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Old 03-16-2008   #1
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Default Off-season: Where are we at right now?

Here's an overview of the team and where I think it stands...

I think we have a very good coaching staff. I think the players have bought in to Kubiak and I think they play hard for him. Furthermore, I think he's going to be an excellent head coach. We now have the best Oline coach probably in the history of the NFL. While I'm not sure what I think about Shanahan, I have no worries with the offensive coaching since he'll essentially be under the supervision of Gibbs and Kubiak. Defensively, I do have some concerns. I like the Rhodes hiring but I'm not sure if Richard Smith has a defensive philosophy. And if he does, I'm not sure how effective he is at implementing it. Having said that, I think he's capable and I think it's too early to tell what kind of DC he is. Overall, I think we have a very strong staff- one that inspires the playes, teaches well, and is at least solid at game planning.

I'm excited about our QB play. At worst, I think we are in the top half of the league at QB. I have some reservations about Schaub's ability to stay healthy, though I have none about his ability to play at a high level. As long as Sage is here, those injury concerns are diminshed.

At RB, I'm a believer in Chris Taylor. I don't think it's wise to trust him with the job yet, but I think the combination of Green, Taylor, CBrown, DWalker all being coached and running behind an Alex Gibbs line make it likely that this will be our most effective year running the ball.

WR: This is our strongest position, I believe. AJ is one of the 5 best WRs in the game, IMO and he has a QB very willing to get him the ball downfield and on time. I think the supporting group of: walter, jones, adavis, are quality as well.

TE: I'd really like to see Bruener not make the team. At this point, he's so stiff, that I doubt how effective of a blocker he is. Furthermore, I doubt there's much difference in athleticism between him and a tackle eligible. I'm interested to see Dressens in an expanded role and I'm excited to see Daniels' growth this year. In all, it's an area that needs improvement but may happen simply from the development of guys we already have.

OL: I'm desperate to not have Salaam start any games this year. I'm hopeful that between Spencer, Butler, Frye and whatever else we do this off-season, we'll find a better answer- not just for the long term but the short term as well... Obviously, our two best linemen are Winston and Pitts and I'm excited to see their growth under Gibbs. I think Briesel, Eslinger, White each have promise and I'm very interested to see how everything shakes out. Mostly, though, I'm eager to see the impact Gibbs has on the unit and really interested in how the roster shakes out- I don't think any observer can really have a handle on it at this point.

DL: I love how Mario grew into a near dominate player last season and can't wait to see him this year. I hope and do think Okoye will make a similar leap this season and I was very happy with the play of Travis Johnson. Furthermore, I thought Cochran was one of the most underrated players on the team and would like to see him heavier in the rotation- which is likely this year. Hopefully Weaver can play better this year. I'd like to see him play effectively opposite Mario on running downs and replaced with a speed-rusher on passing downs.

LB: I think we'll dramatically improve at LB this year. Clark was servicable but limited. CAnderson did a respectable job but was playing out of position and lacked the natural instincts for the position- I felt he was particularly challenged in coverage. I think Thompson provides a lot of athleticism and versatility- which I'm excited to see. Also, I'm looking forward to Diles on the field and feel good about Bentley provide solid depth.

CB: I'm very happy with the Reeves signing. However, I think I differ with many on the board in that I'm quite concerned about Bennett. While I like his agressiveness, he's not a special athlete and his body tends to be all over the place when he's in coverage and particularly when he's attacking the ball carrier. I just saw a lot of rawness from him last season and felt like he would of been exploited more if we weren't so weak on the opposite side and in the slot. This position has to get addressed in the draft, I think.

S: Again, I'm in the minority on the boards. I really like GEarl as a SS. I think he needs to be paired with an athletic FS with good cover skills (not Brown). I'm hopeful Demps will continue to perform well and am hopeful one of the Brandon's will step up this season- I don't want this position addressed early in the draft, though I do think it needs to improve.


Overall, I think we will likely be a formidable team this season. Barring another injury heavy season, I think this team is a borderline playoff team right now. If we can find someone to rush the edge on passing downs and improve in the secondary, I think we are a 10 or 11 win team. Offensively, I think the addition of Gibbs, our depth at WR, and our QB play will make us at least an above average defense- if we solve LT this year, it could be special!
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Old 03-17-2008   #2
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

I agree with most of what you say. I'm not sure Pitts is our best guard. He seemed to play with more intensity at LT than LG. I think he's been an OK LG but not a stand out. I'm VERY concerned about center and LT. IMO, we can get by another year with Salaam, but we have got to find an above average center. McKinney was doing OK before he was hurt, but I'd like to see us get younger there. The running back situation should be pretty fun to watch. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. I hope Taylor can stay healthy so we can get a better read on him.
I think our D is going to be stand out this year. We had some success last season and I think we'll build upon it. A lot of that will depend on how well Rhodes and Smith play together. I don't think Smith is established enough to get an ego trip about Rhodes, but who knows? I'm not as high on Reeves signing as some are. There's just not a large body of work to evaluate. I would have rather kept Von Hutchins. Regardless, we STILL need to upgrade CB and get some more help on the D line. Linebacker should be a strength this year. I like the mix we have there.
I see us having a top 10 D and a middle of the road O as of right now. I'm sure that will only get better after the draft. I can't wait to see which direction we go.
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Old 03-17-2008   #3
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

I see the Texans as an average, but improving team in the NFL. We are far from the bad team we used to be, and I donít see us going in that direction with Kubes and Smith in charge.

As far as a playoff team goes, I see weaknesses in the OL, RB, CB and safeties. Thatís too much to fix in one offseason. The 2008 team will be better than the 2007 team, but they might end up with the same record anyway. We have a tough schedule this year. For me, if we end up with a 9-7 record this year, Iíll be happy.
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Old 03-17-2008   #4
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

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I see the Texans as an average, but improving team in the NFL. We are far from the bad team we used to be, and I donít see us going in that direction with Kubes and Smith in charge.

As far as a playoff team goes, I see weaknesses in the OL, RB, CB and safeties. Thatís too much to fix in one offseason. The 2008 team will be better than the 2007 team, but they might end up with the same record anyway. We have a tough schedule this year. For me, if we end up with a 9-7 record this year, Iíll be happy.
The New England Patriots went 16-0 and they had serious issues at LB and Safety. I agree with what you said but the reality is that even the best teams have some holes. So, I don't think we have to solve every position to become a very good team.
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Old 03-17-2008   #5
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

This off-season I think the front office has done a pretty good job at plugging several of the major weaknesses of this team, which should give us a shot at taking a big step forward with a good draft. When I look back at the WR position last year, I see a similar situation at safety, linebacker, RB and center. At all of these positions, we have put together a mix youth and experience and whom ever ends up winning a spot at these positions should prove to solidify each of these spots - and if we see youth win out in some of these areas, we could be good at these positions for many years to come. If we can find another Demps on defense and another Davis on offense with our off-season acquisitions at two of these positions - I think we see a significantly better team on the field next year, no matter what happens in the draft.

IMO, LT and CB are the major needs to be addressed in the draft, with the lower picks to be used for the positions listed above for additional competition. As a result, I think we have given ourselves the shot to address all remaining major needs this off-season, but free agency and the draft are too unpredictable to know how all of this will shake out until the season starts.

I think Smith and Kubes have done an incredible job at turning this ship around in such a short amount of time.
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Old 03-17-2008   #6
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

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The New England Patriots went 16-0 and they had serious issues at LB and Safety. I agree with what you said but the reality is that even the best teams have some holes. So, I don't think we have to solve every position to become a very good team.
If only Smith (DC) could spy as well as Belichick.
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Old 03-17-2008   #7
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

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I think Smith and Kubes have done an incredible job at turning this ship around in such a short amount of time.

Agreed. Unlike the old Texans of a few years ago, steady and sure progress is being made. If Schaub is The Real Deal, we should be in the playoffs in 2009.
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Old 03-17-2008   #8
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

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Agreed. Unlike the old Texans of a few years ago, steady and sure progress is being made. If Schaub is The Real Deal, we should be in the playoffs in 2009.
I don't think we have to wait for another year of preparation to expect a realistic chance to get into the post-season games.
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Old 03-17-2008   #9
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

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I don't think we have to wait for another year of preparation to expect a realistic chance to get into the post-season games.

Couldn't agree more. If the Giants went from 8-8 in '06 to Super Bowl Champs in '07, why can't we realistically hope for playoffs in '08. I'm not saying missing them would neccesarily be a failure, but to say we should be waiting until '09 or later is wrong.

We absolutely still have weaknesses, and the draft won't fix them all, but getting to the playoffs is all about overcoming weaknesses. Every team in the NFL has and will continue to have weaknesses.
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Old 03-17-2008   #10
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

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Couldn't agree more. If the Giants went from 8-8 in '06 to Super Bowl Champs in '07, why can't we realistically hope for playoffs in '08. I'm not saying missing them would neccesarily be a failure, but to say we should be waiting until '09 or later is wrong.

We absolutely still have weaknesses, and the draft won't fix them all, but getting to the playoffs is all about overcoming weaknesses. Every team in the NFL has and will continue to have weaknesses.
True, but we will be playing an improved Jags, and Colts team twice next year. Not to mention we were swept by the Titans this year. The Giant's only tough division rival was the Cowboy's. We really have to prove we belong in this division by winning our division before we talk about being a 10 win team. I believe we can do it, and I will be thrilled when we do.
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Old 03-17-2008   #11
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

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If only Smith (DC) could spy as well as Belichick.
I think our DC is our main problem.... When he came here it was like his 3 or 4 team in 5 years....im starting to see why.
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Old 03-17-2008   #12
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

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I think our DC is our main problem.... When he came here it was like his 3 or 4 team in 5 years....im starting to see why.
That is not actually very accurate at all. We are his third team in a 5 year period however, he was getting a promotion from every team he went to he wasnt getting fired. He has been wanted, in the cities that he has gone to.

Nice try though.
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Old 03-17-2008   #13
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

I think right now its still the colts,patriots, and chargers for best talent and teams in the afc. The next level is jags,steelers and say browns. The texans are in the next tier with titans,bills. They are close enough to be better than the next level but not quite as good as the top three. Great coaching and good health and they could be in that 2nd level though which put u in the playoff hunt. The last month of the season, u want to be playing for the playoffs controlling ur own destiny like cleveland last yr. I like the moves and they still have work to do, but every team does.
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Old 03-17-2008   #14
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

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Couldn't agree more. If the Giants went from 8-8 in '06 to Super Bowl Champs in '07, why can't we realistically hope for playoffs in '08.

The Giants don't play Indy, Tenn, and Jacks twice a year like we do. Until we get more consistent in beating our division rivals, making the playoffs will be difficult.
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Old 03-17-2008   #15
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

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I'd really like to see Bruener not make the team. At this point, he's so stiff, that I doubt how effective of a blocker he is. Furthermore, I doubt there's much difference in athleticism between him and a tackle eligible.
well i have to disagree with you here about bruener. i still think he is one of the better blocking TE in the league right now, and i am pulling for him to make it this year. i also hope daniels is paying attention to him so he can improving his technique for blocking. when you dont have to rotate players in and out, it makes your offense that much more diverse.
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Old 03-17-2008   #16
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

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True, but we will be playing an improved Jags, and Colts team twice next year. Not to mention we were swept by the Titans this year. The Giant's only tough division rival was the Cowboy's. We really have to prove we belong in this division by winning our division before we talk about being a 10 win team. I believe we can do it, and I will be thrilled when we do.

I hear what you're saying, but I don't think we (as fans) sit around and say that in two years, the Colts and Jags might not be as good (and btw - how are the Colts improved?), The Emperor that is VY will have been proven to have no clothes, and we'll have had another off-season and two more drafts - we'll look for the playoffs then.

I also didn't mean to draw too close a parallel between the '08 Texans, and the '07 Giants, (I'm talking making the playoffs, not winning the SB), but let's take it a little further anyway. At the end of '06, the Giants were an 8-8 team who'd gotten lucky and made the playoffs in the weaker of the two conferences by the skin of their teeth. Their best (or so we thought) offensive player was retiring, their best defensive player had missed the last 8 games of his 14th NFL season with an injury and was contemplating retirement himself. The question wasn't whether the Giants were going to get worse, it was how much worse were they going to get, and how early in the '07 season was their coach going get fired. Oh yeah, and as it turns out, the division that they play in (the one with only one tough rival) ended up the '07 season with the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs, both wildcard teams, and a 4th place team that finished 8-8 (any of that sound familiar?). I'm not so much using the Giants to predict what's going to happen as I am using the Giants to point out that there's no way we can possibly predict what's going to happen all the time.

Look, I know that what happened to the Giants last year was lightning in a bottle, and I know that lots of 8-8 not only don't make the playoffs, but they become 7-9 or 5-11 teams, so this isn't blind homerism. I'm just saying that we finished two games out of the playoffs in '07, and are considered by most a team on the rise. Nobody can tell me we should defer playoff expectations until 2009.
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Old 03-17-2008   #17
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

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I hear what you're saying, but I don't think we (as fans) sit around and say that in two years, the Colts and Jags might not be as good (and btw - how are the Colts improved?), The Emperor that is VY will have been proven to have no clothes, and we'll have had another off-season and two more drafts - we'll look for the playoffs then.

I also didn't mean to draw too close a parallel between the '08 Texans, and the '07 Giants, (I'm talking making the playoffs, not winning the SB), but let's take it a little further anyway. At the end of '06, the Giants were an 8-8 team who'd gotten lucky and made the playoffs in the weaker of the two conferences by the skin of their teeth. Their best (or so we thought) offensive player was retiring, their best defensive player had missed the last 8 games of his 14th NFL season with an injury and was contemplating retirement himself. The question wasn't whether the Giants were going to get worse, it was how much worse were they going to get, and how early in the '07 season was their coach going get fired. Oh yeah, and as it turns out, the division that they play in (the one with only one tough rival) ended up the '07 season with the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs, both wildcard teams, and a 4th place team that finished 8-8 (any of that sound familiar?). I'm not so much using the Giants to predict what's going to happen as I am using the Giants to point out that there's no way we can possibly predict what's going to happen all the time.

Look, I know that what happened to the Giants last year was lightning in a bottle, and I know that lots of 8-8 not only don't make the playoffs, but they become 7-9 or 5-11 teams, so this isn't blind homerism. I'm just saying that we finished two games out of the playoffs in '07, and are considered by most a team on the rise. Nobody can tell me we should defer playoff expectations until 2009.
You've got some very good points there. I would like to add that the teams that go backwards always seem to be the teams that try to "get rich quick" by making poor personnel decisions in the draft and FA and changing coaches every few years. There seems to be a lot of instability with these teams. The front office the Texans have seem to be making very good decisions, have a definite idea of where they want to go AND a viable plan for getting us there and keeping us there. For now, at least, we're avoiding the salary cap hell most teams find theirselves in every couple of years.
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Old 03-18-2008   #18
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

right now i think we're sitting pretty considering what we have both behind us and ahead of us. there are holes, because there are always holes, but with the amount of depth on this team i think that a lot of the sky is falling worries arent too big. with the signings so far both known and unkown on the o-line (gibbs being THE signing of the offseason) and adding brown as depth, we have relatively secured every position on the offense outside of praying spencer making a miraculous comeback at LT. that's our biggest hole, but it's our ONLY offensive hole.

MY concern this year is defensive coaching. we're going to add a starter or two between the draft and june 1st cuts, but none of that means a hill of beans if we play the first 6-7 games like we have the last two years. this is a defense that's energy and excitement driven. giving up big plays wont affect outcomes nearly as much as becoming stagnant, and we have the talent to do everything required. bennet has become a starter, mario's the beast most of us minorities said he would be, ryans is everything, and we can bandaid the corner until dunta comes back. backer, speed rusher, and centerfielder are still concerns but we have time to address 1 or 2 of those and with enough aggression we can mask our weaknesses.

let us not forget that we led the league in injured players last year (game 3 being the killer) ... we will be essentially adding 10-20 key players without doing anything at all.
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Old 03-19-2008   #19
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Default Re: Off-season: Where are we at right now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter View Post
right now i think we're sitting pretty considering what we have both behind us and ahead of us. there are holes, because there are always holes, but with the amount of depth on this team i think that a lot of the sky is falling worries arent too big. with the signings so far both known and unkown on the o-line (gibbs being THE signing of the offseason) and adding brown as depth, we have relatively secured every position on the offense outside of praying spencer making a miraculous comeback at LT. that's our biggest hole, but it's our ONLY offensive hole.

MY concern this year is defensive coaching. we're going to add a starter or two between the draft and june 1st cuts, but none of that means a hill of beans if we play the first 6-7 games like we have the last two years. this is a defense that's energy and excitement driven. giving up big plays wont affect outcomes nearly as much as becoming stagnant, and we have the talent to do everything required. bennet has become a starter, mario's the beast most of us minorities said he would be, ryans is everything, and we can bandaid the corner until dunta comes back. backer, speed rusher, and centerfielder are still concerns but we have time to address 1 or 2 of those and with enough aggression we can mask our weaknesses.

let us not forget that we led the league in injured players last year (game 3 being the killer) ... we will be essentially adding 10-20 key players without doing anything at all.
I'm with you Scooter and I don't think we will have any holes after the draft. Maybe some areas that can be made stronger but not holes. WHo knows, we may even pick up some talent in June after the cuts.
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