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Old 08-03-2006   #1
texan279
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Default Morency shelves the shake-and-bake

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/4090970.html

Vernand Morency takes the handoff, cuts to his right and follows a wall of blockers for a modest gain.

For a guy whose running style might resemble an episode of Dancing with the Stars, this is literally a step in the right direction.

"I told him before camp I didn't like the way he ran," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said of Morency, a second-year running back. "He danced too much and spent too much time making moves in the backfield. He's worked hard to adjust to what we want."

Kubiak won't be confused for Simon Cowell, but his harsh assessment has reverberated with Morency as he competes for playing time in the backfield during training camp.

Kubiak's message is simple: He prefers a running back with quick feet, good vision and one-cut ability. The formula is part of the reason Denver's zone blocking schemes have been successful for years, and Kubiak hopes to duplicate it in his first season in Houston.

"We preach a one-cut philosophy," Kubiak said. "We tell (our running backs) you get one cut and no more. That's it. We don't want to wiggle. We want to go downhill and try and make a play."

The change has meant more discipline for Morency, who spent part of Wednesday's morning session working with the first-team offense. With Domanick Davis still hobbled by a sore knee. the Texans have been splitting practice time among Morency, veteran Antowain Smith and rookie Wali Lundy.

"They are definitely teaching me how to run the ball in the NFL," Morency said.

During his three-year career at Oklahoma State, Morency used his elusive style to rush for 2,661yards and 23 touchdowns. As an NFL rookie, he rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns while being used primarily in third-down situations.

"My style in college was to try and make people miss and get yards," he said. "Here, you have to have faith in your linemen and scheme, which I do. I understand the blocking schemes and what coach Kubiak wants."
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Old 08-03-2006   #2
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Very nice article. To the point and littered with good qoutes from Kubiak and Vern. Know what I mean Vern?
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Old 08-03-2006   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser Toro
Very nice article. To the point and littered with good qoutes from Kubiak and Vern. Know what I mean Vern?
I really like how Kubiak so far just comes out and says things, no beating around the bush, no excuses, he tells it like it is, like in this quote.

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I told him before camp I didn't like the way he ran," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said of Morency, a second-year running back. "He danced too much and spent too much time making moves in the backfield.
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Old 08-03-2006   #4
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Originally Posted by texan279
I really like how Kubiak so far just comes out and says things, no beating around the bush, no excuses, he tells it like it is, like in this quote.
That's all I wanted for the past four years, not knocking anyone but does this sound familiar.

"I'll say this, players are steadily progressing and we're getting better every week"

As for Vernand I think if he gets it together there are shades of Bo Jackson in this guy he just needs to reinvent himself as a power back, with speed of course.
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Old 08-03-2006   #5
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Comparing Morency to Bo ??? Get outta town...
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Old 08-03-2006   #6
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More than anything, I love his assessment of the difference in philosophy, re: the Texans under Kubiak and his time at Okie State. He seems to understand the concept and now needs to get himself acclimated to actually following it. If he can do that, I like his longterm impact on the team. He has solid NFL talent, IMO.
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Old 08-03-2006   #7
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Originally Posted by xtruroyaltyx
Comparing Morency to Bo ??? Get outta town...
Not comparing the two, Bo Jackson was my all time favorite, I said shades of Bo meaning little things. For example

1. Gerth wise- Morrency 212 Jackson 215 out of college
2. Jackson was a juker his first year in the NFL after he had a shoulder injury his junior year, Morrency is a natural juker
3. When Bo took the year off from football he came back effective but not powerful, as time went on he combined speed and power, with a shake of agility and became on hell of a back. Believe it or not Morrency now has coaches will teach him how to be more effective, but even with the old regime and all the "dancing" he still averaged at least 4 yards a carry I believe, so the guy has some game in him.

I followed Bo his whole career and Vernand is no Bo, but everyone is compared to someone and through my eyes I see bits of him, okay very miniscule bits but bits nonetheless. It's like when you played high school or college sports, whatever position you were you tend to focus on that position a little more when watching a game so I'd like to think I hold some credibility.
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Old 08-03-2006   #8
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Last year I expressed an opinion that we should give some young guys like Morency some game time and experience in a lost season. I think that made way too much sense for Dom...who has to schedule his common sense in his day planner or would not act on it. I've been high on Morency for a while though. I can't wait to see him run this year as I think he has what it takes to be our feature back. Dom and Vernand should be a nice 1-2 punch, but we need a good short yardage back/goal line back since this isn't the strength of either Dom or Vernand. Dom's chronic knee problem will probably relegate him to 3rd down back as his career goes forward. I'm not sure I can see him holding up as a feature back (long term) with his chronic knee problems now.
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Old 08-03-2006   #9
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I agree with Vinny, but I will go further. By at least the end of 2008, DD is out of the league, maybe even after 2007. I wouldn't even be totally shocked if this year is it for him. I think the knee is chronic, and usually those things are degeneritive when talking about cartlidge on cartlidge.

I agree with the poster who said it's nice to see Kubiak just sort of tell it like it is. Kubiak is like a breath of fresh air. It's sort of like growing up in mainland China, where the Govt controls everything that is put out in the media, and is very secretive, and very generic (the Capers era), and then coming to America and getting a chance to see true freedom of the press. I marvel on a daily basis when reading the Chronic on just how open and honest he is.
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Old 08-03-2006   #10
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Good for Morancy!

I didn't like his running style either. Reminds me of Barry Sanders and I didn't like his running style either.

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Old 08-03-2006   #11
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Here's one thing that I don't understand. People keep thinking that Davis can't come back from an injury or mutiple injuries, but it is very possible to come back and be healthy.

Three players off the top of my head that have had bad injuries:
Willis McGahee
Edgerrin James
Kris Jenkins

These guys have all had major injuries, and I'm sure most of you know who they are. It is possible people. Kris Jenkins tore up his knee 2 of the past 3 seasons. Somehow people expecting a huge impact from him, but discounting D. Davis' ability to come back.
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Old 08-03-2006   #12
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When I saw Morency run in college, he stood out to me. I was impressed with the way he made plays, didn't notice the juking so much but didn't see an awful lot him, most of the time he was making big plays and already in open field. I just remember being impressed with, I was happy that we drafted him. And now that he is "adapting" to the new system, Well it is the only thing that can help take the sting out of possibly losing DD, well that and some W's.
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Old 08-03-2006   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jparrish
Here's one thing that I don't understand. People keep thinking that Davis can't come back from an injury or mutiple injuries, but it is very possible to come back and be healthy.

Three players off the top of my head that have had bad injuries:
Willis McGahee
Edgerrin James
Kris Jenkins

These guys have all had major injuries, and I'm sure most of you know who they are. It is possible people. Kris Jenkins tore up his knee 2 of the past 3 seasons. Somehow people expecting a huge impact from him, but discounting D. Davis' ability to come back.
The difference is the nature of the injury. 'Tearing up a knee' is a completely different, albeit initially far more severe injury; typically involving torn ligaments, which can with surgical skill, focused rehab, and a little luck, often be sufficiently repaired. Torn cartilage is initially a much less severe injury (when I tore mine, it was almost unnoticeable, and I finished my workout; didn't go down and didn't have to be carted off) yet oddly much more difficult to repair, if it can be "fully" repaired at all. Arthroscopic surgery often is nothing more than a temporary fix and the condition only ever worsens with continued use; especially at the level of an NFL athlete. Once cartilage is torn, it isn't repaired; it's only essentially sanded down to remove the rough frays that can cause pain and fluid in the knee. At higher levels of damage, parts of the cartilage are destroyed altogether and cannot be repaired/replaced.

McGahee and James both tore an ACL. Not sure what Jenkins did. Davis tore cartilage. He had his knees scoped and I'm not sure if he had them injected as well; in any event, the scope isn't always enough, and the injection (a lubricant like substance) doesn't always take well.
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Old 08-03-2006   #14
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Yeah, I know all about that stuff Jerek. I tore my knee up pretty bad in HS. Tore my ACL and had meniscus damage. The rehab worked really well though. I'm just saying that it's definitely possible to return from a major injury. People just seem to be thinking Davis has no chance to recover.
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Old 08-03-2006   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jparrish
Yeah, I know all about that stuff Jerek. I tore my knee up pretty bad in HS. Tore my ACL and had meniscus damage. The rehab worked really well though. I'm just saying that it's definitely possible to return from a major injury. People just seem to be thinking Davis has no chance to recover.
Good deal, and I hope I have a similar recovery. I don't think anyone was saying he couldn't play any more; all I was saying was that his condition is questionable now and that he might be out a lot more than any of us expected a couple weeks ago, for this year for purposes of recovery and healing. More of a cautious word than anything else.
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Old 08-03-2006   #16
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This is good to hear about Morency. I liked the potential I saw in him last year, but he did tend to get happy feet in the backfield. Of course, with no hole to hit half the time, I thought he was probably just dancing while hoping something might open up.

This new coaching philosophy is definitely a breath of fresh air like Porky mentioned. Not only are we getting more inside information direct from the coaches, but we all just feel like this is building towards something positive. I'm not going to disparage the previous staff, but I never felt these vibes from them.

Our running game is going to be consistent, which opens up the rest of the game. If we control the clock, our defense gets more rest, so they come on the field fired up. If the enemy defense has to respect the run, it opens up lanes for our receivers. Man, I get stoked just thinking about the possibilities.
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Old 08-03-2006   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jparrish
Yeah, I know all about that stuff Jerek. I tore my knee up pretty bad in HS. Tore my ACL and had meniscus damage. The rehab worked really well though. I'm just saying that it's definitely possible to return from a major injury. People just seem to be thinking Davis has no chance to recover.
I understand your perspective. I don't know if you've watched the discussion on this topic but it's been carried over for a long time. No one knows exactly what's going on with DD's knee but he hasn't progressed as expected per what the team has said or through the opinions of posters on this board with medical backgrounds or those with medical history that is similar to DD's case. That's the way I'm interpreting what people are saying here.
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Old 08-03-2006   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jparrish
Here's one thing that I don't understand. People keep thinking that Davis can't come back from an injury or mutiple injuries, but it is very possible to come back and be healthy.

Three players off the top of my head that have had bad injuries:
Willis McGahee
Edgerrin James
Kris Jenkins

These guys have all had major injuries, and I'm sure most of you know who they are. It is possible people. Kris Jenkins tore up his knee 2 of the past 3 seasons. Somehow people expecting a huge impact from him, but discounting D. Davis' ability to come back.
Those guys all had serious injuries and came back, from what I know DD's original injury wasn't as serious and has been out for 8 months now. I've pointed it out in other DD threads, but look at Carson Palmer, he has been in camp for a month and his knee injury was considered to be possibly career ending and he had surgery after DD had his.
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Old 08-04-2006   #19
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Morency has executed the shake n bake
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