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Old 07-06-2008   #21
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Default Re: Winston & Bennett make Prisco's Breakout 30 list

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Originally Posted by TexansFanatic View Post
Eric Winston was an exceptional LEFT tackle for the Miami Hurricanes until he got injured. He then came back and was an above-average to great LEFT tackle for the Hurricanes.

How is it that he is not an exceptional RIGHT tackle for the Texans? Why did the Texans feel they needed to go out and look for a left tackle when they might very well have that guy right here?

Anyone?
Returning from the left knee injury for his Senior season, Winston struggled in the opening game against FSU, against future 1st round pick Kameron Wimbley. Winston went on to to have an excellent year, and was named the outstanding lineman in the ACC. Eric had a mixed performance in the Senior Bowl practices, but bounced back with an excellent showing in the combine.

Heading into the '06 draft, Winston was looking like a late 1st, early 2nd round pick. Whether it was concerns over his injury, or his arm length, or some of his performances against top competition, Eric dropped to the 2nd pick in the 3rd round. Immediately, Kubiak announced that the 1st pick in the 3rd round, Charles Spencer, would be tried at LT and Winston would be looked at RT. Which left some fans and onlookers puzzled, as Winston was the more ballyhooed prospect.

During camp, it became obvious that the Texans had made the correct decision, as Spencer had the more NFL ready body and makeup. Winston was a little tentative, possibly due to playing a new position. Early on, it looked as if Winston would get somewhat of a redshirt rookie season, as he was rarely activated. But injuries at the tackle position forced Eric into action, where he gained valuable playing time at the end of the season. At that point, Kubiak had pretty much abandoned the deep passing game, and Winston was rarely asked to pass protect for 7 step drops.

Last year was Winston's first full year as a starter in the NFL. Like a lot of young players, it's fair to say he improved as the season went along. Eric is probably a better run blocker than pass protector, at this stage. But, I believe his errors in pass protection were more mental or technical, and not due to any physical shortcomings. And I would agree with Prisco, in that this is the year Winston should put it all together as a complete RT.

Why not LT? One, the Texans have spent 2 seasons preparing Winston as a RT. If it's not starting from scratch at LT, it's not starting from where Eric is at RT in the NFL. Two, while not an expert on knee injuries, I'm thinking the outside knee of a Offensive Tackle is the one that may be more vulnerable to injury due to the force placed on it in pass protection. For Winston, his surgically repaired left knee would be his outside knee if he were at LT. That's just a guess, but it makes sense to me.
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Old 07-06-2008   #22
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Default Re: Winston & Bennett make Prisco's Breakout 30 list

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Why not LT? One, the Texans have spent 2 seasons preparing Winston as a RT. If it's not starting from scratch at LT, it's not starting from where Eric is at RT in the NFL. Two, while not an expert on knee injuries, I'm thinking the outside knee of a Offensive Tackle is the one that may be more vulnerable to injury due to the force placed on it in pass protection. For Winston, his surgically repaired left knee would be his outside knee if he were at LT. That's just a guess, but it makes sense to me.
Why not LT indeed ? I'm still dissatisfied with all of the explanations I've heard for not at least trying to play him there ?
For openers, I'd be more comfortable with him over there than rookie Duane Brown. Of course Saleem may end up atleast starting the season at LT anyway. But Kubiak and his people clearly don't want Eric over there. And the issue about his less than ideal arm length I don't buy ? Too many other competant LTs who have the same kind of measurements as Eric.
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Old 07-06-2008   #23
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Default Re: Winston & Bennett make Prisco's Breakout 30 list

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Why not LT indeed ? I'm still dissatisfied with all of the explanations I've heard for not at least trying to play him there ?
For openers, I'd be more comfortable with him over there than rookie Duane Brown. Of course Saleem may end up atleast starting the season at LT anyway. But Kubiak and his people clearly don't want Eric over there. And the issue about his less than ideal arm length I don't buy ? Too many other competant LTs who have the same kind of measurements as Eric.
Moving Eric to LT would in sense weaken two positions. He is on the verge of becoming an outstanding RT and could be making probowls in the next two years at his current position.
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Eric had a mixed performance in the Senior Bowl practices, but bounced back with an excellent showing in the combine.
I recall when Mario was drafted the phrase combine warrior was a key phrase by a lot of people. Here is an example of a guy who did good at combines but not during Senior Bowl practices at LT so they moved him to RT. He has not played that position in two years and he is starting to excel at RT so you want to move him? If it is because brown is a rookie I would not worry about that much because with a Vet like Salaam there Brown will have to be pretty damn good to unseat him to get the nod from the get go.

If you move Winston who starts at RT? It would be? An unproven guy so going by earlier comments you would not be happy with that either. Most of the time I am not a big fan of moving a guy who is doing an excellent job at one position into another where he mayor maynot be successful. I rather have the one question versus creating two questions.
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Old 07-06-2008   #24
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Default Re: Winston & Bennett make Prisco's Breakout 30 list

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Why not LT indeed ? I'm still dissatisfied with all of the explanations I've heard for not at least trying to play him there ?
For openers, I'd be more comfortable with him over there than rookie Duane Brown. Of course Saleem may end up atleast starting the season at LT anyway. But Kubiak and his people clearly don't want Eric over there. And the issue about his less than ideal arm length I don't buy ? Too many other competant LTs who have the same kind of measurements as Eric.

Well, they aren't looking for competant! Do you think that the OL, as a whole, is better this year with Winston at LT and Brown or Salaam at RT? I think that even if Brown doesn't work out at LT, we are better with Butler at LT and Winston at RT.

If we make the move you suggest, this year we will need help on both ends of the line. With Brown at LT and Winston at RT, we can simply chip the TB on the left side or lineup the TE on the left side to provide help. Meanwhile, trusting Winston on the opposite side.

Brown has the ability to be elite at LT... Winston may become an elite RT. That's what we want, right?
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Old 07-06-2008   #25
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Default Re: Winston & Bennett make Prisco's Breakout 30 list

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Why not LT? One, the Texans have spent 2 seasons preparing Winston as a RT. If it's not starting from scratch at LT, it's not starting from where Eric is at RT in the NFL. Two, while not an expert on knee injuries, I'm thinking the outside knee of a Offensive Tackle is the one that may be more vulnerable to injury due to the force placed on it in pass protection. For Winston, his surgically repaired left knee would be his outside knee if he were at LT. That's just a guess, but it makes sense to me.
Actually, as a left tackle, when pass protecting the leg that initially drives you and gets you to where you need to be is your right leg or simply put your inside leg. As a tackle you wanna stay inside strong...

But bad knees, period, are never good for left tackles because really they're almost like basketball players trying to gaurd someone on the perimeter...You need to have good lateral movement and the slightest hitch in your gitty up can hurt you...Both knees are important to offensive lineman especially LT's...

Last edited by Polo; 07-06-2008 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 07-06-2008   #26
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Default Re: Winston & Bennett make Prisco's Breakout 30 list

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For Winston, his surgically repaired left knee would be his outside knee if he were at LT. That's just a guess, but it makes sense to me.
Brown is the #1 OLT. It's his job to lose. The whole '07 draft was constructed to getting that whole plugged. If Claddy or Williams had fallen into their laps, might have been different. Last I heard Seth Wand was still running also ran in Tennessee, er Oakland . I seem to recall you advocating that one too.

If Spencer was coming back, I could see the argument (best five) of moving Erick to LG...where as Lucky points out Erick would have some protection for the left knee. But Spencer in all likelihood is not.

In space Erick can match up with anyone on either side. But on that seven yard island of OLT which would require him a specific skill set of lateral movement to kick-slide , plant the left leg...thirty times or so a game vs a speed rusher. and every now and then absorbing the pressures of a bull rush on the knee, you'd be tempting fate for sure. Brown will be fine. Between Gibbs & Salaam he should be locked and loaded for September.
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Old 07-06-2008   #27
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Default Re: Winston & Bennett make Prisco's Breakout 30 list

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Actually, as a left tackle, when pass protecting the leg that initially drives you and gets you to where you need to be is your right leg or simply put your inside leg.
During a pass rush, the DE is more often than not pressing the outside shoulder of the tackle, especially on the offensive left/defensive right side of the ball. Often, you will see a Offensive Tackle anticipate the move by dropping his outside leg a step back. So during an outside rush, the outside leg is going to be more extended.

Not that DEs won't rush inside. A good pass rusher, like a Freeney, will counter with an inside spin move. So you're right, in that 2 good legs are better than one. And I'm not even suggesting that Winston doesn't now have 2 good knees, 3 years removed from surgery. Just that the questions surrounding his left knee may have been a part of the decision to place Winston initially at RT.
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Old 07-06-2008   #28
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Default Re: Winston & Bennett make Prisco's Breakout 30 list

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Well, they aren't looking for competant! Do you think that the OL, as a whole, is better this year with Winston at LT and Brown or Salaam at RT? I think that even if Brown doesn't work out at LT, we are better with Butler at LT and Winston at RT.
I think moving an outstanding RT over to play LT at a competent while not outstanding level is worth the tradeoff, a desirable goal. The position of LT is the singular most important position on the OLine, and we have yet to have a player in the 7 year history of the Texans that has been consistantly competent.
And among OTs I wouldn't even include Butler & Brown in the same sentence with Winston at this point in their NFL careers. The first 2 are an NFL practice squad player & green NFL rookie player respectively while the last is now an established NFL starter.
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Old 07-06-2008   #29
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Default Re: Winston & Bennett make Prisco's Breakout 30 list

I remember seeing Winston play in a bowl game and they showed him on the sidelines . I told my cuz, I want THAT guy on the Texans . It was just something about the big fella that made me like him . If I remember, he was supposed to be a higher draft pick, then he got injured and fell to the Texans . Its not in a bad way, but Im kinda glad that happened and hes on our team .
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Old 07-06-2008   #30
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Default Re: Winston & Bennett make Prisco's Breakout 30 list

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I think moving an outstanding RT over to play LT at a competent while not outstanding level is worth the tradeoff, a desirable goal. The position of LT is the singular most important position on the OLine, and we have yet to have a player in the 7 year history of the Texans that has been consistantly competent.
And among OTs I wouldn't even include Butler & Brown in the same sentence with Winston at this point in their NFL careers. The first 2 are an NFL practice squad player & green NFL rookie player respectively while the last is now an established NFL starter.
You missed the point. If you move Winston to LT, you still have to play someone at RT. Who?
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Old 07-07-2008   #31
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Default Re: Winston & Bennett make Prisco's Breakout 30 list

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You missed the point. If you move Winston to LT, you still have to play someone at RT. Who?
The primary problem is coming up with a solution at LT, i.e., it's the top priority. Finding somebody who can get the job done at RT is really a secondary consideration. For example there's quite a few guys who can play inside at guard who are also capable of being decent RTs.
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Old 07-07-2008   #32
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Default Re: Winston & Bennett make Prisco's Breakout 30 list

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During a pass rush, the DE is more often than not pressing the outside shoulder of the tackle, especially on the offensive left/defensive right side of the ball. Often, you will see a Offensive Tackle anticipate the move by dropping his outside leg a step back. So during an outside rush, the outside leg is going to be more extended.

Not that DEs won't rush inside. A good pass rusher, like a Freeney, will counter with an inside spin move. So you're right, in that 2 good legs are better than one. And I'm not even suggesting that Winston doesn't now have 2 good knees, 3 years removed from surgery. Just that the questions surrounding his left knee may have been a part of the decision to place Winston initially at RT.

LT's put more force on their right legs when pass protecting...


When defenders rush inside is when a LT actually has to put more pressure on the left leg...

A LT's left leg is almost like the finesse leg and the right leg is like the driver..

My point is that Winston being at RT doesn't really protect his repaired knee he actually puts more force on it being at RT...
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Old 07-07-2008   #33
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Default Re: Winston & Bennett make Prisco's Breakout 30 list

My thought on this is that Kubiak didn't just say 'hey, let's try Winston at RT and never look back'. He knows his business, and I'm sure has watched ALL the linemen during practices and drills, watching for qualities in them that would best help the team. If Kubiak and Gibbs think Winston can move over and be the best LT on the team and have a replacement for Winston at RT that is just as good- there's not a doubt in my mind they would start working him out there more and make the switch.

Maybe it's just me, but I think Kubiak and Gibbs know exactly what they are doing and really like Winston at RT instead of LT. On top of that, the best man in the business just hand picked the franchise LT of the Texans as Brown perfectly fits what they're trying to do at that position.

Again, I think this is a great conversation to have- it's what the boards are all about. Unfortunately, we can't see what goes on behind closed doors or in practices everyday. My opinion is that the coaches are watching these players and finding their strengths and weaknesses, and finding ways for them to best help the team. I'm sure Kubiak has asked himself: What position would Winston be best at? What position would Winston help the team most at? What positions can he fill in at? What areas of weakness does he have and what positions are lacking on this OL? Ideally, you want a player to play the position he's best and most comfortable at AND that helps the team out the most (ie there's a void at RT and his best position is RT= WIN WIN).
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Old 07-07-2008   #34
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Default Re: Winston & Bennett make Prisco's Breakout 30 list

I think I'll just wait till after training camp. I'd like to see Brown in action, see how Winston has progressed, whether we have established our new RG and C. Then I want to see the new scheme in at least a pre-season game to see who is performing and who is shaky. I love talking about football and I'm just as antsy as the next guy to get the season going, but I really think this is the worst time of the year for inteligent discussion about your team. I look it at more as a combination of mouth-watering and fragile hopes and the sooner Camp starts the better!
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Old 07-07-2008   #35
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Default Re: Winston & Bennett make Prisco's Breakout 30 list

Actually, Duane Brown looks quite good at RT.

I'd say it's up to the coaches where they want them to be, because they sure have that option!
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Old 07-07-2008   #36
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Default Re: Winston & Bennett make Prisco's Breakout 30 list

Travis Johnson had better have a breakout season because Frank Okam will be breathing down his neck, and this is TJ's contract year iirc.
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