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Old 04-16-2006   #1
blockhead83
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Default Pre-draft O-Line Shuffle

HPF is writing on their main page that Wand has been working as LT during and after practice, with Mike Sherman paying extra attention to him and his pass blocking. Pitts is at LG, Flanagan at C, McKinney at RG, and Wiegert at RT. It's interesting that they're looking at potentially trying Wand at LT again after the old staff apparently gave up on Wand altogether last year. When Wand did step in as LT I think our offensive line had it's best performance, which is still not saying much but with new coaching and a new center I'd expect to see some improvement.

Anyways, it's still very early and we have no idea if they'll draft any OL in the draft, but this is the first I'd heard about what the new coaching staff will be doing with our offensive line. Hopefully Wand can make use of Sherman's tutoring and give us a starter's performance at LT.
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Old 04-16-2006   #2
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and hopefully they can draft Eric Winston and they can duke it out for LT and let the loser take the RT spot.

also goes with our tradition of having o linemen with their last name starting with W. Weigart, Wade, Weary, Washington, Wand. Winston just fits on that line.
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Old 04-16-2006   #3
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Wand might do just fine with a better center and now having more experience, but the thought of him back at LT is making me :brickwall :brickwall :brickwall

I just hope that they keep him on a short leash. If he hasn't improved, don't stick with him at LT--just give a shot for a while, that's fine.
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Old 04-16-2006   #4
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Heres what I see as possibilities:

For Tackles, it seems we have the following:
Pitts - Did very well as LT, although tends to be more power than finesse, and can get beat by the quick speed rushers going around him. Tends to jump the gun, and hold when beat. Seems to be most natural and dominates at LG

Wand - Showed a lot of promise coming out of college but had a lot of difficulty during his rookie season and took almost all the heat for the OL failures. Wasn't really given any coaching last season, and so still may viable. Tends to be a little passive, however, and doesn't seem to respond well to competition.

Winston/College - Both of these guys are quick, solid and fit Kubiak's scheme perfectly. To improve on matters, Winston should still be there in the 2nd and Colledge should still be there in the 3rd. Installing a rookie into the LT when are first games are against the Eagles (Darren Howard and Kearse) the Colts (Freeney and Mathis) and Redskins could be a disaster

Wade - Rated as the best FA tackle a few seasons back, but has underachieved in pass blocking while still holding his own in run blocking. Is a huge road grader type, though, and so may not fit very well into Kubiaks zone scheme

Wiegert - Filled in very nicely at RT last season, but is getting extremely old and has a lot of injury concerns. Would be a great starter, but can't be counted on for a full season.

Centers:

Flannagan - Past probowler and proven signal caller for Brett Favre. Reads defenses well and is a very decent blocker. Has played with Sherman for years and knows his coaching style. Had a serious injury 2 seasons ago but appeared to be ok last year. If healthy, could be our best OL

Hodgon - Did ok last year filling in as rookie, but tends to be undersized and can't make the calls for the line. Give him a few years and maybe he'll be ready, but as of now, should be used as a backup

Guards:

Pitts - See above. Based on his size and driving force, I feel he'd be perfect in the guard spot. With a decent LT and C surrounding him, he should have no problems

Weary - Was resigned very quickly by our staff. I don't really know that much about him

McKinney - played much better at G than he did at C. Allowed larger DTs to immediatley collapse the pocket on Carr. Good signal caller, but should return to his old form from Indy in the G spot

Wiegart - Can play G just as well, if not better, than RT. Again, see above

So I guess my optimal OL would be just like yours above, the only problem is the rookie starter. The main issue I see is that our only viable backup LTs are Pitts and Wand. I'm not ready to trust Wand, and I'd rather leave everyone in one position for the entire year. This means no moving Pitts from LT at the beginning to LG when the rook is ready to start. It will be ineteresting to see what the coaches do
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Old 04-16-2006   #5
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the first thing that popped in my head was the 10 million dollar signing bonus for wade. i wonder if his days are numbered here...

wand-mckinney-flanagan-weigart-pitts
now that could work for me.

but this makes for an interesting draft/camp since flanagan is the only player who has a lock on a line position. pitts moving back to LG, mckinney on the other side of the center, no wade, more wand, and weigart still at RT
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Old 04-16-2006   #6
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I really like Marcus McNeil in this draft. Wand seems to slow and watching Eric Winston at the Senior Bowl, he got owned.

Of course we all know D Brick should be the pick, but I guess improving your team where it is needed most is not popular these days.
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Old 04-16-2006   #7
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I disagree with this constant tinkering with Pitts at the guard spot. Pitts' strengths are his lateral quickness and speed, but when he has played guard in the past, he hasn't been able to handle the strong defensive tackles coming straight ahead.

He should be left at LT. He does a nice job there, and was not, and is not now the main concern about the line. I think the current experiment with Pitts at guard now is actually the experiment with Wand by the new coaches to see what they have exactly in Wand.

If they do, as I expect, take an LT with the 2nd round pick, then I see Pitts going to RT, not LG. But remember, a rookie LT is a rookie LT is rookie LT. He's going to make some silly mistakes that will some of you screaming 'bust'.

But this thing with Pitts at LG is never going to pan out IMO.
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Old 04-16-2006   #8
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I was wondering when this would get "officially" reported. As of now (and admittedly there is a long way to go until the first game) the starting line is:

Wand-Pitts-Flanagan-McKinney-Weigert

I think the new coaches know how to bring out the best in players. Sherman working out with Wand after practices to teach him how to fix his big weakness is certainly better than Pendry yelling at him after every snap and then benching him. Wand has all the physical skills - with Sherman tuning up his footwork, expect to be surprised.

Here is something I wrote up on a thread that went astray a couple of days ago (post 11 on on this thread http://www.houstontexans.com/fan_zon...ad.php?t=21166):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runner
1) I agree we'll see Pitts stop moving around, but he'll stick at guard. The coaches will teach him how to play a team game from that position and fix that weakness. Left guard.

2) I'm not a big McKinney fan, but I trust our coaches' evaluation far more than mine. Right guard.

3) Even an average center improves our line tremendously, especially since it also makes our guards stronger. This goes a long way to us getting a consistent pocket for Carr to step up into, which then helps our tackles. Nice move - it all fits together.

4) This coaching staff is the best thing to happen to Wand since he's been here. They recognize he has all the tools required to be a left tackle, and they are good enough coaches to teach him the techniques to make him our franchise left tackle. Surprise, surprise - the left tackle we've been looking for has been here all along.

5a&b) As has been pointed out, we have great coaching for the o-line for the first time in franchise history. Our players will be better, because the team will take advantage of their strengths and work the scheme and teach to reduce their weaknesses.

6) I think they'll draft for depth, especially at right tackle as Weigert winds down his career.

7) Weigert will be valuable at RT. He may need some tight end help at times, but we have that TE help now. The coaches will take advantage of this and devise offensive schemes make players better as a unit then they are individually. He has injury concerns, but we'll probably have Wade and a rookie as back-ups. He is a leader on the line, although that goes unnoticed here.


Wand-Pitts-Flanagan-McKinney-Weigert.

Add in some top notch coaching and our problems have been addressed nicely.

Also, posts 87 onward on this thread from a week ago make interesting reading.

http://www.houstontexans.com/fan_zon...t=19958&page=5
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Old 04-16-2006   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldeagle
Of course we all know D Brick should be the pick, but I guess improving your team where it is needed most is not popular these days.
This has been the biggest gripe I've had about this stupid draft. We have the chance to get the premier LT that will the answer at that spot for the next 10 years . . . and yet we can't take him because he won't "put fans in the seats".:brickwall
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Old 04-16-2006   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldeagle
I really like Marcus McNeil in this draft. Wand seems to slow and watching Eric Winston at the Senior Bowl, he got owned.

Of course we all know D Brick should be the pick, but I guess improving your team where it is needed most is not popular these days.
Wand's combine numbers (which appear to have been on a slower track if you look at the numbers for all the participants) were quicker than Ferguson's on the agility drills. His main strengths are quickness and speed, but that is just the coaches and scouts talking.
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Old 04-16-2006   #11
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Old 04-16-2006   #12
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come on draft.. this kinda gets me excited with the OL if Wade gets pushed out .. yes I know we pay him a bunch of money, but if this OL works ..that means we have coaches that can bring out the best in players and we actually are starting to have depth where people are going to have to start fighting for their starting spots..

This is something we haven't seen in Houston since the early to mid ninties ... position battles


of course I realize this post is very premature given the draft hasn't come and training camp hasn't started ,but say we draft Scott in 2nd round or whoever.. that can mean more depth/position battles

I guess I feel more comfortable with our Offensive coaches than last year..
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Old 04-16-2006   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus
This has been the biggest gripe I've had about this stupid draft. We have the chance to get the premier LT that will the answer at that spot for the next 10 years . . . and yet we can't take him because he won't "put fans in the seats".:brickwall
Amen.

I do have a question though. With as much money as we're paying Wade, & with it looking like he won't be the starter next year, what does everyone think we can get for him in trade? After all, he's in his prime, is in great shape, & is a great drive blocker for the running game.

Any thoughts on what we could get & to whom we could trade him? Or, are we just going to keep him as our backup RT?
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Old 04-16-2006   #14
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With Wade's and Wiegert's injury history, it may be prudent to keep them both at RT
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Old 04-16-2006   #15
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Many posters have been saying that the team was a victim of bad coaching. If you truly believe this, it logically follows that there are players on the team that are better than they've been allowed to show.
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Old 04-16-2006   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGalt
With Wade's and Wiegert's injury history, it may be prudent to keep them both at RT
Wade was injured last year, but prior to this last year, he'd only missed 3 games in 5 years & 2 of those were in his first year here. Assuming he is healed from his injury this year, there are no injury concerns in regards to Wade.

As for Wiegert, well, that's another story.

How about we pick up Andrew Whitworth in the 3rd round?
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Old 04-16-2006   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runner
Many posters have been saying that the team was a victim of bad coaching. If you truly believe this, it logically follows that there are players on the team that are better than they've been allowed to show.

Very true, I still say D brick, but you are right, we will see though.
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Old 04-16-2006   #18
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I really think that on draft weekend they are going to pick up some 3rd or 4th round type players like Wand and Weary. I don't think that they will be expected to compete for a starting spot, but will be developmental players being groomed for 2007 or 2008.

If Sherman can bring around Wand (I think he can) and with Pitts and McKinney moving back to their natural positions, the O-Line is not going to be a big problem in 2006.

Do I dare say it could be a strength?
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Old 04-16-2006   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGalt
I really think that on draft weekend they are going to pick up some 3rd or 4th round type players like Wand and Weary. I don't think that they will be expected to compete for a starting spot, but will be developmental players being groomed for 2007 or 2008.

If Sherman can bring around Wand (I think he can) and with Pitts and McKinney moving back to their natural positions, the O-Line is not going to be a big problem in 2006.

Do I dare say it could be a strength?

Wow. Wand at LT. I know some people have been saying it, but wow. If Sherman can make a line that is basically mostly the same people into something that doesn't suck, it will freak my stuff up. If it becomes a strength of the team, Sherman will be gone next year. (Though if they just turn out not sucking, he will probably be gone next year anyways).
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Old 04-16-2006   #20
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This is Sherman's ticket to becoming a H.C. in 2007.
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