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Old 11-22-2004   #1
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Default Just the facts ma'am

So I just wanted to vent a little bit.

1. Zone blocking is a superior blocking scheme when run correctly. We are smart to start doing it now while we are young. In a couple seasons when we are TRUELY a playoff contender, and not a possible playoff contender.. we will be happy that we started using the zone blocking scheme now. Yah.. its having a rough start, but that is what happens when you make a drastic change to the way you play the game.

2. the 3-4 is a great defense. it is built to be aggressive and that is the kind of defense I like. On top of that, we have the coaches to run a very effective 3-4, and switching to a 4-3 would actually weaken us, based solely on the fact that we do not have coaches that are as experienced with the 4-3. We have THREE rookies starting on defense, that makes consistent play difficult. Next year we will be even better, and 2 years from now, with another defensive draft under our belt and a few more 2 year rookies.. we will be good to go.

3. Capers is a good coach. Playing not to lose is not a bad thing if its done right. You all act surprised, but everyone KNEW when we got coach capers that he was a defensive minded coach. Dont you expect a defensive minded coach to be more interested in stopping the other team and controlling the clock, than they are at putting up huge points? there are 4 teams in the NFL that I can think of who are truely offensive teams.. Colts, Vikings, Eagles, and Chiefs. and here are 4 teams that are defensive minded and play the same way that Capers is trying to make us play.. Ravens, Bucaneers, Patriots, Panthers. Now.. do you notice something interesting about that list? thats right.. the 4 offensive teams havent seen the SB in years :P. While the 4 defensive teams are a whos who of recent SB teams. Yes, it is frustrating to see a lead disappear, or to see our offense sputter at the wrong time.. but Capers is building this team the RIGHT WAY.. and when our defense is up to par, we will be one of the most BALANCED defensive teams in the league.. capable of stopping you cold, and making big plays on offense at the same time.

4. I HATE LOSING.. HATE HATE HATE HATE IT. But I am not prepared to say that we need any MAJOR changes. I think SOME changes would be good.. there is no excuse for our play against the Colts and Broncos, we played like a college team, a BAD college team. We played with NO heart. That isnt just the players, that is the coaches. I have off and on feelings about Fangio, but I think he really is a good coach and once he has a little more talent to work with I think he will shine. Palmer though.. I do not like how he runs the offense. I LOVE rushing offenses, I find them very exciting to watch, but I dont like how Palmer runs ours. We are not a very interesting offensive team.. our playbook seems very vanilla. Watching other teams play, I am impressed with some of the things they can pull off with their offense. I dont know if it is Palmers fault or the players fault.. but considering some of the really stupid mistakes we have made that are OBVIOUSLY palmers fault.. im inclined to think that Palmer is a problem and finding a better offensive coordinator would be a good move for us.

5. Give Davis time. Like I said, the zone blocking needs time to work. Im not positive Davis is going to work out for us. The whole reason, I think, that Davis was successful in 2003 is because he was able to hide behind his blockers for extra yardage.. the zone blocking does not seem to allow him to do that, so he may not be the best back for us in the long run. But im not prepared to call him a bust before he has a chance to line up behind a working offensive line.


Ok, that is all I have to say.
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Old 11-22-2004   #2
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Wow, good post. Can we put a sticky on this with a "please read"?

To have such a VENOM in some of the past posts just mean that we have high expectations for our team, as they do of themselves. Hopefully, this expectation will be met on a consistent basis in the near future.

Not to be a "know it all" of football, but apparently the cover 2 defense give our TEXANS some serious issues... yet other teams seem to have less of a problem with it. Would the O-line improvement in zone blocking thus leading to a better run game alleviate the cover 2 problems?
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Old 11-22-2004   #3
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I think playcalling has something to do with the Cover 2 in the aspect of using the right pass routes to hit the weaknesses.
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Old 11-22-2004   #4
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Intersting points.

1) Zone blocking - I say we trash it after the year is over. They have been using it for over 6 months - that includes 14 games, innumerable weekly practices, many training camp practices, and spring camps. If they don't have it working even to a mediocre level now, what makes you think that more time will make a difference?

2) I prefer the 4-3 for several reasons, which I won't enumerate here. Clearly, if they went to a 4-3, Capers would be let go, and we would bring in a new staff. I see that as unlikely for at least another 1-2 yrs. We are currently dead last in sacks, and 3rd down percentage, and 30th in yards allowed. That is unacaptble for a 3rd yr team running any defense. On top of that, for the most part, there has been a LACK of agressiveness, of which you speak.

3) Playing not to lose is ALWAYS a bad thing unless you have a three score lead with under 6 mintues to play. JMO. Outside of that, stay agressive imo. I really don't want to point out some of the flaws in the teams you mentioned, but the Ravens have no talent on offense, The Pats may be the most balanced team of all, and the Eagles have a mighty fine defense to name a few.

4) Here I can agree. We did play with no heart. That ultimately comes down on the coaches. They are the leaders of the troops, and if the team is unprepared, or plays lacluster ball, I peg that on the coaches. I also agree with most of the rest of your take here, although frankly, I see Capers as more of the problem than Palmer. But, that's just me.

5) Also agree. Davis is clearly uncomfortable running behind the zone blocking scheme.
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Old 11-22-2004   #5
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I'm not a Capers hater but playing not to lose almost always guarantees a loss. Looking back, There have been very few games when I thought "gosh we were prepared and made the right adjustments". I know that execution has alot to do with it but this is no longer an expansion team and the fans are starting to expect wins. The crowd at the game was very upset with not winning that game and many blamed it squarely on coaching. Many people understand that this is a 3 to 5 year project to get the right personnel on the field, not because of those in the collared shirts. I hope it turns around.
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Old 11-22-2004   #6
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1. I think they will get it together because it has ONLY been 6 months. These things cant be simple :P.. and if it was an incredibly easy transition, then dont you think EVERYONE would be using zone blocking after seeing the success denver has had? No.. we are taking advantage of our situation (a young growing team) to learn a better blocking scheme.

2. I think every problem we have on defense boils down to players who are too young to make a difference, or too old to make a difference.. that will all even out in a season or two.

3. this whole misconception that we have about playing not to lose, is exactly that, a misconception. We play defensively minded, yes, but that is not the same as "playing not to lose". We try to build a lead, then we try to win the game by running down the clock and taking away opportunities for the opposing offense. That is not a bad strategy :P. The problem with it at this point is exactly what capers has been saying, we arent executing. For this strategy to work, you have to play solid football and not give up the big plays, we have not done that.. we are one of the worst defenses on 3rd downs. As I said in the original post.. defensive minded teams have been more successful than offensive minded teams. As for your take on the teams i listed... the Ravens offense has only suffered because Heap has been injured and Boller is looking his age, they play a defensive minded game though, and you cannot deny it has been successful for them in the past. The Eagles and Pats are definatly the most balanced of those teams I listed.. though the Pats are obviously more defensive minded, and the Eagles are obviously more offense oriented.. and they are considered the best teams in their conferences because of it.. though only the Pats made it to the superbowl. I think with our offense, and the defensive coaches that we have and the personel we have on defense so far.. we can be just as balanced as the Eagles and Pats.. but I think a better O coordinator would help us along.


as for the fans starting to expect wins.. the fans arent fans if they cannot support their team and give them more time to grow and realize their entire potential. They are just "ticket holders"
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Old 11-22-2004   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grid
1. I think they will get it together because it has ONLY been 6 months. These things cant be simple :P.. and if it was an incredibly easy transition, then dont you think EVERYONE would be using zone blocking after seeing the success denver has had? No.. we are taking advantage of our situation (a young growing team) to learn a better blocking scheme.

2. I think every problem we have on defense boils down to players who are too young to make a difference, or too old to make a difference.. that will all even out in a season or two.

3. this whole misconception that we have about playing not to lose, is exactly that, a misconception. We play defensively minded, yes, but that is not the same as "playing not to lose". We try to build a lead, then we try to win the game by running down the clock and taking away opportunities for the opposing offense. That is not a bad strategy :P. The problem with it at this point is exactly what capers has been saying, we arent executing. For this strategy to work, you have to play solid football and not give up the big plays, we have not done that.. we are one of the worst defenses on 3rd downs.
I shortened your post to the main points, so I could respond.

1) So, you are telling me that 14 games, and dozens upon dozens of practices is not enough time to at least see some progress? I'm not buying that. We need better talent, but imo, this scheme as a primary tool is not working with this group. If something doesn't work over an extended time, you scrap it. It's not like Denver is the only team to run a zone blocking scheme. Most teams run some form of it, and a few run it as their basic blocking scheme.

2) I can buy the point about youngsters, as we are starting three. But, in this day and age of FA, you need to get contributions from rookies. That's just the way it is. But, what I see in your answer is excuses. These are pros. They are highly paid to do a job, and right now, they aren't doing it (as a group) Heck, I thought Glenn looked rejuvenated out there. All teams have a mix of older guys and youngsters. You think every team has 11 5th yr players all at once?

3) You say potato, I say potato. Well, that didn't exactly come out right! Playing defensively minded WITH THIS defense, is EXACTLY playing not to lose, rather than playing to win. Have you not seen this disaster of a defense. We get no rush - none. They are dead last in 3rd down %. They gave up 80 points in the prior two weeks. What was it about those performances that inspired Capers to think he could sit on a lead with that group. Inquirying minds want to know!
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Old 11-22-2004   #8
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Great post Grid ! Very reasoned, perceptive, provacative, & comphrehensive. Definitely will add it to my list of recommended reading materials.
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Old 11-22-2004   #9
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and the fact is also that if we dont win another game this year, it doesnt change the fact that we have alot of talented players and that our Coaching staff deserves more time to bring in talent and build their team (with the possible exception of Palmer). We are on the right track and there is no reason to deviate from it yet.

And thank you Nunusguy and A4toZ.
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Old 11-22-2004   #10
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Grid, the issue seems to be that if we can build a lead and then not be able to protect it, perhaps we are not good enough on defense yet and should stay agressive. If we had the Ravens defense, then we could reasonably expect to protect a lead, but we SEEM to be very far away from that at this time. Untile we are that strong on defense it would seem to to be reasonable to just keep shooting and trying to maintain/increase our lead. The problem is we some times act like we have the Ravens defense and wind up losing.
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Old 11-22-2004   #11
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Well.. in the case of the Green Bay game.. I dont think we just gave up our lead.

In the second half we hardly ever had the ball, and when we did we didnt use it correctly.. our bad audibles killed almost every drive in the second half. Every time Carr audibled it was a handoff to Davis up the gut and it never worked. That is either Carr's fault, or Palmer's fault.. or both.. but it does not show that the entire team and/or the entire coaching staff is incompetent. The point is.. i dont think it was our plan try try to run the ball and run the clock down.. I think we genuinely wanted to increase our lead.. but we dropped the ball (so to speak) every time we audibled.
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Old 11-22-2004   #12
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Ok, I personally have doubts and I've expressed them in several posts since the Texans offense choked up the win against Green Bay but..... assuming that this is nothing but a slow start and zone blocking is going to turn the Texans into a running machine then what gives? As has been mentioned 6 months is 6 months. They've spent a great deal of time on this and fine, I can totally accept that it's not all that it's going to be after 6 months. My point here is that it's not even some of what it's intended to be. It's nothing. They aren't one bit better than they were in preseason at doing this. At this rate they'll have it completely mastered in ten years!

Zone blocking a different way of doing what these guys have been doing for a living for years. It's not a radical departure from what offensive linemen do everywhere. It's different yes. It's more complicated then last years blocking scheme obviously but it's still blocking. Why the lack of progress? You'd think that by now a light might come on somewhere wouldn't you? A little speck of progress might be seen?

Can they do it? Is this physical? Mental? Are the people teaching them this system any good teaching this system?
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Old 11-22-2004   #13
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well we HAVE made progress.. just not in the department we would really like to. Our pass protection has really improved this year. REALLY improved. Last year if you remember, Carr was limited to 3 step drops 90% of the time.. this year he has actually had time in the pocket quite often.

The only place we have gone backwards is run blocking, which is very important. But, there is more than just zone blocking that is effecting our run blocking right now.. we have 2 new linemen.. Todd Wade, and Seth Wand.. and an Oline, more than any other aspect of the game, has GOT TO WORK TOGETHER.. and it takes time and reps for an Oline to learn to work together effectively. So.. we have a completely new blocking scheme that none of our linemen have any real experience with, and we have 2 new Olinemen, one of which is pretty much a rookie (and playing the most important position on the line).. and despite that we still managed to drastically improve our pass protection.

The run blocking will come.. it will just take time and more experience with the scheme.. and possibly a different RB, we will see.
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