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Old 10-29-2012   #1
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Default Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

This is my attempt of saying where the Texans special teams are now, and what can be fixed this season and what can't be fixed.

Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

I think most fans know that it is underperforming.

Some don't know the extent.

And some people want to know the reasons.

I discuss a bunch of stuff to put it all out there. My current thinking. Learned stuff when I put it together which is usually part of a good post.

Contains both good news and bad news.
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Old 10-29-2012   #2
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

I appreciate your articles TC. I do have to wonder though...are you an alien that reads minds? You always express pretty much exactly what I am thinking. Get out of my head!
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Old 10-29-2012   #3
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

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Originally Posted by Exascor View Post
I appreciate your articles TC. I do have to wonder though...are you an alien that reads minds? You always express pretty much exactly what I am thinking. Get out of my head!
Well, I try to put together a non-alarmist, non-pot stirring, common sense posts supported by evidence. So agreeing with them tends to mean that you aren't into hyperbole and extremist thought.

Either that, or you took your tin foil hat thingy off, and I'm shooting mind microwaves in your general direction.
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Old 10-29-2012   #4
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

Since God'ell did away with the 3 man wedge the return teams have stunk.

Good article, although the ST's cant be fixed this yr. IMHO (Coach Joe must Go)

31st ranking = terrible
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Old 10-29-2012   #5
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

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Originally Posted by steelbtexan View Post
Since God'ell did away with the 3 man wedge the return teams have stunk.

Good article, although the ST's cant be fixed this yr. IMHO (Coach Joe must Go)

31st ranking = terrible
I don't mind getting ride of the wedge though. Way too many injuries. I think bad returns has more to do with kicking from the 35 and return men trying to take it back from 7 yards deep.
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Old 10-29-2012   #6
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

I like Coach Joe. He's been a great presence for this franchise over the years. But there needs to be a new direction for special teams. I hope the Texans can hoist the Lombardi this year and Coach Joe goes out a champion. But, this should be his last season.
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Old 10-29-2012   #7
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

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Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
I like Coach Joe. He's been a great presence for this franchise over the years. But there needs to be a new direction for special teams. I hope the Texans can hoist the Lombardi this year and Coach Joe goes out a champion. But, this should be his last season.
Our kicker can't seem to get the ball out of the EZ, and our coverage teams can't seem to tackle behind the 20 yd line.

Our returners can't seem to find a hole, because our return team can't seem to make one.

Our ST can't seem to do well, and our ST coach can't seem to find a way to make them do better.

Not a great set of complimentary combinations.
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Old 10-30-2012   #8
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

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Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
I like Coach Joe. He's been a great presence for this franchise over the years. But there needs to be a new direction for special teams. I hope the Texans can hoist the Lombardi this year and Coach Joe goes out a champion. But, this should be his last season.
Given all the changes on ST, and him having to make do with free agent cast offs at key positions, I'd like to see if the ship can be righted. It's not like he gets to use Danieal Manning for returns. He's had some challenges this season.
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Old 10-30-2012   #9
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
Given all the changes on ST, and him having to make do with free agent cast offs at key positions, I'd like to see if the ship can be righted. It's not like he gets to use Danieal Manning for returns. He's had some challenges this season.
Are these challenges really all that different from those faced by the 30 or 31 teams who are experiencing better special teams play than we are?
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Old 10-30-2012   #10
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

I think this is the downside of us having better depth on O & D, or at least that's part of it. I believe she mentioned something like that in there.
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Old 10-30-2012   #11
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

K.Martin was interviewed yesterday and stated that coach Joe really concentrated on ST today and that they were going to get it right this Sunday.
I'd have to ask why would it have taken until the week after the Bye for coach to recognize that we had a "little" problem and that he had to concentrate on getting it right.
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Old 10-30-2012   #12
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

I don't know, but I do think, sadly, that it's time to replace Coach Joe, unless things change by the end of our season.
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Old 10-30-2012   #13
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

Quote:
Originally Posted by HJam72 View Post
I think this is the downside of us having better depth on O & D, or at least that's part of it. I believe she mentioned something like that in there.
Yeah, I'm not sure how being a better backup LB, OL, CB etc. translates to not being as good a special teams player. Why doesn't a better backup LB translate to a better ST player (or at a minimum, not a worse one)?

This strikes me as the ultimate Coach Joe apologist argument.
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Old 10-30-2012   #14
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

Great article Steph.
Very thorough and well thought out.
I appreciate your writing and always enjoy reading your stuff.

As a sidenote:
I thought the best part of the article was the first caption under the flaming dumpster. Who doesn't love a flaming dumpster PSA? But heck, I'm twisted like that.

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Old 10-30-2012   #15
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChampionTexan View Post
Yeah, I'm not sure how being a better backup LB, OL, CB etc. translates to not being as good a special teams player. Why doesn't a better backup LB translate to a better ST player (or at a minimum, not a worse one)?

This strikes me as the ultimate Coach Joe apologist argument.
I'm not a Coach Joe apologist or an apologist for anyone.

I want the Texans to win more than just about anything in the world, and there are pluses and minuses to different approaches.

An example of this would be my example of Troy Evans. Troy Evans was a tremendous special teams player. Pretty much in the early years, you could count on Evans being the first on the stop.

He wasn't the most athletic guy, but he was a good lockerroom guy who got along well with different player cliques, and a very smart special teams player. A leader.

But if you were looking to develop a linebacker for the future of the franchise, someone who could be a NFL starter, you would not be keeping Troy Evans around for his special teams ability. That and vet minimum salaries are too high for guys who aren't position contributors.
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Old 10-30-2012   #16
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
Given all the changes on ST, and him having to make do with free agent cast offs at key positions, I'd like to see if the ship can be righted. It's not like he gets to use Danieal Manning for returns. He's had some challenges this season.
Obviously, Marciano will get the chance to straighten out special teams. Nobody thinks he will be let go midseason. If that turnaround doesn't happen, I think this should be his last season. Excuses were made for Richard Smith and Frank Bush, as well, but at some point it's time to try a different direction.

Every team has to make do with backups on special teams. Besides, Manning is 30 years old, and his best returns are well behind him. Special teams is about taking lemons and making lemonade.
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Old 10-30-2012   #17
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

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Obviously, Marciano will get the chance to straighten out special teams. Nobody thinks he will be let go midseason. If that turnaround doesn't happen, I think this should be his last season. Excuses were made for Richard Smith and Frank Bush, as well, but at some point it's time to try a different direction.

Every team has to make do with backups on special teams. Besides, Manning is 30 years old, and his best returns are well behind him. Special teams is about taking lemons and making lemonade.
I'm not sure you can put Marciano in the same category as Smith and Bush, because 1. They never ever ever ever had a history of any sort of success in their jobs; 2. They were inexperienced at their jobs. That's not to say that experienced guys with a track record of doing good stuff never get fired, but there was zero reason to believe that Smith and Bush would put a good defense on the field. At the time they were hired.

If the Texans end the year 32nd, I'm sure that is one of the things they look at. In recent years, they've hired him assistants, though one left before he started working for the team.

And there are some teams that do put a priority on experienced special teams players more than others. I have a hard time thinking Manning wouldn't be good at special teams given what he did in spot duty against the Ravens last year.
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Old 10-30-2012   #18
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

But no matter who you put in on returns, someone has to start blocking for them........other than in the back.
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Old 10-30-2012   #19
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

Quote:
Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
But no matter who you put in on returns, someone has to start blocking for them........other than in the back.
That's on my fixable list.

Because it is something that is not typical of Texans ST.
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Old 10-31-2012   #20
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Default Re: Texans special teams: What is fixable, not fixable

The trade deadline has been put back to tomorrow 3 pm. USA TODAY throws out an intriguing scenario for a Texans trade.

Quote:
Josh Cribbs to the Houston Texans: As well-balanced as they are offensively and defensively, the AFC South leaders have been abysmal on special teams. Not only was the Trindon Holliday experiment a failure in the return game, the Texans have also surrendered both a punt and kickoff return for a score. Enter Cribbs, who is in the final year of a contract that pays him $1.4 million. He has 11 career return TDs, including a record eight on kickoffs, and has also been an ace on coverage units over the course of his eight-year career. Given the Texans' lack of experience behind starting wideouts Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter, Cribbs could also bring a welcome element to the passing game and even a touch of the Wildcat. The 1-6 Cleveland Browns could use any draft pick they can get.
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