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Old 08-06-2007   #1
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Default Don't get your hopes up just yet

Im extremely excited about this year. More excited than I've ever been about a Texans team. For once, our defense feels young and consistent.

But, like I said in the title, I don't think its time to get excited---yet.

Why, you may ask?

We are still building. We aren't rebuilding, as we haven't ever really had a foundation to start from, but right now we are building--and we're still missing two key pieces:
An effective offensive line
And chemistry

I know what you are all thinking: "I can't believe he said an effective offensive line!"
But hear me out.

Its clear to anyone that watches the Texans, that our offensive line has never really been a "strength." At times, it has been the worst in the league. At other times, its been quite effective, much to the chagrin of the OL harpers/national media.

One thing its never been is consistent. The other thing we've always been lacking is one or two really dominant players. We still have Ephraim Salaam, a guy most people would rather see in a back up role, as our starting LT. His backup? A guy who has been nicknamed I-65. And thats coming from a team where he was surrounded by talent and one of the most dominant running backs in the NFL.

I know what most of you will say: "Our OL looked bad because of David Carr's horrendous pocket presence."
And for the most part, I completely agree.

I think our OL did look much worse than it actually was because of Carr's poor pocket presence, but thats not to say that I think its going to completely change, either. Even great, Pro Bowl QBs can really suffer when they don't get the protection they need.

For example, Matt Hassleback has always been a quick release, wco kind of guy. Last year, he lost a key piece of his OL, Steve Hutchinson. Thats only 1 Guard, right? Well, it was a big deal. Hassleback got beat up last year. And what happeend? He got jittery, he lost concentration, and it cost them a trip to the superbowl. Here is a quote I read from the camp confidential article on ESPN:
Quote:
Here was his Pro Bowl quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck, scrambling unnecessarily, overlooking an open receiver and throwing incomplete to the wrong guy with the season on the line.

The third-and-2 mishap doomed Seattle in overtime of the NFC playoffs, helping Chicago continue its Super Bowl march.

But as a new season approaches, it's clear Hasselbeck needs more from everyone around him, starting with the guys up front. It's not just him.

"He got beat up pretty good last year," Holmgren said. "As I looked at the film, I said, 'Our quarterback is a tough guy. He doesn't get jittery. He just got beat up and he's human.'
So while I am convinced our OL will look better without Carr scrambling into opposing DEs, I am not convinced that its going to be good enough to sustain the kind of passing productivity many seem to be expecting already.



And now my next point, chemistry. The reason I am so excited about this season is that we have a new quarterback. A leader, a guy the team trusts, and someone who isn't going to fal linto the fetal position at every bit of opposing pressure.

But what does this really mean? We are building, and we need to take some time.

Schaub has been in the NFL for 3 years, but he has never started regularly. Starting is a whole new ball game, and to make matters worse, he has an entire new team. He has to learn where Ahman likes the ball handed to him. He has to learn the tendencies of guys like AJ, and Walters, and Jones, and Mathis. He has to learn to really, relally trust that AJ is going to be there on a post route if he lays the ball in the perfect spot. And how do you get all of those things? Time.

Asking a brand new QB with totally new weapons on offense to step in and win 10 games is crazy. The teams we are playing against have a leg up on us already, and we can't expect to catch up on the first leap. Let me show you another quote from hassleback that really helps this point across:

Quote:
"As I watched all of last season, my best throws were to guys I know, on plays that we've run a million times," Hasselbeck said. "Then there are mistakes where I'm holding onto the ball because I'm not really sure where to let it go.

"It's not that our guys aren't good or they don't know what they are doing, but Joe Montana and Michael Irvin are not going to be Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin. Not that any of us are any of those guys, but [there is value] just being familiar and really feeling a guy and recognizing his routes."
We can't expect Schaub to come in and in a few months develop the chemistry that guys like Peyton and Harrison have going for them. Its just not fair. And while the QB position is in the most limelight, the rest of the team is going to have the same issues. We are still new, we have a lot of young guys out there, and they need to relaly get comfortable with each other and trust each other before we see the real Houston Texans really come out.



So, whas the point of this whole thing? What have I said in the above paragraphs if you're too lazy to read everything? Basically, the Texans made some huge changes over the past 2 years. First the entire coaching staff and offensive and defensive schmes were switched. Then we brought in major new players, including the QB. And while we shoudl see improvements in every aspect of our team this year, we can't go out expecting playoffs instantly, because we still don't have the dominance in the trenches or chesmitry between the players.

We are building toward being perennial contenders, but don't be disapointed with the bumps along the road. After all, we are Texans fans, and as such, we should be, if anything, patient.

There are of course exceptions - look at the Cowboys last year, the Saints last year, etc. But if we aren't one of them, don't get discouraged yet. We will get there eventually, and the reward will that much sweeter for fans that have stuck by them the whole time.

Just keep in mind that having realistic expections will leave you a lot less frustrated on Monday morning. We look great on paper, and camp has been going well, but this teams needs to grow, and it may not be pretty while its doing it.
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Last edited by gtexan02; 08-06-2007 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 08-06-2007   #2
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

Boy, that was an awfully long post basically saying what everyone already knows.

Who is it that is expecting playoffs instantly?
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Old 08-06-2007   #3
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

As quoted from DocBar in Yankee's siggy....

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"Why're you crapping on my heart."
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Old 08-06-2007   #4
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

Well.....you make some interesting points but I think I am going to go ahead and get excited and keep my hopes up because I am a Texan fan and as a fan of my team I will get my hopes up.
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Old 08-06-2007   #5
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
Boy, that was an awfully long post basically saying what everyone already knows.

Who is it that is expecting playoffs instantly?
According to the record prediction poll, over 50% of the people on this board (who have pretty realistic expections on the whole) are predicting a season of 9 or more victories.

That would have put us into the playoffs last year, I think, or at least been very close (the Titans would have been in with 9)
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Old 08-06-2007   #6
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

Thanks,

I'm glad you're here to keep me grounded...........................
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Old 08-06-2007   #7
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

I still think 8-8 or even 9-7 is realistic.

As far as chemistry: it is not all on Schaub. The chemistry equation is complex and includes many, many players. It is far easier for one player (especially in a high profile position like QB) to destroy chemistry, than it is for one player to build it. If the team believes in themselves, works hard, gets mean, and depends upon each other, good things will follow. The past is the past. Can't control it, can't change it. What we can control is our behavior now, today.

Leaders (in no order): Schaub, Green, AJ, Robinson, Ryans. Let's see who else asserts themselves. In practice. In the weight room. On the field. I'd like to see someone from the O-line and the D-line rise also. Maybe they already have and we do not know it. Fact is, we are on the outside of the looking glass, looking in. What goes on in that locker room, really --- we understand only in part.

IMHO, I do not believe the optimism for this season is misplaced. And all this talk gets channeled where it needs to go, once the season starts. It's been a loooong offseason.

My $0.02, humbly and respectfully submitted.
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Old 08-06-2007   #8
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Default The myth of the Titans '06 season

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtexan02 View Post
That would have put us into the playoffs last year, I think, or at least been very close (the Titans would have been in with 9)
The Chiefs did make the playoffs with a 9-7 record (on a tiebreaker with the Broncos based on a better division record). But if Tennessee had won their last game (rather than getting smoked at home by the Pats), they would have lost out on the tiebreaker with Denver (8-4 vs. 6-6 conference record).
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Old 08-06-2007   #9
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

Thanks for the opinions,

dont get me wrong, Im not trying to be the rain cloud over the parade or anything.
Im not saying don't get excited

Im just hoping people won't go off the handle when Schaub has his first multi-interception game, or when the OL gives up 3+ sacks to someone.

I am confident we will have the best team the Texans have ever had.


BUT this fan base has a tendency to swing wildy to one direction or the other. A few tidbits of good information and we are ready for a superbowl run, vs a few mis-excuted plays and we are already talking about the 2008 draft. So with all the positive camp notes (great WRs, Schaub doing well, MW dominating), i feel like people are forgetting we are still building from the ground up, and will take some time to develop
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Old 08-06-2007   #10
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

I enter each season with my hopes up!! BUT, I have my own expectations. I predicted an 8-8 season, and I will stick with that. If we do better than that I will be delighted, if we do worst, then I can blame it on a "building year." Regardless, I am as excited about this year as I have been every year since the beginning of this franchise. Every week will bring something new to the table. I am ready for WHATEVER that will be!!
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Old 08-06-2007   #11
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtexan02 View Post
BUT this fan base has a tendency to swing wildy to one direction or the other. A few tidbits of good information and we are ready for a superbowl run, vs a few mis-excuted plays and we are already talking about the 2008 draft. So with all the positive camp notes (great WRs, Schaub doing well, MW dominating), i feel like people are forgetting we are still building from the ground up, and will take some time to develop
This fan base really isn't any different from any other pro football fan base, message board wise, where overreaction is the golden rule.

The only way to cut down on the fly-off-the-handle venting is to prevent people from posting for a minimum of 48 hours after a game. But if that were to happen, more bricks would be throw at TVs, more wives would be beaten, and more dogs would be kicked.

You just got to accept a message board for what it is. (Easier said than done, I will be the first to admit)
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Old 08-06-2007   #12
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

I have high hopes simply because starting now...we get a NFL game each weekend until the Super Bowl. Will the Texans be any good? donno...but I hope so.
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Old 08-06-2007   #13
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

Every football fan is drinking the koolaid right now. It's normal. There is nothing wrong with us in this regard at least.

I understand your point, but it's unavoidable. The quarter back change is big, and big changes create hope especially when your team hasn't won too many games.

It's also natural to be afraid of hope after having your hopes crushed so many times, but there's no room for fear in fandom.

Expect the Super Bowl. Expect four Pro Bowl players this season. Whatever you do, don't expect a loser.

No matter what happens the Texans are heading in the right direction, and it's something worth getting excited about.

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Old 08-06-2007   #14
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

Your point is taken. But as many have said I too am more excited about this year than any of the previous(except 2002)years. A new QB who was being sought after by many teams v.s. the QB we had and couldn't even trade for a 7th rd. pick. The best RB we have ever had an Ahman Green,( went to TC and this guy doesn't look like he is in his 10th year. He looks young). Our D looks very promising and the best part they're YOUNG with plenty of years to go. Optomistic... You bet your arse!! Realistic...yes. 9-7 is what I predicted, but in reality I just want a team that is competetive week in and week out. With that the wins will come,and then the playoffs will come. If that takes 5 more years, 10, 15 I will still be here a fan, a fan of the HOUSTON TEXANS. It's like a marriage for better or worse. Hopefully more good than bad.
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Old 08-06-2007   #15
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

Good post, very true. Alot of people get hyped up and let it go too far because of all the optimism and new additions that are here. I'm not saying we're doomed or will suck, but its nice to hear the voice of reason every once in awhile during camp.
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Old 08-06-2007   #16
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdog View Post
Every football fan is drinking the koolaid right now. It's normal. There is nothing wrong with us in this regard at least.

I understand your point, but it's unavoidable. The quarter back change is big, and big changes create hope especially when your team hasn't won too many games.

It's also natural to be afraid of hope after having your hopes crushed so many times, but there's no room for fear in fandom.

Expect the Super Bowl. Expect four Pro Bowl players this season. Whatever you do, don't expect a loser.

No matter what happens the Texans are heading in the right direction, and it's something worth getting excited about.

Well, more than a few Saints fans may have put their kool-ade glasses down for the moment.
and by contrast, the Steeler fans are probably drunk off-the-chain right about now
I'm really tempted to sneak a peek at their msg board after last night's game to see what the mood is.


Its good to be optimistic,
and its safe to be pessimistic,
but its better to be realistic.
As long as you're enthusiastic out at the stadium, its all good.

Last edited by ObsiWan; 08-06-2007 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 08-06-2007   #17
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtexan02 View Post
According to the record prediction poll, over 50% of the people on this board (who have pretty realistic expections on the whole) are predicting a season of 9 or more victories.

That would have put us into the playoffs last year, I think, or at least been very close (the Titans would have been in with 9)
Doesn't Vegas have the Texans at 6.5 victories for the over/under? Aren't the odds makers usually pretty close? Is everyone making a big "investment" in the over?
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Old 08-06-2007   #18
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

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Thanks,

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Old 08-06-2007   #19
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runner View Post
Doesn't Vegas have the Texans at 6.5 victories for the over/under? Aren't the odds makers usually pretty close? Is everyone making a big "investment" in the over?
Actually, the odds makers are usually kinda off but I guess that depends on what you define as "pretty close". I worked up a spreadsheet showing the over/unders for last year and the actual results.

They had 0 dead on.
5 off by a half game. (Chiefs, Cowboys, Texans, Bills, Colts)
4 off by a full game. (Falcons, Bengals, Broncos, Rams)
6 off by a game and a half. (Jags, Giants, Panthers, Seahawks, Eagles, Patriots)
2 off by 2 games. (Niners, Packers)
4 off by 2.5 games. (Browns, Vikings, Steelers, Titans)
2 off by 3 games. (Saints, Dolphins)
2 off by 3.5 games. (Cards, Lions)
3 off by 4 games (Raiders, Redskins, Bears)
2 off by 4.5 games. (Jets, Buccs)
1 off by 5 games. (Chargers)
1 off by 5.5 games. (Ravens)

If they have us at 6.5, that means that anything from 4-8 is likely but even 3-9 shouldn't be ruled out.

Just based off their results for 1 year.

I'd love to be this year's Ravens.
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Old 08-06-2007   #20
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Default Re: Don't get your hopes up just yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runner View Post
Doesn't Vegas have the Texans at 6.5 victories for the over/under? Aren't the odds makers usually pretty close? Is everyone making a big "investment" in the over?
I didn't know that.
Perhaps I will.
sounds like easy money to me.
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