Re: Texans UDFA Signings
Game review: Ohio St. vs. Michigan St. Spartans
Against the Spartans and the big RB Le'Veon Bell,
the Buckeyes loaded the box and leave their CBs mostly in one-one-one.
Bell was linmited to 47 yards on 17 carries.
This was a good game to review, especially with a wide and deep camera angle.
They even showed several end zone shots that make player evaluation easier and more accurate.
Howard was left on an island for most of the games,
playing either off-man or press man coverage.
He allowed one 3-yd catch playing off-man on first and ten, converging quickly.
He stayed well with, and ahead of the receiver on a post route
(a difficult one to defend one-on-one), resulting in an incompletion.
He reacted back and took down the RB Bell with a nice tackle that stopped Bell dead in his track.
On a side line route, Howard stayed disciplined against the double move,
reacted well and turned to run stride for stride with the receiver.
He then pinned the receiver to the sideline, in phase, securing he route, and forcing another incompletion.
("terrific coverage", in Brent Musburger's term
and "good coverage and good position by Herbie, the other commentator.)
On a quick short pass, Howard appeared to stop the receiver short of the first down on third and five, but the ref gave it to the Spartans.
The receiver never reached the first down marker.
(Howard was switching man; he was about to take on the inside receiver who went deep, but reacted back very well to help the slot defender on the outside receiver, nearly foiling the conversion.)
He gave up a 10-yd slant playing off-man, but made the tackle immediately.
(I think he was about to drop into a 3-deep zone when he realized that it was a quick slant and reacted back to make the play. The nickel was a little too far inside to drop back into the flat soon enough. The nickel - Orhian Johnson, was eying either the TE or the RB or both before making his drop.)
Howard was right there with the receiver on a couple more plays, forcing an incompletion on a quick slant and a dropped ball on a quick out.
In the second half, Howard continued to show well in run support.
They didn't target him but one time when the quick slant throw was low and away with zero chance for the receiver.
Howard was right there, ready to deliver the blow; even if the pass was on target, there was no guarantee that the receiver can hold on to the ball.
The QB looked Howard's direction three other times, but didn't go there.
The TV angle was good on one occasion where I can see that
Howard was step to step with the receiver.
O. Johnson made a couple of nice play disengaging from the slot to help thwart off 2 passes to the boundary receiver, showing good awareness, agility, as well as range.
On one play, he missed a tackle in pursuit (it wasn't his man), going in too high with the arm tackle.
This needs to be cleaned up.
He also played deep safety, breaking up a pass, and was generally in good position where he was supposed to be.
His run support continued to be solid.
The Mich. St. QB Maxwell was 22 of 42 for 269;
only a tiny portion of that production was against Howard and Johnson.
Zac Boren also continued his good plays.
He's definitely a very good college lead blocker.
The Spartans CB Johnny Adams played similarly to Brice McCain when he was at Utah, mostly in press man with some off-man coverage mixing in.
He looks physical, pound per pound, with the ability to mirror the receiver.
He can fight off his man (bigger and taller) to support the run very well.
He did give up a 12-yd catch in off-man (he was switching man similarly to Howard, so it was not a poor play or anything.)
He gave up another irrelevant catch short of the first down marker on third and long on a broken play in off-man coverage.
Not a problem there either.
He gave up a TD on a side line route; this time it was a problem.
He was looking back trying to locate the ball and it just zoomed past him into the hands of the receiver.
He was in trail position and could have broken up the pass if he had simply played through the receiver.
He needed to secure the route before trying to locate the ball.
It was a perfect pass; I must say, however.
Ohio St. attemtped just 22 passes; only those 3 went Adams' way.
He was in good position throughout the game, even on the TD.
All and all, these four guys are very interesting prospects.
I think I will come back to them later if I have the time.
Right now, I want to watch me some Alan Bonner.