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Old 03-18-2009   #1
prostock101
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Default Should we be happy with the OL?

Just an observation but I'm curious what the masses think. Here's a few thoughts.

Duane Brown - Most pundits I heard through the season were very high on his run blocking. But I don't believe (correct me if I'm wrong) there were any other first round OT's in the past few drafts that needed to be relieved every third series. What was the purpose of that anyway? I don't know his numbers on giving up sacks but I don't believe it was stellar. Is he really the long term solution at left tackle?

Chester Pitts - Best lineman we have.

Chris Myers - I really don't have any thoughts on his play other than I remember him getting steamrolled often during the Cowgirl preseason game. And we signed him after Denver preferred going with an older guy with bad knees.

Mike Brisiel - He was released off the practice squad three times and now he's our starter. Hmmmm.....he also was on his back early and often during that same preseason game with Myers.

Eric Winston - A guy with potential but I seem to remember he got beat a few times last year.

Anyhoo, I guess they played better as a unit toward the end of the season and not having any injuries certainly helped them. Any comments?
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Old 03-18-2009   #2
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

I think the VAST majority of we fans think we should at least consider upgrading either the C or RG position.

I like Chris Myers, and though I think they could definitely improve on him - I'm not sure the team has any designs whatsoever on doing so.

At RG however, the team had scheduled a meeting with FA RG Cooper Carlisle of the Raiders, but he ended up re-signing with Oakland. There's no way the Texans had interest in him as a backup, because he's an established starter, and would have commanded a much, much bigger salary than a backup should make.

So, unless that report of the visit was a lie (and really, what reason would there be for that?), I wouldn't be surprised to see the Texans draft a mid-rounder.

Myers is making 2 million in 2009 - not HUGE money, but certainly starter money.

Briesel on the other hand - is making only $460K. So he could most definitely end up being depth if the Texans see an OG they think could take his job.
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Old 03-18-2009   #3
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

the Texans threw for 4400+ yards

they also rushed for 1800+

the defense is god-awful

spend all 7 draft picks on defense i say

the o-line started and played in all 16 games last year, thats rare

keep this group together
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Old 03-18-2009   #4
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

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Originally Posted by DiehardChris View Post
I think the VAST majority of we fans think we should at least consider upgrading either the C or RG position.

I like Chris Myers, and though I think they could definitely improve on him - I'm not sure the team has any designs whatsoever on doing so.

At RG however, the team had scheduled a meeting with FA RG Cooper Carlisle of the Raiders, but he ended up re-signing with Oakland. There's no way the Texans had interest in him as a backup, because he's an established starter, and would have commanded a much, much bigger salary than a backup should make.

So, unless that report of the visit was a lie (and really, what reason would there be for that?), I wouldn't be surprised to see the Texans draft a mid-rounder.

Myers is making 2 million in 2009 - not HUGE money, but certainly starter money.

Briesel on the other hand - is making only $460K. So he could most definitely end up being depth if the Texans see an OG they think could take his job.
Pretty much summed up how I feel. Could use upgrades at C and RG. Not sure how the staff feels about either.
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Old 03-18-2009   #5
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

I think the Texans (and their fans) should be happier than they have been in previous offseasons. The team doesn't have to bring in a new starter. That doesn't mean that the young players on the line don't need to improve. Or that the team shouldn't continue to bring in talent to mold. I don't see spending a couple of the 8 draft picks on the offensive line as unreasonable. But yeah, I'm much happier.
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Old 03-18-2009   #6
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

Quote:
Originally Posted by m5kwatts View Post
the Texans threw for 4400+ yards

they also rushed for 1800+

the defense is god-awful

spend all 7 draft picks on defense i say

the o-line started and played in all 16 games last year, thats rare

keep this group together
I don't know if I totally agree that they started and played all 16 games. Epheriam salaam did play. We cut him which surprised me heavily because I don't beleive he had a huge contract and did produce (ie. not many sacks given) when he did play. That being said there is always room for improvement.
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Old 03-18-2009   #7
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

Satisfied that it isn't the glaring hole it once was, but it still needs to be better especially in the middle.

Some of the redzone inefficiency comes from the fact we can't run inside when it matters.

I think the coaches think that growth from within will be sufficient but I disagree.
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Old 03-18-2009   #8
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

Yes, we should. If Kubiak and Gibbs are happy with the offensive line then we should all be fine with it. It will continue to improve just like every nearly every unit in the league and we've got coaches who know what they are doing.

We're good until coach says otherwise.
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Old 03-18-2009   #9
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

I see definite promise in the right and left sides of our OL maturing and improving significantly. However, I worry that the overall efficacy of OL play may be compromised by its weakest link.

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Old 03-18-2009   #10
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

Should we be happier?--absolutely. For the first time in Texans history we are going to enter an off-season without 1-4 glaring holes on the OL in desperate need of replacement and the hope of filling maybe 1 or 2. Can it be upgraded?--sure but we also know the O can perform if the same 5 return. I 100% expect the starting 5 to be the same at the beginning of next season. Absent injury I don't see mid-season changes absent a rookie C or RG really shining. Upgrading the OL has now moved from need to luxury.
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Old 03-18-2009   #11
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

I'm still curious about the play of Duane Brown. Why the need to spell him every third series? Great run blocker but so far a so-so pass blocker. Will he need to be relieved next season? Does anyone think he'll improve as a pass blocker?
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Old 03-18-2009   #12
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

I'm happy but I'm not so happy that I think it's a finished product. In fact, I think we've got a "ways" to go until we have an elite OL.

I think Brown and Winston can be good tackles. Both need to continue to improve but I'm happy with them as starters... young starters. I like Butler as a swing tackle but know nothing else of him. If Brown or Winston go down to injury, I don't know how confident I would be having Butler as a multi-game starting tackle.

Pitts has been a workhorse for us and Brisiel really stepped up his game. Behind that, we've got Studdard. I would very happy if we could get a starting RG leaving Bresiel as backup RG. Maybe he could be a starter... but if he's our backup, that means our OL is that much better.

I was and still am a big fan of the Myers trade. For a 6th rounder, we got a great deal. He's got to improve to be a long term starter for us though. I would be happier at this point if he was our backup center and backup guard.

We've got to get stronger in the middle. We get pushed back and pushed around. If improving is just a matter of playing together, "gelling", and growing into that role then great.

My favorite 1st round pick this year at #15 would be to select Michael Oher if he slips. I'd plug him in at RG starting Day 1. Depending on player development, injury, retirement, etc. I think he could swing over to play LT, LG, RG or RT just depending on the future of our OL. It would mean we'd have "starter" quality depth behind him and would help out with Myers' inability to get that push up front.

Am I happy in the sense our OL is a finished product? Absolutely not. But I am happy in the progress I've seen from this unit in such a short period of time. If we have an injury to any starter along the line.. that's 5 starters... we're toast. that's the way I see it.
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Old 03-18-2009   #13
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

Quote:
Originally Posted by prostock101 View Post
I'm still curious about the play of Duane Brown. Why the need to spell him every third series? Great run blocker but so far a so-so pass blocker. Will he need to be relieved next season? Does anyone think he'll improve as a pass blocker?
Don't see him being relieved next season. Think that was a conditioning issue exacerbated by Okoye hitting the wall mid-season the year before. Note them being concerned about Slaton as well mid-season. Pitts went from 15 sacks to 5.5 sacks so I don't think it is unreasonable to expect Brown to improve as well. Like herv said--when you have a master like Gibbs, trust him to do his work.

Winston needs to step it back up big time in pass protection. He had a very down year last season. Just 4 less by Brown and 4 less by Winston should be very attainable and expected and would make a huge difference.
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Old 03-18-2009   #14
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

Quote:
Originally Posted by prostock101 View Post
I'm still curious about the play of Duane Brown. Why the need to spell him every third series? Great run blocker but so far a so-so pass blocker. Will he need to be relieved next season? Does anyone think he'll improve as a pass blocker?
IMO, the substitution was more to keep Brown from wearing down and help him grow as a player. We had Salaam on the roster, so why not do it? We faced a brutal schedule from a passrushing viewpoint. Maybe substituting Salaam in allowed the coaching staff to kind of coach up Brown a little more in game situations AND keep Brown from flamimg out halfway through his rookie season. I think the coaching staff believes in Brown, so that's enough for me.
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Old 03-18-2009   #15
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

I'm happy, but far from satisified. If this was a report card, I would give them a C-.
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Old 03-18-2009   #16
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBar View Post
IMO, the substitution was more to keep Brown from wearing down and help him grow as a player. We had Salaam on the roster, so why not do it? We faced a brutal schedule from a passrushing viewpoint. Maybe substituting Salaam in allowed the coaching staff to kind of coach up Brown a little more in game situations AND keep Brown from flamimg out halfway through his rookie season. I think the coaching staff believes in Brown, so that's enough for me.
Last year Kubiak stated that the substitution approach was necessary because of Brown wearing down during the many Texans' long drives. One year later now, we cannot afford to have our starter LT to continue to be coddled for questionable conditioning. (I truly believe this will no longer be a problem)

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Old 03-18-2009   #17
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
Last year Kubiak stated that the substitution approach was necessary because of Brown wearing down during the many Texans' long drives. One year later now, we cannot afford to have our starter LT to continue to be coddled for questionable conditioning. (I truly believe this will no longer be a problem)
Agreed. Funny, Tennessee for instance was considered ball control, grind it out offense and yet they averaged almost 3 minutes less offense per game TOP.
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Old 03-18-2009   #18
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

Honestly, I was a little surprised at the release of Salaam. He seemed to be a good guy and a decent lineman that would have been good to keep around as a backup. My wife and I had dinner with him and his family at Los Tios just a few days before he was released. Actually, he was a few tables over but I did give him a "WusssUppp" complete with a thumbs up. Is Butler supposed to be the guy now?
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Old 03-19-2009   #19
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

While the starters on the OL are OK, I'm certainly not happy the line as a whole. We were incredibly lucky last year to not have any injuries. I feel extremely uncomfortable with our backups, and I think we could easily upgrade at both Center and Right Guard. I'm OK with Brown and Winston, and don't see us getting someone who could replace either of them, anyway.

I'm really hoping we come out of the draft with one of: Oher, Unger, or Mack. I know it's incredibly unlikely, but I think that would upgrade the team about as well as any other person we could reasonably hope to draft.
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Old 03-19-2009   #20
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Default Re: Should we be happy with the OL?

Both Myers and Briesel are marginal NFL calibre players talent-wise who produced last year because they were good fits for the system (ZB) and their hustle was "above and beyond". But I think OLine is the area that could surprise us the most about the Texans in this years Draft.
If one of the top LTs manages to stay on the Board to 15 and other options
aren't appealing I'm thinking we might draft a OT in that scenario ? Everybody in these parts is gah-gah eyed about LB Matthews because of the home-town connection, but the Texans may think he's no higher than a second rounder and if they are unable to move down in the first round they might take somebody that is not a huge need but they have rated very highly, mcuh higher that say a Clay Matthew or a Brian Cushing for example ? And Brown wasn't drafted so ridiculously high that moving him to the inside wouldn't be justified. But what's a more likely scenario for the first OLineman we take in this Draft is using a second round pick on somebody like Unger or Eric Wood.
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