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Old 11-05-2004   #1
Str8tupg42k1
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Default Running Game

Do you guys think that we'll see more of Hollings in this game vs. Denver. He had some good runs with Davis in the preseason, or will they go with Davis and Wells. Just wondering. (killing time till kickoff. )
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Old 11-05-2004   #2
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We might, but I am sure DD and JW will be a good 1-2 punch in this game.. We are going to pick on there secondary this game more than anything.. Champ is good but I think AJ can gett he best of him.
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Old 11-05-2004   #3
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Even though Davis didnt put up big numbers last week i felt he gained a lot of his confidence back and it looks like he is getting his fast shifty feet back under him !!! And when he caught that pass across the middle and made a few people miss to get the first down that was something we hadnt seen from Davis in a while and i saw it quite a bit sunday ! I think D.D will start and i expect him to have a good day !
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Old 11-05-2004   #4
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Default Tony Hollings

Whats up w/Hollings? Is he injured or in the doghouse with Capers?
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Old 11-05-2004   #5
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man i dont see why alot of people dont got faith in davis man hes a young good back, all u guys will see what kinda of a rb we got its just a matter of time
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Old 11-05-2004   #6
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They will see one day !!!
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Old 11-05-2004   #7
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at first i was big on DD but he hasn't showed me a thing so all im saying is put TH in the game let me see what he can do
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Old 11-06-2004   #8
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Default Tony Hollings

Can someone bring me up to date on Tony Hollings' status? I'm unable to listen to talk radio and have heard nothing. My understanding is that Hollings had some nicks prior to the off-week, but since then is fully recovered.

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.

According to the Chronicle, the Texans are averaging 3.3 yds per carry, just ahead of Miami's last place 3.2 yds; and the league's average is 4.2. We rank 25th in the league in rushing yards per game. The Texans are the only team without a run of 20 yds or longer.

Capers' is one of the most offensively conservative coaches, with only five teams running the ball more often than we do. OK, if this is the ball game he wants to play, then 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.

Capers seems to be unable to adjust to unexpected situations. His intent was to run DD this year and came up with a game plan to best utilize his skills.

Now that this is not working, he is unable to adjust and come up with a running game that utilizes Hollings' skills. If or when Hollings does play, he will be asked to run plays designed for DD. This is anything but smart football.
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Old 11-06-2004   #9
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While I totally agree that giving Hollings some playing time would be a good thing.. i just wanted to clarify on why we run so much.

Ive seen it mentioned a few times this week.. by sports media and coaches.. that even though our run game is struggling.. we continue to focus on it.. which forces opposing coaches to consider it. Basicly what it means is that even though it sucks.. we keep doing it.. so coaches cant ignore it and focus on shutting down our passing game.. which in turn opens up the pass for us, same as it would if we had a GOOD running game. So, props to capers for having a bad running game but still managing to use it to open up the pass.
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Old 11-06-2004   #10
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I still haven't seen anything to convince me that Tony will ever be a good between-the-tackles RB. He's a long strider and not a cutter so unless there's a decent size hole in his field of view, all he's going to do is run up someone's back. He doesn't seem to sense and feel the openings like a good RB should. Of course that's probably because he hasn't been a RB very long. Plus, Tony is not a very good blocker. He really struggles in blitz pick up and general pass-protect. One of the good things about DD once upon a time was that he showed great vision and burst and could react in any direction to an open hole quickly before it closed. He still has it in him. He just needs to get the confidence back. I think the fumbles really got in his head.
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Old 11-06-2004   #11
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Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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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Old 11-06-2004   #12
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Good post.

I think Hollings is still very much a project and he will get some touches as he becomes a better blocker, studies more film, and gets more reps in practice. We have all seen what an offense looks like in the NFL when you have players learn on the job. I've wanted to see more of Hollings myself but have just had to realize that they are taking their time with him and developing him in the background while we try to win games.
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Old 11-06-2004   #13
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agree with Vinny anywho Hollings, Casserly feels has the explosive tools to be the Texans RB of the future. Sure has experienced a few bumps & bruises along the way but in time he has the speed to be a game breaker out of the backfield. I for one have posted this already but would just like to reiterate Hollings should get some game time as the Texans kick-off returner (not punt returns, Moses). If you've noticed before the game (from the bull pen side) both Hollings & Mosses practice catching kicks then scampering up the field. Side by side you get an appreciation of the size advantage over Moses and as AJ correctly indentifies Hollings is a long strider he should be well suited to return kick-offs, until needed @ RB.
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Old 11-06-2004   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny
Good post.

I think Hollings is still very much a project and he will get some touches as he becomes a better blocker, studies more film, and gets more reps in practice. We have all seen what an offense looks like in the NFL when you have players learn on the job. I've wanted to see more of Hollings myself but have just had to realize that they are taking their time with him and developing him in the background while we try to win games.
That last part can't be stressed enough. The part about learning on the job I mean. The Texans don't have to do this anymore (Thankfully) and I think that's the only reason we're not seeing Hollings right now. They've seen enough of him by now to know where his game is lacking and with Wells stepping up his game and Davis healthy they have the luxury of keeping Hollings down at #3 until he's really ready to make a consistant contribution.

I think the fact that we're not seeing Hollings much right now is a good thing. He's a project with big upside and projects take time. When we finally see him he'll be ready to play unlike Wells in 2002.
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Old 11-06-2004   #15
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Lets get back on track with hollings.. i hope he's playing 2morrow he has good speed to the out side and i think he would help a lil even if he's the 3rd down back.
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Old 11-06-2004   #16
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Hollings will be a good back soon enough it'll just take a little time
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Old 11-07-2004   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny
Good post.

I think Hollings is still very much a project and he will get some touches as he becomes a better blocker, studies more film, and gets more reps in practice. We have all seen what an offense looks like in the NFL when you have players learn on the job. I've wanted to see more of Hollings myself but have just had to realize that they are taking their time with him and developing him in the background while we try to win games.
My take on RB's has always been this. They all come into the NFL needing to improve in the areas you've mentioned with blitz pick-up being right up there. We all know that at Georgia Tech Hollings spent most of his time as a DB and he played that position until the Yellow Jackets had a major need at RB. Tony came to Tech at a RB/DB so running the football was not totally new to him. My point is....at some point in the not too distant future the light should go on for him. It's been long understood that RB is the one position where a player can step from college campus to the NFL and play right away. Soon, I would think the Texan's would begin to wonder what Tony's future holds.
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Old 11-07-2004   #18
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It must me a full Moon. We agree. I was speculating on another board if we perhaps pursue LaMont Jordan in the off-season since we have three backs and no clear starter at this point. Charlie Casserly tried to trade for him last season and was unsuccessful. Jordan is a FA this year as well as J Wells.
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Old 11-07-2004   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill's/TexanFan
My take on RB's has always been this. They all come into the NFL needing to improve in the areas you've mentioned with blitz pick-up being right up there. We all know that at Georgia Tech Hollings spent most of his time as a DB and ... My point is....at some point in the not too distant future the light should go on for him...
Hollings faced 2 major challenges, not 1:

a) learning to play RB in the NFL, with limited college experience at RB;

b) coming back from a major knee injury that some say is a two year project (see Edrin James)

The Texans have shown the ability to avoid making a bunch of knee-jerk, distructive reactions. I'm sure they are bringing Hollings along in a way and on a timetable they are comfortable with, even if we aren't fully aware of it.
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Old 11-06-2004   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistril48
... 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...Capers understands gameplanning and playcalling very well. He understands what the running game is doing...he knows how to use what he has to get the job done.
My thinking is that Capers, on any individual play, is not necessarily conservative, as pointed out by Mistril48. However, his game plan is conservative. Any game plan which pounds the ball with a running attack - that is, running plays exceding passing plays - I consider conservative. Capers himself admits he uses the running game to set up the passing game. The other thing to remember is that a good percentage of Carr's passing completions are not true "downfield" pass plays, but rather those dump-off passes to the HB, or the 1 yd hitch pass & run to AJ.

The thing is, rule changes favor the downfield passing game - and to keep up with these changes, a strategy of using the passing game to set up the running game makes more sense than it did a decade ago.

I went back and found these passer ratings for 1993 :

Young - 99.9
Aikman - 99.1
Elway - 92.9
Simms - 88.3
Montana - 87.4
Kelly - 80.0
Moon - 75.2
Favre - 72.2

Today, it is common for the best ratings to excede 100. Culpepper has 124.0. A ROOKIE - ROETHLISBERGER - HAS A RATING OF 100.1. Carr's current rating is 97.8.

The Texans currently have a run to pass ratio of 30.4 to 30.2. With our current talent, and with the new rule changes, we would problably have a more efficent offense with a ratio of about 33 Pass to 27 Run. Using a one back set, I would try Hollings at that position until Davis reacquires last year's performance level. And I would throw more downfield.

Having said all this, I can live with Capers' game plan if it proves to be sucessful. We have just entered a stretch where we play : Jacksonville, Denver, Indianapolis, Green Bay, Tennessee, Indianapolis and the Jets. I look forward to seeing how we do.
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