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Old 12-19-2008   #1
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Default Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

Well, I haven't done this for awhile and just spent 3 hours going through the game in great detail. Before my list of observations, I must say that this team is sooo much better than the one I was watching in September and October, especially from a confidence standpoint. It really looks like this team matured a lot this year. Okay, now for some specifics.


1. Bentley is probably the best backup LB we've ever had on the team. He's consistantly in the right place, doesn't overpursue and secures his tackles.

2.Greenwood is garbage and I look forward to him being cut this off-season.

3. Okoye actually caused the interception. He beat the guard and hit Collins arm right up the middle on as he was throwing the post into the endzone. Actually, Okoye won his battles about 1/2 the time. Interestingly, he either ended up in the backfield or totally washed out of the play. My guess is that is because he's quick and explosive but not strong enough yet to hold up at the POA. I think another year in the weight room and a thicker NT will help him greatly.

4. TJohnson is garbage. He can pursue along the line okay but doesn't get penetration and can't stand up to any double teams.

5. We only blitzed about 5-6 times but they were well timed and disguised better than in the past. Also, each blitz was unique. There was a safety blitz. There were a couple of variety of LB blitzes. There was even a delayed blitz on the 3-11 towards the end of the game.

6. Bulman, Robinson, Okoye, Weaver all got penetration in the run and pass throughout the game- though I wouldn't say any of them were dominate.

7. Dunta is still a little unsure about exploding off of his leg. He'll be better next season.

8. Salaam is done. He was on his butt, rocking backwards, getting thrown to the side all night long... not to mention a couple of penalties and the inability to dominate at any point.

9. Brown is still inconsistant. He only got beat badly twice... both times by Haynesworth, once on a bull rush and the next time on a speed rush, oddly. Clearly Haynesworth was in his head a little- understandable.

10. Briesel is light years better than he was in October. He made a number of excellent blocks in the run game and wasn't ever embarassed in pass protection. He's come a long way and this is from a guy whose been screaming for an upgrade at RG.

11. Myers handled Haynesworth pretty well. He got a lot of help but was rarely thrown back. And, he had some nice second level blocks. He's also looked better of late.

12. Pitts was very good on the back side of running plays. Especially Slaton's 13 yard run at the end of the game. He rode a guy from the middle of the field literally to the opposite sidelines. He seems to prefer not to cut and generally stays engaged even on the back side.

13. Winston got beat on a couple speed rushes. Both he and Brown had great moments but also some pretty bad ones. I guess that's not surprising for NFL tackles.

14. Once again, ODaniels made a number of good blocks and was left isolated on Kearse a couple times in the run and pass game. He handled himself quite well.

15. Slaton continues to impress picking up blitzers and helping in pass protection. He did have two breakdowns. But he also made a number of very good blocks.

16. Schaub looks great and doesn't seem so fragile anymore. He took some licks and was never rattled nor woozy!

17. I find it a little odd that the Texans don't ever run the end around or fake the end around on the zone stretch. I'm not sure why that is. However, they have been run a play that looks like the zone stretch but a TE actually doubles back and blocks on the back side- like a counter... I suppose that is the run play they're using to keep the overpursuit honest?

18. The passing game is basically unstoppable right now. And Schaub is getting much better understanding situation and taking care of the ball.


Guys, this team is right on the cusp! I can't wait until '09. By the way, we're gonna beat the heck out of Oakland this weekend. That, I guarantee.
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Old 12-19-2008   #2
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

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17. I find it a little odd that the Texans don't ever run the end around or fake the end around on the zone stretch. I'm not sure why that is. However, they have been run a play that looks like the zone stretch but a TE actually doubles back and blocks on the back side- like a counter... I suppose that is the run play they're using to keep the overpursuit honest?
They also do that with Kevin Walter.

I've noticed a distinct difference in the playcalling this year. I don't know if it's the addition of Gibbs, promotion of Shanahan, or the absence of Sherman, but the play action boot and the Walter end arounds have been missing this season. We seem much more vanilla on offense. But hey, whatever works.
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Old 12-19-2008   #3
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

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They also do that with Kevin Walter.

I've noticed a distinct difference in the playcalling this year. I don't know if it's the addition of Gibbs, promotion of Shanahan, or the absence of Sherman, but the play action boot and the Walter end arounds have been missing this season. We seem much more vanilla on offense. But hey, whatever works.
The addition of a big play running back affects what they have to do to move the ball. I don't know that it is vanilla as much as having other options.
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Old 12-19-2008   #4
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

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Originally Posted by nero THE zero View Post
They also do that with Kevin Walter.

I've noticed a distinct difference in the playcalling this year. I don't know if it's the addition of Gibbs, promotion of Shanahan, or the absence of Sherman, but the play action boot and the Walter end arounds have been missing this season. We seem much more vanilla on offense. But hey, whatever works.
I don't think it's vanilla. They do some interesting stuff. I just thought that the end around is a staple of that offense and I think I've seen it tried twice all year and faked once or twice.
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Old 12-19-2008   #5
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

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The addition of a big play running back effects what they have to do to move the ball. I don't know that it is vanilla as much as having other options.
Good offenses dont have to be tricky. We understand that the only team that can stop us is us. No need to get cute.
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Old 12-19-2008   #6
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

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9. Brown is still inconsistant. He only got beat badly twice... both times by Haynesworth, once on a bull rush and the next time on a speed rush, oddly. Clearly Haynesworth was in his head a little- understandable.
Did Haynesworth line up outside, or was it a stunt?
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Old 12-19-2008   #7
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

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Did Haynesworth line up outside, or was it a stunt?
He lines up outside quite a bit against us on passing downs. Both instances I'm referring to that was the case.
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Old 12-19-2008   #8
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

Good stuff Dale. Keep it coming.
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Old 12-19-2008   #9
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

I was looking for an outside opinion so I asked my friend at work who is a Titan fan, what was the difference in our team. He said it was our ability to not let a bad play or event in the game make us quit. He said in years past he could count on one thing happening to make momentum shift in the Titans direction that would cause us to lose hope and quit but this time around, that never happened.

I thought that was interesting considering he never heard Kubiak and players talk about how Kubiak asked the team to work on not letting negative plays affect us anymore and to just make better plays to erase the negative ones.
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Old 12-19-2008   #10
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

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I was looking for an outside opinion so I asked my friend at work who is a Titan fan, what was the difference in our team. He said it was our ability to not let a bad play or event in the game make us quit. He said in years past he could count on one thing happening to make momentum shift in the Titans direction that would cause us to lose hope and quit but this time around, that never happened.

I thought that was interesting considering he never heard Kubiak and players talk about how Kubiak asked the team to work on not letting negative plays affect us anymore and to just make better plays to erase the negative ones.
Thats spot on. Normally, a turnover in our territory is automatic 7. This game, it was 3. Thats a huge difference.
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Old 12-19-2008   #11
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

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Thats spot on. Normally, a turnover in our territory is automatic 7. This game, it was 3. Thats a huge difference.
Just finished talking to a Packer buddy of mine and he mentioned the same thing " All I kept thinking was if this team is making mistakes and still beating us, how can they be as bad as thier record says they are?"
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Old 12-19-2008   #12
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

This is an awesome thread with great posts.

Too many to quote.

Invisible rep to everyone on here.
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Old 12-19-2008   #13
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

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Originally Posted by El Tejano View Post
I was looking for an outside opinion so I asked my friend at work who is a Titan fan, what was the difference in our team. He said it was our ability to not let a bad play or event in the game make us quit. He said in years past he could count on one thing happening to make momentum shift in the Titans direction that would cause us to lose hope and quit but this time around, that never happened.

I thought that was interesting considering he never heard Kubiak and players talk about how Kubiak asked the team to work on not letting negative plays affect us anymore and to just make better plays to erase the negative ones.
While I certainly think attitude has something to do with it, I think the added talent and playmaking ability really makes a difference. So many more players on the field that can make something happen: that adds something tangible and to the intangible confidence level as well.
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Old 12-19-2008   #14
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

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While I certainly think attitude has something to do with it, I think the added talent and playmaking ability really makes a difference. So many more players on the field that can make something happen: that adds something tangible and to the intangible confidence level as well.
I agree man. You can't underestimate how much better we became when Xavier Adibi entered the starting line up. I feel that his speed allowed us to cover the middle of the field better and use Ryans in so many different ways along with Robinson coming back to the starting role.
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Old 12-19-2008   #15
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

We've talked about how Richard Smith, for three straight seasons, has played timid the first half and then came out with guns blazing the remaining games.

But I don't remember the defense looking THIS together, THIS poised and focused in the past two seasons at this same point of the year. Do ya'll?

I held firm to the belief that Richard Smith had NOT been benched, but now I am wondering if something didn't happen behind the scenes?

Scenario 1: There's been speculation that the bad defense was due to Kubiak meddling in the defensive scheme, and now RS has been given free reign. I am not too sure about THAT possibility. Kubiak doesn't strike me as someone who gives a flying rip about anything but the offense.

Scenario 2: There's been speculation that RS plays timid to begin a year, then goes bananas once we're out of the playoff hunt and there's nothing left that's risky enough to get him fired for being too aggressive and getting burned for it. I think this is plausible because it's human nature to maintain something average rather than risk going for the big finish and falling flat on your face.

Scenario 3: And there's been speculation that Kubiak has had some sort of "Come to Jesus" meeting where he has told RS to get in gear...or else. I don't think that's what has happened. If it has, it marks the third year Kubiak would have demanded better strategy, at the same juncture of the season, which would mean Kubiak has awful skills as a HC who is supposed to be responsible for the whole ship. David Carr embarassed Kubiak, and was gone the next year.

Scenario 4: Finally, there is speculation that someone else has been handed the controls of the defense. This one, I think, is plausible. But it comes at the time of the year where RS normally does a complete turn-around anyways, so who can know for sure? Only the offseason will tell: If RS is still here, I think that's the answer to this scenario of "Has RS been benched, and control given to someone else?" If he's still the DC...then I think Scenario 2 is the answer.

Can we stand another year of being flat, on defense, the first half of the season...only to see us come marching back in the last half, but with no playoffs to shoot for? You can end the season on a high note, but it's a long time from then until the first regular season game. This is a playoff team if we stay healthy and play from the beginning like we play at the end of the year.
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Old 12-19-2008   #16
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

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They also do that with Kevin Walter.

I've noticed a distinct difference in the playcalling this year. I don't know if it's the addition of Gibbs, promotion of Shanahan, or the absence of Sherman, but the play action boot and the Walter end arounds have been missing this season. We seem much more vanilla on offense. But hey, whatever works.

I think this is due to Sherman bieng gone. He was a fan of the Power/Zone Scheme.
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Old 12-19-2008   #17
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

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Originally Posted by El Tejano View Post
I was looking for an outside opinion so I asked my friend at work who is a Titan fan, what was the difference in our team. He said it was our ability to not let a bad play or event in the game make us quit. He said in years past he could count on one thing happening to make momentum shift in the Titans direction that would cause us to lose hope and quit but this time around, that never happened.

I thought that was interesting considering he never heard Kubiak and players talk about how Kubiak asked the team to work on not letting negative plays affect us anymore and to just make better plays to erase the negative ones.

I couldn't agree more with this!!!! I have said it for years now. When a questionable penalty would go against us, we'd just snap. If anything took the wind out of our sails we'd crack.

Now it's just the turnovers!!!! Kubes needs to make the print on the shorts bigger next year in training camp.
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Old 12-19-2008   #18
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

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We've talked about how Richard Smith, for three straight seasons, has played timid the first half and then came out with guns blazing the remaining games.

But I don't remember the defense looking THIS together, THIS poised and focused in the past two seasons at this same point of the year. Do ya'll?

I held firm to the belief that Richard Smith had NOT been benched, but now I am wondering if something didn't happen behind the scenes?

Scenario 1: There's been speculation that the bad defense was due to Kubiak meddling in the defensive scheme, and now RS has been given free reign. I am not too sure about THAT possibility. Kubiak doesn't strike me as someone who gives a flying rip about anything but the offense.

Scenario 2: There's been speculation that RS plays timid to begin a year, then goes bananas once we're out of the playoff hunt and there's nothing left that's risky enough to get him fired for being too aggressive and getting burned for it. I think this is plausible because it's human nature to maintain something average rather than risk going for the big finish and falling flat on your face.

Scenario 3: And there's been speculation that Kubiak has had some sort of "Come to Jesus" meeting where he has told RS to get in gear...or else. I don't think that's what has happened. If it has, it marks the third year Kubiak would have demanded better strategy, at the same juncture of the season, which would mean Kubiak has awful skills as a HC who is supposed to be responsible for the whole ship. David Carr embarassed Kubiak, and was gone the next year.

Scenario 4: Finally, there is speculation that someone else has been handed the controls of the defense. This one, I think, is plausible. But it comes at the time of the year where RS normally does a complete turn-around anyways, so who can know for sure? Only the offseason will tell: If RS is still here, I think that's the answer to this scenario of "Has RS been benched, and control given to someone else?" If he's still the DC...then I think Scenario 2 is the answer.

Can we stand another year of being flat, on defense, the first half of the season...only to see us come marching back in the last half, but with no playoffs to shoot for? You can end the season on a high note, but it's a long time from then until the first regular season game. This is a playoff team if we stay healthy and play from the beginning like we play at the end of the year.
I wished I still lived in Houston and could attend a game and try to sit near the Texans side line to see how involved RS is during the game, or to see if someone else is in Kubiaks ear when the D is on the field, but I'm sure that would be tough to determine with the head sets and such.
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Old 12-19-2008   #19
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

Well isn't Richard Smith in the booth? He calls the play to Holland who then relays it to Demeco if I remember correctly. On TV, Kubiak ihalf the time is looking at his play chart while the defense is on the field. I don't think he has too much control. LOL
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Old 12-19-2008   #20
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Default Re: Observations of Titan Game after DVR review

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Originally Posted by Runner View Post
The addition of a big play running back affects what they have to do to move the ball. I don't know that it is vanilla as much as having other options.
Well, vanilla insofar as being non tricky.
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