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Old 10-29-2007   #1
Hervoyel
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Default John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

And so I did grade the Texans. Then I posted it here too. Everyone has their own opinions but my halfway point grade for the team is as follows.


Quarterbacks: B

Matt Schaub has been asked to do a lot more than anyone expected him to have to do and he's been "not perfect". He turns the ball over too much and has made some questionable throws but you can't forget that he's a young QB who has only started a handful of games. He looks better than most rookies do which is something. Rosenfels has reminded everyone why he's a career backup with his own turnovers. Still the QB play is head and shoulders above what it's been in previous seasons.

We have quality NFL Quarterbacking on this team.

Runningbacks: F

The Texans don't have a running back or a running game to speak of. Ahman Green (waste of money) is a "used to be", Ron Dayne is a "never was", and Samkon Gado was a "flash in the pan". If Joe Echemandu turns out to be any sort of player at all then we'll have found our best back this year by pure stupid blind luck.

That's funny considering that the only other "quality" running back to ever play on this team was aquired in the same manner. Domanick Davis was drafted to be a special teams contributor and third down back and never expected to carry the franchise. The Texans got lucky then too.

It's happened so few times I thought it was worth mentioning.

We do not have a running back on this team that should be starting in the NFL (unless it's the guy we just picked up off the street)

Receivers/Tight Ends: B

Andre Johnson was off to a career year when he went down. Kevin Walter has proven that the coaches faith in him was deserved. Owen Daniels continues to be a solid player, and Andre Davis has been great filling in for AJ.

We have quality NFL recievers and tight ends on this team.

Offensive Line: D

From left to right Ephraim Salaam is a backup who doesn't have enough in the tank to play four quarters a week. By next year he shouldn't be able to make this team. If he can then we haven't improved enough. Chester Pitts is having maybe his worst season since 2002. Steve McKinney was holding his own but Mike Flannagan needed to retire two years ago. He no longer belongs in the NFL. Fred Weary is having a pretty good year and Eric Winston is getting the job done (although he plays the RT spot like he thinks he's still on the left side). The line can pass protect better than we thought they could last year but since they can't run block to save their lives it makes little difference.

We've got some NFL quality players now but we need more. This has got to stop once and for all.

Defensive Line: D

Mario Williams runs himself out of plays and when he doesn't Travis Johnson takes a play off to compensate. Honestly Travis isn't having that bad a year but he's still not a guy who goes all out every down. Amobi Akoye is looked pretty good but he's still a rookie and making rookie mistakes. At least he's got more motor than the other two first round slugs. The rest of the free agents like Kalu and Weaver are doing their part as the "potatos" of the line but as long as the "meat" doesn't produce it doesn't matter much.

We have an exceptionally average NFL quality defensive line.

Linebackers: C

DeMeco Ryans is having a bit of a drop-off I think but he's at least still playing at a high level. Morlon Greenwood is also having a nice season though he's not going to set the world on fire no matter what the circumstances. Only the Houston Texans would give a guy like Morlon a contract like that. The rest of the linebackers are ordinary at best.

We have one excellent linebacker. We need at least one more.

Defensive Backs: D

Dunta Robinson is the only guy starting back there that should be starting on an NFL defense. The rest of them are "quality depth" and on some of them you can drop the "quality". We need help back here in the worst way. Of course the fact that we can generate no pass rush makes it hard to truly grade them.

We need... yes, all of the above.

Coaches: F

Richard Smith has no business pretending to be a Defensive Coordinator. Position Coach is about the most he can handle. His defense is vanilla, slow, and seems to lack any kind of direction. They're on their heels much of the time and stopping nobody. Smith was the second choice when Frank Bush was not given permission to talk to the Texans but now Bush is here so why is the consolation prize still calling the shots?

Mike Shermans offense (and I can only presume this abomination came with him from Green Bay because it looks nothing like anything the Denver Broncos do) is offensive. The one thing you would expect this guy to be able to get out of our team would be a minimal running game. After all we've always been able to do a little of that. You would be wrong though because this Texans team is lousy at running the football. Sherman is so short of talent that he can't do any better or he's not getting it done. Since he's responsible for Samkon Gado and Mike Flannagan I must question whether he's capable of doing this job. I think I see a new offensive coordinator in our future. Sherman was a mistake. "His" system and the Denver system do not seem to mix well.

Kubiak needs to make some moves if his coordinators aren't getting it done. He could go down with his people like Capers did with Pendry and Fangio but I'd like to think he's smart enough to see that there's no future in that. Smith and Sherman are done. Bring in somebody who can coach a defense and promote Shanahan's kid to offensive coordinator (which really amounts to being Gary's assistant).
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Old 10-29-2007   #2
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

You really should be a sports writer, Herv. If any one asks me, I'll tell them to give you McClain's job.

All the same, I wish you hadn't mentioned Pendry's name. I've been sleeping well lately and now I probably won't tonight.

My only revision would probably be to grade our quarterback play as 'C,' as in average for NFL ... maybe a C+. Yes, AJ is out but Schaub makes too many mistakes. I know he's banged up right now but I thought that before he got hurt too. He's a vast improvement over C_rr, earns high marks for accurate throws, mostly good decisions and being able to use the entire field, but too many costly turnovers offset the positives.
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Old 10-29-2007   #3
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

Good stuff for the most part, but what makes you want to elevate the kid who is still wet behind the ears?
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Old 10-29-2007   #4
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

Excellent job! Only thing I would disagree is the OL. It gets a big fat F! Our pass protection has not been good. It hasn't even been average. We're 10th in the league in sacks allowed! And this isn't half the story because if you watch the games, numerous sacks have been averted by Schaub stepping up into the pocket or getting rid of the ball the split second before he is nailed. He is constantly picking himself up out of the grass. Great job though and thanks a ton for posting.

Last edited by Ckw; 10-29-2007 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 10-29-2007   #5
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

You missed special teams, they get a big fat I, for incomplete. allowing an onside kick in the first half of the Jags and letting Sandiego get 7 instead of 2 is absolutely unexcusable. This is just elementatry school play and we had better do something or I will be the only one standing in Reliant.
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Old 10-29-2007   #6
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porky View Post
Good stuff for the most part, but what makes you want to elevate the kid who is still wet behind the ears?
Who are you talking about?
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Old 10-29-2007   #7
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

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Originally Posted by Hervoyel View Post
Who are you talking about?
Kyle Shanahan, I reckon.
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Old 10-29-2007   #8
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

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Originally Posted by Hervoyel View Post
Who are you talking about?
I'm talking about Shanny Jr. I'm not sure I want him coaching an offense. He doesn't have the credientials to be coaching QB's, so why elevate him?
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Old 10-29-2007   #9
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

Oh, ok. I'd elevate him to the position with the understanding that Kubiak would be calling the plays and that baby Shanahan would be assisting him. That's assuming that nobody better could be brought in to coach our offense.

I'm making that assumption that we're not going to be able to steal any high-priced offensive guru's away from other teams at either the collegiate or professional levels. In that case I see Kubiak running the offense himself for all practical purposes.
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Old 10-29-2007   #10
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

This whole grading exercise is just a waste of time.

Kubiak in year 2 is just a differrent shade of gray from Capers year 4.

That's it in a nut shell and I have no desire to poke my eye balls out over a pointless activity.
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Old 10-29-2007   #11
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

Good post, Herv, except I'd give our o-line an F, as well. I'd use the word "pathetic" but then I'd hate to insult the word with that comparison.

I'd also give our coaching staff an F- (if that's possible).

After six seasons of garbage, it is embarassing to be a Texans fan right now. We are the laughing stock of the NFL, and I honestly cannot blame anyone for finding something better to do on Sundays than watch such a bad product. I'm wondering if I've got some sort of mental problem for constantly subjecting myself to this crap week in/week out.
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Old 10-29-2007   #12
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

The Texans are not mentally tough at all...I fault the coaches for that. How to correct I don't know.

So the coach grade is F.

I think Schaub is a big upgrade although he plays like Carr sometimes...he's hurt though and taking a beating so it's unfair to blame him...Sage I dunno. Some plays he's so good he looks like an all pro and then he makes the bone headed mistakes that cost the team points or field position....C I guess.

O line....D

D line....D
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Old 10-29-2007   #13
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
Good post, Herv, except I'd give our o-line an F, as well. I'd use the word "pathetic" but then I'd hate to insult the word with that comparison.

I'd also give our coaching staff an F- (if that's possible).

After six seasons of garbage, it is embarassing to be a Texans fan right now. We are the laughing stock of the NFL, and I honestly cannot blame anyone for finding something better to do on Sundays than watch such a bad product. I'm wondering if I've got some sort of mental problem for constantly subjecting myself to this crap week in/week out.
Mental problem? You must have contracted Vinsanity. It's very bad, and can be spread via television.
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Old 10-29-2007   #14
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

There were a few folks who pointed out that the O-line was showing problems in preseason and the first couple weeks, but Schaub was compensating. There's only so much chicken salad you can make with that chickens---.

Texans: F- (only because there isn't a lower grade). That's my grade. It's been 5-1/2 years of pathetic football. The offensive line has sucked for the entire 5-1/2 years. I'm beginning to wonder what brain child they're going to have to hire to inform them that the O-line sucks, and that affects every phase of the football team.
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Old 10-29-2007   #15
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

How bout we just grade McClain . I give him a big fat F ..... I just cant stand the guy .
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Old 10-29-2007   #16
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

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How bout we just grade McClain . I give him a big fat F ..... I just cant stand the guy .
hey.
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Old 10-29-2007   #17
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hervoyel View Post
Quarterbacks: B

Matt Schaub has been asked to do a lot more than anyone expected him to have to do and he's been "not perfect". He turns the ball over too much and has made some questionable throws but you can't forget that he's a young QB who has only started a handful of games. He looks better than most rookies do which is something. Rosenfels has reminded everyone why he's a career backup with his own turnovers. Still the QB play is head and shoulders above what it's been in previous seasons.

We have quality NFL Quarterbacking on this team.
I can't quite give the Schaub a "B", maybe a B-Minus or a C+. I kinda hoped he would stop trying to force the ball into triple-plus coverage once a game, but I'm still waiting. It looks better than under Carr, but is that really something to hang the hat on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hervoyel View Post
Defensive Line: D

Mario Williams runs himself out of plays and when he doesn't Travis Johnson takes a play off to compensate. Honestly Travis isn't having that bad a year but he's still not a guy who goes all out every down. Amobi Akoye is looked pretty good but he's still a rookie and making rookie mistakes. At least he's got more motor than the other two first round slugs. The rest of the free agents like Kalu and Weaver are doing their part as the "potatos" of the line but as long as the "meat" doesn't produce it doesn't matter much.

We have an exceptionally average NFL quality defensive line.
Except for truly exceptional D-Lines, you need more than the front four to do any good. A better Secondary will help this group immensely. Average = C

Quote:
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Defensive Backs: D

Dunta Robinson is the only guy starting back there that should be starting on an NFL defense. The rest of them are "quality depth" and on some of them you can drop the "quality". We need help back here in the worst way. Of course the fact that we can generate no pass rush makes it hard to truly grade them.

We need... yes, all of the above.
It kinda goes both ways on the Front 4 vs. the Secondary. I don't think the word "Coverage Sack" is going to come up in a Texans Defensive discussion anytime soon. "D" sounds about right.

Quote:
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Coaches: F

Richard Smith has no business pretending to be a Defensive Coordinator. Position Coach is about the most he can handle. His defense is vanilla, slow, and seems to lack any kind of direction. They're on their heels much of the time and stopping nobody. Smith was the second choice when Frank Bush was not given permission to talk to the Texans but now Bush is here so why is the consolation prize still calling the shots?

Mike Shermans offense (and I can only presume this abomination came with him from Green Bay because it looks nothing like anything the Denver Broncos do) is offensive. The one thing you would expect this guy to be able to get out of our team would be a minimal running game. After all we've always been able to do a little of that. You would be wrong though because this Texans team is lousy at running the football. Sherman is so short of talent that he can't do any better or he's not getting it done. Since he's responsible for Samkon Gado and Mike Flannagan I must question whether he's capable of doing this job. I think I see a new offensive coordinator in our future. Sherman was a mistake. "His" system and the Denver system do not seem to mix well.

Kubiak needs to make some moves if his coordinators aren't getting it done. He could go down with his people like Capers did with Pendry and Fangio but I'd like to think he's smart enough to see that there's no future in that. Smith and Sherman are done. Bring in somebody who can coach a defense and promote Shanahan's kid to offensive coordinator (which really amounts to being Gary's assistant).
Granted, our scheming stinks, but I honestly don't see anyone but the secondary "on their heels". Our DB talent is so sorely lacking that the cushion they give makes anything below 3rd&8 a gimme. It's also hard to get a running game going w/o a decent line and a healthy running back. (Coaching can't overcome F-level talent). Shanny's kid is still a little green, but this hybridized Offensive scheme seems to be combining the "worst of both worlds". Grade=D

Great overall analysis, I just had those slight variances with your takes.
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Old 10-29-2007   #18
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
Good post, Herv, except I'd give our o-line an F, as well. I'd use the word "pathetic" but then I'd hate to insult the word with that comparison.

I'd also give our coaching staff an F- (if that's possible).

After six seasons of garbage, it is embarassing to be a Texans fan right now. We are the laughing stock of the NFL, and I honestly cannot blame anyone for finding something better to do on Sundays than watch such a bad product. I'm wondering if I've got some sort of mental problem for constantly subjecting myself to this crap week in/week out.
For perspective, the Dolphins and Rams are clearly "the laughing stock" of the NFL right now. Our meltdown of late is more of an ugly footnote.
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Old 10-29-2007   #19
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

Quarterbacks: C+

Given the amount of time Schaub spends on his backside, it's hard to gauge exactly how far he is coming along. However, in his games thus far, he has done a good job of finding the correct reciever and making a play. He does tend to make an erratic pass or two, but those are just things that get worked out with time (do note that, for all intents and purposes, Schaub is a rookie). If you take away the wide-reciever errors, Schaub has still thrown more TD passes than INTs. I don't like the fact that he fumbles whenever he is clobbered (because, let's face it...he's going to be getting creamed a good deal this season), but again...awareness comes with time. Overall, he is coming along rather nicely and will be a real threat in a couple of years. As far as Rosenfels is concerned, he is a decent back-up who (much to my surprise) has no problems going down the field. He is a gunslinger. A bad gunslinger, but a gunslinger none-the-less. Anyone who honestly believes that we should bench Schaub halfway through his first season as a starter, in favor of Rosenfels, is a dolt. With that said, I can be comfortable with Sage under center.

Runningbacks: D-

The only reason that I didn't give our running back corp an F is because Echemandu looks as though he may actually be carrying some goods. However, if you remove that little ray of sunlight from stormy field, you have a hell of a disappointment, and at times and embarassment, on your hands. I expected Dayne/Gado to be completely substandard and incompentent, that's just how they are. However, Ahamn Green has been another scouting bust on the part of our front office. What is his salary, 8 million or so dollars, and he is putting up value sized Ron Dayne numbers? Not to mention the fact that he can't stay on the field for an entire game. All of the objections I had about Green when we signed him are proving valid as the season goes on. Let's just hope that Echemandu can help turn things around.

Receivers/Tight Ends: B+

With the exceptions of a few enormous errors (Andre Davis' fumble into the endzone, etc) the WR corp has been phenomenal. In the absense of Andre Johnson, a lot of guys down the depth chart have really stepped it up and has kept our team as competitive as it is. Kevin Walter is having a break out year, I expect him to be a solid number two reciever for years to come. Andre Davis is also proving himself as a deep threat in place of Andre Johnson. However, there one thing that I would like to mention, and it's about our golden boy TE, Owen Daniels. He is a fan favorite, yes, but I am really starting to question him. He has a bad habit of dropping balls and fumbling and always seems to have a hard time getting open. He is also a fairly par run blocker. I do believe that Daniel's has potential, but I think another year on the bench, watch Putzier get it done, would be very benefitial to him.

Offensive Line: D-

The only reason that it's not an F is because there are things that could be done to it right now to significantly improve its quality. For starters, it's time to send Salaam and Flanagan to the waiver bin. In their places, I would move Chetser Pitts back to LT (do remember that the fewest sacks in team history were given up with him at LT) and activate Kasey Studdard at Pitts old position, as well crown Chris White the starter at center. A lot of potential in that line up, unfortunately it's unlikely to happen. So, we'll probably be seeing Salaam continue to be ran through like a turnstile and Flanagan disgracing the position of center with his inability to run block.

Defensive Line: C

Amobi Okoye is all ready starting to blossom and will be true hazard in years to come. He is a quick learner and a good pass rusher. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Mario Williams. Said simply, he needs to spend a year on the bench watching a veteran execute. Who that veteran would be, I don't know, but what I do know is that he is not living up to the hype. Travis Johnson is typically beastly, and one of the few players on our team with attitude. Weaver is, well...being Weaver. Not a lot to really say about a guy who plays in such a painfully mediocre fashion.

Linebackers: C+

DeMeco Ryans is still a beast for any player on the opposing teams offense to handle. He is a tackle machine who is great at getting into the backfield. He could be a better coverage LB, just something to work. As for as Clark and Greenwood goes, I think it's about time to start shopping around. I would like to see Orr get some time in place of Greenwood, but ultimately I think a new, faster player is in order. We have a hard time stopping the run, and I think a lot of it extends from Clark and Greenwood's sluggishness.

Defensive Backs: D+

With the exception of Dunta Robinson, our secondary is a joke. Fortunately, it looks as though we may have an adequate replacement for Faggins in Bennett. However, we really need help at both safety positions. I can't count the amount of times that I've seen one of our corner backs pass off a reciever to a safety that blew the coverage (that's what happen with the first Antonio Gates TD yesterday). Something needs to be done, it's getting ugly out there.

Coaches: F

Our schemes are predictable and our defense is pathetic. Our coaching staff really needs to wake up and get its rear in gear. Richard Smith (hopefully) will be axed at the end of this season), and that should help because I don't think that anyone could put together such a completely worthless defensive scheme. Hopefully, by then Sherman and Kubiak will have learned to utilize their strengths, rather than hopelessly flail about our weaknesses. We are not a good conservative football team, I'll be looking for us to be more agressive in the future.
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Old 10-29-2007   #20
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Default Re: John McClain wants us to grade the Texans...

"Quarterbacks: B

Matt Schaub has been asked to do a lot more than anyone expected him to have to do and he's been "not perfect". He turns the ball over too much and has made some questionable throws but you can't forget that he's a young QB who has only started a handful of games. He looks better than most rookies do which is something. Rosenfels has reminded everyone why he's a career backup with his own turnovers. Still the QB play is head and shoulders above what it's been in previous seasons.

We have quality NFL Quarterbacking on this team."
**************************
Could that grade be a bit too generous ?
Lance Zierlien said in his blog in the Chron that, for the first time, he's having some resevations about the MS decision. He based much of it on a pattern
Schaub is developing about his durability, or lack thereof. He's also concerned about Schaubs lack of arm strength. To that list one could add
Schaubs immobility. In other words he's got a lot of liabilities.
How much different would this season have been with Rosenfelts as the starter at QB while developing a QB from the 2007 Draft ?
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