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Old 05-10-2004   #1
Mistril48
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Default Projected 53 man roster, Offense

While many things will change from now until opening day, including injuries, late free agents from June 1 and waiver pick ups, I would argue that the offensive portion of the 53 man roster is largely set. If you assume that three spots are locked in with the kicker, punter and long snapper, we can guess that each of the offense and defense will have 25 spots, although it can vary somewhat to fit in returners & gunners (is the returner an extra WR, or CB).

I believe that the Texans have 22 offensive spots spoken for already, if they are not 'hidden' on Injured Reserve. I believe the 22 are:

1 QB David Carr
2 QB David Ragone
3 QB Tony Banks

4 RB Domanick Davis
5 RB Tony Hollings

6 FB Jarrod Baxter
7 FB Moran Norris

8 WR Andre Johnson
9 WR Jabar Gaffney
10 WR Corey Bradford
11 WR Derick Armstrong

12 TE Bennie Joppru
13 TE Billy Miller
14 TE Mark Bruener

15 LT Chester Pitts
16 LG Todd Washington
17 C Steve McKinney
18 RG Zach Wiegert
19 RT Todd Wade

20 OT Seth Wand

21 OG Milford Brown
22 OG Fred Weary

In addition to the above, they will probably keep a third RB (maybe Wells), a 5th WR (maybe Sloan) and perhaps a 4th tight end (maybe Holloway). While they will need an additional offensive tackle to practice, they may just use one from the practice squad.

Remember, even if they have the above on the 53 man roster, less will dress for the game. For example, the 46 man game day roster (with 3 QBs) will still have a kicker, punter and long snapper active. Likely that means 22 (3 QBs) on offense and 21 on defense. Accordingly, we may only dress 4 WR, 3 TE, 2 RB 7 OL, 1 FB; etc.

If the above is correct, then really a lot of late round picks and free agent pick ups are fighting for 1 or 2 spots.

Give me your thoughts?
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Old 05-10-2004   #2
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My thoughts are I will let the experts handle it while I plan my year as a fan.
We can argue till we are blue in the face but that will not change a thing
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Old 05-10-2004   #3
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wheres the fun in that?
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Old 05-10-2004   #4
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i think it looks dead on ... would probably scratch a fb & sub wells tho.
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Old 05-10-2004   #5
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Assuming Joppru and Baxter are fully healed, I think you've got it pretty much nailed.

The biggest battle will be at WR. I wouldn't say Derick Armstrong is a lock, but he'll really have to regress to not make the 53. You never know what might happen in camp, I thought Avion Black would make the team last year too. That 5th WR spot will be interesting as there are a host of guys shooting for one slot (assuming Armstrong is #4) and whether that position is even open will be influenced by what happens in the special teams/return game. If Duff, or anyone else shows anything on returns, it will be hard for JJ to hold off guys like Dugans, Sloan, and the NFLE guys.

Baxter is an interesting case. He could end up replacing Mack as the short yardage back and play FB. He played his first year at FB but he seems to be a better fit at heavy RB than at FB. He's a good runner and can catch out of the backfield but he is nowhere near the blocker that Norris is. Conversely, Norris is not nearly as effective as a runner/pass catcher out of the backfield as Baxter. They kept 4 RBs and 2 FBs last year so Wells may luck out one more year. I think I'd rather see Baxter at #3 RB instead of Wells.

They'll keep at least 9 OLs so it will be a battle between Powell, Dawson, Silvers and Jones for that slot.

They kept 3 TEs last year so Holloway could be on the hot seat provided Joppy returns fully healed and they don't carry 4.

On the other side of the ball, the defensive secondary is where the biggest battles (besides WR) will be in camp with Duff, Earl, and Lord trying to win one of the few precious slots.

One thing that's obvious. We have a helluva lot more depth this year than the last two years.

Last edited by aj.; 05-10-2004 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 05-10-2004   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aj.
... Baxter is an interesting case. He could end up replacing Mack as the short yardage back and play FB. He played his first year at FB but he seems to be a better fit at heavy RB than at FB. He's a good runner and can catch out of the backfield but he is nowhere near the blocker that Norris is. Conversely, Norris is not nearly as effective as a runner/pass catcher out of the backfield as Baxter.
I agree with your observations. I really like Baxter as a short yard back, running behind Norris and as a backup fullback, assuming he is healthy and is carrying his weight on special teams. That would be a lot of contributions in the little jobs that don't get a lot of recognition.
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Old 05-10-2004   #7
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I am not sure Todd Washington will have an easy time making our team this year. He has real slow feet, and we are supposedly going to more of a zone-blocking scheme. You cannot be lead footed and play in a predominantly zone scheme (if in fact we do change our schemes as rumored).
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Old 05-10-2004   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelBlue
I am not sure Todd Washington will have an easy time making our team this year. He has real slow feet, and we are supposedly going to more of a zone-blocking scheme. You cannot be lead footed and play in a predominantly zone scheme (if in fact we do change our schemes as rumored).
SteelBlue - Can you refresh my memory. When they signed re-Washington, I think at the time they signed Walker, Smith and Wade, did they give him much of a signing bonus. I would think that would signal if he is a risk to be cut. I have no real feel for who will start at left guard among Washington, Brown or Weary. I guess Brown started last year and Washington finished?
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Old 05-10-2004   #9
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You don't ever want your franchise QB to worry about his blind side. I want Carr protected, and if that means leaving Pitts at LT then so be it. DD will have to live with only 1200 rushing yards because I don't want Carr getting blindsided.
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Old 05-10-2004   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistril48
SteelBlue - Can you refresh my memory. When they signed re-Washington, I think at the time they signed Walker, Smith and Wade, did they give him much of a signing bonus. I would think that would signal if he is a risk to be cut. I have no real feel for who will start at left guard among Washington, Brown or Weary. I guess Brown started last year and Washington finished?
I am not sure about the bonus for Washington, but that is a good point. I will have to look that up if it is available. As to the starters, I think Brown has the edge, but I also think that Weary is probably the best athlete on the line and should have an edge if we do in fact change our blocking schemes radically. If we do more trapping and area-blocking I think Weary may have an edge, although I have thought that he may be our future center for about a year now (I'm not real high on McKinney, but this blocking scheme change may help him too...he's more of a finesse guy). Early in training camp will likely give us a bit more clarity on how the line shakes out, but I am not sure if mini-camp will tell us much. I am anxious to see how we change our blocking schemes.

Bottle, I think Wand is a 3-year project. I just can't see him replacing Pitts until next year.
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Old 05-10-2004   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bottle-O-Bud
I agree. With no injuries, Pitts will be our LG and Wand will take LT. Wand is ready and we need Pitts inside to create for DD. Wiegert can't do it alone, DD needs to run to the left and not 99.99% to the right. The need for balance in the running game is more important than protecting Carr's blind side at this point. We did got Wade who will Solidify the right side which will leave Carr to only worry about the left. Not that Wand is chump change either..
Don't see Wand taking over for Pitts this year absent huge improvement. For perspective (including the Washington factor that made Pitts' job harder last year):

Domanick Davis

Carries/yards/ypc
left side:57/223/3.9
middle:60/228/3.8
right side:74/313/4.2

Better to the right and the Texans seem to know it, then again that is where the TE was most of the time. For comparison, call this the TE or more optimistically the Wade factor Ricky Williams averaged 2.9 to the left and 3.8 to the right last year.
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Old 05-11-2004   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelBlue
I am not sure about the bonus for Washington, but that is a good point. I will have to look that up if it is available.
Washington signed a three-year, $2.9 million deal with a $500,000 bonus, according to The Chronic.

Dude, that avatar of yours is beginning to frighten me.
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Old 05-11-2004   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Texan
My thoughts are I will let the experts handle it while I plan my year as a fan.
We can argue till we are blue in the face but that will not change a thing
I thought that's what we do as fans... bounce ideas of eachother to pass the time, right.

Anyway, I'd be interested to see if we devote a roster spot strictly to a PR/KR again this year, or if we make it a pre-requisite to contribute more with that roster spot.
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Old 05-11-2004   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapseats32
I thought that's what we do as fans... bounce ideas of eachother to pass the time, right.

Anyway, I'd be interested to see if we devote a roster spot strictly to a PR/KR again this year, or if we make it a pre-requisite to contribute more with that roster spot.
Each year it gets harder and harder to devote roster spots to PR/KRs as we mature as a franchise and develop the bottom of our roster. While a PR/KR is CRUCIAL, so are gunners and we have good ones in Vaughan and Bell, although they have limited upside as corners. Also, we may have to keep bottom roster spots for developmental projects like Glen Earl (if he's like Hollings, he'll only contribute on a limited basis) and Jamaal Lord. What about Symons? If he's not on the PUP list (which means he can't practice), we either keep him on the roster, or waive him and risk losing him trying to get him to the practice squad. I think this year it's going to be really tough finalizing the bottom of the roster.

I think this explains why Casserly wanted a second #1 pick (Babin) instead of several lower picks. Babins takes one roster spot. The titans have to find several roster spots for their selections. They probably can do it, because they have salary cap problems, but it would be tough on us. For example, if we'd used our third round pick on a CB but had to cut Faggins to keep him on the roster, or drafted a guard but had to cut Brown or Weary, would we have been further ahead?
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Old 05-11-2004   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky
Washington signed a three-year, $2.9 million deal with a $500,000 bonus, according to The Chronic.
I would guess that if the Texans gave Washington a $500,000 signing bonus, they will at least keep him on the roster as a backup if he loses out the starter job.

I believe Jason Simmons got a smaller signing bonus. Because the players make so little per week during camp, I think the Texans viewed this as making the camp compensation more fair for Jason if he doesn't make the roster. If their are injures, he makes the roster. If not, he won't make the roster, but he'll be more fairly compensated for his efforts during the summer.

Just a guess.
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Old 05-11-2004   #16
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Simmons will make 535k this year if he makes the team. His bonus last year was only 25k on a 530k salary so I expect his bonus is 50k or less this year. With the DB strong draft, he will really have to impress in camp and preseason to make the team.

Washington filled in admirably for McKinney in preseason last year. He has added value because he can play center and guard (as can Weary) but Washington showed me more last year than Weary has shown me in two years. This season is a career crossroads kind of thing for Weary IMO. I hope he steps up.
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Old 05-11-2004   #17
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I have dogged Washington a bit, but I'll admit he is an excellent run blocker when he has a guy right in front of him. He just doesn't have very quick feet. I'm hoping Brown and Weary can step up and secure the LG slot also.
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Old 05-12-2004   #18
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I would say that WR and S are the two most difficult areas to decide this year. What if the new WR's are good gunners and WR's? I would say that JJ, the two gunners, and Wells will have to impress to stay around. This is a good sign. We are starting to get more options.
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