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View Full Version : How Do You Feel - Wand at LT and Pitts at LG?


Tulip
06-21-2004, 08:05 PM
I personally am not thrilled at the idea of basically starting from scratch again at the tackle spot.

I would have given Pitts another year at tackle. But I know that I've been in the minority for a long time on that one. Everyone has been talking about moving him to guard since before his first start.

What is your preference?

Fiddy
06-21-2004, 08:18 PM
I am in that same thought about starting over at LT, I dont want to sacrifice Carr's life. But from what I have read and heard is that Wand has worked in the weight room and has really increased his strength. I also think that Pitts has the chance to be a good LT, but a dominate LG. But the difference is that if Wand does falter we have Pitts to fall back on.

Pitts did an admirable job last year. Holding Jason Taylor to goose eggs isnt very easy.

beerlover
06-21-2004, 08:42 PM
Texan fans should be thrilled, seems Wand is way ahead of schedule & Pitts continues to improve plus moving him to his natural position, with the addition of Wade to the right tackle the offensive line will be much improved. The only thing to fear is injury, hopefully we'll have better luck in this area.

Vinny
06-21-2004, 08:48 PM
I feel great about it and I am one of Pitts biggest supporters. He is a dominating run blocker and will make a dynamite Guard. Pitts was always alone at LT. He had journeymen Guards beside him and no help since we always needed to help our RT. This year Wand will have a solid NFL player beside him in Pitts and we don't need to help Wade at RT. This is not even close to the same scenario as Pitts had his first year. Wand will get the help Pitts couldn't and he is built more like a LT and can use his long legs and long arms to leverage edge/speed rushers easier than the stockier, shorter Pitts.

BornOrange
06-21-2004, 10:07 PM
Remember that this move is not final. Changes that occur in the spring don't always hold up after a few weeks of training camp. The promotion of Wand to starting left tackle and the move of Pitts to left guard could be looked at several different ways:
1. The coaches think this is the best lineup.
2. The coaches are rewarding Wand for hard work and improvement.
3. The coaches are trying to light a fire under Milford Brown.

Remember that a lot of lineup changes before the summer are meant as motivational tools. This could just be the coaching staff's way of motivating somebody into doing something. It could be that the staff wants to see how Wand will hold up during exhibition games. If Pitts needs to return to left tackle, he could easily make the adjustment after a couple of preseason games.

I personally think that the coaching staff is making this move because of a combination of all three motives I mentioned above. They see Wand as being the left tackle of the future and would like to see how he would work out, and to see how Pitts would be as a guard. They also want to reward Wand for his hard work by showing confidence in him, and if they end up moving Pitts back to left tackle they will make it clear to Wand that he is the left tackle of the future, just not the present. Also, they want to light a fire under Brown/Weary/Washington to compete for the left guard spot and show that the position isn't a weakness that needs to be addressed by moving Pitts.

BuffSoldier
06-21-2004, 10:13 PM
Wand is massive and has good footwork and technique, it all came down to him getting stronger and extending his long arms. He has gotten stronger and hopefuly the coaching staff has gotten him to extend his arms, if so, he could be at least an above average LT this year and could become a very good LT by 2005. Also by moveing Pitts to LG we are able to place him back in his natural position , where I think he has chances to be a Pro-Bowl caliber player, it improves the line in so many ways.

Hervoyel
06-21-2004, 10:46 PM
I'm thinking this move is a really good sign. After what happened in 2002 I don't think the coaches would make this move if they didn't think that Wand was ready for it. Plus they know that if things get out of hand they can go right back to Pitts a LT and it won't be a problem. This potentially could be a truly great line and the coaches seem to think the chances are good enoug that it's time to put it together and see what happens.

I don't see a negative here.

clandestin
06-21-2004, 10:57 PM
I expect there to be some growing pains with Wand manning the LT spot, particularly in the early season--there's just no replacement for game experience. With the upgrade at LG though I expect the left sides net performance to improve by the middle of the season. Casserly and Capers have clearly taken a trial by fire approach to this team, with Carr, AJ, Robinson, Babin, Gaffney, etc. expected to come in and learn on the job.

One advantage Wand will have this season is that our division isn't particularly stacked with premiere pass-rushing REs. Freeny leads this group, but as an undersized speed rusher I think Wand's superior footspeed makes him a better match then Pitts. Kearse is gone with a likely rookie replacement in Tennesee. Hugh Douglas in jacksonville is getting old, and Brackens has some injury concerns (I don't think j-ville has decided which is playing RE yet.)

I'm looking forward to seeing how Wand handles TB's Simeon Rice in the last pre-season game. It should be a good barometer on what we can expect out of Wand this year.

infantrycak
06-22-2004, 07:26 AM
A number of people don’t know Wand has a learning disability. In university, the school had average-to-less-than-average coaches for the line at least as far as dealing with a learning disability.

This was what NFL.com had in Wand's prospect profile.

Has a documented learning disability that could pose problems digesting a complicated play book.

Has anyone seen any better description of what the learning disability is?

In any event, Boselli was quoted last year saying Wand was the fastest learning Olineman he had ever worked with. I would think demonstrating knowledge of the playbook and necessary techniques would have been a prerequisite to the Texans putting him in at LT.

ArlingtonTexan
06-22-2004, 07:48 AM
Often a learning disability means that a person can't learn in a certain environment or a certain manner, does not mean that the guy can't learn and even learn quickly.

BTW, I think this is the year let Wand adjust to the left tackle position. The texans as a team have a shot at the playoffs, but are the classic "year away" unless Indy and Tenn have major injuries are fall back to the pack unexpectedly.

nunusguy
06-22-2004, 09:20 AM
Richard Branson, one of the worlds great entreprenuers, has a learning disablity but it didn't stop him from becoming a billionaire. In his case its dyslexia - so there's all kinds of LD but it doesn't mean you can't succeed. According to Wand's bio he majored in MIS - thats computers if you didn't know ! So he's obviously not a drooling *****.
I happen to be a native Missorian like Wand and know something about his
alma mata - Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Mo. To say it is small college is a huge understatement - he must have been blown away when he
came from there to play in the NFL just last year. If this guy does turn out to
be our team's long term left tackle - my hat is off to Cass for a real "find" from
nowhere.

sprtsfanatic
06-22-2004, 09:33 AM
I'll have to agree with most members here. I feel great about the move. It shows that Wand has progressed at an unimaginable rate, besides with the Boss man being his mentor and teaching him all the trades of the position I cant wait to see him there.

For all of you "the glass is half empty" frame of minded guys....like many have mentioned if Wand isn't ready...Pitts could always move back and take care of Carrs blind side.

But for now, I like what I hear coming out of our mini camp about Wand and I think he'll be more than ready to make the leap to the starting line.

TheOgre
06-22-2004, 09:58 AM
I think this is the perfect time to do it. This is a transitional season for us. We have several guys moving to new positions. I would rather Wand learn this year than next. I am earmarking year 4 as our breakout year. Could it happen this year? Sure. Is it as likely with all of the roster reshuffling? I don't think so.

I'm curious to see Milford Brown's progress this season. Hopefully he can live up to his potential. If so he might push one of the interior linemen.

I like Pitts at LG. He will be a Pro Bowler there some day IMO. He is a great run blocker and playing on the inside should improve his pass-blocking as well.

J-Man
06-22-2004, 10:18 AM
One good thing I have noticed about this thread is that it all boils down to we have what appears to be a solid line and no matter who is in the starting 5 there is some decent backups waiting in the wings.

I like Wand and I think it is a testament to the scouting crew and CC that we found someone like him. As for laying him on the line at LT...does any of us truly believe and Dom and CC wouldn't have made some moves on LT (maybe even moving Wade to that spot) if we were concerned about the strength of that position? I am pretty anxious for the preseason to get going so I can actually observe these guys functioning as a unit...the ability to work as a unit is key for zone blocking schemes to work. I would suspect that chemistry among the O-line might have be a factor in ordering the depth chart.

Lucky
06-22-2004, 11:59 AM
A number of people don’t know Wand has a learning disability. In university, the school had average-to-less-than-average coaches for the line at least as far as dealing with a learning disability. So for all intents and purposes, Wand has only one year, last year, with quality personnel who have the time –and the snap – to be able to teach someone with such a disability....
Could you expound on the nature of Wand's disability, how it relates to football, and what the problems Wand had in deciphering instructions in college? This is news to me, considering how well Seth came off in interviews last training camp. And he's clearly not let it hold him back in the NFL where most feel he's a year ahead of schedule. What's the scoop?

El Tejano
06-22-2004, 02:56 PM
Well I don't think the strength is really the issue here. I do believe Wand might be liability to us penalty wise. I am not basing this opinion on one game but the Jets game last season is a good example of what we can expect this season. He plays well and can handle the duties but his inexperience might kill a few scoring drives. Now this is a problem that can be easily corrected and hopefully solved during camp so I expect to have a very decent line.

Also you have Mark Bruener to help now, unlike Pitts who had no real help out there, so this would be the time to make the changes.

Again, I am not saying Wand will cause all kinds of penalties but his lack of experience might show in that department.

rittenhouserobz
06-22-2004, 04:16 PM
I think Wand will get the experience that is needed for him to develop into the player that the Texans want him to be. I think Carr will be more demanding of Wand's discipline than Capers. No matter what happens Wand's game will improve this year.

Tulip
06-22-2004, 04:33 PM
Wand will probably get lots of penalties at first. It comes with the territory.

infantrycak
06-22-2004, 06:31 PM
Well I don't think the strength is really the issue here. I do believe Wand might be liability to us penalty wise. I am not basing this opinion on one game but the Jets game last season is a good example of what we can expect this season. He plays well and can handle the duties but his inexperience might kill a few scoring drives.

More than Pitts? IMO Pitts has did a wonderfull job last year except he committed way too many penalties. The holds don't bother me--hey keep the QB off his back and not-injured, but he had a bunch of false starts trying hard on speed rushers--nervous feet. Still did a great job but I suspect Wand won't be any worse in that regard and Pitts should settle down considerably at LG.

Ediddy73
06-22-2004, 06:38 PM
how do you feel-Wand at LT...
one word....nervous

TexasAggie
06-22-2004, 06:47 PM
Come on guys keep the faith. Capers coached him in the Senior Bowl and was so impressed by Joppru and Wand that the Texans drafted them 2 and 3. There has to be something more than we know right now so lets give Capers and Company a little time. They have said it is not permanate yet. :twocents:

Hervoyel
06-22-2004, 09:16 PM
how do you feel-Wand at LT...
one word....nervous

I know you're kidding. Right? No need to be nervous about this. If it doesn't appear to be working out (and remember Wand should get lots of opportunity to watch Tony Banks blind side as well as Dave Ragone's front during preseason) then you know it's right back to Pitts at LT and in comes one of our perfectly capable young guards to fill the empty spot. If this doesn't work out because it's just too soon then we've got options.

Don't you guys love the sound of that? "We've got options".

Texansbacker
06-22-2004, 09:29 PM
Options are good and it is awsome to have some depth and no Jimmy Herndon. Can you believe the line we had the opening year. Talk about ugly. Anyone even a little nervous needs to put it in perspective. Wand may not be proven but Boselli had confidence in him and had him highly rated. The coaches appear to have the same confidence. I really want to see our line come together and I think the addition of Wade is awesome. Looking at our line and the potential, a dominating line in 2004 is a real possibility.

Ediddy73
06-22-2004, 09:51 PM
I know you're kidding. Right? No need to be nervous about this. If it doesn't appear to be working out (and remember Wand should get lots of opportunity to watch Tony Banks blind side as well as Dave Ragone's front during preseason) then you know it's right back to Pitts at LT and in comes one of our perfectly capable young guards to fill the empty spot. If this doesn't work out because it's just too soon then we've got options.

Don't you guys love the sound of that? "We've got options".
no I am not kidding Hervoyel. It took exactly one missed block, by Wand ironically enough, for DC to go down last year. I know he is a year wiser now, and i'm not condemning him to pergatory for one missed block, but the LT has the blind side, and consequently the best passrusher. after a year of playing sparingly as a tackle and seeing most of his action as a TE, he's ready to play the most important position on the O-line? I'm not buying, but I'm not coaching him everyday either. My personal, inconsequential opinion is that it is too soon.

Fiddy
06-22-2004, 10:01 PM
If it makes you feel any better, Wand was selected ahead of the starting LT for the Dolphins last year. I forgot the guys name, though.

281
06-22-2004, 10:02 PM
Wade Smith?

Texansbacker
06-22-2004, 10:04 PM
A little consolation in comparison.

Starting a rookie is not unheard of and Wand is a sophmore. Look at what our new right tackle Todd Wade did in his first season with the Dolphins.

2000: Started all 16 games and two playoff contests as a rookie…became the first Dolphins offensive lineman to start all 16 games as a rookie since fellow tackle Richmond Webb in 1990…helped offense rush for 1,894 yards and allow just 28 sacks…made NFL debut in 23-0 win over Seattle (9/3)…earned NFL Co-Rookie of the Month (along with Redskins OT Chris Samuels) for October after helping Dolphins average 154.3 rushing yards over four games…marked only second time an offensive line had garnered the honor (Seahawks OT Walter Jones, Oct. 1997)…only missed one quarter of action, that at Buffalo (12/3) when he left with a calf injury.

Hope that Wand can turn in a performance like that this year and we will be in good shape. Keep the faith.

Fiddy
06-22-2004, 10:04 PM
It's a Wade...

I wouldnt be too worried about Wand. If Wand doesnt do that good in the preseason, Pitts could easily take over the LT spot again.

Texansbacker
06-22-2004, 10:07 PM
It's a Wade...

I wouldnt be too worried about Wand. If Wand doesnt do that good in the preseason, Pitts could easily take over the LT spot again.


How did that guy do last year?

281
06-22-2004, 10:10 PM
He did pretty well for a rookie, actually.

wags
06-22-2004, 10:11 PM
The Dolphins O-line is undergoing major changes.

Fiddy
06-22-2004, 10:11 PM
How did that guy do last year?
Texan289 was right, name is Wade Smith

He started all 16 games and I think he did ok. He played on a horrible overall line, though.

Texansbacker
06-22-2004, 10:25 PM
Thanks, guess that is why Ricky's numbers dropped. The Dolphins will have to start another rookie at tackle now that we have their best o-lineman and right tackle Todd Wade.

Fiddy
06-22-2004, 10:31 PM
The Dolphins will have to start another rookie at tackle now that we have their best o-lineman and right tackle Todd Wade.They have Veron Carey listed as a T, but most people think he is going to be a good Tackle but a great Guard.

Ediddy73
06-23-2004, 08:48 AM
He did pretty well for a rookie, actually.
based on what? He played good 3rd TE?

wags
06-23-2004, 10:58 AM
based on what? He played good 3rd TE?

Based on the fact that he started all 16 games for the Fins at LT. He is only the third OL rookie to start all 16 for the Fins, joining Richmond Webb and Todd Wade.

Lucky
06-23-2004, 11:23 AM
Based on the fact that he started all 16 games for the Fins at LT. He is only the third OL rookie to start all 16 for the Fins, joining Richmond Webb and Todd Wade.
By the replies I've seen, I think different posters have gotten Todd Wade, Wade Smith, & Seth Wand confused at different points in the thread. You guys might want to re-read this thread to see where you got lost.

Ediddy73
06-23-2004, 12:10 PM
based on what? He played good 3rd TE?
meant in reference to Wand. The fact that Wand was selected ahead of Smith means precicely squat BTW.

Vinny
06-23-2004, 12:54 PM
Smith is very Chester-Pitts like in the fact that he has a similar build and strengths. Wand was more of the prototype LT. If a guy can play, he can play. I'd trust our coaches more than mb speculation, but understand the concernes.

281
06-23-2004, 04:16 PM
based on what? He played good 3rd TE?

Ediddy... I was talking about Smith, not Wand.

Ediddy73
06-23-2004, 04:37 PM
Gottcha. how silly of me to think it was about Wand in a thread about Wand... :hehe:

nunusguy
07-12-2004, 06:31 AM
USATODAY story on current status of Texans' OL
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/texans/home.htm

RTP2110
07-12-2004, 09:03 AM
From the USA today article,

"Medical Watch: None"

Why no mention of Seth Payne?

jacquescas
07-12-2004, 10:31 AM
I'm happy with the move. I feel all our other O-line spots are as strong as they have ever been in the first 2 years. our depth is good. having 1 question mark at O-line isn't that bad. and that this point its just that a question mark, everyone else is proven talent.

Hervoyel
07-12-2004, 12:52 PM
I'm happy with the move. I feel all our other O-line spots are as strong as they have ever been in the first 2 years. our depth is good. having 1 question mark at O-line isn't that bad. and that this point its just that a question mark, everyone else is proven talent.

Yeah, having only one question mark feels like a good thing after the past two seasons. It's like a luxury or something.

pv1999
07-12-2004, 03:57 PM
The new blocking scheme is so simple that Dexter Manley could understand it. Premier Oline players have Good Vision and Good Feet, I don't think it will be too much of a problem for our guys because they both move really well and they will get to see more as the season goes on. :popcorn:

Mischief
07-15-2004, 03:44 AM
I think it's a great idea. Pitts is improving... but now if we could just do something about that little false start problem? :hehe: wasn't it Pitts that seemed to get a little to excited before the play?

infantrycak
07-15-2004, 07:25 AM
I think it's a great idea. Pitts is improving... but now if we could just do something about that little false start problem? :hehe: wasn't it Pitts that seemed to get a little to excited before the play?

Yes Pitts had problems with penalties, both false start and holding. If Wand sticks at LT expect those problems to shift from Pitts to Wand. Pitts would get jumpy especially facing speed rushers and he openly admitted last year that he prefered the occassional hold to letting Carr get whacked. Playing LG should greatly reduce the amount of time Pitts faces speed rushers and takes away the open outside edge. Wand on the other hand will almost certainly get ansy at times--hopefully his wingspan and footwork will help him play without as many holds though.

Vinny
07-15-2004, 08:18 AM
One very important note about Pitts is that we have always had to help the Right Tackle quite a bit due to our lack of talent there. Whenever we needed an extra blocker it was usually on that side. In addition, Pitts has never really had any mature talent beside him at LG. Washington is the closest player we had on our roster that played fairly decent but if you watch some old games you will notice how slow his feet are and how poor he plays in space.

Little or no help on the edge plus an inferior player beside him at Guard exacerbated his problems. Wand will get more help on the edge and have a solid player with good feet and a heck of a drive blocker next to him in Pitts. We will not have to help RT nearly as much as we have in the past due to the excellent FA signing of gargantuan RT Todd Wade. These factors should help Wand's development in ways we could not afford with Pitts.

edo783
07-15-2004, 09:01 AM
I look for Wand to have a kind of up and down year as he gets his feet wet in the NFL at LT. By next year I suspect he will start to show the true ability he has. If he is struggling too much in say the first 2-3 games, look for Pits to move back out, but I really doubt that will be the case.

Lucky
07-15-2004, 09:24 AM
...We will not have to help RT nearly as much as we have in the past due to the excellent FA signing of gargantuan RT Todd Wade. These factors should help Wand's development in ways we could not afford with Pitts.
That's a good point that the critics of Wade's contract failed to catch on to. With Wade at RT, a ripple effect is created down the line which invariably improves each position and allows experimentation with a young player like Wand at LT. Maybe a $30 million contract for a RT, even a very good RT, doesn't make sense for most teams. But for the Texans, that contract carries added value and is justified.

SESupergenius
07-15-2004, 09:53 AM
Pitts has never really had any mature talent beside him at LGIf Pitts has never really had any mature talent beside him and is moving to LG, then Wand won't have any mature talent to help him either. Is that not a correct assumption or did Pitts become mature on his own during the last 2 years? How much does the extra blocker argument on the right side hold water? I may be way wrong on this but to me the lining up on the right side is just fashion of the playcalling, not to specifically place player X there to help the tackle.

Vinny
07-15-2004, 11:00 AM
Pitts is much more talented that Weary, Brown, Schau or Washington. Pitts has 32 NFL starts and has matured greatly in the NFL. Simple point, not too complex and something I feel strongly about. When we used chip blocks they were generally to support Young or Randall. If we had to support one Tackle with an extra blocker it was generally the less talented RT. Go look at the games. Its there.

SESupergenius
07-15-2004, 12:31 PM
Well to put it into perspective, Pitts has 32 starts for an expansion team and is now being moved to LG. You've got the left side of the line with guys that have less than 3 years experience. If you say that Pitts is going to teach Wand a lot then fine, but I think that learning a year on the sidelines with coaches helps more for his development than learning from 2 yr Pitts.

I've seen Wand line up at the TE spot many times, I'm just not sure it was to specifically help the RT. With Joppru out and our option at TE is Miller, I thought that bringing in Wand was because Miller was not a great blocker. I may be wrong, why so hostile?

done88
07-15-2004, 12:39 PM
Wand has had his year on the sidelines with the coaches. Pitts has proven he is an outstanding lineman. The question is how does Wand stand up to the guards. If wand and Pitts at guard and tackle are better then Pitts and who ever else at tackle and guard then it does not matter how much experience they have.

Fiddy
07-15-2004, 12:45 PM
I can see it now:
3rd and 5. Texans convert. Hold on there is a flag on the play, holding on #78 and thats a 10 yard penalty. Then we run Draw play on 3rd and 15, and dont convert and the cry starts:
"Move Pitts back to LT, bench Wand and fire Palmer!!!!!"

I wish this season would start :D

Vinny
07-15-2004, 12:51 PM
Well to put it into perspective, Pitts has 32 starts for an expansion team and is now being moved to LG. You've got the left side of the line with guys that have less than 3 years experience. If you say that Pitts is going to teach Wand a lot then fine, but I think that learning a year on the sidelines with coaches helps more for his development than learning from 2 yr Pitts.

I've seen Wand line up at the TE spot many times, I'm just not sure it was to specifically help the RT. With Joppru out and our option at TE is Miller, I thought that bringing in Wand was because Miller was not a great blocker. I may be wrong, why so hostile? Show me hostility. I see none.

I'm not talking about Pitts teaching anyone anything either. I'm just stating that he will be more stable at LG than the revolving door he had next to him when he was LT.

SESupergenius
07-15-2004, 02:02 PM
I guess he'll be more stable at LG with a rookie LT next to him. :dontknowa

Lucky
07-15-2004, 02:06 PM
I've seen Wand line up at the TE spot many times, I'm just not sure it was to specifically help the RT.
Not always. But when the Texans were in max protection, Wand would lineup next to Randall at times. Remember the play where Carr’s ankle was injured in the Colt’s game in Indy? The Texans were in max protect on that play and Wand mistakenly shifted in the wrong direction, essentially blocking Randall and allowing the Colt DE penetration.

The concern on the left side of the line is about experience. Neither Wand nor Pitts have started at their current positions in the NFL. Although everyone has felt that Pitts is a natural guard, he’s never played the position and he’ll have to pick up on the nuances there as well. The good news is that Wand & Pitts won’t face any top pass rusher early in the season (off course there’s always the blitz). By the time the Texans run into the meat of their schedule, they’ll have come together as a unit.

Pitts had both pros & cons as a LT. When Pitts got his hands on a DE, it was pretty much over (ask Jason Taylor). He also was able to get under a DE’s pads often and get a push on running plays. Pitts’ main negative was his reach, were he would compensate for by getting into position as quickly as possible. At times Pitts would jump to his left expecting an outside move, only to allow the DE to counter with an inside move. Pitts had to lunge or reach too often on blocks when that happened. A move inside would force his opponent to play Pitts head on more often than not, playing to Chester’s strength.

If you fed a prototype LT’s numbers into a computer, it would come out with a player that looked and moved very much like Seth Wand. Naturally large, huge wingspan, quick feet…Wand’s numbers compare well with the Raider’s #2 draft choice LT Robert Gallery. What Gallery has on Wand is 4 years of major college coaching, competition, and weight training. How fast can someone make up the difference? Well, Seth has done such a good job in the weight room and the classroom that he’s been given a shot after only 1 year. If he can make it as the LT, the Texans will have found a prototype LT with a 3rd round selection. Quite a coup.

I think any Texan fan that doesn’t own up to a little apprehension over Wand at LT is kidding them self. No matter how good he looks in his uniform or how far the coaches say he’s progressed, Seth still has to do it on the field. I like his chances mainly because I believe in this coaching staff as teachers. The Texans like to take athletes and mold them into football players. If Wand becomes successful at LT, he will be the Texans greatest achievement thus far. Until then, I’ll be gripping my arm rest a little tighter on 3rd & long.

SESupergenius
07-15-2004, 02:13 PM
Good post Lucky, I agree with most of what you've said. There is still a little air of uncertaintly going into this season regarding a few of the Offense and Defense postions for me get pumped about making the playoffs. Camp will be very exciting.

TheOgre
07-16-2004, 09:16 AM
I really look at this as a transitional year. While I think we could potentially make the playoffs, I am not anticipating it. We have several guys starting in their positions for the first time:
LT Wand
LG Pitts
TE Joppru (if he is the starter)
DE R. Smith
LOLB Babin
ROLB Wong
CB Robinson
FS Coleman

There are going to be some growing pains with 1/3 of our starters new to the position. To expect the playoffs may be asking too much. The good news is that I expect continuity from 2004 to 2005. That makes next year (2005) the year of expectations IMO.

done88
07-16-2004, 11:50 AM
I think the biggest upgrade on the line has been the coach. I think that he will demand a cohesive unit and we *** Texans fans will see the results. The talent is there lets just see if he can bring it all together. If I were to have questions about the line they would be as follows. I Mckinney made the pro-bowl as a guard why is he playing center. Why is Wade and Wiegrt(not sure how to spell) on the right side instead of the left they clearly have more experience and stability. Sometimes I think the Texans get the good players and play them out of position. If that is true then the Texans need to create a game plan based on personel. Instead of makeing the personel conform to a game plan. idonno:

infantrycak
07-16-2004, 12:05 PM
If I were to have questions about the line they would be as follows. I Mckinney made the pro-bowl as a guard why is he playing center. Why is Wade and Wiegrt(not sure how to spell) on the right side instead of the left they clearly have more experience and stability. Sometimes I think the Texans get the good players and play them out of position. If that is true then the Texans need to create a game plan based on personel. Instead of makeing the personel conform to a game plan. idonno:

Don't believe Steve McKinney has ever been to the pro-bowl. He is not better than Weigert at guard and it is very unlikely he would be better than Pitts at guard either. As for Wade--the skill set for RT and LT are not the same. Wade is a much stronger run blocker than pass blocker. He and Weigert will make a punishing right side. If Wand has put on the strength he lacked, he has the quick feet along with the size that he and Wade both have to make it as a LT.

Vinny
07-16-2004, 12:31 PM
I think the biggest upgrade on the line has been the coach. I think that he will demand a cohesive unit and we *** Texans fans will see the results. The talent is there lets just see if he can bring it all together. If I were to have questions about the line they would be as follows. I Mckinney made the pro-bowl as a guard why is he playing center. Why is Wade and Wiegrt(not sure how to spell) on the right side instead of the left they clearly have more experience and stability. Sometimes I think the Texans get the good players and play them out of position. If that is true then the Texans need to create a game plan based on personel. Instead of makeing the personel conform to a game plan. idonno:
Infantry is right. Wade is no LT and Weigert is in the position he excels at. The Right Tackle on NFL lines is the man with the best run blocking skills and the LT is the player with the better pass blocking skills as a general rule so Wade and Wand are in their proper positions. McKinney is not an all-pro Guard. Not even close. He's barely an above average Center and he would only be a reserve Guard on a good NFL offensive line.

This is still a building year. The Texans have pointed to 2005 as "the" year for a while. We have two rookies starting at key defensive positions and we have two new starters on our offensive line. Such is the progression of an expansion team. We have a shot at the playoffs (outside shot) but this build is clearly centered on a serious run for all the marbles starting in 2005.

El Tejano
07-16-2004, 12:40 PM
V, all that talk has got me so excited for the season to start. Thanks.

Mistril48
07-16-2004, 12:45 PM
... McKinney is not an all-pro Guard. Not even close. He's barely an above average Center and he would only be a reserve Guard on a good NFL offensive line...
Help me with this statement. I don't disagree, I just haven't arrived at this conclusion as you have. I agree that Mckinney hasn't gone to the Pro Bowl, but hasn't he started all six years of his career? I assume he can play both guard positions (played guard with the Colts) and center. Would most teams have three interior linemen better than Mckinney?

Vinny
07-16-2004, 01:16 PM
He is a finesse player and he gets dominated by strong defensive tackles. I would put him in the bottom 1/3 of the starting interior linemen in the NFL. The Titans and the Jaguar linemen have just abused him to date and is a big reason we have a hard time running the ball against teams with better interior technique players.

Fiddy
07-16-2004, 03:35 PM
He is a finesse player and he gets dominated by strong defensive tackles. I would put him in the bottom 1/3 of the starting interior linemen in the NFL. The Titans and the Jaguar linemen have just abused him to date and is a big reason we have a hard time running the ball against teams with better interior technique players.Dont forget about what Kris Jenkins did to him, McKinney had like 3 holding penalties that game because of Jenkins...

edo783
07-16-2004, 04:08 PM
Center could be an intersting competition in camp.

Fiddy
07-16-2004, 04:17 PM
Center could be an intersting competition in camp.McKinney is going to get the starting nod, who is he going to compete with, Todd Washington.... idonno:

edo783
07-16-2004, 05:02 PM
I know Washington hasn't set the world on fire at other positions, but he feels he hasn't been given a fair chance at center. He says he is out to prove he should start. He is hoping the new line coach will look at him with fresh eyes. Remains to be seen if he has the steam to make folks notice, but McKinny isn't that solid at center (just average at best) and could be unseated by someone really determined. Not sure if there is another in camp that could be a factor in the competition, but who knows. It is currently our weakest spot on the O-line IMO (assuming Wand works out).

Mistril48
07-16-2004, 05:57 PM
He is a finesse player and he gets dominated by strong defensive tackles ...The Titans and the Jaguar linemen have just abused him to date and is a big reason we have a hard time running the ball against teams with better interior technique players.
I confess I haven't been paying attention to the center play. My bad. I note that the teams you mention have been quite strong up the middle. The Jags start 2 young, first round picks at DT and the Titans have been strong enough up the middle that we went and got Robaire Smith, one of their DT. Another poster mentioned Kris Jenkins, no slouch.

In some cases, we seem to give players the benefit of the doubt when the players around them aren't 'settled.' In the first year, we weren't settled at either guard position. In the second year, we had Weigert, but we were not a settled LG, as demonstrated by the fact that we moved Pitts to LG.

My question for those who have noticed this situation is this. Is it possible that Mckinney will play better with better guards around him, or do you think he's 'topped out' and he will face real competition from Washington, or Weary, in camp?

Vinny
07-16-2004, 07:14 PM
I think McKinney is as good as he is going to be and he works hard and will likely benefit from our new blocking scheme as much as any of the linemen but the fact still remains he has trouble with most of the starting NFL tackles in the league. This is a tough league and it is hard to be solid at 22 starting positions. We will be more physical at some positions than our opponent and at others we will not be able to win those match-ups. Every team has a different makeup and all lineups have their limitations in one or more of the 22 starting slots. I think McKinney is the Jay Foreman of the O-line. He is a lower-tier NFL starter but he is one of the best 32 Centers in the world. Tough league, but you have different classes of players and he is about as good as he will ever be. I would not call him a liability, but he is never going to be the strength of any line and when he was you saw what happened.

nunusguy
07-16-2004, 07:39 PM
"The Texans like to take athletes and mold them into football players. If Wand becomes successful at LT, he will be the Texans greatest achievement thus far."
Very bold statement Lucky - that covers a lot of ground. But I sure hope you're
right. Anyway, it turns out our Seth Wand is a generous and loyal young man. I
have family in Springfield, Mo. (Wand's hometown) , and I hear on very good authority that he made a gift of 500 K to his HS alma mata in Springfield when he signed his contract with the Texans last year. I suspect it was a pledge to be payed out over the life of his contract. Anyway, that's quite a gesture and quite a gift for a mid round pick.

texasduece
07-17-2004, 12:09 AM
Richard Branson, one of the worlds great entreprenuers, has a learning disablity but it didn't stop him from becoming a billionaire. In his case its dyslexia - so there's all kinds of LD but it doesn't mean you can't succeed. According to Wand's bio he majored in MIS - thats computers if you didn't know ! So he's obviously not a drooling *****.
I happen to be a native Missorian like Wand and know something about his
alma mata - Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Mo. To say it is small college is a huge understatement - he must have been blown away when he
came from there to play in the NFL just last year. If this guy does turn out to
be our team's long term left tackle - my hat is off to Cass for a real "find" from
nowhere.


Wand is not a dumb guy, I played with him at NWMSU, this point I agree on.

To say he is from nowhere is a huge understatment, NWMSU is one of the best schools in DII, winning two national titles in 98 and 99. He had a terrible O-line coach but is very athletic.

powda
07-17-2004, 06:12 PM
I think McKinney is the Jay Foreman of the O-line...he is about as good as he will ever be. I would not call him a liability, but he is never going to be the strength of any line and when he was you saw what happened.

great post vinny. (if i knew how to give rep points i'd hook you up for that).

mckinney is a sharp guy...all it takes is listening to him on 610 to know that. dosent he make the o-line audibles and what not? thats something else to consider.

of all our linemen i think mckinney stands to gain the most with our new blocking scheme...but no, he will never be an anchor on our line.

i anticipate some early season woes from our line...

wade- new rt in a new system on a new team.

pitts- first year as an nfl guard

wand- first year starting

mckinney- has never been dominant to begin with

and perhaps most importantly- a new blocking scheme.

i'm not convinced early in the season we'll cut down on holding penalties and missed assignments. we most deffinitley have some questions to answer on our o-line. by late season however, i think we'll see improved production and have a glimpse of what we can really expect in 2005.

it sure looks like the potential is there. this season, i expect 3rd and short to be a run up the right (bank).

NoBullTexan
07-17-2004, 08:30 PM
I don't have any problems with Wand at LT. You have to have faith that Casserly and Capers are making the right decisions and the coaches are giving him the guidance. The athletic talent is there.

We are going to have to have a little patience with the new makeup of the offensive line. It will take a little while for them to get their timing down, and to learn the new offensive line scheme. But bottom line I think they, and Wand, will be fine.

Mistril48
07-18-2004, 12:02 PM
I think McKinney is as good as he is going to be ... I think McKinney is the Jay Foreman of the O-line ... I would not call him a liability, but he is never going to be the strength of any line and when he was you saw what happened.
Thank you for your thoughts. Given your comparison to Foreman, how do you see the salary cap situation playing out. I believe we pay a lot more for Mckinney than Foreman. Do you believe that this is Mckinney's last year?

Vinny
07-18-2004, 12:23 PM
I am not sure about his long-term role on the team as to his cap-hit and how it may be re-structured. All I know is that he is a great guy, a leader and knows the offense. He has been a great influence on the young guys with his maturity and his work-ethic I believe. I think much of it has to do with how he plays in the new blocking scheme. It's tailored for quickness and will give a finesse player more opportunity to thrive. He will have better Guards (physical ability) around him this year.

Texansbacker
07-18-2004, 03:36 PM
Vinny, usually I think you are right on with your analysis but in regards to your statement that Steve McKinney is the Jay Foreman of the Texans offense, I must respectfully disagree with you.

Perhaps you can provide additonal information as to your assumption, but in my humble opinion, McKinney should benefit more than any other lineman with the switch to the new blocking scheme, since he is obviously not equipped to manhandle the Kris Jenkinses of the NFL. If you take look at Tom Nalen, the center for the Broncos (a team which runs a similar blocking scheme to the one being implemented by the Texans) for the past 11 years with multiple Pro Bowl appearances and he led Terrell Davis to a rushing title and a Super Bowl Championship, he is only 6'3"- 286 pounds and he too cannot manhandle a Kris Jenkins; but Nalen has anchored a good if not great offensive line for the past 10 years. Mark Stepnoski of the Cowboys and Titans is another not so big center who excelled at the position.

That said, McKinney at 6'4"-302 pounds, is a little larger than the two aforementioned and he has good speed/quickness with an above average football acumen. The new scheme (read beneficial scheme to McKinney), coupled with the changing of the left guard and the additional experience he gained over the past two years at the center position(he played guard in Indy & college), should ultimately prove to be the right ingredients for success.

If successful, I see the Texans locking McKinney up for another 3-5 years and making a run to the Championship and perhaps a rushing title for Dominick Davis.