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Old 07-16-2004   #61
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I really look at this as a transitional year. While I think we could potentially make the playoffs, I am not anticipating it. We have several guys starting in their positions for the first time:
LT Wand
LG Pitts
TE Joppru (if he is the starter)
DE R. Smith
LOLB Babin
ROLB Wong
CB Robinson
FS Coleman

There are going to be some growing pains with 1/3 of our starters new to the position. To expect the playoffs may be asking too much. The good news is that I expect continuity from 2004 to 2005. That makes next year (2005) the year of expectations IMO.
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Old 07-16-2004   #62
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I think the biggest upgrade on the line has been the coach. I think that he will demand a cohesive unit and we *** Texans fans will see the results. The talent is there lets just see if he can bring it all together. If I were to have questions about the line they would be as follows. I Mckinney made the pro-bowl as a guard why is he playing center. Why is Wade and Wiegrt(not sure how to spell) on the right side instead of the left they clearly have more experience and stability. Sometimes I think the Texans get the good players and play them out of position. If that is true then the Texans need to create a game plan based on personel. Instead of makeing the personel conform to a game plan.
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Old 07-16-2004   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by done88
If I were to have questions about the line they would be as follows. I Mckinney made the pro-bowl as a guard why is he playing center. Why is Wade and Wiegrt(not sure how to spell) on the right side instead of the left they clearly have more experience and stability. Sometimes I think the Texans get the good players and play them out of position. If that is true then the Texans need to create a game plan based on personel. Instead of makeing the personel conform to a game plan.
Don't believe Steve McKinney has ever been to the pro-bowl. He is not better than Weigert at guard and it is very unlikely he would be better than Pitts at guard either. As for Wade--the skill set for RT and LT are not the same. Wade is a much stronger run blocker than pass blocker. He and Weigert will make a punishing right side. If Wand has put on the strength he lacked, he has the quick feet along with the size that he and Wade both have to make it as a LT.
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Old 07-16-2004   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by done88
I think the biggest upgrade on the line has been the coach. I think that he will demand a cohesive unit and we *** Texans fans will see the results. The talent is there lets just see if he can bring it all together. If I were to have questions about the line they would be as follows. I Mckinney made the pro-bowl as a guard why is he playing center. Why is Wade and Wiegrt(not sure how to spell) on the right side instead of the left they clearly have more experience and stability. Sometimes I think the Texans get the good players and play them out of position. If that is true then the Texans need to create a game plan based on personel. Instead of makeing the personel conform to a game plan.
Infantry is right. Wade is no LT and Weigert is in the position he excels at. The Right Tackle on NFL lines is the man with the best run blocking skills and the LT is the player with the better pass blocking skills as a general rule so Wade and Wand are in their proper positions. McKinney is not an all-pro Guard. Not even close. He's barely an above average Center and he would only be a reserve Guard on a good NFL offensive line.

This is still a building year. The Texans have pointed to 2005 as "the" year for a while. We have two rookies starting at key defensive positions and we have two new starters on our offensive line. Such is the progression of an expansion team. We have a shot at the playoffs (outside shot) but this build is clearly centered on a serious run for all the marbles starting in 2005.
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Old 07-16-2004   #65
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V, all that talk has got me so excited for the season to start. Thanks.
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Old 07-16-2004   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by __V__
... McKinney is not an all-pro Guard. Not even close. He's barely an above average Center and he would only be a reserve Guard on a good NFL offensive line...
Help me with this statement. I don't disagree, I just haven't arrived at this conclusion as you have. I agree that Mckinney hasn't gone to the Pro Bowl, but hasn't he started all six years of his career? I assume he can play both guard positions (played guard with the Colts) and center. Would most teams have three interior linemen better than Mckinney?
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Old 07-16-2004   #67
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He is a finesse player and he gets dominated by strong defensive tackles. I would put him in the bottom 1/3 of the starting interior linemen in the NFL. The Titans and the Jaguar linemen have just abused him to date and is a big reason we have a hard time running the ball against teams with better interior technique players.
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Old 07-16-2004   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by __V__
He is a finesse player and he gets dominated by strong defensive tackles. I would put him in the bottom 1/3 of the starting interior linemen in the NFL. The Titans and the Jaguar linemen have just abused him to date and is a big reason we have a hard time running the ball against teams with better interior technique players.
Dont forget about what Kris Jenkins did to him, McKinney had like 3 holding penalties that game because of Jenkins...
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Old 07-16-2004   #69
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Center could be an intersting competition in camp.
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Old 07-16-2004   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edo783
Center could be an intersting competition in camp.
McKinney is going to get the starting nod, who is he going to compete with, Todd Washington....
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Old 07-16-2004   #71
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I know Washington hasn't set the world on fire at other positions, but he feels he hasn't been given a fair chance at center. He says he is out to prove he should start. He is hoping the new line coach will look at him with fresh eyes. Remains to be seen if he has the steam to make folks notice, but McKinny isn't that solid at center (just average at best) and could be unseated by someone really determined. Not sure if there is another in camp that could be a factor in the competition, but who knows. It is currently our weakest spot on the O-line IMO (assuming Wand works out).
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Old 07-16-2004   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by __V__
He is a finesse player and he gets dominated by strong defensive tackles ...The Titans and the Jaguar linemen have just abused him to date and is a big reason we have a hard time running the ball against teams with better interior technique players.
I confess I haven't been paying attention to the center play. My bad. I note that the teams you mention have been quite strong up the middle. The Jags start 2 young, first round picks at DT and the Titans have been strong enough up the middle that we went and got Robaire Smith, one of their DT. Another poster mentioned Kris Jenkins, no slouch.

In some cases, we seem to give players the benefit of the doubt when the players around them aren't 'settled.' In the first year, we weren't settled at either guard position. In the second year, we had Weigert, but we were not a settled LG, as demonstrated by the fact that we moved Pitts to LG.

My question for those who have noticed this situation is this. Is it possible that Mckinney will play better with better guards around him, or do you think he's 'topped out' and he will face real competition from Washington, or Weary, in camp?
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Old 07-16-2004   #73
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I think McKinney is as good as he is going to be and he works hard and will likely benefit from our new blocking scheme as much as any of the linemen but the fact still remains he has trouble with most of the starting NFL tackles in the league. This is a tough league and it is hard to be solid at 22 starting positions. We will be more physical at some positions than our opponent and at others we will not be able to win those match-ups. Every team has a different makeup and all lineups have their limitations in one or more of the 22 starting slots. I think McKinney is the Jay Foreman of the O-line. He is a lower-tier NFL starter but he is one of the best 32 Centers in the world. Tough league, but you have different classes of players and he is about as good as he will ever be. I would not call him a liability, but he is never going to be the strength of any line and when he was you saw what happened.
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Old 07-16-2004   #74
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"The Texans like to take athletes and mold them into football players. If Wand becomes successful at LT, he will be the Texans greatest achievement thus far."
Very bold statement Lucky - that covers a lot of ground. But I sure hope you're
right. Anyway, it turns out our Seth Wand is a generous and loyal young man. I
have family in Springfield, Mo. (Wand's hometown) , and I hear on very good authority that he made a gift of 500 K to his HS alma mata in Springfield when he signed his contract with the Texans last year. I suspect it was a pledge to be payed out over the life of his contract. Anyway, that's quite a gesture and quite a gift for a mid round pick.
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Old 07-17-2004   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunusguy
Richard Branson, one of the worlds great entreprenuers, has a learning disablity but it didn't stop him from becoming a billionaire. In his case its dyslexia - so there's all kinds of LD but it doesn't mean you can't succeed. According to Wand's bio he majored in MIS - thats computers if you didn't know ! So he's obviously not a drooling *****.
I happen to be a native Missorian like Wand and know something about his
alma mata - Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Mo. To say it is small college is a huge understatement - he must have been blown away when he
came from there to play in the NFL just last year. If this guy does turn out to
be our team's long term left tackle - my hat is off to Cass for a real "find" from
nowhere.

Wand is not a dumb guy, I played with him at NWMSU, this point I agree on.

To say he is from nowhere is a huge understatment, NWMSU is one of the best schools in DII, winning two national titles in 98 and 99. He had a terrible O-line coach but is very athletic.
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Old 07-17-2004   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by __V__
I think McKinney is the Jay Foreman of the O-line...he is about as good as he will ever be. I would not call him a liability, but he is never going to be the strength of any line and when he was you saw what happened.
great post vinny. (if i knew how to give rep points i'd hook you up for that).

mckinney is a sharp guy...all it takes is listening to him on 610 to know that. dosent he make the o-line audibles and what not? thats something else to consider.

of all our linemen i think mckinney stands to gain the most with our new blocking scheme...but no, he will never be an anchor on our line.

i anticipate some early season woes from our line...

wade- new rt in a new system on a new team.

pitts- first year as an nfl guard

wand- first year starting

mckinney- has never been dominant to begin with

and perhaps most importantly- a new blocking scheme.

i'm not convinced early in the season we'll cut down on holding penalties and missed assignments. we most deffinitley have some questions to answer on our o-line. by late season however, i think we'll see improved production and have a glimpse of what we can really expect in 2005.

it sure looks like the potential is there. this season, i expect 3rd and short to be a run up the right (bank).
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Last edited by powda; 07-17-2004 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 07-17-2004   #77
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I don't have any problems with Wand at LT. You have to have faith that Casserly and Capers are making the right decisions and the coaches are giving him the guidance. The athletic talent is there.

We are going to have to have a little patience with the new makeup of the offensive line. It will take a little while for them to get their timing down, and to learn the new offensive line scheme. But bottom line I think they, and Wand, will be fine.
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Old 07-18-2004   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by __V__
I think McKinney is as good as he is going to be ... I think McKinney is the Jay Foreman of the O-line ... I would not call him a liability, but he is never going to be the strength of any line and when he was you saw what happened.
Thank you for your thoughts. Given your comparison to Foreman, how do you see the salary cap situation playing out. I believe we pay a lot more for Mckinney than Foreman. Do you believe that this is Mckinney's last year?
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Old 07-18-2004   #79
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I am not sure about his long-term role on the team as to his cap-hit and how it may be re-structured. All I know is that he is a great guy, a leader and knows the offense. He has been a great influence on the young guys with his maturity and his work-ethic I believe. I think much of it has to do with how he plays in the new blocking scheme. It's tailored for quickness and will give a finesse player more opportunity to thrive. He will have better Guards (physical ability) around him this year.
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Old 07-18-2004   #80
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Vinny, usually I think you are right on with your analysis but in regards to your statement that Steve McKinney is the Jay Foreman of the Texans offense, I must respectfully disagree with you.

Perhaps you can provide additonal information as to your assumption, but in my humble opinion, McKinney should benefit more than any other lineman with the switch to the new blocking scheme, since he is obviously not equipped to manhandle the Kris Jenkinses of the NFL. If you take look at Tom Nalen, the center for the Broncos (a team which runs a similar blocking scheme to the one being implemented by the Texans) for the past 11 years with multiple Pro Bowl appearances and he led Terrell Davis to a rushing title and a Super Bowl Championship, he is only 6'3"- 286 pounds and he too cannot manhandle a Kris Jenkins; but Nalen has anchored a good if not great offensive line for the past 10 years. Mark Stepnoski of the Cowboys and Titans is another not so big center who excelled at the position.

That said, McKinney at 6'4"-302 pounds, is a little larger than the two aforementioned and he has good speed/quickness with an above average football acumen. The new scheme (read beneficial scheme to McKinney), coupled with the changing of the left guard and the additional experience he gained over the past two years at the center position(he played guard in Indy & college), should ultimately prove to be the right ingredients for success.

If successful, I see the Texans locking McKinney up for another 3-5 years and making a run to the Championship and perhaps a rushing title for Dominick Davis.
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