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Old 04-17-2007   #1
Texans_Chick
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Default Your Candidates for Left Tackle

Decision 2007: Who will try to break the left tackle jinx in 2007?????

Jordan Black: Versatile young guy who filled in for KC. Allowed a lot of sacks but not so many that KC missed the playoffs. KC let him go away though, and note their problems on the line now, so you gotta wonder.

Ephraam Salaam: Versatile old guy. Held down the fort after Spencer went down. Mentor, locker room guy. You wonder about injuries.

Eric Winston: Looked OK at right tackle last year in limited play. He prefers playing left tackle and thought that is what he would be playing in the league. Shortish arms. Had a knee injury that he says doesn't bother him one bit. Really confident guy.

Chester Pitts: Coaches like him at guard. Played an adequate left tackle.

Charles Spencer: Had a lot of promise before his injury in the second game of the season. Questionable about whether he can return by the season and what sort of ability he could have this quick with the sort of injury he had.

Draft: Levi Brown, Joe Staley with a trade down, or someone else?

What I think will happen:

I think Black will get the left tackle spot, with Winston at right tackle and Salaam as swing tackle.

I do not like the idea of relying too much on Salaam because I'm not sure how he is going to hold up.

I have mentally written off Spencer for the season. If he returns it will be gravy, but I suspect from what we've heard publicly that he is a long shot. If the Texans raise questions about an injury in the paper, it is usually worse than what they are letting on.

I do not believe that the Texans will draft tackle, but it wouldn't surprise me given the Texans options.

I wonder a lot about the Texans' evaluation of offensive line personnel. The center position experimentation last year was a joke. For all the discussion of Sherman as an offensive line master, most of his experience was in college, the same with Benton. Sherman as talent evaluator is something that GB fans questioned for a while.
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Old 04-17-2007   #2
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Great Thread.


I can see that happening, but if the FO is expecting Spencer to come back about halfway through the season, then I think it will be pure competition between Black and Salaam, and they won't care about whether or not Salaam holds up. (they'll care, but it won't be a concern) I like Salaam/Winston for the first 4 games, then Black/Winston until Spencer returns. If Spencer ever returns I think that Spencer Pitts Weary Winston will be a helluva O-line, but we will have to get a great Center next year. I think it will be ok for now, b/c as Kubiak said, we're building for a 2009 Playoff run. Not 2007 or 2008.

As far as talent evaluation for the O-line, the only thing we have to go on so far from Sherman's picks are Charles Spencer and Eric Winston. So, I can't say I see anything to make me worry yet.

As for Black, he could be put on Sherman, but you have to understand....of the 9 sacks he gave up last year, 4 were in his first game, and after that he only gave up 5 sacks all season. He's also young, and can be coached to get better, so I'm not too about him. I think he will add good depth, and we got him at a cheap price.

I think this just shows us that we're on the right track. We didn't want to waste money signing a huge name LT for three years if we believe that Spencer will return, and no big name LT's want to sign for just one year. I honestly think Black was the best option we had for the money. Everything that's being done currently shows us that Kubes and Co really does have a big picture in mind, and I think we will all be pleasantly surprised when we see it unfold. Whether we go 7-9 or 9-7 this year doesn't matter, but I think we may see 9-7.
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Old 04-17-2007   #3
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I'd like to see Jordan Black starting at LT. I'd also agree that Spencer bouncing back to play this season is unlikely.
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Old 04-17-2007   #4
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It's really hard to guess at this point because of all of the possible scenarios and we have no information on spencer. i'm wondering if the reason we hear nothing about spencer's injury is to keep other teams guessing leading up to the draft. in my ideal world we bypass levi brown in favor of laron landry or reggie nelson in the draft, and expect spencer to be come off of the PUP or sooner (i'd even consider next year in this regard, if he's expected to fully recover). if that's the case i'd suggest starting salaam to keep a sense of consistancy and yall know i couldnt be higher on spencer ... if he can play, he's our left tackle.

if we go in with what we have, no spencer and no draft (first off, we'd be in a lot of trouble) ... i give the job to black and be quick to yank him in favor of salaam if he struggles.

if we're certain that spencer's career is done, or that his mobility is going to be severely hampered ... you take a left tackle with the first pick regardless of how big of a reach it is.
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Old 04-17-2007   #5
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NOBODY had Spencer on our draft radar before the draft last year...so, I'll make a prediction after the draft.
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Old 04-17-2007   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallas_Texan View Post
I think it will be ok for now, b/c as Kubiak said, we're building for a 2009 Playoff run. Not 2007 or 2008.
When did Kubiak say that? Can't believe any coach would say he needs three seasons to get 4 more wins.
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Old 04-17-2007   #7
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Originally Posted by Vinny View Post
NOBODY had Spencer on our draft radar before the draft last year...so, I'll make a prediction after the draft.
The DeMeco pick happened at the end of the draft party. They let the party go a little longer to get the pick in.

People were pissed that: 1. the Texans didn't let any time go off the clock before Ryans was picked; 2. They didn't pick Eric Winston.

Bwahaha and arrrrrgh....
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Old 04-17-2007   #8
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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
When did Kubiak say that? Can't believe any coach would say he needs three seasons to get 4 more wins.
This is the quote:

"Our supporting cast isn't good enough right now, and we're not going to put everything on [quarterback] Matt [Schaub]. We feel good about our recent drafts and our offseason moves, but we still need a couple more drafts and off seasons before we're a playoff caliber team. We see Matt as one piece of the puzzle."
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Old 04-17-2007   #9
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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
When did Kubiak say that? Can't believe any coach would say he needs three seasons to get 4 more wins.
It was during an interview on the radio. I'll try to find where it was sourced. It's from the "other MB"
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Old 04-17-2007   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
This is the quote:

"Our supporting cast isn't good enough right now, and we're not going to put everything on [quarterback] Matt [Schaub]. We feel good about our recent drafts and our offseason moves, but we still need a couple more drafts and off seasons before we're a playoff caliber team. We see Matt as one piece of the puzzle."
That doesn't mean he doesn't see us making the playoffs and losing in the first round. He may not consider that "playoff caliber" ie a team that can win in the playoffs. I'm sure he thinks that this team can qualify for the playoffs in the mean time.
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Old 04-17-2007   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
This is the quote:

"Our supporting cast isn't good enough right now, and we're not going to put everything on [quarterback] Matt [Schaub]. We feel good about our recent drafts and our offseason moves, but we still need a couple more drafts and off seasons before we're a playoff caliber team. We see Matt as one piece of the puzzle."
Based on that quote I wouldn't say that entirely excludes the possibility of playoff runs prior to 2009. Lots of teams make it into the playoffs before they peak and the Texans are no different.

On the LT subject I'm with Vinny. Once the draft is over I'll have a better idea what to think about this. If the Texans don't move on a LT in the draft then I think your scenario seems most likely.

I have always been a "put Chester at LG and let him get started on his transition to being a Pro Bowl LG" person but I'm at the point now where if Chester Pitts is the best LT on the team then I just want to see him line up there. I know that's not going to happen (and I understand completely why it won't) but I can't get the thought out of my mind that Pitts is likely a better LT than Salaam or Black.

Winston needs to stay on the right side. He's going to be very good there for a very long time.
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Old 04-17-2007   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny View Post
NOBODY had Spencer on our draft radar before the draft last year...so, I'll make a prediction after the draft.
If anything many thought Spencer was the opposite of what type of linemen Kubiak would be looking for since he is a rather large fellow & had issues with his weight at Pitt. So he definately was a surprise pick. You can chalk up Daniels as a surprise pick as well. I had not heard much of anything about him until we drafted him. I thought for sure we were going to pick up Ko Simpson in round 4. I'm sure glad the Texans grabbed Owen now.

BTW If the Texans draft a Baylor player (Sepulveda, Arline, Wilson, Ziegler) I'll type in green for a good long while.
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Old 04-17-2007   #13
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That doesn't mean he doesn't see us making the playoffs and losing in the first round. He may not consider that "playoff caliber" ie a team that can win in the playoffs. I'm sure he thinks that this team can qualify for the playoffs in the mean time.
I was just guessing where that came from.
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Old 04-17-2007   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
This is the quote:

"Our supporting cast isn't good enough right now, and we're not going to put everything on [quarterback] Matt [Schaub]. We feel good about our recent drafts and our offseason moves, but we still need a couple more drafts and off seasons before we're a playoff caliber team. We see Matt as one piece of the puzzle."
I would need to see the entire transcript, but that appears to be a challenge to the team and potential leaders jockeying for the locker room megaphone. In the past that would have fallen on deaf ears in my opinion.
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Old 04-17-2007   #15
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I would need to see the entire transcript, but that appears to be a challenge to the team and potential leaders jockeying for the locker room megaphone. In the past that would have fallen on deaf ears in my opinion.
No transcript available. It was part of an SI article where Kubiak was talking about the upcoming season.

Personally, I think it was a way to diminish expectations of Matt Schaub = instant savior of the Texans.

When Kubiak was first hired, McNair was saying stuff like David Carr will take the Texans to the Super Bowl. When Kubiak was asked about that stuff, he said, no Carr is a QB that could be on a Super Bowl team, but no one player can take you to the Super Bowl, that this is too much to put on a person. A subtle but important distinction.
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Old 04-17-2007   #16
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Nice analysis in the first post by TC.

Unless they are convinced Spencer comes back this year at close to 100%, I don't think they will rely on the likes of Salaam and Black. Just don't see it. I see them taking Levi Brown or Joe Staley in round one. There is a good chance Brown will be gone by the time they pick, but Staley will likely be available.

I guess the other idea is to either move Pitts back over, or see what Winston can do there. Long term, I prefer Winston inside, with Spencer at RT or vice versa. I think Winston's short arms hurt him at tackle.
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Old 04-17-2007   #17
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Winston is too tall to be a good Guard in my opinion...he isn't even built like a Guard...they gotta have a lot of junk in the trunk to anchor in vs those big thick interior NFL interior linemen....he is built more like a Tackle. Salaam played well last year...I don't know why we would draft a Tackle early when we signed two Vets and have two first year, first day players at tackle also. I don't see us carrying 5 Tackles.
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Old 04-17-2007   #18
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Winston is too tall to be a good Guard in my opinion...he isn't even built like a Guard...they gotta have a lot of junk in the trunk to anchor in vs those big thick interior NFL interior linemen....he is built more like a Tackle.
By no means a rule, but how many TE's get converted to T and then to G. His body and mentality is best suited on the edge in my opinion.

I would like to see the guy settle in at RT and man that position for the next ten years.
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Old 04-17-2007   #19
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That doesn't mean he doesn't see us making the playoffs and losing in the first round. He may not consider that "playoff caliber" ie a team that can win in the playoffs. I'm sure he thinks that this team can qualify for the playoffs in the mean time.
Exactly--there is a huge difference from being a team everyone expects to get into the playoffs and possibly make a deep run like Indy and being a contender like the Jags who have been in or at the cusp recently.
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Old 04-17-2007   #20
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Originally Posted by texasguy346 View Post
If anything many thought Spencer was the opposite of what type of linemen Kubiak would be looking for since he is a rather large fellow & had issues with his weight at Pitt. So he definately was a surprise pick.
And yet some people still say that Brown would not fit the system here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallas_Texan
As for Black, he could be put on Sherman, but you have to understand....of the 9 sacks he gave up last year, 4 were in his first game, and after that he only gave up 5 sacks all season. He's also young, and can be coached to get better, so I'm not too about him. I think he will add good depth, and we got him at a cheap price.
Nice factoid there.

It's going to be interesting to see what happens during the draft along the O-line.
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