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Old 07-14-2004   #21
SESupergenius
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If Baxter could somehow beat out Norris, then we'd have one of the best FB's in the league. I am not saying that Baxter is going to bad and he does deserve some slack as well. I am skeptical of guys coming off of injuries, especially ones that keep you out all season. After observing Norris a lot during the season, I felt he did a supreme job and part of the success of the running belongs to his efforts. There are numerous blocks that Moran made that freed up the running lanes.
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Old 07-14-2004   #22
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Now on that I agree. Norris did very well last year and will likely be on the team this year. However, in the Wells/Baxter debate, I think Baxter has shown more than Wells and if it is a "Pickem" situation Baxter should get the nod.
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Old 07-14-2004   #23
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I'm on the Baxter side of this one too. I think I would rather have Baxter as a reserve FB/RB than have Wells who can only really contribute on special teams. Wells is no fullback so imo he has less to offer us as a reserve in case Morris goes down.
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Old 07-14-2004   #24
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You know it's getting bad when we are debating the merits of 3rd stringers.

If Moran went down I could see us just picking up a FB off the waiver wire like we've done before, making Baxter a non issue and not really valuable on limited roster. Roster spots are golden.
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Old 07-14-2004   #25
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Originally Posted by SESupergenius
You know it's getting bad when we are debating the merits of 3rd stringers.
I agree. Some of the teams report in two weeks. We are on the verge of a full-blown football season. It can't come too soon for me. I like picking apart what we see on the field more than pure off-season roster speculation. This should be a very interesting camp on many levels.
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Old 07-14-2004   #26
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Moran in the Kansas college offense was used as a true FB. He carried the ball virtually only in short yardage situations. His RB counterparts were poor blockers and whatever yardage he did make on his carries, he earned himself. Moran has proven himself as the "prototype" bull FB for our type of offense. As pointed out before, he has shown the same soft hands that he was known for in college. He affords the Texans that extra pass threat that they will be able to take advantage more when the rest of their offense has matured with more consistency. He CAN carry the ball, especially with a little better blocking than we saw last year from our RBs and OL, but his greatest worth is at FB. With better blocking, as a FB, he can still be given the ball to run with, to keep the defense on their toes if not confused.

There are enough questions about Baxter's rehab or Stackhouse's "real" NFL abilities that the question of who the back up FB will be can be expected to be sorted out only after training camp begins. If Baxter is healthy and truly rehabbed, he has an excellent chance of playing the part of the Texans' combination backup FB and short yardage RB. The type of injury he sustained leaves a question of if he can forcibly push off of his injured foot, a much needed move for either a FB or RB.

As far as Wells, it has been said over and over that he will mature........be patient. Well, the physical is there, but without even an ounce of motivation. "Maturation" is not a word I would choose to use to describe Wells course over the past 2 years. He has not shown any effort to block, he has questionable hands both in running AND passing situations, his attitude has been terrible on the field and on the sidelines as pointed out by aj. When given the ball he avoids contact with the defense BUT can't find the hole to make you forget his apparent fear of contact. When first contact does occur, progress of the ball comes to a sudden halt.........The DOGHOUSE is where this dog should be allowed to remain..................but preferably in some other team's doghouse.
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Old 07-14-2004   #27
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When Baxter and Wells were both coming out of college, Baxter was considered by some scouts to be the best short yardage back in the draft.

Comparing their production in the NFL really isn't fair to Baxter because Wells usually had a FB lead blocking for him, while Baxter didn't.

Also, Wells special teams play is a wash because Baxter performed pretty well on the special teams his rookie year.

If it comes to a battle between Wells and Baxter for a roster spot, Baxter will win if he is healthy.
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Old 07-14-2004   #28
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V is right. I'd drop Wells before Baxter.
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Old 07-14-2004   #29
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I would take Wells over a dinged up Baxter. That was my major point from the beginning in addition to the fact that we don't use the FB as a short distance gainer based on the fact that we've run them very little through the course of 2 seasons. Capers is high on Wells as a Special teamer, another point in keeping him. Baxter just seems to have his work cut out for him A) coming back from an injury B) having to overcome a backup role to regain a starting spot. It seems like an uphill climb.
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Old 07-14-2004   #30
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One thing to remember is that while the roster is 53, the active game day roster is 45/6. Last year, early (before Mac was injured), one of the backs (Davis or Hollings) was inactive. In other words, they were not ready to be active (either health, or experience), but were too valuable not to be on the 53 man roster (other teams could grab them).
I understand that. Actually it was Wells and Comella that were inactive in Week 1 last year, Wells because he had a terrible preseason and was barely clinging to a roster spot and Comella because he had just been added to the team a few days before. Just wanted to point out that they carried 4 RBs and 2 FBs into week 1 last year so it's not out of the question that they could do it again this year - for whatever reason.

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While Wells was given every opportunity to shine in 2002 and couldn't do it, as I mentioned early, there were limitations to the 2002 squad that make it difficult to evaluate the young players.
I really don't use 2002 as a gauge on anything. What I saw last year from Wells, and what I didn't see, was more telling than in '02. The Texans starting RB position was there for the taking when Mack flamed. DD got an opportunity and capitalized. If Wells would have made more of his opportunities then maybe we'd be talking more positively about him. I don't think he ever had full time starter written all over him but he could have found a niche (and still could) as a quality backup if he gets his head in the right place. He has one more camp and preseason to prove he's NFL worthy IMO.

Last edited by aj.; 07-15-2004 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 07-14-2004   #31
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I hope we dump Wells as he has never run with any attitude and is not a leader by example, both musts in my opinion for a running back. Perhaps he is average at special teams but certainly not as a running back. Where is Stacy Mack? Wells couldn't beat him out last year and is soon to join him this year.

Baxter, he has already proven to be a hard worker if for nothing but his rehab work. He will get his chance and if healthy could be a worthy contributor to the team.
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