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Old 07-26-2006   #1
Bongo59
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Default My 2006 Texan preview.......................

I am doing previews of all the AFC South's teams on our site and I got through three of them so far...............I thought you guys might like to read it and discuss it further.........................


Today at 01:58 PM

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Houston Texans



Team overview



The Texans lifespan in the AFC South is akin to a patient on life support. They have underperformed for yrs and have been badly mismanaged by the GM and coaching staff. Credit goes to Bob McNair in 2006, for getting outside the group think mindset and hiring Dan Reeves to re evaluate the Texans drafts and moves. It became clear to the "Brass" of the Texans that Casserly and Capers were not the dynamic duo they were thought to be once. Their performance in Houston matched that of another Houston icon. Enron. We clearly see how that went. The Texans seem to finally get the message and have now changed their tactics on winning football by choosing a new coach GM and a new way of doing business. Never was this more evident on the eve of the draft when they shocked the football world by telling Reggie Bush he was second best in their estimation. Most have flamed the Texans for this move, but count this author as one who thinks the move was smart long term and fit their needs best. Moreover, their other FA moves this offseason was may have been the first smart moves the Texans have made since 2002. Adding Moulds and Putzier were brilliant. This team is on the upswing. Now will Carr reach his potential or will the great experiment fail. If he flops, passing on VY could set this team back a decade.



Coaching staff



Reeves was the prime mover bringing a young Kubiak into town. Most folks on the outside assumed that Kubiak would transform the anemic Texan O with Bush and revamp the OL very quickly in his tenure. Kubiak's tact was exactly the opposite. His philosophy was formed not only from his days as a QB but as astute student of the game while a coach in Denver. He played in and coached a dominate O while in Denver but he never forgot the moves that had to be made in 97-98 on D that really made the Broncos a winner. Having TD as a RB certainly did not hurt, but the yr of the first SB win they struggled to just get in to the playoffs as a WC and their D played outstanding the the final 6 weeks of the season and were stoudt in the front 7 in their playoff run to the SB title. Kubiak saw the Broncos get better on the OL and DL in 98 and repeat. Many give the credit to TD and all his yds but the real engine behind Denver's wins was the play of the OL and DL those two yrs. Kubiak's plan was born this offseason when he studied all preseason and regular season tapes from the Texans in 2004 and 2005 and realized that the weakness of the Texan OL was not in talent but in an outdate blocking scheme from the mid 1990's. Very few adjustments were made quarter by quarter and game to game. Moreover, the GM and coaches seem married to their choices in scheme and talent until it became obvious to the owner something was wrong. The Texans made the unpopular choice of passing on bush but in doing so revamped their entire DL by taking a talented DE and switching their DL to a 4-3 which better suits the talent they have currently on the roster. They followed that up by securing solid LB in this yrs draft and giving the OL some depth at OT by taking Winston. Many think they did not go far enough with their OL revamping but most insiders think Reeves and Kubiak know full well that Capers was completely hands off with the OL his entire tenure and turned that over to Chris Palmer and Joe Pendry the last two yrs. Those two coaches used schemes that both had used in prior stints in this league at different times that were just outmoded. Kubiak scheme is fresh and battle tested in the current league and he has tied his reputation to getting this OL back with coaching. He also passed on big FA signings and secured a still good Moulds to play opposite a completely frustated WR in AJ. They already have a pretty solid RB core and they shored up the TE postion with spackle to get them buy until they can use a 2007 draft pick to strengthen this weakness. They have jettisoned some of Casserly's draft mistakes and they will likley salvage some of his picks like Babin and TJohnson. Even PBuch may improve with the upgrades they have made to their front 7. Count me as impressed with what Kubiak has done to date. Losing Casserly Pendry Fangio and Capers give the Texans three extra wins to me alone.



The Texan Offense



The Offensive Line will determine how good this team will be. They have a very nice complement to skill players already assembled. But few know that Mike Sherman of the GB packers is reclaiming this OL. In 2005 the Texan OL had an astounding 40 blown blocks lead to complete breakdowns before any play could develop. The most astounding fact Reeves and Kubiak uncovered was that close to 10 percent of the Texans pass plays had a blown block within it far exceeding the rate attributable to just poor talent. It was the scheme, and Reeves agreed. Gary Kubiak will bring a zone blocking system to Houston. Likely staters are right tackle Zach Weigert, left tackle Seth Wand, guards Chester Pitts and Steve McKinney, and center Mike Flanagan was asked to lose weight and get quicker for the new schemes that require them to get out of the blocks quickly and get on a linebacker or safety. Eric Winston looks to be a real nice find in the later rounds. I expect this group's perfromance to improve the most of any group in the entire AFC South. Moulds AJ and Mathis Putzier and DD are very solid group. They have solid reserves behind them all. Carr is an enigma because no one can say truly if he is a bust or did the OL in Houston bust him. Kubiak actions have spoken louder than words, and given his reputation, only a foolish fan would not pay attention this nugget. I think the Texan Offense may be second best in the AFC South this yr. Blasphemy? Maybe but they have many pieces in place and appear to finally have competent coaching and stewartship.



The Defense



Mario Robaire TJohnson and Anthony Weaver.................not too shabby a front four................back it up with Babin Peek and some wide bodies at DT...............then they have Ryans at SOLB Wong at MLB and Greenwood at the WOLB...............moreover, their backups will be Cowart and Rainer, who have starter a long time in this league and Polk who registered 93 tackles last yr................I say their front 7 is loaded. Their DL has the potential to free up every LB to make plays sideline to sideline in the run game...................they maybe a bit suspectible to the TE in the pass game but they will be much better than anyone in Indy Jax or Nashville think. Their secondary will benefit from the scheme change and the improved pass rush that Mario brings. But D-Rob regressed badly last yr...............PBuch made Adam Jone look like a tackling machine, and Faggins was just adequate as the nickle. The SS and FS spot is the soft white underbelly of this D. CC Brown had his moments last yr but he is better suited to SS and not FS.............Earl is an unknown quatity but with their new front seven only a fool would exprect this group to be worse than 05. This is the area I expect the Texans to upgrade in FA and the draft in 07.



Special Teams



The Texans have a solid K in Brown and P in Stanley. Stanley has lead the league in Punts inside the 20 since 2002 with 120. and Brown was 24 of 26 in FG and had his highest scoring output last yr on a bad Texan team. The ST are clearly in a state of flux because their will be a ton of turnover with the losses sustained on the roster and likely demotions to occur after training camp battles. They have enough depth at LB and CB that I think with minor adjustments ST will be adequate. It will take several yrs to get back some depth here. I think Mathis is a star ST performer and a difference maker. He can take any ball to the house fast. I think this part of the Texans overall is avg but has the chance to be special if starters are asked to play teams. The Texan draft likely did little to help ST out much this yr.



Final Preview



It should be obvious to you that I think the Texans are alot better than most would believe on the surface. I think they were coached and managed like a circus sideshow and that Kubiak is a different animal. He has brought in Sherman who is a very solid OL and OC in his own right. They also have a former Oiler ST and TE coach from the late 80's in Rick Smith as GM. He comes from a successful Denver program and gives the Texan continuity at HC and GM. He too has addressed the teams biggest weakness which was on D and not the OL. Being a contrarian here was smart because the proof was in the coaches tape and not on the ESPN highlights. The front seven of this D will be vastly improved and shock many teams early. I think their opener against Philly is perfect. I expect and upset win by the upstart Texans. They Texans have made bold and wildly unpopular moves. Previously, this team made predictable moves and got pedestrian results....................Count me as one who thinks the Houston Texans will be a far differnt animal this yr in the AFC SOUTH. By season end i think they will be a tough out and I think David Carr will emerge as a very good QB with alot of weapons around him. The new zone blocking scheme made OGary and MAnderson and Clinton Portis household names in the this league and I think the Texans have some real solid player behind DD that will do quite well behind the new OL and its scheme................I see the Texans winning 6 games but with some breaks and elite play from Carr or DD and the OL..........they could win 9. Yes 2006 is a new yr.
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Old 07-26-2006   #2
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Quote:
They also have a former Oiler ST and TE coach from the late 80's in Rick Smith as GM.
Huh?

Quote:
then they have Ryans at SOLB
Probably not.
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Old 07-26-2006   #3
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Do not disagree with your good analysis. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-26-2006   #4
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I like your overall analysis...On defense you have the correct names but not in the right spot...as of now

LE- Mario Williams
LT- Weaver
RT- Payne/ R. smith
RE- Peek Babin

Travis Johnson was injuried/in the dog house in OTA

IF wong healthy, I think looks like

SLB- Wong (orr if Wong not healthy)
MLB- Ryans (see Kubiak presser)
WLB- Greenwood
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Old 07-26-2006   #5
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Good read bongo. Thanks for sharing.

Its good to see a "neutral" source from someone who is a fan from within the conference (Titans fan) without all of the ESPN bashing that we're used to.
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Old 07-26-2006   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEXANS84
Good read bongo. Thanks for sharing.

Its good to see a "neutral" source from someone who is a fan from within the conference (Titans fan) without all of the ESPN bashing that we're used to.
Heck, it is good to see someone who can't be called a homer provide a little balance.
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Old 07-26-2006   #7
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I'd drop the Enron crap, and listen to ArlingtonTexan about the defensive guys playing where. Also you make no mention of Charles Spencer who may end up starting at LTsometime this season. He seems to be ahead of Winston(RT) on the Depth Chart. If Wand flounders he maybe gone.
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Old 07-26-2006   #8
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I don't know if I'd call Kris Brown a solid kicker. After last year, I'd but him in the bottom tier of NFL kickers. If a game is on the line, I don't really want Kris Brown up there.
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Old 07-27-2006   #9
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"But few know that Mike Sherman of the GB packers is reclaiming this OL. In 2005 the Texan OL had an astounding 40 blown blocks lead to complete breakdowns before any play could develop. The most astounding fact Reeves and Kubiak uncovered was that close to 10 percent of the Texans pass plays had a blown block within it far exceeding the rate attributable to just poor talent. It was the scheme, and Reeves agreed."

What is the source of this and can you expand on what they saw. This I believe is what a lot of us believed was happening. The reason I ask the question is that we are using basically the same scheme. Was it just the way it was employed and taught? Who were the main culprits?
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Old 07-27-2006   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibar_Harry
"But few know that Mike Sherman of the GB packers is reclaiming this OL. In 2005 the Texan OL had an astounding 40 blown blocks lead to complete breakdowns before any play could develop. The most astounding fact Reeves and Kubiak uncovered was that close to 10 percent of the Texans pass plays had a blown block within it far exceeding the rate attributable to just poor talent. It was the scheme, and Reeves agreed."

What is the source of this and can you expand on what they saw. This I believe is what a lot of us believed was happening. The reason I ask the question is that we are using basically the same scheme. Was it just the way it was employed and taught? Who were the main culprits?
The source was one of the Texan personal men that spoke to titan scout just after the draft ................It became common knowledge around the league what Reeves found and why him and Kubiak wanted to give the OL a chance and why CC was asked to leave gracefully.
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Old 07-27-2006   #11
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The most astounding fact Reeves and Kubiak uncovered was that close to 10 percent of the Texans pass plays had a blown block within it far exceeding the rate attributable to just poor talent. It was the scheme, and Reeves agreed."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibar_Harry
What is the source of this and can you expand on what they saw. This I believe is what a lot of us believed was happening. The reason I ask the question is that we are using basically the same scheme. Was it just the way it was employed and taught? Who were the main culprits?
Ibar--the quote above specifically refers to pass blocking. The Texans are not sticking with the same pass blocking scheme--see references in bongo's article to outdated scheme from the '90's--that isn't talking about the zone blocking scheme for the running game.
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Old 07-27-2006   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aj.
Huh?
I am fairly certain it is just a typo and he meant to type "and" instead of "in"
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Old 07-27-2006   #13
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Yes it was a typo. Sorry about that..........
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Old 07-27-2006   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bongo59
Yes it was a typo. Sorry about that..........
Richard Smith was the ex-Oiler coach now defensive coordinator. Rick Smith is GM formerly of the Broncos. 2 different people.

Also Charles Spencer is in the mix at LT, maybe more than Eric Winston is at RT.

Not sure about some of the positional stuff you said. You got info for that, or are you extrapolating.

Thanks for sharing your point of view. I think what you said on whole is pretty accurate, even if some of the details are a little off. Certainly, it is better (and probably nicer ) than what I could write about the Titans.
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Old 07-27-2006   #15
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here is the Titan preview................

The Tennessee Titans



OVERVIEW



The Titans Caravan clearly is at a crossroads. Gone now are the stars that gave the Titans their identity. Wycheck, Hopkins, EG, Kearse, Rolle, Mason, and now Steve Mcnair. The dawn of the new Titan era arrived as soon as Vince Young was named a Titan at 12:43 Eastern Time the day of the draft. The evolution continued with the selection of a new power RB in Lendale White and was further reinforced with the signing of five key FA. 4 new players and the key resigning of KVB. Floyd Reese clearly heard the voices of the vets in the lockerroom that cried out for change. Jeff Fisher lost control of his key rookie player and it translated into a total loss of team chemistry and trust. This was reflected in the last two games of the 2005 season. The FO and coaching staff have now physically and mentally cut the umbilical cord to the past of the Titans and have have decided to go fundamental in their approach with the new Titans. Even the coliseum has been renamed for this rebirth. Coach Chow and Schwartz have been given the mandate to to run the ball and stop the run at all costs, and position coaches will now be given more say in getting the most out of the younger players instead of counting on seasoned players to right the ship. Accountability has returned to the lockerroom and winning players have imported character back to a undisciplined squad. 2005 was a season where the team took a huge step backward, whereas in 2006, it appears the FO and staff have made the changes neccessary to stop the outgoing tide. The only thing left to unfold now is will the players respond to the new envirnoment........................



The Coaching Staff



The bloom is off the rose for Coach Fisher and his staff. His solid national reputation is now questioned locally, and more importantly by his owner. Fisher has one yr left on a contract, and his staff is also on a short leash. The young roster is long on players with physical skills and talent must blossum and produce in 2006 for Fisher to keep his job. Mr Reese seat is also warm, but he has given Fisher exactly what the staff asked for at the exit interviews conducted last yr. Excuses will no longer cut it in Mr Adams eyes. Fisher penchant for keeping and at times playing a vet over a more talented rookie will be scrutinized early in TC. His loyalty is likely to be challenged in August during cutdowns. His strained relationship with Reese is now public knowledge and he is under pressure to get this young team to produce results sooner than later. The salty taste of the last two games of last yr is a clear reflection of the HC and his staff. Things must change and Fisher has clearly set a different tone in this season OTA's and how he plans to run his team this yr. He has expectations for this team that far exceed those of most observers. The heat extends to staff as well. Coach chow was given a mulligan for last yr for the injuries to the WR and the fact that his vet QB did not give his best effort in the new offense. But Coach Chow was given new tools at WR RB and QB. He was also given a HOF C to rebuild the OL around to create a power running game reminescent of EG days here in Nashville. Schwartz job would seem more complicated given the distractions that occured with Adam Jones and some of the vet Defensive players in the lockerrom last yr . Jones seems to have turned a new leaf and the additions of Thorton and Hope from very successful teams seems to have changed the edge on D already. The team remains very young along the front line but the talent runs two deep at every position in the defensive front 7. Coach Washburn will need to get every ounce of talent from this underachieving group this coming yr. Munch is perhaps the one coach that cant wait to get 2006 started. The OL performance can only go up. It was abysmal in 2005. His group was perhaps the crumbling stone in the foundation that undermined the entire offensive collapse last yr. The performance of the players was the main issue last yr, but getting Roos experience and moving over to his natural spot at LT and bringing in a HOF C with high character and a legendary motor will help. Munch needs his OG to drop weight and forget lasts yrs nightmare performance. Munch will be judged on how the RT spot performs this yr and if Volek is left standing after the first 6 weeks he will face.



The Offense



The keys have been given to Volek and it is his time to show what he has. His fortune is tied to an OL that is revamped and more athletic and younger. The running game should be better with a three deep rotation at RB and the addition of a very underated WR in Givens who is a great downfiled blocker who is physical. The TE's will demand attention and the Titans should be able to attack the seams of even the best D's they will face given their personal. They are deeper than just about any team at TE in the entire league. The key's to this yr's success in the pass game will Bennett revert back to his 2004 yr with another capable WR opposite him and Volek at QB. Can Calico or the 2005 rookie crop of WR give the Titans the deep threat the Offense lost when JMac was traded away. the depth at WR is there. Their best young WR likely will be out until week six is complete. The key on O is running the ball controlling the clock and limiting the mistakes from the QB spot especially the first 6 weeks when the young O will face some truly elite defensive clubs. The fortunes on O heavily rely on the OL especially the play of the new RT and LT. This answer will be obvious by week two when the team faces a fiercesome front 7 from SD. Lendale White has a chance to special early. Coach Chow has a comfort level with him already that will only benefit this player. VY is the wild card..............he could sit all yr or he could be the key to a resurgent Titan O that eats clock and moves the chains at a constant pace. I bet he will make an appearance in every game and he will make an impact sometime this yr. He is too good to sit and he seems to be picking up the pro game faster than the experts believed he would. His leadership is obvious. He already has shown the ability to lead in OTA's. He is a difference maker.



The Defense



This is one area where there is much hope. The front seven has a chance to be dominate if they can stay healthy. Haynesworth has yet to play in 16 games. At times he is the best player on the field and at others he is invisible. the depth at DT is solid and deep. Starks and Long are solid and Mahelona and Clauss are good depth behind a solid rotation. The same can be said of the young pups at DE. Odom Schobel and Laboy have been dissappointing but the light clearly went on for Laboy in 2005's second half. He really stepped it up but injuries have slowed his progress. Odom had a great preseason in 2005 but his sister's death and his recovery from surgery took alot out of him mentally and physically. He has all the tools. Schobel has been a major dissapoointment but injuries have derailed him and kept him off the field. He has the blood lines and the opportunity to change his fortunes given the penchant for rotation in JS system. KVB numbers will fall off because he is now a marked man and will be accounted for at all times, but his motor will keep him in the mix all yr. His issue is he must remain on the field all yr to make this D special. His play will be more infectious given the talent infusion brought in to date. OLB and MLB were a gaping holes last yr. Many of the faults in run and pass D started and ended at this spot because of a huge talent gap that was removed with a lack of cap dollars. Thorton and Bulluck may form the best OLB crew in the AFC this yr. No team has a duo who can play the outside pass game like these two have shown over the past four yrs. Bulluck was deflated at the end of 2005 but the additions to the team on D, and the attitude adjustment the team has gotten seems to have given him the edge back he lost. Sirmon moving inside is a plus. Given his slow foot speed and sure tackling and cerebral appraoch he is a better fit in the middle than outside. The additions of Nande and Tulloch may make him expendable and if nothing else their speed, tackling, and physicallity will improve depth on D and performance on ST. No area is under a bigger microscope than CB. Most experts agree that the secondary was the weak link of the team. The addition of Hope and his attention to detail and his paternalistic approach to date with Jones and Hill look to have made a huge impact. Jones performance can only improve from his rookie campaign in 2005. His play at CB was poor. Hill's surpising play, however balanced the scales at CB last yr and the staff is looking at him continuing his improvement in yr two with his experience he got on the job last yr. Many point to a lack of depth at CB but they underestimate the loss of Fuller and and the fact that Thompson will now be able to used in coverage against 3 and 4 WR sets which will be common place in the AFC South this yr. Woolfolk is an adeqaute back at the nickle and can play outside in a pinch and Gardner has a chance to move up with Waddell's injury................Look for Finnegan to surprise many in Titanland. He is very fast and appears to have better ball skills than advertised.......................he will be tested early in camp when the pads are on...................S was a problem last yr but this yr the position seems very deep with Fuller back Hope installed and Thompson back for depth. Lowry will also make his presence felt at some point in 2006. He is very cerebral and has a knack of being around the ball. The S spot will gain a ton by having Thorton and Bulluck on the outside taking the flats and seams away from teams on both sides of the field. I expect the S spot to be the biggest improvement in the Titan D. The additions will make it easier to attack teams with blitzes this yr for the first time since 2003. There is alot of flexibilty now at all three levels on D.



Special Teams



Hentrich is steady and dependable. I expect his performance to improve with the offense getting better and the defense tightening up. His role will once again gain importance. I think on a more competitive team he gets into his game mentally and his performance improves. Finding Bironas off an Arena team was another bonus. I expect Rob to dominate on KO's but I expect Bironas will face more pressue on FG's because I expect the team to be in more games late. This is the only area of ST that worries me. Bironas'KO's however are a clear plus. The play of Waddell at gunner will be sorely missed on punt and KO coverage but I expect that to be offset by Nande and Tulloch and Wade on ST's. Wade may also be in the mix for gunner as he seems to have a nasty edge to him. Amato will also return to action and is a stoudt ST player. While most have considered Gardner a bust he earned points on ST's especially last yr. He could stick just from his ST performance alone. He will replace Waddell as our number one gunner. I expect a rookie CB to make a push on ST. Finnegan is a guy to watch. He is super fast. Lowry I think will lead ST in tackles this yr. The guy is extremely physical and smart and very underrated. I also expect to see some starters be on ST this yr because over depth is improved. ST play will be solid in 2006 unless injuries cause younger players to start and remove them from teams. Much talk has been made about Wade taking over for Adam Jones on punts but that would be a classic Fisher mistake since the one part of Jones game that is clearly elite is his ST play. He needs to be the punt returner regardless of his contribution on D. Tim Brown did double duty the first 12 yrs of his career and so can Jones. KO returner will come down to Roby, Jones and Wade..............in a rotation...............but a birdie tells me that a rookie RB may make his initial splash in this spot................Regardless ST is a strong spot on this team.



FINAL OVERVIEW



The FO made a conscious effort to bring in winners in FA and at the same time upgrading key spots that were devoid of talent during the cap purge. Mawae will have a great effect on the young OT and a bigger effect on the vet OG. Roos should make a huge jump this yr going back to his natural slot and having 16 games under his belt. I expect the OG and S to show large strides in performance compared to 05. The front 7 on D could make this team a tough out, and they may carry a young unproven CB group. This D has the abilty to generate TO's that could mask many short comings that have been discussed this offseason. The early schedule is tough but if the Titans can navigate the first 6 games they have a chance to win more than the 6 games that most expect. I would expect the OL and QB play to hold the team back early but I expect a very strong second half and a big improvement from the last two draft classes to show up performance wise in 2006. Ultimately, this team's chemistry needed reformulation but I credit both Reese and Fisher in getting this right with the additions they made and moving camp out of everyone's comfort zone. They have them headed down a path to getting back to basics and playing very physical and nasty football. The incorporation of LenDale White and Vince Young could make this team perform far better than one would predict because both are elite playmakers. Moreover, I do think that the division has come back to the Titans and to the Texans. I see the Jags not matching 12 wins and I think the Colts schedule and FA losses are going to limit their win total compared to the last two yrs. They are both still the class of the South but a key injury to either could make them doormats very quickly in this improved division. Expect this team to grow week to week and play their hearts out. I see 6 wins personally, but eight to ten wins are possible if the Titans get some of their more talented players to play in elite status in 2006. I think one of rookie Offensive selections will do something unexpected to the upside. White has a chance to make a mark early.


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Old 07-27-2006   #16
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You provided some interesting insight but this reads more like a review than a preview. No need in attacking the previous staff and rehashing what happened last season, been there-done that. I think you should focus more on what we can expect scheme wise, how the players can potenially excel in the new system, and how the free agents signings and draft picks will impact the team.
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Old 07-27-2006   #17
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My attention span is too short to read all of that. Especially in such long paragraphs, i get lost in it.
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Old 07-27-2006   #18
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Originally Posted by Titan "Tack" Fan
My attention span is too short to read all of that. Especially in such long paragraphs, i get lost in it.


Put your finger on the screen and move it as you read (the way they taught you in the Tennessee educational system)
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Old 07-27-2006   #19
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Put your finger on the screen and move it as you read (the way they taught you in the Tennessee educational system)
If that was an insult, it wasn't a very good one.
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Old 07-27-2006   #20
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If that was an insult, it wasn't a very good one.

kidding kidding
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