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Old 03-20-2013   #1
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Default Insight into Front Office inactivity

Rick Smith was interviewed by Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com and offered quite a bit of insight as to why the Texans are standing pat and not aggressively going after free agents. He states that even though the team has lost several starters they are a better team due last season's experience...

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...to-next-level/

Is anyone buying this? I believe that the owner's secret collusion agreement has a lot to do with the low contracts being signed however that doesn't help explain why the Texans are doing virtually nothing to help fill their multiple holes in the roster while teams like Denver, Indi, Seattle, etc. are apparently making every effort imaginable to win a championship.
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Old 03-20-2013   #2
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He states that even though the team has lost several starters they are a better team due last season's experience...
One of the things that makes me feel good about this organization, is that they all seem to understand the 1 mind, 1 team mentality. From top to bottom, you generally hear them repeating pretty much the same thing.

The team getting better because of the experience is a thought we heard McNair voice in another interview. I bet we'll hear a lot of this going into next season. We've also heard that they have faith/confidence in Matt & they need to help him.

To me, it sounds like we've got an organization focused on one goal.

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http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...to-next-level/

Is anyone buying this? I believe that the owner's secret collusion agreement has a lot to do with the low contracts being signed however that doesn't help explain why the Texans are doing virtually nothing to help fill their multiple holes in the roster while teams like Denver, Indi, Seattle, etc. are apparently making every effort imaginable to win a championship.
What was the "big FA" signing that got Baltimore over the top?

The year before that, what was the Giants big signing?

in 2010, who did the Packers sign that got them a Super Bowl Championship?

2009, I'm guessing the Saints won because they signed Darren Sharper?

2008, the Steelers won because... who'd they get?

2007, I'm sure signing David Carr was the main reason the Giants won the Super Bowl right?
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Old 03-20-2013   #3
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What was the "big FA" signing that got Baltimore over the top?

The year before that, what was the Giants big signing?

in 2010, who did the Packers sign that got them a Super Bowl Championship?

2009, I'm guessing the Saints won because they signed Darren Sharper?

2008, the Steelers won because... who'd they get?

2007, I'm sure signing David Carr was the main reason the Giants won the Super Bowl right?
I'm not sure that those teams had the holes and lack of depth that this Texans team needs to address. More importantly, those teams all had elite level QB's that made players around them better. We have the opposite with Schaub. He needs playmakers to make up for his lack of skills.
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Old 03-21-2013   #4
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I'm not sure that those teams had the holes and lack of depth that this Texans team needs to address. More importantly, those teams all had elite level QB's that made players around them better. We have the opposite with Schaub. He needs playmakers to make up for his lack of skills.
I would bet those teams fans identified holes that weren't filled to their expectations that's the NFL. That's the way it goes. NT is a big one we've been crying about for years, yet we've got back to back division titles (which for whatever reason doesn't mean as much anymore) & back to back Wildcard victories (again, since we've done it, doesn't mean squat anymore). In otherwords, maybe they don't see the needs we do.

We're looking for an ILB, but we've still got Sharpton (who has a poor history with injury, but when he's in the game, he's a high value player), & I wouldn't be surprised if Ruud comes back.

WR without question is a concern. Harvin is going to Seattle, I don't think we had a dog in that race, it doesn't bother me that we didn't get him. Bolden was got for a 6th(??) I'm upset we didn't get in on that one. But Lloyd is still out there, what if we're able to grab him for $1-$2M?? It's not over is all I'm saying.

And now you're telling me Joe Flacco makes his receivers look better? Sorry, I'm not buying that one. I still refuse to believe Matt Schaub is suffering from his LisFranc & that his better days are behind him. Matt has been & is a better QB than Joe Flacco. Flacco winning the Super Bowl did nothing but make me believe a QB like Schaub (or Ryan) can win the Super Bowl.
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Old 03-21-2013   #5
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I'm not sure that those teams had the holes and lack of depth that this Texans team needs to address. More importantly, those teams all had elite level QB's that made players around them better. We have the opposite with Schaub. He needs playmakers to make up for his lack of skills.
Revisionist history to call Flacco or Eli Manning elite qb's going into 2012 and 2007.
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Old 03-21-2013   #6
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Revisionist history to call Flacco or Eli Manning elite qb's going into 2012 and 2007.
No, it's actual history... the dude's lead their teams to championships.
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Old 03-21-2013   #7
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No, it's actual history... the dude's lead their teams to championships.
That makes Trent Dilfer elite too, huh? Phil Simms? Brad Johnson?

Anquan Boldin lead the Ravens to a championship, not Joe Flacco.
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Old 03-21-2013   #8
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I'm not sure that those teams had the holes and lack of depth that this Texans team needs to address. More importantly, those teams all had elite level QB's that made players around them better. We have the opposite with Schaub. He needs playmakers to make up for his lack of skills.
The other top teams that have made a lot of moves this off-season had a lot of holes also. They all had one thing we don't in a top 10 QB, but after that position we had more talent across the board than them. Not at every position, but there aren't a lot of positions that we could improve on during free agency. I'm considering the cost as well as the people involved. Yeah, Mike Williams would be a better #2 than anyone we have, but we couldn't spend that kind of money on him.

What positions do we need to upgrade?

QB? Most people feel we need a different QB. There are no free agents that are as good or could even grow into a franchise QB. We need to look at the draft for this.

HB? We'll need to replace Forsett. I liked him, but we can find a young cheap guy in the draft or pick up one of 10,000 available HBs to fill the 3rd string role.

FB? We just need to make sure we have one road grader that can help Foster. The ability to catch out of the backfield is a plus, but we don't throw to them that much. To replace Casey, I'd rather just have 1 true FB and then carry an extra TE. Clutts might be that guy, but it's not like Vonta is available right now and the run on FBs hasn't started yet.

TE? I like the 2 that we have on roster. We can upgrade, but none of the FAs were better than Daniels/Graham. Ideally the 3rd TE could be someone that's a little bit better at blocking, but can still catch the ball.

WR? Yes. We need a WR #2. There is nobody on the roster (that's not injured) that could be that guy. The WRs that have signed all got Andre money. You can't have 2 WRs making that money. We could have signed Welker for what he got under our current cap, but he's not a #2. He's a great slot receiver, but we need a guy that can stretch the field. Besides, would Welker come here to play with Schaub instead of going to Denver with Manning? Not even for $12 million for 1 year. There are still a lot of veteran receivers available that we can bring in that will upgrade the position for a low price and then we can draft someone early. This is a deep draft for receivers and we should be able to get a good one.

OL? RT is probably where most people want to see the team upgrade the line. Everyone sees that Winston's available and instantly want him to come back. Unless he will sign for the vet minimum it's not worth bringing him back. Newton will get better at run blocking and I think he's a better pass blocker already. We can find someone better than Newton if that's what is needed, but there is only so much money to work with. I think Jones and Brooks are the guards of the future or possible guard/center of the future if they want to look at Jones taking over for Myers. We can draft another interior lineman that fits our scheme that can be a backup if needed.

DL? We need a NT. There are some out there, but what kind of money are they wanting and since there haven't been tons of movement its worth waiting. I think drafting one in the first couple of rounds is the best alternative. What DT/NTs are available that anyone would be interested in. There are some older vets like Seymour around, but I'd rather go young for that spot. Indy signed Francios, but he's smaller than Cody and while it fits Wade's scheme I think most fans want bigger.

ILB? We do need a starting ILB. The problem with finding a good vet to play inside is we only have that 2nd guy on the field 30% of the time anyways. It was one of the reasons that made us get rid of Demeco. So, we don't want to overpay someone that isn't on the field as much. If we could find a good vet that we could pay the minimum to it would be great. After rosters start filling and after the draft it will be possible to get guys cheap. We've found a lot of ILB on the scrap heap. While I agree that last year we didn't have great play at that position. We are getting back a pro bowl player that is on the field for us. You add Cushing back and you slide the other guys back a spot. I'm ok with Cushing/Sharpton/Dobbins or another vet as your top 3. Cushing is the one that makes the position click. I still look for the team to draft this position as well.

OLB? We need another rusher. Barwin got his and I don't think anyone would have wanted him back at that cost. Although, it was low in the guaranteed money and that was a bit of a surprise. There are still a lot of edge rushers available. The big names are Freeney, Harrison, and Dumervil. I don't think Freeney fit into the 3-4 OLB spot well. He's looking for a 4-3 situation. Harrison doesn't seem to have a lot of suitors right now, but at the right price could be a good 3rd guy, but I don't know if I'd start him right now. Dumervil would be great, but I don't think he'd take a huge pay cut from what Denver will still pay him to come here. The rest of the available guys aren't that different from one another and we can find someone after the draft. I think they look to draft here as well.

CB? We needed a slot corner and we re-signed McCain. We have 2 good starting corners and 2 young under contract backups. Yeah, Nnamdi would be better than Carmichael, but you can't spend $5 million on a backup CB. I don't think there is an available CB that is better than our starters. We'll probably still draft one.

S? I think we upgraded this position with Reed. He's not a long term solution, but we can draft one or move Harris to safety as some hope. We need to upgrade our backups still, but it's not like the backup safeties are all being signed like crazy. Maybe Pollard could be the 3rd safety that can play in the box. There are a lot of vets still available.

ST? We have a kicker on the roster that was drafted last year. He'll be the kicker, but we will sign someone in May or June that can be competition. I think Bullock is the guy (well, he's at least Gary's guy). He may not be the answer for the next 10 years, but he'll be the one this year. We need a punter and with the number of 3 and outs we had last year we might need a good one. We had Jones who had a pretty good season and he's still available. We just brought in one of the best over the last 10 years and maybe he's the guy. I'm not too concerned about P, though. I don't want to spend tons of $$ at this position when we can draft one if needed or pick one up off the street in July. It's not like they need to know the playbook.

So yeah, there are a few spots where we need to upgrade and a few of those we can and will. We have 9 draft picks to use and the draft is deep in positions where we have need. There have been some quality players picked up by other teams that we will be fighting with for AFC supremacy and/or the Lombardi trophy. We didn't have as much cap room as a few of those and we didn't have a lot of expendable players that we could jettison to free up more space. We have a talented team. The 2 spots that we probably need the biggest upgrade are at QB and HC and there aren't any QBs available. As for HC, well, I'm available for the right price.
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Old 03-21-2013   #9
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Old 03-21-2013   #10
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I'm not sure that those teams had the holes and lack of depth that this Texans team needs to address. More importantly, those teams all had elite level QB's that made players around them better. We have the opposite with Schaub. He needs playmakers to make up for his lack of skills.
Giants missed the playoffs two years in a row before winning in 2011 with a 9-7 record, and missed the playoffs again this year. Manning has had rather Schaub-like numbers those four years, but did get hot for their one playoff run.

The Ravens on the other hand have been a good team, going to the playoffs each of the last four years, but they kept losing their second game. Until this year when Flacco, who again had Schaub-like numbers in the last four regular seasons, got hot in the playoffs.

Sounds like success is defined as a decent team riding a QB hot streak in the playoffs.
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Old 03-21-2013   #11
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Revisionist history to call Flacco or Eli Manning elite qb's going into 2012 and 2007.
yep. And it's myopic to call them elite after those years.

"Elite" can only be about 10% of starting QBs. That is 3 in the NFL. After Brady and Peyton Manning, we can debate about who is no. 3. But I can assure you that Eli, Big Ben, and Flacco are not going to beat out Brees or Aaron Rogers.
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Old 03-21-2013   #12
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yep. And it's myopic to call them elite after those years.

"Elite" can only be about 10% of starting QBs. That is 3 in the NFL. After Brady and Peyton Manning, we can debate about who is no. 3. But I can assure you that Eli, Big Ben, and Flacco are not going to beat out Brees or Aaron Rogers.
My definition of elite includes several years. Playing at a high level for 6 weeks don't get it done. You have to play at a high level for several years.

For me, several years mean 3 years minimum. Are Kaepernick, Russel Wilson, RG3 elite? Nope... they have elite talent, they have the ability to be elite QBs, but right now.... nope.

Is Matt Schaub Elite? Nope.... fair or not, you have to be on a winning team. He's only been on 3 winning teams so far & there was an abysmal 6-10 season (in which he played elite-like at times) in that stretch.

If Matt performs like he has the last two years & we finish with 10 or more wins, he's in the conversation. For me anyway.
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Old 03-21-2013   #13
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No, it's actual history... the dude's lead their teams to championships.
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That makes Trent Dilfer elite too, huh? Phil Simms? Brad Johnson?

Anquan Boldin lead the Ravens to a championship, not Joe Flacco.
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Giants missed the playoffs two years in a row before winning in 2011 with a 9-7 record, and missed the playoffs again this year. Manning has had rather Schaub-like numbers those four years, but did get hot for their one playoff run.

The Ravens on the other hand have been a good team, going to the playoffs each of the last four years, but they kept losing their second game. Until this year when Flacco, who again had Schaub-like numbers in the last four regular seasons, got hot in the playoffs.

Sounds like success is defined as a decent team riding a QB hot streak in the playoffs.
MSR!

Don't underestimate the significance of the lucky-a$$ break either....
- Like Jacoby's miracle catch to force O/T against the Broncos.
- Or Welker dropping key passes in the division championship game.
- Or Jacoby making what appeared to be a stumble-bum catch (did you know that was his ONLY catch of the game) in the Super Bowl that he turned into six points.
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Old 03-21-2013   #14
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MSR!

Don't underestimate the significance of the lucky-a$$ break either....
- Like Jacoby's miracle catch to force O/T against the Broncos.
- Or Welker dropping key passes in the division championship game.
- Or Jacoby making what appeared to be a stumble-bum catch (did you know that was his ONLY catch of the game) in the Super Bowl that he turned into six points.
Decided to look at the last six years for Manning and compare it to Schaub's six years as a starter. Manning played in every game, so had to pro-rate the average yards per season numbers to account for Schaub missing games in three seasons:

Accuracy - 65.1 to 60.4 Schaub
Average Yards per Season - 4192 to 3913 Schaub
Average yards per Attempt - 7.87 to 7.38 Schaub
TD:Int Ratio - 1.78 to 1.57 Schaub
QB Rating - 92 to 83 Schaub

Average Season Record - 10-6 to 9-7 Manning
Post Season Appearances - 3 to 2 Manning (Yes, Matt was hurt in 2011 but there was no doubt that the team was well on the way to making the playoffs at 7-3 when he went down)

The main difference between the two? The two seasons when Manning got hot in the playoffs and took a 10-6 team and a 9-7 team to Super Bowl wins. But he has NEVER won a playoff game outside of those two Super Bowl runs and his teams have missed the playoffs four times in his nine year career.

This isn't to argue that Schaub is an elite QB, because he is not. But how can you be considered an "Elite" quarterback when your stats are no better then Matty Half-Ear and you miss the playoffs entirely half of the time?
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Old 03-20-2013   #15
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One of the things that makes me feel good about this organization, is that they all seem to understand the 1 mind, 1 team mentality. From top to bottom, you generally hear them repeating pretty much the same thing.

The team getting better because of the experience is a thought we heard McNair voice in another interview. I bet we'll hear a lot of this going into next season. We've also heard that they have faith/confidence in Matt & they need to help him.

To me, it sounds like we've got an organization focused on one goal.



What was the "big FA" signing that got Baltimore over the top?

The year before that, what was the Giants big signing?

in 2010, who did the Packers sign that got them a Super Bowl Championship?

2009, I'm guessing the Saints won because they signed Darren Sharper?

2008, the Steelers won because... who'd they get?

2007, I'm sure signing David Carr was the main reason the Giants won the Super Bowl right?
Rick Smith has always said that he believes in mainly building through the draft and his actions have been indicative of that in his history here. But either way, the man himself has stated this. Maybe you just like that philosophy by itself. I don't know. I know I've always hated it and disagree with it as well. Rick Smith is not the only GM that operates under this philosophy either for the record. Some are forced to if their owner never wants to spend any money or take any risks. Rick Smith and Kubiak both believe in the draft philosophy as far as building this team though. If that's the type of strategy you feel is a great plan from year to year then he shoudln't ever disappoint you unless you hate his draft picks, because his draft picks are going to be what you'll have to judge him by the majority of the time.

He did just bring in Ed Reed though and whether Reed signed or not, they made a strong push to get him. Good signing and he deserves credit for that. I want to see him continue to make some deals that could potentially upgrade one or two other positions that have difficulties right now. That's what a strong GM does from year to year and I'd like to see Rick Smith be more consistent at using negotiations with other teams for trades and certain FA pick ups.
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Old 03-21-2013   #16
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Default Re: Insight into Front Office inactivity

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Rick Smith has always said that he believes in mainly building through the draft and his actions have been indicative of that in his history here..
Free Agency is always about overpaying, at least until you're recognized as a team with a real opportunity to do something special. I don't know if we've got to that point yet.

I listed all the Super Bowl champs going back to 2007, Baltimore, Giants, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, the Giants again....

You don't have to agree with the philosophy, but you have to be pretty hard headed not to recognize it's merits.
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Old 03-21-2013   #17
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Default Re: Insight into Front Office inactivity

The new CBA says the bad teams or the cheap teams have to spend 95% of their cap . They backfill their roster through FA and are more willing to give big contracts .
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Old 03-21-2013   #18
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Default Re: Insight into Front Office inactivity

Wasn't it a couple of years ago that Philly made a huge splash in the free agent market and were tabbed a "Dream Team" and finished below .500? I like that what Denver is doing, their window for a championship is about two years, after that they will be irrelevant for years due to cap restrictions. Like it or not Houston's philosophy is to be competitive every year.
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Old 03-20-2013   #19
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Default Re: Insight into Front Office inactivity

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Is anyone buying this? I believe that the owner's secret collusion agreement has a lot to do with the low contracts being signed however that doesn't help explain why the Texans are doing virtually nothing to help fill their multiple holes in the roster while teams like Denver, Indi, Seattle, etc. are apparently making every effort imaginable to win a championship.
What collusion? There is a hard salary cap. There is also a cap floor. Every team has to stay within those parameters. Some have cap space (dolphins, colts) and are spending crazy money. Most don't and are looking for bargains. This is just a function of the new CBA.
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Old 03-20-2013   #20
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Default Re: Insight into Front Office inactivity

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What collusion? There is a hard salary cap. There is also a cap floor. Every team has to stay within those parameters. Some have cap space (dolphins, colts) and are spending crazy money. Most don't and are looking for bargains. This is just a function of the new CBA.
I guess some people "get it" and some people don't!
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