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Old 10-16-2006   #1
Texans_Chick
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Default Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

Okay, this is the subject of my latest Chronic FanBlog post, which can be found here: Link

It revisits some stuff you see on the MB and adds some stuff that you might not otherwise see. It is just a thought piece on the lack of running game.

In Kubiak's latest presser (sorry I don't have a link handy), he says that Lundy is going "to get more involved in what they are doing." Translated, Dayne is nicked and isn't showing us anything.

I'd like some other set of eyes who follow the team and see if what I am saying makes some sense. Or not so much.

Sorry it is longish, but wanted to put the info all in one place for posterity. Blogs are kinda funny reading from a historical narrative perspective. The comments are kinda funny looking back at them too.
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Old 10-16-2006   #2
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

Here is another article about why the Texans running game is not working, focusing on the line quality:

Denver's Running Scheme Is Not Translating in Houston
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Old 10-16-2006   #3
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

Kubiak mentioned Lundy getting involved in the punt game specifically...he also stated that Anderson may be activated soon and he could return punts as well.
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Old 10-16-2006   #4
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

In Kubiaks presser today, he said the team spent more time on rushing offense during the bye period than they have at any other time.
Then after yesterdays performance with the running game, how disappointing
is that ? Gotta be a tough Monday for Kubiak and Co.
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Old 10-16-2006   #5
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

Texas Chick,

My thoughts on our thoughts:

Offensive Line Blocking Scheme - not sure this is an issue, I would guess the direction of push is not so much an issue with the running game. As for the boot leg or play action - well, they have to respect your run game for the bootloeg to be effective - not matter the direction of the push.

Offensive Line Weight Loss - maybe. I'm not sure about the muscle loss thing, but wieght does factor into a player's style of play. And loss will have an effect on the past style.

Offensive Line Personnel - I know we had a bad game running the ball - but overall I think our O line is improving. Probably the best O line we have had. Give them some more time and a RUNNING BACK.

Running Backs--The Obvious Reason - i don't think there are many teams that would have any of our RBs on the roster - much less playing.

Nice thoughts and blog.
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Old 10-16-2006   #6
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

Our running problems is a combination of a line not opening holes for the running backs to run through and we dont have a running back that can really make plays, break tackles or make things happen.
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Old 10-16-2006   #7
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

Our problem is that our RB's can't find the hole. They got the downhill running part right, but they put their head down and even though there's a huge hole in their vinicity they can't get to it because they lowered their head and can't see it. This is what everybody should look at. How many times have we seen the RB's cut back or change directions? I'm not asking to argue or whatever, but if you could show me where you've seen it let me know, because I sure haven't seen it.
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Old 10-16-2006   #8
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan1 View Post
Offensive Line Personnel - I know we had a bad game running the ball - but overall I think our O line is improving. Probably the best O line we have had. Give them some more time and a RUNNING BACK.

Nice thoughts and blog.

Thanks for the kind words. As for the improving line. Run blocking is non-good.

It is some progress that Carr wasn't dumped against the Dallas D. That being said, you risk less Carr smooshage when he doesn't throw downfield, and the time of possession in the second half is ridiculously short.

I don't see improvement much at all of the line.
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Old 10-16-2006   #9
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

Running backs, linemen--what is not working.


"Yes"
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Old 10-16-2006   #10
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
Thanks for the kind words. As for the improving line. Run blocking is non-good.

It is some progress that Carr wasn't dumped against the Dallas D. That being said, you risk less Carr smooshage when he doesn't throw downfield, and the time of possession in the second half is ridiculously short.

I don't see improvement much at all of the line.
Ok, well look at it this way. The line had its best day of pass protection in long, long, time Sunday against the boys. Thats improvement.

Dallas has the best run D in the league - and you can't put all the blame on the Texans running game on the O line. As you said, the RBs are a porblem.

The O line had a good game against a pretty good Miami DL. I think the O line play is getting better - you just won't know how much until we can get a RB that will contribute to the overall effort.

We'll see, we still have 11 more of these things to suffer through
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Old 10-16-2006   #11
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

Great blog Chick. I've noticed the blocking scheme now does not look like the blocking scheme from the preseason. In the preseason you saw alot of cut blocks. I didn't see any cut blocks yesterday. In fact I just went back and looked at the Phily game and no cut blocks. Some where along the way it appears they tweaked the blocking scheme a bit. I can only guess it is Sherman's influence. Maybe they determined this line is unable to run a true version of the Denver zone blocking.
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Old 10-16-2006   #12
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hervoyel View Post
Running backs, linemen--what is not working.


"Yes"
Classic.

The title of this thread was originally something else, but I couldn't post it because of the bug in the upgrade software.

Jeez, I could have saved a bunch of words that way.
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Old 10-16-2006   #13
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TPIMP View Post
Great blog Chick. I've noticed the blocking scheme now does not look like the blocking scheme from the preseason. In the preseason you saw alot of cut blocks. I didn't see any cut blocks yesterday. In fact I just went back and looked at the Phily game and no cut blocks. Some where along the way it appears they tweaked the blocking scheme a bit. I can only guess it is Sherman's influence. Maybe they determined this line is unable to run a true version of the Denver zone blocking.
Allegedly from what I've heard, the scheme is the same as it was in the preseason.

Preseasons see more vanilla defenses, backup players, and the run defenses we saw in the preseason were mostly bottom third of the league ones.
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Old 10-16-2006   #14
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
Allegedly from what I've heard, the scheme is the same as it was in the preseason.

Preseasons see more vanilla defenses, backup players, and the run defenses we saw in the preseason were mostly bottom third of the league ones.
That is all true. But it's right there in color. Watch the KC game and see how many times the Texans OL block into the legs of the DL. Then try and find it in the Phily or Dallas games. No changes? Just count the number of plays the FB played in the preseason compared to yesterday. Some things have changed? Forget debating if things have changed watch a handfull of Denver running plays and compare to the Texans.
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Old 10-16-2006   #15
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

i think it's all bad.

scheme. tc's mentioned it before as have i, we seem to be running a very poor mix of sherman's "power" blocking scheme and trying to 1on1 at the line a growing majority of the time along with not properly using kubiak's ZBS effectively (when it's used at all). i dont think i've seen a cut-block since the preseason.

runningbacks. dayne's not a feature back, but he's not a bad back. we do need an upgrade here. dayne should be used as a change of pace and a bruiser. what we need is a one & gone. we might already have that in lundy or taylor, but they're rookies and will take some time to adjust. those guys are also a problem though because of very poor pass blocking skills. we dont have a complete player (like a tiki barber) who can catch, block, and run on our roster.

offensive line. the personnel is terrible. everyone knows i dont like weigert & mckinney. salaam is terrible and our backups are very weak. flanagan's not a very good run blocker but he's making good calls and i like his pass protection. pitts is our strongest run blocker but he's been assisting flanagan more often than not ... something i dont mind, but it takes away his effectiveness when noone else is performing well.

we're basically bad all over IMO.
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Old 10-17-2006   #16
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

Why is it we cant seem to have solid passing protection and run protection at the same time?

Last few years our run protection was decent, we just couldnt keep Carr upright. Now Carr is able to stand and throw and for the mosty part he has done well. Yesterday he had a tipped ball become an INT and one that was clealry his fault. Yet now our running game is gone to hell. Why cant we have each?
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Old 10-17-2006   #17
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

The problem with most of you people is that you are so blind. Not meant to be rude but it's true.

Ok. You feel that the RB is one of the problems. I doubt it. I bet you would be bashing Reggie Bush if Houston drafted him all season long up to this point because he sucks. For that matter, you put ANY running back behind THAT line and they will ALL suck. Face it. Even DD would suck there too. The only real problem is, is that the offensive line is simply failing MISERABLY to do their job.

The only reason we won against Miami (barely) is that their team is lousy too. They have problems.

I see at the end of the year, many players will no longer be with us and the RB's are not going to be one of them. I am referring to the line. They simply won't work for what the plan is set out to be. They will be traded. Most of them.

Unfortunately, we are, once again, in this rebuilding stage and that too sucks. It will be about another 2 years before we'll have a winning team. As for now, they are losers trying to learn a new system and most of them, I feel, won't be here next year.

Quote:
Last few years our run protection was decent, we just couldnt keep Carr upright. Now Carr is able to stand and throw and for the mosty part he has done well. Yesterday he had a tipped ball become an INT and one that was clealry his fault. Yet now our running game is gone to hell. Why cant we have each?
Our front line's inability to do their job. Give the other team time. They will test our system and see what our game plan is and start to pick it apart, piece by piece.
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Old 10-17-2006   #18
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

TC- Good article, but it begs some questions. If a scheme isn't working shouldn't one adjust to what is? That just kind of dangles out there for me.

The current line seems to be able to pass block, which is usually harder, but not run block. This I can't get my head around, zone blocking scheme or not, the principle of attack verus react should be easier to impliment.

Although, with a 'sleaker' back(DD or similiar style), some of those 1 yard, or less, gains may have turned into at least three.

Oh yea, I almost forgot both DD and Wells (under appreciated IMHO) ran behind Norris. Could that be a factor too?
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Old 10-17-2006   #19
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

The general thought is that Sherman's man up power block system fits the RBs we have. The line does not fit that system so much. Our zoneblocking system which our line fits we only have two RBs that really fit that-Wali Lundy and Chris Taylor and they both cannot pick up the blitz. If it was me I would likely activate Taylor and let him and Lundy get after it and have Dayne or Gado has a backup.
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Old 10-17-2006   #20
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Default Re: Running backs, linemen--what is not working.

You can practice until the cows come home, but if you have Seinfield and Kramer blocking and George carrying the ball, you aren't going anywhere.
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