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Old 01-14-2008   #1
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Default Early Offseason Ramblings:

I have a lot of time on my hands while I'm recovering from having my tonsils out (and other assorted sinus/throat work), and am finally to a stage where I can make some posts.
I thought I'd share a few thoughts and get some feedback.

Point 1:
I think there is very little chance that Michael Turner will be a Texan next year. I just can't see Smith and Kubiak justifying the expenditure that it would likely take to get him here, and there are some other options out there that make more sense.
One guy who I think fits the bill, but is getting next to no run around here is Derrick Ward (Giants). I think Ward would be a decent improvement over anything we currently have, and he's a young guy which fits what Kubiak has said he wants. Ward did have a few injury issues this year, but nothing that seems to indicate he is an injury risk, IMO.
He has good size/speed, and seems to be ideal for a zone scheme with his north/south running style. I think he could be had for a reasonable price. That wasn't the case during most of the season, when Ward increased his value quite a bit filling in for an injured Brandon Jacobs.
Since being IRd with a fractured fibula, I think his value has dropped, mainly due to the surprising play of Giants rookie RB Ahmad Bradshaw. If you watched the Giants/Dallas game, you get the sense that Bradshaw will see increased playing time this year, and will probably be the Giants RB2 next year, making Ward expendable. Keep an eye on this, because IMO, Ward can be signed for a reasonable price, and would immediately become our starter, allowing us to cut Green, and move Dayne into his more comfortable role as back up.
I know this isn't the sexy FA home run a lot of people are hoping for, but I think it makes sense.
While we're talking RBs, lets go ahead and mention Julius Jones. I think Jones may actually be a dark horse here, but it's hard for me to justify that opinion, because it flies in the face of the explanation above. His price may well outweigh his value. Also, I think he became a little LESS expendable to the cowboys after yesterday's loss to the Giants. It was apparent to me that Marion Barber became less effective as the game wore on, and I think that was a direct result of his increased playing time. I think the cowboys may conclude that Jones has more value than they previously thought, and may want to keep him around because they have a very effective RBBC with those two running backs.

Point 2:
I would not be surprised to see Chester Pitts moved back to LT next year. I think when Gibbs comes in, he will see that Pitts is the best fit from our current roster. I don't expect us to be able to make a major move at LT in free agency, and our roster seems to be heavy with young guys who project to guard. It makes sense to me to move Pitts back outside, where he will be an instant improvement over Salaam.
I think if we make this move, we will be able to fill Pitts' spot at guard from our current roster. We know Pitts can be a decent LT, so instead of making a desperation move at an overpriced FA, lets move him back out there, promote one of our young guys into LG, and then we can groom a LT that we draft, or maybe a young FA signing if we're lucky.

I'm running out of steam now, so that will be it for now. Please pardon me if this post is rambling in any way. I don't like the way hydrocodone makes me feel, but I like pain less..!
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Old 01-14-2008   #2
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/6802/careerI am not interested in Julius Jones type stats. In free agency, the team almost always over pays and for that you want a solid player. I focused on Jones the last 5-6 games and saw nothing that said WOW.

Round 1 CB Round 3 LT Round 4 RB fill three biggest holes with out FA. I think a move will be made on corner back in FA. Briesel replaces Weary. Salaam trains new guy and the new center FA brought to practice squad last of season many think have shot at beating out McKinney. I think Flannagan will be gone.
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Old 01-14-2008   #3
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

Derrick Ward is a RFA. Unless they low tender him (7th round pick compensation), I don't see the Texans moving on him.
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Old 01-14-2008   #4
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

Quote:
Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Derrick Ward is a RFA. Unless they low tender him (7th round pick compensation), I don't see the Texans moving on him.
Could be why he isn't getting mentioned more..? I'm going from Chron FanBlog which shows him as UFA...
http://blogs.chron.com/fanblogtexans...bring_you.html

I may need a better source, huh?
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Old 01-14-2008   #5
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelm View Post
Could be why he isn't getting mentioned more..? I'm going from Chron FanBlog which shows him as UFA...
http://blogs.chron.com/fanblogtexans...bring_you.html

I may need a better source, huh?
Rotoworld and Football's Future both have him as RFA. He doesn't have four accrued seasons so that seems right.
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Old 01-14-2008   #6
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

Quote:
Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Derrick Ward is a RFA. Unless they low tender him (7th round pick compensation), I don't see the Texans moving on him.
http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW...m?mode=nfceast

According to profootballweekly.com he is UFA

http://www.footballsfuture.com/2008/...eagentsRB.html

footballfutures has him as a RFA so I am not sure which it is.
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Old 01-14-2008   #7
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelm View Post
Could be why he isn't getting mentioned more..? I'm going from Chron FanBlog which shows him as UFA...
http://blogs.chron.com/fanblogtexans...bring_you.html

I may need a better source, huh?
huh... KFFL has him listed as UFA too...
http://www.kffl.com/static/nfl/featu...tion=RB&y=2008

I've seen several sites that have him differently, what's the best source for info on FAs?
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Old 01-14-2008   #8
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

Quote:
Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Rotoworld and Football's Future both have him as RFA. He doesn't have four accrued seasons so that seems right.
Seems reasonable. Shoots down my plan, no??? I still like the guy and wouldn't mind seeing him here...
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Old 01-14-2008   #9
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

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Seems reasonable. Shoots down my plan, no??? I still like the guy and wouldn't mind seeing him here...
Not neccessarily, they might not offer him because of the other players on the roster and wanting to use that roster spot for depth at another position. Besides do you think even if they do tender him a minimal contract and it is a 7th rounder would you do that, meaning do you think he would be worth a 7th rounder?
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Old 01-14-2008   #10
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelm View Post

Point 2:
I would not be surprised to see Chester Pitts moved back to LT next year. I think when Gibbs comes in, he will see that Pitts is the best fit from our current roster. I don't expect us to be able to make a major move at LT in free agency, and our roster seems to be heavy with young guys who project to guard. It makes sense to me to move Pitts back outside, where he will be an instant improvement over Salaam.
I think if we make this move, we will be able to fill Pitts' spot at guard from our current roster. We know Pitts can be a decent LT, so instead of making a desperation move at an overpriced FA, lets move him back out there, promote one of our young guys into LG, and then we can groom a LT that we draft, or maybe a young FA signing if we're lucky.

I'd like to talk about this second point of yours for a moment. I spent years repeating over and over again the mantra that Chester Pitts could be a Pro Bowl type LG. That's what the Houston Texans have said about him from the day he was drafted and that's what I truly believed. Chester said back then on more than one occaision that he wanted to stay at LT if it was up to him but that he would do what was best for the team. I remember that quote very clearly as I'm sure many of you do. His two seasons at LT only ever happened because of the ongoing Tony Boselli problem but by the time he wrapped up 2003 he was a very respectable LT. Not a great one but you could call him "good" without drawing too many laughs and stares. He improved a great deal from 2002 to 2003 and seemed to be getting better.

He's never played like that at LG and he's been there for quite some time now. I personally don't think he's going to make the transition to being the kind of LG the team expected him to be when they drafted him. He's definitely good enough to play in the NFL at LG and he has good games mixed in with the so-so games but he's ordinary. He's nothing special on the inside. The move did more harm to his game than good I think.

I just don't think his heart is much into the change. I don't think he's happy playing that spot on the line. He certainly doesn't play the way he did in 2003 anymore. He's never taken to the move to the inside the way I expected him to and now I believe that he's a career "just good enough" LT and a "very ordinary" LG.

Granted, as a LG he's had a lot of movement around him and it would have been nice if he had been able to line up next to McKinney all season long this year. Still, I just don't think that's it. I think it's in his head more than anything.

This makes me wonder if he's destined to play LT in the NFL and/or become one of those guys who can play G or LT at an "acceptable level" and is destined to backup other players because he doesn't play the position he's best suited to as well as the position he prefers BUT is not as good a "body-type" fit in.

Does anybody else here (besides michaelm and myself) wonder if Gibbs might give Pitts another look at LT?

I could even see him sending Chester down the depth chart or even packing because he doesn't fit what Gibbs wants to do.

Somehow I think this is going to be a pivotal year for Chester Pitts.
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Old 01-14-2008   #11
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hervoyel View Post
I'd like to talk about this second point of yours for a moment. I spent years repeating over and over again the mantra that Chester Pitts could be a Pro Bowl type LG. That's what the Houston Texans have said about him from the day he was drafted and that's what I truly believed. Chester said back then on more than one occaision that he wanted to stay at LT if it was up to him but that he would do what was best for the team. I remember that quote very clearly as I'm sure many of you do. His two seasons at LT only ever happened because of the ongoing Tony Boselli problem but by the time he wrapped up 2003 he was a very respectable LT. Not a great one but you could call him "good" without drawing too many laughs and stares. He improved a great deal from 2002 to 2003 and seemed to be getting better.

He's never played like that at LG and he's been there for quite some time now. I personally don't think he's going to make the transition to being the kind of LG the team expected him to be when they drafted him. He's definitely good enough to play in the NFL at LG and he has good games mixed in with the so-so games but he's ordinary. He's nothing special on the inside. The move did more harm to his game than good I think.

I just don't think his heart is much into the change. I don't think he's happy playing that spot on the line. He certainly doesn't play the way he did in 2003 anymore. He's never taken to the move to the inside the way I expected him to and now I believe that he's a career "just good enough" LT and a "very ordinary" LG.

Granted, as a LG he's had a lot of movement around him and it would have been nice if he had been able to line up next to McKinney all season long this year. Still, I just don't think that's it. I think it's in his head more than anything.

This makes me wonder if he's destined to play LT in the NFL and/or become one of those guys who can play G or LT at an "acceptable level" and is destined to backup other players because he doesn't play the position he's best suited to as well as the position he prefers BUT is not as good a "body-type" fit in.

Does anybody else here (besides michaelm and myself) wonder if Gibbs might give Pitts another look at LT?

I could even see him sending Chester down the depth chart or even packing because he doesn't fit what Gibbs wants to do.

Somehow I think this is going to be a pivotal year for Chester Pitts.
I think this will be a pivotal year for him as well. Pitts seemed to play better at Tackle than he has a Guard. I could see him improving on the edge but when I watch him play at Guard he seems more unsure and seems to have lapses. Strangely, things happen faster at the Guard spot when it comes to hand fighting and Pitts strength is not his hands...it's his lower body. He has great feet, but Kubiak's Guards need great feet in a zone system and having great Guards may be more important to a ZBS than having great Tackles....Pitts has just has never taken that next step (playing at a high level consistently). I think next season will be an important one for Chester as well.
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Old 01-14-2008   #12
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hervoyel View Post
Does anybody else here (besides michaelm and myself) wonder if Gibbs might give Pitts another look at LT?
I think Gibbs is here mainly to tutor Benton, the line coach. I don't see Gibbs involved in any long term personnel decisions, since he'll probably go back into retirement in a couple of years.

Right or wrong, I think Kubiak is satisfied in Salaam at LT for the short term, and will look for his eventual replacement at some point in the draft. Besides, the Texans already have to find a replacement for Weary (who is both injured and a free agent). I don't think Kubiak will want to find replacements at both starting guard spots.
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Old 01-14-2008   #13
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny View Post
I think this will be a pivotal year for him as well. Pitts seemed to play better at Tackle than he has a Guard. I could see him improving on the edge but when I watch him play at Guard he seems more unsure and seems to have lapses. Strangely, things happen faster at the Guard spot when it comes to hand fighting and Pitts strength is not his hands...it's his lower body. He has great feet, but Kubiak's Guards need great feet in a zone system and having great Guards may be more important to a ZBS than having great Tackles....Pitts has just has never taken that next step (playing at a high level consistently). I think next season will be an important one for Chester as well.
If Winston has been solid at RT and has really grown as a player, why not move Pitts to LT, then trade Schaub for a left-handed passer. Suddenly Winston is protecting the blind-side and we don't have to look for a franchise LT in the draft!

BRILLIANT!



*yes, that post was made in jest
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Old 01-14-2008   #14
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

Quote:
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If Winston has been solid at RT and has really grown as a player, why not move Pitts to LT, then trade Schaub for a left-handed passer. Suddenly Winston is protecting the blind-side and we don't have to look for a franchise LT in the draft!

BRILLIANT!



*yes, that post was made in jest
Thinking outside the (tackle) box always keeps em' guessing.
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Old 01-14-2008   #15
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

Quote:
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If Winston has been solid at RT and has really grown as a player, why not move Pitts to LT, then trade Schaub for a left-handed passer. Suddenly Winston is protecting the blind-side and we don't have to look for a franchise LT in the draft!

BRILLIANT!



*yes, that post was made in jest
I think if they would have left Chester at LT he would have been "good enough" (Chester was a poor mans Brad Hopkins - outstanding LT that wasn't physically ideal) until we found that elusive "franchise LT"...but what's done is done. We need a Center with a mean streak (kinda like Technoviking, er I mean Logan Mankins). I think our line play is way too passive at times....we could use a fiery personality in the middle mixing it up and getting after defensive front 7's across the league.
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Old 01-14-2008   #16
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

One in the same?

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Old 01-14-2008   #17
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

Long lost brothers?

Maybe Techno' came over and got a box of "Just For Men" so he wouldn't attract too much attention.

They're on the same wavelength though. You can see it in their eyes. They're like a couple of wild spidermonkeys ready to come at you without mercy!
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Old 01-14-2008   #18
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Long lost brothers?

Maybe Techno' came over and got a box of "Just For Men" so he wouldn't attract too much attention.

They're on the same wavelength though. You can see it in their eyes. They're like a couple of wild spidermonkeys ready to come at you without mercy!
Mankins' hair in that particular picture looks like the spray on hair that popped up about 10 years ago.

How's about we scan the Texas penal system for our next center, make a deal with the Cards for Matt Leinart, and leave Winston at RT?

Championship!
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Old 01-14-2008   #19
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

Back to the 1st point.....I think you're wrong about Julius Jones. I'm here in Dallas, and I think the fans and the personnel are ready to see Tyson Thompson step up. Barber and Thomson are both RFA's, and aren't going anywhere. Julius Jones is good, but he's gone. They have no interest in him here anymore. I think they will use the Barber/Thompson combo here now that TT has had a few years to learn behind Jones/Barber. They just didn't want to experiment during the good season they were having. Why not let Jones take the abuse before he leaves?

This being said, I think Jones could be gotten cheap...but I don't want him really. He's a used up DDW!
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Old 01-14-2008   #20
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Default Re: Early Offseason Ramblings:

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Originally Posted by Dallas_Texan View Post
Barber and Thomson are both RFA's, and aren't going anywhere. Julius Jones is good, but he's gone. They have no interest in him here anymore. I think they will use the Barber/Thompson combo here now that TT has had a few years to learn behind Jones/Barber.
I can agree with everything you said, but I think the cowboys' level of interest in Jones may have shifted a little yesterday. It was obvious to me that Barber had lost his pop toward the end of the game, and pop IS his game.
You're local, and you know more about Thompson than I do, so if you say that the team thinks he's ready, I can't really question that. But IMO, they should be a little more aware of their feelings toward their RB situation now than they were when the game started yesterday.
If Barber's style of play has him running out of gas before the end of the game, they need to address it.

OTH, I haven't seen one person specifically agree with my assessment of Barber's game yesterday, so I could be completely wrong on that... he looked less effective toward the end of the game to me... but hey, I've been doped up on prescription pain killers for a week, and haven't eaten in pretty much the whole time... I just might be experiencing some issues with my judgment...
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