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Old 08-21-2008   #1
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Default Pick a rusher...any rusher.

Saw this little snapshot over at the Texans site -

Kubiak will have Colvin rush the passer from nickel, as well as N.D. Kalu and Chaun Thompson, allowing coaches to compare all three outside speed rushers. link

It got me thinking. All three of these guys can't possibly make it. Do two make it? One? I'm just not sure.

Going in I thought Colvin was a lock, but he hasn't shown me anything at all. Right now, I put him 3rd on my list out of those above.

Thompson has been hurt off and on, and his play seemed spotty when I happened to notice it, but he is fast, young and can contribute on ST and still has upside.

Kalu is older than Methusala, has no upside at all, and can't contribute on ST, but OTOH, he seems to be very motivated and has rushed the passer better than the other two thus far.

Further complicating matters is that they are three totally different players. Kalu being the seasoned end, Thompson the LB coming off the edge on passing downs with many more LB responsibilities, and Colvin trying to make a switch from a 3/4 OLB, to a pass rushing end.

Tomorrow will be absouletely vital to these three guys and should tell the tale on who stays and goes. I'm not really sure how to handicap this race, but my guess right now is that Colvin is cut, and we keep the other two. I think that will shock the casual fan, but that is my thought at the moment.

Opinions?
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Old 08-21-2008   #2
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

I sure do wish we'd have kept that 5th round pick instead of trading for Moulds and drafted DeMeco's old teammate Mark Anderson right about now...

Hindsight is 20/20 though.
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Old 08-21-2008   #3
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

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Originally Posted by TheRealJoker View Post
I sure do wish we'd have kept that 5th round pick instead of trading for Moulds and drafted DeMeco's old teammate Mark Anderson right about now...

Hindsight is 20/20 though.
Wasn't he a 4th rounder?
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Old 08-21-2008   #4
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

I don't know Porky. I will say, there has been a few times I've noticed Colvin coming pretty close to getting to the QB. On one particular play I think he would've smoked the QB, but was held and forced a penalty. IIRC, everytime I've seen him almost get there he was running an inside stunt.

He most definitely has yet to produce as advertised, but I think he'll be on the team one way or another.

I like Kalu, but he doesn't sound very optimistic in interviews. He seems to make alot of comments about these games being a tryout for other teams (yes, I know they are) in case it doesn't work out here.
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Old 08-21-2008   #5
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porky View Post

It got me thinking. All three of these guys can't possibly make it. Do two make it? One? I'm just not sure.

Going in I thought Colvin was a lock, but he hasn't shown me anything at all. Right now, I put him 3rd on my list out of those above.

Thompson has been hurt off and on, and his play seemed spotty when I happened to notice it, but he is fast, young and can contribute on ST and still has upside.

Kalu is older than Methusala, has no upside at all, and can't contribute on ST, but OTOH, he seems to be very motivated and has rushed the passer better than the other two thus far.
Further complicating matters is that they are three totally different players. Kalu being the seasoned end, Thompson the LB coming off the edge on passing downs with many more LB responsibilities, and Colvin trying to make a switch from a 3/4 OLB, to a pass rushing end.

Opinions?
As I happen to really like Kalu on a personal level, I can't even contemplate cutting him - old as he is - I think he has one more year. He has played better than Colvin so far and is certainly a great mentor for the defense....which is an upside, in a way.

I agree that this game is uber important for these guys as I think the decision on who to cut will be made after watching the film.

My personal, albeit emotional, opinion is that Kubiak will keep ND. I agree that Colvin is gone unless he has a stellar game.
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Old 08-21-2008   #6
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

I wouldn't mind keeping Kalu for the reasons stated above, has shown more pass rush. The only problem with him is your back at square one again next year, and if he gets hurt well we don't really have anything after that.
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Old 08-21-2008   #7
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

I like the rusher we will have in 2009.

The pass rush issue is a part of a larger issue. Why should we expect it to be any better than last year when most of the parts of the team are the same?

Everybody that the Texans have on the other side of Mario haven't shown that they can do it or that they still have it. And the Texans still have the issues in the secondary. And other than Ryans, the linebacking group isn't anything to write home about.

Our defense is a couple of really good guys mixed with some promising young guys and a bunch of make do. But you might say, "Hey, there are all sorts of teams that depend on young players to make a difference." But those would be teams with defensive coordinators who have a track record of knowing what they are doing.

Do you ever see how the Texans defense is lining up before the snap and say WTH? And not in a good way. "Let's all crowd the middle of the line, play slapfest with offensive linemen, and then watch the ball bounce outside where nobody is."

To think that the Texans are going to have much more pass rush, you have to bet on a huge improvement of Okoye, that a healthy Weaver actually means something, that a collection of old guys and never wuzes can manufacture a pass rush and that the secondary can mature very quickly.

The more plausible scenario is that the Texans offense just has to get so much better to keep the defense off of the field. Kubiak sort of acknowledges the presser this week (I don't think the whole quote found the newspaper article):

Quote:
(on if he will use the pass to set up the run even though he likes to run more) “Well, I can’t say that too loud around (assistant head coach) Alex (Gibbs), but I think we have the ability to throw the ball really well. We’ve got some receivers that are playing really well. I think our quarterback has a lot of confidence right now, both of our quarterbacks do. We could very well be maybe a little different before it’s all said and done. We are going to stay committed to the run because we think it helps the whole football team, not just worried about (helping) the offense, but I’m worried about helping the defense and the football team in general.”
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Old 08-21-2008   #8
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

I honestly see Kalu making the team this year and a fight between Thompson and Colvin. I do not see them keeping all three especially with all the rave reviews that Cochran is getting.
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Old 08-21-2008   #9
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

I don't disagree with a thing you said there TC, but at this point my focus was simply on who stays and who goes out of that trio. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-21-2008   #10
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porky View Post
I don't disagree with a thing you said there TC, but at this point my focus was simply on who stays and who goes out of that trio. Any thoughts?
I don't know. To me, it's like asking me whether I'd rather be shot or stabbed.
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Old 08-21-2008   #11
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
I don't know. To me, it's like asking me whether I'd rather be shot or stabbed.
So, I was thinking. Would you rather be shot or stabbed?
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Old 08-21-2008   #12
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
I like the rusher we will have in 2009.

The pass rush issue is a part of a larger issue. Why should we expect it to be any better than last year when most of the parts of the team are the same?

Everybody that the Texans have on the other side of Mario haven't shown that they can do it or that they still have it. And the Texans still have the issues in the secondary. And other than Ryans, the linebacking group isn't anything to write home about.

Our defense is a couple of really good guys mixed with some promising young guys and a bunch of make do. But you might say, "Hey, there are all sorts of teams that depend on young players to make a difference." But those would be teams with defensive coordinators who have a track record of knowing what they are doing.

Do you ever see how the Texans defense is lining up before the snap and say WTH? And not in a good way. "Let's all crowd the middle of the line, play slapfest with offensive linemen, and then watch the ball bounce outside where nobody is."

To think that the Texans are going to have much more pass rush, you have to bet on a huge improvement of Okoye, that a healthy Weaver actually means something, that a collection of old guys and never wuzes can manufacture a pass rush and that the secondary can mature very quickly.

The more plausible scenario is that the Texans offense just has to get so much better to keep the defense off of the field. Kubiak sort of acknowledges the presser this week (I don't think the whole quote found the newspaper article):

I see what you're saying. And, I too would like to see a little more spread in the DL. But then I wonder if that is why we are seeing any semblance of relative success in defending the run (up the middle). The angles change, maybe better for access to the QB, but maybe worse for access to the RB. If the DL spreads, there will be more expected of the second line players. With the level of the DL (and our second line personel) play at this point, we may be trading off one thing for another........taking it "up the gut," for taking it "up the SSS."
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Old 08-21-2008   #13
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

TC, your first post was dead on....

But, do you think having Ray Rhodes is going to help/change anything?? I know he's just the secondary coach, but if you've got him, wouldn't you pick his brain in other aspects of the defensive scheme??

I mean, I would.
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Old 08-21-2008   #14
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

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Originally Posted by thunderkyss View Post
TC, your first post was dead on....

But, do you think having Ray Rhodes is going to help/change anything?? I know he's just the secondary coach, but if you've got him, wouldn't you pick his brain in other aspects of the defensive scheme??

I mean, I would.
You would think so. Much as I really love the addition of Ray Rhodes to the staff and what he brings. I get the feeling until he is released, fired,however you want to put it. This defense will be handicapped/handcuffed by Richard Smith at the helm.
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Old 08-21-2008   #15
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

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Originally Posted by Porky View Post
... and Colvin trying to make a switch from a 3/4 OLB, to a pass rushing end.
Porky, Colvin had played DE for the Bears, and he also lined up at DE plenty for the Pats.

I have no idea who will get cut. All 3 might make the team ???
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Old 08-21-2008   #16
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

I just find it hard to believe we won any games at all last yr. with such a terrible secondary, inept D-line, dissapearing linebackers, and a wack ass D-coordinator....




I think Thompson might get cut.
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Old 08-21-2008   #17
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

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I just find it hard to believe we won any games at all last yr. with such a terrible secondary, inept D-line, dissapearing linebackers, and a wack ass D-coordinator....




I think Thompson might get cut.
We were 12th in points per game. Our Special teams wasn't as good as it has been in the past, but they weren't too bad.
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Old 08-21-2008   #18
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porky View Post
Kalu is older than Methusala, has no upside at all, and can't contribute on ST, but OTOH, he seems to be very motivated and has rushed the passer better than the other two thus far.
Good thread, Porky.

First, I don't think Kalu equates to Colvin and Thompson. Kalu can rush the passer from several different positions, as well as backup both DE spots in the base defense. I think Kalu competes with Bulman for a roster spot.

Colvin & Thompson are similar in that they are pass rushing specialists who can backup at LB. But, I think the Texans are thin enough at LB that keeping both is justified. I wouldn't mind some redundancy at the RDE nickel spot considering Colvin's injury history. Still, Colvin is the best pass rusher, so I'd like to see him get the opportunity in the regular season.
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Old 08-21-2008   #19
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
I like the rusher we will have in 2009.
*
Our defense is a couple of really good guys mixed with some promising young guys and a bunch of make do. But you might say, "Hey, there are all sorts of teams that depend on young players to make a difference." But those would be teams with defensive coordinators who have a track record of knowing what they are doing.
That's what I'm saying, unless D-Rob's comeback is a disappointment then
the need at weakside DE will have to compete with the need at CB. But fortunatly we will have a 1 & 2 next year for the first time in 3 years, so we
should get a lot of help in the 2009 Draft (if not FA).
But we've still got some big gaps in our D, and I for one am toning down
my expectations for a playoff appearance this year.
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Old 08-21-2008   #20
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Default Re: Pick a rusher...any rusher.

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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
I like the rusher we will have in 2009.

The pass rush issue is a part of a larger issue. Why should we expect it to be any better than last year when most of the parts of the team are the same?

Everybody that the Texans have on the other side of Mario haven't shown that they can do it or that they still have it. And the Texans still have the issues in the secondary. And other than Ryans, the linebacking group isn't anything to write home about.

Our defense is a couple of really good guys mixed with some promising young guys and a bunch of make do. But you might say, "Hey, there are all sorts of teams that depend on young players to make a difference." But those would be teams with defensive coordinators who have a track record of knowing what they are doing.

Do you ever see how the Texans defense is lining up before the snap and say WTH? And not in a good way. "Let's all crowd the middle of the line, play slapfest with offensive linemen, and then watch the ball bounce outside where nobody is."

To think that the Texans are going to have much more pass rush, you have to bet on a huge improvement of Okoye, that a healthy Weaver actually means something, that a collection of old guys and never wuzes can manufacture a pass rush and that the secondary can mature very quickly.

The more plausible scenario is that the Texans offense just has to get so much better to keep the defense off of the field. Kubiak sort of acknowledges the presser this week (I don't think the whole quote found the newspaper article):
There's another difference too... those other teams have solid veteran players to teach the younguns ins & outs of the defensive scheme.

Our rookie DE and Mike LB had to be the defensive leaders that Weaver and (bless his heart) Greenwood should have been. What does it say when your defensive team leaders are the youngest guys on the team?

I thought Von Hutchins and Danny Clark had the potential to be defensive leaders - along with Dunta - but alas....

Maybe one day we'll get to the place the Colts and Pats are in where young guys come in and contribute, not have to carry, the team. When Mario, DeMeco, Fred, and Amobi get another year or two under their belts they'll be schooling the youngsters of 2010 and beyond...
...and we actually have a real defensive coordinator who has an actual defensive scheme that doesn't look amazingly like the rookie-level Madden base 4-3.
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