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Old 02-09-2007   #1
Texans_Chick
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Default Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

NTA: New Topic Attempt

Last year, the Texans were able to throw the ball early in the year when the running game was ridiculously bad. Near the end of the year, they could run the ball but not pass consistently, and the long passes and ones in the middle got more extinct.

What are the reasons for this? Here's a few suggestions:

1. Lack of personnel. The offensive line had a lot of young and old and few tweeners. And injury switched up. The running backs aren't any guys that any other team would be excited to feature. The quarterback play was inconsistent. Combine all that and you get an inconsistent offense.

2. A coaching disconnect. You got the feeling that Kubiak did his own thing on the passing side and Sherman did his thing focusing more on the blocking/running side, and that there was a disconnect between the two. From my fan perspective, I do not think the blocking was similar to what is done in Denver, and that the way the blocking is done is crucial to disguising whether the play is a pass or run.

3. A result of the defense. Defenses changed the way they played the Texans after they didn't feel they needed to respect the run at all, and wanted to shut down AJ.

4. The Texans played poorer run defenses as they year progressed.

Okay. Does anyone want to add to these points, dispute them, etc?

Off season is long, not much news to talk about, so here's an attempt for something a little different....
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Old 02-09-2007   #2
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Default Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
NTA: New Topic Attempt

2. A coaching disconnect. You got the feeling that Kubiak did his own thing on the passing side and Sherman did his thing focusing more on the blocking/running side, and that there was a disconnect between the two. From my fan perspective, I do not think the blocking was similar to what is done in Denver, and that the way the blocking is done is crucial to disguising whether the play is a pass or run.

Okay. Does anyone want to add to these points, dispute them, etc?

Off season is long, not much news to talk about, so here's an attempt for something a little different....
I honestly don't know how you are going to make this a new topic, but kudos for effort.

First:
How are you going to prove a connect?

How many people called plays? I think only one did?

Tell me what you call a connect and then I will try to answer your disconnect hypothesis.
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Old 02-09-2007   #3
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Default Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

Spencer Tillman broke it down on the show after a game early in the season. He noticed it's pretty obvious when we're gonig to run or pass because of the spacing between the lineman. He said the on run plays the lineman were spread apart moreso than on pass plays. Spencer said that it's obvious we are using a "power running" scheme and not zone blocking.(Sherman influence)
I say pick up whatever lineman we can get from Atlanta, get Gibbs as a consultant and let's win some games with an awesome zone blocking style.
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Old 02-09-2007   #4
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Cool Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

David Carr's fault. Bring in Plummer.




I kid, I kid.

Honestly, we became a very predictable animal out there after just a few games of the season. IMO:

We rarely looked to Moulds, so taking AJ out of the game eliminated the deep threat. Our running game was such that our only hope was to create a hole on the line. Our backs were not skilled enough/to slow to get outside.

This essentially left us with dump off depseration passes and running straight into the D-Line. I imagine this added to the different lineman spacing on run plays. The line KNEW they had to open a hole or we'd probably lose the game.

My $.02, but I honestly don't know much about football.
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Old 02-09-2007   #5
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Default Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

I think reasons #3 and #4 are the two biggest reasons for our offensive inconsistency. After the first few games, it became a rare occurence to see opposing defenses bring an extra defender up into the box even in obvious running situations. The reason was we couldn't run the ball when they only had six or seven guys near the line, so why add more. This way they could keep both safeties and sometimes even a linebacker back in coverage, which completely negated any deep passing routes. Thus we started seeing more short and dump-off passes, that essentially acted as our running game. Later in the year the defenses we faced became poorer so holes started to open up for our RBs more easily. This is what has led many to believe we entered some kind of running back renaissance at the end of the season, which simply wasn't the case.
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Old 02-09-2007   #6
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Default Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

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1. Lack of personnel. The offensive line had a lot of young and old and few tweeners. And injury switched up. The running backs aren't any guys that any other team would be excited to feature. The quarterback play was inconsistent. Combine all that and you get an inconsistent offense.
I think this is the biggest factor, to be honest. These coaches come from proven systems with winning backgrounds, so their philosophies are obviously sound. But they can only call the plays, and it's up to the players to...dare I say it....execute.

We never had an every down back, one that would be a starter on 31 other teams. We had some good games and moments, but for the most part, our RBs are mediocre, at best.

Our line had some big injuries and never found their groove to be a consistent squad week in/week out.

We don't have a speed receiver that separates himself from defenders. While AJ is certainly one of our most talented players, he's not the dominant type of guy that can just control games with his presence. We need someone that can fool defenders and get himself wide open like we see in almost every other football game for other teams. We've got two good possession WRs, but we need the speed guy for a deep threat.

I won't touch the QB subject, as it has been debated ad naseum. Obviously, his inconsistency is the primary concern, and his inability to hold on to the ball while pressured is what could cost him his starting job with this team.
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Old 02-09-2007   #7
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Default Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

It seemed like a lot of conflict with schemes and coaching on offense. You could see the Texans running a Denver style play but straight up power blocking. Also, there were three people calling offensive plays during a game. They all went thru Kubes, but too many cooks ruin the soup. IMO, that's why we looked so discomburated at times: Schizophrenic play calling. Kubes and Sherman have distinctly different ideas of how to run an offense and they aren't particulary complimentary of each other. Each works in it's own right but you can't blend them and get a good product.
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Old 02-09-2007   #8
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Default Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

http://forums.houstontexans.com/show...ght=Coach+Dent
http://forums.houstontexans.com/showthread.php?t=31552

Took me a while but I found it.
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Old 02-09-2007   #9
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Default Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
NTA: New Topic Attempt

Last year, the Texans were able to throw the ball early in the year when the running game was ridiculously bad. Near the end of the year, they could run the ball but not pass consistently, and the long passes and ones in the middle got more extinct.

What are the reasons for this? Here's a few suggestions:

1. Lack of personnel. The offensive line had a lot of young and old and few tweeners. And injury switched up. The running backs aren't any guys that any other team would be excited to feature. The quarterback play was inconsistent. Combine all that and you get an inconsistent offense.

2. A coaching disconnect. You got the feeling that Kubiak did his own thing on the passing side and Sherman did his thing focusing more on the blocking/running side, and that there was a disconnect between the two. From my fan perspective, I do not think the blocking was similar to what is done in Denver, and that the way the blocking is done is crucial to disguising whether the play is a pass or run.

3. A result of the defense. Defenses changed the way they played the Texans after they didn't feel they needed to respect the run at all, and wanted to shut down AJ.

4. The Texans played poorer run defenses as they year progressed.

Okay. Does anyone want to add to these points, dispute them, etc?

Off season is long, not much news to talk about, so here's an attempt for something a little different....
First, even though they ran better at times and passed betterl at other times relative to the "Texans Sliding Scale", neither was every good enough to be continually succesful in the NFL and make a push for the playoffs. The offense pretty much stunk it up the entire season but did improve and regress in the certain areas during the season. Basically, I wouldn't say the Texans offense mastered anything last season and they are basically back to the drawing board for 2007. Example, the whole David Carr issue right now.

Having said that, the reason for the inconsistency of the offense is that the Texans offense had no "Big Time Playmakers" last year and never really has.

That is the single biggest problem the Texans have on offense. AJ could probably be a "Big Time Playmaker", but he didn't get the quality throws and dropped several that he shouldn't have dropped.

When you have no "Big Time Playmakers" on offense, it makes it harder for the coaches and the offensive line to do their jobs effectively. In addition, it makes it easier for defenses to run schemes to shut down a plain vanilla offense.

The items you listed are really just symptoms of not having a "Big Time Playmaker".
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Old 02-09-2007   #10
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Default It's called strategery, dummy - Dubya

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3. A result of the defense.
You can make a case for a combination all of these points. I would add a modification to #3, in that once teams began to keep their DE's up the field, the rollouts were negated and some of the cutback lanes opened up. I think if the Texans had a back who could break a long run (or even Domanick), teams might be less inclined to use that strategy. Which would lead back to point #1. I'm simultaneously both confused and sad.
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Old 02-09-2007   #11
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Default Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

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Also, there were three people calling offensive plays during a game. They all went thru Kubes, but too many cooks ruin the soup.
I've seen this written here more then a couple of times, but I cannot find the source.

Where did this come from? A press release or something? Like a post game conference?
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Old 02-09-2007   #12
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Default Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

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Originally Posted by DocBar View Post
It seemed like a lot of conflict with schemes and coaching on offense. You could see the Texans running a Denver style play but straight up power blocking. Also, there were three people calling offensive plays during a game. They all went thru Kubes, but too many cooks ruin the soup. IMO, that's why we looked so discomburated at times: Schizophrenic play calling. Kubes and Sherman have distinctly different ideas of how to run an offense and they aren't particulary complimentary of each other. Each works in it's own right but you can't blend them and get a good product.
This was my biggest concern when they named Sherman for offensive coordinator. The offense just didn't seem to gel from week to week, and it seemed like our playcalling was never too consistent. I chalked it up to a first year HC, but I've still got questions and concerns about it being a smooth operating machine. Time will tell (obviously).
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Old 02-09-2007   #13
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Default Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

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Originally Posted by MightyTExan View Post
it's pretty obvious when we're gonig to run or pass because of the spacing between the lineman. He said the on run plays the lineman were spread apart moreso than on pass plays. Spencer said that it's obvious we are using a "power running" scheme and not zone blocking.(Sherman influence)
Wow if that's true shame on Sherman. Can anyone confirm this?
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Old 02-09-2007   #14
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Default Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

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Spencer Tillman broke it down on the show after a game early in the season. He noticed it's pretty obvious when we're gonig to run or pass because of the spacing between the lineman. He said the on run plays the lineman were spread apart moreso than on pass plays. Spencer said that it's obvious we are using a "power running" scheme and not zone blocking.(Sherman influence)
I say pick up whatever lineman we can get from Atlanta, get Gibbs as a consultant and let's win some games with an awesome zone blocking style.
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Wow if that's true shame on Sherman. Can anyone confirm this?

I seriously doubt that Tillman would pick up on something that the coaching staff isn't aware of. Give our staff more credit than that.

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Old 02-09-2007   #15
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Default Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

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Originally Posted by MightyTExan View Post
Spencer Tillman broke it down on the show after a game early in the season. He noticed it's pretty obvious when we're gonig to run or pass because of the spacing between the lineman. He said the on run plays the lineman were spread apart moreso than on pass plays. Spencer said that it's obvious we are using a "power running" scheme and not zone blocking.(Sherman influence)
I say pick up whatever lineman we can get from Atlanta, get Gibbs as a consultant and let's win some games with an awesome zone blocking style.
Interesting. I hadn't heard that put the way that Tillman did, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Sherman has said that he isn't doing a straight up zone blocking scheme, and almost got offended when somebody suggested that is what they are doing.

I don't believe they are cutblocking the way Denver does, but I would defer to TiVO maniacs.

I do know that the way the blocking is supposed to be done is that you are not supposed to be able to tell the difference between the run block/pass block. That is something that I watched on coach video in the Shanny Jr clinic I went to. It was a point of emphasis.
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Old 02-09-2007   #16
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Default Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

I remember hearing Tillman say that and thinking that I could see it myself, but it wasn't as obvious to me as it seemed to him. The fact that I could tell at all is a very bad sign. I don't think it's that the coaches don't know. I think it's that they felt they had to do it that way at times. Bad situation to be in.
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Old 02-09-2007   #17
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Default Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

Perhaps this is too simplistic, but it seemed to me that the team was still in that preseason-style of "learning the offense" at the beginning of the season, and then somewhere around the same time they appeared to be finally grasping what was expected of them, they had several line injuries that limited what they were capable of accomplishing. Couple that with the need to keep Carr from suffering through another psyche-destroying duck-and-cover-in-the-fetal-position season, and there was almost nothing left to do offensively. The moderate success we had later in the season with running was a result of the makeshift line starting to mesh together a bit, showing that with some consistent coaching (something we've never had until this season) we actually have a few pretty decent linemen, if only as 2nd-tier players.

Then again, I may not have any idea what I'm talking about. Either way, that's what I thought I saw.

If I'm right at all, it's a good sign...we're a LOT closer to being competitive on a regular basis than most people think we are.
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Old 02-10-2007   #18
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Default Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post

3. A result of the defense. Defenses changed the way they played the Texans after they didn't feel they needed to respect the run at all, and wanted to shut down AJ.
I am probably completely wrong about this, but......With all of the short and mid-range passes the Texans were throwing, didn't success or failure depend on what the receiver could do after he caught the ball? And, wasn't it that way by design? In other words, wasn't kubiaks passing game dependant on AJ or any other receiver being able to bust loose after he already had the ball?

Again, I am probably totally off base here but.....any comments?
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Old 02-10-2007   #19
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Default Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

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I am probably completely wrong about this, but......With all of the short and mid-range passes the Texans were throwing, didn't success or failure depend on what the receiver could do after he caught the ball? And, wasn't it that way by design? In other words, wasn't kubiaks passing game dependant on AJ or any other receiver being able to bust loose after he already had the ball?

Again, I am probably totally off base here but.....any comments?
There are some plays where that's the case. But a lot of the short passes made were QB decision. You've got several guys out in the pattern and the QB decides who he can get it to. A lot of times, it seemed that Carr automatically just decided almost immediately to go to his dump off receiver without even checking to see if his guys further down the field were open. I think that's either because:

1. He's taken so many hits over the years and totally doesn't trust his line, so he doesn't really go through his reads and just makes the decision to dump.
2. He doesn't trust his arm to throw the ball into tight situations and won't throw into narrow windows. (I kinda think he hurt his shoulder a couple of years ago and I don't think his arm strength is what it used to be. I have absolutely no proof for that.)
3. He's too afraid to throw an interception and that makes him hesitant to go down the field. (This could be the same as #2.)
4. Some combination of the above.

The "good" thing about dump off passes is that it boosts your completion percentage. The bad thing is that if you just throw dump off passes, defense will start sitting on those routes and they'll start crowding the line making it harder to run. You've got to throw some medium to deep range passes to keep the defenses honest... and we weren't really doing that much this year even when he had the time to throw. (And despite what some people are saying about the line, we frequently had time enough to throw deeper routes.)
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Old 02-11-2007   #20
Double Barrel
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Post Re: Disconnect between running/passing in the Texans offense

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
We don't have a speed receiver that separates himself from defenders. While AJ is certainly one of our most talented players, he's not the dominant type of guy that can just control games with his presence. We need someone that can fool defenders and get himself wide open like we see in almost every other football game for other teams. We've got two good possession WRs, but we need the speed guy for a deep threat.
I was talking to a friend of mine about this perspective, and he pointed out that it's an incorrect point-of-view.

In truth, AJ is a playmaker, and would be for any NFL team. The problem here is that he's our only true playmaker, and without a second or third offensive threat, defenses can gameplan against him to shut him down. It's pretty amazing that he had the kind of year he's had when you think about it. Considering his speed (one of the NFL's fastest players), just think of what he could do if we had a great no. 2 WR and consistent running game.

All in due time, and I stand corrected.
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