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Old 03-02-2006   #1
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Default Thoughts on the Whole Team

I thought I’d put a lot of my thoughts into a single area and try to kick-off some discussion. I’m not presenting this as a know-it-all; these are just my opinions and I’d be willing to change many of them given a convincing argument.

You won’t see a lot of player turnover in what I list here; I think the reactive “think before you do anything” defense and offense we have used severely limited our players. In addition, our coaches did not do enough to use our players’ strengths and cover their weaknesses.

There are a couple areas where I want to use a specific pick for a specific person/position. Overall I think we can get some impact players in the draft on defense and some quality players on both sides of the ball to groom for the near future.

I think we can afford one big free agent splash and a couple of reasonably priced average contributors. This is OK, since average is an upgrade for some of our positions. The collective bargaining agreement situation makes this a very volatile area right now.

I want as many draftees and free agents in camp at every position as possible, and I want everyone have to earn their job based on performance.

QB – David Car is the starter. I think Ragone is worth a look at 2nd string during training camp. I don’t think he was suited for the Texans “read and react” offense that they ran the first couple of years of his career, and I don’t know what the past season’s offense was supposed to be. He would be better in a more aggressive offense. I think that the champion team of NFLe would beat the college champion every time, so I give Rags props for being the MVP of NFLe. It’s better than a college championship and Heisman, as far as evaluating a player for NFL readiness. He’s better than Banks was, IMO. I think for 3rd string we should get a veteran free agent to manage the team in case of injuries.

RB – this is tough because Bush is a special player. If these rumors about cutting DD are true that also concerns me. It shows that the coaches aren’t evaluating him as highly as the previous staff, and they have a history of making something out of average backs. However, I like Davis, Wells, and Morency, because I’d rather use our high draft pick for Mario Williams. I’m not sure about Norris.

Receiver – Dre of course stays. I’d like to see Gaffney re-sign and Armstrong get a close look at camp as a possession receiver. I see Mathis as a stretch the field/4th receiver player. I’d look at drafting one in the later rounds. Bradford has to go. I would work on basic catching with every one of our receivers. They have got to stop dropping very catchable balls.

TE – I think we need a Bruener type for short yardage situations, and call me a champion of the underdog but I’d like to see Joppru step up and play well this year. I think he could help a lot. However, given his injury problems I’d like to see us pick up an average dual threat tight end in free agency. I say average because I don’t want to break the bank here – we’ll do that fixing the middle of our line. It would be ok to find a sleeper in the middle of the draft, but that is easier said than done. I’d like to see some hands drills with all of our TEs too. Rivers is replaceable.

OL – I would try to make our big splash in free agency to bring in a quality, proven center. I think this solidifies the line immensely. If we can stop the pressure up the middle it helps our tackles a lot. I also don’t see any rookie making an immediate impact on the O-line. On the right side I see Brown at guard. I thought he played well in the “team play” aspects of the offensive line last year. Putting him at RG lets him take advantage of his strength and helps cover his weakness of poor quickness. I think Weigert will hold down the RT spot. From what I’ve heard Wade is still limping, but it’s only been about 4 months. I don’t know where his recovery should be at this point. If Wade can play, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Weigert at RG and Wade at RT, if the coaching staff can restore Wade to the level of play he showed at Miami. I stay with my prediction of Wand at LT with competent coaching and Pitts at LG. I know this is controversial, but I am more concerned about the whole line than what is best for Pitts as an individual player. I think putting Pitts at guard further reinforces our weak middle and helps turn a weakness into a strength. I would draft for depth at tackle and guard on the first day and then groom the rookies for the imminent departure of our veterans like Wade and Weigert. Am I recycling old players? Yep – but the coaching was truly the root of a lot our problems. There are myriad examples of middle and late round o-lineman being quality players in the league. I still think some of ours have that potential.

DL – I think we are set at tackle with Payne, Smith, and Johnson. I would draft Mario Williams with our number one, whether we can trade down or not. I think he is the rookie that could help this team the most in an area of glaring weakness – that’s why I pick him over Bush. Babin and Peek can fight out the other DE starter/second string roles. They could also rotate to help their endurance in case teams try to wear them out by running at them a lot.

LB – we need to find a middle linebacker somewhere, and I don’t know if Wong is the man for that after his injury. We need to take a good look at free agency and get someone we know can perform at ML. However, if we can pick up a good, proven defensive end in free agency I would attempt to trade down and get AJ Hawk with our first pick. I think we can make do at outside linebacker with what we have but would also look at draft prospects there.

CB – Robinson stays. Some people think Buchanan can play in the right system. I guess at his cost we give him a shot in training camp and keep him as a back-up if he can’t start. We need to find a third corner in the draft or free agency.

Safety – We need help here, either to add depth or take the starting jobs. Hopefully we can find some players in the draft and a reasonably priced veteran to give us a couple of years while the young players develop.

Kicker, Punter, Long Snapper - keep them.

That's it!
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Last edited by Runner; 03-02-2006 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 03-02-2006   #2
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Originally Posted by Runner
OL – I would try to make our big splash in free agency to bring in a quality, proven center. I think this solidifies the line immensely. If we can stop the pressure up the middle it helps our tackles a lot.
DL – I think we are set at tackle with Payne, Smith, and Johnson. I would draft Mario Williams with our number one, whether we can trade down or not. I think he is the rookie that could help this team the most in an area of glaring weakness – that’s why I pick him over Bush.
I agree with most of what you said, but especially what I have quoted above. I am on the Bentley/Mario Williams bandwagon 100%. I think that would be the best way to immediately improve our team, and then take the best Oline prospect with the 1st pick in the 2nd round of the draft. I do think we need to target an actual FS in FA, but I think we'll be ok at SS. That's my piece.
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Old 03-02-2006   #3
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Nice breakdown runner. These are my thoughts:

QB: refer to the other 20 billion threads on this MB.

RB: I personally think that DD, Morency, and Wells are a great stable of RBs. If I was the coach, I would start DD, with Wells subbing him in and out. During the 2nd and 3rd quarters, I would play Morency more to give DD the rest, and because I would want DD to carry the rock during the 4th because I trust his hands a little more. Bush would be awesome, but there are more pressing needs.

WR: AJ = solid. Mathis is not fully proven to me, but I'd like to see him more out of the slot to use his speed against the nickle corner. Gaff really ticked me off in the Buff game by not even turning around, but I think he is a great posession WR, good for converting 3rd downs. Armstrong doesn't play enough, so as far as I'm concerned, he's as unproven as Mathis. The Texans definetley need a #2 guy, Moulds or another FA.

TE: what's that. I would like to have Putzier as the more Veteran TE, and maybe draft one if the Texans trade down.

OL: I believe that Kubiak will instill a much better scheme, and the members of the o-line the Texans have will be much better with solid coaching. I'd like the Texans to draft either D'Brick or Mangold just to sure up the o-line, and bring in a FA.

DL: The Texans have good DTs, and I think that TJ could really show Houston why they drafted him. Players are actually going to be playing the positions they were meant to play. I don't know how good Peek will be at DE, but I believe Babin will prosper at DE. I'd like to see that kid of NC St on the Texans, who could cause some real havoc.

LB: I think that Greenwood will be much improved moving back to I believe was WSLB, someone correct me if I'm wrong. All I do konw is that he wasn't a MLB. Other than that, the Texans need some definite help at MLB Anybody they draft will be an upgrade.

DB: D-Rob = solid. Other than that, pretty much no one else. I really like Marshall out of FS (sorry, bias). He could be a solid addittion, and plays physical, which is something the Texans lacked last year. P-Buch could be better if he plays man-to-man, but it will be interesting what the new coaches do with him. Also, whatever happened to McKenzie? Safety wise, the Texans are playing back-ups, but back-ups that aren't lousy, just not starting material.
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Old 03-02-2006   #4
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I just hope that "it was the coaches, offensive scheme, defensive scheme, Casserly, David Carr... fault" is correct. As Carr is only one left (Casserly is basically zipped up) that alone should fix most of our problems from 05. A good draft and a starter or 2 in free agency and we be in good shape. Whoopee!
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Old 03-02-2006   #5
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Originally Posted by Bobo
The facts are that Capers took this team from its infancy with a bunch of rookies and rejects and in three years took them to the cusp of a .500 season. Those are facts and that's the makings of a good head coach -- maybe even great. You will be wishing for the days of Capers after three years of Kubiak for sure.
We've had this discussion before. Capers didn't take a whole bunch of rookies, he had a vetern defense and they weren't a whole bunch of scrubs. Taking a team to a sub par .500 record isn't the sign of a good head coach- that is a sign of mediocrity and then falling flat on your face to a 2-14 season the next year is a sign of a BAD COACH, especially when you release good players, because you either think they're too old or you can't evaluate talent. (Glenn, Sharper, Foley, and others) and to make it worse you can't even evaluate your own staff. (Palmer, Pendry, and Fangio). You talk about what he did after 3 years. Take a look at what other coaches did after 3 years during the same time, on equally bad teams. M. Lewis, Lovie Smith, and our divisional rival Jack Del Rio. Those are good coaches, Capers is not, good D Coordinator, good person, terrible head coach
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Old 03-02-2006   #6
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Nice run down Runner.

I think I'll jump in on this as well.

QB: Cutting Banks was a little unexpected, but it was a good move. Ragone should be able to hold down the #2 spot on the depth chart. I think we see one of Cassereley's late round flyers on a QB pick here, but I'd prefer we pick up an UDFA like Nealy or someone like that. With the recent CBA related troubles I wouldn't mind us picking up a veteran guy on the cheap (Guys like Kitna, Weinke, Griese, etc. are rumored to be cap casualties).

RB: I think it's very likely that Wells will be with another team next season. The Texans will likely make him an offer, but I'm sure another team will beat it. That would leave us with Davis & Morrency. Bush is an enticing pick, but I'd much prefer to see the pick used on either an OT like DBrick or on the defensive side of the ball with Williams or Hawk/Greenway. Maybe we pick up a FA to fill out the roster. I'm guessing maybe a Duckett type of pounder.

FB: I really like Norris, but he's purely a blocking FB. If Kubiak is looking for him to make catches out of the backfield he'd be better off with a TE or H-Back in for Norris in some formations. I think we only carry Norris at FB, but I don't think he'll see the field as much as he has in previous years. He'll be in on short yardage or goal line situations but not much else.

WR: AJ is the primary of course, and I think Mathis provides us a good option on the opposite side. He allows us to stretch the field more despite his inexperience. I like Gaff, but there's a real possibility of him leaving. I'm alright with that since Armstrong is basically a clone of Gaffney. Either one of them would be ideal in the slot, and if Gaff stays we won't be likely to draft a WR this year. Maybe we make a FA pickup here, but I doubt it.

TE: We definately need some work here. However, I don't think we'll see a total overhaul quite yet. I'm thinking we pickup a TE in FA for a reasonable price (Putzier or Campbell perhaps), and keep Rivers and Breuner. Pittman of course stays because he's our LS. I feel that Rivers would be a 3rd TE on most teams, but his receiving skills may give him the edge over Breuner for the #2 spot.

OL: Obviously the weakest point of our team throughout it's history. I think we have some quality talent here that is untapped. I think Brown will do well under Kubiak. I also think we might see a reinvigorated (ok strike the re-, just invigorated) Seth Wand. I'm leaning towards an open and honest competition for the LT spot. If Pitts wins the job outright by all means keep Wand on the bench, and he can serve as the primary backup at RT or LT. I'm thinking that we grab an OT (Brick, Winston, Scott) who sits back and learns the first year, and competes for a starting role in year two. If Pitts loses the LT spot to Wand I think we see him back at LG. We keep Weigert at the other G spot, and Wade hopefully regains his form and locks down the RT spot. Yes we're still left with McKinney at C, but Hogdon could push him and hopefully lock down the starting spot by year two. Weary would be the backup at one of the Guard spots, and I think, assuming Pitts get the LT spot, we draft a G in the 2nd day of the draft to provide depth.

DL: I agree with most that our DT depth is fine as it is with Johnson, Smith, Deloach, and Payne. We really need help at DE. Babin might be able to be an every down type of DE, but I'd like to see Peek come in as a situational pass rusher from time to time. I think Peek would still be an OLB in the base 4-3, and with a simplified defense he'd excell. Hopefully the Texans are able to land Mario Williams, but failing that perhaps a FA pickup to tide us over until we can pickup a youngster to lock down the spot.

LB: I would like to see the Texans pick up a MLB in FA. The pool of talent is thin, but with all this "Bloody" nonsense we might see some more viable options. Guys like Scott Fujita, Akin Ayodele, Barrett Ruud, or Derek Smith would all be worth a look. I think we keep Polk as a backup at MLB and special teams guy. In this scenario Wong could very well be given his walking papers. I'd hate to see him go, but he's the odd man out. Then at OLB we would have Peek on one side, and Greenwood at the other. In some situations Peek could be replaced with Orr. The OLB spots aren't ideal, but I think we could get by with them for the time being.

CB: Dunta is your lock down guy, and PBuc/Faggins are left to fight it out for the starting spot. I don't think PBuc is a good fit for the Cover 2 system, but he may have to do for next year at least since he's very cheap. I think we pick up a CB in the draft. One that is more of an ideal fit for the Cover 2, and McKenzie will fill the 5th CB spot.

S: I think Earl and Brown will hold down the SS spot, and I think we might see Sanders back at the FS spot. Simmons is likely gone. We definately use the draft to either bring in an immediate starter, or at least provide depth. Maybe grab a Cedric Griffin in the 3rd or 4th to man the FS spot.


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Old 03-06-2006   #7
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My philosophy is that we have a chance to drastically improve the offense this offseason, and I am willing to risk having a less-than-stellar defense. So while we should do a lot on defense, I don't think we will make many changes.


RB – I still think Bush is the breakout Running Back that the Texans need. I agree that DD deserves more look, but IMO, the truth is that the guy was always injured. I hate that, cause I really liked his abilities. But I still think we need the Reggie.

TE – I want Bennie to play and play well. But IMO, the reality is that we need a replacement here. Davis/Pope is just not likely, based on the assumption that we take Reggie. This is where I look to Dave Thomas. I think he will be a sleeper.

OL – We need to patch up the middle. I still think Wand/Pitts will be the left side. I think they need to start looking at a replacement at RT, and that is where I look to the draft - Winston. Third Round.

DL/LB – This is a glaring weakness, but I don't have an answer to it. Draft? Free Agency? If possible, the other two second/third round picks go to here. If we can afford that one great Linebacker or DE in Free Agency, it would probably go a long way, but I don't know that it is there.

If I didn't say anything, then I agree with you. I am crossing my fingers with the new DC. I am hoping that new coaching will do a lot for this team.
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Old 03-06-2006   #8
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Great post Runner, and I am sorry for not seeing it earlier. I think I agree with every single point you make. Even the speculative stuff is pretty much in line with my own thoughts on the subject!
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Old 03-06-2006   #9
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QBs:

Carr is our guy, he is an improvement of plummer, thats right I said it, he is faster stronger and has wheels. All he needs is the awareness... I think Kubiak will bring that to him. It is good Carr and plummer are similar so Kubiak has experience with him. As for backup, Ragone has raw talent, as for 2nd string maybe... but i dont wanna spend much money on some old veteran to chill out on the bench.


RBs: Bush and DD would be a crazy tandem, people are like we already have a decent running back corps, well decent doesn't do it, thats the problem with the texans we are "decent" in ever group (minus o line) lets have something that teams actually have to gameplan against.

WRs: Bringing in Bush stretches the field for AJ, he is our number one guy and that is it. Gaffney shows glimpses of greatness as does Armstrong, and Mathis... put that man on the field, he makes plays, and people cannot touch him.

TE: I would like a more solid TE, if Fasano is available in the 2nd or 3rd round, I would love to see him for the Texans.

Oline: Greatest need, but not addressed in the draft, Kevin Mawae, I would LOVE to see him at center, that puts Mckinney at one guard and that solidifies the inside of our offensive line. Tackles bring in one FA or maybe address it in the draft.

D Line: We dont need to draft a player, Peek, Babin, Smith, Payne, Johnson...thats 5 good linemen, we are running a 4-3, not a 6-3.

Linebackers: Wong is a solid OUTSIDE linebacker. We need a FA and a draft to fill the other two holes.

DBs: Robinson is a solid number 1 corner. Buchanan is a good #2 for the price, and give him one more year to prove himself. Glenn Earl is a good safety and he will make plays. We need one more safety in my opinion.
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Old 03-06-2006   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oso
I am crossing my fingers with the new DC. I am hoping that new coaching will do a lot for this team.
Keep in mind that Calhoun was the assistant coach in Denver and he oversaw the defense there. I am sure Richard Smith will not be the only dude running things there.
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Old 03-06-2006   #11
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Originally Posted by yourfavoritetexan42
QBs:

Carr is our guy, he is an improvement of plummer, thats right I said it, he is faster stronger and has wheels. All he needs is the awareness... I think Kubiak will bring that to him. It is good Carr and plummer are similar so Kubiak has experience with him. As for backup, Ragone has raw talent, as for 2nd string maybe... but i dont wanna spend much money on some old veteran to chill out on the bench.

RBs: Bush and DD would be a crazy tandem, people are like we already have a decent running back corps, well decent doesn't do it, thats the problem with the texans we are "decent" in ever group (minus o line) lets have something that teams actually have to gameplan against.

WRs: Bringing in Bush stretches the field for AJ, he is our number one guy and that is it. Gaffney shows glimpses of greatness as does Armstrong, and Mathis... put that man on the field, he makes plays, and people cannot touch him.

TE: I would like a more solid TE, if Fasano is available in the 2nd or 3rd round, I would love to see him for the Texans.

Oline: Greatest need, but not addressed in the draft, Kevin Mawae, I would LOVE to see him at center, that puts Mckinney at one guard and that solidifies the inside of our offensive line. Tackles bring in one FA or maybe address it in the draft.

D Line: We dont need to draft a player, Peek, Babin, Smith, Payne, Johnson...thats 5 good linemen, we are running a 4-3, not a 6-3.

Linebackers: Wong is a solid OUTSIDE linebacker. We need a FA and a draft to fill the other two holes.

DBs: Robinson is a solid number 1 corner. Buchanan is a good #2 for the price, and give him one more year to prove himself. Glenn Earl is a good safety and he will make plays. We need one more safety in my opinion.
QB-Unfortunately, it looks like you're right...Carr is our guy. I still don't think that he is an improved version of Plummer. I contend that even if we do fix our Oline issues, Carr will STILL lead us to numerous unnecessary sacks.

RB-I don't think we need Bush and since I've explained why many times, I won't go into too much detail....except to say that if we had a decent passing game, teams WOULD have to gameplan against our current stable of RBs.

WR-Definately need a solid #2, but I do believe that Gaffney, Armstrong, or Mathis could possibly develop into what we need...if given the chance.

Oline-Mawae is too old to be a long-term solution and I don't know how well he'd fit into the zone-blocking scheme. This area MUST be addressed in the draft w/ at least one pick IMO.

Dline-What?! Do you not understand the personnel needed to change to a 4-3 system? Payne, Smith, and Johnson are DTs and only two of them can/will be on the field at the same time. That leaves Peek and Babin as our only two DEs. Even if they excel in this area, if one of them gets injured we have NO depth. This area MUST be addressed either by FA or the draft.

LB-Wong was a decent MLB and good OLB BEFORE his injury. No one knows how he'll respond post-injury or even when he'll be able to return. Our biggest need w/ this group is definately a stud MLB. Orr/Greenwood could hold down the other two spots, but depth is needed here as well.

DB-DRob is the man....PBurnt is NOT a decent #2 corner for ANY price, even if he was playing for free...based upon his performance last season (did you seem him all last season?) Earl/CC Brown can hold down the SS spot, but we need a good FS.
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