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Old 06-07-2007   #1
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Default Second Year of the "System"

Although it isn't something that I have seen discussed much on these boards, I think one of the biggest factors to our improvement this year over last year will be the player's familiarity with the offensive and defensive system that was implemented last year. I was reminded of the importance of this factor when I was listening to an interview earlier this week when one of the veteran players mentioned getting much more from the OTC because they did not have to spend as much time learning the new system. How do you guys see this aspect impacting the improvement of this team? My thoughts:

Offense - As I recall, this group had been through three different offensive systems the three years prior to last season. I am not sure how much the continuity of this system will affect this side of the ball, mainly because we have a new QB and new starting RB. Additionally, understanding that the offensive playbook was materially "cut back" last season to help the old QB and the new wrinkles implemented to play to the strengths of our new QB, I am uncertain how much will change.

However, I am hopeful that the continuity on the offensive line, in the second year of the same system, will be a major factor in getting better protection.

Defense - Clearly, last year's changes had to have been a huge adjustment for the defensive unit, changing from a 3-4 to a 4-3. I think that there was a major learning curve at the beginning of last season, which had to have been a factor in the defense playing so much better in the second half of the season, even with having so many starters out.
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Old 06-07-2007   #2
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

Well, we clearly saw a different offense in preseason and early in the year than we did later. Really, we saw one offense in preseason, another for the first 6 games, and a really bad offense for the final 10 games. In preseason, we had nice success running the ball, especially off zone plays. Then, the season started, and those plays largely disappeared. Carr and AJ were hooking up fairly well, but with no running game, the rollouts and playaction passes dried up, and the team didn't have much going on offense. Then, Carr just blew it out, but the running game sort of came on for the final 4 or 5 games, but still relying mostly on the power running scheme that Sherman runs. The ZBS stuff seemed to have been relegated to the back burner, and the rollouts were non-existent. The success that we saw in the run game was different from the preseason running game successes. Also of note is the fact that Vonta Leach became the starter and is a better run blocker than Cook was. So I don't know where we stand on offense. Obviously, we have some pieces that we all think should be upgrades now.

I'm not sure how much continuity we lose on defense with Franklin taking over. Karm is still in the background, but you never know how much these guys will change things. Given the success over the final 10 games or so, I'm not 100% comfortable with them changing D-line coach, but hey .... In Kubiak We Trust (for now). I see no reason to believe the LB corps or the secondary will be any better at all, unless Fletcher somehow shows why he was a 1st round pick all of a sudden - which could happen. Shawn Barber, Danny Clark, etc...... going to be better than Orr? Well, probably, but I'm not doing cartwheels over here. Regardless, the defense was top-10 over the final 10 games. I expect a finish in the top half this year.

ST really sucked last year. The kicker was (and has been for a few years)terrible, so he's back. The punter had his worst season yet, probably, so he's back. The KR can't stay healthy, and probably won't make the team. All that said, the ST coach is good. The coverage teams do a good job every week, so if someone can step up and return kicks reliably, we'll have decent field position all year, pending Stanley's contribution. So it's not really the second year of the system, as far as ST is concerned.
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Old 06-07-2007   #3
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

Why can't people sum up their thoughts into one sentence?
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For being the most intelligent form of life on our planet, we sure do some incredibly stupid things.
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Old 06-07-2007   #4
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

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Why can't people sum up their thoughts into one sentence?
Because.

I don't have a problem with long posts that are concise in the ideas and amount of information they are presenting, however I don't care for prolixity.
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Old 06-07-2007   #5
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

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Well, we clearly saw a different offense in preseason and early in the year than we did later. Really, we saw one offense in preseason, another for the first 6 games, and a really bad offense for the final 10 games. In preseason, we had nice success running the ball, especially off zone plays. Then, the season started, and those plays largely disappeared. Carr and AJ were hooking up fairly well, but with no running game, the rollouts and playaction passes dried up, and the team didn't have much going on offense. Then, Carr just blew it out, but the running game sort of came on for the final 4 or 5 games, but still relying mostly on the power running scheme that Sherman runs. The ZBS stuff seemed to have been relegated to the back burner, and the rollouts were non-existent. The success that we saw in the run game was different from the preseason running game successes. Also of note is the fact that Vonta Leach became the starter and is a better run blocker than Cook was. So I don't know where we stand on offense. Obviously, we have some pieces that we all think should be upgrades now.

I think you have to think of the offense as a complete do-over. The "system" is not the same "system" as last year.

New QB
New RB (though in someways, he might be the most experienced in the system because of the Sherman running thing).
A more open playbook
New *hybrid* part Kubiak part Sherman offense that is not road tested.
Mostly young/inexperienced in this system WRs.
A starting 5 offensive line not that familiar with each other. McKinney on the radio the other day says that the line calls are pretty complicated and that the rookies heads are spinning around--very much a blend of schemes on the line.
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Old 06-07-2007   #6
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

I think the reason the defense looked good in the second half of last season had a lot to do with the caliber of teams they played. I'm not trying to take anything from the Indy win, but the Texans went 4-4 against the Raiders, Browns, Jags, and Colts. Also played in that time were the Bills and an ineffectual giants team. So I don't like that stat about the Texans being the tenth best defense in the last 10 weeks of the season. Tenth best still has about a third of the league better than you. Tenth best didn't help the team when they were blown out of New England.

That being said, I think the team will take a step back this year due to learning the system. Too many new guys, too much change. The system will be clearly better, and the team will look better on television, but in the end, the Texans are one good offseason (big signing or two) and another round of draftees before they will be contenders.
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Old 06-07-2007   #7
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

One Sentence Translation:

Offense-could be good, could be bad, not sure Defense-could be good, could be bad, hoping continuity will help.

So easy, a caveman can read it
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Old 06-07-2007   #8
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

I just want a team that shows consistency. One that can give any team a run for their money. Man, I can't wait for the playoffs to come to H-town.
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Old 06-07-2007   #9
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

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I think the reason the defense looked good in the second half of last season had a lot to do with the caliber of teams they played. I'm not trying to take anything from the Indy win, but the Texans went 4-4 against the Raiders, Browns, Jags, and Colts. Also played in that time were the Bills and an ineffectual giants team. So I don't like that stat about the Texans being the tenth best defense in the last 10 weeks of the season. Tenth best still has about a third of the league better than you. Tenth best didn't help the team when they were blown out of New England.
Several things.

1. If you cut out those first three games where our D was nonexistent, our D played OK. Not great. But OK. You can talk about the caliber of the teams but it DID include the Patriots, the Colts, the Jets, and the Cowboys, all playoff teams and the Jags (twice), the Titans (twice), and the Giants who were good enough to be in the hunt for playoff spots.

2. We did go 4-4. We did beat the Colts. We lost to the Jets, the Bills (shoulda won that one), the Titans (in overtime), and the New England. Think about that. As bad as we were playing, that's how close we were to finishing the season 6-2 and ending up 8-8 for the season.

3. 10th best still has about a third of the league better than you, but it's a helluva lot better than 23rd.

4. We didn't play the Giants in the last half of the season. We played them in the first half. You're probably thinking Jets.
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Old 06-08-2007   #10
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

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Because.
LMAO. Great reply.
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Old 06-08-2007   #11
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

I look for our defense to carry us early, for about the first three or four games. While I don't think our offense will be terrible, I don't think they'll reach full stride until mid season or shortly thereafter. I don't think it's going to be as big an adjustment as some believe it will be though. I don't think they'll struggle all season long.

I mentioned this in another thread, but we don't have to come out and be flawless to win games. We just have to be better than our opponent. We have a good young defense, an offense, that when it starts clicking, will put points on the board. Ahman Green is a vet, he knows how to be successful in this leauge + we have good depth behind him.

Schaub is going to deliver the ball. Whether you are optimistic about him or not, you have to see that he's an upgrade over our previous QB. A.J. is a monster. Pure beast.

Owen Daniels gives us a legitimate recieving threat at the TE position AKA he'll be able to work the middle of the field. WR2 is a question mark, and so is the OL(if you want to look at it objectively; personally I think we'll be alright, but only time will tell)..But the overiding point is that I believe we've upgraded our offense since last year as well as our defense. I expect a very good season out of this team.

Last edited by real; 06-08-2007 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 06-08-2007   #12
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

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. Tenth best still has about a third of the league better than you. Tenth best didn't help the team when they were blown out of New England.
and you could look at it from the other way that 2/3rds were worse than us in those 10 weeks.

If I remember rightly the reason we got blown out wasn't the fault of the defence, the offence kept turning the ball over and leaving short fields for Brady to play with.

Just checked the stats:

NE had 230 yards on 66 plays at an average of 3.5 yards per play
Rush attempts 38 for 105 yards average 2.8 yards a carry.
Passing 19 - 27 - 125 yards, and 2 TD's

and the Pats had the ball for 35 minutes.

Last edited by mancunian; 06-08-2007 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 06-08-2007   #13
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

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Several things.

1. If you cut out those first three games where our D was nonexistent, our D played OK. Not great. But OK. You can talk about the caliber of the teams but it DID include the Patriots, the Colts, the Jets, and the Cowboys, all playoff teams and the Jags (twice), the Titans (twice), and the Giants who were good enough to be in the hunt for playoff spots.

2. We did go 4-4. We did beat the Colts. We lost to the Jets, the Bills (shoulda won that one), the Titans (in overtime), and the New England. Think about that. As bad as we were playing, that's how close we were to finishing the season 6-2 and ending up 8-8 for the season.

3. 10th best still has about a third of the league better than you, but it's a helluva lot better than 23rd.

4. We didn't play the Giants in the last half of the season. We played them in the first half. You're probably thinking Jets.
I'm willing to bet a lot of teams in the NFL who otherwise seem pretty crappy would look good if you cut three to six of their games, just like we're discussing here with the Texans. If you take away the six losses of some of those teams, they're damn near perfect! So I hate this "fantasy" argument. The Texans D was what it was. We're starting to sound like Lions fans around here...

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Originally Posted by mancunian View Post
and you could look at it from the other way that 2/3rds were worse than us in those 10 weeks.

If I remember rightly the reason we got blown out wasn't the fault of the defence, the offence kept turning the ball over and leaving short fields for Brady to play with.

Just checked the stats:

NE had 230 yards on 66 plays at an average of 3.5 yards per play
Rush attempts 38 for 105 yards average 2.8 yards a carry.
Passing 19 - 27 - 125 yards, and 2 TD's

and the Pats had the ball for 35 minutes.
And with all that time on the field, you'd think a Top-10 Defense would do better than 1 sack and no turnovers recovered (as opposed to New England's 4). Houston had 48 tackles to NE's 41 (with New England's D apparently on the field less than the Texans'. It sounds like NE's day made better use of their time.

It's a question of who wants it more. Clearly, NE (coming off a 21-0 loss to MIAMI) wanted the win more than Houston, who had just suffered an emotional loss in OT to VY and the Titans.
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Old 06-08-2007   #14
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

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I'm willing to bet a lot of teams in the NFL who otherwise seem pretty crappy would look good if you cut three to six of their games, just like we're discussing here with the Texans. If you take away the six losses of some of those teams, they're damn near perfect! So I hate this "fantasy" argument. The Texans D was what it was. We're starting to sound like Lions fans around here...
That's true.

BUT...

There was a markedly different defense in those first three games. We did not blitz. Period. We wanted to get pressure purely from our front four and it wasn't happening. After those three first three games, we started blitzing and we started getting people off the field on 3rd down.

In those first three games, we gave up 33 points a game, 163 yards rushing per game, and 321 yards passing per game. In the final 13, we averaged 20 points per game, 113 yards rushing per game, and 177 yards passing per game.

So what is our defense? Is it the non-blitzing defense we had during the first three games? Or is it the blitzing defense in the final 13 games? Personally, I think we should expect the numbers we got in those final 13 games.

NOTE: Those passing yards per game are NET passing yards.

Last edited by The Pencil Neck; 06-08-2007 at 04:17 PM. Reason: passing yards might be misinterpreted.
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Old 06-08-2007   #15
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

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I'm willing to bet a lot of teams in the NFL who otherwise seem pretty crappy would look good if you cut three to six of their games, just like we're discussing here with the Texans. If you take away the six losses of some of those teams, they're damn near perfect! So I hate this "fantasy" argument. The Texans D was what it was. We're starting to sound like Lions fans around here...
Nobodies talking about cherry picking weeks 3, 5, 8, 10, 14 and 17 and there really doesn't seem to be a whole lot of doubt your glass is a quarter full approach would be using it against the Texans if their last 6 games were their worst.
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Old 06-08-2007   #16
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

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That's true.

BUT...

There was a markedly different defense in those first three games. We did not blitz. Period. We wanted to get pressure purely from our front four and it wasn't happening. After those three first three games, we started blitzing and we started getting people off the field on 3rd down.

In those first three games, we gave up 33 points a game, 163 yards rushing per game, and 321 yards passing per game. In the final 13, we averaged 20 points per game, 113 yards rushing per game, and 177 yards passing per game.

So what is our defense? Is it the non-blitzing defense we had during the first three games? Or is it the blitzing defense in the final 13 games? Personally, I think we should expect the numbers we got in those final 13 games.

NOTE: Those passing yards per game are NET passing yards.
I think the defensive staff was trying to find their identity for a lot of last year. I expect we'll see a little more of the blitzing and pressure that we saw later in the year, although hopefully our front 4 will be able to get good pressure on their own so we don't have to blitz too much.
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Old 06-08-2007   #17
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

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I think the defensive staff was trying to find their identity for a lot of last year. I expect we'll see a little more of the blitzing and pressure that we saw later in the year, although hopefully our front 4 will be able to get good pressure on their own so we don't have to blitz too much.
Hey Mork .... you have seen the ex QB in training camp ... how good did he look in tc ?
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Old 06-09-2007   #18
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

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Nobodies talking about cherry picking weeks 3, 5, 8, 10, 14 and 17 and there really doesn't seem to be a whole lot of doubt your glass is a quarter full approach would be using it against the Texans if their last 6 games were their worst.
I'd prefer looking at the whole season when comparing teams. We can cherry-pick every team to death. In the end, the Texans were not one fo teh best defenses in the league. NFL.com is down for me, so I can't site the overall defense, but it's not a top-10 D.

However, I do see the worth of looking at certain games/sets of games. For one, there was that last game against Cleveland (Texans lost) when the Texans ended up 7-9 but everything seemed about to go into freefall, and it did in 2005. This last season, the Texans winning against the Colts and finishing with a win I think had bigger intangibles than bringing in guys for their locker room abilities. So there is credence when comparing Texans to Texans, but I really don't value this kind of argument when comparing the Texans to other teams in the league.
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Old 06-09-2007   #19
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

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Originally Posted by Texans Horror View Post
I'd prefer looking at the whole season when comparing teams. We can cherry-pick every team to death. In the end, the Texans were not one fo teh best defenses in the league. NFL.com is down for me, so I can't site the overall defense, but it's not a top-10 D.

However, I do see the worth of looking at certain games/sets of games. For one, there was that last game against Cleveland (Texans lost) when the Texans ended up 7-9 but everything seemed about to go into freefall, and it did in 2005. This last season, the Texans winning against the Colts and finishing with a win I think had bigger intangibles than bringing in guys for their locker room abilities. So there is credence when comparing Texans to Texans, but I really don't value this kind of argument when comparing the Texans to other teams in the league.
Dude. Keep your story straight. You see the worth of looking at certain sets of games but don't believe in cherry-picking?

Over the entire season, the D was ranked 24th overall in terms of yardage (337 yards per game) and 26th overall in terms of scoring (22.9 points per game). If you go by the last 13 games (which is damn close to an entire season and signifies the point when the defense actually started playing), the D would have finished 5th (290 yards per game) and 13th (19.8 points per game.) We did not do well in sacks or turnovers. We have to improve that.

I think our D is going to surprise some people this year.
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Old 06-09-2007   #20
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Default Re: Second Year of the "System"

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
I think our D is going to surprise some people this year.
Why, I do believe you have got that correct sir. Probably not the top 5, but in the 10-15 range with the offense in the 16-20 range. That will make us a competative team with a chance every week and for me, that is what I have been looking for for 5 years.
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