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Old 03-12-2009   #1
Texans34Life
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Default Yahoo Sports: Texans, Redskins poised to be next Cards

If posted, please delete.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slu...yhoo&type=lgns

1. The Houston Texans

Offense: The Texans believe they have an offense playing close to a championship level right now, but that belief might lie more in the pieces than in the actual execution. The pass-catching threats – wideouts Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter, and tight end Owen Daniels – are top shelf. Running back Steve Slaton appears to be a Pro Bowl-caliber talent, too. Even the offensive line is stacked with young and improving talent. However, the unit has the same significant problem that Arizona had when it began last offseason: quarterback. While Matt Schaub has shown some flashes of brilliance, and was very impressive in the final month last season, he hasn’t been healthy or consistent in two years. With 22 games as a starter under his belt since ’07, the coaching staff believes this is the year he hits it big … if only he can stay on the field.

Defense: Another unit with some nice pieces which has been short on consistent results. Like Johnson on offense, defensive end Mario Williams is already one of the best players in the NFL. Linebacker DeMeco Ryans and cornerback Dunta Robinson are nice pieces, too, but the team needs some steady veteran leadership to guide this unit – in particular, young and enigmatic defensive tackle Amobi Okoye. It got some of that with the underrated signing of Cardinals defensive end Antonio Smith, who was a great influence on teammate Darnell Dockett, a Pro Bowl defensive tackle. And though it remains to be seen what impact new defensive coordinator Frank Bush will have on his unit, he replaces a coach in Richard Smith who simply was not getting results.

Work to be done: Three areas have yet to be addressed adequately. First, the depth and quality at safety needs to be improved, even with the re-signing of Eugene Wilson. Look at the conference championship games last season. All four teams (the Cardinals, Eagles, Steelers and Ravens) had a Pro Bowl-caliber safety. That’s no coincidence: Top-shelf safety play is a must to advance deep into the postseason. Second, the defense needs to add quality at linebacker in an NFL draft rich with linebackers. With the 15th overall pick, the Texans should have a shot at a quality outside linebacker. If that pick gets spent on anything other than defense, it will be a shock. Finally, the failure to sign Cedric Benson to take some of the load off Slaton leaves a void at running back. There is no other running back on the roster who can take that load while also being a quality starter in a pinch. That will have to be addressed in the draft or free agency in the coming weeks and months.

Bottom line: When it comes to breaking through in a big way, Houston is positioned as well as any of last season’s “mediocre” teams. But it’s going to take a big step by the quarterback and some depth and mental maturation on defense.
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Old 03-12-2009   #2
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Default Re: Yahoo Sports: Texans, Redskins poised to be next Cards

hmm havent I seen this before and today??????
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