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Old 08-25-2008   #107
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Default Re: What is the Defense Missing?

I don't understand this question. It's supposed to stop people.
Different defenses have different philosophies. You know what Tampa or the Colts defense is supposed to look like. Or the Eagles. Or the Panthers. Or the Titans. Or the Patriots. Or any number of team's defenses. They draft players to suit their defenses.

Just because he doesn't have an extensive history doesn't mean he's not capable.
And that should make me feel comfortable that he can build a defense from scratch why?

From 2006 to 2007 our defense and sack count improved.....albeit very marginally...
Also from the Pro Football Prospectus: "Although the Texans ranked 23rd in Adjusted Sack Rate [in 2007], they ranked 30th in quarterback hurries per pass."


Kubiak hasn't said "we need to be more creative with what we're doing on defense"...

Generally his angst hasn't been aimed at the schmes or defensive play calling; he moreso talks about specific players

Instead of saying things like "We as coaches have to put them in better situations to be successful" or, "I think we gotta find different ways to get after the passer" he says "We're going to keep searchin for which guys are going to get the job done" and "we don't want to blitz a whole lot".

Kubiak hasn't been shy about fessing up to poor coaching and "putting players in bad situations" so I'm not sure why he'd start beating around the bush now...
He isn't going to dump his defensive coordinator in the grease, that's why. He will take responsibility for himself, and he will vaguely talk about coaching in general. I will say after the first three awful games of Smith's tenure, Kubiak said he was going to spend some more time with the coaching staff, which was probably not a great sign.

But yeah, this is on Kubiak. Richard Smith could get him fired if the defense doesn't get better soonishly.

The best thing that an offensive minded head coach can do is the find an awesome defensive coordinator and let him loose. I have little reason to believe that Smith is an awesome defensive coordinator.

I disagree...I think our recieving corps is very talented...
I think our QB play is very good and probably going to get better...
I think our backs have some potential...
I think Vontay is really good...
I think we have some good talent up front on the O-line...
I think we have some good depth over there and really the only area of real concern is the RB's/running game...
* Our receiving group is Andre Johnson and a bunch of guys that no other teams really wanted. Andre Davis almost didn't make the team last year. Kevin Walter hardly got any playing time his first year. Jacoby Jones was the guy that everybody said we picked too high. David Anderson was on the nobody was likely going to draft him list. Those are guys that Kubiak figured would work for his offense, but nobody was beating down the doors to get those guys before we put them in our system. Last year's story was gee, why don't the Texans have a real #2 receiver? After AJ went down and there was only the Dayne train, people were stunned the Texans could still move the ball some.

* As for our quarterbacks, I think there is some promise there, but both of them were backups before they started working with Kubiak.

* Running backs--no one would want any of our running backs with the exception of Slaton. The offense seeks to make the running backs, ala Ron Dayne, better than they are.

* There's plenty of promise on the offensive line, but it's not like those guys are unearthly more athletic than any other line in the league, ala Pace in his prime. I think they are a well-coached unit, but not amazingly talented.

* Overall, I think the offense is well coached, and Kubiak has assembled players who play well in his system. I think a player like an Owen Daniels is succeeding for the Texans when he might not have been developed as well in some other team.

You won't see that sort of progress with the defense...

Look who you are comparing them to....

The pedigree of the coaches and the continuity on that side of the ball far outweigh that of the defense...
Yeah, the coaching on the offensive side of the ball is better than on the defensive side of the ball. That is something that can be fixed.

I'm not shocked that a Gary Kubiak coached football team progressed much more rapidly on the offensive side of the ball than the defensive...

I think that some of Free agent pick-ups and draft picks on the offensive side of the ball have been amazing since Smithiak have taken over...

Andre Davis, Kevin Walter, Chris Meyers, Owen Daniels, Rahshard Butler, Jacoby, David Anderson, Vontay, Briesel, Winston, Slaton, Chris Taylor, Matt Schaub, Sage Rosenfels...

These are talented football players...
Some of those guys are athletic and talented, and some of those guys are just good fits for the system we run.

Defense hasn't hit on nearly the amount of draft picks and Free Agents...

I can't blame that on Richard Smith.
Why can't you blame that on Richard Smith? There are players who have stunk whilst playing for the Texans, but played much better when they got into real defensive systems. Phillip Buchanon comes to mind immediately.

You get a defensive system you believe in, and coaches that believe in it, and you get the players who can excel in that system, and you put them in situations to succeed.

Just because you have an offensive minded head coach, doesn't mean that the defense is going to get short shrift. In fact, the Texans have gone out of their way to spend high draft picks on that side of the ball. I think if Smith said he needed cheeseburger eaters at DT, that's what he would get. Or more physical sizeable linebackers. (though I will say it is my understanding that it was the linebacker coach that begged for DeMeco Ryans even though that wasn't Smith's pick).

Richard Smith is the guy the Texans settled on because there weren't better coordinator candidates available at the time. And probably early season isn't the best time to can Smith. But if the defense continues to be way below average, I don't want to hear the excuse of young players because lots of teams depend on young players. I want a defensive coordinator that we can trust he knows what he is doing.

I understand from the other thread that your mind is made up on the issues involving Richard Smith. Personally, I don't understand that sort of thinking. I hope I'm completely misguided about Smith, and that his defense doesn't continue to be an albatross for this team. I think we discuss these things, not to prove that we are right, but to get us thinking about things we might not have thought of, and to give us stuff to look for on the field.

So we're getting better....despite our division getting tougher over that time span...
If the defense is getting even marginally better, it is because they were so awful in 2005. I am still very traumatized by marginal QBs moving the ball on these Smith coached Texans.

The Jags and Colts offenses can move the chains on the best of them...
So you want to have a defense designed to stop them. Getting taller corners I understand is part of that. I'm not sure what their philosophy is up front other than gee, Mario is going to get double, tripled team, maybe the other guys can do something.

How is this Smith's fault that our best DT's are smallish...
Does he want smallish DTs? I don't know. Before Okam, all the guys were mostly at 285-305. If he wanted a free agent body bigger than that, I think he could get it. Okam was drafted to give some weight to the front four. I don't know if this is a plan, or he was just BPA. Who knows what their plan is on defense.

The Colts won a superbowl with a smallish front four.....Colts were called soft against the run until Bob Sanders came back...

Amazing what talented players can do for a defense...In that case, it was just one...
The Colts have a very defined defensive philosophy that is much more than smallish defensive linemen. And they draft to suit that philosophy. I wonder if a Bob Sanders could succeed with our defense--I don't know.

I'm having a hard time trying to find out what he can do so drastically different in order for our defense to take the gigantic strides forward that you all seek.
Maybe not put Dunta Robinson in man coverage with no safety help in a game the Texans are trying to stop the Titans from scoring quickly.

Or the strange blitz call on the last play of first Vince Young-Texans game.

Or putting Petey Faggins on an island REPEATEDLY when Faggins had already been TD torched in the Bills game.

Or not having a defense that opposing teams call "vanilla" even before the team plays the Texans.

Or not have a defensive rotation that involves the linemen sprinting off the field to "rest." (I think they ended up fixing that, but it is an illustration of some extreme coaching cluelessness.)

A defense in the salary cap era needs to be 1. Easy to learn and execute; 2. Difficult to move the ball against; 3. Have a coach that talented free agents want to play for. I don't see Houston having any of that. The defense has often been confused by what Smith is trying to get them to do.

How long are you willing to see wretched defensive play before you want to see what a defensive coordinator with a track record of success could do with it? I'm not sure who that guy would be, but McNair is willing to spend some coin.
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