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Old 11-22-2004   #21
Hervoyel
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You know what Porky, with respect to the offensive line (where I believe a great deal of the teams problems live) I question whether the talent deficient argument can hold water. The line starts one guy who's basically a newb and that's Wand. Aside from Wand the line's as experienced as most any in the NFL and they're not sufferring from an injury problem. They've had some guys miss time of course but this was their 10th game together in this system and with these players.

Our starters are playing and practicing and not getting any better. Wade and Weigert were players this team went out and chose to pick up. Same for McKinney and all three have good starting experience in this league. Pitts we drafted and he's started every game since coming into the league. I just find it real hard to conclude (as I suspect you do as well) that these players themselves are not good enough or are not good enough to play better than they have the last three weeks.

Early in the season I knew that the line needed time to do that magical "gel" thing and I didn't start watching NFL football three years ago when the Texans started up. I've been watching this process happen for decades and watching lines (mostly the Oilers line) incorporate new players and position changes. The progress here is slow to a point of being almost invisible. 10 games and not a hint of progress in run blocking or pass protection is cause for alarm. Maybe it wasn't in 2002 when the guys starting on the line were hopelessly incompetent for the most part but this group has players. This group is not deficient in talent.

Not of course that you were arguing that they weren't good enough talent-wise or anthing. Just that I've been seeing the lack of depth/talent being mentioned prominently in several posts today and when I saw you mention it (and it has been a factor in both 2002 and 2003) I chose to comment on it here.
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Old 11-22-2004   #22
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I'm not convinced our offense is that talented. Carr and AJ look like the real deal but who else is good? Gaffney and Armstrong are nice role players but neither strikes me as a true #2 receiver (at least yet). They both strike me as good #3's. Of these two, Armstrong looks more ready to be the #2 man. Bradford has got to go. He isn't doing well as our home run hitter.

Wells and Davis look pedestrian in the backfield. The verdict is still out on Hollings.

The O-line is very inconsistent and the depth at OT is horrible. I think Spears should be nicknamed the Matador. He lets the bull rusher run right past him.

We know what Banks brings to the table but we don't know where Ragone is in relation to Banks (in terms of development).

TE is the forgotten position. Billy Miller and Bruener haven't done much this year. Joppru could end up being the highest bust this team has had. Hopefully he can go later this year.

Defensively, we have 3 rookies that are learning the ropes and doing well. I like Earl, Babin, and Robinson. I still think Foreman should be the first to go defensively, and I think we have some depth issues in many positions. I will say that I am a fan of Marlon McCree. He seems to get overlooked.

Basically every injury exposes our lack of depth. We still need to examine the O-line, RB, ILB (Foreman), TE, nickel back, and the front seven depth.
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Old 11-22-2004   #23
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Speaking of the TE, you can say they are forgotten, and they are, but who is at blame. Is it lack of skill. Well, I don't think so, considering Miller was our leading receiver in 02. Is it Carr? Is it coaching? I think it's the last one. Nobody is saying that Miller should be the leading receiver, but you have to throw him at least a couple of balls a game. It keeps the defense honest, and can be used to great effect against a cover 2. Against a team like Indy, I really thought they would exploit the center of the field a few times with Miller, but I never saw it.
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Old 11-22-2004   #24
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Default Cowher!

What you have to realize, Cowher, and many that have come from his system, play to lose, rather than to win! If you look at teams in the West Coast offensive scheme, they score until you cannot stop them. If you are well ahead of a team, come the fourth quarter, you don't have to worry about "Hall of Fame" Qb's coming back to bite you in the !@#! Capers plays to lose. Cowher, although he has had success in Pittsburgh, can afford to do this over the years! He built a system, based on a strong defense that can close games down the stretch. HOUSTON DOES NOT HAVE THAT! Pittsburgh has always had a strong running game. HOUSTON DOES NOT HAVE THAT YET! Teams that do not have strong, bruising style, running games, historically put the game out of reach, due to not being able to control the clock well towards the end of the game. What did Indy do to use last week? Sure they have James, but he's not the bruiser who is going to take a pounding, nor is the o-line built to run block for 1 1/2 quarters. Has anyone looked at the size of our tackles? Classic pass protecting tackles! 6'6" and 6'7". Long, lean, and agile, to go against speed rushers, not smaller and stronger for the run! Guess what, we're in the Steeler-style category! We have to put teams out of reach with the weapons we have.
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