texans need an OLB but at least they have good starters where as ILB is sort of a weak spot now opposite of Cushing.

GP
03-23-2012, 02:22 PM
I didn't intend for this to be a prediction thread, so I'll ask some open ended questions.

Do you think the Texans have the resources available to make this a better, more talented team? Do you think they will be about the same, a little better, or a little worse? Do you think they are in full rebuilding mode due to openings and a roster that is getting older or more fragile?

And why?

I think the main, central "theme" of this team is CONFIDENCE.

It All Starts At The Top
Wade Phillips was the torch bearer for the culture of confidence. He said Mario would flourish in his system, and Mario flourished with 5 sacks (IIRC) in just 4 or 5 games before his season-ending injury. He said "I believe Brian Cushing can handle the Mike just fine.," and Brian Cushing did just that. Kareem Jackson progressed, as well, after having a very rough 2010 season prior to Wade's arrival. From the moment Frank Bush exited and Wade Phillips entered the scene, the reconstruction phase of the defense began in earnest. The players and positions he set out to alter, Mario to OLB and Cushing to MLB and sticking with KJ at CB2 (even if there was a part-time player in J Allen helping out) was very key.

Then You Add Some Key Ingredients
The addition of Joseph and Manning was the 2nd most important part of our new culture of confidence. Their impact was immediate, it was felt both in their on-the-field performance and their vocal leadership of that secondary. We found two guys who carry not just a swagger, but they possess real on-the-field skills we have never seen at CB1 and S. These two players upped the game of guys like Glover Quin and others.

Player Acquisition Is Like Beer: Both Are Better On DRAFT
JJ Watt, Brooks Reed, TJ Yates--Three guys who played a vital role in saving the 2011 season. Look, much has been made about us losing Mario Williams. Based on the attitude Mario took with him to Buffalo, we lost ZILCH. We gained what we wanted in Mario by selecting JJ Watt in the 2011 Draft. We followed that up by selecting Brooks Reed whom Texans officials were shocked was still available in the 2nd round when it was our turn to pick.

TJ Yates was Kubiak's lone pick of the draft for his offense...but TJ held it together enough to help us win the AFCS in Cincinatti on a last-second play to Walter, securing our first-ever playoff berth at the same time. Brandon Harris might be a player to look for in 2012, too. That's 4 picks that I think have long-term impact here.

Who knows what the draft holds, but I can tell you this: We have a singular focus on both sides of the ball now, and I think it's cleared than ever what the scouts know to look for for both Kubiak and Phillips. There is a confidence in the entire team, whereas before it was just on Kubiak's side (the offense).

Oh yeah, two more very important words: Rookie Salaries. We get that production for a great value vs. trying the FA route again.

Why All of The Above Is Important
We've been over each player who has left us in FA. Everyone agrees that Winston's pass pro was not stellar. Most people acknowledge that DeMeco was a proven leader of those guys but he has age, injury, and salary issues that made him a cap casualty here.

There are reasons why some guys were cut (Winston), some guys were traded (DeMeco), and others got better offers elsewhere (Briesel, for example). But why is that necessarily the fault of the Texans in general?

There has been more thoughtful analysis, by our front office, of our free agents than I remember of this same Texans front office in the past. Yes, it might be dictated by cap constraints...but tightening the fiscal belt makes you just a little more objective about your expenses and which ones you keep and which ones you shed. Period. Bob is always learning things...now he is learning what happens when you spend for talent and the debt collector comes calling for payment on that debt.

For all we know, Bob was fully aware that the chickens would come home to roost and he still pushed ahead and authorized the Front Office to make those deals in 2011..."Let's worry about it when the time comes," which meant they'd have a plan to shed guys like Winston and DeMeco. A lot of you say you don't believe in black and white, that there are shades of gray in life. Well, here is a prime example, but yet it's "All that damn Rick Smith's fault!" Seriously? He's the middle guy, between the Owner and the HC. He's doing their bidding, and you all know darn well that every little thing that is done by Rick is signed off on by Bob McNair. Rick is not as dumb as he's being portrayed, IMO.

In Conclusion...
I believe in the Texans for 2012 because they have not shown me anything contrary to what I saw in 2011. Not a single game has been played yet. Not even a camp or a pre-season scrimmage either. Why do I believe in them? Because 2011 taught me that this team radically transformed itself (on the defense side of the ball, obviously) and I don't think the departures we've had spells problems for 2012. I think they have enough confidence to handle their jobs, again, and for the new crop of draft picks to enter and soak up that same confidence that THEY saw when they watched the Texans play on TV on Sundays in 2011. It's a whole new dynamic at Reliant, IMO.

This time last year, we thought there might not even be football in 2011. Wow! What a difference Father Time makes. At first, we didn't think we'd have football. We GOT football and all was well. We even had a year that we almost "didn't have" in 2011 because of the lockout. Fate was kind to us. The football Gods delivered after 9+ years of misery here. So for me, yeah I'm pretty freaking excited to see what we do in the draft and how we look after having a full off-season, full OTAs, full camp, and pre-season to shake the rust off the veteran's asses. It's going to be a good year, IMO.

GP
03-23-2012, 03:06 PM
Hope was the theme for 2011.

Confidence is the 2012 theme.

If those certain players who took their grievances onto Facebook and twitter are THAT upset about losing a leader like DeMeco, then what does that really say?

Do they not look at themselves as being capable of having the same level of leadership as DeMeco?

Does this say that after DeMeco there isn't really anybody or a group of anybodies in the same form and shape as DeMeco?

If this team is so fragile that the departure of one man is this important to our outlook, then yeah...we will be in trouble.

Or the others will honor Ryans by carrying the torch and be the ones DeMeco was teaching them to become.

Our future is as stable now as it was when we lost a starter every Sunday in 2011. And it's because of confidence in the team, confidence in self, confidence in the future.

The Patriots had no confidence until guys like Coach Bill and Brady instilled it into the team, then the momentum and expectations took care of the rest. Now there's a climate of confidence and with that is a fresh set of expectations for each player entering their doors.

G27RR
03-23-2012, 07:13 PM
Couple of good posts there, GP.

bckey
03-23-2012, 10:12 PM
Couple of good posts there, GP.

One of them was a novel.

infantrycak
03-23-2012, 10:32 PM
Do they not look at themselves as being capable of having the same level of leadership as DeMeco?

What world do you live in? No everybody in a group of 11 guys or even 5 guys does not look around and consider them all as having the same leadership skills as the one with the best leadership skills. Some of them may feel they are better overall players, some better athletes, some more important to the team - but no most of them are not thinking "I can be that leader."

I mean you might as well ask if the QB's on the roster when Manning went down did not look at themselves as being capable of having the same level of play as Manning.

Lucky
03-23-2012, 10:57 PM
Hope was the theme for 2011.

Confidence is the 2012 theme.

If those certain players who took their grievances onto Facebook and twitter are THAT upset about losing a leader like DeMeco, then what does that really say?
Hope was the theme from 2006-2010. I think Desperation was the theme for 2011. It's a good theme. They should keep it in 2012.

Do you think you might be a little Facebook/Twitter obsessed? It's neat and all to read what players are thinking without going through the team or media filters. But does it really mean anything?

Let me answer that for you - No.

Nawzer
03-23-2012, 11:08 PM
No one knows how the season will turn out. The loses we have experienced can be catastrophic, a blip on the radar, or something in between. I'm going to sit back and wait because as a fan there is really not much else I can do.

Rey
03-23-2012, 11:09 PM
Hope was the theme for 2011.

Confidence is the 2012 theme.

If those certain players who took their grievances onto Facebook and twitter are THAT upset about losing a leader like DeMeco, then what does that really say?

Do they not look at themselves as being capable of having the same level of leadership as DeMeco?

Does this say that after DeMeco there isn't really anybody or a group of anybodies in the same form and shape as DeMeco?

If this team is so fragile that the departure of one man is this important to our outlook, then yeah...we will be in trouble.

Or the others will honor Ryans by carrying the torch and be the ones DeMeco was teaching them to become.

Gp, I gotta be honest. That sounds like a movie. Almost remember the titans-ish. Like when Bertrand got in the car accident and the team had to press forward without their leader.

Nothing wrong with that, just making an observation. Only thing is that I think Cushing and other guys were already taking in some leadership responsibilities.

Demeco was definitely a positive influence on the team. He definitely was one to keep them focused, but humans adapt in order to survive.

If they didn't boys would never grow into men and would be screwed as soon as pops wasn't around.

Personally, I think were going to be ok and I think it's time that Cushing puts his stamp on the defense. Own it, make it his. I'd like to see him have a Ray Lewis or Brian urlacher type if career with us.

And that goes for Chris Meyers on the o line, od as a te.

I made the analogy somewhere else, but the engine and the transmission is still here. We just need to build around it.