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Old 03-06-2005   #41
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Heh...I think all three choices are bad. Can I pick "none of the above?"

Unfortunately I agree that there's nobody in FA left now who's worth signing. I'm concerned about McKinney but I also believe that Wand is a serious liability--he was labeled a "project" from the day he arrived and I'm not sure when that "project" will be finished. How long can a contending NFL franchise go with a weakness like that at LT?

As for the draft, that's also true. Good reputations don't = immediate success. Vernon Carey was an example of that last year, and there are many others around the NFL.

So I agree that the best option at this point is, sadly, to sit tight and pray that familiarity and time-in-position will lead to some sort of improvement. It bugs me, but the long-term damage that could be done by signing another "maybe" in FA--or by burning a draft pick Houston needs to use somewhere else--is worse. Drafting in later rounds for depth, of course, is another story.
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Old 03-06-2005   #42
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Baas is not the best center prospect in the draft. He's the best guard prospect, with the tools to be one of the best center prospects.

Chris Spencer is considered by many NFL scouts to be the best center prospect in the draft. According to Len Pasquarelli at ESPN, one AFC regional scout (could he be from the Texans?) stated that Spencer could be one of the best centers to come into the league in the past 25 years.

ESPN Article

Jason Brown, who began his college career at tackle and moved inside to the hub in his second season with the Tar Heels, hasn't allowed a sack since his sophomore campaign. He is bright, competitive, has terrific recognition skills and, at 6-feet-2 3/8 and 310 pounds, possesses excellent size for the position. Watch him on tape, against even the premier defensive tackles in the ACC, and his opponents rarely penetrate into the backfield.

Amazingly, he might not even be the top center prospect.

Scouts spoke Thursday of Brown, who has slimmed down considerably since playing at an ungainly 336 pounds in 2003, in glowing terms. But they lavished praise on Chris Spencer of Mississippi, who appeared legitimately taken aback when apprised of some of their comments. One regional scout from an AFC franchise suggested Spencer could be one of the best centers to come into the league in the last 25 years.

Among the other names to watch: David Baas (Michigan), Ben Wilkerson (LSU), Junius Coston (North Carolina A&T) and Vince Carter (Oklahoma).
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Old 03-06-2005   #43
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And to further reenforce my point.

NFL DRAFT COUNTDOWN

Centers

The center position is as strong as it has been in years and pro personnel people came away very impressed with this group. The talented but troubled Richie Incognito of Nebraska (pictured right) was having a tremendous week before injuring his knee in drills. He had an MRI and the results came back negative, but the extent of the injury is still unknown leaving his status a bit up in the air. David Baas of Michigan continues to impress and showed off good strength and speed, possibly ensuring a 2nd round grade. One of the top sleepers in the Draft had a nice performance as well with Rob Hunt of North Dakota St. impressing. Perhaps the top player at the position though is Chris Spencer of Ole Miss, who did nothing but solidify his lofty grade. Ben Wilkerson of L.S.U. is still rehabbing his injury and will workout at a later date.
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Old 03-06-2005   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexanExile
...but I also believe that Wand is a serious liability--he was labeled a "project" from the day he arrived and I'm not sure when that "project" will be finished. How long can a contending NFL franchise go with a weakness like that at LT?
The difference between Wand and McKinney is rather stark.

Wand, playing one season at LT, is expected to only get better as he gets experience, and then you have highly paid Steve "we have one of the top 10 lines in the league" McKinney with years of experience, and is only going to get worse as his arrogance grows?

Sorry. To me, it's a no brainer.
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Old 03-06-2005   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus
The difference between Wand and McKinney is rather stark.

Wand, playing one season at LT, is expected to only get better as he gets experience, and then you have highly paid Steve "we have one of the top 10 lines in the league" McKinney with years of experience, and is only going to get worse as his arrogance grows?

Sorry. To me, it's a no brainer.
I agree. I did like Pitts at lt better though.
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Old 03-06-2005   #46
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I think the maturation of an NFL player is hitting the weights . I bet Wand was'nt exposed to a 1st class weight program in college . As he and Pitts get stronger they'll get more confidence . I have less a problem with them because they have some upside .
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Old 03-06-2005   #47
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Originally Posted by Hottoddie
Baas is not the best center prospect in the draft. He's the best guard prospect, with the tools to be one of the best center prospects.

Chris Spencer is considered by many NFL scouts to be the best center prospect in the draft...
I won't disagree, totally, with your assessment. It's something I go back and forth on. Both Baas and Spencer have started only one season at OC. Spencer also played OG his sophmore season (he declared as a junior). Most of the rankings place Baas at OG and this is what the evaluations are based on. I've seen only a couple with Baas listed at center and he was ranked number one. On all the measurables, Baas has better numbers than Spencer, but the one area where I have not seen an evaluation is his ability to snap the ball cleanly in the exchange and then that quick burst out of his stance to position himself for the block. If he is able to do this efficently, then Baas has the potential to be something special as a center. But it is this versitility which makes him my unequivacal choice as our first pick.
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Old 03-06-2005   #48
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as of right now i only see two of our lineman as undoubted starters...pitts and wade...if you noticed the majority of our rushing td's in the second half of the season came from behind pitts...wade is about as solid of a RT as you can find in the NFL today...mckinney is average at best in the center position, weigert is hurt constantly it seems and seems to get beat by a decent pass rushing DT half the time, and wand...i'm sorry this guy should not be a starting left tackle in the nfl...a starting left tackle shouldn't need a tight end to help him on pass protection...if you line up a DE with 4.7 speed or lower against wand carr is sacked...now do i think drafting barron is a good idea for this season no...i think no matter what barron would need about a season to really be able to take over the LT position fully...so in the long haul it would be a good pick but not this year...personally i'd rather wait and see how eric winston of miami comes back and target him next year...unfortunately there is no free agent LT out there...we're kinda stuck with what we have...and the coaching staff needs to find more ways to protect carr whether that's having a back chip block on wand's side or just having bruener there to help him
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Old 03-06-2005   #49
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this has been an enjoyable thread to read though disillusioned from time to time.

for those of you critical of the coaching staff for not paying enough attention to our ol personel let me refresh your memory :

boselli, ryan young, steve mckinney, zach weigert,and todd wade were all overpriced vetran aquisitions who have yet to live up to their billing as quality linemen. something else to note is all of these players were effected in one way or another by injuries.

in the draft we selected chester pitts in the 2nd, and wand and weary (bust) in the 3rd.

dont be critical that we didnt target offensive linemen. instead ask, why didnt the coaches address freeny and give wand some help with a tightend or a fullback? ask why mckinney has been allowed to corrupt our interior line (a direct impact on both guard postions) for 3 years? ask why we dont use screens more often to ease the blitz? and lastly, i think theres a place for the deep threat...i like it because it softens the defense...but you have to pick your spots. when carr has 2 1/2 seconds to throw the ball throughout the game our recievers shouldnt even be running intermediate routes...let alone 40 yards downfield. wheres the slant? aj had success with the hitch route for a portion of the season but we got away from it. mix in a screen and keep the 3 step drops until the line can prove some consistency. otherwise, the face of our franchise will not live to sign his next contract.

in fairness to the line we didnt just change to a zone blocking scheme ( i know, i know, you'll tell me that has no effect on the pass protection ),but we also had a new line coach (pendry).

- i think the infatuation with baas is also due to the fact that he can play center and guard. if we draft him he'll find a place in our starting rotation faster because of it.

as for the defense......what happened to the blitz happy capers? what changed so drastically from our inagrual year?

2003 = 17 players on injured reserve...thats not even counting the players who missed ample time but werent placed on the ir. YOU CANT HAVE AN EFFECTIVE, CONSISTENT BLITZ WITHOUT THE PROPER PERSONEL.

2004? -glenn (ageing and still recovering from the previous years injury) -robinson (rookie) -coleman (transition to free safety for the first time since his failed experiment with the jets...and later injured) -brown (puke!) -earl (rookie recovering from a collegiate injury)

whats the point of this? when you blitz linebackers and they dont get there fast enough you leave huge patches of green for recievers. our secondary was a monumental question mark at the time and the coaches felt safer sending linbackers into coverage to ease the burden on our secondary. to aggrivate the problem more we had foreman as one of those backers dropping into coverage...he was abused several times over. our line got very little pressure on its own ( walker underperformed, payne was recovering, and robarie was new to the postion---though he came alive in the last quarter of the season ).

the secondary will be signifigantly better then last year (glenn dont prove me wrong!). with greenwood we just aquired a true coverage backer with ample speed. babin and peek should be better. the dl has me concerned but i see no "quick fix solution" to that problem. with better play from both the secondary and the linebackers i dont see the dl being exposed as much as last year.

what i do see is the texans D loading up for a blitz happy year again. its not nearly as bad as some of you guys think it is. every year we've improved and that trend will continue. stop tieing those knots and put the razors away.
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Old 03-06-2005   #50
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I for one am not infatuated with Baas , I'm infatuated with Eva Longoria . Wade had a high ankle sprain last year . That takes at least a month to get back to 100 % . I believe all we can ask for is more young talent through the draft and some patience .
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Old 03-06-2005   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus
The difference between Wand and McKinney is rather stark.

Wand, playing one season at LT, is expected to only get better as he gets experience, and then you have highly paid Steve "we have one of the top 10 lines in the league" McKinney with years of experience, and is only going to get worse as his arrogance grows?

Sorry. To me, it's a no brainer.
Definitely a good point. But my concern isn't who's better based on how long they've been doing it...it's more about which one actually hurts Houston more by being subpar. Is it more important right now to find a better center or a better LT? Even though I think there's not much out there in the way of "better" available LTs, I do think Wand is the bigger liability.
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Old 03-07-2005   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texan_fan
Greater minds than mine are at work here, I'm sure...but I have to ask: WHY are the Texans worrying about the defense when we need SO MUCH help on offense? The left side of the line is...weak...inconsistent... Surely addressing this issue is more important than anything? Can someone please explain this to me? I'm getting aggravated, here!
defense wins games. thats why baltimore won the super bowl a few years ago...and tampa bay. if our defense is better, then our offense will definitely score more points bc of the extra time they will have per game. however, i do think we need to address the pass protection desperately. if carr can get the time, then we will be a probowler. our offense was pretty good last yr considering how the defense was on the field for a long time each game.
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Old 03-07-2005   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhc564
The Pats are focused on both sides of the ball and that is why they are
a dynasty---

Total Offense/NFL-- 7th
Scoring Offense/NFL-- 4th

I don't think these results are average!

Total Defense/NFL-- 9th
Scoring Defense/NFL-- 2nd

Those were the Pats stats last year look at their first SB and you'll see what I mean.
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Old 03-07-2005   #54
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Originally Posted by MIGHTYTEX
Those were the Pats stats last year look at their first SB and you'll see what I mean.
See what you mean? They had a newbie starting QB in that 1st winning SB
but who CARES??? They not only got to the big game, they won it---now,
they've won 3 out of the last 4--- believe me, the Pats win 'anyway they
can.' BB is a defensive minded coach who made the transisition from DC to
HC and his teams are coached to win, regardless of what side of the ball
it is or who the players are-- his thinking and success with it are going to
change the minds of many coaches, only leaving behind the 'old school'
coaches who still believe 'we can't do this or that because we don't have
this or that.' :woot
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Old 03-07-2005   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhc564
See what you mean? They had a newbie starting QB in that 1st winning SB
but who CARES??? They not only got to the big game, they won it---now,
they've won 3 out of the last 4--- believe me, the Pats win 'anyway they
can.' BB is a defensive minded coach who made the transisition from DC to
HC and his teams are coached to win, regardless of what side of the ball
it is or who the players are-- his thinking and success with it are going to
change the minds of many coaches, only leaving behind the 'old school'
coaches who still believe 'we can't do this or that because we don't have
this or that.' :woot
It seems to me that your post suggest that its Dom Capers is who has the problems not the O or the D.
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