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-   -   Just the facts ma'am (http://www.texanstalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4535)

Grid 11-22-2004 05:24 PM

Just the facts ma'am
 
So I just wanted to vent a little bit.

1. Zone blocking is a superior blocking scheme when run correctly. We are smart to start doing it now while we are young. In a couple seasons when we are TRUELY a playoff contender, and not a possible playoff contender.. we will be happy that we started using the zone blocking scheme now. Yah.. its having a rough start, but that is what happens when you make a drastic change to the way you play the game.

2. the 3-4 is a great defense. it is built to be aggressive and that is the kind of defense I like. On top of that, we have the coaches to run a very effective 3-4, and switching to a 4-3 would actually weaken us, based solely on the fact that we do not have coaches that are as experienced with the 4-3. We have THREE rookies starting on defense, that makes consistent play difficult. Next year we will be even better, and 2 years from now, with another defensive draft under our belt and a few more 2 year rookies.. we will be good to go.

3. Capers is a good coach. Playing not to lose is not a bad thing if its done right. You all act surprised, but everyone KNEW when we got coach capers that he was a defensive minded coach. Dont you expect a defensive minded coach to be more interested in stopping the other team and controlling the clock, than they are at putting up huge points? there are 4 teams in the NFL that I can think of who are truely offensive teams.. Colts, Vikings, Eagles, and Chiefs. and here are 4 teams that are defensive minded and play the same way that Capers is trying to make us play.. Ravens, Bucaneers, Patriots, Panthers. Now.. do you notice something interesting about that list? thats right.. the 4 offensive teams havent seen the SB in years :P. While the 4 defensive teams are a whos who of recent SB teams. Yes, it is frustrating to see a lead disappear, or to see our offense sputter at the wrong time.. but Capers is building this team the RIGHT WAY.. and when our defense is up to par, we will be one of the most BALANCED defensive teams in the league.. capable of stopping you cold, and making big plays on offense at the same time.

4. I HATE LOSING.. HATE HATE HATE HATE IT. But I am not prepared to say that we need any MAJOR changes. I think SOME changes would be good.. there is no excuse for our play against the Colts and Broncos, we played like a college team, a BAD college team. We played with NO heart. That isnt just the players, that is the coaches. I have off and on feelings about Fangio, but I think he really is a good coach and once he has a little more talent to work with I think he will shine. Palmer though.. I do not like how he runs the offense. I LOVE rushing offenses, I find them very exciting to watch, but I dont like how Palmer runs ours. We are not a very interesting offensive team.. our playbook seems very vanilla. Watching other teams play, I am impressed with some of the things they can pull off with their offense. I dont know if it is Palmers fault or the players fault.. but considering some of the really stupid mistakes we have made that are OBVIOUSLY palmers fault.. im inclined to think that Palmer is a problem and finding a better offensive coordinator would be a good move for us.

5. Give Davis time. Like I said, the zone blocking needs time to work. Im not positive Davis is going to work out for us. The whole reason, I think, that Davis was successful in 2003 is because he was able to hide behind his blockers for extra yardage.. the zone blocking does not seem to allow him to do that, so he may not be the best back for us in the long run. But im not prepared to call him a bust before he has a chance to line up behind a working offensive line.


Ok, that is all I have to say.

OzzO 11-22-2004 05:37 PM

Wow, good post. Can we put a sticky on this with a "please read"? :)

To have such a VENOM in some of the past posts just mean that we have high expectations for our team, as they do of themselves. Hopefully, this expectation will be met on a consistent basis in the near future.

Not to be a "know it all" of football, but apparently the cover 2 defense give our TEXANS some serious issues... yet other teams seem to have less of a problem with it. Would the O-line improvement in zone blocking thus leading to a better run game alleviate the cover 2 problems?

LiveForTheGame 11-22-2004 05:47 PM

I think playcalling has something to do with the Cover 2 in the aspect of using the right pass routes to hit the weaknesses.

Porky 11-22-2004 05:59 PM

Intersting points.

1) Zone blocking - I say we trash it after the year is over. They have been using it for over 6 months - that includes 14 games, innumerable weekly practices, many training camp practices, and spring camps. If they don't have it working even to a mediocre level now, what makes you think that more time will make a difference?

2) I prefer the 4-3 for several reasons, which I won't enumerate here. Clearly, if they went to a 4-3, Capers would be let go, and we would bring in a new staff. I see that as unlikely for at least another 1-2 yrs. We are currently dead last in sacks, and 3rd down percentage, and 30th in yards allowed. That is unacaptble for a 3rd yr team running any defense. On top of that, for the most part, there has been a LACK of agressiveness, of which you speak.

3) Playing not to lose is ALWAYS a bad thing unless you have a three score lead with under 6 mintues to play. JMO. Outside of that, stay agressive imo. I really don't want to point out some of the flaws in the teams you mentioned, but the Ravens have no talent on offense, The Pats may be the most balanced team of all, and the Eagles have a mighty fine defense to name a few.

4) Here I can agree. We did play with no heart. That ultimately comes down on the coaches. They are the leaders of the troops, and if the team is unprepared, or plays lacluster ball, I peg that on the coaches. I also agree with most of the rest of your take here, although frankly, I see Capers as more of the problem than Palmer. But, that's just me.

5) Also agree. Davis is clearly uncomfortable running behind the zone blocking scheme.

Tayton 11-22-2004 06:36 PM

I'm not a Capers hater but playing not to lose almost always guarantees a loss. Looking back, There have been very few games when I thought "gosh we were prepared and made the right adjustments". I know that execution has alot to do with it but this is no longer an expansion team and the fans are starting to expect wins. The crowd at the game was very upset with not winning that game and many blamed it squarely on coaching. Many people understand that this is a 3 to 5 year project to get the right personnel on the field, not because of those in the collared shirts. I hope it turns around.

Grid 11-22-2004 07:05 PM

1. I think they will get it together because it has ONLY been 6 months. These things cant be simple :P.. and if it was an incredibly easy transition, then dont you think EVERYONE would be using zone blocking after seeing the success denver has had? No.. we are taking advantage of our situation (a young growing team) to learn a better blocking scheme.

2. I think every problem we have on defense boils down to players who are too young to make a difference, or too old to make a difference.. that will all even out in a season or two.

3. this whole misconception that we have about playing not to lose, is exactly that, a misconception. We play defensively minded, yes, but that is not the same as "playing not to lose". We try to build a lead, then we try to win the game by running down the clock and taking away opportunities for the opposing offense. That is not a bad strategy :P. The problem with it at this point is exactly what capers has been saying, we arent executing. For this strategy to work, you have to play solid football and not give up the big plays, we have not done that.. we are one of the worst defenses on 3rd downs. As I said in the original post.. defensive minded teams have been more successful than offensive minded teams. As for your take on the teams i listed... the Ravens offense has only suffered because Heap has been injured and Boller is looking his age, they play a defensive minded game though, and you cannot deny it has been successful for them in the past. The Eagles and Pats are definatly the most balanced of those teams I listed.. though the Pats are obviously more defensive minded, and the Eagles are obviously more offense oriented.. and they are considered the best teams in their conferences because of it.. though only the Pats made it to the superbowl. I think with our offense, and the defensive coaches that we have and the personel we have on defense so far.. we can be just as balanced as the Eagles and Pats.. but I think a better O coordinator would help us along.


as for the fans starting to expect wins.. the fans arent fans if they cannot support their team and give them more time to grow and realize their entire potential. They are just "ticket holders"

nunusguy 11-22-2004 07:20 PM

Great post Grid ! Very reasoned, perceptive, provacative, & comphrehensive. Definitely will add it to my list of recommended reading materials.

Grid 11-22-2004 07:30 PM

and the fact is also that if we dont win another game this year, it doesnt change the fact that we have alot of talented players and that our Coaching staff deserves more time to bring in talent and build their team (with the possible exception of Palmer). We are on the right track and there is no reason to deviate from it yet.

And thank you Nunusguy and A4toZ.

edo783 11-22-2004 08:13 PM

Grid, the issue seems to be that if we can build a lead and then not be able to protect it, perhaps we are not good enough on defense yet and should stay agressive. If we had the Ravens defense, then we could reasonably expect to protect a lead, but we SEEM to be very far away from that at this time. Untile we are that strong on defense it would seem to to be reasonable to just keep shooting and trying to maintain/increase our lead. The problem is we some times act like we have the Ravens defense and wind up losing.

Grid 11-22-2004 08:18 PM

Well.. in the case of the Green Bay game.. I dont think we just gave up our lead.

In the second half we hardly ever had the ball, and when we did we didnt use it correctly.. our bad audibles killed almost every drive in the second half. Every time Carr audibled it was a handoff to Davis up the gut and it never worked. That is either Carr's fault, or Palmer's fault.. or both.. but it does not show that the entire team and/or the entire coaching staff is incompetent. The point is.. i dont think it was our plan try try to run the ball and run the clock down.. I think we genuinely wanted to increase our lead.. but we dropped the ball (so to speak) every time we audibled.

Hervoyel 11-22-2004 09:37 PM

Ok, I personally have doubts and I've expressed them in several posts since the Texans offense choked up the win against Green Bay but..... assuming that this is nothing but a slow start and zone blocking is going to turn the Texans into a running machine then what gives? As has been mentioned 6 months is 6 months. They've spent a great deal of time on this and fine, I can totally accept that it's not all that it's going to be after 6 months. My point here is that it's not even some of what it's intended to be. It's nothing. They aren't one bit better than they were in preseason at doing this. At this rate they'll have it completely mastered in ten years!

Zone blocking a different way of doing what these guys have been doing for a living for years. It's not a radical departure from what offensive linemen do everywhere. It's different yes. It's more complicated then last years blocking scheme obviously but it's still blocking. Why the lack of progress? You'd think that by now a light might come on somewhere wouldn't you? A little speck of progress might be seen?

Can they do it? Is this physical? Mental? Are the people teaching them this system any good teaching this system?

Grid 11-22-2004 09:46 PM

well we HAVE made progress.. just not in the department we would really like to. Our pass protection has really improved this year. REALLY improved. Last year if you remember, Carr was limited to 3 step drops 90% of the time.. this year he has actually had time in the pocket quite often.

The only place we have gone backwards is run blocking, which is very important. But, there is more than just zone blocking that is effecting our run blocking right now.. we have 2 new linemen.. Todd Wade, and Seth Wand.. and an Oline, more than any other aspect of the game, has GOT TO WORK TOGETHER.. and it takes time and reps for an Oline to learn to work together effectively. So.. we have a completely new blocking scheme that none of our linemen have any real experience with, and we have 2 new Olinemen, one of which is pretty much a rookie (and playing the most important position on the line).. and despite that we still managed to drastically improve our pass protection.

The run blocking will come.. it will just take time and more experience with the scheme.. and possibly a different RB, we will see.

Porky 11-22-2004 09:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grid
1. I think they will get it together because it has ONLY been 6 months. These things cant be simple :P.. and if it was an incredibly easy transition, then dont you think EVERYONE would be using zone blocking after seeing the success denver has had? No.. we are taking advantage of our situation (a young growing team) to learn a better blocking scheme.

2. I think every problem we have on defense boils down to players who are too young to make a difference, or too old to make a difference.. that will all even out in a season or two.

3. this whole misconception that we have about playing not to lose, is exactly that, a misconception. We play defensively minded, yes, but that is not the same as "playing not to lose". We try to build a lead, then we try to win the game by running down the clock and taking away opportunities for the opposing offense. That is not a bad strategy :P. The problem with it at this point is exactly what capers has been saying, we arent executing. For this strategy to work, you have to play solid football and not give up the big plays, we have not done that.. we are one of the worst defenses on 3rd downs.

I shortened your post to the main points, so I could respond.

1) So, you are telling me that 14 games, and dozens upon dozens of practices is not enough time to at least see some progress? I'm not buying that. We need better talent, but imo, this scheme as a primary tool is not working with this group. If something doesn't work over an extended time, you scrap it. It's not like Denver is the only team to run a zone blocking scheme. Most teams run some form of it, and a few run it as their basic blocking scheme.

2) I can buy the point about youngsters, as we are starting three. But, in this day and age of FA, you need to get contributions from rookies. That's just the way it is. But, what I see in your answer is excuses. These are pros. They are highly paid to do a job, and right now, they aren't doing it (as a group) Heck, I thought Glenn looked rejuvenated out there. All teams have a mix of older guys and youngsters. You think every team has 11 5th yr players all at once?

3) You say potato, I say potato. Well, that didn't exactly come out right! Playing defensively minded WITH THIS defense, is EXACTLY playing not to lose, rather than playing to win. Have you not seen this disaster of a defense. We get no rush - none. They are dead last in 3rd down %. They gave up 80 points in the prior two weeks. What was it about those performances that inspired Capers to think he could sit on a lead with that group. Inquirying minds want to know!

Porky 11-22-2004 09:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grid
well we HAVE made progress.. just not in the department we would really like to. Our pass protection has really improved this year. REALLY improved. Last year if you remember, Carr was limited to 3 step drops 90% of the time.. this year he has actually had time in the pocket quite often.

The only place we have gone backwards is run blocking, which is very important. But, there is more than just zone blocking that is effecting our run blocking right now.. we have 2 new linemen.. Todd Wade, and Seth Wand.. and an Oline, more than any other aspect of the game, has GOT TO WORK TOGETHER.. and it takes time and reps for an Oline to learn to work together effectively. So.. we have a completely new blocking scheme that none of our linemen have any real experience with, and we have 2 new Olinemen, one of which is pretty much a rookie (and playing the most important position on the line).. and despite that we still managed to drastically improve our pass protection.

The run blocking will come.. it will just take time and more experience with the scheme.. and possibly a different RB, we will see.

I thought the oline had a pretty good first half last night in terms of protection, but not a great second half. However, you are just plain wrong that the line has made progress this year in pass blocking. In ten games this year, the Texans have allowed 27 sacks. All of last year, they allowed 36. At the current rate of 2.7 sacks per game, they will have allowed 43 by the end of this year, assuming the same pace. While I ackolwedge that not all sacks are the fault of the line, the same could be said of last year, so I think the stats speak for themselves. At the VERY best, you could say it's not alot worse that last year. But, I don't think a legit argument can be made that they are at all better.

Grid 11-22-2004 10:05 PM

1. yes im telling you that 14 games and dozens upon dozens of practices is not enough time to see PERFECTION. as i said in the post above.. we have seen progress.. just not in the run blocking. As for scrapping it if it doesnt work over an extended period.. I agree.. but we havent used it over an extended period.. we have used it for just over half a season. Id give it the rest of the season, and the offseason.. and if you see some improvement by then, use it for another season and see where you are then. if not, then scrap it and go back to the normal scheme.

2. I agree that you need to get contributions from Rookies.. and honestly I beleive our rookies HAVE been contributing. No, babin is not the greatest pass rusher in the NFL, but he has shown promise and deserves his starting spot. Robinson is awesome and has definatly contributed. Earl we havent seen much of yet but he is looking good so far. I think where the rookies HURT us though is that they cant be trusted to be steady players for every down.. they are going to make mistakes and when our veterans cant trust the players around them, well it makes it hard to function at 100%. mentally I do not think our defense is where they need to be with 3 rookies playing. This will improve next year.

3. I dont know many teams that can turn on a dime and completely change the way they play the game. playing defensively is how this team is built.. its how the playbooks are written and how the coaches think. Why is it that people just conveniently forget how we play when we are playing good.. and instead insist on focusing on the bad games and claiming "that is who we are"?? Honestly you say we have no pass rush, and we do not have alot of sacks, but during our 4 out of 5 winning streak we were doing a good job of pressuring the QB. We also had improved our nasty 3rd down % from the first few games.

Also, do you honestly think that those games against denver and indi were a good measure of what our team is really capable of? I dont.. i know we are alot better than that.. so it is not that hard to imagine that a good coach would beleive in his team and give them the opportunity to play like they are capable of. In the case of the Green Bay game.. we played GREAT in the first half.. Capers had no reason to think we wouldnt come out in the second and continue to play that well, especially considering the success we have had at home this year. And really.. our defense played OK in the second half.. not as well as the first :P.. but its not like we gave up 30 points. The problem, as i see it, boils down to the offensive playcalling. The Audibles to be specific.. those Audibles into runs completely shut down our drives in the second half... just taking more time off the clock could have won that game for us.

Grid 11-22-2004 10:09 PM

I disagree Porky. Last year we were still gunshy from Carr's first season and he was limited to 3 step drops most of the time.. so he didnt spend much time in the pocket and risk getting sacked. that is a misleading stat. This year he has had more time in the pocket than last year. Also.. the games against Denver and Indi padded that stat a little bit :P

rhc564 11-22-2004 10:28 PM

Ok Grid
 
...for you and those who believe we are on the right track, when do we
begin the winning process that will take us to the playoffs? Certainly,
you don't think it will happen over night or all of 'a sudden,' so give us a
timeline/deadline. I'm talking about that point in time when there are no
more excuses and we lose the 'expansion' label that so many of you covet. :hmmm:

utahmark 11-22-2004 10:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rhc564
...for you and those who believe we are on the right track, when do we
begin the winning process that will take us to the playoffs? Certainly,
you don't think it will happen over night or all of 'a sudden,' so give us a
timeline/deadline. I'm talking about that point in time when there are no
more excuses and we lose the 'expansion' label that so many of you covet. :hmmm:

year after next.

Wolf 11-22-2004 10:36 PM

I figured 7-9 to 8-8 this year.. I don't see us as an expansion team. I figure year 4 is the year where we should have a legit shot at playoffs (or should) why? Carr will be in his 3rd year (I don't count the 1st year because all he was doing is running for his life) and Wand will be 2nd year starter and Pitts (4 year but 2nd year at guard). Hopefully those 2 will solidify the left part of the line. Defensively we may have another rookie or 2 over there playing with 3 (2nd year players) so hopefully that will be better, but on the other hand.. Our veterans will be a step slower.. so who knows

utahmark 11-22-2004 10:37 PM

year end and year out denver has the best running game in the league. they have had at least 5 no name running backs turn into stars. when they had a good qb (elway) they won it all. guess the zone blocking works a little. we might want to give it some time and make it work.


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