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Old 02-11-2007   #1
Historyhorn
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Default Playoff Level Talent

As an exercise, I'd like to hear where folks think that we have playoff level talent & production and where folks think we're lacking. I'll break it down by units on the O & the D.

Offense:

QB -- That'd be a no. Plummer coming might be an upgrade, but I don't believe that even he would be the face of the franchise and the QB that would take us into championship contention for the next decade.

RB -- No. With Williams and the eight other journeymen we've got, we don't really have an impact player here.

WR -- Yes. Moulds & Johnson are good enough start ahead of the current players on just about any team out there save the Colts.

TE -- Borderline. Our production from this spot hasn't been stellar, but what we've got are passable given the scheme.

OL -- No. The bane of our existence has been poor and inconsistent line play. The franchise did well to address that need in last year's draft, but neither Spencer nor Winston completely turn around what has been an abysmal unit. More work needs to be done here.

Defense:

DT -- No. I don't think the movement between a 3-4 and 4-3 has really helped in this area, but we don't have a dominant rusher or run stopper in the middle.

DE -- No. Number one pick aside....he may turn into a dominant threat to the passer, but not yet. We were not among the sack leaders in the leage.

LB -- Yes. Ryans super play in a system that suits his skills has turned this group into one to be feared.

C -- Yes. Dunta is very good and Faggins is passable.

S -- Not a whole lot to crow about here and one of our biggest needs in the upcoming draft.

Punter & PK -- We're ok here. No real weapons, but no real liabilities.

Part of our problem is that we have so many holes to fill, it is difficult to decide what to fill first. My preference would be drafting on Defense & O-line again this year. Those two keys will build a solid contender for years to come, and hopefully we can run across a solid RB and a QB who can serve as the face of our franchise.

Go Texans
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Old 02-12-2007   #2
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

I think we have Super Bowl caliber coaches. Three or four of our guys have been or could be head coaches in the next few years.
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Old 02-12-2007   #3
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

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I think we have Super Bowl caliber coaches. Three or four of our guys have been or could be head coaches in the next few years.
Agreed. let's just hope we can keep them long enough to build a really solid foundation that Kubiak and Smith can build on.

IMO we really only have Mario, Demeco, Dunta, Andre. I think some of the other guys are great compliments to have but these four i think are really it. with all due respect. lol we'll see how spencer comes back and what winston can do. as they develop. daniels was a great pick up and fits our team well...he'll still be here when we make the playoffs too.
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Old 02-12-2007   #4
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

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Agreed. let's just hope we can keep them long enough to build a really solid foundation that Kubiak and Smith can build on.

IMO we really only have Mario, Demeco, Dunta, Andre. I think some of the other guys are great compliments to have but these four i think are really it. with all due respect. lol we'll see how spencer comes back and what winston can do. as they develop. daniels was a great pick up and fits our team well...he'll still be here when we make the playoffs too.
oh and I forgot Jerome Mathis...when he's healthy....dude made pro bowl is rookie season...is it sad i forgot about him!!
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Old 02-12-2007   #5
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

The term "playoff level talent" doesn't really mean anything though. If a team was made entirely of playoff level talent they'd win every year. Every team has some great players, and some terrible players.

This years superbowl teams were no exception
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Old 02-12-2007   #6
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

I'm going to disagree with you on the punter. We are not okay there and Stanley's weak leg is a big liability in a game of field position, especially when you consider all the close games we lost last year.

I can almost 100% guarantee Stanley will not be kicking next year. Especially after watching over 30 different college punters booming kicks further down the field last college season. Stanley is not a NFL punter, he's solid, but he won't bail your team out with a big kick.
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Old 02-12-2007   #7
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

I don't know if I agree with the concept here. Making it to the playoffs isn't entirely dependent on the talent level of the team. You don't need stellar play from all positions.

If you look at last season, we had several winnable games that we lost. If we had won those games, we could have made it to the playoffs. We had several opportunities to beat the Bills. We had opportunities to win both Titans games and didn't capitalize. We could have pulled the Giants game out.

If we win those 4 winnable games instead of losing them, then we end up 10-6 and go in as a wildcard.

So we are THAT close to being good enough to make it into the playoffs. If we get a little bit better play out of 1 or 2 positions on our team, that's all we would need to tip the balance in those games. A little more production from the running game or a little more production from the passing game or a little more pressure from the dline or one or two more picks by our secondary. We are that close.
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Old 02-12-2007   #8
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

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Originally Posted by gtexan02 View Post
The term "playoff level talent" doesn't really mean anything though. If a team was made entirely of playoff level talent they'd win every year. Every team has some great players, and some terrible players.

This years superbowl teams were no exception
While it is true that no team, even championship calibre teams, are without flaws in this day and age of salary caps and free agency. The contenders have a significantly higher portion of their rosters with playoff level talent.

Let's examine the Bears & Colts

Bears: On defense: DT (yes) DE (yes) LB (yes) DB (yes) Special Teams (yes)
On offense: QB (no) RB (yes) OL (yes) WR (no) TE (no)

Colts: On offense: QB (yes) RB (yes) OL (yes) WR (yes) TE (yes)
On defense: DT (no) DE (yes) LB (no) DB (yes) Special Teams (yes)

Take the Chargers, Ravens, Saints, Patriots and run the same exercise. While all of those might have units on their teams that aren't just absolute strengths, they have a preponderance of talent at the other areas that make them elite. In addition, they try to hide the areas where they are weaker in order to play to their strengths.

I would contend that the Texans need to get to the point where they can at least say that they have five legitmate units on the field with playoff calibre (above average in their peer group) talent.

Go Texans
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Old 02-12-2007   #9
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
I don't know if I agree with the concept here. Making it to the playoffs isn't entirely dependent on the talent level of the team. You don't need stellar play from all positions.

If you look at last season, we had several winnable games that we lost. If we had won those games, we could have made it to the playoffs. We had several opportunities to beat the Bills. We had opportunities to win both Titans games and didn't capitalize. We could have pulled the Giants game out.

If we win those 4 winnable games instead of losing them, then we end up 10-6 and go in as a wildcard.

So we are THAT close to being good enough to make it into the playoffs. If we get a little bit better play out of 1 or 2 positions on our team, that's all we would need to tip the balance in those games. A little more production from the running game or a little more production from the passing game or a little more pressure from the dline or one or two more picks by our secondary. We are that close.
Indeed. We also had games that we won that we could have easily lost.

Dolphins, Jaguars (in Jax), Colts, & Browns. In the NFL you can play coulda, shoulda, & woulda all day, but in the end....you are what you are. We were 6-10 and at least 4 games out of the playoffs. I think we might have even over-achieved a little at that.

Go Texans
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Old 02-12-2007   #10
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

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Originally Posted by Historyhorn View Post
As an exercise, I'd like to hear where folks think that we have playoff level talent & production and where folks think we're lacking. I'll break it down by units on the O & the D.

Offense:

QB -- That'd be a no. Plummer coming might be an upgrade, but I don't believe that even he would be the face of the franchise and the QB that would take us into championship contention for the next decade.

RB -- No. With Williams and the eight other journeymen we've got, we don't really have an impact player here.

WR -- Yes. Moulds & Johnson are good enough start ahead of the current players on just about any team out there save the Colts.

TE -- Borderline. Our production from this spot hasn't been stellar, but what we've got are passable given the scheme.

OL -- No. The bane of our existence has been poor and inconsistent line play. The franchise did well to address that need in last year's draft, but neither Spencer nor Winston completely turn around what has been an abysmal unit. More work needs to be done here.

Defense:

DT -- No. I don't think the movement between a 3-4 and 4-3 has really helped in this area, but we don't have a dominant rusher or run stopper in the middle.

DE -- No. Number one pick aside....he may turn into a dominant threat to the passer, but not yet. We were not among the sack leaders in the leage.

LB -- Yes. Ryans super play in a system that suits his skills has turned this group into one to be feared.

C -- Yes. Dunta is very good and Faggins is passable.

S -- Not a whole lot to crow about here and one of our biggest needs in the upcoming draft.

Punter & PK -- We're ok here. No real weapons, but no real liabilities.

Part of our problem is that we have so many holes to fill, it is difficult to decide what to fill first. My preference would be drafting on Defense & O-line again this year. Those two keys will build a solid contender for years to come, and hopefully we can run across a solid RB and a QB who can serve as the face of our franchise.

Go Texans



Quarterbacks, no. Don't include plummer, he isn't on our roster right now. Carr can't throw touchdowns, you have to be able to throw touchdowns to be effective in the playoffs.

Runningbacks, no. Ron Dayne can power it in for short yardage, and DW doesn't do anything. Because he isn't healthy. As of now... we don't have much of anything.

WRs, Yes. Andre Johnson is the best physical specimen at receiver in the nfl. He has TOs size and runs with blinding speed. Eric Moulds is a big physical receiver who can make all the catches. Jerome Mathis is perhaps the fastest player in the nfl, and he can be a great deep threat once he is healthy, and walter/armstrong have made some good catches this past year.

TE, Yes. Owen Daniels has had a great receiving year, and he got the job done blocking. Once he stays healthy and is able play 16 games, you could perhaps see a pro bowl texan te.

Offensive line. No.

Defensive line: As a whole, no. Mario Williams, yes. He played his butt off with a broken toe and bull rushed very well despite being double teamed. You can flame me for not abiding by stats, but I reviewed his film, once he has more talent around him, he will be the best in the nfl.

Linebackers: As a whole no, Demeco Ryans yes. He flies to the ball and he makes plays.

D-backs: No. Dunta Robinson isn't at the level of a shutdown corner yet, and isnt even overall a great corner yet.

Special Teams: Jerome Mathis Yes, K/P no.
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Old 02-12-2007   #11
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
If we win those 4 winnable games instead of losing them, then we end up 10-6 and go in as a wildcard.
this is almost true of every season

2002- 4-12 / 8-8: 4 games lost by one score
2003- 5-11 /10-6: 5 games lost by one score
2004- 7-9 / 10-6: 3 games lost by one score
2005- 2-14 / 8-8: 6 games lost by one score
2006- 6-10/ 10-6: 4 games lost by one score
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Old 02-12-2007   #12
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

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this is almost true of every season

2002- 4-12 / 8-8: 4 games lost by one score
2003- 5-11 /10-6: 5 games lost by one score
2004- 7-9 / 10-6: 3 games lost by one score
2005- 2-14 / 8-8: 6 games lost by one score
2006- 6-10/ 10-6: 4 games lost by one score
It's also true about almost every team.

The difference is that the good teams win the close ones and the bad teams lose them. That's why they're considered bad.
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Old 02-12-2007   #13
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

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Quarterbacks, no. Don't include plummer, he isn't on our roster right now. Carr can't throw touchdowns, you have to be able to throw touchdowns to be effective in the playoffs.
Not if you are Troy Aikman. 3 Super Bowls, 16 postseason games, 11 seasons, and only one season with more than 20 TDs thrown.
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Old 02-12-2007   #14
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

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It's also true about almost every team.

The difference is that the good teams win the close ones and the bad teams lose them. That's why they're considered bad.
Could be. Looks that way from briefly going over the scores. 90's Bengals, the Lions, Saints, and Cardinals.
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Old 02-12-2007   #15
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

The Texans have the talent, but have lacked the coaching. Now that they have the coaching, they are capable of being a play-off caliber team. I really think there are two things holding the Texans back. They are cohesion (see defensive line) and confidence. Nothing cures a lack of confidence like wins, so hopefully the back-to-back wins against the Colts and Browns will do a lot for this team.

The only two areas on the team (painting with a broad brush) where I see a clear lack of talent is the offensive line and the defensive secondary. Some of these guys have been playing for years or together for years. They should be better than they are, hence, the reason I think the talent needs to be upgraded there.

For the running game, I think a healthy Dayne shows that he can run for Kubiak's scheme. I think Taylor and Lundy just need an offseason for the lightbulb to go off in their heads. I also think most of their problems are not running back problems but line problems. In the preseason, the Texans line was opening gaps and lanes. In the regular season, the holes were puckered tight.

Next season I'm going to say the same thing: the Texans have the talent level. It's not a concern in my book. Hopefully with an offseason to let heads clear, schemes work out, players heal, etc., the team will be in a much better place next year.
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Old 02-12-2007   #16
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

IMO our weakness was highlighted by the injury bug. Hopefully, 07 will be somewhat more kind. I will list the following as what could just as easily happen for us.

1. A Peterson could be selected and solidify run game with Dayne as our short and first or goal. Lundy and Taylor could be quick past the line compared to AP/Dayne's power rushes. All are ok as short pass option.

2. Spencer could be ready to go @LT and hold the postion. Winston solidly improves each game holding down RT; Weary and Pitts are solid @ guards. We will pick up another tackle to increase depth. Oline continues good run blocking allowing defense more rest. Center remains issue but McKinney or a f/a fills in.
3. Carr is here and slowly builds confidence behind a healthy Oline. Kubes system matches Carr's abilities (fans feelings aside) He is a strong mobile pocket passer than can run if needed. He can hit the short/intermediate pass and has arm strength to make D pay by hitting a long one once or twice a game. It will take Carr some time to be comfortable, but I see that happening. I realize the screams and rants begin here.
4. Moulds will continue to allow AJ to be the man & AJ will go over 1500yds. Our TE and slot will make an greater impact with a healthy Daniels.
5. The D line avoids crushing injuries and Travis Johnson continues the improvement he exhibited just prior to his injury. He is pushed by Travis J and Anthony Maddox . Listening more to Weaver, he becomes a solid but not pro bowl DT. Mario goes beserk wrecking the oppositions best laid plans. The run game increased time on field reduces injuries and D is stronger at end of games.
6. Our new corner opposite DR Free agent or high draft pick) allows Lbackers more breathing room and increases picks & passes defended by all corners.
7. Earl and CC have pressure relieved somewhat and become the functional if not spectacular safeties they were thought to be when drafted. This position will not be addressed in f/a or draft if we get the corner we need.
8. Special teams will make a comeback in 2007. Stanley will outperform his competition to remain the starter for at least one more year. Mathis will have a better year statistically, but will be injured again. Brown will be solid as kicker and will have even more opportunities as O gets team in red zone more.
9. A linebacker will solidify the will spot and Demeco embarasses the NFL and sets another record for most solo tackles ever by a MLB.
10. Coaches are even stronger and have a year under most belts. Bush will be a plus and a key addition will be new money renogiated by our "cap guru".

It could easily not happen. I choose to think it could.
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Old 02-12-2007   #17
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

We need to draft or sign players that make the players around them better. This is Vinces greatest gift. This was Montana and Staubachs greatest asset. I believe this is where the texans are lacking the most. The problem is this is a quality that's hard to quantify. Carr most definately does not have this quality. As good as Andre Johnson is, I don't believe he has this quality either, that doesn't mean he isn't a good player. Someone needs to step up and take charge on the offense, or we need to get a player that'll do that. The defense seems to offer a glimpse of hope; Dunta and DeMeco could be those kind of players. Kubiak knows this; he's waiting for someone to take charge. That's why I think Carr is history in Houston.
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Old 02-12-2007   #18
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

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Originally Posted by Historyhorn View Post
Indeed. We also had games that we won that we could have easily lost.

Dolphins, Jaguars (in Jax), Colts, & Browns. In the NFL you can play coulda, shoulda, & woulda all day, but in the end....you are what you are. We were 6-10 and at least 4 games out of the playoffs. I think we might have even over-achieved a little at that.

Go Texans
You're preaching to the choir with the woulda/shoulda/coulda; I've made that point several times.

But the point is what we need to be a playoff caliber team. If "playoff caliber team" means a team good enough to make it to the playoffs, then the answer is, not much.

Some people look at our team and think we have to fix everything but the truth is we weren't that far away this year. Were we a bad team? Yeah, we sucked pretty bad. But as badly as we sucked, we were 3-4 plays away from making it. One good player could push us past that.
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Old 02-12-2007   #19
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

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Originally Posted by TwinSisters View Post
this is almost true of every season

2002- 4-12 / 8-8: 4 games lost by one score
2003- 5-11 /10-6: 5 games lost by one score
2004- 7-9 / 10-6: 3 games lost by one score
2005- 2-14 / 8-8: 6 games lost by one score
2006- 6-10/ 10-6: 4 games lost by one score
My point is that this shows that the difference between a playoff caliber team and a nonplayoff caliber team is very, very slight. We don't have to revamp the entire team to get over that hump.
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Old 02-12-2007   #20
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Default Re: Playoff Level Talent

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
My point is that this shows that the difference between a playoff caliber team and a nonplayoff caliber team is very, very slight. We don't have to revamp the entire team to get over that hump.
It's slight, but at the same time its vast.

We may have been a few plays away from beating some teams, but every bad team in the NFL was close to beating some good teams. Being able to make key plays throughout the course of a game is a skill that we didn't have last year. While the scores may have been somewhat close, the level of play throughout the course of a game was not.
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