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Old 02-04-2009   #1
Texans_Chick
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Default Rick Smith's record on the draft and free agency

One reason why I started blogging at the Chron was that I wanted to send a message that there was a market for reasonable, non-superficial analysis about the Texans. You would think that would be self-evident. When I first started, it was right after the 2006 draft--a almost post-apocalyptic time...Mario pick, after the 2-14 misery. It was a very bad time to be talking Texans...except that people wanted to figure out the deal on how to get out of that mess.

Sometimes narratives about GMs, coaches and players evolve, and nobody tries to look at those things critically. A person gets a view of a guy, and then tries to assemble facts to support their position about their view instead of just letting the information say what it is going to say.

Anyway, here's a new blog post that is a bit of a thinking out loud essay:


Texans GM Rick Smith on the draft and free agency


It may contain some stuff you already know, but I try to have it work for multiple audiences. That both the diehard and casual fan can get something out of it. It's also an attempt to create dialogue with fans who might not think of joining a MB but happen to read Chron online.

In other words, gee it is a long offseason.
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Old 02-04-2009   #2
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Default Re: Rick Smith's record on the draft and free agency

Good article again TC. Too bad ya had to give the official MB the plug. Then again..... considering there might be some trolling had you plugged TT I am okay with that.

I posted a comment and is Larry House RJ under someone else's name?
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Old 02-04-2009   #3
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Default Re: Rick Smith's record on the draft and free agency

It is hard to assess two years in. Injuries have been a big issue with his drafts so far and you can't really attribute that to Rick Smith. Unless they were notorious for injuries. I would think that if Jones, Molden, Diles and Adibi had stayed healthy they would be much further along than they are currently. Jones has not been the same since his shoulder injury. He seems distracted and tentative. Despite that, he's a play maker if he can get it together. Molden has shown great ability and with time has potential. Diles was the leading tackler on the team when he was injured. Adibi had 14 tackles in his first start.

I would like to know if there is a way to rate other GM's on how much "bust money" they've spent in their first 3 years. I will still argue that if healthy, Green would have been a valuable addition.

One thing I think you can assess from Smith's current run is that he is consistent. He doesn't go for big name FA's he builds through the draft. He's focused on high character guys and guys that fit the system more than guys that are hot names. He works well with the HC. In that sense we do know what we have.

Go Texans.
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Old 02-04-2009   #4
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Default Re: Rick Smith's record on the draft and free agency

Great artcicle Texans Chick!!!!

I'm a fan of Rick Smith. I think he and Kubiak have the ship righted and will soon have it where it needs to be.

This is obviously pure speculation, but obviousley Kubes, and Rick have been tight for a while, something tells me they had a couple of conversations about the 2006 draft, so although it wasn't Rick's draft, I think there was some input there.

Another thing to take note of, was that Denver let go of thier GM after Rick Smith left (I believe he was the Assistant GM of Denver when he left), and it almost seems that Denver really started to show some signs of heading the wrong way after Smith's departure.
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Old 02-04-2009   #5
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Default Re: Rick Smith's record on the draft and free agency

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Originally Posted by Goldensilence View Post
Good article again TC. Too bad ya had to give the official MB the plug. Then again..... considering there might be some trolling had you plugged TT I am okay with that.

I posted a comment and is Larry House RJ under someone else's name?
No, I didn't plug this message board. I plugged the official website.

I've plugged TT a number of times. No worries about trolls. They don't last long here.
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Old 02-04-2009   #6
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Default Re: Rick Smith's record on the draft and free agency

I think you should take out all those fancy "words" and "logic" and in a huge font just print:

Richard Justice is not a good blogger.

Edit: I should have some sort of job in the print media.

Edit2: That is also about as clean as I can get it. If I were editor I'd have to put the word "fag" somewhere in it, because it just belongs.
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Old 02-04-2009   #7
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Default Re: Rick Smith's record on the draft and free agency

"Not many people pegged Duane Brown as the pick"
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Porky did. He called it !
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Old 02-05-2009   #8
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Default Re: Rick Smith's record on the draft and free agency

you have a very pleasent style that's both easy to read & informed. as a fan of your Houston Texans, thank you

you struck on some very interesting chords, such as the chemistry between the HC & the GM. this is critical to turnaround or begin a franchise anew. listened to the Rome show Superbowl week & as guests one segment he interviewed Falcons Mike Smith (HC) & Thomas Dimitroff (GM). it was obvious they we're on the same page from listening, results speak for themselves I expect similar results from Gary & Rick.

second, the Texans like Atlanta had to start over, as an expansion team they didn't have the depth or talent on their roster like the Falcons, so their climb out of the hole was a much steeper one. both changed QB's (costing Texans two 2nd rd. pick while Atlanta the #3 overall) changed schemes both sides the major difference I see is that Dimitroff hit a homerun in free agency, Michael Turner. this is one reason why I feel when it comes to the draft the Texans need to expend at least a 3rd. pick to aquire a bruiser compliment to Steve. great free agents are just not made available around the NFL, unless your San Diego (Brees/Turner). anyway a bigtime free agent who maybe not appreciated for what he's worth would really help jump start Texans next season. Rick Smith needs to find a way to make this happen in the context of "record".

third
Quote:
So, it is likely going to be easier to hit in the draft on offense than it is on defense because they have a proven system they are working from on offense and know what players they are targeting.
Bush has been here now for a couple years, knows the current players strengths & weakness & how to improve. He also worked with Rick in Denver so there has to be a very positive relationship already in place. I love the way Rick was aggressive in last years draft instead of sitting pat & taking bpa he dropped down & still got his man (Brown) & added Slaton, he gets high marks in my book for that. So why not two years in a row? it worked last year, so I've already propossed a trade down scenero to 22nd overall & picking up another 2nd, one a DE the other interior lineman. with the first pick in the 2009 draft the Houston Texans select Louis Delams, FS.

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Old 02-05-2009   #9
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Default Re: Rick Smith's record on the draft and free agency

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second, the Texans like Atlanta had to start over, as an expansion team they didn't have the depth or talent on their roster like the Falcons, so their climb out of the hole was a much steeper one.
The Falcons have only 2 players on their roster acquired prior to 2002 (Keith Brooking and Todd McClure). I doubt you would find many NFL personnel experts that would have chosen the Falcons talent base over the Texans, heading into the 2008 season. What the Falcons, under Dimitroff and Smith, have accomplished is extraordinary. The Falcons have climbed out of the hole. The Texans are still in the hole, peering out.
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Old 02-05-2009   #10
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Default Re: Rick Smith's record on the draft and free agency

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Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
The Falcons have only 2 players on their roster acquired prior to 2002 (Keith Brooking and Todd McClure). I doubt you would find many NFL personnel experts that would have chosen the Falcons talent base over the Texans, heading into the 2008 season. What the Falcons, under Dimitroff and Smith, have accomplished is extraordinary. The Falcons have climbed out of the hole. The Texans are still in the hole, peering out.
the actual players may have changed but the organization did make a Super Bowl (1999) Texans were just a twinkle in Bob McNairs eye
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Old 02-05-2009   #11
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Default Re: Rick Smith's record on the draft and free agency

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
The Falcons have only 2 players on their roster acquired prior to 2002 (Keith Brooking and Todd McClure). I doubt you would find many NFL personnel experts that would have chosen the Falcons talent base over the Texans, heading into the 2008 season. What the Falcons, under Dimitroff and Smith, have accomplished is extraordinary. The Falcons have climbed out of the hole. The Texans are still in the hole, peering out.
The Falcons had a great season. That being said, I much prefer where the Texans are- going forward. I'd bet pretty good money that the Falcons take a significant step backwards in terms of record this year. Meanwhile, I expect the Texans to prove themselves among the top 10 teams in the NFL this season. That being said, I could still see them finishing third in the division and missing the playoffs with only 10 wins. Though, I anticipate we will make the playoffs- it's certainly no guarantee.

I totally disagree with the idea that the Texans are "in the hole". I think the coaching staff and the talent are both in the top half of the league. Also, every single player this team is counting on to be successful is in his prime or hasn't entered it yet. We're young, talented, improving. I don't know why anyone wouldn't be excited about the Texans' future. Other than Chester Pitts and Eugene Wilson, I don't think any of the major contributors last season are even approaching 30. What other teams can you say that about?
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Old 02-05-2009   #12
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Default Re: Rick Smith's record on the draft and free agency

one thing the falcons didn't have going for them was a starting QB that was ,for 5 years, always on the PUP list (either Prenatal or Under Preforming )
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Old 02-05-2009   #13
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Default Re: Rick Smith's record on the draft and free agency

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Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
The Falcons had a great season. That being said, I much prefer where the Texans are- going forward. I'd bet pretty good money that the Falcons take a significant step backwards in terms of record this year. Meanwhile, I expect the Texans to prove themselves among the top 10 teams in the NFL this season. That being said, I could still see them finishing third in the division and missing the playoffs with only 10 wins. Though, I anticipate we will make the playoffs- it's certainly no guarantee.

I totally disagree with the idea that the Texans are "in the hole". I think the coaching staff and the talent are both in the top half of the league. Also, every single player this team is counting on to be successful is in his prime or hasn't entered it yet. We're young, talented, improving. I don't know why anyone wouldn't be excited about the Texans' future. Other than Chester Pitts and Eugene Wilson, I don't think any of the major contributors last season are even approaching 30. What other teams can you say that about?
First and most importantly, I'm in complete agreement that even if it takes a little longer, sustained winning over a prolonged period of time is much better than a one-time deep playoff push, and a return to mediocrity. I don't want to be the '06 Saints or Bears. I also don't want to yo-yo back and forth as in the Ravens who get credit for a huge turnaround in '08, but it's never mentioned that they still finished the regular season two games worse than they did in '06, or that their win totals in the last 4 regular seasons have been 6,13,5,11.

I'm hopeful that the right coaching staff is in place, although I see the argument of those who aren't. I think in terms of on field talent, we're making progress, and should expect at a minimum a winning season in '09 (it's hard for me to demand playoffs when you've got an 11-5 Patriots team not making it in '08). To say both coaching and talent are in the top half of the league after an 8-8 season is a bit of a disconnect to me. If above average players are being coached by an above average coaching staff, and they finish .500, that means somebody's underachieving. It's a bit nit-picky, but I put lots of stock in Parcells quote of You are what you're record says you are, and right now, we're a average team. I believe we're trending upward, but next year will be crucial.

As to your first sentence, I tend to think you're off-base on this one (although in reality, who the hell knows). The Falcons genuinely look like they have the most important piece of the puzzle in place, and that's Matt Ryan. Who knows if his sophomore season will be as good as his rookie year, but from where I sit, he looks like the real deal, and that more than any other single piece can make the Falcons a factor for years to come. On the other hand, I don't believe Miami has that piece in Pennington (he proved he can be part of a playoff team in NY, but he can't be the reason for the playoff team), and Arizona only has it as long as Warner is re-signed and doesn't fall prey to age. Leinart may be an above average QB in the future, but he may not. In short, I think the '99 Rams and even moreso the '01 Patriots proved that a major turnaround isn't necessarily temporary, but the '06 Bears and Saints showed it well may be.
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Old 02-06-2009   #14
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Default Re: Rick Smith's record on the draft and free agency

Quote:
Originally Posted by beerlover View Post
you have a very pleasent style that's both easy to read & informed. as a fan of your Houston Texans, thank you

you struck on some very interesting chords, such as the chemistry between the HC & the GM. this is critical to turnaround or begin a franchise anew. listened to the Rome show Superbowl week & as guests one segment he interviewed Falcons Mike Smith (HC) & Thomas Dimitroff (GM). it was obvious they we're on the same page from listening, results speak for themselves I expect similar results from Gary & Rick.

second, the Texans like Atlanta had to start over, as an expansion team they didn't have the depth or talent on their roster like the Falcons, so their climb out of the hole was a much steeper one. both changed QB's (costing Texans two 2nd rd. pick while Atlanta the #3 overall) changed schemes both sides the major difference I see is that Dimitroff hit a homerun in free agency, Michael Turner. this is one reason why I feel when it comes to the draft the Texans need to expend at least a 3rd. pick to aquire a bruiser compliment to Steve. great free agents are just not made available around the NFL, unless your San Diego (Brees/Turner). anyway a bigtime free agent who maybe not appreciated for what he's worth would really help jump start Texans next season. Rick Smith needs to find a way to make this happen in the context of "record".

third

Bush has been here now for a couple years, knows the current players strengths & weakness & how to improve. He also worked with Rick in Denver so there has to be a very positive relationship already in place. I love the way Rick was aggressive in last years draft instead of sitting pat & taking bpa he dropped down & still got his man (Brown) & added Slaton, he gets high marks in my book for that. So why not two years in a row? it worked last year, so I've already propossed a trade down scenero to 22nd overall & picking up another 2nd, one a DE the other interior lineman. with the first pick in the 2009 draft the Houston Texans select Louis Delams, FS.

I see Detroit, Atlanta and maybe Phily as possible trade down partners that might want #15 and have something to offer. I really want another 2nd round. I think we can get a good FS in 4th. Smith noted this as being a deep draft for safety. Three biggest needs are run stopper, better scoring in red zone and a DE to help Mario. I do like Delmas.
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