Thread: Tony Hollings
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Old 11-06-2004   #11
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Originally Posted by Number19
Can someone bring me up to date on Tony Hollings' status? ... My understanding is that Hollings had some nicks prior to the off-week, but since then is fully recovered...
I believe you are correct on Hollings injury history and current status.

Originally Posted by Number19
... Hollings has gotten zero playing time over the past three or four games, and I'm not sure if he was even included on the out-of-town roster ... why isn't he trying to improve on our performance by giving our "speedster running back" some playing time? I don't think we can do much worse...
I don't believe Hollings was active against the Tacks and was active but did not get a run from the line of scrimmage against the Furrballs.

I think the first issue is "Do you activate 3 RBs for a game?"

The problem is that there is competition for the active roster space between the 3rd RB, the 3rd TE, the 4th ILB (Polk and Evans), a 2nd FB, the 4th WR, an extra safety or corner. You can't activate everyone. I believe that Capers considers the game plan for the week (do I need a back up TE more than a backup RB), plus the special teams play of the players involved. Special teams are so important in the NFL today, in terms of big plays and changing field position that you can't ignore special teams. I believe that Joe Marciano has a lot of imput in the last couple of active players. Inevitably, whatever position that Capers doesn't have the extra backup for will be the position that has the injury, but that's life.

I think the 2nd issue is "Which RBs get reps and a chance to 'build a lather'?"

I believe that Capers feels that RBs need a certain number of reps to build a lather and that there is some advantages to having a plan and sticking to it. It's not like Capers, or any good coach, to throw out the plan because it takes a few reps for the running game to get going. Remember:

- the O-line, TE, or FB also bare some responsibility for getting the run game going;
- the defenders also get paid to do a job and it should be expected that they will win some plays (they stunt to the side you are running - it happens);
- There is limited practice time. Often the success of a play is a function of player execution, not design. If you bench your starter after a few runs, then the practice reps of that individual are lost and you are looking for a high level of execution out of a player who had limited reps in practice. You can't give three RBs starter reps in practice.

Originally Posted by Number19
... Capers' is one of the most offensively conservative coaches...
I completely disagree. I don't think Capers is conservative at all. He is calculating, not reckless. Very different. Just last week, I would refer you to three plays:

-3rd Quarter -12:58 to go, 1-10 on Texans 10 yard line - throw to Johnson (it started a drive that got to Furballs 35, where Johnson fumbled);
-3rd Quarter - 5:04 to go, 1-10 on Texans 1 yard line - throw to Gaffney for 27 yard gain (it started a drive that got to Furballs 40, where Carr had unsportsmanlike conduct penalty);

The above will quickly be forgotten by the posters who love to say the Texans play calling is run, run, pass, or that the Texans should 'open up the play book.'

- 4th Quarter - 8:47 to go, 4-2 on Furballs 26 yard line - Stanley runs an option (a play they practice every Friday) for a 1st down.

The best example of Capers true nature in managing a football game was last years home game against the Furballs.

Capers went for the touchdown instead of the field goal on the last play and everyone was amazed. IMO, he went for it because Aaron Glenn's replacement, Kenny Wright, was injured near the end of the game. His best chance to win was if his defense didn't go back on the field. He didn't like the match up of his 3rd string CB against Leftwich. The odds of Carr making a play were better than a 3rd string CB.

No, there is nothing conservative about Capers. He just understands when the odds favor a particular play call.

Originally Posted by Number19
Capers seems to be unable to adjust to unexpected situations... Now that this is not working, he is unable to adjust ... This is anything but smart football.
See above, dealing with Capers being conservative.

One final comment on the running game being a disaster. Running is about more than picking up yards. It's about controlling the clock, so the opposition can't get going, it's about the O-line pounding on the D-line and making them play honest (and using up their strength). Of course, you would rather get 10 yards than 2 yards, but running still serves a useful purpose. Inevitably, running between the tackles last week slowed the pass rush (Carr wasn't sacked) and it opened up outside running (Gaffney's two huge runs, 1 called back by Johnson's hold and the other Gaffney scored, but dropped the ball).

Look at last week's game.

1) Gaffney drops ball on way to endzone;
2) After driving for their own 10 yard line to furball 35, Johnson fumbles;
3) After driving for their own 1 yard line to furball 40, Carr get an Unsportsmanlike conduct play.

All of the above represent execution breakdowns by the teams stars and as a result, the Texans get zero points out of the drives. If even one of them hadn't occurred, then it's a blow out. Now, I'm not down on Carr, Gaffney or Johnson and I'm not doing an 'if's and but's' ... the result of the game is the result of the game. I'm just saying that Capers understands gameplanning and playcalling very well. He understands what the running game is doing and while I'm sure he would prefer some additional yards as the line gets more time together and backs return to health and get comfortable in the new system, he knows how to use what he has to get the job done.
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