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Old 11-21-2006   #1
Hervoyel
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Default Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

3-7 makes us 10 games into the season and to me that’s a little more interesting than being 8 games into the season. Sure the halfway point is where everyone likes to split the season and it makes for a nice spot to write one of these posts but I prefer the 10-6 split. After ten games you are past the hump. As a team you’ve done all the growing you’re going to do for one season in my opinion. Over the past 6 games the good teams just keep on going in the same direction they’ve been headed and so do the bad teams. A few teams start to change direction however. Pretenders will fade down the stretch and teams that are truly improving will start to win some games

The one thing to keep in mind though is that the teams that are going to turn a corner will start to make noise right about here. They’re out of the playoffs but inexplicably they start to pile up those late wins. This is where we all hope the Texans are right now and this is a good time for me to fire off a long wandering post about the present state of the Texans and what I think about them today. It is of course all assuming that things continue the way they’ve been going the past couple of weeks.

I. On the offensive side of the ball I break things down into four groups; QB, RB, WR, and OL. Here’s what I think of things right now.

QB: David Carr is improved enough to stay my starter. I’m not blown away enough by what I’ve seen to say that he’s got my complete confidence but I can’t take this seasons progress and not at least try to build on it. Sage Rosenfels has been a solid backup so I have no complaints there. Despite the fact that I’m mostly comfortable with our quarterbacks I can’t go through this draft without trying to pick up a young QB to start grooming in case we’re seeing the best that we’ll ever get from David Carr. I know how silly this sounds but I wouldn’t mind seeing the Texans try and pick up Kevin Kolb in the draft. I think he’s a good fit for this offense.

In short I’m “ok” with the play of the quarterbacks but I think it would be stupid to not attempt to upgrade the position.

RB: Wali Lundy and Samkon Gado have come a long way since the start of the season. They both look like they belong on a NFL field now which is nice to see. I don’t think either one of them is a true starter but I think they’re both nice to have in your backfield.
Ron Dayne on the other hand is no longer a Texan after this season if I’m making that call. I just don’t think he pulls his weight and I doubt we’ll need him because I’m taking a RB on the first day of the draft and in all likelihood I’m doing it with the first overall pick. As for the FB position I’m trying not to hold two costly fumbles against Jameel Cook but it’s a tough thing to do. I think we could do better there and I think we had better in Moran Norris. I don’t see a FB being drafted but I’d bring in somebody to try and pry the job out of Jameel’s hands.

WR: Andre Johnson is getting better and I think we can all see that. Eric Moulds surely had something to do with that (as did Owen Daniels) so I think we have some quality targets out there for a change. I’m not saying we should turn our nose up on a WR if a good one falls to us but I just feel like I want to see another season with these guys pretty much as they are. I truly don’t feel like we have any serious holes here.

OL: Every year so much is written about the Texans line problems that it almost seems like a waste of space and time to go over it again. Still I think I’m going to take a stab at it. Right now we are sporting the following players on our offensive line (as per the current roster on the Texans website):

Steve McKinney, Drew Hodgdon, and Mike Flanagan at C
Fred Weary, Scott Jackson, and Chester Pitts at G
Brad Bedell, Eric Winston, Ephraim Salaam, Charles Spencer, and Zach Weigert at T

Right off the top I’m going to say that I don’t want to see Ephraim Salaam or Zach Weigert return. Both of those players should be out of football in my opinion. Likewise I have doubts about whether Mike Flanagan is going to be able to come back and play a complete season and I can’t honestly say that seeing Steve McKinney play another year for the Texans does anything for me. Brad Bedell and Scott Jackson are depth and nothing more. I don’t even consider them quality depth.

I think that in the most optimistic scenario we have Drew Hodgdon, Fred Weary, Chester Pitts, Eric Winston, and Charles Spencer to build around and that’s assuming we get Spencer back at something approaching what he was. We clearly need some help on the offensive line. Sure McKinney probably comes back and maybe Flanagan makes it another year or two but we have some old timers in there that are playing on borrowed time. We need to get ready for the day when they’re gone. I’m taking the best lineman I can get on day one. I don’t care if he’s a guard, center, or tackle either. Somewhere on day one I think we need to get at least one offensive lineman. I’d like to find another in free agency but I certainly hope the Texans don’t overpay for him. A good value player would be good enough next year.

II. On the defensive side of the ball I’m looking at DL, LB, and DB.

DL: If our hurt guys can make it back by the start of next season I’m not worried about this group. They’re improving all the time and I think the biggest thing we need on the DL is quality reps. I might take a player on day 2 of the draft but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get another DT or DE. I like our guys for the most part. Weaver, Williams, Peek, Babin, and Johnson are a nice, fairly young core who should be given some time to show what they can do.

LB: Here’s where I think we can get better fast with a rookie. Somewhere on day one I’d like to pick up a linebacker to hopefully step in and start with DeMeco Ryans. The last spot could be Kailee Wong if he’s back to full speed by next camp or it could just be the best of what we have. One more good linebacker would do wonders for us. Considering what we’ve had to work with this year I’ve been really happy with the way the linebackers have played.

DB: To my way of thinking this is the “black hole” of our team on the defensive side. If our OL hurts us in all aspects of production over there on offense then our defensive backs are equally as bad for this side of the ball. Granted you must have pressure from the pass rush for any secondary to do it’s job but ours has been particularly bad this season even when pressure was being placed on the opponents quarterback. As I’ve said in a few posts already this is where we need some veterans ASAP. More rookie mistakes back here won’t help us. In my view we only have one true “talent” in our secondary and that’s Dunta Robinson. Faggins is a nickel back and McCleon shouldn’t be playing. Sanders wasn’t exactly a contributor back their either. C.C. Brown and Glenn Earl are both guys who would be alright if the other one was better but combined they're trouble for us. I’d like to see the Texans try to go out and sign a Quality Safety or CB this year. I know it won’t be cheap but it would make all the difference in the world.

Basically I look at this coming off-season as follows.

Free Agency: Sign the best VETERAN CB we can find and try to get a very good safety to pair with either Brown or Earl. Try to sign a “quality depth” G or C with an emphasis on quality.

Draft: I’m going 1RB, 2LB, 3OL (best available) on day one, at least in my mind. I’m going to try and get good prospects at QB, G, and CB/S on day two.

Ok, I’m done.
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Old 11-21-2006   #2
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

Outstanding post! I'm still going to assume we get better over the rest of the season. We can also re-evaluate the teams personnel then as well. Overall, I agree with darn near everything that was posted here. The only thing that I might change would be your draft order. Like I said, things might change over the next few weeks, but I'd take the LB in round 1, RB in round 2 and Oline inthe 3rd and 4th.

Great post.
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Old 11-21-2006   #3
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

There could be a lot of movement between now and the end of the year and I admit that my pretend picks on the first day are all interchangeable. If a LB who could truly make an impact right then and there was available in round one then yeah, I grab him first especially if the draft ended up deeper in those other two areas. If there wasn't much to pick from then in RB's or offensive linemen then maybe we don't get one of those on day one. It's totally fluid at this point. I was just thinking that these are where I see our biggest needs at (excluding CB/S where I think we need to be looking for a veteran or maybe two instead of rookies)
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Old 11-21-2006   #4
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

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Originally Posted by Hervoyel View Post
There could be a lot of movement between now and the end of the year and I admit that my pretend picks on the first day are all interchangeable. If a LB who could truly make an impact right then and there was available in round one then yeah, I grab him first especially if the draft ended up deeper in those other two areas. If there wasn't much to pick from then in RB's or offensive linemen then maybe we don't get one of those on day one. It's totally fluid at this point. I was just thinking that these are where I see our biggest needs at (excluding CB/S where I think we need to be looking for a veteran or maybe two instead of rookies)
True. I agree 100%

I also agree we need a veteran or two to mix in with our young DBs. I'm not sure how the whole salary cap scenerio is going to pan out. It leads me to speculate about the kind of talent we can afford. Any ideas how we're going to look cap wise?
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Old 11-21-2006   #5
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

I agree with almost every word written, right done to how the offseason should break down. Gotta spread the rep.
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Old 11-21-2006   #6
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

Interesting points and I agree with most. Other thoughts:

I would like to see the Texans go after an OLB (Briggs #55 Chicago/25/6'1"/240) and CB (Samuel #22 Patriots 25/5'10"/185 who reminds me of Drob). Either one would be a huge upgrade and both would be the stuff that dreams are made of when combined with high picks in a deep draft which should be the case for us in '07.
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Old 11-21-2006   #7
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

Great Post!!

I agree 100% about the QB position. It is not one that can be upgraded easily without costing the team greatly. The only back-up that might be able to get would be Atl Matt Schuab, but who knows if they are not going to try and trade Vick. So picking one up in the draft for groming would not be a horrible choice.

RB: I am ok with our RB position for now, there has been considerable progress with both Lundy and Gado.

WR/TE: as far as a need I do not see a huge need this upcoming draft at all, unless something falls into the Texans lap.

OL: With injuries plaguing the team and depending on contracts, I have no problem with Salaam continuing to be a Texan, he adds depth. Here is where injuries really hurt, we have no way of knowing how good Spencer is or how well his development would have been. So with saying that the team could always use upgrades here.

DL: The Texans need a hog in the middle to clog things up so the DE can get consistant pass rush without the worry of RB going up the middle.

LB: We do need someone to pair with Ryans.

DB: The weakest part of the Texans. Continuing to get beat deep and over the middle because they can not cover anyone, except Dunta.

Just my

Again Great Post.
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Old 11-21-2006   #8
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

I am on the fence regarding the RB. One week I think we need to draft one in the first and the next I think we are OK to sit tight for another year. Ultimately who we draft depends on who we are interested in FA but these are our major needs, from biggest need to least: FS, CB, OL, OLB, DT, RB
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Old 11-21-2006   #9
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

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Great Post!!

I agree 100% about the QB position. It is not one that can be upgraded easily without costing the team greatly. The only back-up that might be able to get would be Atl Matt Schuab, but who knows if they are not going to try and trade Vick. So picking one up in the draft for groming would not be a horrible choice.
Schaub definitely interests me. If Kubiak feels like Carr is the solution going forward, then fine, I'm OK with that. If he feels like Carr is not progressing according to plan, I'd love to see some interest in Schaub.

I'm still stuck on getting a stud tackle in the next draft. If Spencer comes back strong and Winston ends up being worth the hype he garnered before the draft, then a 3-way battle for two starting spots wouldn't hurt my feelings at all. Spencer has experience at guard anyway. On the other hand, if Winston doesn't progress as quickly as we all hope and/or Spencer has complications coming back, we wouldn't be hurting like we are now. I still think offensive line (and secondary) is the biggest need for this football team.
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Old 11-21-2006   #10
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

What, no kickers? Did I miss that part of the post?
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Old 11-21-2006   #11
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

If Jameel Cook fumbles again I am going to have to call for his head. I supported us picking him up, but he just hasn't done as well as I had hoped.

We must find a new FB in the off-season!
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Old 11-21-2006   #12
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

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Ok, I’m done.
Yours is the kind of post I wish there was time (for me) to write. Mine are mostly the of the "nice thought", or incoherent ramble, to just making some other teams fan feel uncomfortable being here because they aren't behaving like a guest.

Anyway, excellent thoughts. Your thoughts on the defense mirror mine. I also like Jameel Cook because I've seen the guy be a football player.......but DAMN!

I want to see Jerome Mathis come back. Was anyone else thinking about the potential of a Jerome-like guy watching Lee Evans last Sunday? I saw genius and wished for hand grenades.

Yes, you are right. Dayne is SO gone. The only thing he's done this year is take the franchise LT out. Unfortunately, there will not be a first day RB taken by Gary Kubes, but you know that.

Anyway, once again, your thoughts on the Texans are very insightful.
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Old 11-21-2006   #13
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

I think our biggest needs are OLB and FS.. followed by interior olinemen, and DT. RB is fairly low on my list of needs.. I think we have a solid 1-2 punch with Lundy and Gado.. we need the Oline that will let them show off.

But our secondary and our front 7 on defense, while effective the last few games, is not impressive or dominant. We need a FS that can cause some interceptions and make it harder to throw down the middle of the field on us, and we need an OLB that take advantage of the double teams that our Dline is drawing. We need a DT cause our DTs are average, or old, and they have been dropping like flies all season long.

*EDIT* I should point out that I when I say FS and OLB is our top need.. that means I think we need to address it in FA, or make them our day one draft picks.. whiechever one it is, im fine with it...though id prefer draft picks cause our most talented defensive players are young, and id like to continue building that young defense so we ahve a powerhouse for the next 10 years. DT id prefer to draft, we have enough age at that position. Interior Olinemen id also like to draft.. we need to start getting guys and grooming them into our system.. plus, its cheaper. Finally, RB.. id be fine with signing an FA or draft someone.. but if we draft, id think a second day pick would be best. We arent hurting at RB, we are hurting at Oline.
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Old 11-22-2006   #14
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

Excellent post...Lets all hope Spencer turns out to be the type of player we want.

If Cook fumbles again, off with his head.
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Old 11-22-2006   #15
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

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Excellent post...Lets all hope Spencer turns out to be the type of player we want.

If Cook fumbles again, off with his head.
I remember multiple Colts patting him on the back when the trainers were helping him off the field. He was doing a great job, until someone with the porn star moustache broke his leg. I thought it was extremely sportsmanlike.

Does anyone else remember that?
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Old 11-22-2006   #16
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

i agree with most of your post. thought the secondary is a problem its more likely fixable through FA than the draft, also if we were going to draft RB int eh first round we would've done it this year. i think we take another 'kubiak rb' late day one or day two. i mean lundy has done an admirable job and gado too so why waste a valuable pick that could go into the trenches on a position that kubiak can effectively draft later.
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Old 11-22-2006   #17
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

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Unfortunately, there will not be a first day RB taken by Gary Kubes, but you know that.
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...also if we were going to draft RB int eh first round we would've done it this year. i think we take another 'kubiak rb' late day one or day two. i mean lundy has done an admirable job and gado too so why waste a valuable pick that could go into the trenches on a position that kubiak can effectively draft later.

Actually we did try to do it this year. If Kubiak and Casserly had their way we would be starting DeAngelo Williams right now (and sadly would be lacking DeMeco Ryans). The Texans wanted to move up and get Williams but couldn't make it happen before Carolina grabbed him.

That "almost" move alone tells me that the idea that Kubiak will not go after a RB in the first round is not the carved in stone law that we've all accepted it to be. Denver may not draft running backs on day one (very often, don't forget about Portis) but we should keep in mind that while we are a lot like Denver in many ways Gary Kubiak is going to do some things differently.
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Old 11-22-2006   #18
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

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Actually we did try to do it this year. If Kubiak and Casserly had their way we would be starting DeAngelo Williams right now (and sadly would be lacking DeMeco Ryans). The Texans wanted to move up and get Williams but couldn't make it happen before Carolina grabbed him.
And by missing that one "almost" our draft went from very good (subtract Ryans and Winston, add D. Williams) to excellent at this point in time. We need a couple more years to really see how good the draft was.
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Old 11-22-2006   #19
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

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i agree with most of your post. thought the secondary is a problem its more likely fixable through FA than the draft, also if we were going to draft RB int eh first round we would've done it this year. i think we take another 'kubiak rb' late day one or day two. i mean lundy has done an admirable job and gado too so why waste a valuable pick that could go into the trenches on a position that kubiak can effectively draft later.
If the rumors are true that Kubiak was trying to trade up late in the first for Moroney, which I assume they are, then the idea that Kubiak will not take a first round, much less first day, RB is a myth.
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Old 11-22-2006   #20
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Default Re: Just some "thinking out loud" about the Texans upcoming off-season

I think McNair might "suggest" that Adrian Peterson would help him sell tickets
in the 2007 season, especially if we finish real poorly instead of impressively ?
But short of Kubiak uncharacteristically taking a big-name back like the Palestine, TX native, I really think they might go DLine again with their top pick. As bad as they need another corner, my guess is they try desperately to fill that need in FA as CB is the toughest defensive positon to learn in the NFL and its rare that players overcome the learning curve in their rookie year.
What I would hope is that they trade their top pick, as they should have done last year, and get multiple first day picks in exchange.
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