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Old 08-17-2008   #61
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

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Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
As a whole, the team scored 31 points. I'm not sure criticism of the offensive philosophy makes too much sense today.
Yeah, its kind of like complaining that all you had was Vanilla, Chocolate and strawberry ice cream, but no pistachio to eat.
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Old 08-17-2008   #62
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

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Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
The first team offense had three posessions and drove for two TDs and a field goal. As a whole, the team scored 31 points. I'm not sure criticism of the offensive philosophy makes too much sense today.
We moved the ball through the air, not by running. We only had 116 yds rushing for the night. We had 289 yds passing. The philosophy is to run to set up the pass, but Kubes is smart enough to go with what is working. We still have two more pre-season games to work on the running, but going into game 1, we need to recognize whether this will carry the team for the season. Right now, IMO, we need to recognize that passing will be more effective than running.
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Old 08-17-2008   #63
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

I wasn't criticizing the offensive scheme, which is absurd in pre-season. But recognizing the strength of your offense, and the emphasis for your play calling, reflects on your choices as to personnel and who will be starters. My original intent was to address the question of Slaton and my opinion that in a pass first offense, he could carry the primary load. The general thinking has been that he needs to come off the bench in a secondary, supporting role.
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Old 08-18-2008   #64
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

the general thinking can suck a nut. Slaton doesn't need to come off the bench. He is a starter in the making. Ya'll are starting to see it. So is Kubiak. Its about time, frankly.
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Old 08-18-2008   #65
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

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Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
The first team offense had three posessions and drove for two TDs and a field goal. As a whole, the team scored 31 points. I'm not sure criticism of the offensive philosophy makes too much sense today.
Well there is a glimmer of hope. I saw Frye, Brown and White make terrific blocks on the second level and on the move in space...that makes four who can do it. Still waiting on Myers, Pitts, and Mr. B.

Kubiack himself banged it all summer...we've got to get better running the ball...Isn't that what he's said for last nine months ? Brought the guru out of retirement...problem solved....maybe.


Why is it a problem...and Kubes and anyone else with a lick of sense on the staff knows this too...we can't win with in the division without a rushing attack. You're going to out track meet the Colts and Manning ? Out rush Jacksonville ? Out big play Tennessee ? The whole of our season rides on how soon the o-line can mesh and generate rushing yardage. That's it. If we're throwing fifty times a game we're toast. And Kubiak knows it too.
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Old 08-18-2008   #66
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

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I wasn't criticizing the offensive scheme, which is absurd in pre-season. But recognizing the strength of your offense, and the emphasis for your play calling, reflects on your choices as to personnel and who will be starters. My original intent was to address the question of Slaton and my opinion that in a pass first offense, he could carry the primary load. The general thinking has been that he needs to come off the bench in a secondary, supporting role.
Not just no... but hell no. Slaton will never ever touch the ball thirty times a game and make four seasons. not going to happen. I don't care how good you think he is. I don't care how strong you think he is. He isn't Tomlinson and is never going to be. Need to wash those thoughts right out of your brain and save yourself some grief. IT ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN.The wear and tear that happens on an NFL field for a sixteen game schedule is beyond the scope of most peoples understanding. If he makes it all the way through one sixteen game season @ twelve touches a game, I'll be a happy camper. My line is fifteen touches a game. And we'll have to get very luck to make that. Primary and Slaton are two words mutually exclusive. Might as well get use to it now.
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Old 08-18-2008   #67
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

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Not just no... but hell no. Slaton will never ever touch the ball thirty times a game and make four seasons. not going to happen. I don't care how good you think he is. I don't care how strong you think he is. He isn't Tomlinson and is never going to be. Need to wash those thoughts right out of your brain and save yourself some grief. IT ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN.The wear and tear that happens on an NFL field for a sixteen game schedule is beyond the scope of most peoples understanding. If he makes it all the way through one sixteen game season @ twelve touches a game, I'll be a happy camper. My line is fifteen touches a game. And we'll have to get very luck to make that. Primary and Slaton are two words mutually exclusive. Might as well get use to it now.
your line can go to hell. Slaton should be, and probably will be the primary back, 15-20 touches a game. Warrick Dunn did it. He aint that big.
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Old 08-18-2008   #68
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

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Originally Posted by threetoedpete View Post
Not just no... but hell no. Slaton will never ever touch the ball thirty times a game and make four seasons. not going to happen. I don't care how good you think he is. I don't care how strong you think he is. He isn't Tomlinson and is never going to be. Need to wash those thoughts right out of your brain and save yourself some grief. IT ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN.The wear and tear that happens on an NFL field for a sixteen game schedule is beyond the scope of most peoples understanding. If he makes it all the way through one sixteen game season @ twelve touches a game, I'll be a happy camper. My line is fifteen touches a game. And we'll have to get very luck to make that. Primary and Slaton are two words mutually exclusive. Might as well get use to it now.
The dynamics of the league have changed. There will not be that many backs in the league who will touch 30 times a game and last 4 years. Case in point Shaun Alexander. So this big huge revelation your dropping on us is well ......... old news.

Minnesota wants a two back rotation and they have Adrian Peterson (the good one) Oakland wants to do the same thing. It is how it is in the league now.
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Old 08-18-2008   #69
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

Only 2 running backs have averaged over 25 carries per game for the season since the Texans have been in existence. (Larry Johnson and Shaun Alexander in 2006). The top 5 RB's (ranked by attempts/game are usually 19-24'ish at a high point.

I actually do think Slaton can be our primary running back and/or starter on this team in this offense. I don't foresee him averaging 20 carries per game for the season, though. This may be bit premature b/c I'm still expecting him to progress some.

The thing is, this is or is supposed to be a run first offense. An offense where we run to set up the pass... and this is something we cannot do right now. It's either the OL, the RB's or a combination of the two. If Slaton is going to be our 'primary' RB or our starter, I don't really have that big of an issue at all with it (assuming he shows some improvement and splits carries). We're going to have to have another RB we use consistently.

I don't see Slaton as the RB we invision as a primary RB, a pounder, or anyone like Addai or Tomlinson, but I do see him as a guy we can get the ball to 15 times a game and use another RB that gets 10 carries or so. Regardless, I'm not happy with our current backfield and would like to see a RB we can really count on... possibly a 1st day pick next year.
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Old 08-18-2008   #70
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

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Originally Posted by threetoedpete View Post
Not just no... but hell no. Slaton will never ever touch the ball thirty times a game and make four seasons. not going to happen. I don't care how good you think he is. I don't care how strong you think he is. He isn't Tomlinson and is never going to be. Need to wash those thoughts right out of your brain and save yourself some grief. IT ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN.The wear and tear that happens on an NFL field for a sixteen game schedule is beyond the scope of most peoples understanding. If he makes it all the way through one sixteen game season @ twelve touches a game, I'll be a happy camper. My line is fifteen touches a game. And we'll have to get very luck to make that. Primary and Slaton are two words mutually exclusive. Might as well get use to it now.
Can you name ONE running back who has EVER carried the ball 30 times a game for a season who was any good? One? Emmit Smith never did it. Jim Brown never did it. Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Earl Campbell... never did it. Ladanian Tomlinson? Nope. Never did it.

In a 16 game season, that's 480 carries. Has anyone ever done that? I don't think so. So... basically... you don't think that Slaton is going to be a feature back unless he can do something that no one has ever done.

Slaton doesn't need to carry the ball 30 times a game to be a feature back. He only needs to be able to go 15-20 times which is the average for a main back in the NFL in a 16 game season. He can do that.

I think they drafted him with the intention of him being the feature back but they wanted him to grow into the position. They didn't want to force him into it before he was ready. But with the way he's progressing, he could be ready soon.
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Old 08-18-2008   #71
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

I was just giddy he picked up that blitzer and blocked him long enough for DA to get open down the field. It looked kind of slappy, but it was effective. He sure seems to have a lot more snap then Taylor that's for sure.
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Old 08-18-2008   #72
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

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Can you name ONE running back who has EVER carried the ball 30 times a game for a season who was any good? One? Emmit Smith never did it. Jim Brown never did it. Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Earl Campbell... never did it. Ladanian Tomlinson? Nope. Never did it.
It's more like a figure of speech. No one wants to hand it off to the same guy that many times, not even LJ, or Ricky Williams, but they could probably do it.

That said, Slaton is much bigger than he was in College, so if he doesn't become an every down back(which is what is meant, by a 30 carry back) it won't be because he is too small.

He's bigger than Warrick Dunn. I don't care what the tape says, or what the scales say, he's bigger than Warrick Dunn.
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Old 08-18-2008   #73
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

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It's more like a figure of speech. No one wants to hand it off to the same guy that many times, not even LJ, or Ricky Williams, but they could probably do it.

That said, Slaton is much bigger than he was in College, so if he doesn't become an every down back(which is what is meant, by a 30 carry back) it won't be because he is too small.

He's bigger than Warrick Dunn. I don't care what the tape says, or what the scales say, he's bigger than Warrick Dunn.
I believe that Slaton is about the size of Portis (when he first entered the league) or Westbrook. He should be fine for 15 carries a game.

And if people want to say someone's an every down back, then they should just say 20 carries a game instead of 30. How hard is that? It's like I might as well say a 50 carry/game back because just as many guys have gone for 50 carries/game as have gone 30.
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Old 08-18-2008   #74
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

I think it's fair to say that most of the more studious Texans fans realized that the Texans would have a RBBC situation this season. That's where the Texans are at in '08 and no one should be surprised. I've seen enough from Slaton, Brown, and Taylor to believe the Texans will be OK with that. It's not an ideal situation, but it's workable. And if they can't squeeze anything out of Ahman Green, it's gravy.

I'm as excited about Slaton as I was during the draft. I think he will be part of the long term RB solution, at least. Brown can do the dirty work inside. When (not if) he's injured, I see enough from Taylor that he can backup. Someone will say, "Look at the numbers this preseason. Taylor & Brown suck!". OK, but we're 2 games into the full Gibbs system. These guys may not be running smart, but they're running hard. The little Cherokee can fix that. The line needs some time to get their act together, too.

And don't forget the Andre Johnson Factor. Just as I showed AJ's effect in the red zone in another thread, Johnson's presence also influenced the productivity of the rushing attack in '08. In the 9 games Andre started, the Texans averaged 110 ypg. Not great, but about average in the NFL. Without him, 85 ypg. Only the Chiefs, Lions, & Bears were worse. Why the disparity? Because defenses can't afford to put a safety in the box when an Dre to the post is only an audible away. Everything's better with a little AJ on it, running game included.

So is our situation solved? Hey, there's no Ferrari in the Texans garage. But, I have confidence that with the team at full strength, Alex the Mechanic can keep the Texans' Fords & Chevys on the road to the playoffs.


***Disclaimer****
Forgive me if some of these ideas have been expressed earlier in the thread, as I haven't had the time to read through it. Also there was no intent on my part to disparage Cherokees, or any Native Americans. Just little people.
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Old 08-18-2008   #75
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

Reggie Bush averaged a little more than 15 touches his rookie year and a little more than 19 in his second season.

I can see Slaton somewhere between those numbers.
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Old 08-18-2008   #76
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

I don't know, maybe some of you can comment, but the player that comes to mind in comparison is that hall of famer from that town in north Texas - by the name of Tony Dorsett. 5'-11", 185 lbs coming out of college. Tony was a step faster, running the 40 in 4.3. Slaton is 5'-9", but almost 15 lbs heavier at 200 lbs, and runs only a 4.4. I know it's only a pipe dream comparing the two, but we don't know what we've got until he's on the field with the 1's - and he'll get his chance against those Cowgirls.

Question - doesn't Slaton have really skinny lower legs? He's going to need an intensive off season in the weight room.
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Old 08-18-2008   #77
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

John McClain's take on the RB situation? Green's good as gone.

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Coach Gary Kubiak said Sunday that they knew Ahman Green would be out for three weeks when he suffered the groin injury. That means he might not play in preseason. If Green doesn't play in preseason to go with being injured for much of last season, I don't think they'll go through that with him again. I think he'll be gone.

I don't think Kubiak and Rick Smith would have signed Shipp if they thought they were going to keep Green and Chris Brown. At least Brown gained some yardage against the Saints.

To me, what they need to see in the last two games isn't Shipp or Brown. They're veterans with resumes. What they need to see is if Chris Taylor can play better than the first two games and if Steve Slaton continues to improve on a weekly basis.

We know Brown can play when he's healthy. Health is always the issue with him. But if he plays 10 games and has a couple of big ones as he seemed to do just about every season with the Texans, that's fine with me.

Slaton is the X factor. He's been running against scrubs. On Friday at Dallas, he's going to get some playing time with starters. That doesn't mean he'll start, only that he'll play with the starters at some point. Some of them will play three quarters and get the night off when they host Tampa Bay in the last preseason game.

I get asked all the time if Slaton is big enough to play in this offense. He's 203. Clinton Portis was 205 as a rookie. So was Terrell Davis. Warrick Dunn was 187 when he excelled in Gibbs' system in Atlanta.

What we know is that Green, Brown and Shipp don't have an upside. Slaton and Taylor do. And don't forget that any back who gets in the lineup has to make the right decisions when it comes to protecting the quarterback. And when they make the right decision, they still have to block the pass rusher. That always figures into the equation when it comes to coaches deciding which back should play.
I don't know if I would jump to that conclusion, based upon the signing of an unspectacular back like Shipp. Richard Justice missed on the same prediction in December of '07. But, I do think Kubiak wants players he can count on. Green has proven to not be that type of player, here in Houston. If Kubiak can gain more confidence in his RBs on Friday Night, McClain and the Chronic may have gotten on right.
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Old 08-18-2008   #78
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

Also, you gotta keep in mind that if we do cut Green then we'll be saving $4 million dollars.

Now we gotta ask McNair, do you want to pay $4.5 million dollar to a guy that went down in the first play of pre-season without even being touch, or do you want to keep your $4 million dollar? Answer should be simple..... unless you're Charley Casserly.
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Old 08-18-2008   #79
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

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Slaton has been regarded as at best a third-down back, due to his size. But why does it have to be that way? If he can move the chains, hold the ball, and avoid the injury bug, he could be a force. He’s got a nose for the end zone and a burst of speed that (unlike Reggie Bush) apparently is translating well to the NFL.

It’s still way too early to make comparisons. But wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony if it turns out that, two years after passing on Bush with the No. 1 overall pick, the Texans picked up in round three a guy who ends up being better than Bush?
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Old 08-18-2008   #80
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Default Re: So our running back situation is solved

I think Slaton should START against the Cowboys. I ALSO think we need a first round RB next draft, even if Slaton tears it up all year, because Slaton will probably get worn down in the long run--like DD.

Otherwise, however, I am not buying into this idea that we have to be a run first team. I think we should pass half the time, REGARDLESS OF WHAT WE DO ON 3RD AND 4TH DOWNS, which are pretty much determined by down and distance anyway. Lets pass half the time ON 1ST AND 2ND DOWN. We may already be doing that, and I'm just saying keep doing what works with your current personel. I know that the time will come when we need to run a lot more, like against the Colts probably, but we can need a better running game without insisting on run first, run first, regardless of what works.

Do I think Slaton can carry the load for one year? Probably. Let's find out before the season begins.

Do I think Slaton can carry the load for 4 years? Maybe, but I doubt it.

Let's do what works now and get a legitimate starter by next year. An extra one wouldn't hurt anyway.
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