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Old 04-30-2007   #1
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Default Kiper Grades the Texans at C-

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Originally Posted by Mel Kiper
Houston Texans: GRADE: C- The Texans took defensive tackle Travis Johnson in 2005, and he hasn't played up to his potential. They took DT Amobi Okoye when they should have been looking at a cornerback such as Leon Hall or Darrelle Revis. Also, they didn't do much to help new QB Matt Schaub on offense. Wide receiver Jacoby Jones played at Lane College, and tackle Brandon Frye and guard Kasey Studdard look more like backups than starters. This turned out to be a typical Houston draft. The Texans didn't help David Carr when he was their QB, and they didn't do much to help Schaub. Cornerback Fred Bennett was a good pick in the fourth round, and I really like linebacker Zach Diles. He had two productive years at Kansas State and might have flown under some teams' radar. Getting Diles in the seventh round was a good move.

Indianapolis Colts: GRADE: B- The Texans should take a page from the Colts. They win the Super Bowl and what do they do in the first round? Give Peyton Manning another weapon on offense by taking WR Anthony Gonzalez. This was a great pick, replacing Brandon Stokley in the Colts' arsenal. Tony Ugoh could be the heir apparent to Tarik Glenn at left tackle, and I really like wide receiver Roy Hall, Gonzalez's teammate at Ohio State. On defense, Daymeion Hughes doesn't have great speed, but in the Colts' scheme, he could excel. Defensive end Quinn Pitcock is a tough, hard-nosed player who gets the job done; safety Brannon Condren was a bit of a reach in the fourth round, and fifth-round pick Michael Coe has the chance to be a good developmental cornerback.
This is an ESPN Insider article that someone posted on a FF forum I vist from time to time.

I tend to take Kiper's thoughts with a pitcher of salt, but in general, I have to agree that I am a lot less excited about this draft than I was about last year's. Time will tell, I suppose. It's just annoying to watch the good teams address their O-lines with first day picks and our front office thinks we can get by with has-beens, never-weres, and late-round picks. If they hit gold on a couple of the later day picks, I suppose it'll be good, but how many rocks are they going to dig through in looking for a diamond? Just go get a diamond, jeez.
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Old 04-30-2007   #2
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I tend to take Kiper's thoughts with a pitcher of salt, but in general, I have to agree that I am a lot less excited about this draft than I was about last year's.
I totally agree here. The overall '07 draft class is nothing compared to last year's.

While I thought the Texans were solid, there just wasn't too much to get excited about at all in this draft.
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Old 04-30-2007   #3
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Houston Texans: GRADE: C- The Texans took defensive tackle Travis Johnson in 2005, and he hasn't played up to his potential. They took DT Amobi Okoye when they should have been looking at a cornerback such as Leon Hall or Darrelle Revis. Also, they didn't do much to help new QB Matt Schaub on offense. Wide receiver Jacoby Jones played at Lane College, and tackle Brandon Frye and guard Kasey Studdard look more like backups than starters. This turned out to be a typical Houston draft. The Texans didn't help David Carr when he was their QB, and they didn't do much to help Schaub. Cornerback Fred Bennett was a good pick in the fourth round, and I really like linebacker Zach Diles. He had two productive years at Kansas State and might have flown under some teams' radar. Getting Diles in the seventh round was a good move.
I can see the argument for slagging the Texans draft, but this isn't the best argument you can make. [Those disappointed in the draft would be disappointed in all the "potential" types of picks on a team that needs potential to be realized immediately.]

Is he saying the Texans should have taken for need instead of BPA? Hello, DT was a need. The Texans played with street free agents for most of last season at the DT position. How can you say Travis Johnson was a disappointment but then in the next breath say draft cornerback.

This wasn't the draft where the Texans were likely to get an amazing Olinemen stud. They got pretty decent value last year.

The long and short of it is that the real reason he hates the Texans draft is that we blew up his analysis by not taking CB first and by taking a wide receiver that wasn't rated as high on his charts as other guys he liked better.

Okoye was ranked higher on the Texans board and Mel's board than Hall or Revis. He fits a need.

I think Mel needs a nap.


Ultimately, I believe Kubiak believes he has the stones and ability to fix the offense with his sort of players even if they aren't draft stars. [Rod Smith comes to mind]. But that he needs to get studs for the defense to work with.
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Old 04-30-2007   #4
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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
I can see the argument for slagging the Texans draft, but this isn't the best argument you can make. [Those disappointed in the draft would be disappointed in all the "potential" types of picks on a team that needs potential to be realized immediately.]

Is he saying the Texans should have taken for need instead of BPA? Hello, DT was a need. The Texans played with street free agents for most of last season at the DT position. How can you say Travis Johnson was a disappointment but then in the next breath say draft cornerback.

This wasn't the draft where the Texans were likely to get an amazing Olinemen stud. They got pretty decent value last year.

The long and short of it is that the real reason he hates the Texans draft is that we blew up his analysis by not taking CB first and by taking a wide receiver that wasn't rated as high on his charts as other guys he liked better.

Okoye was ranked higher on the Texans board and Mel's board than Hall or Revis. He fits a need.

I think Mel needs a nap.


Ultimately, I believe Kubiak believes he has the stones and ability to fix the offense with his sort of players even if they aren't draft stars. [Rod Smith comes to mind]. But that he needs to get studs for the defense to work with.
I agree with your analysis as usual TC. I read in an earlier post where someone was talking about the need for CB, but they also pointed out that having a dominant D line will not make our CBs look so vulnerable by giving the opposing QB an eternity to throw the ball. This should allow us to get a good push and free up Mario or whoever to rush the passer. I am happy with what I read on this kid and all in all, I give the draft a B, considering the talent this year wasn't as good as last.
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Old 04-30-2007   #5
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To buy into the mentality that "it's all the offensive line's fault" means that you have to suspend reality and believe that David Carr had nothing to do with the situation.

The national media is nothing if not a pack of bleating sheep, repeating the same tired analysis over and over ad nauseum. We have seen our previous QB start over 70 games, and the fact of the matter is that when the line sucked, he sucked, and when the line played better, he still sucked.

Maybe our front office knows something that the 'experts' don't?

The fact of the matter is that a better QB will make the offense better, including the line. Of course I hope they address the line, but I'm not going to fret that we didn't use a first day pick on it. Our defense was in dire straits last year, and beefing up our D-line is a big step towards building a squad that can consistently dominate.
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Old 04-30-2007   #6
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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
To buy into the mentality that "it's all the offensive line's fault" means that you have to suspend reality and believe that David Carr had nothing to do with the situation.

The national media is nothing if not a pack of bleating sheep, repeating the same tired analysis over and over ad nauseum. We have seen our previous QB start over 70 games, and the fact of the matter is that when the line sucked, he sucked, and when the line played better, he still sucked.

Maybe our front office knows something that the 'experts' don't?

The fact of the matter is that a better QB will make the offense better, including the line. Of course I hope they address the line, but I'm not going to fret that we didn't use a first day pick on it. Our defense was in dire straits last year, and beefing up our D-line is a big step towards building a squad that can consistently dominate.
I think most reasonable people agree that DC had his very evident flaws. But I also think it's been painfully obvious over the past few years that the tackle play on this O-line has been atrocious. DC contributed to his share of sacks, to be sure. But there were FAR too many instances of him getting hit right as he set his feet from the drop or even before. And the team wasn't even taking seven-step drops! Salaam and Jordan Black don't make me feel any more comfortable about the situation at all. Contrarily, at least I had some faith that DC could take the hit and get back up. We don't know that about Schaub yet. We hope he has the durabilty DC had, but we don't know.

I agree with everything TC said above, and I don't like Kiper's analysis. But I do grade the draft a C- or thereabouts, because of what we didn't do AGAIN, and that is get a blue-chip prospect at LT. Sure, maybe this OT we got in the 5th round will get coached up and be a decent starter in a few years. Maybe Spencer makes it back from injury and can be a healthy starter for 2008. But maybe Kubiak and Schaub have started down the road to their demise by then, too.
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Old 04-30-2007   #7
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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
I can see the argument for slagging the Texans draft, but this isn't the best argument you can make. [Those disappointed in the draft would be disappointed in all the "potential" types of picks on a team that needs potential to be realized immediately.]

Is he saying the Texans should have taken for need instead of BPA? Hello, DT was a need. The Texans played with street free agents for most of last season at the DT position. How can you say Travis Johnson was a disappointment but then in the next breath say draft cornerback.

This wasn't the draft where the Texans were likely to get an amazing Olinemen stud. They got pretty decent value last year.

The long and short of it is that the real reason he hates the Texans draft is that we blew up his analysis by not taking CB first and by taking a wide receiver that wasn't rated as high on his charts as other guys he liked better.

Okoye was ranked higher on the Texans board and Mel's board than Hall or Revis. He fits a need.

I think Mel needs a nap.


Ultimately, I believe Kubiak believes he has the stones and ability to fix the offense with his sort of players even if they aren't draft stars. [Rod Smith comes to mind]. But that he needs to get studs for the defense to work with.
I don't think I've ever disagreed with you before, but I have to here. Granted, I think Okoye, and Bennett are great picks. However, I definitely have my doubts about Jacoby Jones, and I think there's no excuse for taking a project (at best) SS when there were highly rated FS's available that could have been steals. I think Wendling is going to be a surprisingly great FS for whoever it was that got him. I just don't get that.

And then to use two picks on the O-line in late rounds seems pretty dumb, when you've still got a glaring need at FS. (I think Wendling was available during one of these as well).

Factoring in Schaub I think we had a good draft, but other than Okoye, I don't think any of our moves were "exciting" like last years. Williams was exciting, Demeco was exciting, Spencer and Winston dropping to 3 (as well as addressing OL twice on Day 1!!) was exciting. This year, Okoye is exciting, and that's it. Bennet could be real good. Everyone else was a stretch. I will sit back and have faith though, b/c Owen Daniels wasn't exciting last year, and look what happened!

Good luck Texans!!
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Old 04-30-2007   #8
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While I was watching the draft I realized that not all of them could be like the draft we had last year, which is a good thing. We didn't have the ammo to trade up to take any of the dynamic players. Thank god we didn't use a first rounder next year, like some other teams did, to fill a need. I am excited about the guys we drafted though. We drafted every position that we needed. I don't know much about Harrison at S, but I didn't know much about Daniels last year either.

To all who are upset about us not taking OL earlier in the draft I will refer you to nfl.com. Go to past drafts and see what Denver's drafts looked like for the past years. I only saw one OL taken in the first round, and he is no longer with the team. Our offense doesn't need a top notch tackle IMO.

I also think that trading down is always good if you need to fill some holes, BUT it is also being in the right place at the right time. Dallas and New England happened to be in the right places to where their pick had some value to other teams. Nobody necessarily needed our 10 spot so I don't think that trading down was a good thing to do since Amobi was sitting in our laps. After we made that selection we had no choice but to watch players go off the board until our selection. Overall, I think we got the most that we could have with our picks.
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Old 04-30-2007   #9
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oh, and...

Kiper is a jackass!
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Old 04-30-2007   #10
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oh, and...

Kiper is a jackass!
A big part of Kiper's job description is calling out NFL GM's. Half the time, he turns out to be wrong.

He flings a lot of ******* against the wall. It's bound to stick sometime.
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Old 04-30-2007   #11
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There is some merit to Kipers argument.
So much of it has to do with how the Texans graded out the players ?
If they had a chance to trade their pick to Denver (or another team) and draft Joe Staley "AND" have another first day pick (or more ?), for another player(s) who might start by year end, that's a competing scenario that others might think superior ?
I think Jamaal Anderson would have been a better pick for us than Okoye, and so did Okoye's college coach which leaves me to wonder why ? But Kiper would probably complain about that pick and he would have wanted us to take Levi Brown (if he'd fallen to #10) instead of Okoye, which I wouldn't because its too much of a reach based on need. I thought the Cardinals pick was more of a reach than the 'Phins taking Ginn.
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Old 04-30-2007   #12
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To all who are upset about us not taking OL earlier in the draft I will refer you to nfl.com. Go to past drafts and see what Denver's drafts looked like for the past years. I only saw one OL taken in the first round, and he is no longer with the team. Our offense doesn't need a top notch tackle IMO.
And then take a look at the other 31 teams' drafts at the tackle position, and even focus on the Texans. Just because the Broncos can do things a certain way does not mean we can. We don't really run the Bronco offense anyway. We run some bastardized form of Green Bay and Denver offenses, mixed with who-knows-what, and the result hasn't been pretty. I understand what you're saying, and where you're coming from, but I reiterate - Just because Denver does it doesn't mean we can. To this point, we haven't.
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Old 04-30-2007   #13
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There is some merit to Kipers argument.
So much of it has to do with how the Texans graded out the players ?
If they had a chance to trade their pick to Denver (or another team) and draft Joe Staley "AND" have another first day pick (or more ?), for another player(s) who might start by year end, that's a competing scenario that others might think superior ?
I think Jamaal Anderson would have been a better pick for us than Okoye, and so did Okoye's college coach which leaves me to wonder why ? But Kiper would probably complain about that pick and he would have wanted us to take Levi Brown (if he'd fallen to #10) instead of Okoye, which I wouldn't because its too much of a reach based on need. I thought the Cardinals pick was more of a reach than the 'Phins taking Ginn.
Do you think Denver would give up a first next year and a second this year to move up plus a player or something? If you look at the trades that happened, that was the going rate. Jocby Jones was brought in by the Texans and had at least an interview, not to mention I am sure the Texans watched more tape on him than Mel did, he does not like that pick but he loves the Hill pick by SF only because of speed not production. The Texans have AJ who has speed, the Texans need a #2 WR who is not affraid to go over the middle and will make the tough catch. Besides itis not like he has crappy speed at 4.5, for what it is worth I agree Mel is very self serving, saying how bad Houston's O-line is but does not say that about St Louis or Seattle and how many sacks they gave up.
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Old 04-30-2007   #14
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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
To buy into the mentality that "it's all the offensive line's fault" means that you have to suspend reality and believe that David Carr had nothing to do with the situation.

The national media is nothing if not a pack of bleating sheep, repeating the same tired analysis over and over ad nauseum. We have seen our previous QB start over 70 games, and the fact of the matter is that when the line sucked, he sucked, and when the line played better, he still sucked.

Maybe our front office knows something that the 'experts' don't?

The fact of the matter is that a better QB will make the offense better, including the line. Of course I hope they address the line, but I'm not going to fret that we didn't use a first day pick on it. Our defense was in dire straits last year, and beefing up our D-line is a big step towards building a squad that can consistently dominate.
I watched part of the draft coverage on day 1. It was interesting when Quinn was sliding, there was talk the Panthers could select Quinn.

Faulk basically said David Carr is not a long-term solution to follow up Delhomme.

I thought it was interesting to hear him say that. Most people like you referred to above, give Carr basically a free pass on the 5 years he was in Houston.

Since Faulk just came out and said, I am sure there a lot more of those guys thinking it and not saying it.
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Old 04-30-2007   #15
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I don't think I've ever disagreed with you before, but I have to here. Granted, I think Okoye, and Bennett are great picks. However, I definitely have my doubts about Jacoby Jones, and I think there's no excuse for taking a project (at best) SS when there were highly rated FS's available that could have been steals. I think Wendling is going to be a surprisingly great FS for whoever it was that got him. I just don't get that.

And then to use two picks on the O-line in late rounds seems pretty dumb, when you've still got a glaring need at FS. (I think Wendling was available during one of these as well).

Factoring in Schaub I think we had a good draft, but other than Okoye, I don't think any of our moves were "exciting" like last years. Williams was exciting, Demeco was exciting, Spencer and Winston dropping to 3 (as well as addressing OL twice on Day 1!!) was exciting. This year, Okoye is exciting, and that's it. Bennet could be real good. Everyone else was a stretch. I will sit back and have faith though, b/c Owen Daniels wasn't exciting last year, and look what happened!

Good luck Texans!!

As I said, I think there are ways to complain about this draft, but I don't think Kiper's explanation of his grade was particularly good, especially regarding Okoye.

As for draft grades, there were a lot of people on MB last year that hated the Owen Daniels pick because there were "higher rated" TEs still available, and people were not impressed with Daniels' body of work.

I did a draft grade on the FanHouse because I was asked to, but it is sort of against my general view of this stuff which is most people talking about the draft are full of it. That most people have just read draft reports that are mostly plagerized from each other, and that even if they have watched all the games a player has played, most people don't have the ability to judge talent.

And even those people who do have the means and the ability to judge players (NFL scouts) often get stuff wrong.

It is an art, not a science. The Texans have said that they are not going to depend on injured players being healthy going into the following season. That must include Mathis, so Jacoby Jones' return skills were certainly an added factor when evaluating his abilities relative to other wide receivers.
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Old 04-30-2007   #16
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I agree pretty much with The Hair

In the NFL, a dominate CB is far more important to a defense than a DT (ie, Denver trading away whatever they can for Bailey and Bly). Faggins is the worst starter on the team, and Fletcher is a bust that could actually be worse.

Pressure on the QB alone won't get it done. We got plenty of pressure on Losman, and he torched Faggins like he was standing still.

We actually have less talent on the offense this year, than last year!

To me, Okoye seems almost like a PR move. He has to make Mario look better. How long do you think Kubes will keep his job if Bush and VY keep racking up yards and touchdowns and Mario posts another 4.5 sack season? A sub 8-8 season and less ticket sales and TV markets than last year, and McNair will be looking for a new HC in 2008.
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Old 04-30-2007   #17
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Originally Posted by Mel Kiper
Houston Texans: GRADE: C- The Texans took defensive tackle Travis Johnson in 2005, and he hasn't played up to his potential. They took DT Amobi Okoye when they should have been looking at a cornerback such as Leon Hall or Darrelle Revis. Also, they didn't do much to help new QB Matt Schaub on offense.
Indianapolis Colts: GRADE: B- The Texans should take a page from the Colts. They win the Super Bowl and what do they do in the first round? Give Peyton Manning another weapon on offense by taking WR Anthony Gonzalez.
Don't take the guy he projects you to take, and Mel will call you an i-d-i-o-t. That's just how he is, that's just how he's always been. Does it matter that Okoye ranked higher on his 'big board' than both Revis or Hall? Not if you're one of his whipping boys. And what offensive help was their at #10? Both tackles were gone. The next WR didn't come off the board until #23. Had the Texans took a offensive player at #10, Mel would have screamed "REACH!"

The Colts took a slot receiver in the 1st round and and spent their #1 next year on a tackle who will be a backup next season. Had the Texans traded back up in the 2nd round and given an '08 1st for Tony Ugoh, Kiper's hair would have exploded. The only way the Texans should be more like the Colts is by winning more games.
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Old 04-30-2007   #18
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Don't take the guy he projects you to take, and Mel will call you an i-d-i-o-t. That's just how he is, that's just how he's always been. Does it matter that Okoye ranked higher on his 'big board' than both Revis or Hall? Not if you're one of his whipping boys. And what offensive help was their at #10? Both tackles were gone. The next WR didn't come off the board until #23. Had the Texans took a offensive player at #10, Mel would have screamed "REACH!"

The Colts took a slot receiver in the 1st round and and spent their #1 next year on a tackle who will be a backup next season. Had the Texans traded back up in the 2nd round and given an '08 1st for Tony Ugoh, Kiper's hair would have exploded. The only way the Texans should be more like the Colts is by winning more games.

Amen. Well said.

People can complain about not getting more linemen help from the draft but this is not the year it was going to happen.
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Old 04-30-2007   #19
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To buy into the mentality that "it's all the offensive line's fault" means that you have to suspend reality and believe that David Carr had nothing to do with the situation.

The national media is nothing if not a pack of bleating sheep, repeating the same tired analysis over and over ad nauseum. We have seen our previous QB start over 70 games, and the fact of the matter is that when the line sucked, he sucked, and when the line played better, he still sucked.

Maybe our front office knows something that the 'experts' don't?

The fact of the matter is that a better QB will make the offense better, including the line. Of course I hope they address the line, but I'm not going to fret that we didn't use a first day pick on it. Our defense was in dire straits last year, and beefing up our D-line is a big step towards building a squad that can consistently dominate.
I agree completely with this post. The national media just repeats the same b.s. because that is all they have heard and they haven't watched half of the Texan's games. Its Mark May on ESPN. Can that guy be anymore of an clown?

Realistically though, I'm not going to fault people for ripping our draft. The last two years, and it was mentioned in todays paper, could have produced a Bush/Quinn type scenario or a VY type scenario with the pick this year. All they see are projects and "safe" picks that don't seem to get us over the top. I'm not exactly jumping up and down about this draft. I love Okoye but wanted to move down. The other guys I won't judge or compare because I've yet to see them and knew nothing of them coming in. Considering how bad our talent level has been, who am I to judge. It is something where you need to see the guys plugged into our philosophy and see how they turn out. I was impressed with the moves many of our rivals made and think some went for broke. Overall I don't like to grade until I actually can see a guy in the system. Maybe I'm wrong but I think people blasting the Texans are just as bad as people blindly loving what we do. There has to be a happy medium where you trust the coaches and scouts but at the same time keep one eye open after these first 5 years.
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Old 04-30-2007   #20
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Originally Posted by The1ApplePie View Post
Pressure on the QB alone won't get it done. We got plenty of pressure on Losman, and he torched Faggins like he was standing still.
We did?

Maybe we were watching different games or teams. We hardly ever put pressure on the QB throughout the season, which is probably one of the reasons why Kubiak said a pass rusher was our most pressing need going into the off-season.

A good D-line can make everything else on the defense better. When your coverage only has to work 2-3 seconds, instead of 5-7 seconds, you take the pressure off. If we have a line that can consistently penetrate the pocket, opposing QBs have to think about protection first before checking down receivers. (A point we know all too well after watching Carr for five seasons.) And a d-line that can stuff the run is taking half of the offense's weapons out of the game, and creating a one dimensional situation for our opponents. Combine that with a sideline-to-sideline LB like DeMeco, and we have the foundation for a solid D.
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