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Old 01-02-2008   #1
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Default Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

New poster, woot woot

anyways. I was talking with one of the mods here, cool dude.

And i had the question of our running game was lacking due to the holes not created by the o line or our running backs not being able to maneuver themselves through holes and extra yardage.

thoughts?
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Old 01-02-2008   #2
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

Ahman Green couldn't find any holes, but Dayne and Walker could.
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Old 01-02-2008   #3
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

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Originally Posted by Texanballer View Post
New poster, woot woot

anyways. I was talking with one of the mods here, cool dude.

And i had the question of our running game was lacking due to the holes not created by the o line or our running backs not being able to maneuver themselves through holes and extra yardage.

thoughts?
We do not have great backs .

We do not have a great OL either .
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Old 01-02-2008   #4
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

I've pondered this one myself. Kinda funny.

Seems like the pass blocking was atrocious under Capers.

Now the run blocking is suspect under Kubes (Sherman?)

IMO, they're one 1st round LT away from solving this riddle.
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Old 01-02-2008   #5
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

yep..we are decidedly mediocre in both areas. Not bad, just not good either.

Improving our Oline would make our running game much more servicable with our existing backs, and would also help to improve our already prolific passing game.
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Old 01-02-2008   #6
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

Something else to consider is the playcalling. Seems like Dayne would often get hot in the first half and then Sherman would abandon the run altogether in the second half.
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Old 01-02-2008   #7
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

Its both, but you can go either way

Chargers got LT first, then got an O-Line

The Bronco's system is dead. The NFL neutered it to nothing with their crackdown on cut blocks and other cheapshots.
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Old 01-03-2008   #8
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

People are dogging AG but... if you look at the stats and you see his 3.7 ypc and you think he didn't do very well. But if you look at the first two games (when he was still relatively healthy), he was averaging 4.5 ypc against KC and then 4.7 ypc against Carolina. He was actually injured in the KC game. He tried to play through his injury and he was able to do it against Carolina but it finally caught up to him against Indy (1.3 ypc) and it was downhill from there.

Dayne's production in September and October was horrible. He was averaging 2.9 ypc in those months. But in November, he started averaging 5 ypc and in December, he was averaging 4.5 ypc (with a bum ankle).

With our line, a really quality back (like AG when healthy) could find room to run. Darius was starting to get the hang of it by the end of the year and it will be interesting to see if he can continue to develop.

There were holes there.

But that doesn't mean that we should neglect the line. Kubiak knows that we need a stud LT; he's mentioned it in his pressers. And hopefully we do something (or have already done something) to address our issues at C. Our line is inconsistent and I think, a little substandard. We were able to hide its weaknesses with good coaching and gameplanning but we need to make it a strength of our team.
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Old 01-03-2008   #9
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

I've always been of the opinion games are won and lost at the line (either side), so I would be happy with the Texans drafting lineman (either side) as the 1st round draft pick from here on out.

Teams have won super bowls with less than steller tallent at certain key positions, but they would never make it to the super bowl in the 1st place without good linemen.
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Old 01-03-2008   #10
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

MAybe it was the competition but in the first two games we had a running game but then Steve McKinney went down and our running game suffered. Yes I think we need a LT but I firmly believe that Center is also a major concern as well.
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Old 01-03-2008   #11
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

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MAybe it was the competition but in the first two games we had a running game but then Steve McKinney went down and our running game suffered. Yes I think we need a LT but I firmly believe that Center is also a major concern as well.
I think we all agree with you here. LT will be our first round pick unless we get someone like Flozell (not gonna happen, getting old anyways) in the offseason. But yes, Center is a HUGE hole as well. But, I think if we have a good offseason upgrading other areas like CB, and RB, then LT in the first round.....McKinney and White can hold the C position down until 2009 when we can draft one in the second round or get one in the offseason 08-09.

2008 will be fun to watch, but 2009 will be our playoff year!! My 2010 Superbowl prediction is still standing!!
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Old 01-03-2008   #12
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

I think the OL has a bigger impact on our running game than the RB's do. Drafting a guy like Jonathan Stewart or Rashard Mendenhall in the 1st round would GREATLY improve our team and I'd be all for it if they went that way, but I think getting our OL better at both pass protection and run blocking is of utmost importance.

To me, it's a lot more important to get more consistent 4-5 yard gains extending drives eating up clock than it is to have a huge run every now and again. The threat of having a RB that can go the distance would be benificial but I think our offense is geared more towards eating up clock, extending drives, wearing down the DL, short passes out of the backfield, etc- so getting our OL built up is more important to me.

At this point we still need a Quality Young Left Tackle, A Center (preferably young), and possibly another Guard. Fred Weary and Steve McKinney were bad injuries for us as mostly was Charles Spencer was. He looked good for a game but we really didn't get to him against too many DE's too know if he would actually work at LT. Hope he comes back healthy and just makes it somewhere on the Line-maybe take over Weary's spot next year? I think Spencer would be a great run blocker.

Short yardage situations frustrated me this year, 4th and 1 and on the goal line. we had a tough time getting the push up front to provide a little daylight for any RB.
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Old 01-03-2008   #13
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

I'll begin by saying we most definitely need an LT and C to replace age and ineffectiveness.

Having said that, I truly believe there were a few hundred yards left on the field by our RB's. With Green out of the lineup we had lack of vision, speed and talent at RB. There were many times Grimace had a gaping hole run through only to be caught by a LB or DB.

I know stats don't really mean a whole heck of alot these days, but we are towards the bottom of the league in runs over 20yds(7), over 40(1) and ypc.

Anywho, the Texans are getting better and Kubiak/Smith have verbally admitted to 3 of our major needs. I have every reason to believe they're going to addressed this off-season via draft or FA.

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Old 01-03-2008   #14
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

A great running back would find holes to slip through, unless the hole closes first which can happen to H.O.F. type backs. This often leads to pounding on your high $ RB and possibly injuries. A great LT can hold that hole open so an good RB can make it through. A RB does not have to go over the LT/LG but can go right and if quick enough can do end arounds. We have established that Dayne and Green when healthy can go between the tackles. IMO, we have not established a RB that can run outside of tackles. The in between the tackles RB will take a greater pounding.

I don't see a LT in FA and quite possibly there may not be a high quality LT @ 18. There should be good quality RBs as low as 3rd round. Same with CBs. This is based on the juniors coming out. So, I would take care of the LT in first. If Clady or Baker available, he's the pick @18. If not, I would hope for trade down and use lower first for whoever fits. Chris Williams, Mike McGlynn and even Alex Boone that other posters have said is creeping up should be looked at. We may have to reach, but demand outweighs supply this draft. In 2nd or 3rd if no trade and I doubt one will be made, you go for the RB. Just my thoughts.
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Old 01-03-2008   #15
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

Stats may not tell the whole story; but perhaps we might be able to infer a few things about our running game from these:

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamoff.php

Our weighted offense rank (#7) supposedly tells us that we are more efficient toward the end of the year.

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol.php

Our overall rank for the O-line (#10) suggests that our linemen as a group is at least average.

Our 10+ rank (#22) indicates that we didn't have many long runs.
Combined that with our Power rank (#10) suggest that our running game efficiency depends more on the O-line than our running backs.
This is also supported by our Stuffed rank (#1 - Wow, we're number one at something).

Note: The stuff rank alone may just indicate that our great Dayne hardly got caught behind the LOS. He's almost always good to fall forward at least half a yard. j/k
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Old 01-03-2008   #16
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

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Originally Posted by Ole Miss Texan View Post
I think the OL has a bigger impact on our running game than the RB's do. Drafting a guy like Jonathan Stewart or Rashard Mendenhall in the 1st round would GREATLY improve our team and I'd be all for it if they went that way, but I think getting our OL better at both pass protection and run blocking is of utmost importance.

To me, it's a lot more important to get more consistent 4-5 yard gains extending drives eating up clock than it is to have a huge run every now and again. The threat of having a RB that can go the distance would be benificial but I think our offense is geared more towards eating up clock, extending drives, wearing down the DL, short passes out of the backfield, etc- so getting our OL built up is more important to me.

At this point we still need a Quality Young Left Tackle, A Center (preferably young), and possibly another Guard. Fred Weary and Steve McKinney were bad injuries for us as mostly was Charles Spencer was. He looked good for a game but we really didn't get to him against too many DE's too know if he would actually work at LT. Hope he comes back healthy and just makes it somewhere on the Line-maybe take over Weary's spot next year? I think Spencer would be a great run blocker.

Short yardage situations frustrated me this year, 4th and 1 and on the goal line. we had a tough time getting the push up front to provide a little daylight for any RB.
OMT, I agree with everything you have to say here. I too am concerned about the injuries to McKinney, Weary, Spencer and also White. To think that some here believe that the Center position is set with McKinney and White to me seems a little shortsighted. How can anyone know Mckinney will be back at 100% by the start of the season? How does anyone here know that White will be back 100% at the beginning of the season? And the same goes for Weary. Can Spencer even play at the same level he did in early 2006? No one can answer these questions now, so there is no reason to rely on any of these players next year unless they are in camp at 100% and ready to play. To do otherwise, in my mind, would be foolish!

To me the Center position will be critical this year. Flanagan, though he did OK in the later games, will be entering his 13th or 14th NFL season, and may not even come back. McKinney will be entering his 11th NFL season and is coming off major knee surgery. White, though young, will be coming off major knee surgery also and may not be ready since his injury occured later in the season. Hodgdon, who got cut at the beginning of the season, will probably be invited back to camp, but I don't think he has what they are looking for at Center. That leaves Greg Eslinger, a 5th round pick of Denver in 2006, who was on their PS until this past Nov. when Cleveland snatched him, then cut him in Dec. Rick Smith picked him up a few days later and I think he has the potential to be a very good Center. He won the Outland and Rimington trophies as a Senior at Minnesota and was considered by many to be the best Center in College Football in 2006. He has potential, but with all the other question marks at this position, I still think we need to address it in the Draft.

OMT, you are right about the possible move of Spencer to RG if Weary doesn't make it back next year. I think I heard Kubes say something about this as a possibility a few weeks ago on 610 radio (I think). And, from what Smith and Kubes are saying, it looks like they will go after a LT in the Draft or FA (most likely Draft). The only question now is whether they go for the LT in the 1st round, the 3rd round, or do they try to trade back in the 1st and get an extra 3rd rounder or maybe a 2nd rounder. This Draft is loaded with LT's. They don't have any real top rated LT's like Thomas was last year, but they are loaded with good solid picks for the 1st few rounds. There will probably be 3 or 4 in the 1st round selected and more good ones in the 2nd. That's why I think we have to get one in the 1st and not wait until the 3rd when most of the good one will be gone. We could get lucky, but I wouldn't want to take that chance. JMHO!
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Old 01-05-2008   #17
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

I still think Otah out of Pitt would be a good LT for us, and at 18 or even lower with a trade down, he owuld be right there for us.
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Old 01-05-2008   #18
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

It's the runningbacks......I have season tickets 20 rows off field level and there has been PLENTY of times where a back with speed would've took it to the house. Think of all the 10 to 15/20 yard runs Dayne has had recently.......give him more speed and it's a game breaking run.

Now insert Walker who is a back with average speed, but has excellent vision.......he has no problem with picking up positive yards....but he also doesn't have the speed to take one to the house.

Texans don't have the best run blocking line, but they are FAR from the worst, they just need a "FRANCHISE" back with SPEED.......something they've never had.

Last edited by Carr Bombed; 01-05-2008 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 01-05-2008   #19
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

Addressing needs at RB would be like sewing a patch onto a hole. You arent fixing the problem, you are just covering it up.

With a better Oline we may still lack elite speed at RB..but elite speed is not required to have a great running game. Rather than focusing on those few times where a back broke away for 10-15 yards..and wondering about what a faster RB would have been able to do.. id like to see us address the Oline so that our existing backs can break for 10-15 yards alot more often.

Additionally.. a franchise back only addresses our running game.. a better oline improves every aspect of our offense. Well, actually.. a franchise RB would effect every aspect of our offense as well..but the better Oline would have a greater impact on our offense as a whole.
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Old 01-05-2008   #20
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Default Re: Running Game-O line or The Running Backs

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Addressing needs at RB would be like sewing a patch onto a hole. You arent fixing the problem, you are just covering it up.

With a better Oline we may still lack elite speed at RB..but elite speed is not required to have a great running game. Rather than focusing on those few times where a back broke away for 10-15 yards..and wondering about what a faster RB would have been able to do.. id like to see us address the Oline so that our existing backs can break for 10-15 yards alot more often.

Additionally.. a franchise back only addresses our running game.. a better oline improves every aspect of our offense. Well, actually.. a franchise RB would effect every aspect of our offense as well..but the better Oline would have a greater impact on our offense as a whole.
Outside of a couple of people this is the same line that made DD (a 4th rounder) a house hold name, a football fantasy name.......this hasn't been a bad rushing line..infact it's kinda funny how most of our pass offense (which includes almost all the big plays this year came off of PA passes) which feeds off the threat of a run.

Our problem has NOT been the run blocking, it was been Salaam's inability of picking up the SPEED RUSHER. WE'VE always been a decent run blocking team, but we've ALWAYS lacked that bonified PASS BLOCKER.........there's a difference in RUN BLOCKING and PASS BLOCKING...we have flunked at one and not the other.

Last edited by Carr Bombed; 01-05-2008 at 02:02 AM.
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