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Old 03-06-2007   #1
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Default Thoughts on the Offense

Here are some thoughts for discussion if anyone is interested.

Running Back – the Green pick-up is OK with me. The Texans need a running back that can give us a couple of years of production, and Green can be that guy. The remaining backs on the roster are good for depth as the younger ones develop their games. Given Green’s years in the league, I think they will all have a chance to get a significant number of carries.

Fullback – I think they should only carry one on the roster, and that should be Leach. It is fairly easy to pick up a fullback if he goes down with injury or doesn’t perform. I think it was a huge waste of a roster spot last year when they were carrying two fullbacks or a 4th tight end/fullback on the active roster.

Receiver – I am disappointed that Moulds is no longer here. I thought that receiver was an area they could have let ride for a year as they fixed some of the other holes on the team. I am not as confident that Walter will work out as a number two receiver as the Texans staff is. I’m not sure they are either – it is likely that their statements are PR spin after Moulds asked to be let go. It will be interesting to see if Mathis finally stays healthy and puts his nose to the grindstone and becomes a legitimate receiving threat. If not, he’ll be gone next year.

Tight End – I think we have two keepers on the roster in Daniels and Putzier. I think it is time to cut ties with Breuner; he is primarily a blocker although he can have a couple of surprise catches each year. I’d rather have a third dual threat person in that position. They can always use a tackle at tight end if they need the extra blocking on short yardage. I think a vet minimum tight end can be picked up to fill the third tight end roster spot, and then he’d have to earn his playing time. Daniels and Putzier would take most of snaps.

Center – there are three centers on the team right now and none of them strike me as being very good in the short or long term. I don’t think Flanagan adds much on the field, and roster spots are too valuable to waste on a locker room guy. Hodgdon has had a couple of chances and I haven’t been too impressed yet. He’s probably OK as a back-up, or maybe continued playing time would let him develop into a solid center. That leaves McKinney. While his pass blocking is suspect, I think he is the best run blocker the Texans have at center in their system. Unless we make a key pick-up in the draft or free agency, it looks like McKinney again. The wild card here is Weary – he has played center before, but he doesn’t get any work there now. Maybe that changes this year.

Guard – our best position on the line, which isn’t saying much. Pitts looks good most of the time, but he has his stretches where he doesn’t look so hot. He is commonly referred to here as “the best lineman on the team”, but what does that really mean? He has been a key component on one of the continually worst lines in the league. Maybe he should carry more fault than he is given – I don’t know. Weary looks good at times and bad at times. Unless a guard falls in the Texans’ lap, I’d be OK with going with them as starters and concentrating on bigger needs.

Tackle – our worst position on the line. The problem is we need two good ones and a good backup. I’d prefer two good back-ups, but more on that later. Winston has the best chance of being the real deal for us this year. He had some significant playing time last year, and that can only help his development. I’d say he’s a good tackle that may make a few mistakes as he continues gaining experience. That’s it for the good news. Spencer may or may not come back from his injury – reports conflict and seem to cover the whole spectrum between “he’s fine” and “he’s done”. The D. Davis/Williams lesson from last year tells the Texans they had better not count on Spencer making it back as a solid starter at the beginning of the year. The team likes Salaam as a swing tackle back-up, but I’d prefer a back-up left tackle and a back-up right tackle. I’m not sure Bedell makes the roster this year; if he does the Texans didn’t fix much on the line this off-season.

Quarterback – I think Rosenfels will be the starter with Carr as the back-up. I would prefer they trade or even cut Carr. They would then need to draft a good QB and try to find a low end veteran back-up. As far as getting rid of Carr, I think it is time for this from both the Texans’ and Carr’s perspectives. I would not be surprised to see Carr go to another team and with a fresh start carry more than is share of the weight. I don’t think better players around him would have to carry him; I think better players would allow him to play at a high level.

Roster Spots – I hope the Texans improve their use of valuable roster spots this season. I don’t like to see a roster spot taken by a player because “he’s good in the locker room” if he can’t also contribute on the field. This problem is doubled because it also seems like it is used as an excuse to gather Denver and Green Bay players on the team to keep the coaches comfortable. As far as roster spots go, I also don’t see the sense in leaving our already weak offensive line weaker because of lack of depth. As borderline as the back-ups are, it would be wise to carry an extra lineman compared to last year. It makes more sense to me to carry two reserve tackles on the roster than four tight ends or two fullbacks like they did last year.

----------------------------------------------------------
Filling the Gaps

Running Back – ok for now.

Fullback – keep Leach.

Tight end – find a vet minimum free agent if the Texans haven’t already identified a late round sleeper in the draft.

Receiver – draft or sign a decent veteran. I’ll put this one down a s mid-round draftee.

Center – draft or find a good vet free agent that isn’t too expensive. It is unlikely they’ll find a reasonably priced vet that can contribute more that what they have there now. They’ll probably have to draft a mid-round center or get a great deal of improvement out of Hodgdon.

Guard –go with the status quo and look at vet minimum players in training camp, or draft a late round guard to develop.

Tackle – use a high, preferably first round pick, on a tackle. First or second round minimum depending on what they do about quarterback.

Quarterback – second round pick.

----------------------------------------------------------
Summary

Low end free agent - tight end

High Draft pick – left tackle, quarterback

Mid-Round Draft Pick – center, receiver

That takes care of four of the seven draft picks, and the players better contribute early for the sake of the Texans. That leaves three picks and some free agent money for defense.
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Old 03-06-2007   #2
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

Thanks for the input. I agree with pretty much everything you say, even your view on the whole Moulds affair. I think that this may very well be the way that this whole thing plays out.
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Old 03-06-2007   #3
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

I totally agree except for WR. If Robert Meachem is there in the 2nd round, I'd like to draft him. If not, then Chansi Stuckey in the mid-rounds is cool with me.
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Old 03-06-2007   #4
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

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Originally Posted by Navy_Chris View Post
If Robert Meachem is there in the 2nd round, I'd like to draft him.
So in my plan what do you give up to do this - the 1st or 2nd round LT or QB? I think either of these needs trump our need for a receiver.
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Old 03-06-2007   #5
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runner View Post
So in my plan what do you give up to do this - the 1st or 2nd round LT or QB? I think either of these needs trump our need for a receiver.
I think we can find a decent QB in the 3rd. Troy Smith or Kevin Kolb should be available then. If they aren't, I will be highly surprised.
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Old 03-06-2007   #6
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

Great stuff Runner !
I'm particularly interested in your thoughts on this years Draft as a means
to perhaps finally solve what has been our endless OLT problem ?
What's your thoughts on Levi Brown ? Is he worth our #8, and if not perhaps he's worth a low or midteens first round pick if we trade back for an additional
pick as I hope we do.
Opinions about Brown are all over the place. Lot of people think Joe Staley is really a better fit for our ZB system and therefor a better prospect for us than Brown ?
Then there's tackles like Doug Free who will likely be taken after the second
round, maybe even into the second day who would be projects but have great upside who could be had muc less expensively ? Of course maybe the biggest problem with a Doug Free is we need help at LT this year.
Of course all bets are off for Charles Spencer until we know more about his rehab, but do you think there's any chance for Eric Winston at LT ? That's his old college position, and it's now been 2 full years back since he blew out his knee in '04.
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Old 03-06-2007   #7
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runner View Post
Summary

Low end free agent - tight end

High Draft pick – left tackle, quarterback

Mid-Round Draft Pick – center, receiver

That takes care of four of the seven draft picks, and the players better contribute early for the sake of the Texans. That leaves three picks and some free agent money for defense.
Thanks for writing an actual football post that doesn't grind axes but just tries to figure out what the deal is.

Personally, I think there are so many needs on both sides of the ball that the focus really should be on getting the BPAs at each turn of the draft. The left tackle or qb we need may not be someone worth taking high this year.

I feel you shouldn't mortgage the future on FAs that ain't worth it, or choose for need in years the players may not be there.

Thanks again for the thoughtful thread.
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Old 03-07-2007   #8
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

I used to think LT was the first-round priority. Circumstances and scouting reports are swaying my mind, though.

Circumstances - Joe Thomas won't fall to number 8.

Scouting Reports - Levi Brown's scouting reports (here and here)talk about what a big guy he is, but say that he lacks speed and agility. Besides, they admit, he is probably better suited for right tackle. He doesn't sound like a ZBS-type of tackle.

Somebody mentioned Doug Free. As a Northern Illinois alum, taking a Huskie sounds great. As a Texans fan, it sounds fine. He sounds better suited for the position than Brown, though you have to question the level of competition he faced in the MAC.

Staley is a quick, smart tackle, and probably the best fit in this class. I have nothing against this pick and think he is likely the tackle the Texans take.
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Old 03-07-2007   #9
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

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Originally Posted by TexansLucky13 View Post
I think we can find a decent QB in the 3rd. Troy Smith or Kevin Kolb should be available then. If they aren't, I will be highly surprised.
There are two good reasons to take Troy Smith.

1 - He is an awesome quarterback and will be an awesome quarterback. Great arm and excellent mobility.

2 - Since the Texans don't sign players who want to play for them, how about signing a player who wants to play somewhere else?

However, I don't think the Texans will take him because of the bias due to size.
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Old 03-07-2007   #10
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runner View Post
Here are some thoughts for discussion if anyone is interested.


Center – there are three centers on the team right now and none of them strike me as being very good in the short or long term. I don’t think Flanagan adds much on the field, and roster spots are too valuable to waste on a locker room guy. Hodgdon has had a couple of chances and I haven’t been too impressed yet. He’s probably OK as a back-up, or maybe continued playing time would let him develop into a solid center. That leaves McKinney. While his pass blocking is suspect, I think he is the best run blocker the Texans have at center in their system. Unless we make a key pick-up in the draft or free agency, it looks like McKinney again. The wild card here is Weary – he has played center before, but he doesn’t get any work there now. Maybe that changes this year.

Tackle – our worst position on the line. The problem is we need two good ones and a good backup. I’d prefer two good back-ups, but more on that later. Winston has the best chance of being the real deal for us this year. He had some significant playing time last year, and that can only help his development. I’d say he’s a good tackle that may make a few mistakes as he continues gaining experience. That’s it for the good news. Spencer may or may not come back from his injury – reports conflict and seem to cover the whole spectrum between “he’s fine” and “he’s done”. The D. Davis/Williams lesson from last year tells the Texans they had better not count on Spencer making it back as a solid starter at the beginning of the year. The team likes Salaam as a swing tackle back-up, but I’d prefer a back-up left tackle and a back-up right tackle. I’m not sure Bedell makes the roster this year; if he does the Texans didn’t fix much on the line this off-season.

Roster Spots – I hope the Texans improve their use of valuable roster spots this season. I don’t like to see a roster spot taken by a player because “he’s good in the locker room” if he can’t also contribute on the field. This problem is doubled because it also seems like it is used as an excuse to gather Denver and Green Bay players on the team to keep the coaches comfortable. As far as roster spots go, I also don’t see the sense in leaving our already weak offensive line weaker because of lack of depth. As borderline as the back-ups are, it would be wise to carry an extra lineman compared to last year. It makes more sense to me to carry two reserve tackles on the roster than four tight ends or two fullbacks like they did last year.
Some great stuff in here. A lot of the offensive linemen I think would make great depth, but are not starting quality. I'm talking about Flanagan, McKinney, and Hodgdon, specifically. I don't think all three of them make it to the next season. I suspect Hodgdon would be the one left out.

I think the Texans need to fill the left tackle position. They won't rely on Spencer being back. FA looking the way it is, I suspect they will draft a left tackle. That leaves Salaam and Spencer backing up. They might even think about moving Spencer to left tackle and Winston to guard. Who knows, but they have lots of options once they draft that left tackle.

The Texans have put a lot of emphasis on the locker room. I think it is necessary to a certain point. They are rebuilding a team and trying to develop a winning persona. The locker room people help with that. But the Texans have proven they can win against the big team and can win more than one game at a time, so I am ready to stop all this locker room crud. If the player can't cut it on the field, he can't cut it on the team.
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Old 03-07-2007   #11
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

Good stuff - I agree with you on many of your points.

Very nice!
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Old 03-07-2007   #12
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
Thanks for writing an actual football post that doesn't grind axes but just tries to figure out what the deal is.

Personally, I think there are so many needs on both sides of the ball that the focus really should be on getting the BPAs at each turn of the draft. The left tackle or qb we need may not be someone worth taking high this year.

I feel you shouldn't mortgage the future on FAs that ain't worth it, or choose for need in years the players may not be there.

Thanks again for the thoughtful thread.
ditto...thanks for the good thread from myself as well. We need more of these. BPA's beat "the best of the rest at a need position" when it comes to stocking a team. Pick for need, and you end up reach-picking for need over and over most of the time (see Travis Johnson and Jason Babin)
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Old 03-07-2007   #13
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

Quote:
Originally Posted by OSQ View Post
There are two good reasons to take Troy Smith.

1 - He is an awesome quarterback and will be an awesome quarterback. Great arm and excellent mobility.

2 - Since the Texans don't sign players who want to play for them, how about signing a player who wants to play somewhere else?

However, I don't think the Texans will take him because of the bias due to size.
1 - Troy Smith was an excellent COLLEGE quarterback. He has a fairly ordinary arm and very good mobility. The jury is most definitely out on whether he will be able to translate into a viable NFL QB. My gut reastion is no he will not.

Smith's arm strength is generated primarily when he can step into a ball and really fire it. The analogy would be an outfielder who takes a crow hop to put mustard on the ball. So many balls in the NFL must be thrown without having the ability to step into the throw. He does not have this kind of arm strength and relies too much on his lower body to generate power in his throws. This is what makes Russell so attractive to NFL scouts: his ability to throw the ball off his back foot with a flick of the wrist and be accurate.

2 - Smith is auditioning for EVERY NFL team and wants to play for everyone. Do the math...if he can get the Texans to draft him at 8, he will stand to get a ton more money than if he slips to the second round. He won't go in the first round. If the Texans chose him at 8, that would be a huge mistake. The vieled VY message was understood, but not applicable here.

The Texans not taking Troy is not a decision based on "bias". It is rooted in facts. He is too small. That does not translate well in the NFL.

I would lean towards Kolb in the third round or moving up with a second pick in the second round to pick up Kolb. Russell will be gone and I am not much of a Quinn fan, especially in lieu of the other needs we have to be addressed: OT, Safety, WR.
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Old 03-07-2007   #14
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

"PR spin after Moulds asked to be let go"

I was wondering about the Moulds release.

Did he in fact ask to be released or is this just the consensus opinion.
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Old 03-07-2007   #15
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

Nice ideas. I agree with you drafting a receiver in the mid rounds. The receiver position appears to be very deep this year. I'm kind of on the fence with your first pick. Although it wouldn't upset me drafting Levi, but the Tackle position is also pretty deep this year. I'd rather grab mutiple Olinemen from the middle rounds out. IMO, we should go defense with our first pick. Overall, with the number of holes we have on both sides of the ball I think it'd be hard to make a bad choice this year.
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Old 03-07-2007   #16
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

I like this thread but I would've liked to see defense incorporated as well, since our defensive needs are relevant to overall draft/cap strategy.

I have only a few comments.

I think David Carr will still be here next year and I think he will basically compete for and win the starting job through camp, for reasons I've stated elsewhere. I think it's possible we look at drafting Quinn if he falls to us at #8 but we will not trade up for him or look to acquire Garcia or any of the other names that have been liberally tossed around here. I think it's also possible we look to draft a second-day QB but I just don't see us drafting any QB if Ramsey is signed.

I too am disappointed that Moulds is no longer here as I believe his relative lack of production was due more to Carr's deficiencies. I too hope that Mathis will develop his game as a WR because we desperately need his speed out there, and I'm not confident about Walter as a #2--IMO he is a #3 at very best and I was not enthused with his play last year.

I still favor Landry for the first pick but other than that I agree generally with your draft strategy.
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Old 03-07-2007   #17
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuppacoffee View Post
"PR spin after Moulds asked to be let go"
I was wondering about the Moulds release.
Did he in fact ask to be released or is this just the consensus opinion.
It's clearly a Kubiak faux pax, whether or not Moulds wanted out.
To be sure not as big of a Kubiak screw-up as what he did with last years
#1, but a medium-to-small-range screw-up. But with RS now involved, personnel decisions already are looking wiser and more prudent. My question
now is, does Mike Sherman add or subtract from that process because he is
clearly also very involved ?
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Old 03-07-2007   #18
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

I like the Oline talk, it has been a glaring problem since year one, with that I think Winston is the man if Spencer can't go. His work the last 5 games at RT was good to very good, and with experience at LT, he should probably start preseason through game one, let Salaam back him up, if he can't protect his spot, he is our best RT, so no harm, move him back and start Salaam, draft a LT in round 2/3 and build again. On defense Babin led our team in sacks last year ( nothing to brag about), but when you look at our LB's Ryans & Greenwood both had over 100 tackles, could this be like the Raven D where the Dline is suppose to take the Oline out so the LB can make the plays ? I have studied every draft board to date and man there are a LOT of changes from day to day, but in looking at the talent everyone of the players listed as top 15 players look to be good starters from day one no matter where they play. I see 5 good S/CB, at least 5 DT/DE, 3 LB, 1QB, and 4-6 RB, this should be a good test for Rick Smith and Kubiak, just think if we can pick up players like Winston/Spencer in the third again, man that would be gravy.
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Old 03-07-2007   #19
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

Quote:
Originally Posted by coachdent View Post
1 - Troy Smith was an excellent COLLEGE quarterback. He has a fairly ordinary arm and very good mobility. The jury is most definitely out on whether he will be able to translate into a viable NFL QB. My gut reastion is no he will not.

Smith's arm strength is generated primarily when he can step into a ball and really fire it. The analogy would be an outfielder who takes a crow hop to put mustard on the ball. So many balls in the NFL must be thrown without having the ability to step into the throw. He does not have this kind of arm strength and relies too much on his lower body to generate power in his throws. This is what makes Russell so attractive to NFL scouts: his ability to throw the ball off his back foot with a flick of the wrist and be accurate.

2 - Smith is auditioning for EVERY NFL team and wants to play for everyone. Do the math...if he can get the Texans to draft him at 8, he will stand to get a ton more money than if he slips to the second round. He won't go in the first round. If the Texans chose him at 8, that would be a huge mistake. The vieled VY message was understood, but not applicable here.

The Texans not taking Troy is not a decision based on "bias". It is rooted in facts. He is too small. That does not translate well in the NFL.
Troy Smith and Tedd Ginn Jr. have publicly said they wanted to play for Cleveland. AP has publicly said he wants to play for the Texans, though he has not been as obvious about it as VY was last year. I was just playing around with the scenarios. I don't think Troy will come here, and I don't think he is worth the number eight pick in the draft.

I won't argue with you on his ability to throw from stepping in or from the back of his heal - I haven't watched that closely nor do I intend to.
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Old 03-07-2007   #20
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Default Re: Thoughts on the Offense

Troy Smith = Shaun King

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