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Old 09-04-2004   #1
Hottoddie
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Default Sears, Deloach, Ioane: Are they good enough?

Are they good as good as we can get to fill in for our starters? Or, will we replace one or two with a FA from another team, when they make their final cuts? I'd hate to see another season like last year for our defense. With both Payne & Walker coming back from season ending injuries, this has to be a concern.

I really like Sears, Deloach has been adequate, & the coaches seem to like Ioane. But, can we upgrade our reserves by picking up another team's cast offs? Does anyone have any ideas of what players are on the bubble for other established teams with deeper depth?

Our defensive line depth is our only remaining question mark going into this season.

The secondary is 2 players deep at every position, depending on what Glen Earl does & when Ramon Walker can return.

The LB's are 2 deep at every position.

On offense, we're at least 2 deep at every position.

I'm sure that our next draft will be geared toward adding youth & depth to the DL, but I'm still concerned about the quality of our depth this year. Has anyone heard any rumors of DL projected to be released, that could enhance our depth?
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Old 09-04-2004   #2
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I really don't think you will find any guys of quality on these roster cuts. There will be a lot of Undrafted Free agents and late round draft picks, and probably a few guys who are injured. Deloach was a starter for the past 2 years, and I think he and Sears will only improve with less snaps to drain them physically. We're not going to find many diamonds in the rough off other teams roster cuts. We might find a potential practice squad guy and/or a project guy, but I doubt we find any better backups than what we already have. I feel pretty confident about the depth at DL at the moment. Sure if 2 starters up front miss significant time we could be in trouble, but that could be said at nearly every position. I think the coaches have a good idea of what they're doing, and if the depth was a major concern for them I'm sure they would've addressed it sooner. After a season like last season I don't fault anyone for being concerned, but have faith in CC and DC.
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Old 09-05-2004   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd Coast Playa
hopefully next year we will get some d lineman in the first round/rounds of the draft....
Honestly, i was surprised that the team did not adress this with a draft pick or two(even late)

Those guys all work if they are gettin 12-15 snaps a game, but we have seen more than enough of what happens when they get extended playing time.
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Old 09-05-2004   #4
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Most advocates of the 3-4 defense seem to feel that high draft picks are wasted on D-linemen. Most D-linemen taken early in the draft are picked because of their ability to rush the QB and rely more on speed, and guys more suited for the 3-4 are usually available in later rounds. Also, 3-4 advocates seem to prefer veterans to rookies because of the strength requirements of the position.

The higher picks on a 3-4 defense tend to be corners (especially first round picks) and then linebackers. Safeties and D-linemen are picked later in the draft.
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Old 09-05-2004   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BornOrange
Most advocates of the 3-4 defense seem to feel that high draft picks are wasted on D-linemen. Most D-linemen taken early in the draft are picked because of their ability to rush the QB and rely more on speed, and guys more suited for the 3-4 are usually available in later rounds. Also, 3-4 advocates seem to prefer veterans to rookies because of the strength requirements of the position.

The higher picks on a 3-4 defense tend to be corners (especially first round picks) and then linebackers. Safeties and D-linemen are picked later in the draft.
Born is correct otherwise Wilfork would have been in Houston instead of Robinson. One who follows trends might suggest this becomes the norm & more teams switch to the 3-4 then your first pick in the 2nd/3rd round would be D-linemen. Just look at the past couple of drafts and notice the norm used to be taking these guys earlier in the first, now those teams are paying for their mistakes & trying to trade or draft for conerbacks/linebackers. This being stated I would like to see the Texans add a quality DT to the team via a trade, surely we have an excess of talent in certain positions that would be attractive to some team who has not. I think Bradford would be a possibilty, Ragone if the starter is another lefty and of course the Texans are under the salary cap so they could add another salary for draft pick considerations.
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Old 09-05-2004   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BornOrange
Most advocates of the 3-4 defense seem to feel that high draft picks are wasted on D-linemen. Most D-linemen taken early in the draft are picked because of their ability to rush the QB and rely more on speed, and guys more suited for the 3-4 are usually available in later rounds. Also, 3-4 advocates seem to prefer veterans to rookies because of the strength requirements of the position.

The higher picks on a 3-4 defense tend to be corners (especially first round picks) and then linebackers. Safeties and D-linemen are picked later in the draft.
Excellect analysis, and that's why the 3-4 is know to be "cap friendly". The
down lineman in the 3-4 are "tackle types" who tie up OL and stop rushing plays. The premium paid in the draft (and FA for vets), for lineman
tends to be the ones who can rush the QB, a role done primarily by OLBs in the 3-4. And the OLB in the 3-4 are often downlineman in college usually too small to be selected by the 4-3 teams to be play the D line, so the can often be had a discount.
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Old 09-05-2004   #7
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My point was drafting them at anypoint in this draft, but please find that expert who said draft 3-4 lineman late in drafts:

The Partriots base defense is 3-4 over the last 4 drafts
-Seymour 2001- round 1
-Warren 2003 - round 1
- Wilfork 2004- round 1
- Hill 2004- round 2
-green 2002- round 4

the steelers are not waiting that late either
-Hampton 2001 Round 1
-Aaron Smith 1999 Round 4

Let's compare that to the "later" draft methods of the Texans

Hill DL 3rd 2002
Howard 6th 2002
Miller 7th 2002
Wright 6th 2003

None of these guys with the Texan or on the practice squad in 2003 nor were in the Texans training camp in 2004.

Either the theory is wrong or the texans evauation process of DLmen needs work.
Robinson was widely regarded a better player than Wilfork.

As for the "cap freindly" the starting DLmen have the following estimated numbers. Not sure 8 million for 3 million, 2 coming off injuries, and 1 new to the system is a bargain.

Walker-$2,633,333: Payne $4,175,000: Smith 1,933,333
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Old 09-05-2004   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArlingtonTexan

Let's compare that to the "later" draft methods of the Texans

Hill DL 3rd 2002
Howard 6th 2002
Miller 7th 2002
Wright 6th 2003

None of these guys with the Texan or on the practice squad in 2003 nor were in the Texans training camp in 2004.

Either the theory is wrong or the texans evauation process of DLmen needs work.
Robinson was widely regarded a better player than Wilfork.
I'm not really in disagreement with your post, but I just think that people read way too much into our 'trends' when it comes to things like drafting as a one and two year expansion team. We will not draft the same way as a mature team as we do as an expansion team. I also think that when you chart trends that this doesn't carry over to other aspects of the team such as offensive and defensive play calling. I really do not think it is fair to sum up the teams philosophy as it builds it's core stock of players. A clearer view of how we will draft long term will probably be seen from here on out now that we have a core built and in place.


...and to answer the thread title question...

Yes, I think that Sears, Deloach, Ioane are good enough to back up Smith, Payne and Walker. Personally I feel it takes several years to develop two-gap skills (beating an NFL double team is one of the hardest transitions for a lineman from college to the NFL) and our reserves have all had a few years to develop their games. Young linemen do not generally do that well in two-gap systems early in their careers.
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Old 09-05-2004   #9
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Interesting thoughts by all. I've been reading articles like crazy about the final cuts & projected cuts of other teams, that might offer us a surprise upgrade or two.

I know rookies take a while to develop, but I'd sure like to see the Texans pick up Jordan Carstens. He was cut by Carolina the other day & might be worth putting on the practice squad, or assigning to the NFLE to develop his game.

Also, Carolina is discussing an injury settlement with Shane Burton. Does anyone know what the extent of his injury is & would it be worth the risk to pick him up?
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Old 09-05-2004   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArlingtonTexan
My point was drafting them at anypoint in this draft, but please find that expert who said draft 3-4 lineman late in drafts:

The Partriots base defense is 3-4 over the last 4 drafts
-Seymour 2001- round 1
-Warren 2003 - round 1
- Wilfork 2004- round 1
- Hill 2004- round 2
-green 2002- round 4

the steelers are not waiting that late either
-Hampton 2001 Round 1
-Aaron Smith 1999 Round 4
I'll grant you that the Patriots are an exception to the rule. Pittsburgh, which has run the 3-4 longer than any team in the league and which is the model which Capers follows, has very rarely drafted a D-lineman high in the draft. In fact, Hampton may have been their only first round pick since they switched to a 3-4, and he was at the end of the first round.
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Old 09-05-2004   #11
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Ravens:

Weaver - 2nd Round
Johnson - 4th Round
Edwards - 2nd Round
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Old 09-05-2004   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STEEL BLUE TEXANS
Ravens:

Weaver - 2nd Round
Johnson - 4th Round
Edwards - 2nd Round
Thanks for that additional one. My major point is 3-4 teams are drafting defensive lineman with 1st day picks in the draft. Showing the lack of succss by the Texans is just of proving that run stuffers are not lying around in the later rounds and can be ignored until then. BTW, the Patriots and Ravens have won like 3 out the last 4 Superbowls, so references to any other teams are mute.

Note: Hampton was 19th overall.

On these silly drafting "rules" everyone has. Since it takes 2 or 3 years to develop OLB, one that had been floated is that a team can wait until later in the draft to get one. Obviously, the Texans did not totally buy into that one, see Babin. Honestly, I don't think that Casserly and co. really will pass on DLman if they think he is worthy of a pick.
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Old 09-06-2004   #13
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I believe Ioane is a very good Dlineman.
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