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Old 07-26-2004   #1
TEXANS84
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Default MSNBC: Texans Last AFC South

From MSNBC.com/sports:

Quote:
Houston
The biggest thing the Texans must come away with is a clean bill of health.
Life is difficult for any expansion team, even in this day of free agency, but it becomes a lot harder if you lead the league in number of players on the injured reserve list, as the Texans did last season.

Quarterback David Carr was sacked 40 times fewer than in his rookie season but he did not hold up as well, missing four games and parts of two others with injuries and that was not the worst of it. Houstonís defensive line was decimated by injury with starters Seth Payne and Gary Walker both missing significant time last season.

In total, the Texans had a league-high 17 players on IR in 2003, so keeping their best players healthy will be a high priority.

When you finish next to last in the league in both offense and defense, there is obviously much that needs improving. The Texans appear to have helped themselves considerably this offseason, especially on defense where they added highly sought after free agent defensive tackle Robaire Smith to team with a healthy Payne and Walker.

The key to the 3-4 front coach Dom Capers favors is the ability to stuff the run with defensive linemen who plug the gaps and hold their ground. Payne is just such a player, but he has to remain healthy so Capers can play Smith at defensive end, where he believes the former Tennessee defensive tackle can flourish. But Payne has already had three knee operations and there are only problems if he goes down.

No. 1 draft choices Dunta Robinson and Jason Babin are among seven straight defensive picks made in the April draft and both need to develop quickly because much is expected of each of them this fall. Robinson is penciled in to start at corner and not only because Capers believes heís an upgrade. With this arrival, Capers will shift veteran corner Marcus Coleman to free safety, which he feels improves his defense in two positions. Thatís true only if both the rookie and the veteran can adjust to the differences in what they have to do in their new jobs. The success of this experiment should be clear by the end of training camp.

As for Babin, he is being counted on to solve a serious problem at outside linebacker. The Texans had five different right outside linebackers a year ago. Veteran Kailee Wong is being moved there this year, and the hope is Babin can step in at rush linebacker on the other side. The pass rush in Capersí 3-4 most often has to come from the linebackers and Babin is a college defensive end used to rushing the passer. Capers believes heíll fit, but he has to make the adjustment from playing with his hand on the ground to standing free in a lot more space as an outside backer. Thatís a big adjustment for anyone, but especially for a guy out of Western Michigan who has never faced the kind of competition heís going to see.

How many growing pains are faced by the rookies, Robinson and Babin, and how much pain Payne has to endure to stay on the field will go along way in deciding if this is a season of growth or not for the Texans.

HOT SEAT
David Carr. Carr is entering his third season as a starter and must continue his growth and cut down on the errors that led him to throw 13 interceptions in his first 11 starts last season. A touchdown-to-interception ratio of 9-to-13 has to be reversed for the Texans to improve significantly on offense.

OVERHEARD
The Texans hope second-year tackle Seth Wand can improve enough to take over at left tackle some time this season so the less athletic Chester Pitts can be shifted inside to guard, but as training camp opens Capers and new line coach Joe Pendry are not sold on making that move yet.

OUTLOOK
This is a far better team than the one that opened its inaugural season two years ago. It is not yet ready to challenge the Colts and Titans, but it is solid enough to be competitive in every game.

PREDICTION
Fourth.

Last edited by TEXANS84; 07-26-2004 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 07-26-2004   #2
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you got a link???

Is it 4th in the division??? Just making sure....
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Old 07-26-2004   #3
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you got a link???

Is it 4th in the division??? Just making sure....
Link: MSNBC Sports

Yes, 4th in the AFC South.
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Old 07-26-2004   #4
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4th in the divison my butt. I really dont think the Titans will be that strong and we have shown the beating Indy is possible with many starters out.
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Old 07-26-2004   #5
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Originally Posted by Panther5407
4th in the divison my butt. I really dont think the Titans will be that strong and we have shown the beating Indy is possible with many starters out.
The Titans will be strong as long as #9 steps out onto the field, but I think we split the series with all 3 teams and go 3-3 in the division. A sweep over the Jags wouldnt be a big surprise, though.
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Old 07-26-2004   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddy
The Titans will be strong as long as #9 steps out onto the field, but I think we split the series with all 3 teams and go 3-3 in the division. A sweep over the Jags wouldnt be a big surprise, though.
I guess we'll see. We can beat everyone everytime but then again we could lose every game. I'm still not sold on McNair but then again I have never been. I jsut see the Titans losing to much and not gaining enough. I use to be a big Titan fan (cause of the freak) untill my team emerged in houston.
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Old 07-26-2004   #7
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the texans should be atleast 3rd if not 2nd and its possible to get first if we get everything clickin.
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Old 07-26-2004   #8
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Playoffs here we come. ThenTexans will win the division this year. Just watch as the under rated out perform the over rated.
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Old 07-27-2004   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by done88
Playoffs here we come. ThenTexans will win the division this year. Just watch as the under rated out perform the over rated.
You can bet MSNBC does not watch Texans games unless they are playing a team in the NE.
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Old 07-27-2004   #10
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Personally I think the division is the Colts #1 (11 wins?) and the three other teams all around .500. A fourth place finish isn't unreasonable for us. We have to prove we can beat either the Colts or Titans before we should get elevated from that.
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Old 07-27-2004   #11
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Down at the bottom it says, Prediction: Fourth. I can see why he predicted us to finish fourth in our division. It's a lot safer prediction than first. I'm not saying we will finish in fourth, because anything can happen. But I certainly don't see us finishing above third in our division.
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Old 07-27-2004   #12
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In the Chronicle it lists some teams that will e a surprise. Among it are the Vikings, Falcons, Redskins (i think), Jags and the Texans. I still think the lowest the Texans will be is maybe 3rd. But I believe we can win the divison. What great additions have the Jags, Colts and Titans made compared to us anyways.
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Old 07-27-2004   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panther5407
. But I believe we can win the divison.
Dreams, dreams, dreams.
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Old 07-27-2004   #14
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The Colts may loose their running back to Miami. If that happens it will weaken them somewhat. Again the season is long, and as we learned, injuries to a team can be decimating. We could finish anywhere in our division from 1st to 4th. I think we are going to be the most improved team in our division. Its going to be a tougher race this year and I think we have a very good chance of being in the playoffs. However, I think that depends on a healthy defense with Walker and Payne being in the lineup. We will just have to wait and see.
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Old 07-27-2004   #15
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they wont lose james till the end of the season and we already have proven that we can beat all the teams in out divison its just gettin over the hump to win the close games like we did last season with the jags.
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