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Old 12-06-2004   #30
Hervoyel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunusguy
At first you blast the OL in general(as if they are all total losers), but when you discuss individual players:
McKinney is the only one who is a real mistake, the other 4 are atleast ok, show promise, and/or still adjusting to the new blocking scheme.
So then what's your conclusion on the OL - are we just one player away coupled with successfully adjusting to the new blocking scheme, or are we multiple players/light years away from having a descent OL ?

My conclusion on the offensive line is that we're finally looking at a group of players who might spend significant time together and be in the same spot two or maybe even three years from now. The offensive line is way behind where I'd hoped they'd be by now and I'm sure they're way behind where the Texans hoped they'd be by now. I'm happy with the talent they've assembled finally and dissappointed with how that talent has been performing this season. I'm not without hope but I'm lacking faith in whoever is teaching/coaching/motivating this crew.

Hey, I was an Oiler fan so I know a group of talented underachievers when I see one. I also know where to look for the reason that's happening.

Starting out the plan was (as I understood it) to have McKinney play center, and he did. The tackle positions would be held down by Boselli and Young who were plucked from the Jaguars and Jets organizations to protect the new "Boy Wonder". The Texans were hopeful in regards to Boselli's return and high on Ryan Young but niether one of them panned out. Chester Pitts was going to be the LG and grow up sandwiched between Boselli and McKinney so he'd have the support of two veterans while Fred Weary or one of a number of journeyman guards would do likewise on the right side. They intended to start a line that went something like Vet-Rookie-Vet-Rookie/Lesser Player-Vet and that was a sound plan except that niether tackle was much of a factor. Boselli never played a down and Young was hurt much of the season. When he wasn't injured he failed to impress the Texans coaches and he was let go after the season ended.

Coming out of 2002 you had a starting LT who never played a down, a starting LG who played the whole season at LT, McKinney at center who made it through his first year here at a less than impressive level, a crew of RG's who to a man stunk it up, and a RT who was supposed to be one of your bookends getting his tail tossed out the door. Obviously the Texans "plan" wasn't panning out.

Going into 2003 you had hopes of finally seeing Boselli at LT and Chester Pitts finally starting at LG. McKinney was back at center of course but as to the rest of the line we would have Fred Weary catching up and Todd Washington available. Milford Brown was there and Zack Weigert was going to play RT or RG or whatever. We were going to have some real linemen on the field for a change. Again it didn't work out exactly like the Texans had planned. Boselli was a goner and Chester Pitts was still stuck out at LT. Another year of possible work at LG went down the drain. While Pitts didn't stink it up at LT in 2003 he was getting experience at a position he wasn't destined to play. In 2003 we were a team with a lot of guards and few tackles. Weigert is a much better guard than tackle and Seth Wand was an understrength rookie from out of nowhere. This bunch did a heck of a job though. Think about this for a moment. The only real consistency they had from the previous year was from Pitts and McKinney. The LG, RG, and RT were all newcomers or at least new starters. They cut the sacks down bigtime and opened holes for the running game. Progress was being made.

Fast forward to 2004 and we're adding another tackle which we really needed to do. Todd Wade was going to give us our first look at a natural, quality RT. Seth Wand was given the go and Chester Pitts was heading for his natural position for the first time ever. McKinney was still there to man the turnstile and wave people past once he'd hiked the ball but Weigert was at his best position at RG. Nothing but good things could be on the horizon for this group. The previous season we'd seen fewer true quality players come together to play reasonably well by the second half of the year. These guys were going to do something. Or were they? The Texans decided it was time to change the way they run block and we all went "Cool, we're going to be just like the Broncos! Domanick is going to be a terror now!" but that didn't happen. There are 5 games remaining and we don't look much better than we did when the season started. What's worse the Texans line is doing a very poor job of protecting a skittish QB who's play deteriorates the moment he begins to feel like it's another 5 sack day.

The zone blocking scheme didn't screw up the pass protection. It has nothing to do with the pass protection. The pass protection just never developed at all. During the first half of the season I saw no reason why the lines play should not improve later in the year. That's almost a constant throughout the league. Given that you've got players good enough to play at this level (finally, in year 3 I can say I think we do) and given that they've played together long enough (12 games, 4 preseason games, a training camp and summer camps) you should expect to see them improve. I'm not saying they're going to be dominating the league by now but they should be better at this than they were in week 1 of the season. That's not an unreasonable expectation. That's not high hopes and homer faith. We're fielding the best players we've ever had but getting less from them than we did from the 2003 version. That's not progress.

I simply wonder whether or not our offensive line coach is capable of getting this group to play at their best. This group is underachieving right now to the detriment of the whole team.

If you think Carr is the Franchise, AJ is a future HOF reciever, and Davis has the chance to be a real franchise back then think of what they'd be like if they had quality play from the most important 5 guys on the field.
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