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Old 12-03-2007   #1
DerekLee1
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Default Not too early for offseason talk...

SO...

This season is pretty much over, so why not start the offseason talk?

First, we have to address our most pressing needs, which have become glaringly obvious as the team has improved dramatically in certain areas. QB, WR, and DL are no longer desperate needs (although there's always room for improvement). OL (as usual since Year 1) is still our weakest position, followed in my opinion by S, RB, and LB. So let's start there.

The toughest position to fill is offensive line, which is why ours is still so pathetic. We'll assume that absolutely MUST be addressed in the draft and move on. There are some defensive studs available out there after this season, including Lance Briggs, Asante Samuel, Marcus Trufant, Bob Sanders, and Eugene Wilson. We should make a run at one of those guys (Bob Sanders would be a double kill, shoring up a weak safety position for us while weakening our division foes). We should go ahead and keep Von Hutchins, as he can play safety or corner pretty effectively, though more as a backup or nickel than as a full-blown starter.

Running back is another hole that's fillable by a FA this year. Michael Turner, Julius Jones, Tatum Bell, Michael Bennett, Michael Pittman. All those guys would be fine for a year or two (or stand pat with what we have) and find a late round prospect, or wait one more year and draft a stud in the first round.

NOW...if in free agency we can land a solid safety and/or complimentary CB to Dunta, find a RB that can either remove some load from Ahman or start in his place, and get everyone else healthy, we can turn to the draft. DRAFT AN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN. Even if it means making a wacky trade to move up to land Jake Long or Sam Baker, although I think one of those guys (or Ryan Clady) will be there when we pick. It will be VERY tempting to go after Jonathan Stewart here, but I think if we stay the course and get an OT here, and a center in the third round, we can maybe find a diamond in the rough in a later round, or hope that Darius Walker or a healthy Chris Taylor develops into a top-tier back with a solid OL.

After the 4th round, you just draft BPA with a leaning towards secondary and LB's.

Thoughts or additions here? I also want everyone to keep in mind that Rick Smith, after the 2006 draft, specifically said "we are still two more drafts away from being a good team". He's right. We had the 2007 draft, and after the 2008 draft and offseason, we SHOULD be a GOOD TEAM.
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Old 12-03-2007   #2
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

good post DerekLee1

good football decisons need to be made that reflect not just good fundamental football but match-ups the Texans are faced with to overcome. specificly build your program to compete & beat your divisional foes first. right now it seems like they all give us fits with their defensive fronts & blitz like crazy so addressing the offensive line as a strength as oppossed to a weakness is critical to winning football for the steel blue
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Old 12-03-2007   #3
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

Nope, its not too early. Here is a link to some Salary Cap numbers for next year:

2008 Houston Texans Salaries & Cap Numbers

Looks like we're starting to get rid of a lot of the Dead Money accumulated under Casserly.

Under the Cap: $35,252,215

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Old 12-03-2007   #4
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

didn't total up all the base salarys but surely few if any max out their bonus pay gives me hope Rick Smith can be a player this offsesason
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Old 12-03-2007   #5
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hagar View Post
Nope, its not too early. Here is a link to some Salary Cap numbers for next year:

2008 Houston Texans Salaries & Cap Numbers

Looks like we're starting to get rid of a lot of the Dead Money accumulated under Casserly.

Under the Cap: $35,252,215

Also, don't forget the cap is increasing by $7 mil in '08, per '06 ESPN article Didn't see it specified in the HPF article, though it may have been accounted for.

Quote:
....Cap managers were informed of the bump in the cap during their annual labor seminar near Dallas.

The $7 million increase, from $109 million in 2007 to $116 million in 2008, was not unanticipated. It matched the increase for 2007 from this season, in which the cap is set at a record $102 million. Salary cap managers typically are provided such updates for planning purposes, because it allows them benchmarks as they work to negotiate future contracts.

How the increase for 2008 impacts the league remains to be seen, since there is one more free agency period and draft between now and that season. But in general, it means there will be more money to spend on players, which likely will further allow teams to retain their own best veterans, which promotes stability but further dilutes the free agent market....
Man, I'm glad Rick is here and not CC. Timing is everything, and if Rick could do his magic with what he had available in the past...
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Old 12-03-2007   #6
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

Looking at the cap money available to us, if Smith is able to land Flozell Adams and/or Alan Faneca (not unreasonable), maybe Jonathan Stewart IS the guy to go after in the draft.
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Old 12-03-2007   #7
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

The Texans should through truck loads of money at Alan Faneca. Hopefully Charles spencer can get healthy. The two of them should greatly improve our Oline.

Draft
First round J Stewart RB or Kenny Phillips S
Rest of draft BPA RB, S, LB, C, speed DE
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Old 12-03-2007   #8
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbajwp View Post
The Texans should through truck loads of money at Alan Faneca. Hopefully Charles spencer can get healthy. The two of them should greatly improve our Oline.

Draft
First round J Stewart RB or Kenny Phillips S
Rest of draft BPA RB, S, LB, C, speed DE
I think this would be a big mistake and it's what got us into "Cap Hell" in the first place. Overpaying for guys who over 30 and on the downside of their careers is not good. Faneca is a very good player having a good year, but I don't want us to "throw truck loads of money" at any FA who is over 30. We've been burned too many times in the past! JMHO!
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Old 12-03-2007   #9
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekLee1 View Post
SO...

This season is pretty much over, so why not start the offseason talk?...
Yep. Pretty much agree with you, DerekLee. We need to go o-line in the first round and have to address at least one of CB or RB in FA. If we can't get both, I think we need to try to get a second rounder (I know, who doesn't?).

From HPF:
Unrestricted Free Agents
Alexander, Roc
Anderson, Charlie
Barry, Kevin
Bruener, Mark
Clark, Danny
Davis, Andre'
Dayne, Ron
Demps, Will
Earl, Glenn
Hutchins, Von
Kalu, N.D.
Killings, Cedric
Simmons, Jason
Turk, Matt
Weary, Fred
Wynn, Dexter

Restricted Free Agents
Brown, C.C.
Maddox, Anthony
Mathis, Jerome

Those guys or their replacements will take a chunk out of the cap.
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Old 12-03-2007   #10
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex King View Post
Yep. Pretty much agree with you, DerekLee. We need to go o-line in the first round and have to address at least one of CB or RB in FA. If we can't get both, I think we need to try to get a second rounder (I know, who doesn't?).

From HPF:
Unrestricted Free Agents
Alexander, Roc
Anderson, Charlie
Barry, Kevin
Bruener, Mark
Clark, Danny
Davis, Andre'

Dayne, Ron
Demps, Will
Earl, Glenn
Hutchins, Von
Kalu, N.D.
Killings, Cedric
Simmons, Jason
Turk, Matt
Weary, Fred
Wynn, Dexter

Restricted Free Agents
Brown, C.C.
Maddox, Anthony
Mathis, Jerome


Those guys or their replacements will take a chunk out of the cap.
I'd like to keep the guys who are bolded but there isn't anyone on that list that isn't expendable.

Fred Weary is a keeper too if the broken leg isn't too bad. As with Spencer, I doubt he comes back to full strength if at all.
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Old 12-03-2007   #11
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

I'd try to sign Starks, LT from the Steelers. He's 25 and a massive human being. I think he has lost his spot this year because of form/injury, but he is probably the best tackle you are going to find on the market. Another T option would be Jordan Gross from Carolina, but I would rather have Starks.
Trufant would be a very welcomed addition at corner, as would Jones at RB. Combined with a healthy Green or Dayne, he could be a very fine addition. Lance Briggs is definately intriguing. Im pretty tired of TE's having career days against us, but Im not sure how effective he is in coverage.
One last note. Someone like Jarred Allen of the Chiefs or Justin Smith of the Bengals, both UFA unless recently resigned, would be very nice complements to Mario as weakside defensive ends. This would mean we scratch Weaver off as a failure or move him inside as a pass rushing DT.

The draft is dependant on FA signings, but the consensus is a CB or tackle, and I can definately agree with that.
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Old 12-03-2007   #12
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

Some things I would do to improve our team:

1) We must improve the offensive line. Starting with the left side. I am not willing to entrust the most important position on the line to a rookie when there are going to be some good prospects in free agency. I know some people have their questions, but I like Flozell Adams. I think his experience would bring at the very least a little stability to what is a very haggard line. No matter who we get, I would like someone with some experience. Then there is the draft, I would say that we pick up a guard with our third round pick (Heath Benedict would be my selection), who would go to the LG position. Considering that Steve McKinney should be back next year, we shouldn't bee to concerned with our center position. As for the right side of our o-line, I am confident that Studdard will develop into a good RG and that Eric Winston is more than good enough. I think this will give us a much improved offensive line situation for the upcoming season.

2) Improve our secondary. There is no certainty as to whether or not Dunta will ever be back at all, let alone back at 100%. The leaves us with the need for some serious help in the secondary. Bennett and Hutchins are proving that they can hack it at CB, but I would like to have someone over there who can be counted on in the clutch. Enter Asante Samuel. He will cost big dollars, but there is no doubt in my mind that he'll be worth every penny of it. He is an amazing corner, and having him across the field from Bennett could be troubling for any passing game. Another secondary addition I would like to make would Ken Hamlin at the safety position. We need a player at safety, especially SS. He is young and will only improve with time.

3) A new running back is in order. I have been impressed with Ron Dayne's improvement lately, and would definitely like to hang onto him after this season. That said, we could do better. I think Julius Jones is our man. He has proven that he can be a consistent threat every time he touches the football and has that burst of speed that we have been looking for. The only other back I would consider would be Michael Turner, but something tells me that we wont be getting him.

4) The coaches. Next season should be interesting. Sherman will be gone to A&M, which should so wonders for our offense. What else needs to be done? FIRE RICHARD SMITH. This man has displayed defensive ineptitude throughout this entire season. He needs to go. With a new OC and DC, we should have a better idea of what Kubiak can do. I would say that if he can't get anything going next season that his job should be, at the very least, in danger.

5) The QB situation. There has been a lot of bickering recently about Schaub and the future of the QB position in Houston. Allow me to be the first to say that, while I have some serious questions about Schaub that will go unanswered this season, I am willing to give him another. After what I hope will be a vast improvement in the o-line and some help from a revamped defense, it will be interesting to see what he can do. I'm not willing to sit around for 5 years and listen to him be lauded for minimal improvements, as we did with Carr. Give him another season before sitting him on the hot seat.

I feel that if we do these things that we could be a real contender next season.

Cheers to a good, smart offseason!
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Old 12-03-2007   #13
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

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Originally Posted by Hagar View Post
I'd like to keep the guys who are bolded but there isn't anyone on that list that isn't expendable.

Fred Weary is a keeper too if the broken leg isn't too bad. As with Spencer, I doubt he comes back to full strength if at all.
Yeah, I'd agree with most of those. I like Hutchins and Kalu, too. But I'm not so sure about Turk - what happened to him? He's been inconsistent as anything. And I've been a big Mathis supporter, but his injury problems...
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Old 12-03-2007   #14
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

The Burner will be a Texan come next season.
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Old 12-03-2007   #15
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Insideop View Post
I think this would be a big mistake and it's what got us into "Cap Hell" in the first place. Overpaying for guys who over 30 and on the downside of their careers is not good. Faneca is a very good player having a good year, but I don't want us to "throw truck loads of money" at any FA who is over 30. We've been burned too many times in the past! JMHO!
I disagree we got into "Cap Hell" because we gave truck loads of money to players who are average at best like Todd Wade, Anthony Weaver etc.

Alan Faneca is a perennial pro bowler. Something the Texans have not had since the first pick of the expansion draft.
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Old 12-03-2007   #16
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

Assuming the Dolphins fire Cam Cameron, I say we sign him as our OC.

Maybe he can convince The Burner to come down for less money. I'm sure he wouldn't mind working with his former OC again.

That would solve our RB problem and OC problem.

Sign a solid S and/or CB. and 1st round OL, 3rd round LB.
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Old 12-04-2007   #17
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Insideop View Post
I think this would be a big mistake and it's what got us into "Cap Hell" in the first place. Overpaying for guys who over 30 and on the downside of their careers is not good. Faneca is a very good player having a good year, but I don't want us to "throw truck loads of money" at any FA who is over 30. We've been burned too many times in the past! JMHO!
Agreed. They're are on a roll though let them go. I guess this is if we take enough of the grey beared hump backs eventually one of them will work out scenario ? Seven tackles in six years ? Maybe the odds or the football gauds will favor us this time. You know, even two year old will quit sticking his finger in a power socket after the first two or three times.They figure it out. What does that make the Texan's after ...er after this Flozell/Faneca scenario..now eight times? I wouldn't do it but whatever.
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Old 12-04-2007   #18
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyE View Post
Assuming the Dolphins fire Cam Cameron, I say we sign him as our OC.

Maybe he can convince The Burner to come down for less money. I'm sure he wouldn't mind working with his former OC again.

That would solve our RB problem and OC problem.

Sign a solid S and/or CB. and 1st round OL, 3rd round LB.
Kubiack is the OC. The boy helps him. The boy is being groomed to be a HC one day. I wouldn't bet the farm on this one. Three would deffinatly be a crowd.

They're either going to have to pay two RBs #1 RB money. Or they are going to have to dump the cap. I have no problem with Turner the burner. However remind us all what his stat line was last week ? Quit over paying for guys. That's the first rule. I know we're a hell hole but don't do it.

They don't need a safty. They have cover two Corners and saftys stacked like a cord of wood.
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Old 12-04-2007   #19
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

Quote:
Originally Posted by run-david-run View Post
I'd try to sign Starks, LT from the Steelers. He's 25 and a massive human being. I think he has lost his spot this year because of form/injury, but he is probably the best tackle you are going to find on the market. Another T option would be Jordan Gross from Carolina, but I would rather have Starks.
Trufant would be a very welcomed addition at corner, as would Jones at RB. Combined with a healthy Green or Dayne, he could be a very fine addition. Lance Briggs is definately intriguing. Im pretty tired of TE's having career days against us, but Im not sure how effective he is in coverage.
One last note. Someone like Jarred Allen of the Chiefs or Justin Smith of the Bengals, both UFA unless recently resigned, would be very nice complements to Mario as weakside defensive ends. This would mean we scratch Weaver off as a failure or move him inside as a pass rushing DT.

The draft is dependant on FA signings, but the consensus is a CB or tackle, and I can definately agree with that.
I'k just gald you are not picking our o-line guys. You are going to replace Salaam with two guys who are not as good as Salaam, IMHO ?

Briggs is going to cost you eighty Million. So you are going to pay Briggs more than you are going to pay Demeeco next season ? I'm sure Demeco's agent would like to have a word with Rick Smith over that one.
Allen and Smith are pie in the sky. K.C. and the Steelers would let their best DEs walk becuase ? They may sign one major FA. They won't sign two. My money says they'll make a run at Samuels if they can get Mr. McNair to the trough once again. There is no gaurntee that he will open the check book once again. Right now it looks as though this team is a bottomless pit. I wouldn't be md t the guy if he ke dfor few reult firt beofr he went wading into the expensive FA waters.
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Old 12-04-2007   #20
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Default Re: Not too early for offseason talk...

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Originally Posted by run-david-run View Post
I'd try to sign Starks, LT from the Steelers. He's 25 and a massive human being. I think he has lost his spot this year because of form/injury, but he is probably the best tackle you are going to find on the market. Another T option would be Jordan Gross from Carolina, but I would rather have Starks.
They are both RTs. Starks, link, had started 27 consecutive at RT through last year and is now listed as the backup RT. Gross, link, meanwhile has extensive time at both positions - even number years he has started at LT, odd number years at RT. Guess that makes him a LT for next year.
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