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Old 02-18-2013   #1
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Default What I would do with the power this offseason

What's up guys? This is my first post in a while on this board so I figured I'd prove my continued support of the Texans with an absurdly extensive potential offseason scenario for you to consider. I hope you enjoy, and by no means do I expect you to read every word of this.

Alright, so here's what I did: I got bored of pretending to do the mountain of homework I have and decided to put into words what I would do if I had Rick Smith's job this spring. I then performed a completely biased analysis of the Texans' offseason needs (SPOILER: I haven't given up on Schaub) and factored in the talent of the free agent market with the players I think can contribute immediately in Kubes'/Wade's systems and may be available when Houston picks through the first three rounds of April's draft.

For pre-draft offseason moves, I'd release Antonio to free up cap space to help retain Quin (top priority) and Barwin (1a). I'd do this with the hopes that committing a late round draft pick to a DE to compete with Jamison and Crick and adding a physically dominating replacement for Cody early in the draft will make up for his absence inside. If more money needs to be freed up, Wade Smith is the next on my chopping block but the prospect of replacing more continuity with youth on that line is a daunting prospect after losing Briesel/Winston last year.

This draft is pretty thin for quality 3-4 inside backers after the first 20 picks and we need to do something to upgrade that position's depth so that's where I'd commit any free agent dollars I had after my re-signings (Larry Grant is someone I'd definitely look into). Given all of this movement (or lack there of), here are some of the players I would target in the first three rounds of the coming draft.
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Old 02-18-2013   #2
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Default Re: What I would do with the power this offseason

Texans Prioritized Draft Needs
Round 1
Defensive: ILB/NT
Offensive: WR
There are more holes on the defensive side of the ball so Iíd expect the pick to be made on that side of the ball regardless of the offenseís postseason struggles. There arenít many quality options out there this offseason for linebackers that would fit in the middle of a Wade Phillips 3-4 so if Minter is still available at 27 he would be difficult to pass up. That being said, a massive, athletic run stuffer like John Jenkins may be available at this spot to come in and take some of the double teams off JJís shoulders while allowing the linebackers to focus on their coverage responsibilities. If we go offense, I would like an outside burner like Quinton Patton out of La. Tech to immediately take the top off defenses, similar to Torrey Smith did for Flacco when he first came out.

Round 2
Offensive: WR/TE
Defensive: NT
If we go defense in the first, Iíd expect to see the trigger pulled on a playmaker for Schaub in round 2. If Rick and Kubes are confident in the strength of their locker room, Iíd love to see what DaíRick Rogers could do in a Texanís uni. Terrance Williams and Robert Woods could prove beneficial as well. Gavin Escobar and Travis Kelce are both Gronk sized options that are likely to be here and could contribute in the red zone immediately. Escobar is the more proven receiving option while Kelce made his name in the trenches and only showed real potential to be a legit receiving option his senior year. Sylvester Williams may be around here if NT isnít addressed in round one (no value ILB options here).

Round 3
Offensive: G/T/TE
Defensive: ILB
If Houston receives a third round compensatory pick for Mario I would want us to try packaging our first pick in the round to move up and take a chance on a falling lineman to help shore up the right side. DJ Fluker is a Saban tutored Brandon Brooks-like athletic freak who may fall to the beginning of round 3 due to his struggles in pass protection last season while playing outside at tackle. I think he could step in and become an instant asset as a road grater at guard for a zone blocking scheme like ours. Brennan Williams earned his right tackle spot at NC in a blue collar fashion and was proving to be an effective two year starter before tearing his labrum with four games left last year. He doesnít provide any kind of versatility but has the same build and aptitudes as Winston showed during his time here. Levine Toilolo is a 6í8Ē 265 lb. Stanford grad playing TE. Is a LeBron James sized man with an education and leaping ability worth looking into? If ILB hasnít been addressed by now the compensatory pick should be used on a complement for Cush. DeVonte Holloman is a converted safety with some size who may struggle early in run support but offers a quality option for covering big guys in the slot on nickel and dime situations.
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Old 02-18-2013   #3
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Default Re: What I would do with the power this offseason

Quote:
Originally Posted by V3rm0nt3r View Post
What's up guys? This is my first post in a while on this board so I figured I'd prove my continued support of the Texans with an absurdly extensive potential offseason scenario for you to consider. I hope you enjoy, and by no means do I expect you to read every word of this.

Alright, so here's what I did: I got bored of pretending to do the mountain of homework I have and decided to put into words what I would do if I had Rick Smith's job this spring. I then performed a completely biased analysis of the Texans' offseason needs (SPOILER: I haven't given up on Schaub) and factored in the talent of the free agent market with the players I think can contribute immediately in Kubes'/Wade's systems and may be available when Houston picks through the first three rounds of April's draft.

For pre-draft offseason moves, I'd release Antonio to free up cap space to help retain Quin (top priority) and Barwin (1a). I'd do this with the hopes that committing a late round draft pick to a DE to compete with Jamison and Crick and adding a physically dominating replacement for Cody early in the draft will make up for his absence inside. If more money needs to be freed up, Wade Smith is the next on my chopping block but the prospect of replacing more continuity with youth on that line is a daunting prospect after losing Briesel/Winston last year.

This draft is pretty thin for quality 3-4 inside backers after the first 20 picks and we need to do something to upgrade that position's depth so that's where I'd commit any free agent dollars I had after my re-signings (Larry Grant is someone I'd definitely look into). Given all of this movement (or lack there of), here are some of the players I would target in the first three rounds of the coming draft.
It's good to see you haven't given up on Schuab like most of the people on this MB and in H-Town have, although his window for proving he is the QB that can take us to the SB is closing pretty fast.

As for releasing Antonio Smith, well, I think that's a bad idea. I think a better idea to free up cap space is to restructure his contract and let Barwin go in stead. Antonio is already under contract and he was the 2nd best D-Lineman we had. Barwin, on the other hand, didn't have a good year and may end up asking too much $$$. If they can get him to sign a one year deal, at a reasonable price of course, then that would be OK. But, we have to think of the long term picture here. Cushing will be a FA next year and Watt will be the year after that. The Texans must get them extended before they hit the market or they will probably lose both (Watt for sure). We just don't have the cap room to battle some other team for Watt and probably not Cushing either, provided he fully recovers from his injury. I agree that GQ is the top priority this year and needs to be resigned.

I also agree that ILB is thin this year and needs to be addressed. Just don't think we can afford to go the FA route, for reasons listed above, and that they need to pick up one in the draft. Of course everything hinges on the Barwin deal. Whatever happens there determines what they do in the draft. There are a small handful of ILB that could be taken in the mid rounds that could turn out to be decent. Riddick from North Carolina, Bostic from Florida, or Alonso from Oregon could be had in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. All of them would be serviceable. Texans may not go for Alonso though. He's been in trouble with the law before (2yrs ago).

Overall, good post.
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Old 02-18-2013   #4
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Default Re: What I would do with the power this offseason

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If more money needs to be freed up, Wade Smith is the next on my chopping block but the prospect of replacing more continuity with youth on that line is a daunting prospect after losing Briesel/Winston last year.
I'm not too worried about that. Newton & Jones played quite a bit, & I think next year we'll see much improvement from them both.

They also played Brooks quite a bit, who I think looks like a better fit at LG. I wouldn't be surprised if the plan is to cut Wade & start Brooks at LG.

You still have good continuity in that Newton, Jones, & Brooks played a lot in 2012.
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Old 02-18-2013   #5
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Default Re: What I would do with the power this offseason

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I'm not too worried about that. Newton & Jones played quite a bit, & I think next year we'll see much improvement from them both.

They also played Brooks quite a bit, who I think looks like a better fit at LG. I wouldn't be surprised if the plan is to cut Wade & start Brooks at LG.

You still have good continuity in that Newton, Jones, & Brooks played a lot in 2012.
I can see this happening, but I don't think it happens this year. Maybe by mid year if Wade is not doing.
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Old 02-18-2013   #6
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Default Re: What I would do with the power this offseason

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I can see this happening, but I don't think it happens this year. Maybe by mid year if Wade is not doing.
It's a money thing to me. Waiting till mid season doesn't help our cap.
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Old 02-18-2013   #7
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Default Re: What I would do with the power this offseason

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It's a money thing to me. Waiting till mid season doesn't help our cap.
True. But how much is W. Smith making and how much counts against the cap? I didn't think he had that big of a contract or that much that would count against the cap. I know he's getting up there in age and may be losing a step, but he did just make the Pro-Bowl (His 1st I think.). Will Brooks be able to step in and do a better job right away or do they have the time to let him develop early in the season? I don't know, but it didn't work out too well last year on the right side of the line when they cut Winston and let Brisiel go FA. That continuity thing takes awhile.
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Old 02-18-2013   #8
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Default Re: What I would do with the power this offseason

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True. But how much is W. Smith making and how much counts against the cap? I didn't think he had that big of a contract or that much that would count against the cap. I know he's getting up there in age and may be losing a step, but he did just make the Pro-Bowl (His 1st I think.).
I think you always over pay in FA.
According to these guys, he's going to cost us $3.7M against the cap in 2013.

Cutting him this year will save us $3M

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Will Brooks be able to step in and do a better job right away or do they have the time to let him develop early in the season? I don't know, but it didn't work out too well last year on the right side of the line when they cut Winston and let Brisiel go FA. That continuity thing takes awhile.
What didn't work last year, is the guys we were preparing to step in got hurt. Neither Newton or Jones were our 1st options at RT & RG. Butler who got hurt before the season & Caldwell were supposed to be those guys.....

Caldwell at LG would also be another option.

As far as "didn't work too well" we definitely struggled in short yardage & predictable run downs, but we still had the #7 offense in the league, Matt was one of the least sacked QBs, threw for 4,000 yards & Arian was the second leading rusher in the AFC, 6th (I think) in the NFL.

For some reason we like to focus on all the bad, but there was a lot of good things that happened on that OL as well.
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Old 02-19-2013   #9
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Default Re: What I would do with the power this offseason

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I think you always over pay in FA.
According to these guys, he's going to cost us $3.7M against the cap in 2013.

Cutting him this year will save us $3M



What didn't work last year, is the guys we were preparing to step in got hurt. Neither Newton or Jones were our 1st options at RT & RG. Butler who got hurt before the season & Caldwell were supposed to be those guys.....

Caldwell at LG would also be another option.

As far as "didn't work too well" we definitely struggled in short yardage & predictable run downs, but we still had the #7 offense in the league, Matt was one of the least sacked QBs, threw for 4,000 yards & Arian was the second leading rusher in the AFC, 6th (I think) in the NFL.

For some reason we like to focus on all the bad, but there was a lot of good things that happened on that OL as well.


Yeah, maybe I do tend to focus on the bad sometimes more than I should. What concerns me was the way the Offense performed the last 6 games of the season. A lot of the struggle with the O-line came during that period when Kubes had to keep changing the right side due to injuries and how some of the players were performing. On the bright side, it did give our young players (Jones, Newton & Brooks) some valuable playing time and experience. I look forward to them improving this coming season and solidifying the line for years to come. As for Harris, Butler, and "Gump," I'm not sure any of them make the team. Maybe Harris as insurance for Newton. The Draft should answer some of those questions.
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Old 02-19-2013   #10
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Default Re: What I would do with the power this offseason

The draft/FA should be focused on the bad.
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Old 02-19-2013   #11
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Default Re: What I would do with the power this offseason

We should be able to get 4-5 good players at least. Having the kicker (5th) play should be like getting an extra guy this season.
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