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Old 08-15-2008   #21
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

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Originally Posted by maddogmrb View Post
TC,

I always respect your posts/threads however, I must respectfully disagree on the grades you give our OL and LB. I believe they are both too high at this point. I would give the OL a 4 with potential to be much better and I would give our LB's a 4 ONLY because of Ryans. The rest of our LB's have NEVER done diddly and, until they prove it on the field, I just can't give the group a higher grade. Now, I have hopes that Diles and Adibi can step up and bring that grade up, but gotta see more production first.

The grades aren't based on solely on last year's production, though that is a start. They are based on what I know based on last season and what changes have been made for next season and what those changes may mean.

The Texans gave up only 22 sacks last season. Their running blocking wasn't terribly consistent, but even Ron Dayne could get over 4 yards rushing through it. And they are being coached by one of the best offensive line coaches in the league so I think Gibbs' history has to be considered a big plus factor.

Ryans pulls the linebacking group to an average, slightly above average grade. If you were to make a list of linebackers in 2008 that you were going to build a defense around, Ryans would be near the top of that list. And, as far as we know, he is healthier than he was last year, so that's a plus factor. And he never leaves the field.
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Old 08-15-2008   #22
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

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Who knows what the Texans scheme will be in the secondary? They simplified things last year due to injuries, but it isn't like this is the most experienced group in the world with a high football IQ and the sort of experience that will get them some close calls by the refs.
I think football IQ was more important when the Patriots had video . After they got caught it's amazing how they started talking about needing to get more athletic .
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Old 08-15-2008   #23
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

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Originally Posted by noxiousdog View Post
Agreed. Bennett can't be any worse than league average and we'll have Robinson for more than 1/2 the year. Safety play should be improved, even though I still don't think it's a strength.

Regardless, an improved pass rush is likely to make the secondary look better.
If the secondary keeps leaving big cushions, it doesn't matter what sort of pass rush you have if even statue QBs can get rid of the ball fast.

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It seemed in the preseason game that the Texans played a little more press coverage, but I guess we'll see.
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Old 08-15-2008   #24
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

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Originally Posted by Honoring Earl 34 View Post
I think football IQ was more important when the Patriots had video . After they got caught it's amazing how they started talking about needing to get more athletic .
So they signed Lynch?

They ID what players at key positions they want in the draft, and then they supplement them with high football IQ players. It's a good way to teach the new guys.

I don't think that has much to do with video.

Name the players on the Texans defense who have high football IQs and the physical ability and instinct to put that information into action. For every guy you can see taking good angles and having good fundamentals, you see more try hard guys taking bad angles, thinking too much, or just not having the athleticism to make plays. I think that comes from having years of drafts that didn't work--we are missing a lot of good guys who should be hitting their career peaks.
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Old 08-15-2008   #25
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
If the secondary keeps leaving big cushions, it doesn't matter what sort of pass rush you have if even statue QBs can get rid of the ball fast.

Signed,
Mark Brunell representing suck quarterbacks and Peyton Manning representing good quarterbacks who have destroyed the Texans secondary.


It seemed in the preseason game that the Texans played a little more press coverage, but I guess we'll see.
I think this is why the Texans have drafted bigger corners that can also run . Bennett and Molden ( 23 reps at 225 ) have long arms on top of being 6 ft something so that will help .
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Old 08-15-2008   #26
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
So they signed Lynch?

They ID what players at key positions they want in the draft, and then they supplement them with high football IQ players. It's a good way to teach the new guys.

I don't think that has much to do with video.

Name the players on the Texans defense who have high football IQs and the physical ability and instinct to put that information into action. For every guy you can see taking good angles and having good fundamentals, you see more try hard guys taking bad angles, thinking too much, or just not having the athleticism to make plays. I think that comes from having years of drafts that didn't work--we are missing a lot of good guys who should be hitting their career peaks.
I'd say Demeco is one of the smartest players in the league . I think Demps is pretty smart . Okoye is at least book smart and Mario is no dummy . Greenwood is said to be bright and I bet Colvin's pretty sharp . Dunta in my opinion is a smart player . Okam is said to be smart , Weaver I think graduated from ND .

I think the Pats defense will drop off like Charlie Weiss did . I think savvy vets with a hint at what's coming don't need to be as fast . Lynch may provide depth and mentor the young guy from Miami but not much else .
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Old 08-15-2008   #27
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

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Originally Posted by ObsiWan View Post
great job, T.C. I mostly agree with your assessments. A couple of "quibbles"....

I think Richard Smith (2/3) and (to a lesser extent because he's unproven) young Shanahan (5?) bring the coaches grade down to a 6. Our only solid "9" is Marciano. The other guys are 7s.

Also, Schaub gets a 6 until shows he won't spend significant time keeping Ahman Green company on the sidelines (Manning, Brady, the old guy in New Jersey, etc. show up EVERY week - IMHO, consistency is no small part of the grade). Also, both he and Sage stop making bonehead throws into coverage they won't get higher than a 6 from me. They have "8" moments, they truly do. But they still have too many "4/5" moments to earn a solid 7.

But those are nits. (aren't they?)

Smith drags down the average. Hoke gets a semi-pass because it's not like the Texans have given him much to work with over the years and he has made the best out of it he could. Love Marciano. Love the offensive coaching staff because I believe they have shown they can improve the offense even when they really didn't add a bunch of new outstanding talent--they have a common philosophy and system and they make the most out of the players they have. Personally, I think Shanahan is a perfect coordinator for Kubiak because they think the same. Rhodes/Gibbs bumps up the average.

Overall, I think they get a very good grade because the team plays hard for them. We have no locker room chaos, and they have had to rework that locker room basically from scratch--teaching them just basic stuff about winning and preparation and expectations.

If you look around the league, I think generally the Texans have a very good coaching situation.

Schaub/Rosenfels get a good grade if you just compare the Texans situation to those around the league. I think they did remarkably well given injury to their #1 WR and the unreliable running attack. And I think they will both be better with another year under the system. List the teams you would rather have their QB situation. I think my grade is mostly a reflection of the suck QB development around the league. There are entire divisions with garbage at the QB position.
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Old 08-15-2008   #28
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

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I think Reeves is a question mark. So far what we've seen of him in his NFL career is uh, nongood.
I'm not sure if Reeves' bad reputation is warranted. I know he struggled early in the season (like the Giants game), as did the rest of the Dallas defense. But, he got better as the season went along. And despite being in the league 4 years, '07 was the 1st season he saw significant playing time.

While I understand the pessimism regarding Richard Smith's track record, I think Rick Smith has earned the benefit of the doubt regarding talent acquisition. Rick had no shot at the top corners on the market, like Samuel and Hall, but a guy like Randall Gay was there. Smith went after Reeves, who I think will be a clear upgrade over what the Hutchins, Wynn, and Faggins trio contributed in '07.
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Old 08-15-2008   #29
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

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Originally Posted by Honoring Earl 34 View Post
I'd say Demeco is one of the smartest players in the league . I think Demps is pretty smart . Okoye is at least book smart and Mario is no dummy . Greenwood is said to be bright and I bet Colvin's pretty sharp . Dunta in my opinion is a smart player . Okam is said to be smart , Weaver I think graduated from ND .
Football smart is different than IQ smart.

DeMeco though still learning, is football smart.

Demps is football smart and gets a lot out of his physical ability, but he is not a dominant player despite what name recognition pro bowl voters think.

Okoye is book smart and is willing to work hard. Have to see more to see his football smarts.

Mario Williams is an amazing physical specimen. I don't think his football smarts have caught up yet, and it is too bad he doesn't have a great player to be his mentor. But it is good that he is a learner and has shown lots of desire to improve his football skills to catch up to his physical skills.

Greenwood may know what he is supposed to do, but gee, a lot of times you don't see it on the field. He has never been a great player.

Colvin's best years are behind him physically.

Robinson is injured so his football smarts are limited to telling the other CBs stuff when they come off the sidelines.

Okam is book smart, not football smart yet.

Weaver may be football smart, but physically, his body can't do what his mind says to do. He has never been a great player.
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Old 08-15-2008   #30
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

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I'm not sure if Reeves' bad reputation is warranted. I know he struggled early in the season (like the Giants game), as did the rest of the Dallas defense. But, he got better as the season went along. And despite being in the league 4 years, '07 was the 1st season he saw significant playing time.

While I understand the pessimism regarding Richard Smith's track record, I think Rick Smith has earned the benefit of the doubt regarding talent acquisition. Rick had no shot at the top corners on the market, like Samuel and Hall, but a guy like Randall Gay was there. Smith went after Reeves, who I think will be a clear upgrade over what the Hutchins, Wynn, and Faggins trio contributed in '07.
I think in pre-season , you have two types of fans .

1. The fans that fret and worry . They're good fans because they are truly worried that their team won't be good enough and tend to grade harder . They are not surprised when we're not that good .

2. The it's all good cause it's pre-season fans . I'm probably one of these cause I just like the games , practices , and so on . I try to keep an even keel because I can't do much about it . I really go off thoutgh like 2006 against the Redskins when I realized we stink and YKW still stinks .
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Old 08-15-2008   #31
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

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I'm not sure if Reeves' bad reputation is warranted. I know he struggled early in the season (like the Giants game), as did the rest of the Dallas defense. But, he got better as the season went along. And despite being in the league 4 years, '07 was the 1st season he saw significant playing time.

While I understand the pessimism regarding Richard Smith's track record, I think Rick Smith has earned the benefit of the doubt regarding talent acquisition. Rick had no shot at the top corners on the market, like Samuel and Hall, but a guy like Randall Gay was there. Smith went after Reeves, who I think will be a clear upgrade over what the Hutchins, Wynn, and Faggins trio contributed in '07.
I'm not as negative about Reeves as some Cowboys fans clearly are. I just see him as a "don't know yet." I don't know if he is a clear upgrade over our revolving door of last year and I'm not going to assume that he is until I see more on the field.

I know there are significant limitations with statistics, but Pro Football Prospectus has some really unpleasant numbers with both Faggins and Reeves. Yeah, Reeves might be moving away from a defense that didn't suit his strengths, but he is also moving away from a team that had a better pass rush.
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Old 08-15-2008   #32
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

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Football smart is different than IQ smart.
You're right but I think Kubiak and Smith look for a different type of player than CC did . They like heady guys who are athletic .

I think a lot of guys that are football smart could have been book smart if they wanted to . I don't know of alot of great players who did'nt have good head on their shoulders .

Now you can say that alot of players over think . Some guys can just read and react without to much thinking . This is where the game film comes in on an evaluation ... a guy who runs a 4.1 but never makes a tackle .
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Old 08-15-2008   #33
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

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Originally Posted by Honoring Earl 34 View Post
I think in pre-season , you have two types of fans .

1. The fans that fret and worry . They're good fans because they are truly worried that their team won't be good enough and tend to grade harder . They are not surprised when we're not that good .

2. The it's all good cause it's pre-season fans . I'm probably one of these cause I just like the games , practices , and so on . I try to keep an even keel because I can't do much about it . I really go off thoutgh like 2006 against the Redskins when I realized we stink and YKW still stinks .
I think there is only one sort of fan. Everybody perceives themselves as a realist and everybody else who disagrees with them as either optimists or pessimists.

Personally, I'm not trying to grade hard or easy. It's just what I'm thinking with the limited information I know.
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Old 08-15-2008   #34
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

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I think there is only one sort of fan. Everybody perceives themselves as a realist and everybody else who disagrees with them as either optimists or pessimists.

Personally, I'm not trying to grade hard or easy. It's just what I'm thinking with the limited information I know.
I think that I could do ok grading every team other than the Texans . I bump players up ( in my mind anyway ) cause I know that have to play that way for us to win .
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Old 08-15-2008   #35
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

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I know there are significant limitations with statistics, but Pro Football Prospectus has some really unpleasant numbers with both Faggins and Reeves.
But, doesn't Pro Football Prospectus project the Texans as a playoff team? So, how bad can Reeves be if he can't stop the Texans from playing in January?
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Old 08-15-2008   #36
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

the definitive pre-season preview of the Houston Texans 08 football team
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Old 08-15-2008   #37
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

Good stuff TC. I never thought such a good read could be about a teams "unit"..........
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Old 08-15-2008   #38
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

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But, doesn't Pro Football Prospectus project the Texans as a playoff team? So, how bad can Reeves be if he can't stop the Texans from playing in January?
They have magnificient intangibles. Really, I wouldn't trade the Texans current situation with many other teams. Who would you trade with for this upcoming season, and the seasons beyond?

The Texans lost for large parts of the season Schaub, Johnson, Green, Robinson, McKinney and Jacoby who had looked so promising at the beginning of the season. They depended on Flanagan and Dayne. They lost 5 of 6 in division and had an awful road record. And they still ended up finishing 8-8.

I think that looking at pieces and parts of teams often don't tell you the whole story of how a team plays together. Steady QB play, a healthy AJ, Williams-Okoye learning and improving, above average ST play could equal a nice season.
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Old 08-15-2008   #39
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Default Re: Evaluating each unit of the Texans

Great insight TC

I would give the coaching staff a 5 because Richard Smith & Dan Riley are albatrosses around this teams neck.

I noticed that you didn't include Riley in your evaluation of the coaching staff.

He is one of the most important coaches on the staff. He is the coach that's supposed to help us minimize our injury problems. Which is laughable considering his track record with the Texans.

The other grades were the most realistic I have seen anywhere. I hope Molden can step up & become the CB they think he can. Bennett keeps improving & Harrison can become the SS this team has been looking for since its inception. Wouldn't it be great if we had a fast young secondary.

I share your concerns about Reeves but thats because my ex-wifes madien name was Reeves & she was very undependable. LOL
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