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Old 04-30-2007   #1
Texans_Chick
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Default Defensive Line Question Re: Experience

I have a question and was hoping someone could tell me the answer because I've been searching my memory bank and have found that it is overdrawn.

Clearly, there is some major potential with players such as Mario Williams and Amobi Okoye. But even their biggest supporters would probably agree that it takes a little time to get used to the defensive line positions in the NFL playing against growned mens.

Though the Texans have some experienced defensive linemen, none of them are guys who are true Pro Bowl badazzes. Williams hung out all the time with Weaver last year, but Weaver is a fairly solid but not spectacular player.

I don't want to overplay the importance of mentoring, but riddle me this Batmens.....

Can you think of a team that developed a dominant line out of a bunch of rookies without playing alongside some really good experienced players?

I believe that a talented rookie's best situation is to be put with an experienced line that can hide some of the learning curve. Rookies teaching rookies with a line that is likely going to get some new sorts of instruction under the new Dline coach kind of worries me some. Can someone think of a team where an inexperienced but talented line became dominant?
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Old 04-30-2007   #2
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That's a really good question.

I just looked up some info on Julius Peppers. I thought his contract was coming up and would be the best mentor for a young d-line like ours...esp mario. However his contract is through 2008 so thats another 2 season. Of course mario will only be like 25 and okoye will be 22.

Sorry for dreaming and getting ahead of myself!
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Old 04-30-2007   #3
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The Panthers and Jags both put together great D-Lines with little Veteran leadership (Jenkins, Peppers, Rucker or Hender-Stroud).

Of course, the Browns tried the same thing, and failed horribly (Brown and Warren)
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Old 04-30-2007   #4
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I think it depends on the Rookies. Granted we let Seth Payne go due to injuries, but we picked up Jeff Zgonina (sp?). I watched a lot of Miami games of the years and I have to say that I was really impressed that we grabbed Jeff. He will be a great veteran influance for Amobi.

I like that Kubiak and Smith are getting hard working vets to work with and back up these super star rookies. These vets know that they young guys are going to carry the team on their backs and the vets know they get to help point the way. I like it.
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Old 04-30-2007   #5
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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
I don't want to overplay the importance of mentoring, but riddle me this Batmens.....

Can you think of a team that developed a dominant line out of a bunch of rookies without playing alongside some really good experienced players?
The Steel Curtain of the '70's:

Joe Greene - DT - 1st - '69
L.C. Greenwood - DE - 10th - '69
Dwight White - DE - 4th - '71
Ernie Holmes - DT - 8th - '71

By '72, the Steelers were playing in the AFC championship, and Greene & White were Pro Bowlers. By '74, Greenwood was also a Pro Bowler, and Pittsburgh was Super Bowl Champs.

There are probably more modern examples, but the d-line considered to be the greatest in football history meets your criteria.

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Old 04-30-2007   #6
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Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
The Steel Curtain of the '70's:

Joe Greene - DT - 1st - '69
L.C. Greenwood - DE - 10th - '69
Dwight White - DE - 4th - '71
Ernie Holmes - DT - 8th - '71

By '72, the Steelers were playing in the AFC championship, and Greene & White were Pro Bowlers. By '74, Greenwood was also a Pro Bowler, and Pittsburgh was Super Bowl Champs.

There are probably more modern examples, but the d-line considered to be the greatest in football history meets your criteria.

Mr. McNair talks about his admiration of the Steelers organization all the time.

Oh please let this work out. I love dominant crushing defense.
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Old 04-30-2007   #7
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Originally Posted by Ole Miss Texan View Post
That's a really good question.

I just looked up some info on Julius Peppers. I thought his contract was coming up and would be the best mentor for a young d-line like ours...esp mario. However his contract is through 2008 so thats another 2 season. Of course mario will only be like 25 and okoye will be 22.

Sorry for dreaming and getting ahead of myself!
peppers would never be let go out of carolina. he was born in-state, played for the tarholes, and is now playing for the panthers. he's a tremendous star in north carolina, and he's the greatest player the panthers have ever had. he means too much to the state and the panthers.

as for experience, i think the only thing veteran players could offer the rookies is scouting reports on offensive lineman. everything else, the rookies can learn from their coaches.

Last edited by tbell ncsu; 04-30-2007 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 04-30-2007   #8
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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
Mr. McNair talks about his admiration of the Steelers organization all the time.

Oh please let this work out. I love dominant crushing defense.
As a fan I want a great defense, just provides more opportunity to be loud in the stands.
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Old 04-30-2007   #9
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As a fan I want a great defense, just provides more opportunity to be loud in the stands.
With a great offense we could be more quiet... But who wants that?
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Old 04-30-2007   #10
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All I know is that the Texans will be better in getting to the quarterback this year and this will make players even better. Ryans for Pro-bowl this year anyone?
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Old 04-30-2007   #11
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Originally Posted by tbell ncsu View Post
peppers would never be let go out of carolina. he was born in-state, played for the tarholes, and is now playing for the panthers. he's a tremendous star in north carolina, and he's the greatest player the panthers have ever had. he means too much to the state and the panthers.

as for experience, i think the only thing veteran players could offer the rookies is scouting reports on offensive lineman. everything else, the rookies can learn from their coaches.
good post. I think some guys like DeMeco don't need a leader/mentor so much, but I think with Mario it may help to see a mentor and a real pro practice and get results right in front of his eyes every time they grade tape. I have a very cursory view of Amobi-wan, but he seems more DeMeco than Mario when it comes to having a driven personality.

I agree with KT and TC too...nothing kicksass like a kickass defense.
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Old 04-30-2007   #12
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Warren Sapp developed okay with the Bucs. I don't think they actually had ANYONE else when he started.

I think and hope that Zgonina was brought in to turn TJ around.
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Old 04-30-2007   #13
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I think TC is hoping that Gary Walker comes back. He has been our best D-lineman to date.
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Old 04-30-2007   #14
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I think TC is hoping that Gary Walker comes back. He has been our best D-lineman to date.
Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! (What's the appropriate smilie for this).

There is a Woody Allen short story about how he wanted to put the brains of this smart girl into the body of this hot girl. Eventually he makes a mistake and ends up with the ugly dumb girl.

There are talented players. And then there are driven players. And then there are players who have both. Nothing is as frustrating as seeing someone not use all of their talent. [said as someone who was a try hard, average athlete with a mean competition streak].
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Old 04-30-2007   #15
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good post. I think some guys like DeMeco don't need a leader/mentor so much, but I think with Mario it may help to see a mentor and a real pro practice and get results right in front of his eyes every time they grade tape. I have a very cursory view of Amobi-wan, but he seems more DeMeco than Mario when it comes to having a driven personality.

I agree with KT and TC too...nothing kicksass like a kickass defense.
I won't be one bit surprised if Amobi ends up being Mario's mentor.
I know that sounds odd considering he's only 19, and will be a rookie, but the guy seems d-r-i-v-e-n like a mutha...
Of course, I think TC specifically meant an older vet to teach them the small nuances of the position... hopefully one or two of the older guys can do that despite not being HOF material...
My hope is that Amobi and Mario hit it off really well, and drive each other to be better each game...

It will be sweet to put two DL in the probowl for 5+ consecutive years..!

ehhh... can you tell I'm optimistic?
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Old 04-30-2007   #16
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N.D. Kalu isn't going to a Pro Bowl anytime soon but he seems like the closest thing to a veteran mentor to Mario and had his moments last year. Hopefully between him and Zgonina, and a second tier of Weaver, they can keep Mario and Amobi rising on the right track next season. Same can be said for Anthony Maddux, another young guy that hopefully sticks around.

I think asking them to resurrect Travis Johnson's career though might be a little too much.
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Old 04-30-2007   #17
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[said as someone who was a try hard, average athlete with a mean competition streak].
seth payne?
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Old 04-30-2007   #18
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I understand what you're going after TC... & I agree with most everyone, about players like Demeco not needing too much in the form of veteran mentoring.

But at the same time, good coaches, like a Herm Edwards, or Mike Singletary, or Mike Tomlin can do amazing things with young talent, and veterans with tough as nails work ethic(they don't need to be Pro Bowlers, but they need to be true pros), like N.D. Kalu, Anthony Weaver, & Zgonina.

I'd love to have a bunch of young coaches that every other team covets, If Gary Kubiak can be the next Belicheck(sp), or Herm Edwards... but it doesn't look like we're headed in that direction.

But just like Capers couldn't build a team and develop players, that was more of a symptom of not being able to acquire & develop coaches. We had veteran leadership on this team. But they had no direction, no leadership.
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Old 05-01-2007   #19
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The Steel Curtain of the '70's:
[font=Verdana]
Another example would be the Cowboys Doomsday D II when they drafted Harvey Martin, Ed Too Tall Jones and Randy White in back to back years.
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