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Foxsports.com analysis on Kubiak
Houston Texans: Gary Kubiak
Kubiak's offenses in Denver have always been predicated on balance between the run and pass. The blocking scheme in the Denver running attack is a thing of legend, elevating five different rushers over the heralded 1,000-yard mark in the last 11 years. In fact, the system has produced a 1,000-yard rusher in 10 of the last 11 seasons. The running game commands respect, and therefore opens holes in the passing game. The passing game flourished in the mid-90s with John Elway, experienced great heights again with Brian Griese in 2000, and made a new player out of Jake Plummer. He will look to apply that scheme to the Houston offense to make Domanick Davis and, more importantly, David Carr efficient and effective players. Former Packers coach Mike Sherman is onboard as coordinator.
The Denver system rewards runners for their patience and instantly turns the feature back into a fantasy star. While the system may work, you do need the linemen to run it. The Texans selected two linemen in the middle rounds of the 2006 NFL Draft, but it will be at least another season before the Texans will be able to fully implement that part of the playbook.
Kubiak preaches ball control, efficiency and quick decision-making for his quarterbacks. In Denver, Jake Plummer has been sacked half as many times as he had been in Arizona. The tight end plays a major role in this system, as the quarterback is taught to go through their reads quickly in order to avoid negative plays. Additionally, though the quarterback does take an occasional shot downfield, the system works off of a short passing game.
Who benefits? Jeb Putzier, Domanick Davis, David Carr
Past stars: Shannon Sharpe, John Elway, Steve Young, Mike Anderson, Terrell Davis
The Broncos relied on speed at linebacker, strong cover cornerbacks and a big rush from Trevor Pryce to reach the pinnacle of the sport. Kubiak knows that the Texans defense he inherited is far from equipped to repeat those successes. With that said, Kubiak made the point loud and clear about the need to improve the defensive side of the ball with the selection of Mario Williams at No. 1 overall.
Robaire Smith and second-year player Travis Johnson do an adequate job of stuffing the middle, but the Texans lacked the playmakers in the linebacking corps to finish plays. The Texans are banking that the pressure applied by Williams will help to pinch the edges and force a cut-back to the middle of the field.
Dunta Robinson has the ability to become a strong cornerback in the league, and Phillip Buchanon needs to adopt the cornerback mentality. That is to say, past mistakes or errors in coverage need to be forgotten as quickly as they occur. The Texans will also look to find better ways to utilize the talents of Antwan Peek and Jason Babin to make them more consistent contributors. Babin may be used as a speed rusher to piggyback on Williams' efforts. He may be a source of cheap sacks for leagues using IDP.
Who benefits? Mario Williams, Jason Babin
Past stars: John Lynch, Al Wilson, Champ Bailey
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