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Old 07-17-2008   #1
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Default AFC South Questions

Can Alex Gibbs whip the Houston Texans' offensive line into shape?
In an effort to jump-start the running game, Houston hired former Broncos offensive line coach Alex Gibbs. Gibbs was instrumental in teaching the zone-blocking scheme in Denver and succeeded with a somewhat unknown offensive line. The Broncos lived by the motto that the system is more important than the back. However, Houston has spent high draft picks on four of its top five offensive linemen and it's time for those picks to start paying dividends. They should under the tutelage of Gibbs. This will be a new-look training camp for Houston fans. The emphasis with the line will be on quickness, agility and adjusting in space. Houston tried to implement these concepts before in the Kubiak era, but Gibbs is the coach who can actually pull it off and, ultimately, give the Texans some semblance of a consistent running game.

How do the Indianapolis Colts work Marvin Harrison back into the passing game?
Surprisingly, there are more questions on offense than defense this year for the Colts, the biggest being with Harrison's return. The passing game was limited at times last year with Harrison's knee injury and roles changed in the system. Reggie Wayne emerged as the go-to guy in the offense and one of the league's best wideouts. That won't change, but the Colts will want to integrate Harrison back into the offense without limiting the development of young WR Anthony Gonzalez, who showed promise last season with Harrison out. All of this will be done while Peyton Manning misses most, if not all, of training camp. The Colts expect him back for the season opener, however, and the focus will then turn to how quickly the passing offense, which thrives on timing, clicks.

Can the Jacksonville Jaguars finally find a No. 1 wide receiver?
Even though the Jaguars have spent first-round picks on guys like Reggie Williams and Matt Jones in recent years, they just can't find a No. 1 target in the passing game, something that has been absent since the retirement of Jimmy Smith. They also signed Jerry Porter and traded for Troy Williamson in attempts to fill that role. And while Williams finally dropped the bust tag last year and could potentially be that go-to guy, Jones is likely to be released after his recent drug arrest. The biggest challenge for the Jaguars is finding a player who will open the passing game and take pressure off their exceptional ground attack. All the top quarterbacks in the league have a guy they can rely on. All of them except Jacksonville QB David Garrard. While Garrard does an excellent job of spreading the ball around, he needs a go-to target in the offense and establishing that guy will be the team's ultimate training camp goal.

Can the Tennessee Titans find a go-to guy for QB Vince Young?
Young played last season with one of the weakest WR units in the NFL and the team has done nothing to bolster that group in the offseason. And no, signing Justin Gage doesn't count as giving Young an explosive receiver. Young will rely on TEs Bo Scaife and Alge Crumpler in the short to intermediate zones, but until the Titans find a legitimate No. 1 threat outside, it is hard to put a grade on Young's development. Young has a way of making miracles happen -- and the Titans seem to expect him to do just that on a regular basis since they won't give him any help. Now, he must build a rapport with one of his limited targets during training camp.
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Old 07-17-2008   #2
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Default Re: AFC South Questions

Yeah, I read that on ESPN this morning...Man, I sure hope Coach Gibbs can do something with the line....
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Old 07-17-2008   #3
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Default Re: AFC South Questions

Link to article above
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Old 07-17-2008   #4
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Default Re: AFC South Questions

I have high expectations for the line and running game this year. Brown, Slaton, and Taylor seem like they should really be productive in the scheme. I also hope the offensive issues for the other teams in the South go unanswered.
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Old 07-17-2008   #5
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Default Re: AFC South Questions

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Originally Posted by JWarren14 View Post
Can Alex Gibbs whip the Houston Texans' offensive line into shape?
I don't even think of it as him improving the offensive line. I know technically that is his title but really its more about him whipping the Texans' running game into shape. In passing situations the line did pretty well. Giving up 22 sacks was one of the best performances by any offensive line in the league last year. and that was with Ephram Salaam running around back there fighting for his dear life. We are going to be so much better this year once that line starts to feel comfortable in Gibbs' pure zone scheme. Here's to hoping that they gel very early on.

Go Texans.
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Old 07-17-2008   #6
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Default Re: AFC South Questions

Right on.

I think the Texans are primed to make strides in the running game. Ronnie Dayne did what he could do, but was limited by his own abilities, not the play of the offensive line. Bless his merengue filled heart, though.

With better athletes hitting the Gibbs' designed holes, I think the running game is going to be as dynamic as ever. Keep that injury bug at bay and I see good things in the ground game.

The great thing about establishing a running game is what it will do for the passing offense. If the Texans had three recievers with nearly 800 yards a piece, can you imagine what they could do with a potent rushing attack?

Whatever bumps in the road this team encounters as it establishes its new blocking scheme will merely be a means to an end.

Man, I can't wait.
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Old 07-17-2008   #7
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Default Re: AFC South Questions

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Originally Posted by JWarren14 View Post
I have high expectations for the line and running game this year. Brown, Slaton, and Taylor seem like they should really be productive in the scheme. I also hope the offensive issues for the other teams in the South go unanswered.
I am not buying into this yet because after watching our quarterbacks last year i do not think they showed the kind of accuracy with there passes that are needed . But i do think the problems faced by our competition is real and includes even more so on the defensive side of the ball .
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Old 07-17-2008   #8
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Default Re: AFC South Questions

I'd like to know what the parameters of being a "high draft picks" is. Aside from Brown, who we're not even sure is starting; we've acquired our projected starting linemen in the third, third, second, and sixth rounds.

Presumably, the writer is considering Weary (3rd,) Winston (3rd,) Pitts (2nd,) and Brown (1st) our "high draft picks." But it's funny how context can dictate perception. Two years ago the national media was berating us for neglecting to select OL with high picks. Now that our line play has improved and we bring in a renowned line coach, those middle round picks have become high picks.

Funny how that works
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Old 07-17-2008   #9
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Default Re: AFC South Questions

Maybe adding Winston and Brown has just increased the overall # of first day picks. Not sure if Winston is within the time frame.
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Old 07-18-2008   #10
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Default Re: AFC South Questions

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I'd like to know what the parameters of being a "high draft picks" is. Aside from Brown, who we're not even sure is starting; we've acquired our projected starting linemen in the third, third, second, and sixth rounds.

Presumably, the writer is considering Weary (3rd,) Winston (3rd,) Pitts (2nd,) and Brown (1st) our "high draft picks." But it's funny how context can dictate perception. Two years ago the national media was berating us for neglecting to select OL with high picks. Now that our line play has improved and we bring in a renowned line coach, those middle round picks have become high picks.

Funny how that works
ESPiN strikes again.

Our O-line can only be better off with Gibbs then with out.
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Old 07-18-2008   #11
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Default Re: AFC South Questions

I came across this article written from a Jags perspective. The Texans are definitely raising eyebrows and a genuine threat to not only the Jags, but I guarantee also to the rest of the AFC. Vince is more likely this year to feel that he is wearing a bullseye on his chest. Our competition is not probabably putting an automatic check in the win box when they see the Texans coming to town...........that includes the southern Manning team.
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Old 07-18-2008   #12
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Default Re: AFC South Questions

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
I came across this article written from a Jags perspective. The Texans are definitely raising eyebrows and a genuine threat to not only the Jags, but I guarantee also to the rest of the AFC. Vince is more likely this year to feel that he is wearing a bullseye on his chest. Our competition is not probabably putting an automatic check in the win box when they see the Texans coming to town...........that includes the southern Manning team.

Quote:
For the Houston Texans partisans who are inevitably reading this, I'm being complimentary toward your team.

This is a group that's done nothing but scare me every time we face them, and that's coming off a year where they were swept by the Jaguars.
It's funny how people (mis)remember things.
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Old 07-18-2008   #13
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I came across this article written from a Jags perspective. The Texans are definitely raising eyebrows and a genuine threat to not only the Jags, but I guarantee also to the rest of the AFC. Vince is more likely this year to feel that he is wearing a bullseye on his chest. Our competition is not probabably putting an automatic check in the win box when they see the Texans coming to town...........that includes the southern Manning team.
Pretty good read from an opposing fan, except they didn't sweep us.
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Old 07-18-2008   #14
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Default Re: AFC South Questions

While they can mention the Broncos with Alex Gibbs he also made the Falcons a top five rushing team as well. This team will be much better regardless if Ahman Green is healthy or not. I think the most interesting thing regarding the rushing attack could be Slaton being a spark coming in of the bench. Brown needs to be signed and get as many reps as possible in TC. If history repeats itself He'll be starting the season at LT.

I don't expect much trouble with Harrison being reinserted into the Colts team at all. If anything with the development of Gonzalez this team becomes scary with Dallas Clark back at TE fulltime.If nothing else early on in the season we might see more Addai and Rhodes running. Indy no matter how we try and slice it will be dangerous til Peyton hangs the cleats up for good.

At this point with Jax I don't think a #1 go to guy will be as important as keep with what made them successful last year. Managing the game with a strong Defense and running the ball. Garrard did good last year distrubuting the ball and while it'll help to get more explosive at WR it's important for him to not try to do too much.

I think the rest of the NFL media should look at Young's game realistically. He had a good WR corps at UT and while this one isn't great why spend the money upgrading your downfield passing attack when your QB's accuracy is suspect at best. I am pretty sure this is why the went with speed out of the backfield drafting Chris Johnson and signing Crumpler.I'm not expecting them to attack downfield regularly. If Vince wants to press his game he should starting watching film of Randal Cunningham and Donovan McNabb early in his career to see their transtion from running QB to how to be a mobile pocket passer.

Last edited by Goldensilence; 07-21-2008 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 07-18-2008   #15
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Default Re: AFC South Questions

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Can the Jacksonville Jaguars finally find a No. 1 wide receiver?
Even though the Jaguars have spent first-round picks on guys like Reggie Williams and Matt Jones in recent years, they just can't find a No. 1 target in the passing game, something that has been absent since the retirement of Jimmy Smith. They also signed Jerry Porter and traded for Troy Williamson in attempts to fill that role. And while Williams finally dropped the bust tag last year and could potentially be that go-to guy, Jones is likely to be released after his recent drug arrest. The biggest challenge for the Jaguars is finding a player who will open the passing game and take pressure off their exceptional ground attack. All the top quarterbacks in the league have a guy they can rely on. All of them except Jacksonville QB David Garrard. While Garrard does an excellent job of spreading the ball around, he needs a go-to target in the offense and establishing that guy will be the team's ultimate training camp goal.
Well looks like one of their big offseason acquisitions is going to be out for ahwhile.

http://www.profootballtalk.com/category/rumor-mill/
PORTER UNDERGOES HAMSTRING SURGERY
Posted by Mike Florio on July 18, 2008, 7:08 p.m.
Adam Schefter of NFL Network reports that Jaguars receiver Jerry Porter has undergone surgery to repair a torn hamstring.

Porter is expected to miss training camp and the entire preseason.

Somewhere in Arkansas, Matt Jones is celebrating by cramming his face into a pile of blow.

Allegedly.

Now thats funny. Having to miss the entire TC and preseason on a new team, you have to wonder if he will have any impact at all this year. Its doubtfull IMO if Porter would of helped out a whole lot anyway.
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Old 07-21-2008   #16
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Default Re: AFC South Questions

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I think the rest of the NFL media should look at Young's game realistically. He had a good WR corps at UT and while this one isn't great why spend the money upgrading your downfield passing attack when your QB's accuracy is suspect at best. I am pretty sure this is why the went with speed out of the backfield drafting Chris Johnson and signing Crumpler.I'm not expecting them to attack downfield regularly. If Vince wants to press his game he should starting watching film of Randal Cunningham and Donovan McNabb early in his career to see their transtion from running QB to how to be a mobile pocket passer.
basicially what TN is doing is copying the Heimerdinger/McNair offense that took the Titans to the Super Bowl against the Rams early in the century. That offense was a run-centered offense that kept the QB in managable 3rd down situations playing conservative football with Frank Wycheck as the main target for McNair surrounded by a cast of late round draft picks as wr's (Derrick Mason was not a high pick). They are doing the same thing with this current cast of wr's and with the addition of Alge Crumpler in place of Wycheck - it's pretty much the same blueprint with the same coaches and players with comparable skill sets.
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Old 07-21-2008   #17
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Default Re: AFC South Questions

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basicially what TN is doing is copying the Heimerdinger/McNair offense that took the Titans to the Super Bowl against the Rams early in the century. That offense was a run-centered offense that kept the QB in managable 3rd down situations playing conservative football with Frank Wycheck as the main target for McNair surrounded by a cast of late round draft picks as wr's (Derrick Mason was not a high pick). They are doing the same thing with this current cast of wr's and with the addition of Alge Crumpler in place of Wycheck - it's pretty much the same blueprint with the same coaches and players with comparable skill sets.
That makes sense except at the RB position. They don't have anything near comparable to Eddie George. They've spent semi-high picks on RB the last few years, but have not seemed to hit on anything that would be a work-horse type back. You think they are trying to piece together George-esque production out of several backs versus finding one that is capable of the production himself? I mean, finding another Eddie George is obviously not an easy task, but you'd think they could do better than the glut of nobodies they have there now.
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Old 07-21-2008   #18
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That makes sense except at the RB position. They don't have anything near comparable to Eddie George. They've spent semi-high picks on RB the last few years, but have not seemed to hit on anything that would be a work-horse type back. You think they are trying to piece together George-esque production out of several backs versus finding one that is capable of the production himself? I mean, finding another Eddie George is obviously not an easy task, but you'd think they could do better than the glut of nobodies they have there now.
The Titans were 5th in the NFL in rushing last season (132 ypg) so they are currently at the top of the league despite not having an elite back.
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Old 07-21-2008   #19
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The Titans were 5th in the NFL in rushing last season (132 ypg) so they are currently at the top of the league despite not having an elite back.
Fair enough.

It'll be interesting to see if they can match that this season. They lost Chris Brown, had some shake-up on the line, and have certainly declined defensively. But, I didn't realize they ended so high in the rankings last season.
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Old 07-21-2008   #20
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Default Re: AFC South Questions

I think it's a little premature to say the titans qb has the same skillset as the '99 version of Steve McNair. Skillset includes what's between the ears which translates to game managment, seeing the entire field, and being able to reliably make all the throws without pulling it down and running every other pass attempt. Being able to read a playbook might help (according to his teammates). We'll see how he performs but it's not a given that they will automatically replicate the success they had in '99. The century ended at the end of 2000, not the end of '99, btw.
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