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Old 08-02-2004   #18
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Join Date: May 2004
Age: 46
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Originally Posted by texansfan88
have you bee nto the practices? your statement has very little backing if you haven't been there
I have been following the NFL for 28 years and know a thing or two about roster limitations.

Anderson only averaged 3.6 yards a carry against NFL Europe competition. Even though there are many reasons why his average isn't just about him (the quality of his line, the quality of his QB, injuries, etc), I doubt very many NFL backs would have a problem running for 4 yards a carry in NFL Europe.

The Texans already have D. Davis, T. Hollings, and J. Wells at halfback with NFL experience. Davis and Hollings are definitely going to make this team.

J. Wells is a favorite whipping boy of many Texans fans (including me), but the fact is that he has played for 2 years and has made himself a pretty good special teams player. He also has bulked up in the off-season (to 240 lbs) to compete for the short-yardage role.

The Texans broke camp last year with 4 HB's (Mack, Davis, Hollings, Wells) but realisticaly only used 3 each week. In the first 8 games one of the HB's was inactive in five of those games (1-Wells, 3-Davis, 4-Hollings, 5-Wells, 6-Wells). Mack was injured and either inactive or on injured reserve the last eight weeks of the season. Even then, Davis was inactive in game 13 and Hollings didn't play in game 16. So the Texans only used 4 HB's in 3 games last year (Games 2, 7, 8).

Also, last year G. Comella was the backup fullback but wasn't used very much at all. He only played in 5 games (Games 2,3,4,13,16) and was on the inactive list 10 times. The only time he was active but didn't play was week 7.
Things will be different this year with J. Baxter back from injury. He will fight with Norris for the starting FB job and with Wells for the short yardage back, as well as contribute on special teams.

The importance of Baxter in this year's HB situation is that with Baxter on the roster, I think the Texans will only carry 3 HB's this year coming out of camp. Baxter gives the Texans added flexibility as someone who can play two positions (HB and FB) plus contribute on special teams. Remember, Baxter played RB in college in a one-back offense and has experience carrying the ball. Coming out of college, Baxter was considered by some scouts to be the best short yardage back in that draft.

The Texans will probably use the roster spot that was used last year at HB (at least for the first 11 games until Mack was put on the IR) for another position such as WR, where there is pretty tight competition for roster spots and there are several youngsters with good potential (S. Thomas and K. Starling) who might otherwise be cut. I think most Texans fans would agree that Thomas and Starling have a better future with the Texans than does Anderson.

I might have been a little harsh in saying that Anderson has no realistic chance at making the roster. To make the roster he is going to have to beat out Wells for the third HB position. To beat out Wells, he is going to have to prove to be a better runner and at least as good on special teams. If he can do both, and if Baxter proves he can be the short yardage runner then Anderson will probably make the team. However, if Wells seems to be the best choice as short yardage runner, then the only way Anderson can make the team is to beat out JJ Moses and take his roster spot as the return man.
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