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Texans Talk Football talk only please. Keep it to the game, the players, the coaches and management.

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Old 01-29-2006   #1
jerek
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Default Football: A TEAM Sport

Football is a marvelously complex sport. The size of any NFL coaching staff should alone serve to remind you of just how many things there are going on, on field, at any given time. We have a head coach, two or more coordinators, position coaches, and assistants to some of these coordinators and position coaches.

Consider what it is to watch and "break down" a week's tape. Think of the statistical categories that are tracked, the numbers that can tangibly be noted and recorded, to say nothing of the more intangible things that can occur on any given play.

I feel that many posters on this board would take a given game, look at the stat line for that game, or even watch the entire thing from start to finish, and would sum the game up like follows (only an example):

(1) Quarterback is 21/32 for 2 TD, 1 INT, completing 65.6% of his passes. Thus, quarterback is the man.

(2) Tailback carries 24 times for 157 yards and 3 TDs. Thus, tailback is the man.

I feel that too many posters on this board fail to understand the microanalysis that must take place if you are to get a solid feel for the game. Consider what might have contributed to these above two great, individual performances:

(a) O-lineman steps up and makes a clutch block on second and long.
(b) Slot receiver catches key third-and-short pass to sustain successful drive that leads to score.
(c) Quarterback reads blitz at the line and audibles to a counter that picks up big yardage.
(d) Guys in booth notice a pattern on third and long and give quarterback correct play that comes up big.

And that's just on the offensive side of the ball!

And it works the other way. A quarterback has a terrible game, well, he must suck. A receiver has 3 catches for 25 yards and 0 TDs, well, he must suck. Never mind that the quarterback's O-line is a joke, that the opposing DC is a genius, or that his OC is making play calls with his head up his ***. Never mind that the receiver is constantly double teamed, or that the OC has him running five yard out routes the whole way down the field.

That is not to say there are no individual great performances, no individually great performers. Clearly, there are. Just remember, Joe Montana doesn't throw that game-winning TD if his nameless left guard falls flat on his face and the blitzer faceplants Montana from his blindside. Dan Marino doesn't throw that deep ball if his OC has his receivers run a bunch of curl routes. Peyton Manning doesn't score that touchdown if Reggie Wayne drops the ball in the endzone.

Football is a team sport. The success of its players is, more than any other sport, contingent on that player's teammates and coaching staff doing their jobs well. Likewise, when that player's teammates and coaching staff do their jobs well, it is that player's responsibility to do his, or everybody looks bad for it.

Just something to think about as we approach the upcoming draft/FA. Whether you like Reggie, Vince, or trading the pick, I hope you will take a minute to think about how that choice will fit into our big picture before starting thread number 1,000,001 on the topic.

Just my
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Old 01-29-2006   #2
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Awesome post. Glad someone posted this.
Thats exactly why I don't get involved in all the pissing matches about this draft stuff b/c there is SOOOOO much more to a team than just 1 or 2 players. Stuff going on behind the scenes that the casual fan doesn't even realize.
Cheers.
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Old 01-29-2006   #3
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I am a firm believer in what you say. The thing many fail to realize is the continuity necessary for the team to work together and be successful. It's so easy to say the line sucks, but they as well as all the other players need to be on the same page. The line was shuffled alot this season so it is to be expected that they won't perform to their capacity. It's like having Johnson move to RB and DD move to wide receiver. They will not perform well under these conditions, they may adapt and improve, but they won't be as good as they are in their natural positions. A large part of this should be put at the coaches feet because they need to adapt to the players strengths, something our previous staff was really not good at. We can say oh so and so suck, but what do you expect from them if they aren't put in a position to succeed. Pitts was a guard at the beginning of the season and was getting paid Tackle money, is it his fault he was in that position? No, the coaches put him there, I don't know the reasons they did some of the things they did, but I believe if we had tweaked some things during the season, hell during some halftimes we would have won more games than we did. This season was a mess, but it wasn't the players fault it was a team breakdown. You can't blame Carr for all the sacks, or the line or DD, they all share the responsibility. What about the wide receivers did they drift toward Carr when he scrambled did they get separation so that Carr could hit them with a pass. This game is really complicated and a mistake during the game can be traced all the way back to the practice field. The same thing applies to the defense, did they keep the offense guessing with blitzes, did the tackles get penetration, the concept of teamwork is knowing that each action depends on another. The players have to depend on each other and on the coaches. When this trust is breached there is a breakdown of the team and if you didn't see that this yr with the Texans then you should really take a better look.
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