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Old 11-01-2004   #1
Txnpride
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Default Why cant we seem....

to run the ball this year? I was expecting our running game to be one of our strengths this year,and we just cant seem to get it going.After the bye week,again I was expecting our running game to come alive,but it didnt.Is it the new blocking scheme?D.D seems to still have quick feet,but he isnt going anywhere.If we could get the running game established....man we would be one mean scoring machine.
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Old 11-01-2004   #2
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before, i would have just said that D.Davis is off.. he isnt playing like he did last year and that the fumbles early in the season got in his head.

But the jags game was my first game this year, and getting to see it in person has changed my mind. He is still running the same way he did last year.. the difference is the zone blocking.

When he was allowed to hide behind his linemen.. instead of just shooting through a hole.. he was able to juke the defenders and get those extra yards. DD is great at breaking arm tackles.. but he cant overpower a big linebacker or Dlineman when he hits him straight on, and that seems to be what this Zone Blocking is doing.

I dunno if its just real obvious to the defense what we are doing or what.. but DD just seems to be running smack into the LBs. They are always waiting for him 2 yards past the line of scrimmage.

I think last years blocking scheme was just more effective for DD. Of course that doesnt explain the first two games where our zone blocking seemed to work fine.. but maybe its because those teams didnt have any tape on us? Maybe after those two games.. the teams since then have been able to see how we are doing it and shut it down? I dunno.. but obviously it isnt working anymore. Maybe its time to go back to our old way.. either that.. or we need to invest in a powerful north/south runner who can barrel his way through a linebacker for another few yards.
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Old 11-01-2004   #3
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I think the running game is adequate although it's not necessarily a strength.

It's obvious that Davis is a back that is one of those with obvious talents but with injury problems. It happens to alot of them these days.

They mentioned on the post game show that one of the Texans high draft choices may be spent on a running back..I'm not sure I agree. Might be a good question to ask Casserly or Coach on his show.
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Old 11-01-2004   #4
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Several things to point out.

1. The Jags have a very strong run defense, one of the best in the NFL.
2. The offensive line was not giving DD many chances.
3. DD has never been a feature back, he has always been a situational back.
He needs to improve.

Running back may be #1 on the priority list for the Texans draft next season.
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Old 11-01-2004   #5
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Davis will I think be a very good back behind the zone blocking scheme once the offensive line actually gets good at using it. At times during the preseason and in the first couple of weeks the line opened some nice holes and Davis made very good reads resulting in good yardage. Unfortunately the fumbles early in the year made those runs a non-factor. The run blocking has been off and on all season as you would expect from an offensive line that's changed the way it goes about it's business.

Give them some more time to get comfortable in this scheme and we'll start to see some more production out of Davis (and Wells/Hollings too I'd bet). The linemen are incorporating two new starters, one player who's moved inside, AND a new run blocking scheme. At the same time the running backs are also learning to run behind the zone blocking. By the 10th-12th week we're going to be running on people much better than we are right now.

Davis strengths are perfect for this if you think about it. Davis has good vision and one of his strengths has always been a good knack for knowing when to cut it back. He isn't a speedster but he's always popped through the hole when he hits it as quick as anyone could ask for.

This is just going to be the slowest part of our offense to come around because this is where the changes took place this year on offense. Give it time.

And gwallia is correct. The Jags can stop the run. We should all be grateful that our passing game and defense can carry us when that happens because it won't be the last time this year our running game struggles.
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Old 11-01-2004   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grid
before, i would have just said that D.Davis is off.. he isnt playing like he did last year and that the fumbles early in the season got in his head.

But the jags game was my first game this year, and getting to see it in person has changed my mind. He is still running the same way he did last year.. the difference is the zone blocking.

When he was allowed to hide behind his linemen.. instead of just shooting through a hole.. he was able to juke the defenders and get those extra yards. DD is great at breaking arm tackles.. but he cant overpower a big linebacker or Dlineman when he hits him straight on, and that seems to be what this Zone Blocking is doing.

I dunno if its just real obvious to the defense what we are doing or what.. but DD just seems to be running smack into the LBs. They are always waiting for him 2 yards past the line of scrimmage.

I think last years blocking scheme was just more effective for DD. Of course that doesnt explain the first two games where our zone blocking seemed to work fine.. but maybe its because those teams didnt have any tape on us? Maybe after those two games.. the teams since then have been able to see how we are doing it and shut it down? I dunno.. but obviously it isnt working anymore. Maybe its time to go back to our old way.. either that.. or we need to invest in a powerful north/south runner who can barrel his way through a linebacker for another few yards.
Good analysis! With this blocking scheme, I can see how DD's shifty, horizontal movement is wasted. We really need a Downfield runner with this blocking scheme. However, he becomes a great passing option as he can really shake people off in the open field. Either way, DD still has a place on our offense. I would definitely like a big, downfield runner to add to our arsenal though. Wells is OK, but we could do better IMO. Wells certainly hits the hole, but he doesn't break tackles. Try to get one in the draft in the 2nd round maybe?
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Old 11-01-2004   #7
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I for one have and always had full confidence in our coaching staff. Were very lucky to have the GM and the head coach that we have, they are both the best at what they do. So, I have to think that their feeling is that the zone-blocking fits our personal the best.

They obviously took a look at Denver's success with the scheme and decided to apply it. My suggestion for them would be to take a look at the Titan's scheme and see if they can use it. The Titans have a great ol coach in Munchak and have a great running game. Their o.l. might just be more talented than ours but I love the way they run the ball and wish the Texans can copy what they do. This is afterall a copy-cat league.

The running game is the only thing right now keeping the Texans from being a dominating team, its a must have to reach the super bowl. If we can somehow improve to around avg. 4.5 a carry well be in for a sweet ride.
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Old 11-01-2004   #8
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I think Davis would've had a great game if we played another team. I have to give the Jags credit on stopping our run this game. I think we did just about as good as anyother team against the Jag D line.
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Old 11-01-2004   #9
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DD just hasn't been the player he was last year. His four fumbles in the first two games, plus his injury, seems to have made him a bit hesitant to hit the hole, or even juke past that next layer of defenders. A couple of times he started to look good yesterday, but he was very inconsistent.
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Old 11-01-2004   #10
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jags got a very good run defense and they are not easy to run against atleast i saw signs of hope from him yesterday !!!!! And just a matter of time before he has the break out game he needs to get back his confidence !
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Old 11-01-2004   #11
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Well just going from memory.

3 or 4 times, his run was slowed down because an Olineman fell in the gap.. I was surprised at how many times we had linemen falling right in DDs path.

once or twice DD made youngster mistakes and got tripped up running into the back of his blockers.

a few times he broke free to get 4 to 6 yards.

but not ONCE did he look like he could break free for a good run.. well.. I take that back.. when he went to the outside he looked like he could possibly break free down the sideline sometimes.

For the most part.. as soon as he crossed the line of scrimmage he got mauled by LBs. That very well could have been because of the run defense of the Jags... but so many times last year I remember DD just bouncing off LBs and grabbing 3 or 4 more yards. I dont know if its because he is coming straight at them through these holes now.. or if its just because he isnt his old self.

Personally.. id like the chance to see DD running behind the old blocking scheme.. but that isnt going to happen. Not unless we have a couple of terrible rushing seasons.. then I could see us switching back.. but all in all I think zone blocking is here to stay for now.


I wish I could get Capers alone for 2 seconds and ask him WHY HE HASNT GIVEN HOLLINGS A SHOT!?!?!?!?! we used a second round draft pick on him.. I know that DD is our guy after last season.. but we didnt draft hollings to sit on the bench.. give the boy a shot!
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Old 11-01-2004   #12
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I thought Hollings had been hurt for some reason. Not sure, though...
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Old 11-01-2004   #13
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yah he was.. but he wasnt on our injury report after the bye week.. So i figure he is ready to go again.
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Old 11-02-2004   #14
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I agree with some in that the blocking is just not there, and the scheme isn't working as well as it should. One of the problems that I see is that there is very little second-level blocking.

One of the staples in zone-blocking is that a lineman slips off a double-team to pick up a line-backer which allows for bigger runs. This worked in the first few games, and the running game was earning yards. Then we played KC, who coincidentally have been playing against denver's zone-blocking scheme for years.

KC brought their linebackers VERY close to the line of scrimmage, which seemed to defeat our blocking schemes ability to get good blocks at the second level (LBs)...and the running game hasn't looked nearly as good since. It seems to me that other teams are repeating this strategy and finding success with it, and so far we don't have an answer to it.

Hopefully the run game improves throughout the season, if the Texans learn to run the ball this team will be flat out scary.
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Old 11-02-2004   #15
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I believe this is a good game for DD to start showing he can still run. In the preseason he had some good runs against Denver and I hope he can still get it together and be in time for his breakout game.
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Old 11-02-2004   #16
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And once he has that break out game and gains all his confidence back i think we'll see the old Davis we saw last year, and once we get the running game going along with our good passing game we will be a very dangerious team ! And the D has also been playing very well so i dont see why we cant win the remainder of our games !
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Old 11-02-2004   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clandestin
I agree with some in that the blocking is just not there, and the scheme isn't working as well as it should. One of the problems that I see is that there is very little second-level blocking.

One of the staples in zone-blocking is that a lineman slips off a double-team to pick up a line-backer which allows for bigger runs. This worked in the first few games, and the running game was earning yards. Then we played KC, who coincidentally have been playing against denver's zone-blocking scheme for years.

KC brought their linebackers VERY close to the line of scrimmage, which seemed to defeat our blocking schemes ability to get good blocks at the second level (LBs)...and the running game hasn't looked nearly as good since. It seems to me that other teams are repeating this strategy and finding success with it, and so far we don't have an answer to it.

Hopefully the run game improves throughout the season, if the Texans learn to run the ball this team will be flat out scary.
Nice post and I think you are right about the second level blocking. The more Carr finds and completes that seam pass between the linebackers and the safeties the more we will find the linebackers creeping backwards as the weeks unfold.
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Old 11-02-2004   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Tejano
I think Davis would've had a great game if we played another team. I have to give the Jags credit on stopping our run this game. I think we did just about as good as anyother team against the Jag D line.
Wow.....now that's an interesting comment! Keep in mind Jacksonville is not the only team we've had problems running against and we've been waiting for that "great game" all season!
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Old 11-02-2004   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill's/TexanFan
Wow.....now that's an interesting comment! Keep in mind Jacksonville is not the only team we've had problems running against and we've been waiting for that "great game" all season!
I agree with you,thats why I started this subject,we havent ran the ball well all year....after reading some of the post,it must be the new blocking scheme thats hurting D.D.I just hope we can fix it soon.....everything elase is falling into place
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