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Old 05-31-2004   #1
DominatorDavis
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Default Houston's Massive Front Line

McKinney is the smallest guy on the Texan's front line. He's the runt - if you will. That may not mean anything to you unless you realize that Steve is an enormous 6-4 305 lbs. Have you ever stood beside a man that large? You feel like his shadow. He always appeared to me to be the model of Houston's o-line consistency and now he has some big boys to work with in the Sunday trenches. For what this is worth and provided that Wand holds down the left tackle position, just look at how big this line will appear to an opposing defense.

LT Seth Wand 6'7 327 lbs.
LG Chester Pitts 6'3 320 lbs.
C Steve McKinney 6'4 305 lbs.
RG Zach Weigert 6'5 309 lbs.
RT Todd Wade 6'8 315 lbs.

That's nearly 1,600 lbs and a whole lota man to have on front of you. Would you want to face that on a Sunday afternoon? Offensively I believe that we will be much much better. I also think that Dominick Davis will have a splendid year. I can't wait for the season to start. :pickle:
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Old 05-31-2004   #2
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Steve is the smallest guy because he's the center. However, he is still a very large man...I've met him in person. I don't care how big our O-line is if they can't pass protect and block for the run. Our O-line will be a lot better this year, and I expect to see a some more aggressive play calling to take better advantage of the talent we have.
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Old 05-31-2004   #3
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Denver has one of the best lines every year and they arent really that big. I wouldnt put too much emphasis on size.
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Old 05-31-2004   #4
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while size is a plus, it's not all that matters...hopefully wand can prove himself to be a decent LT, cuz if he doesn't, it will be a long season...
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Old 05-31-2004   #5
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So D-Rek, your saying the Texans whole season is riding on Wand? Come on, if Wand doesn't play that well this year, we still can have a good season.
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Old 05-31-2004   #6
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If Wand doesnt play well, they will move Pitts back to LT. Pitts is a good LT, he went up against a great pass rusher each week and had a great year. I know he holds, but so does Wiegert.
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Old 05-31-2004   #7
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i'm not saying wand is the team, i'm merely saying that the LT is the most important position on the line, and having an incompetent LT puts more pressure on carr, who will, in turn, be sacked more and throw more interceptions...however, if he doesn't fare well, we can still move pitts over and plug someone in at LG...
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Old 05-31-2004   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-ReK
however, if he doesn't fare well, we can still move pitts over and plug someone in at LG...
Milford Brown or Todd Washington would be the top choices, but lets not talk about Wand not faring well
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Old 05-31-2004   #9
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Quote:
Steve is an enormous 6-4 305 lbs. Have you ever stood beside a man that large?
I've stood next to Steve and yes he's a big dude but I wouldn't classify him as enormous. I see that NFL.com has him listed now at 305 but last year he said his playing weight was around 295. Maybe he's added some weight. He'll need it if he wants to survive against guys like Henderson and Stroud. Most centers in the league are around 300. They are usually the "lightest" guys on the line.

I stood next to Lincoln Kennedy once. I think he's something like 6'7" 335 (or at least he was at the time). This was back when o-linemen over 300 was still something of a rarity. At the time, I thought that was enormous.

I don't think the Texans offensive line is extrordinarily "massive." I'm sure most NFL teams probably average well over "3 bills" now across the front. They do have some tall bookends when you consider Wand and Wade.

Bulk isn't everything (unless you're a nose tackle I guess). There are some huge (330+) guys out there. I watched Tarik Glenn pretty close in Week 17 last year and he's so fat .....[fill in the punchline]. Flozell and the current version of Larry Allen come to mind. Give me a bunch of strong, agile 305-310 pounders over a bunch of strong but immobile fat guys any day.

Last edited by aj.; 05-31-2004 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 05-31-2004   #10
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-AJ-

"Give me a bunch of strong, agile 305-310 pounders over a bunch of strong but immobile fat guys any day."


I think that that is what I was talking about. Right?

Sure there are bigger lines in the NFL - it is talent that makes the difference -and I think that we have that. It is certainly more flexible and deeper than last years line anyway. I agree with everyone - Wand needs to bring it on Sundays.

And yes I would agree in short order that Linclon Kennedy qualifies as massive.

My brother-n-law used to play for Texas Tech - he is more belly now but still standing next to him (approx. McKinney's size) I feel dwarfed.
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Old 05-31-2004   #11
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My only point (in addition to McKinney) was that even though the Texans have some good beef on the line, they aren't extraordinarily massive as a unit, relatively speaking of course. As I expanded the point, I just kind of went off on my own little tangent about fat guys...

I'm excited about the o-line potential like you are. I hope everyone stays healthy and they figure out the zone blocking.

Last edited by aj.; 05-31-2004 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 05-31-2004   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DominatorDavis
Have you ever stood beside a man that large? You feel like his shadow.
Actually I think that me sitting at 5'9" and 221lbs I'm probably too small to feel like his shadow.
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Old 05-31-2004   #13
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Just curious...but how does are line size stack up to the league average? I remember that not too long a go in college if we had a line man at 300lbs he was a phenom.
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Old 05-31-2004   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bottle-O-Bud
Who said this line was not "athletic"?
Not me, but I did say that I don't like big fat guys who can't move. Not that we have anybody who qualifies. If you ever heard John McClain's rant about the Cowboys under Campo o-line sitting around in their jock straps playing dominoes after practice you know where I'm coming from. <shudder at the thought>

Quote:
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This line is HUGE and MOBILE!
One thing I did say was that I don't consider the Texans o-line extraordinarily massive or huge when compared to the rest of the league. A 6'4" - 305-320 lb. guard is pretty much "normal" today. Look at our own division (Piller, Olson, and Naeole come to mind). McKinney is one of the smallest centers in the league (at 295 last year) and not what I would call super mobile. I could be way wrong on this but my hunch is that our line of Pitts, Brown, McKinney, Wiegert, Wade doesn't make the top quartile in the league size-wise. Add Wand to the mix and you gain a little. Maybe someone can crunch the numbers. Averaging weights across positions can be misleading. To do it right, you probably need to look at it position by position.

Huge or not, I like our line. It's like night and day from two years ago. I've never been a big McKinney fan (he's ok/average in my book) but I have really liked what I've seen from Pitts and Wiegert. Milford showed flashes last year before he went down, Washington filled in nicely for McKinney at center but he is another one who I don't consider mobile. I can't wait to see Wade and the new Wand. Weary has disappointed somewhat and I'm hoping he shows something this year, and I also hope that Milford Brown makes it back all the way from his injury. I think our right side with Wiegert, Wade and Bruener can be dominating.

Last edited by aj.; 05-31-2004 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 05-31-2004   #15
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Good think McKinney wasn't much bigger last year, or he would have never fit in my car. hahahahah
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Old 06-01-2004   #16
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What has me posturing a little is the new zone blocking scheme that Palmer and Pendry are installing this year. And forget mentioning the Broncos - who cares if that system is what Denver already has. They are not the Texans. Everything is different. This is a diffferent coaching staff, quarterback, and this is a much bigger technical shift in the immediate short term for the line to make. Bigger is not necessarily better for an offensive lineman, I entirely understand, but this type of play requires a great deal of communication, coordination, and continuity that takes time to develope.

From all looks and sounds of it Wand will be the starter at LT. I am excited at his upside as I think that everyone is, and rightly so. But I am concerned. At times I think that the zone run blocking will work but it will take time to gel. It will eventually come to pass that every man will know what his and his teammates offensive assignments are - without question. Untill that point in time arrives there is a dis-belief or a lack of believing that goes through a players head. There are unanswered questions that take practice and patience to work through, "Does Weigert know to do this, or does Wade know to do that?" And those questions run right up the flagpole and effect what plays or decisions the coaching staff can or will make. So it effects the entire flow of the offense and consequently the game as a whole. Throughout this learning curve it may just be better to stick to the basics. Keep it simple. It is relaitively boring and predictable but I think that we'd be better off just blowing people off the ball untill everyone is comfortable with the man next to him. And I'm sure that they will.
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Old 06-01-2004   #17
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You touch on some good points there. I've done a fair bit of reading on the zone blocking scheme since the news came out and have drawn a few conclusions. The first is a bit of a mythbuster in that I don't believe we're trying to emulate denver's OL blocking scheme. While denver is credited as the most successful zone blocking team, there are plenty of teams using it that do not use <300lb lineman to make it work.

While the zone-blocking scheme does take more coordination, it does not require the OLmen to be psychic. Most of the comments about 'communication, coordination, and continuity' being of great demand in the zone-blocking scheme, come from the tandem blocks involving the T and G. This page describes the handoff very well based on which way the DT (referred to as 'color') moves http://www.afca.com/pdf/00SM_Dan_Roushar.pdf (originally posted on HPF.) Zone blocking requires new techniques to be learned, but I'm not entirely convinced that they are any more difficult to pick up then any other scheme.

I agree that it will take the line sometime to learn and gel in the new scheme, but given that 3 of our 5 projected starters are learning a new system or position anyway this seems to be a particulary efficient time to introduce it.

Last point is that I think that the decision to convert to this scheme isn't based our OL personnel, instead I think it could be very complentary to Davis's particular running style. Once successfully implemented I think that Dominick will do a great job of finding and hitting the cutback lanes that it is intended to create.
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Old 06-01-2004   #18
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I really had not considered Davis' running style before you mentioned it, but in retrospect he does seem to have a similar style to Clinton Portis. Albeit Portis was capable of busting out a long gamebreaking run at any time. Something DD isn't yet capable of. Clinton did have a great deal of success in a zone blocking scheme, let's hope that DD can mimmick that success.
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Old 06-01-2004   #19
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IMO, I think its crazy to go with Z blocking. The Texans front line has new members coming in and out frequently, and I think chemistry is needed before they can be asked to Z block. Just MO though.
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Old 06-01-2004   #20
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Every team in the NFL uses some zone blocking. This isn't like they are switching to the Wing-t or anything.
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