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Old 08-17-2006   #1
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Default Upon Further Review

disclaimer - it's 3am & i went out partying earlier, i shouldnt be posting but i'm going to anyways, hopefully this is coherant.

i had a chance to rewatch the game in detail last night and a few things stood out to me, some a reinforcement of what we already know, and some new impressions (i was focusing exclusively on the lines through the first 3 quarters) ...


babin's never going to be great. he will be good however. he's above average in every way, but isnt overwhelming. he looked exactly the same against every player he went against versus KC as he has against everyone else when in a 3pt stance. good size, good speed, good quickness at the snap, good fundamentals, good strength. combined, that's going to make for a starter that's going to help the texans win games. babin WILL lead the team in sacks this year and is also very strong against the run.

i'm dying to see spencer go up against first stringers. it's going to take him a season to adjust to the speed of the NFL and time to learn, but his combination of quickness & size is going to make him a man among boys very soon. he's going to need some coaching to keep his feet under him, but spencer's upper body is overwhelming - the play was over for the defensive end as soon as spencer got his hands on him. he showed serious dominance in his first appearance as a texan. i hope pace plays this week, because he's the closest comparrison i have at this point. as i said in another thread, i like wand & think he has all of the tools, but wand is going to be out of a job by opening day if he doesnt develope a mean streak real quick.

mario needs to slow down. he seemed entirely too eager and appeared to overthink most plays (basically "looked like a rookie"). the game will slow down for him noticably each game, but i'd really like to see him get as many reps as possible (safely) before the season starts. mario wont have an impact until he settles down. if and when he does however, mario's going to be a highlight every weekend. it's entirely too early to give any real analysis, but mario looked most comfortable at LDE. mario's performance has been diagnosed, but a little unfairly IMO. while mario wasnt focused on by the defense, he did see initial double teams and was cut on more than one occassion. when he was "blocked by tony gonzalez" was on running plays where mario stood up tony and pushed him back 2 yards. the rookie mistake was being caught up on the blockers and not fighting towards the ball.

ryans is going to be a stud. i guess that's all i've got to say about that.

dunta robinson, orr, peek, & simmons need to be signed for the next 10 years. these guys sole purpose in life is to hit people ... hard. orr had one of my favorite plays when he took himself out of the play by flattening the fullback during a run in the first half, but the fullback never went looking for orr after that play. simmons once again knocked himself out hitting people at 90mph.

payne not only needs to start, he needs to be more vocal. payne should be the leader of our defense and demonstrates it with his play. first string, second, or third ... you cant block payne with 1 guy. he also doesnt stop until the play's over. payne literally will go chasing a receiver after a 60 yard throw, and he should be the example that our defense follows. if there's one word to describe payne's rush technique (atleast in last week's game) it's "leverage". any time payne was 1vs1 against a lineman, he literally grabbed the blocker and threw him to the side (obviously why he was chosen as a 3-4 NT, but he should translate relatively well). the only time i saw payne out of synch, was on a quick snap, but he still held the LOS.

i dont want to say it, but i have to. weigert looked great. he had a little extra spring in his step and was initiating contact very well on both passing & rushing plays. where he really stood out to me was with a tight end on his side, weigert played a pulling tackle and went hunting ... not to block someone, but to flatten someone. weary also looked pretty solid most of the time, the best being a complete walling off during lundy's first TD run (i'm pretty sure it was weary).

i love our run blocking, BUT we've got a lot of work to do. i saw way too much of our guys tripping over eachother. the cut blocks looked forced and the outside lineman was unprepared - trying to move in that direction instead of being aware and moving to the next level (they need time to gel, sorry it hurt me to say it). that being said, watching our rushing plays is bliss. even with shaky execution, the scheme looked fantastic. i thought that i was fully aware of how zone blocking was supposed to work, but you dont appreciate it until you see it in motion. defensive tackle, linebacker, safety, it doesnt matter ... our guys moved in one direction and hit everything that got in that path - if it's not in your path anymore, move on until someone is and hit them as hard as possible (as the guard's cut block eliminates both the DE, his DT, and with any luck, the OLB).

with that said about our run blocking scheme, i say once again ... DD rushes for 1500+ yards if he can stay healthy for 14+ games. he runs stronger than smith, has more initial quickness than lundy, and better instincts than any rb on the staff. DD is a top 5 fantasy pick on the off chance that he can get and stay healthy (neither being very likely at this point).

peek is and always will be a liability on rushing downs. i'm sorry, i like him as much as anyone else here, but he's a pass rusher. his tendancy to overrun plays and his inability to push the pile is the opposite of what is necessary to stop the top rushing teams. he doesnt have the instincts or awareness of babin, nor the technique and lower body strength. he's a pure 3rd down guy, but should be out there on EVERY 2nd or 3rd and long ... peek is impossibly quick off the line. i'd trust kalu or weaver much more to come in for first downs and short yardage in relief of babin/mario.

cook looked terrible outside of the initial kickoff IMO. luchey was a little better, but i honestly didnt pay any real attention to him. there's good reason that joppru is rumored to be seeing more time at fb/hb.

putzier is going to catch 50+ passes. dave casper was the ghost, putz is going to be the phantom ... both houston fans & opposing teams will be wondering what that "tight end" is doing in a texans offense.

carr's "one bad throw" was going to be bad nomatter what. he didnt have a running lane and from the few angles that i could see, didnt have a single open target. his tipped pass to AJ was as good as it could be. great route, perfect pass ... the defender simply made the play by his fingertips - congrats to the defense there.

flanagan is the most important pickup of the offseason (outside of coaching staff). i'll leave it at that.
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Old 08-17-2006   #2
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Scooter,
Great recap. Thanks.
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Old 08-17-2006   #3
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good work......
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Old 08-17-2006   #4
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...very nice post with some good points, and the way you break up your post into short paragraphs is a nice touch that makes your post an easy read!!

We have not heard much about Babin, except for his potential out of college, so it's great that he could be a 'force' this year. He's in his 3rd year with a lot of playing time at different positions in 2 types of defenses, so he 'mirrors' what many posters have said about the hated word 'gel.' IMO, he's done 'gelling' and will have a 'break out' season. Peek, too, has a lot of playing time like Babin and should be a 'havoc wrecker' this year. Payne will be Payne, which is good. Weaver is being counted on to alternate between DE and DT, so his play is crucial--

Saying the above, Mario needs to understand that he does not need to be 'Superman' on the defensive line, as we have a good group--starters and back-ups. I agree that he needs more playing time in pre-season, with an emphasis on learning as he begins playing more by instinct than 'playbook diagramming.' However, like Babin and Peek, he will not be everything we expect him to be 'over night,' but--with our support and patience--he could 'gel' sooner than later.

...almost forgot, Scooter, all the press I read on the TE's was how 'great' Daniels played-- blocking and catching--what's your 'take' on him??

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Old 08-17-2006   #5
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Good Read...
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Old 08-17-2006   #6
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Good post, Scooter.

I think our running game looked pretty good for the first pre-season game. I agree that it is a work in progress, but this is as good as it's ever looked in an pre-season game we've seen. But I'm not sure about DD. His injury seems to be rehabbing a bit slower than it should, and I think the coaches know a lot more than they are revealing. One of our other backs will have to step up and prove themselves, but I think we'll still be alright in the end.

I agree with you on Putzier. Dude is going to be Carr's secret weapon, and IMO, going to be a huge positive for our offense.
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Old 08-17-2006   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter
weary also looked pretty solid most of the time, the best being a complete walling off during lundy's first TD run (i'm pretty sure it was weary).

......

flanagan is the most important pickup of the offseason (outside of coaching staff).
The breakdown on the Lundy TD run was not so much the Weary block, but the overreaction by #50 Kawika Mitchell on the play. Now perhaps in the zone blocking scheme, Weary peels off the NT that he double teamed with Flanagan and picks up Mitchell if he stay in the lane... but Mitchell saw Flanagan blcok left and immediately vacated that gaping hole where Lundy walked through. He should of at least had a chance for a solo tackle, not saying that Mitchell could have stopped him.

Flanagan is important I agree, but there were a few plays when Smith carried the ball where Flanagan just got blown back off the LOS. It was moderately scary how hard/fast he went backwards on run blocking. I think he will be solid, but I would bet he is better pass blcoker than run blocker.

Smith is useless in my opinion. It's easy for me to call from the tivo, but... he twice missed the hole to run through. On one of the first running plays, he didn't follow the cook block between RT and RG, which sealed an opening. Instead, Smith ran it up Flanagan's rear. It seems that Smith just runs twoards the line and leans forward until he falls. Doesn't explode into an opening. I wasn't high on Antowain and would rather use Lundy, Morency, and Taylor and get them experience this year.
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Old 08-17-2006   #8
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Can anyone say "House of Payne!" Enjoyed the review. I am just getting too darned excited. Where are those barbituates when I need them?
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Old 08-17-2006   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Barrel
I agree with you on Putzier. Dude is going to be Carr's secret weapon, and IMO, going to be a huge positive for our offense.
I agree with you, but I would have liked to have seen DC complete a single pass to the TE, or Jeb have a single catch in the game...
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Old 08-17-2006   #10
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I agree with you, but I would have liked to have seen DC complete a single pass to the TE, or Jeb have a single catch in the game...

..good point! I expected to hear more about him, Weaver, and Cook--any take on their play or situation?
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Old 08-17-2006   #11
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coundn't agree with you more. good post. you sound more cohearent half-drunk than some of these guys sober.
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Old 08-17-2006   #12
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Originally Posted by Meloy
Can anyone say "House of Payne!" Enjoyed the review. I am just getting too darned excited. Where are those barbituates when I need them?
Won't go that far, will say give me the over avchievers/ believers every time.

Very nice read. JFTR[Just for the Record}, what was your beverage of choice ? Yours drunk looks better than mine sobber.
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Old 08-17-2006   #13
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wow, what a night ... sorry about the book of rambling lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsip
...almost forgot, Scooter, all the press I read on the TE's was how 'great' Daniels played-- blocking and catching--what's your 'take' on him??
i really didnt pay much attention to him honestly (and have forgotten most of what i did see at this point). he caught 3 of the 4 thrown his way, but outside of that i didnt take notice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcwilson
The breakdown on the Lundy TD run was not so much the Weary block, but the overreaction by #50 Kawika Mitchell on the play. Now perhaps in the zone blocking scheme, Weary peels off the NT that he double teamed with Flanagan and picks up Mitchell if he stay in the lane... but Mitchell saw Flanagan blcok left and immediately vacated that gaping hole where Lundy walked through. He should of at least had a chance for a solo tackle, not saying that Mitchell could have stopped him.

Flanagan is important I agree, but there were a few plays when Smith carried the ball where Flanagan just got blown back off the LOS. It was moderately scary how hard/fast he went backwards on run blocking. I think he will be solid, but I would bet he is better pass blcoker than run blocker.

Smith is useless in my opinion. It's easy for me to call from the tivo, but... he twice missed the hole to run through. On one of the first running plays, he didn't follow the cook block between RT and RG, which sealed an opening. Instead, Smith ran it up Flanagan's rear. It seems that Smith just runs twoards the line and leans forward until he falls. Doesn't explode into an opening. I wasn't high on Antowain and would rather use Lundy, Morency, and Taylor and get them experience this year.
mitchell did overrun the play, but it's hard to say whether flanagan would've broke off and picked him up or not since both he & the LG were engaged. the "walling off" that i was speaking of was by the RG who i assume was weary. flanagan was also fun to watch on that play because he just kept on pushing until the guy he was blocking was in the end zone.

flanagan seemed to me to struggle on his initial burst on running plays. it takes him half a step longer to set up and might need help from the guard. once he was up with his hands on someone, he generated a great push and good judgement on when to move on to the next defender. on passing downs he looked fantastic in that game, but we need to see more blitzing to really guage what he brings.

it's hard to say it after just 1 preseason game, but i'm not sure smith makes the team. he looked old out there. he had almost no burst, he missed the cut back on more than one occassion, and when he did get sprung, couldnt hurdle or beat one man to take it around the corner. lundy has the tools that we're looking for and taylor should be adequate as the #3. that depends on DD though. if DD's not healthy, we'll keep smith but i'm guessing he only sees time on short yardage.
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Old 08-17-2006   #14
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Originally Posted by threetoedpete
Won't go that far, will say give me the over avchievers/ believers every time.

Very nice read. JFTR[Just for the Record}, what was your beverage of choice ? Yours drunk looks better than mine sobber.
budlight, wild turkey & coke, vodka & white grape juice, and tequila shots .... in that order (i'm afraid to ask someone how many i had of each).
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Old 08-17-2006   #15
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Originally Posted by michaelm
I agree with you, but I would have liked to have seen DC complete a single pass to the TE, or Jeb have a single catch in the game...
Well, the starters weren't in long. Andre Johnson didn't log a catch, so I'm not too worried about Putzier's stat line.
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Old 08-17-2006   #16
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Scooter, great post with lots of good comments on what you saw in the game. Maybe you should make "further reviews" of games at 3 am after partying all the time!
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Old 08-18-2006   #17
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Well, the starters weren't in long. Andre Johnson didn't log a catch, so I'm not too worried about Putzier's stat line.
I agree. I'm not worried at all, but I expected that Kubiak woulld make a point to have DC get some passes to the TEs.

The starters are going to get close to a half of play this week frm what I hear, so I think we'll get a better feel for how the ball will be distributed during the regular season...
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Old 08-18-2006   #18
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Flanagan is important I agree, but there were a few plays when Smith carried the ball where Flanagan just got blown back off the LOS
On the first two running plays, no less, which caused the Texans to have to punt on what looked like it might be a promising opening drive. To his credit, he was better the rest of the way but he certainly looked bad no those frist two running plays with Smith.

And I agree that Smith looked slow both in instinct and burst last week. Tentativeness in a new scheme? Or just a sample of what's to be expected?
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