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Old 02-06-2013   #1
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Default AFC South Team needs according to PFF

Team Needs: AFC South
With the 2012 season officially drawing to a close, we begin our look ahead to the 2013 league year and the free agency period that comes with it.

In this series of team-by-team looks, we’ll highlight pressing areas of need and possible free-agent solutions to fill vacancies or bolster lacking units.

We’ve covered the AFC East and AFC North so our next stop takes us to the South. We check in on a pair of playoff teams and two hopeful competitors to see where they can improve and which additions could do the trick.

Houston Texans

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blo...eeds-afc-sout/
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Old 02-06-2013   #2
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

they do not "like rotating the offensive line" as they say in the article. The team simply had no one with experience on the right side and were trying to find the most successful combination. Continuity and consistency are two of the biggest keys to a good offensive line, and rotation is rarely a good thing. To suggest that just because they chose to rotate players because of a lack of better options means they LIKE to is just a lack of effort in research, and lack of common sense.
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Old 02-06-2013   #3
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

Wow. I don't think we need someone to push to start next to Cushing. We need to get someone to start next to Cushing.
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Old 02-06-2013   #4
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

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Originally Posted by thunderkyss View Post
Wow. I don't think we need someone to push to start next to Cushing. We need to get someone to start next to Cushing.
At minimum, they need a rotational ILB that can excel in passing situations in coverage to rotate with Dobbins and backup Cushing. What killed us on defense once we lost Cushing was the absence of any ILB to do even a mediocre job in coverage.. Given all the man situations they face in Wade's defense, it was the primary reason we had no chance to defeat the Patriots.
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Old 02-06-2013   #5
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

I think head coach is our biggest need.

Someone who is adaptive and can make changes on-the-fly instead of trying to prove that his long-held traditions and philosophies are fool-proof in an NFL that is growing more adaptive every year via rule changes that help QBs and WRs.

Otherwise, we're just baby-stepping our way every season...hoping to patch something that broke the previous season. You can't move forward when you're always pulling over on the side of the road and duct-taping some random part that keeps breaking down.

For all that he has done to move us up from the Capers era, he's had an incredible amount of time to identify and develop talent at QB, WR, TE, RB, and OL. We're left with shaky QB, shaky OL, aging TE, inconsistent RB performances (due to shaky OL and shaky QB), and deficiencies galore at WR.

But hey, I'll get back on topic:

1.) ILB is the biggest need.

2.) DE or DT is next biggest need.

Those two spots make our defense better, and inherently makes the offense better (sort of).

3.) WR. Duh.

4.) OL. Because we aren't spending money on a FA guy, it's impossible due to cap.

5.) QB. Continue to shake the tree and see what falls off the branches.

6.) P. Yeah, this position is important all Jaguars jokes aside. It can alter a game. No more shanks.
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Old 02-06-2013   #6
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

I really like the Butler & Grant suggestions.

I think we need new help at RT -- draft or free agent.

Quote:
OLB

Free Agent Fix: Victor Butler

While he won’t receive the same pay day of his current Dallas teammate Anthony Spencer, outside linebacker Victor Butler has the potential to be one of the bargains of the offseason for the right team. Playing just 300 snaps for the Cowboys this past year, Butler had a Pass Rushing Productivity rating of 9.4, with three sacks, three hits and nine hurries from 127 pass rushing snaps.

He’s far from a sure thing, with this being the most snaps he’s seen in a season in his four-year career, but Butler has earned his shot at a starting gig. Grading positively both as a pass rusher and against the run in each of the past three seasons, Butler has shown that he’s good enough on a limited number of snaps, and now comes his chance to do it as a starter.
Quote:
ILB

Free Agent Fix: Larry Grant

Playing on a defense with the two best inside linebackers in football will make opportunities hard to come by, and so San Francisco’s Larry Grant saw just 20 snaps on defense this past year. From those limited snaps his lone tackle did result in a defensive stop, but a look back to the end of the 2011 season saw him enjoy extended playing time.

His performance against the St. Louis Rams in Week 13 of that season was particular impressive, with Grant registering a sack and a hit to go along with four tackles, which all resulted in a defensive stop. Over the entire season he saw 232 snaps, and graded positively against the run, as a pass rusher and in coverage. He’s not someone that’s guaranteed to come in and start, but his play in the past suggests it’s not unreasonable to expect him to come in and compete.
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Old 02-06-2013   #7
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clamp View Post
they do not "like rotating the offensive line" as they say in the article. The team simply had no one with experience on the right side and were trying to find the most successful combination. Continuity and consistency are two of the biggest keys to a good offensive line, and rotation is rarely a good thing. To suggest that just because they chose to rotate players because of a lack of better options means they LIKE to is just a lack of effort in research, and lack of common sense.
Moreover, yes, with Eric Winston and Briesel we were a bunch of rotating fools at Ol. It's called plugging the damn dam...clearly we are in need of an upgrade at the right side of OL.
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Old 02-06-2013   #8
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

Quote:
Originally Posted by GP View Post
I think head coach is our biggest need.

Someone who is adaptive and can make changes on-the-fly instead of trying to prove that his long-held traditions and philosophies are fool-proof in an NFL that is growing more adaptive every year via rule changes that help QBs and WRs.

Otherwise, we're just baby-stepping our way every season...hoping to patch something that broke the previous season. You can't move forward when you're always pulling over on the side of the road and duct-taping some random part that keeps breaking down.

For all that he has done to move us up from the Capers era, he's had an incredible amount of time to identify and develop talent at QB, WR, TE, RB, and OL. We're left with shaky QB, shaky OL, aging TE, inconsistent RB performances (due to shaky OL and shaky QB), and deficiencies galore at WR.

But hey, I'll get back on topic:

1.) ILB is the biggest need.

2.) DE or DT is next biggest need.

Those two spots make our defense better, and inherently makes the offense better (sort of).

3.) WR. Duh.

4.) OL. Because we aren't spending money on a FA guy, it's impossible due to cap.

5.) QB. Continue to shake the tree and see what falls off the branches.

6.) P. Yeah, this position is important all Jaguars jokes aside. It can alter a game. No more shanks.
I agree with some of the criticism Kubiak is receiving for his inability to adapt quickly. However, I do not think he is to blame for personnel deficiencies this year. Part of it is inevitable given the cap era. Also, I believe the Texans have taken a financially conservative approach to the cap and have chosen not to take advantage of some of the loopholes (like the rollover cap money from 2011) and some of the ways to manipulate the cap slightly with bonuses, etc...This decision falls on McNair and/or our capologist. A more aggressive approach last year would have enabled the team to keep some combination of Winston/Ryans/Dreessen, which would have made the team look very different, IMO.

Regarding personnel moving into the off-season:

Needs:

1. ILB
2. TE (a size + speed guy).. I think we will likely (wisely) go TE in round one.
3. WR (speed guy)
4. S (assuming we re-sign Quin, we still need a 3rd safety.. Wade loves going three safeties in dime defenses.
5.FB (a situational thumper, not an every down guy)

I think that's it, need-wise...

Weaknesses that can be solved internally:

RT: I believe Butler has one year left on his contract and should be healthy. We could also re-sign Ryan Harris.. and, Mondek has potential from the practice squad. I think Newton is already serviceable and has a high ceiling. If tight end is addressed, I think RT becomes much less of a concern.

RG: Brooks, with an off-season, should secure the job and Jones is an adequate backup, IMO. Losing Shelley Smith was a mistake but it's done. I don't think it is a pressing need unless we cut Wade Smith. Caldwell, I believe, will be signed away (potential 5th or 6th round compensatory pick compensation).

CB: I think we lose McCain and Ball... Our starters are strong and I became a believer in Brandon Harris at the conclusion of the season. Carmichael has potential and is an adequate #4, assuming we build quality depth at safety.

DL: I think we're good if we can count on Jamison returning to form... He gives us (with Crick) 5 reliable defensive linemen with the loss of Cody. I think Hunter may be a quality candidate to take some snaps at NT, particularly in short yardage.

P: Donnie Jones actually did a good job, though it isn't as fun as watching some of those boomers like Lechler punt.

ST: I think our problem on special teams resulted from our lack of depth at TE, LB, FB, and Safety... those three positions make up most of the quality players on special teams units. Addressing those positions will solve our kick and punt coverage issues and also improve our return game, I believe.

Here is my forecast (educated guess with a tiny bit of optimism sprinkled in) for our draft, including compensatory picks in Bold (they can't be traded).

27. TE stud
59. ILB
92. WR
97. (Mario) Safety
125. OLB
157. OT
165. (Briesel) TE
167. (Dreessen) RB
199. FB
208. (Allen) CB
236. Safety

** clearly, I don't think they would lay out a formula, determining what position they'd take each round. But, I think this is a fair representation of what they'll be looking to do in the draft/UDFA period in late April- dependent on free agent net gains and losses (particularly Quin, Barwin, Casey, McCain)
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Old 02-06-2013   #9
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

Texans will mount there usual search to secure free agent's to fill holes. Not resigning Barwin & Quin open more holes but maybe the best bang for buck to replace while also adding one or two upgrades elsewhere. This will enable them to better draft BPA over need.
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Old 02-06-2013   #10
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

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Originally Posted by GP View Post
I think head coach is our biggest need.
Serious question: What are the names of the proven head coaches that are either available now or were available over the last two years that would would have done better than 22-10 and two second round playoff appearances with this specific team?

I'm not saying Kubiak is going to challenge the Hoodie for place in the HOF.

But I honestly want to know who has been available and why they would have gotten more out of this team.
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Old 02-06-2013   #11
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

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I think head coach is our biggest need.
Yep, I totally agree. But it ain't happening for 2013.
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Old 02-06-2013   #12
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman View Post
Serious question: What are the names of the proven head coaches that are either available now or were available over the last two years that would would have done better than 22-10 and two second round playoff appearances with this specific team?

I'm not saying Kubiak is going to challenge the Hoodie for place in the HOF.

But I honestly want to know who has been available and why they would have gotten more out of this team.
At this time there may not be a better one avaliable. Kubiak is what he is, and the Texans are what they are and will remain so as long as Kubiak is in charge. Above average team, winning the division title, and leaving the playoffs early is our future.

And while that is nice, been there done that with the Oilers. I want something else now.
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Old 02-06-2013   #13
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

I'd include WR to the list of needs. Outside of AJ, we just don't have a receiver. We either have receivers with great hands that can't get separation, or receivers who are very quick and drop every pass their way. Time to actually give the offense some weapons. We've been neglecting it for way too long and drafting mostly defensive players.

While we're at it, we might as well include QB as a need. Noodle arm, turtle-speed Schaub is more of a liability than an asset at this point.

Also, since Brooks Reed is moving to ILB, I'd say OLB is a bigger need than ILB. We'll have Cushing back, but we really don't have any playmakers at OLB. All of the OLB had so much promise last year, but they really disappointed this year.
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Old 02-06-2013   #14
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

I really don't understand why NT is not listed if they are going to list positions like the ILB next to Brian Cushing which isn't really on the field much more than our NT's currently (One of which kinda sucks and the other being inconsistent).
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Old 02-06-2013   #15
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellbentforfootball View Post
Moreover, yes, with Eric Winston and Briesel we were a bunch of rotating fools at Ol. It's called plugging the damn dam...clearly we are in need of an upgrade at the right side of OL.
His point, was that they said we "like" to rotate our offensive personell since we did the same thing in 2011 (Caldwell & Briesel rotated in 2011). They didn't mention it but we also rotated Duane Brown & Ephraim Salaam in Brown's rookie year.

It's not that we "like" to rotate them, it's that we "had" to. If we had a RT/RG who could play consistently all game, we wouldn't be rotating. You can plan for consistently mediocre play. You can't plan for the bad plays.

So we feel that Newton & Jones can play consistently for 3 series, then we throw Harris & Brooks out there for one series, then get Newton & Jones back in for another 3 series.

Hopefully they can make the jump we need them to & they play much closer to Briesel & Winston in the run game.
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Old 02-06-2013   #16
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

Quote:
Originally Posted by GP View Post
I think head coach is our biggest need.

Someone who is adaptive and can make changes on-the-fly instead of trying to prove that his long-held traditions and philosophies are fool-proof in an NFL that is growing more adaptive every year via rule changes that help QBs and WRs.
We've got an immobile, noodle armed, gun-shy QB, no 2nd wide receiver, no RG/RT to speak of, & a porous defense.

But we've somehow managed to win 12 games & a play off game. Two things that doesn't happen as often as most teams would like.

We've got a talentless team that wins in spite of their dim-witted coach.
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Old 02-07-2013   #17
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

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We've got an immobile, noodle armed, gun-shy QB, no 2nd wide receiver, no RG/RT to speak of, & a porous defense.

But we've somehow managed to win 12 games & a play off game. Two things that doesn't happen as often as most teams would like.

We've got a talentless team that wins in spite of their dim-witted coach.
Negative, negative, negative.

We definitely have needs, but "talentless team?"

Have some:
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Old 02-07-2013   #18
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

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I really don't understand why NT is not listed if they are going to list positions like the ILB next to Brian Cushing which isn't really on the field much more than our NT's currently (One of which kinda sucks and the other being inconsistent).
a complete ILB next to cushing would be on the field 3 downs. as it is, our current guys play the same role as DT - run stoppers - and STILL play more snaps than our DT's. for comparison, shaun cody played 257 defensive snaps last season while tim dobbins played 389. sharpton off the PUP had 280.

it's a passing league, we quite simply dont use our nose tackle very often even on early downs because too many teams run 3+ wide receiver sets. this is where the ILB is crucial because they're needed to fill the run gaps inside as well as be able to cover (something our current players are incapable of), especially in these early down spread situations.
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Old 02-07-2013   #19
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

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a complete ILB next to cushing would be on the field 3 downs. as it is, our current guys play the same role as DT - run stoppers - and STILL play more snaps than our DT's. for comparison, shaun cody played 257 defensive snaps last season while tim dobbins played 389. sharpton off the PUP had 280.

it's a passing league, we quite simply dont use our nose tackle very often even on early downs because too many teams run 3+ wide receiver sets. this is where the ILB is crucial because they're needed to fill the run gaps inside as well as be able to cover (something our current players are incapable of), especially in these early down spread situations.
To me I see the situation as we don't really have an NT who is any good, and why would we use somebody who is not any good in passing situations. Unfortunately, we also didn't have an ILB who was any good either once Cushing went down, but we all know that the ILB next to Cushing is a position that the Texans aren't going to spend much money on anyway.

If we had an actual good NT, I'm willing to bet he would be on the field more (Think of our normal 4 man line that was usually Reed/Merci, Watt, Smith, Barwin) and we would use Watt as a DE in those situations. Problem is our NT's suuuuuuuuuuuuuck, so this doesn't happen.
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Old 02-07-2013   #20
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Default Re: AFC South Team needs according to PFF

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ILB

Free Agent Fix: Larry Grant

Playing on a defense with the two best inside linebackers in football will make opportunities hard to come by, and so San Francisco’s Larry Grant saw just 20 snaps on defense this past year. From those limited snaps his lone tackle did result in a defensive stop, but a look back to the end of the 2011 season saw him enjoy extended playing time.
I don't know what type of $$$ it would take, but a guy like this sounds intriguing to me. Been in the league for awhile, but not too old. Played behind 2 Pro Bowlers, but has flashed when given the opportunity.
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