Originally Posted by thunderkyss
At least we all agree that Wade screwed the pooch.
What I don't understand is why we are so focused on the right side of the line. IMO, over the course of the year, Ben Jones was much more consistent in doing his job than Wade was in doing his job.
I can understand there will be some growing pains with Ben Jones & Derek Newton. They're not going to come in & play as well as Briesel & Winston. But we should expect better from Wade.
"But Wade went to the ProBowl"
I honestly don't remember seeing Wade's name in the voting. It was Antoine Caldwell's & we joked about him not even playing.
Brandon Brooks is bigger & stronger than Ben Jones. He showed that he can play well enough to start (I think anyway). But I also think Ben Jones made a strong case to continue as a starter.
This is the second year in a row that I believe
Wade has put out a less than acceptable performance. If I were king, Brooks would be my starting LG, Jones would be my starting RG.
Just like we are seeing a drop off in play from Briesel to Jones/Brooks, we're going to see that same drop off if Jones doesn't start & comes in to play Center when needed. I think he's getting excellent training being on the line next to Myers where he can see what Myers is seeing as he makes the calls.
We should continue to look for another Guard/Center ala Cody White if he becomes a better Guard than Ben Jones, then he starts & Jones goes to the bench.
But right now, our OL need a RT, RG, LG
I think Newton, Jones, & Brooks will play much better in their second season. I don't think Wade Smith is going to play better in his 10th. We're paying him a lot of money that can be used elsewhere & he's only turned in one acceptable season to date.
What I think I saw was that in 2011, the line played quite well together; the weakness of one guy on a certain play, was quickly covered up by the another.
On top of that, the Texans didn't run much outside zone in the previous years, and the opponents didn't anticipate that Foster can be that quick to the outside. Success builds confidence, and so, the running game flourished.
I differed with TK here, in that I thought Wade Smith had a pretty good year in 2011 - his best in a Texans uni, which brought him the PRO-Bowl accolade a year later. So did Myers, when he was allowed to do what he does best, which is to get to the second and third level. When we see Myers get to the third level, it means that the whole line is working in sync (at least, theoretically), and the chance for the RB to bust a long run is good.
The Texans ran into WAY to many negative plays last year to either side, it put a serious question mark as to the effectiveness of the zone scheme. That was not supposed to happen.
The left side was supposed to be the strength, it wasn't.
It was as inconsistent as the right side.
Myers did not have a good year either, in the middle.
The back side cut block, whether the run is to the left or to the right, whether the strong side is to the left or the right, is an important element in the ZBS;
It was weak; OD was weak as a blocker; Casey was also weak.
It was really easy to see why Foster didn't have a better year
In the run game, the right side had its problem, but it was to be expected.
It was the left side that underperformed, because it was supposed to be the strength, only it wasn't.