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Old 12-11-2004   #1
MIGHTYTEX
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Default DD is the reason for losing according to Playbook

I was watching Playbook on the NFL channel. They previewed the Colts and Texans game and how Carr to Johnson is working out and will be big in years to come. Then they were talking about our record and how in the last 5 games we only won one game and that was when DD ran for 100 yards. They said that the passing game isn't the problem, o-line isn't the problem its DD and his inconsistancy. I found that interesting how they just put the blame on DD. What do you guys think about that?
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Old 12-11-2004   #2
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I think the line has played well in the second half of the season so far. I think many people see DD as a problem position because if you cannot rely on your running back to be productive game-in, game-out you will have problems. Just look at the Cowboy offense and how much better their line looks now that Jones is running the ball.

I think this is one of the most important areas to address for the Texans. Dom will make a fine 3rd down back and complimentary back, but if he is your lead back you need some help.

The Texans have multiple problems so I think Dom isn't the only reason we are not a dynamic team yet. We are in year 3 and we need to be patient as we continue to add starters going into year 4. I expect us to compete this year, but there is too much finger pointing to me.
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Old 12-11-2004   #3
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While DD might not be a feature back, and may not be our back of the future. For those guys to blame the woes of losing thus far, on him individually, is a bunch of hogwash.

He may magnify a team that has flaws and lack of depth, but he certainly would have been more successful if the other players would have been executing better,(o-line, Carr, etc.)
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Old 12-11-2004   #4
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You can't count on him though. How do you build a ground game around a back who may or may not be ready to go in a league that has a short 16 game schedule? Every game is incredibly important (unlike in the NBA or the MLB's where you can miss time here and there and not affect the team), and not knowing if your feature back will be ready to play is a big problem if you want to be anything other than a .500 team.
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Old 12-11-2004   #5
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Its the o-line period.How many times have we seen these guys get handled on short yardage situations,how many hard hits has Carr taken at critical times in the game.Until these guys can give consistant protection and consistantly impose their will on the oppisition we"ll continue to struggle offensivly.DD may not be the answer at rb but he certianly isnt the reason for our offensive woes imo.
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Old 12-11-2004   #6
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I dont put the blame on DD. If you go back and look at that footage of Julius Jones romping the Seahawks in the 4th quarter, you'll see that there were key blocks made by the o-line. Yes he dodged a few tackles here and there but he can't do it all by himself. I'm still for drafting another RB but I believe we still need to better our o-line. Maybe we should trade for the Colts o-line.
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Old 12-11-2004   #7
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I would say, there isn't a straight answer like that possible.

DD or the Line, or both. Or is the defense too bad and force them to score every drive? Can the line and Dom get better or harmonise better to get a more constant running attack? It isn't impossible at least.

There isn't a better HB on the roster for now and the OLine needs experience. Both have some more games to develop. Perhaps that opinion is a bit tame, but...
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Old 12-11-2004   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny
I think the line has played well in the second half of the season so far. I think many people see DD as a problem position because if you cannot rely on your running back to be productive game-in, game-out you will have problems. Just look at the Cowboy offense and how much better their line looks now that Jones is running the ball.

I think this is one of the most important areas to address for the Texans. Dom will make a fine 3rd down back and complimentary back, but if he is your lead back you need some help.

The Texans have multiple problems so I think Dom isn't the only reason we are not a dynamic team yet. We are in year 3 and we need to be patient as we continue to add starters going into year 4. I expect us to compete this year, but there is too much finger pointing to me.
Well, well would depend on your definition of well. How is that for working well into a sentence? If it is better than abysmal then sure they have played "well." If the definition is at least as well as league average then no they have not played even well. DD doesn't play well hurt, DD is hurt to often, etc.--not saying we may not want to draft or get a FA RB--but OL rush blocking is still far too inconsistant/just plain bad to be called well, good or any positive appelation. Their are OL's in this league that anyone could rush behind and OL's in this league that noone could rush behing--ours is much closer to the latter.
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Old 12-11-2004   #9
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I disagree with them and do not feel that the o-line has been blocking well in the second half of the season. I don't think DD is going to be the answer to our needs in the long run. Of course if he wants to bust loose for 1,500 yards next year to prove me wrong I'm not going to have a problem with that. I don't think it's likely to happen though.

This year the running game became a problem due to a convergence of reasons. Davis got off to a bad start against San Diego and Detroit with four fumbles and that set him back, the new blocking scheme and addition of new starters, Wade missing time in the middle of the year and the poor play of his backup, Carr calling what can only be described as absolutely stupid audibles at bad situations, and the move of Chester Pitts to guard for the first time all contributed to the running game being sub-par.

Saying DD is the sole reason the running game sucks is like saying that Palmer is the sole reason that the offense sucks. He's a part of it and should get his share of the blame but he's not the only problem there.
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Old 12-11-2004   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hervoyel
Saying DD is the sole reason the running game sucks is like saying that Palmer is the sole reason that the offense sucks. He's a part of it and should get his share of the blame but he's not the only problem there.
I agree with Hervoyel. Its well known, and I mean WELL KNOWN, that I am not the biggest Davis supporter for him as a featured back but not even I am going to blame all the problems of the runnning game on him...
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Old 12-12-2004   #11
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Originally Posted by Hervoyel
I disagree with them and do not feel that the o-line has been blocking well in the second half of the season. I don't think DD is going to be the answer to our needs in the long run. Of course if he wants to bust loose for 1,500 yards next year to prove me wrong I'm not going to have a problem with that. I don't think it's likely to happen though.

This year the running game became a problem due to a convergence of reasons. Davis got off to a bad start against San Diego and Detroit with four fumbles and that set him back, the new blocking scheme and addition of new starters, Wade missing time in the middle of the year and the poor play of his backup, Carr calling what can only be described as absolutely stupid audibles at bad situations, and the move of Chester Pitts to guard for the first time all contributed to the running game being sub-par.

Saying DD is the sole reason the running game sucks is like saying that Palmer is the sole reason that the offense sucks. He's a part of it and should get his share of the blame but he's not the only problem there.

Well said. I'm still not liking the idea of switching to a zone blocking scheme in our 3rd year. Capers should have thought about doing it from the first game of the 2002 season. It is not a brand new scheme that he just got wind of. Man blocking does still work and we were progressing last year. It could eventually cost Capers his job if it ends up taking too long for our OL to learn. He got fired in Carolina after his 3rd year. I could only hope. I say he gets fired after our 4th year if we aren't at least 9-7 next year. .500 won't cut it our 4th year. My nightmare would be Capers getting fired and Palmer being promoted to head coach.

Here is an article from a couple of weeks ago on zone blocking.

Offensive line experiencing tough transition to new approach
By CARLTON THOMPSON


If Joe Pendry knows why the Texans' offensive line hasn't performed better, he's not sharing the reasons with the media.

The Texans' first-year offensive line coach said he didn't have time for an interview Wednesday, which is nothing new, considering he hasn't had time since taking the job. When asked if he thought he'd ever have time, Pendry smiled and uttered one of the few words he has said to a reporter this season.

"Nope."

Hopefully for the Texans, he has better answers for his players.

After making significant improvement from 2002 to 2003, the Texans have yet to hit a comfort zone with their new zone-blocking scheme.

The Texans used a man-blocking scheme during their first two years under Tony Marciano, who was reassigned to tight ends coach to make room on the staff for Pendry. During the offseason, the team switched to the zone-blocking scheme that has helped teams such as Denver, Green Bay and Baltimore rank among the NFL's best at running the football.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, and coach Dom Capers and the offensive linemen believe the switch ultimately will be for the best. Nevertheless, the transition has been anything but smooth.

The Texans rank last in the NFL, averaging just 3.4 yards per rushing attempt, and before quarterback David Carr scrambled for 24 yards last Sunday against Green Bay, they were the only team in the league without a run of at least 20 yards.

The Texans' longest run by a running back came courtesy of Jonathan Wells, who had a 14-yard carry Oct. 3 against Oakland.

"I don't think it's as much the zone blocking," Capers said. "I think you see the most successful running teams in the league use zone blocking. Are we getting what we want out of our running game? No. We're not happy with the yards per carry and that type of thing, but I think it all fits together. It's not necessarily just the zone-blocking scheme. I think that's an easy out."

Translation: If the Texans don't execute, it doesn't matter which blocking scheme they use.

"In a man-blocking scheme, you have a specific man to block no matter where he goes," left guard Chester Pitts said. "In a zone-blocking scheme, you basically have a track or a path, and whoever comes on that path, that's who you block.

"To me, I don't care what system is in. If I block my guy, do what I'm supposed to do, use good technique and do it the way I'm taught, that's going to work. Both ways have proven to work. If everyone does what they're supposed to do, you're going to get positive yardage."

The Texans ultimately hope to be able to run the ball as effectively as the Broncos, Packers and Ravens, but it's worth noting those teams' linemen have played together and in the same system for years. The Texans have new starters at three positions on the line, and right guard Zach Wiegert is the only player with previous experience in a zone-blocking scheme, and that was 11 years ago at Nebraska.

"We're a much better offensive line than we were last year," Wiegert said. "We're a lot more physical, better pass blockers. I know it doesn't show; we've been behind in a lot of games lately. We're a much-improved line, no doubt. Guys aren't getting physically beaten very often. It's just a play here or there.

"This system is good. Our running game was OK last year, but it wasn't where it needed to be. We ran the ball because we didn't want to throw too much. To be the kind of offense we want to be, where you get to the playoffs and things like that, we need to take the next step and learn this blocking scheme. Once you get it down, this is definitely the best blocking scheme. Look at Denver. It doesn't matter who they put in the backfield."

Are the Texans to that point yet? With apologies to Pendry ... nope.
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Old 12-12-2004   #12
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Like i said before when dd is running then Carr gets hot. He needs to regain his confidence and just run the damn ball!!!!!!!
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Old 12-12-2004   #13
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Barry Sanders, in his prime, would be hard-pressed to make the Texans line look "good" this year. These guys weren't the best even before they switched to a zone-blocking scheme (which they're still having major issues with).

You don't rank dead-last because of your running back, you rank last because of your O-line...it's as simple as that.
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Old 12-12-2004   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disaacks3
You don't rank dead-last because of your running back, you rank last because of your O-line...it's as simple as that.
Thank you disaacks--absolutely freakin true. That's a corollary to you don't have 5 negative yardage running plays out of six (see Hollings starting against the Jags last year) because of the RB it is because of the OL. What is amazing this year is that Carr has 48 plays over 20 yards this year behind this OL. Once they come together/it gets fixed some how, Carr and the Texans are finally going to hit their stride. AJ is on pace for 1300 yards and 2nd in the AFC with no time to get open--imagine what he and Gaff/Armstrong will do if Carr gets to sit back and knit sweaters like Favre, Manning, etc.
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Old 12-12-2004   #15
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The problem isn't necessarily Davis, but the problem is the running game. It is a combination of the o-line not blocking well consistently and Davis really not running well this season except for the 100 yard game. The running game as a whole is what has been the problem, not one unit or person all together. It's the same thing with the passing game. It isn't always just Carr's fault when he makes a bad read or something goes wrong. They play as a whole and if one person does something different, it causes problems. The problem is that they aren't playing as one solid offensive unit yet. Look at the Colts for example. They're offense is thriving right now, but it's because they are finally one solid unit. Same thing with the Eagles and other top offensive teams.
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Old 12-12-2004   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny
You can't count on him though. How do you build a ground game around a back who may or may not be ready to go in a league that has a short 16 game schedule? Every game is incredibly important (unlike in the NBA or the MLB's where you can miss time here and there and not affect the team), and not knowing if your feature back will be ready to play is a big problem if you want to be anything other than a .500 team.

Exactly right. It's always difficult to prepare and know what is going to happen in that spot when the starter is injured or not ready. Reguardless of it being RB. However, in this instance- the line can't block well for Davis if they aren't sure if he'll be carrying the ball because every back is different and runs differently. It's also a distraction and hurts the mental attitude of a team not knowing if the guy they need to count on will be ready or not.
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Old 12-12-2004   #17
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Had it not been for DD the Texans wouldn't have stayed in this game today.
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Old 12-12-2004   #18
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agreed, i have always been, as fiddy knows, an avid DD supporter. Today the oline was producing lanes and DD was exploiting them on his way to 190 total
yards(130 rushing). When the line is plowing the road, Domanick is gonna produce.
BOTTOM LINE.
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Old 12-12-2004   #19
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I'm not so sure about DD, but I do know that he needs more confidence. Without that he is nothing, and by confidence I mean in the o-line and within himself hanging on to the ball. He is a hell of a running back, but I'm not so sure he's a good fit for the Texans because he seems fragile.
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Old 12-12-2004   #20
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agreed, i have always been, as fiddy knows, an avid DD supporter. Today the oline was producing lanes and DD was exploiting them on his way to 190 total
yards(130 rushing). When the line is plowing the road, Domanick is gonna produce.
BOTTOM LINE.
He got 190 total yards and we lost because teams will be happy to give Davis 190 yards. Do you not think that if the Colts wanted to stop Davis, they would bring people up to the line??? They didnt bring people up on the line because they wanted Davis to carry the load, they werent scared of him. I dont think I will find one person on this board, including yourself Beastly and TexansTrueFan, who would say that the 190 yards Julius Jones got last week wasnt a different 190 yards that Davis got. Jones' 190 got safties creeping to the line and allowed Keyshawn-freaking-Johnson to catch a 40 TD pass, Davis' 190 yards didnt allow AJ to get free deep. Of the 6 games where Davis has touched the ball 30 times, we are 0-6. The 3 times that Julius Jones has had 30 touches in a game, the Cowboys are 2-1 with the lone loss against the Ravens. Davis will produce but his producing doesnt make defensive coordinators lose sleep. Opposing coaches think everytime Davis touches the ball instead of AJ is a plus. I dont think I have seen a CB jump on a play action fake to Davis all year long.
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