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Old 01-09-2006   #1
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Default Voice of the Fan- Amen I say to you!

To all you Bush vs. Young voters, make sure you read AJ's "voice of the fan".
Good job and thanks for keeping it real AJ!
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Old 01-09-2006   #2
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Default Here it is...

Voice of the Fan
By Alan J. Burge
Special to HoustonTexans.com

EDITOR'S NOTE: Texans fan Alan J. Burge continues to write his "Voice of the Fan" column for HoustonTexans.com. His latest installment is below. Alan's views do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.

Seize the Day

As if there havenít been enough wildfires in this neck of the woods lately.
Texans fans found themselves being sucked into the perfect NFL off-season storm on Saturday when ESPN reported the Texans would select Reggie Bush with the number one pick in the 2006 NFL draft, even if Vince Young also entered the draft. On Sunday, Young declared his intent to enter the draft and Bush will soon follow.

Wasnít it just last week that we were arguing about the ethics of losing to the 49ers so the Texans could select Bush with the first pick in the NFL Draft? Didnít life seem so much simpler then?

Then came the Rose Bowl.

But itís just one game, you say.

Well, no, it really wasn't.

Before the Rose Bowl, and even though he dominated at the NCAA Division I level for two seasons, Vince had yet to drive home the fact that he really was the best player in college football. He knew that he was the best. His teammates knew it. Some of his fans knew it. But on that Wednesday night in Pasadena, Vince made sure that millions more would know it. Chief Osceola couldn't have driven the point home any better.

Where were all the Vince supporters and all this debate before the Rose Bowl? Well, there really wasnít much debate because as recently as five days ago the widespread belief was that Vince was going to remain in the comfort of the 40 acres, like all good Longhorns, instead of forging ahead into the vast NFL wilderness.

National championships and signature games by great players on the big stage have a way of changing perspectives even among those who rarely if ever overreact.

So let the debates begin. Bush or Young? Young or Carr?

Bush is a great talent but Young is a great talent and even greater leader. In three months, the Texans will have an opportunity to select a quarterback who is a game changer, a rare athlete with outstanding leadership skills who will win at the next level. It's in his makeup. The fact that he's a local makes it even more intriguing - and more troublesome if we lose him, especially to a division rival. Especially that division rival.

The scenario painted in the ESPN reports had Bush going to the Texans, Leinart to the Saints, and Vince Young to the Titans. Hmmm.

Allow me to go on record and say that the nightmare scenario of losing Vince Young to Tennessee, or anyone else for that matter, could be the biggest sports blunder in the history of this city. Furthermore, fans would never forgive this franchise for letting such a great player - arguably the best football player ever to come out of Houston, and one of the two best to come out of the University of Texas Ė fall into the hands of Bud Adams.

If Vince ends up in Tennessee and does well - and there's no reason to believe he won't do very well - there will be more Titans fans in Houston (and Austin) than Texans fans in Houston. Why not just turn the city over to Cowboys and Titans fans while you're at it?

But itís all about winning, right? Who cares about where the player is from or where he went to school as long as the team wins?

Itís true that winning will keep the fans happy more than a roster full of locals. Itís also true that Vince Young is a winner.

This isnít about drafting the local kid who did well or appeasing the orange blood masses. This is about an opportunity to draft one of the greatest college football players in recent memory, and make him a member of the Houston Texans. The fact that Houston is his hometown is secondary but the fact that fans would be fighting over tickets is music to the ears of a stressed-out marketing department.

Bush has been showered with his own set of accolades by being mentioned in the same sentence with Gale Sayers and Barry Sanders. But despite the Bush allure, Vince has risen to the top of this debate by improving his quarterback skills by orders of magnitude over the last two years, and by demonstrating unquestioned leadership ability.

To pass on Vince in this draft would be a huge mistake - one that could set this franchise back another lifecycle. The chance that Young could come back to torment us twice a year for the next 10 years would be salt in the wound.

But wouldnít Bush in a Tennessee uniform have the same effect from a competition standpoint?

Maybe, but ask yourself this question: Would the Texans be better off with Reggie Bush touching the ball 15 times per game with David Carr at quarterback, or with Vince touching it 60 times a game Ė granted one-third of those would be handoffs to Domanick Davis Ė but with the added threat of run or pass to speedy wide receivers Andre Johnson and Jerome Mathis, or maybe even to a (gasp) tight end?

While a lineup of Carr, Johnson, Mathis, Bush and Davis on the field at the same time sounds intriguing, a lineup of Vince, Johnson, Mathis, Davis, and a new offensive lineman with the second pick in the draft also sounds very intriguing Ė along with some defensive help of course.

The difference maker is that Vince's superior vision and escapability from the pocket will totally change the way defenses attack the Texans quarterback. It will also take pressure off a much-maligned offensive line. No longer will pass rushers be able to simply squeeze to a point five yards deep in the pocket with their rush packages. The Texans' offensive line would have to become more agile with a quarterback like Young but that is certainly part of the blueprint already, regardless of who plays quarterback in the future.

Vince won't be able to run as much in the pros as he did in college but just the threat changes everything, just like it did for Steve McNair and Steve Young. I can see Vince on a very similar track as Steve McNair in the pros. In his early years, Young can take advantage of his running skills while he continues to develop his passing game.

Where will we be in three years with David Carr? No one knows, but we know where weíve been for the last four. While Carr has a leg up on any rookie in terms of NFL experience, most of his experience is bad so he has a bit of a hole to climb out of himself before he becomes comfortable in the new Texans offense. Excuse me for feeling this way but if I have to wait any more than I already have for a quarterback to develop, then Iíd rather watch Vince while I wait this time around.

Where does this leave Carr?

Early reports out of Reliant Park had the Texans giving Carr an $8 million option bonus to execute the final three years of his multi-million dollar contract. While it would be nice to see what Carr could do in a system designed by say, Gary Kubiak, itís also quite evident that many fans are losing patience with Carr, who would have to show marked improvement almost immediately in a new system to satisfy a restless fan base.

Fair or not, Texans fans wonít have a lot of patience waiting for a quarterback in his fifth NFL season to finally reach his potential as he becomes acclimated to a new offense. While Carr has shown a few spurts and glimmers of good play here and there over the past four seasons, not all of the offensive woes can be blamed on poor coaching or lack of talent on the offensive line.

The best options for Carr may be to offer him the two-year option, which reduces the signing bonus to $5 million instead of the $8 million that the three-year option would require. A two-year deal would allow Vince to come in and understudy for a year and even though it would be uncomfortable for Carr, who has never had legitimate competition, it worked in San Diego with Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers.

The two-year deal could set up trade opportunities as would a one-year transition tag and contract which would pay Carr the average of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL (or 120 percent of his last yearís salary, whichever is greater). Outright release is another option but that doesnít seem to be the best option from a business or football perspective.

If I was on the Texans head coaching interview team, I would start off the interview with this question:

Tell us about your offensive philosophy and what the playbook would look like with a) David Carr at quarterback and b) Vince Young at quarterback. The floor is yours, you have one hour.

Carpe diem, Mr. McNair.

You can email Alan Burge at: aj_texans@yahoo.com
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Old 01-09-2006   #3
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Default Preach on AJ.

Well thought out and reasoned.

That is the article that Richard Justice shoulda wrote in support for drafting VY. Both Lopez and Justice's articles on Draft Bush v. Draft Young were kinda weak. Imagine that.

I must leave now. I am fixing to go get Draft VY shirts printed. For my own personal attire.

Maybe I should make it "Draft Vince" so that more of the general public will understand what my shirt means. lol.
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Old 01-09-2006   #4
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As usual, a well thought and well presented commentary from aj.
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Old 01-09-2006   #5
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Good job, aj. One of the best, well though out takes on reasons to take Young. I'm impressed, and it is definitely a valid case to be made.

There are so many emotions to ride right now: Young is from H-town, represents the state school, and could very well be one of the great QBs over time (already is in terms of his college legend).

Add into the mix that he could end up with one of our most hated rivals, and it makes your blood boil. Seeing Young develop into a superstar, and then have to face him twice a year, just creates more turmoil in the brain.

Young has got "it". That intangible quality of leadership and championship drive. I have to wonder if it would mean all that more to him to represent his hometown. I'd venture a guess that it would mean a lot, and he would rise to the challenge.

The key is Carr. Is he worth $8 million? Will a new offensive scheme and [hopefully] an upgraded o-line make him better? Can a new approach make him stop certain troublesome tendencies that he hasn't been able to shake since college?

Truly the decision is not between Bush or Young. The crux of the matter is do we stick with Carr, or do we go ahead and rebuild with a rookie QB and hope Young can live up to his hype.

It's a tough decision, probably the hardest this franchise has had to make. And I'm glad I don't have to make it!
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Old 01-09-2006   #6
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Exactly what I've been trying to say.
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Old 01-09-2006   #7
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Great article....I still think Young is not what the Texans need though.
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Old 01-09-2006   #8
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Since the Rose Bowl the content and tone of this board sickens me.
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Old 01-09-2006   #9
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I think AJ tapped into my brain when he wrote this article; these are the same points I've been trying to make.

One more, I think McNair is worried that the fans won't like waiting another few years while watching a young QB develop. But the truth is, Carr still needs to develop, and I think what fans are really sick of is waiting to see some improvement from David because in the back of their minds they have some thoughts the he never will. Watching VY develop would actually make fans more patient IMO.

Also, it could wreck this franchise if the only sold out game at Reliant every year would be the game against Tennessee...with half of the stadium wearing Titans gear while cheering for Vince.
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Old 01-09-2006   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hervoyel
Since the Rose Bowl the content and tone of this board sickens me.
me too
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Old 01-09-2006   #11
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Being a Carr fan, it's a painfull read. Being a Texan fan, it's a very thought provoking read. Everything AJ's written, IMO, has been pretty much dead on. I'm open to all avenues that'll improve this team. By the way, is AJ of "Voice of the Fan" the same AJ that posts on this board?
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Old 01-09-2006   #12
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it didn't really start bothering me until I saw several of the "always reasonable, articulate, let's think this thing through people, relax it's not so bad" posters start going south ...
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Old 01-09-2006   #13
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Thats probably the best "Voice of the Fan" writeups I've seen.

Great work aj, I couldn't agree with you more.
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Old 01-09-2006   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Barrel

The key is Carr. Is he worth $8 million? Will a new offensive scheme and [hopefully] an upgraded o-line make him better? Can a new approach make him stop certain troublesome tendencies that he hasn't been able to shake since college?

My take on this, is that yeah, Young's success in the NFL isn't Gauranteed, but to this point we should all know Carr's isn't either. Oh his name will go down in the history books, but as the most sacked QB of all time. I like Carr, I really do. If there was a thread on this board knocking Carr, if I were around, I'd be one of the guys defineding him, and bashing the O-Line, with statements like "if you don't give hime time...." I'm also one of those guys who don't go for changing out the QB for the sake of changing out the QB. Teams need stability, and consistency. That starts at QB, on the field.

Besides, I don't want to replace Carr, I want to replace Tony Banks...... what's the point of hanging on to him?? We need a young guy back their now that Carr has 4 years under his belt. We need a Garard, a Fitzpatrick, a Jamie Martin.... a Vince Young.
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Old 01-09-2006   #15
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BTW Texan Asylum, love the avatar. I remember seeing that game as a kid (playoff game I think?).

Another thing to point out for the Bush lovers is that we will have $60 million wrapped up in 2 RB's, which could be very crippling to a team also. RB's come around all the time. Did anyone see Deshaun Foster yesterday? That rookie RB down in Tampa Bay isn't bad either. Every team has a good RB, but only half have a decent QB. Scambling QB's usually fare better in the NFL than RB's who rely on hitting the outside edge.
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Old 01-09-2006   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerek
This is simply ridiculous. He has all day to throw and run against a USC zone defense not even ranked top 25 in the nation, and everyone in this city can't stop talking about his marvelous pocket presence and reads.
But...he beat a top ranked Ohio St. defense, in story book ending fashion early in the season as well. He passed more in that game too.....DIDN'T run ofr 200 yards either in order to win. So to say that he only won because of that porous USC defense is pretty null when in retrospect...you consider the Ohio St. and Virginia Tech games. In these games....the only thing that screams out is.....Vince Young is a WINNER!!
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Old 01-09-2006   #17
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im not seeing it. Hes a winner? yah..he won games in college.. he isnt the first. He is no more a sure thing than Bush or Lienart.. and his abilities as a rushing QB are not a bonus in my book. Rushing QBs dont win superbowls.

Nicely written article..but i disagree on just about everything.
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Old 01-09-2006   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerek
I am astounded, and I have run out of words for it.
Good
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Old 01-09-2006   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerek
I did not see anything but highlights from either of those two games, so forgive me if I am understating his abilities.

Either way, the point is that we do not draft a player based on where he is from.

Put a sock in it, already. If we draft Vince, it will be because management feels he is the best player for this franchise, in terms of his ability to lead our team to wins. Not because his grandma and all the Longhorns around here can come to all the games.

I have made no small secret of the fact that I believe he is not the best player for this franchise, but if we are going to talk about drafting him, let's do it on the basis of his skills: not what high school he went to.
Where do you get off telling anyone to put a sock in anything when you admit you haven't watched Young's past games and you combine that with saying that he isnt that good?
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Old 01-09-2006   #20
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an article on rushing QBs.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playof...len&id=2277589

more reason to stick with Carr imo.
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