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Old 07-13-2007   #1
Texanmike02
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Default Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

Again, I'l apologize in advance... its long.. and may not appeal to anyone.. but this is how bad I'm jonsing for some football discussion:

Ok we see a bunch of guys picking 9-11 win seasons. I have been reading alot about this team and their acquisitions and it just doesn't add up. Sure Kubes tows the company line, and says he expects to make a push (actually earlier he wasn't saying that) and of course the Texans are going to try to sell tickets THIS year, which means they aren't going to come out and say "we're targeting 08/09 to make the playoffs"... but many of their actions point to this being a developmental year... one in which they don't expect to make the playoffs, but rather they expect to make improvements in personnel and the system.... not so much worrying about the win total.

Consider the holes we have left in this team...

1. SS, I know I know... we beat Manning for the first time. But do you really expect to beat them with our secondary? Talk up the D-line (I'll get to that in a minute) all you want... but this secondary is going to be, for the 3rd year running, awful. Other than DR.. I don't think anybody starting in our secondary would even be guaranteed a backup job on half the teams in the league. We've got a nickel and dime back (Faggins and Fletcher) and two guys who are horrible at deep zone coverage and providing safety help (Earl and Brown).. in a division where you have to face one of the top 5 qb's I've ever watched play with my own eyes; twice.

2. OL, You made some nice additions... but I don't care what Kubes says... we're waiting to see what happens to Spencer. If this was a year in which we were aiming to make the playoffs.. we don't wait on Spencer. We go get ourselves a Tackle in the draft (prob trade down.. or pick one up later in the draft.) I like Black and all... and maybe I'm wrong... but it seems to me like we're waiting to see if Spencer pans out.

3. Wr, Instead of looking at an OT (I don't recall who was available in the 3rd round to be onest) we take a project WR. A guy who it would appear to me, if he is a long term solution, is at least a year or two away from winning. The best we can come up with are two guys who share a name with Andre, and I'm not really thinking the Andre and Andre show is really going to be much more exciting than the Andre Johnson show and Johnson and Johnson is already been done... we're sounds like a sponsor for the power puff league if you ask me. Walters... meh... maybe... but I'm pretty sure that no DC's are burning the midnight oil wondering how they are going to cover both AJ AND Kevin at the same time.

4. RB, I know we brought in Green. But I still think he's a system guy. He's only guaranteed 6.5 mil, and we have to expect him to get hurt (again). I would bet he's here to teach the system... mentor the kids and show them how you prepare to win in this league. There is a reason that Green Bay let him go, and they are kind of in a win now mode since their franchise star is in his last year or two, but they are prepared to go into the season with, get this, Vernand Morency, listed as their #1 back right now.

5. DL: Its the cool thing to talk about Amobe like he's going to make a difference this year... and he might... but you brought this kid in for the future. There were several players who could make an immediate impact this year at either the WR/DB/RB position THIS year. Don't get me a wrong... I'm a fan of building from the inside out... and I think that we've finally got a direction and a legit plan... But he's going to spend this year learning how the big boys play. He, like most of this team... is going to look brilliant at times... and others he's going to look like we have two Courtney Browns on this team. He was brought in to DEVELOP with MW... no to register a combined 25 sacks this year. If we were trying to make a playoff push this year I don't think we'd be relying on Amobe.

6. LB: There were a few in the draft.. and several in free agency and two or 3 legit 1st or 2nd stringers on our roster. Ryans is NICE.. and he's SMART... but he doesn't run a 2.4 40... which means he can't cover the entire field... We're weak at either OLB position and outside of him and Greenwood... we don't have a guy who has had over 80 tackles in the last 3 years (edit Danny Clark has... forgot about him... but last year with the Raiders, in 16 games he turned in a whopping 29 tackles).

Other things I think point to an 08/09 run for the playoffs:

1. Matt Schaub:

1st year starter, 1st year in this system (I know he has played in a similar system since his H.S. days but still a new system). He will be good. He might be great... but not this year. Its a move in another direction.. and I've said it before... our first 6 games would have been more smooth if we kept DC and let him take a pounding while Schaub gets his bearings.

We have added ALOT of young guys... via draft and signings... and the guys we've added that are vets... like Zgonina and Wynn... etc are either on the downside of their carer or they are in the league because they are smart... and clipboard type guys. We didn't go add a big performer in my opinion... we added depth... and we added vets to teach these young guys we do have how to play. (anybody notice a change in DR's play once we lost Glenn?). Again I think these are great moves.... among the many mistakes made in handling HWWDNSO and many of our other young players... was that they didn't really have guys to mentor them. Tony Banks? please... Sharper wasn't the same player when he left... but our defense fell apart when he and Glenn were gone.... in part, I think because there was noone to teach these kids how to prepare.

We had to know we were getting Schaub... or at least we weren't going to go for Carr again... that was pretty much written in stone... but we released Moulds? I know he hasn't gotten many phone calls... but I'm pretty sure he gets one before any of the other WR's not named Andre Johnson on our roster. Again... you probably have to find out if Walters is the answer... I'm not sold... but then again I'm not even paid to write my opinion even on a website or a newspaper... much less to make personnel decisions... so I could be completely wrong... this is just the vibe I get from the way the off season is going...

Bash away...

Mike
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Old 07-13-2007   #2
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

I'm not gonna bash. I think your reasoning is sound, Mike. And it's fine with me for Smith and Kubiak to build our team. I don't have to have a banner season this year. I like how they're developing our team. As Kubiak said last year, there are too many holes to fill with one draft. It will take at least one, and probably two more drafts/offseasons to really get this team right. I'll not criticize the Texans for not effectively addressing the secondary. I expect them to do so next season. I'm not disappointed with how they've handled every other area on the team--get pieces to develop into quality players a year or two down the road.

Now, having said all that, I look at last season's 6-10 record and think what could have been without Jameel Cook losing two games for us, or last season's QB fumbling away TDs for the opposing D. What if we had actually had a passing attack in the last 10 games of last year?

How close we came to a notably better record last season together with this year's upgrade at QB, RB, DT, and depth leave me optimistic for this season, knowing that we are a good two seasons from attaining any kind of peak.
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Old 07-13-2007   #3
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

I haven't read your entire message and I'm not predicting a 9 to 11 win season (only 8-8) but I will say this:

You can take any team and go through and list off a bunch of "bad" things like this. Even the Colts and Patriots. Every team has strengths and weaknesses. There is no team, ever, that has been totally perfect from top to bottom. Take a look at the teams that were contending for playoff spots last year: the Titans were a bad team and almost got in. The Chiefs were a bad team with a tired running back and a shell-shocked QB and mediocre defense that a lot of people were expecting to pound the Colts because of the Colts' bad run defense. The Giants were a team imploding. The Seahawks didn't even have a secondary by the end of the year.

There's really usually a fairly fine line between a good team and a bad team. Our team is better this year than last year and we were just 5-6 plays from being in contention for a playoff. We've made improvements to the team and quite possibly haven't made any steps back except possibly with the WR's.

So, sure. We've got a lot of weaknesses. But if we play with guts and with heart and with brains, we'll be able to make some noise.
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Old 07-13-2007   #4
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

I'm not going to bash away. Alot of that made perfectly good sense and they are legit concerns. You would have to be a blind homer to ignore those concerns.

I'm just going to submit a old saying......"Things are never as good as they seem and they're never as bad as the seem either"

Half of your concerns will probably be alieved by the end of the year, but half will probably stick as well. Which is why I think we will be around .500 this year.

Next year is the year the Texans will have the financial fortitude/experience to fill major holes and make a major push for the playoffs.
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Old 07-13-2007   #5
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

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Old 07-13-2007   #6
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
I haven't read your entire message and I'm not predicting a 9 to 11 win season (only 8-8) but I will say this:

You can take any team and go through and list off a bunch of "bad" things like this. Even the Colts and Patriots. Every team has strengths and weaknesses. There is no team, ever, that has been totally perfect from top to bottom. Take a look at the teams that were contending for playoff spots last year: the Titans were a bad team and almost got in. The Chiefs were a bad team with a tired running back and a shell-shocked QB and mediocre defense that a lot of people were expecting to pound the Colts because of the Colts' bad run defense. The Giants were a team imploding. The Seahawks didn't even have a secondary by the end of the year.

There's really usually a fairly fine line between a good team and a bad team. Our team is better this year than last year and we were just 5-6 plays from being in contention for a playoff. We've made improvements to the team and quite possibly haven't made any steps back except possibly with the WR's.

So, sure. We've got a lot of weaknesses. But if we play with guts and with heart and with brains, we'll be able to make some noise.
Well first of all... I think that the signs point to management not thinking this is going to be a banner year and I know you can overcome deficiencies.. but what do we overcome deficiencies with?

Look at how teams overcome their deficiencies:

Colts average defense at best (although once they got healthy.. they were borderline amazing in the playoffs).. they control the game with the offense...

Bears - offensively they might be the only team that has been as inept as the Texans for the last 5 years - they have a great defense... especially front 7.

Cheifs - for all of their weaknesses... they still have LJ.

Eagles - they make up for a bad wr corps with brian westbrook and mcnabb.. to go with a defense that is consistently one of the top 10 in the league.

I could go on... but most teams that are .500 or better teams, while they have deficiencies, have an identity or something they do reallly really well. This team doesn't have that yet.. AJ only makes up for so much.

I believe that in most cases (you can cite the colts and rams if you like... but I'll just say I said MOST not ALL)... that there are 3 fundamental areas you have to excel in if you expect to win football games:

Force turnovers
Run the ball
Stop the run

I'm not saying you have to have a marquee runner (I think i wrote about that a while ago actually) but I am saying that you have to run the ball and stop the run.

You can make up for one deficiency or the other (Indy has a very efficient ground game to go with Manning) but not both. It becomes a matter of ball time. Know why we beat them last year? We won the turnover battle... and we almost doubled their rushing yards and we had the a 35/24 time of possession advantage. Correct me if I'm wrong but I do believe that's the first time in 10 meetings that we've ever had an advantage in TOP.

Unfortunately... I don't see us doing any of those especially well this year. We may be good against the run... maybe... but we finished tied for 2nd to last with 19 forced turnovers. As for running the ball... I don't think Green holds up all year... and I don't think we have another rb on the roster who can run full time... or by committee for that matter.

But you and I both just get on here and like to pretend like we know what's going on

I wasn't really trying to look at the football reasons themselves though... more I was trying to look at the moves themselves and see what they signal. Would I be shocked if we won 7 games? no... If a few balls bounce our ways.. we might even win 8... but I think that's the absolute ceiling for this team... I've said it alot... I think this team will start out a 2 or 3 win team at the beginning of the year with all of the youth and relative newness of things... but by the end of the year they will be an 8-8 team who has developed some of the young talent they have and also has money to go after free agents next season when they do poise to make a meaningful run at the playoffs.

Mike

Last edited by Texanmike02; 07-13-2007 at 01:49 AM. Reason: finishing post
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Old 07-13-2007   #7
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

I also, being a member of the pretenders, believe your posts are good Mike.

This team has too many holes and mediocre players to make a splash this year. Let's keep building towards the future and manage our expectations.
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Old 07-13-2007   #8
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

The front office did what they could with what they had. I know we still have holes, but not everything that is wrong with this team can be fixed in one offseason. I do expect at least 8-8 though. If our defense can be close to as productive as they were the last ten games of the season, I think we can make some noise. Our defense carried us those last ten games with the way the offense was struggling. We have made changes at QB and runningback also getting some healthy guys returning to the o-line. So with a pretty good defense and hopefully a better offense, I don't see why we can't get at least to .500.
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Old 07-13-2007   #9
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

The Texans have made good moves, but they are all long-term solutions. The turn-around needs more time. The good news is that one good offseason could provide answers to most of the Texans' holes.
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Old 07-13-2007   #10
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

While I'm hoping for the best this year, I really think we can do some damage next year. This next offseason we will have plenty of money to aquire decent players to fill holes with proven players and at the same time, we won't have Charley "not so frugal" Casserly in charge this time. So far Rick Smith has done well with what he's had to work with (which aint much). So, I look for the Texans to be drastically improved by next year. Though it would be nice to over achieve this year
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Old 07-13-2007   #11
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

Saints last year:

QB - starting the season with a potentially hurt QB, and it's his first year here.

RB - Deuce is back, but is his knee healthy? And we got Bush. There are concerns as to how they'll split the load, but this should be a plus.

WR - Aging Joe Horn, lost Donte Stallworth, and we have a 7th round draft pick. This has to be worrisome.

TE - Billy Miller!

OL - Lost LeCharles Bentley, oh noes!

Just sayin' .......
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Old 07-13-2007   #12
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

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Originally Posted by Texanmike View Post
There is a reason that Green Bay let him go, and they are kind of in a win now mode since their franchise star is in his last year or two, but they are prepared to go into the season with, get this, Vernand Morency, listed as their #1 back right now.
I believe this to be a false statement.
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Old 07-13-2007   #13
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

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Originally Posted by eriadoc View Post
Saints last year:

QB - starting the season with a potentially hurt QB, and it's his first year here.

RB - Deuce is back, but is his knee healthy? And we got Bush. There are concerns as to how they'll split the load, but this should be a plus.

WR - Aging Joe Horn, lost Donte Stallworth, and we have a 7th round draft pick. This has to be worrisome.

TE - Billy Miller!

OL - Lost LeCharles Bentley, oh noes!

Just sayin' .......

And don't forget -- Rookie Coach
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Old 07-13-2007   #14
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

I want our defense to be feared. I want the opposition to be scared to play the Texans D on Sunday. And the problem with our safeties is not the SS but the FS. Our SS play their position well, they need a ball-hawk back there with them.

I think if Green can stay healthy, our offense should look a lot better with Schaub calling the shots. One of the biggest problems has been that opposing defenses pinned their ears back and came at Carr like dogs after meat. We have to make them pay for that kind of aggression. You burn them a couple of times and they'll back off and you can run your offense.
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Old 07-13-2007   #15
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

The Saints also went 8-8 the two years before that dismal 3-13 season that got them Reggie Bush (and 9-7 the year before that). The point is that they obviously had some strengths to the team. The Texans had a much worse record from 2002 - 2005 and likely have many more holes than the Saints did.
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Old 07-13-2007   #16
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

Many of the fans usually take an overly optimistic view, where the glass is not only half full, it's overflowing. I can go back thru the archives and find predictions of 11 and 12 wins from the year we won 2 games, or from last year. Heck, there where fans predicting playoffs the very first year of existence.

OTOH, I believe your post runs almost dead opposite of that. Your glass is not only half empty, it's only got a couple of drops left in the bottom. You have taken the absouloute worst case of every scenerio, and assumed that to be true. You make it seem like we are that 2 win team. I just don't believe that.

The truth probably lies somewhere between your glass empty take, and the homers glass full takes. I predict somewhere between 7-9 wins, primarily on the presumption that Matt Schaub will prove to be a competent QB, and that we have a better RB, a better DL, and added some talent elsewhere. However, I will be really suprised, but very pleasantly so, if we make the playoffs....although I will say this is the first year that going into camp I have not totally ruled out the possibility either.
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Old 07-13-2007   #17
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

I am so glad this is not going to be a playoff year.

How about, reasons why it will be a challenge for the Texans to make the playoffs?
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Old 07-13-2007   #18
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

An 8-8 season is realistic.

Once some of that dead money clears, then maybe we can start talking playoffs.

We still need an RB that can catch passes and some depth on the OL.

I think that the defense is better than they get credit for. They just spent too much time on the field last season.
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Old 07-13-2007   #19
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

Its a 3 year plan... not a 2... so yeah, its obvious some of our moves are stop gap or aimed at a year or so down the road. You cant fill every hole on a 2-14 team in just 2 offseasons. Especially when you are cap strapped. But as far as the playoffs, yes they will definitely have to hit on quite a few of the unknowns... but its not impossible. Nobody knows truly how big of an impact replacing Carr will really be. Not having him/adding Schaub could have a HUGE ripple effect on the Offense. The D is already a top 12 unit imo. Still, 7 to 8 wins for them this season.
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Old 07-13-2007   #20
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Default Re: Reasons why this isn't a playoff year

I am glad you wrote the post and am glad that you at least spelled out your reasons. I also think next year is the year for big expectations BUT I agree with a poster above, I believe Porky, who said you took the extreme worst case scenario for each position. You talk about DeMeco not running a 2.4 so he can't cover the whole field yet he still makes plays, was DROY and we added Danny Clark and Shawn Barber for some vet presence. I'm just picking one area. I will agree on still wanting in the FS position, etc but I think 7-9 or 8-8 is realistic under the second year of the system.
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