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Old 10-01-2007   #1
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Default Quarter Season Grades

Going into this season, I hoped for an 8-8 season, so with 2 wins after the first 4 games I am overall satisfied with the performance of the team. I am still extremely disappointed about our loss to Atlanta, but very few NFL teams will play up to expectation all 16 games of their season and every team will experience setbacks. There is a lot of football left to be played this season - but I thought it would be fun to grade the team based on the first four games of the season:

QB- B+: In my opinion, the most important key to this season is the play of Schaub. Even though it became clear to most of us that this team would never take the next step with Carr behind center, the trade of two second round picks for Schaub was an aggressive move by the front office. In short, after passing on VY AND cutting Carr after signing him to that extension, the front office didn't have any room for error on this move.
After four games, I am confident that the front office made the right move. With a QB rating of over 101, 5 TDs and 6 sacks, Schaub is on pace to equal the TD pass total of Carr by mid-season and will have only allowed/ caused/ settled for 1/4 of the sacks...and he is getting better. Keep in mind that for the past two games, this guy hasn't played with his starting RB or his prowl-bowl WR and last game he was also without his starting center and his other top WR.

RB/FB - C+: I think Green has played well when he has played, so if he had stayed healthy, this grade could have been as high as a B. At best, Dayne is a nice compliment to a solid starting RB, but he is best fitted for pounding the ball with a lead in the 4th quarter. I don't understand why we suit up Gado if we aren't going to give him a chance to play. If Green were to miss any more time, I don't think that we lose much by giving Gado (or another back on the roster) a chance to carry the load.

OL - C-: The offensive line isn't as bad as some of us thought that it was, but it still isn't very good and the loss of Steve isn't going to help. Pass protection has been decent, but the run blocking is just pathetic. I don't think we will scratch the surface of what this offense can do until this line can open up some running holes.

WR - A-: Before his injury, AJ was establishing himself as one of the top WR in the league. Despite all of the concern prior to the start of the season, the depth at this position doesn't look bad at all. Jacoby Jones showed real flashes in the pre-season and looked like he would eventually be take the No. 2 spot, but I think Andre Davis has come out of no where to make a strong case to be considered for a starting role. The coaching staff has given Kevin Walter every chance to establish himself as the No. 2 receiver. He hasn't done anything to hurt himself, but the talent here is much better than initially thought. Add Mathis to the mix and we have good talent 1-5.

TE - A: I don't think we can ask too much more of this group. It seems like every time we need a big play, these guys are getting open and making tough catches. Owen Daniels was a steal in the 4th round and will be a fixture in this offense for years to come. Bruener and Putzier have been solid as well.

DL - B-: IMO, this is the most inconsistent group of the team. The first two games we looked like we were going to be a real force, but last game it didn't seem like we could get much pressure. Amobi is playing really well, but in fairness I think a lot of his success is due to the attention that Mario is getting. I wish Mario's numbers were better, but I think he is getting better pressure.

LB - B: I think this group has been a real upgrade over last year's group. When we have played well, this group seems to be all around the ball and giving big hits.

DB - C-: This is easily the weakest unit of the team. I would have given this unit a D+ if it weren't for the play of Dunta Robinson, who is arguably the best overall player on this defense. We haven't given up the big play like we did last year, but I don't feel comfortable that we can get off of the field even with third and long.

ST - A-: Other than this missed kick yesterday, this group has been solid. When Jacoby and Mathis are healthy, we have a really dangerous return game. Matt Turk is a huge updgrde. Brown is more consistent than not.

Coaching - B-: I think Kubiak is still learning how to run this team. Time management has been a real problem and, at times, I question the play calling on offense.

We are still early in the season and these grades have been given after our worst outing of the year, so I think that each one of these areas could improve over the course of the rest of the season.
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Old 10-02-2007   #2
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

QB: B- ..... Schaub's lack of arm strength has led to a few underthrows that he has gotten away with (the non-INT to AJ, the TD to Andre Davis, and the long pass to Andre Davis). He has also been good for at least one bonehead throw per game, but to this point, he's mostly gotten away with it. He's piled up some meaningless yards, so the stats don't really tell the story. He has great pocket presence, he reads defenses well, and he's constantly looking to challenge the middle of the field deep. I think he has that intangible "it" that guys like Brady have. I fully expect this guy to improve a lot by season's end - and that's going to be amazing.

RB - C ..... This has been a real up-and-down issue, and I'm trying not to let my extreme distaste for the Gado coaching decision affect the RB grade. Green has been pretty good for two halves, then he sat out and let Dayne seal the win. Dayne was good in that role, as the team was able to rack up a couple 10-minute drives that have been sorely missing in years past. However, Green can't stay healthy, and Dayne can't be a consistent performer, especially when he has to play outside his role. The fullbacks have been good at blocking, but only so-so at receiving. Cook has done a nice job stepping in and filling a role, even though he shouldn't have to be asked to fill that role. Gado is either less than worthless, or the coaches are really, really stupid on this issue. Or both.

WR - A ..... Coming into the season, this was considered the offensive weak spot by many. They've answered the bell and performed very well. AJ is simply AJ - a stud. Walter has done a nice job when thrown to, and I've seen him lay a few very nice blocks to help the running game/short receiving game. Andre Davis has taken the #2 job by the throat, I think. Jacoby Jones has done very well as a rookie, with a nice punt return (in a key spot), a couple nice catches, and an end-around or two. Even Jerome Mathis has a couple receptions, as well as a KR TD. The only reason this grade isn't an A+ is Mathis' potential maturity issues.

TE - B ..... I expected more from Owen Daniels to this point, but a big part of why he hasn't done more is the emergence of the WRs. Putzier has pitched in with a few receptions, and they've all played their part in the running game.

O-Line - C ..... This unit has been up-and-down as well, and Schaub makes them look better than they are, most of the time. Winston has played very well, IMO, and so have Weary and Pitts. Pitts has had a bonehead penalty or two, but for the most part, those guys get after it in the run game, and have done pretty well in pass pro, They don't win them all, but most lines don't. Salaam needs more help than he's getting, and I seriously worry about left tackle as the year progresses. At center, McKinney was doing well at run blocking, but not so well in pass pro. Now, Flanagan is in there, and I don't have much faith in him. Three out of five linemen doing their jobs sounds OK, but it only takes one guy to blow a play. I'd like to see more Studdard, but not at the expense of either guard, so that will just have to work itself out.

D-Line - B+ ..... Mario has been playing very well. For those who only look at stats, they won't recognize it, but Kubiak stated in very positive terms that Mario is well on his way to having a great season. He's getting pressure, he's sealing off the edges, and he's taking pressure away from the rookie, Okoye. Okoye is having a great season himself, and not just because of the sacks. He is putting forth great effort every game, and it's paying off. Travis Johnson is having his finest season as a pro, and he clogs up the middle very well. Weaver has been coming on lately, with Zgonina and Kalu contributing as well. I'd like to see this end position get some more pressure than they have, but Orr has been a non-factor in pressure, and the extra D-linemen that dress are usually tackles. This unit, as a whole, has been getting pretty good pressure with very little help from blitzing.

LB - C ..... These guys have done very well against the run, benefitting from the improved play of the D-Line. Clark and Greenwood are making tackles in space, and Ryans is our Energizer bunny. That guy is phenomenal. I don't like our guys in coverage, though, and I'd like to see more blitzing. That's gameplanning by coaches, though. There's room for improvement here, as these guys should be making more game-changing plays.

D-Rob - A+ ..... This guy is having a Pro Bowl year. He's tackling with a vengeance (as always), and he's shutting down his side of the field. There have been very few times that QBs find an open man on that side, and when they do challenge him, he breaks up the play more often than not (ATL pass in the end zone, for instance). He's finally coming on as the guy we thought we drafted - a force.

Rest of secondary - F- ..... While I have hopes that Boulware and Demps can come in and start to contribute meaningfully, once they learn the defense well enough, this is easily the team's biggest weakness. Faggins is beyond burnt toast at this point. Fletcher isn't any better, after getting more time on the field in ATL. CC Brown is just as bad in coverage, and Von Hutchins has been playing FS as a converted corner. Hutchins has almost done a decent job. The TEs have gotten off on us, the WRs have gotten off on us, and the defense has allowed 47% of third downs to be converted to first downs. A large majority of those conversions were accomplished by passing.
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Old 10-02-2007   #3
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

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Originally Posted by eriadoc View Post
QB: B- ..... Schaub's lack of arm strength has led to a few underthrows that he has gotten away with (the non-INT to AJ, the TD to Andre Davis, and the long pass to Andre Davis). He has also been good for at least one bonehead throw per game, but to this point, he's mostly gotten away with it. He's piled up some meaningless yards, so the stats don't really tell the story. He has great pocket presence, he reads defenses well, and he's constantly looking to challenge the middle of the field deep. I think he has that intangible "it" that guys like Brady have. I fully expect this guy to improve a lot by season's end - and that's going to be amazing.
I'm going to disagree with this statement. I don't think he's gotten any "garbage" yards. As a matter of fact, his statistics don't give him ENOUGH credit. In the first 2 games, he basically did not throw in the 4th quarter. If those games had been closer, his stats would be higher.

And I don't have a real problem with his arm strength. He doesn't have the strongest arm in the world but he doesn't have a weak arm, either. He's made a few bad throws every game but I don't think there's a QB in the business that you can't say that about and he's made a lot fewer bad throws than most QB's.
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Old 10-02-2007   #4
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
I'm going to disagree with this statement. I don't think he's gotten any "garbage" yards. As a matter of fact, his statistics don't give him ENOUGH credit. In the first 2 games, he basically did not throw in the 4th quarter. If those games had been closer, his stats would be higher.

And I don't have a real problem with his arm strength. He doesn't have the strongest arm in the world but he doesn't have a weak arm, either. He's made a few bad throws every game but I don't think there's a QB in the business that you can't say that about and he's made a lot fewer bad throws than most QB's.
I'm going to add that we have a poor excuse for a running game, yet he is still able to "pile up meaningless yards". He's completing nearly 75% of his passes with a rating over 100 even though teams know we can't run. That is what has impressed me the most. There are several times a game that I cringe because I see pressure coming where in years past would have definately been a sack and probably a fumble. We lost last week to Atlanta, but he performed very well imo without two starters on the oline, AJ, JJ, and Green out. Anything less than an A for Schaub is foolish.
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Old 10-02-2007   #5
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

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Anything less than an A for Schaub is foolish.
And an "A" from me means there is no room to improve. I think even the most ardent Schaub fan would concede that there is room for improvement.

As for the garbage yards - I didn't call them garbage yards. I called them meaningless. What that means to me is he can throw the ball all day between the 20s and then come away with little to nothing. If you throw for 300+ yards as an offense and score only one TD, those yards are meaningless. If you throw for 300 + yards and 3 TDs when you're already down by 35, those yards (and TDs) are garbage. Sorry that I didn't make the distinction earlier.
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Old 10-02-2007   #6
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

Yeah there is room for improvement, that's when I would give him an A+
I see what you're saying. He has exceeded my expectations and improved the entire offense from the first game on. That is why I give him an A.
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Old 10-02-2007   #7
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

Schaub's been good, but theres plenty of room for improvement:

1) INTs in the redzone
2) Fumbles when sacked
3) Underthrown balls
4) Bad decisions (throwing across body/field, into traffic, etc)
5) Poor clock management (throwing 2-3 yard completions when we need to take shots downfield and on sidelines)

He's playing GREAT, but he's still basically a rookie
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Old 10-02-2007   #8
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

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Originally Posted by eriadoc View Post
And an "A" from me means there is no room to improve. I think even the most ardent Schaub fan would concede that there is room for improvement.

As for the garbage yards - I didn't call them garbage yards. I called them meaningless. What that means to me is he can throw the ball all day between the 20s and then come away with little to nothing. If you throw for 300+ yards as an offense and score only one TD, those yards are meaningless. If you throw for 300 + yards and 3 TDs when you're already down by 35, those yards (and TDs) are garbage. Sorry that I didn't make the distinction earlier.
i agree, with all the qb's in the nfl averaging over 250 yards passing a game he has the lowest td total at 5. he is great between the 20's and honestly below average inside the 20 right now. hopefully that improves and if it does then the offense will score about 30 points a game.

as of now we have scored offensively
13
27
17
16
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Old 10-03-2007   #9
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

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i agree, with all the qb's in the nfl averaging over 250 yards passing a game he has the lowest td total at 5. he is great between the 20's and honestly below average inside the 20 right now. hopefully that improves and if it does then the offense will score about 30 points a game.

as of now we have scored offensively
13
27
17
16
Oh, come on, guys! Yeah, it would be nice if we converted in the red zone more. But at least he GETS us there.

Look at it this way, if he continues to play just the way he has been, he'll throw 20 TD's and 12 INT's and over 4000 yards (with 24 sacks). Which is pretty damned good. Last year, that would have put him 6th in yards, 10th in TD's, tied for 11th in picks (tied with Brady, Carr, Leinart, and McNair), and assuming he took all the snaps, the team would have tied for 5th in sacks.

And don't forget the first two games went into the freezer early.

He does have a lot of room for improvement. He's thrown one interception and 2 TD's in the red zone. His rating is 84.9 in the Red Zone which is like 25th among the top 32 QB's in attempts. I expect to see him get better as the year goes on.

So, yeah, we need to improve but I'm not getting all the gloom and doom here.
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Old 10-03-2007   #10
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
Oh, come on, guys! Yeah, it would be nice if we converted in the red zone more. But at least he GETS us there.

Look at it this way, if he continues to play just the way he has been, he'll throw 20 TD's and 12 INT's and over 4000 yards (with 24 sacks). Which is pretty damned good. Last year, that would have put him 6th in yards, 10th in TD's, tied for 11th in picks (tied with Brady, Carr, Leinart, and McNair), and assuming he took all the snaps, the team would have tied for 5th in sacks.

And don't forget the first two games went into the freezer early.

He does have a lot of room for improvement. He's thrown one interception and 2 TD's in the red zone. His rating is 84.9 in the Red Zone which is like 25th among the top 32 QB's in attempts. I expect to see him get better as the year goes on.

So, yeah, we need to improve but I'm not getting all the gloom and doom here.
How is a B- grade "all gloom and doom"? I gave the man a good grade, and I am excited that he is doing the things he's done. I even said I think he'll improve this year and that will be amazing. I'm not seeing gloom and doom.

IMO, however, if he does throw for 4000 yards and only 20 TDs, that's a lot of meaningless yards. I imagine if there were a stat for yards-to-TDs, it would average higher than that for the better QBs in the league.

Or, to sum it up more concisely, I don't give a damn about how many yards he throws for. All I care about are points on the scoreboard. And those will come, so I wasn't even grading him harshly.
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Old 10-03-2007   #11
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

QB: B-
RB/FB: D
WR: A
TE: A- (If it weren't for that one fumble in the Carolina game by Owen it'd be an A)
OL: C+

DL: B+
LB: B+ (If it weren't for Demeco this group would not get a lot of love from me. This group is almost obsolete when it comes to pass coverage.)
D-Rob: A+
Faggins: D-
Safeties: C+
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Old 10-03-2007   #12
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

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How is a B- grade "all gloom and doom"?
I was actually responding to Junior there. IIRC, he's been historically against the Schaub trade.

And frankly, I probably over-reacted a little bit.

Rough day at work, yesterday.
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Old 10-03-2007   #13
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

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Oh, come on, guys! Yeah, it would be nice if we converted in the red zone more. But at least he GETS us there.

Look at it this way, if he continues to play just the way he has been, he'll throw 20 TD's and 12 INT's and over 4000 yards (with 24 sacks). Which is pretty damned good. Last year, that would have put him 6th in yards, 10th in TD's, tied for 11th in picks (tied with Brady, Carr, Leinart, and McNair), and assuming he took all the snaps, the team would have tied for 5th in sacks.

And don't forget the first two games went into the freezer early.

He does have a lot of room for improvement. He's thrown one interception and 2 TD's in the red zone. His rating is 84.9 in the Red Zone which is like 25th among the top 32 QB's in attempts. I expect to see him get better as the year goes on.


So, yeah, we need to improve but I'm not getting all the gloom and doom here.

how is that doom and gloom? you basically agreed with everything i said, he has been great between the 20's and below average inside, then you pull out stats that totally back up what i said. i was not for the trade but i dont think i put up any biased comments on him in my post.

he has 2 ints inside the 20 now we may have been outside the 20 but he threw the pick inside the 20 on the throw and not a bomb (which isnt nearly as bad as forcing it in scoring range). but if his averages hold up and he throws 8 ints inside the 20 then i would imagine you wouldnt be happy with that.

i also said if he improves on it we would score over 30 a game which i hope he does. i would also love to get on here at the end of the season and say i was wrong about the trade, because for me that means 9 or 10 wins and that would be fun to be in the playoff chase.
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Old 10-03-2007   #14
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

If you look just by overall statistics, the special teams play has been pulling up the team's play.

The running game is an albatross on the entire team. It puts the defense back on the field too quickly. It makes it harder to operate in the red zone. It allows the opposing defense to pin its ears back a bit.

Last week they said they were putting special emphasis on the run. And in today's presser they said they were doing the same. (Maybe special special emphasis?).

Here's my stat discussion of the first quarter:

Houston Texans First Quarter: By the Numbers
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Old 10-03-2007   #15
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

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how is that doom and gloom?
It's doom and gloom when things are going along pretty good and you've got to dig to find something to complain about. He's on pace to have a great year. We're on pace to have our best year as a franchise.

That's not enough?

There isn't a player out there that you can't find something to knock.

I just felt that you were preparing for an anti-Schaub tirade. "He's not perfect?! Why did we give up 2 second round draft choices for someone that's not perfect!?" Granted, you might not have been one of the more vocal of the people against the trade, but that's where I felt you were going.

If you weren't, I apologize.
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Old 10-04-2007   #16
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

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D-Rob - A+

Rest of secondary - F-
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.
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Old 10-04-2007   #17
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

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The running game is an albatross on the entire team. It puts the defense back on the field too quickly. It makes it harder to operate in the red zone. It allows the opposing defense to pin its ears back a bit.

Last week they said they were putting special emphasis on the run. And in today's presser they said they were doing the same. (Maybe special special emphasis?).
Yeah, it scares me every time they say they're emphasizing the run. Does that mean they're going to do it well, or just do it over and over, whether it works or not?
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Old 10-04-2007   #18
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

Prety good over all analysis by you two up there.

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TE - B ..... I expected more from Owen Daniels to this point, but a big part of why he hasn't done more is the emergence of the WRs. Putzier has pitched in with a few receptions, and they've all played their part in the running game.
Again not to bang, however, Owen Daniels can not controll the number of his targets. Everthing that's been thrown to him he's caught. I think you've under rated Daniel's contribution to the rushing attack. He is blocking with great zeal and effectiveness. And when he came out that was the big knock on him. Which says to me he has worked very hard in two off seasons to make himself an effective blocker. He bends his knees well and he seals well. I doubt he gets a ballot position with the two all stars ahead of him and our overall record. But he deserves it. But as you say untill the o-line gets squared away he's going to be under the national radar.
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Old 10-04-2007   #19
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

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Prety good over all analysis by you two up there.



Again not to bang, however, Owen Daniels can not controll the number of his targets. Everthing that's been thrown to him he's caught. I think you've under rated Daniel's contribution to the rushing attack. He is blocking with great zeal and effectiveness. And when he came out that was the big knock on him. Which says to me he has worked very hard in two off seasons to make himself an effective blocker. He bends his knees well and he seals well. I doubt he gets a ballot position with the two all stars ahead of him and our overall record. But he deserves it. But as you say untill the o-line gets squared away he's going to be under the national radar.
Nah .... if I were rating just OD, I'd say it's an A (maybe A-, due to the fumble, but he's made up for that). I rate the group as a whole at a B, which is a good grade, but there's room for improvement.
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Old 10-04-2007   #20
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Default Re: Quarter Season Grades

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If you look just by overall statistics, the special teams play has been pulling up the team's play.

The running game is an albatross on the entire team. It puts the defense back on the field too quickly. It makes it harder to operate in the red zone. It allows the opposing defense to pin its ears back a bit.

Last week they said they were putting special emphasis on the run. And in today's presser they said they were doing the same. (Maybe special special emphasis?).

Here's my stat discussion of the first quarter:

Houston Texans First Quarter: By the Numbers

Here's something I've always thought concerning time of posession. Your defense has a lot of control over it. If it is a concern of the team, simply playing an attacking, aggressive style will shorten the defenses' time on the field. While you will likely give up more plays and points, you will also create more turnovers and give the ball to your offense more times per game. If the offense can score, I think being overaggressive on defense is a viable way to combat the time of posession issues your team may have.

Does that make sense?
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