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Old 08-01-2007   #1
Insideop
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Default O-line

OK, who do you think will be our starters on the O-line, and who, on the O-line, do you think will make the team or be put on the Practice Squad?

I have not been to any of the practices so here are my choices based on what I've been reading and hearing:

LT Salaam Black

LG Pitts Studdard

C McKinney Flanagan

RG Weary

RT Winston Frye

LS Pittman

PUP Spencer

PS Chris White (Center)
Brisiel (Guard) or Jackson (Guard)

Not sure who gets cut when/if Spencer comes back this season. It's too early to tell. Also, I have not heard much about Frye and how he is doing at camp. Anybody know how he's doing?

As for the Center position, I heard McKinney is doing real well, but it is a battle between him and Flanagan to see who starts. Also heard White has looked really good, but I just don't know if he will make the team unless McKinney or Flanagan "go down" which is a distinct possibility. He will probably end up on the PS for now. JMHO!
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Old 08-01-2007   #2
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Default Re: O-line

Maybe my memory is wrong, but didn't we carry Winston on the inactive list for a while last season ? Were we able to do that because he was a draft pick ?

Would we be able to put someone on an incactive list if Spencer comes back ?

*sigh* unfortuantely I do not understand the complexities of roster spots in the NFL....
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Old 08-01-2007   #3
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Default Re: O-line

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Originally Posted by xtruroyaltyx View Post
Maybe my memory is wrong, but didn't we carry Winston on the inactive list for a while last season ? Were we able to do that because he was a draft pick ?

Would we be able to put someone on an incactive list if Spencer comes back ?

*sigh* unfortuantely I do not understand the complexities of roster spots in the NFL....
He was inactive last year in that he didn't suit up for some games; he still counted against the 53 man roster. Teams dress 46 players plus the emergency QB for a total of 47 each game. Any person on the roster can be inactive.


edit: or 45/46 per Lucky's post. I wasn't sure about the exact numbers.
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Old 08-01-2007   #4
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Default Re: O-line

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Originally Posted by xtruroyaltyx View Post
Maybe my memory is wrong, but didn't we carry Winston on the inactive list for a while last season ?
Winston was on the roster all season, but he didn't dress for all 16 games. 53 players are on the roster, but only 45 dress on gameday.

Here's my recollection of how the o-line currently shakes out (though there's some mix and match during practice):

LT - Salaam, Black, Frye (when he was healthy)
LG - Pitts, Studdard, Hodgdon
C - Flanagan, McKinney, White
RG - Weary, Brisiel, Jackson
RT - Winston, Barry, Jackson

McKinney and Black will be the primary backups, as Steve can play all of the interior positions and Black can play both tackle spots. If McKinney beats Flanagan for the starting spot, would Flanagan even make the final roster? The Texans might opt to keep younger and more versatile players like Hodgdon, White, or Jackson (who played center in Tampa and at BYU).
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Old 08-02-2007   #5
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Default Re: O-line

Hogdgon is awful, though. Not saying they wouldn't want to keep some younger guys, but I don't think Hog is one of them.
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Old 08-02-2007   #6
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Default Re: O-line

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Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
Winston was on the roster all season, but he didn't dress for all 16 games. 53 players are on the roster, but only 45 dress on gameday.

Here's my recollection of how the o-line currently shakes out (though there's some mix and match during practice):

LT - Salaam, Black, Frye (when he was healthy)
LG - Pitts, Studdard, Hodgdon
C - Flanagan, McKinney, White
RG - Weary, Brisiel, Jackson
RT - Winston, Barry, Jackson

McKinney and Black will be the primary backups, as Steve can play all of the interior positions and Black can play both tackle spots. If McKinney beats Flanagan for the starting spot, would Flanagan even make the final roster? The Texans might opt to keep younger and more versatile players like Hodgdon, White, or Jackson (who played center in Tampa and at BYU).
Being essentially the same mediocre (at best) line as last year has really kept me from having alot of optimism about this team. As I posted last year, even Peyton and Brady become very mediocre QB's when the pash rush is on top of them b4 they have time to set up and read the defense. Obviously, they have excellent lines that most of the time provide them with GREAT protection allowing them to set up, read the defense, and then execute. If Schaub is having to execute BEFORE having time to set up and read the defense it is going to be a long year for him. On the brighter side, natural grass is a healthy food supplement and Schaub isn't likely to have constipation problems.

Here's how the progression works for Peyton and Brady:
1001 accept snap and start back.
1002 fall back and read
1003 fall back and read
1004 read/execute
1005 read/execute
1006 execute
1007-1010 watch play develop without ever being touched

Here's how the Texans progression has worked:
10001 accept snap and start back.
10002 avoid 1st rusher
10003 attempt to fall back and avoid 2nd rush
10004 sacked or forced to execute without set and read
10005 either sacked or knocked to ground after execution
10006-1010 eat natural grass and wonder if play made it to LOS or not


Truthfully, our oline improved towards the end of last year but, still has a long ways to go because, as one article expressed, we probably don't have a single lineman who would start on another NFL team. I'm hoping that somehow the youngsters step up their games to become a factor and/or the oldsters somehow generate new abilities that they haven't shown heretofor.
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Old 08-02-2007   #7
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Default Re: O-line

Oh, come on.

Pitts, Weary, and probably Winston (now) could start on another team. Besides that, McKinney played like a legitimate starting center when he had the chance late last season. Let's not act like the whole line is nothing but 3rd stringers.

When we make the argument that a bad line can make any QB look bad, we need to remember that David Carr was our QB and it works the other way too. Good QBs can make an O-line look better as well.

The truth is that over the years our line AND our QB AND our receiving corps have been sub-par. It's not any one area, but the line is gradually getting better and the QB is now replaced. You can't just say, "Fix the O-line! Fix the O-line!" The O-line is not one player that you just draft in the 1st round and all is well. It takes 5 starters and several good back-ups. You can't create a stud O-line in just an off-season or two. That's why replacing the QB makes a bigger difference in one off-season (if he is indeed worth the price we paid).
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Old 08-02-2007   #8
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Default Re: O-line

Here's my angle on the o-line: the Texans have a great supporting cast, but the major pillars are faulty and sub-par. The Texans are finally getting some decent depth on the line, fueled through offseason acquisitions like Black and four draft picks in the last two years. The "supporting cast" on the line - the two guards and the right tackle - are also good and getting better. Winston will improve over the course of the year, though he is going to need a bit more of a learning curve. Pitts is a consistent guard, and Weary is evolving into one. All great. All wonderful, and glad to have it.

Then come those pillars. The anchors. Whatever you want to call them. Left Tackle and Center. The players at these two positions are supposed to be the leadership and the talent on the front line. You want your two best, fastest, strongest, and smartest linemen playing Center and Left Tackle. In Houston, these are the two weakest positions on the line. I don't buy into Salaam being able to hold his position. I don't buy that Salaam or Flanagan can stay healthy for 17 weeks. I don't think any of these guys: Flanagan, McKinney, Black, or Salaam - provide true leadership on the line.

This is why I think the left tackle and center needs to be upgraded, and why I believe that until it is, the line will remain porous and inept.
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Old 08-02-2007   #9
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Default Re: O-line

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Originally Posted by Insideop View Post
Also, I have not heard much about Frye and how he is doing at camp. Anybody know how he's doing?
Twisted or sprained an ankle the first couple days of camp and as a result has not been on the field for the last several days. Kubiak specifically mentioned his absense in the last day or 2 in a TC report and said he was anxious to get him back out there so they could get a look-see at what they have in him.
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Old 08-02-2007   #10
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Default Re: O-line

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Originally Posted by Texans Horror View Post
Here's my angle on the o-line: the Texans have a great supporting cast, but the major pillars are faulty and sub-par. The Texans are finally getting some decent depth on the line, fueled through offseason acquisitions like Black and four draft picks in the last two years. The "supporting cast" on the line - the two guards and the right tackle - are also good and getting better. Winston will improve over the course of the year, though he is going to need a bit more of a learning curve. Pitts is a consistent guard, and Weary is evolving into one. All great. All wonderful, and glad to have it.

Then come those pillars. The anchors. Whatever you want to call them. Left Tackle and Center. The players at these two positions are supposed to be the leadership and the talent on the front line. You want your two best, fastest, strongest, and smartest linemen playing Center and Left Tackle. In Houston, these are the two weakest positions on the line. I don't buy into Salaam being able to hold his position. I don't buy that Salaam or Flanagan can stay healthy for 17 weeks. I don't think any of these guys: Flanagan, McKinney, Black, or Salaam - provide true leadership on the line.

This is why I think the left tackle and center needs to be upgraded, and why I believe that until it is, the line will remain porous and inept.
That porous and inept line did about average last year. Nobody's saying we're Superbowl ready. What we are saying is that we have reached the point that we should win more than we lose. Salaam won't stay healthy all season (heck he played hurt all last year), Green might very well not, etc., etc., but we got nothing from Green last year because he wasn't even on our team. You can point out our every flaw, but the fact still remains that we won 6 games last year with less than we have this year. Now, I know that you are trying to focus on the O-line here, but it's the same thing. That porous, crappy O-line has always run-blocked well, and they finished the season pass-blocking at about an average level last year.

One other thing is this l-e-a-d-e-r stuff is a bunch of *(&(*&(*&(. Even David Carr's problem wasn't not being a leader--it was all that other crud he was doing wrong. AJ isn't a l-e-a-d-e-r and neither is Ryans. Anybody who says they lead by example apparently thinks everybody in the world who is good at something is a leader. That's bullhockey. If you want a leader, get some loud-mouthed (smart or not) coach to go play LT or center, and see how well he does. We need players. Leaders are for the coaching staff.
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Old 08-02-2007   #11
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Default Re: O-line

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddogmrb View Post
Being essentially the same mediocre (at best) line as last year has really kept me from having alot of optimism about this team. As I posted last year, even Peyton and Brady become very mediocre QB's when the pash rush is on top of them b4 they have time to set up and read the defense. Obviously, they have excellent lines that most of the time provide them with GREAT protection allowing them to set up, read the defense, and then execute. If Schaub is having to execute BEFORE having time to set up and read the defense it is going to be a long year for him. On the brighter side, natural grass is a healthy food supplement and Schaub isn't likely to have constipation problems.

Here's how the progression works for Peyton and Brady:
1001 accept snap and start back.
1002 fall back and read
1003 fall back and read
1004 read/execute
1005 read/execute
1006 execute
1007-1010 watch play develop without ever being touched

Here's how the Texans progression has worked:
10001 accept snap and start back.
10002 avoid 1st rusher
10003 attempt to fall back and avoid 2nd rush
10004 sacked or forced to execute without set and read
10005 either sacked or knocked to ground after execution
10006-1010 eat natural grass and wonder if play made it to LOS or not


Truthfully, our oline improved towards the end of last year but, still has a long ways to go because, as one article expressed, we probably don't have a single lineman who would start on another NFL team. I'm hoping that somehow the youngsters step up their games to become a factor and/or the oldsters somehow generate new abilities that they haven't shown heretofor.
The average amount of time an NFL QB has to make a decision is about 3 seconds. Not 7
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Old 08-02-2007   #12
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Default Re: O-line

Sorry if I came off like an insulting jerk in that last post of mine. I was trying to make a point or two and sometimes a get a little too worked up, usually not even paying attention to whomever I'm responding too. Don't take it personally or anything.
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Old 08-02-2007   #13
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Default Re: O-line

Quote:
Originally Posted by HJam72 View Post
That porous and inept line did about average last year.
That average line was anything but. The offense had to work around them. Carr was reducing his steps and zinging passes to keep from being throttled. The running game was atrocious until the backs changed their play to accomodate a porous o-line. The entire offense seemed schemed to make up for a lacking from the offensive linemen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HJam72 View Post
Nobody's saying we're Superbowl ready. What we are saying is that we have reached the point that we should win more than we lose. Salaam won't stay healthy all season (heck he played hurt all last year), Green might very well not, etc., etc., but we got nothing from Green last year because he wasn't even on our team. You can point out our every flaw, but the fact still remains that we won 6 games last year with less than we have this year. Now, I know that you are trying to focus on the O-line here, but it's the same thing. That porous, crappy O-line has always run-blocked well, and they finished the season pass-blocking at about an average level last year.
They did horrible run-blocking last year. It wasn't until Dayne decided to start shoveling defensive linemen and making his own holes that the run game improved. And they couldn't pass block, either. So the only improvement I saw last year was a step back because the line used to could run-block decently.

I don't see a huge modification to the offensive line between last year and this year. This year, depth has been added. But that still doesn't fix the holes at the key positions of left tackle and center. In a best world, Salaam not only stays healthy, but greatly improves over the quality of play he gave last year, and McKinney/Flanagan bolster their position/stay healthy - depending on who you have starting.

Quote:
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Sorry if I came off like an insulting jerk in that last post of mine. I was trying to make a point or two and sometimes a get a little too worked up, usually not even paying attention to whomever I'm responding too. Don't take it personally or anything.
Take it personally? I don't even know you! Now, if you wanted to argue some Lovecraft or Robert Howard, that'd be different.... In the meantime, it's all just good football talk!
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Old 08-02-2007   #14
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Default Re: O-line

I think the woe is our offensive line bit is getting a bit old at this point. No one is saying they'll allow 72 sacks again or we'll allow only 20. They're about Average and this year we'll find out if its the old chicken or egg arguement between the camps. I am Partial to Hjam when speaking about the pieces as a whole weren't up to par offensively period. Despite everything we did win 6 games last year and frankly we should've won at least two of those barring Cook fumbles. That should say something about the coaching staff we have in place.

Say what you want about Salaam but he held up better then most of us thought and had doomsday projections when Spencer went down. Weary and Pitts while not pro bowl caliber guards are solid and that's what we need them to be. Winston came in last year and while on a learning curve showed enough to take over the starting job and has it going into the season. He should be fully healed with a season under his belt from the surgery and i expect him to solidfy the right side of our line along with Weary. I'm pulling fora healthy Flannigan winning the job at center b/c much as i hate to admit it McKinney gives us flexibility as a backup. I think some people also underestimate the benefit of being together for a solid amount of time and allowing cohession as a UNIT.

We need to be careful to shy away from starting anyone past 30 or approaching that bad age around here. That what killed us under the Capers era no veterans around and rushing young players into the fold and expecting them to exceed in complete adverse conditions. We have some cultural myth that everyone being branded by fire makes for better. What we're seeing in the NFL now(at least current successful teams) is a coaching staff that puts guys in the best position to succeed. That's something Billichek is so good at that people don't understand. That's something Mangini did well last year...becasue pre-season if you had told me that team makes the playoffs i would've laughed in your face. Kubiak seems to be following that idea and it'll progress in his second year.

Also wanted to add we've got Leach secured in the fold and this Abbate kid really seems to be impressing the coaching staff. Harp on green all you want about his age and hitting the black ball 30 here. He did well enough last year post major knee surgery behind a wall of rookies in front of him. He can also pick up the blitz and Owen Daniels is a solid enough blocker.

Seriously, henny pennys.
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Old 08-02-2007   #15
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Default Re: O-line

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We need to be careful to shy away from starting anyone past 30 or approaching that bad age around here. That what killed us under the Capers era no veterans around and rushing young players into the fold and expecting them to exceed in complete adverse conditions.
I want to bounce off this because I remember not so long ago when the excuse was that the line was young and had not played together for very long. So I looked up the ages of our o-line.

Salaam - 31
Pitts - 28
Flanagan - 33/McKinney - 31 (both will be one year older before the start of the season)
Weary - 30
Winston - 24

I have no idea how this compares to other lines, but I was surprised with the age of our line. This is not a young rookie line. If these guys are the starting line, they will all have played at least part of the year together last year. Only Winston did not play most of the year at his position.

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Also wanted to add we've got Leach secured in the fold and this Abbate kid really seems to be impressing the coaching staff. Harp on green all you want about his age and hitting the black ball 30 here. He did well enough last year post major knee surgery behind a wall of rookies in front of him. He can also pick up the blitz and Owen Daniels is a solid enough blocker.

IIRC, Green is also known for his blocking skills. (At least, he prides himself on his blocking skills.) Hopefully that will help, too.
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Old 08-02-2007   #16
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Default Re: O-line

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That porous, crappy O-line has always run-blocked well, and they finished the season pass-blocking at about an average level last year.
They were almost average pass blocking for a simplistic passing offense that relied on two step drops. They would have been far below average if they had blocked for a normal pro offense that incorporated five and seven step drops. Whether the fault of the simple offense was Carr, the pass protection, or both, it still hid the o-line's problems as much as Carr's.
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Old 08-02-2007   #17
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Default Re: O-line

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They were almost average pass blocking for a simplistic passing offense that relied on two step drops. They would have been far below average if they had blocked for a normal pro offense that incorporated five and seven step drops. Whether the fault of the simple offense was Carr, the pass protection, or both, it still hid the o-line's problems as much as Carr's.
You make it sound like we never used 5 and 7 step drops when we did.
And Carr didn't get sacked every time we used them. I don't think he even got sacked most times we used them.
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Old 08-02-2007   #18
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Default Re: O-line

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Originally Posted by Texans Horror View Post
I want to bounce off this because I remember not so long ago when the excuse was that the line was young and had not played together for very long. So I looked up the ages of our o-line.

Salaam - 31
Pitts - 28
Flanagan - 33/McKinney - 31 (both will be one year older before the start of the season)
Weary - 30
Winston - 24

I have no idea how this compares to other lines, but I was surprised with the age of our line. This is not a young rookie line. If these guys are the starting line, they will all have played at least part of the year together last year. Only Winston did not play most of the year at his position.




IIRC, Green is also known for his blocking skills. (At least, he prides himself on his blocking skills.) Hopefully that will help, too.
From what I've gathered the average NFL offensive line is around 31 years old, wich according to the present starters, a tad older than our line. Keep in mind though, 1. Spencer is our true starting LT wich would lower our average age quite a bit, and 2. we have never drafted a starter caliber Center. White looks like he may compete for the starting spot some time this season and that would also lower our average age quite a bit. So we basicly still have a young line by league standards, but we have average skill veterans filling holes that we have guys injured , or just plain dont have a true starter. I think the fact that we have guys filling in almost constantly due to injury is holding back the true potential of our line. I think that willl change late in the year, and hopefully next year we start the season with alot more continuity. As far as this year, I think we just do the best we can and see what happens.
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Old 08-02-2007   #19
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Default Re: O-line

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
You make it sound like we never used 5 and 7 step drops when we did.
And Carr didn't get sacked every time we used them. I don't think he even got sacked most times we used them.
Stats wise, how many of Carr's sacks last year were based upon him running out of bounds short of the line of scrimmage?
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Old 08-02-2007   #20
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Default Re: O-line

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Originally Posted by maddogmrb View Post
Here's how the Texans progression has worked:
10001 accept snap and start back.
10002 avoid 1st rusher
10003 attempt to fall back and avoid 2nd rush
10004 sacked or forced to execute without set and read
10005 either sacked or knocked to ground after execution
10006-1010 eat natural grass and wonder if play made it to LOS or not
In reality it has worked like this:

1001 accept snap from under center because you're not bright enough to take eye off of ball
1002 lock onto primary receiver
1003 look for safety valve receiver if primary receiver is not open
1004 run sideways into defender or toward sideline
1005 run out of bounds or curl into fetal position
1006 get up and throw arms up into the air blaming everyone else for failures
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