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Old 08-26-2009   #1
Spike
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Default Other Options at DT

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the concern at DT. Obviously, we all hope that the perfmance against the Saints is an aberration. Some think that what we saw is what we have. I tend to think the reality is somewhere in between.

The question is, if the issues we saw last week continue to be a problem going forward, what options do we have with the current players we have on the roster?

(1) Travis Johnson - Some of my favorite posts are people's predictions on the final roster, and a lot of people don't even have TJ making this year's squad. While I have never been a huge fan of TJ, I think there is a very strong argument that he would be an upgrade for what we saw last Saturday. I think he is in a contract year, which can be a big time motivator. All in all, has never been a world beater - but when he gets back up to speed, I would think that he would be an upgrade.

(2) Antonio Smith - When AS came to the Texans, I think his expectation was that he would play most of his snaps at DE. It is my understanding that he split time in Arizona, and if the need is there, I would think it would be something that the staff would at least have to explore.
- If AS slides in, you need to plug in the other DE spot. Clearly, this result in a deficiency at DE - but we just have to pick our poison. I just feel like we have more depth at DE.

(3) Robinson - I haven't heard his name as part of the discussion. Did he play last week? In large part, I thought he played well last year.

(4) Cody/ Zgonina - I haven't heard much about their play. Maybe it is worth giving these guys an opportunity with the first team to see what they can do.

This post isn't suggesting that Okoye and Okam should be cut, but maybe just placed in a reserve role - and never to be on the field at the same time again - ever.

I don't know what to expect, but it does seem to me that we have options, in addition to possibly finding a diamond in the rough on the waiver wire. At the very least, I'd like to see the staff shake it up this weekend and see if there is another combination that works.
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Old 08-26-2009   #2
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

The team can swallow their pride and play the best players regardless of pay grade (which would probably mean we end up with Deljuan Robinson and Shaun Cody or Frank Okam starting opening day). Obviously this is still not an ideal lineup but if we decide to play the two best DTs it could motivate the players we already have on the roster to play their best.

OR

the team could hit the panic button and trade draft picks for a starting caliber DT. This could help ensure we get to the playoffs THIS season but the team has always built for the long haul, even if adding quality older vets in the short run would ultimately help the team in the long run. EX: Remember Casserly's "under 30" rule for signing players our first season...

PS: Speaking of our first season, how does a pro bowl LT like Willie Roaf fail his physical for the expansion draft but a salary cap landmine like Tony Boselli pass his physical?
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Old 08-26-2009   #3
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

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Originally Posted by TheRealJoker View Post
The team can swallow their pride and play the best players regardless of pay grade (which would probably mean we end up with Deljuan Robinson and Shaun Cody or Frank Okam starting opening day). Obviously this is still not an ideal lineup but if we decide to play the two best DTs it could motivate the players we already have on the roster to play their best.

OR

the team could hit the panic button and trade draft picks for a starting caliber DT. This could help ensure we get to the playoffs THIS season but the team has always built for the long haul, even if adding quality older vets in the short run would ultimately help the team in the long run. EX: Remember Casserly's "under 30" rule for signing players our first season...

PS: Speaking of our first season, how does a pro bowl LT like Willie Roaf fail his physical for the expansion draft but a salary cap landmine like Tony Boselli pass his physical?
OR

Roll a portable brick wall around the field with two very large football players painted on the front.
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Old 08-26-2009   #4
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

Quote:
Originally Posted by HOU-TEX View Post
OR

Roll a portable brick wall around the field with two very large football players painted on the front.


I'm sure Jerry Jones is working on adding that for his stadium... along with Tiger pits at random points on the field
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Old 08-26-2009   #5
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

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Originally Posted by HOU-TEX View Post
OR

Roll a portable brick wall around the field with two very large football players painted on the front.

LOL.

rep.
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Old 08-26-2009   #6
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

The combination of Robinson, Cody, and TJ should be at least servicable on running downs. That's what is so frustrating: seeing Okoye in the game so often when clearly better options are on the bench.
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Old 08-26-2009   #7
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

I have to admit that I was surprised when the starters for that game were Okam and Okoye. I expected Okoye and Robinson to start.

It's going to be interesting to see how this ends up. As said elsewhere in this thread and as I've said in other threads, I just hope that our coaching staff puts the best guys out there. And at this point, I don't think that includes Okoye. I think we need to pull him out and try some other combinations. We need to try him in a rotational role and see how it goes. I think the starters should be some combination of Robinson, Okam, and Cody BUT I expect to see Okoye out there regardless of how he plays. And that worries me.

I don't think Smith is going to be the full time answer at DT. I could be wrong about that but I don't think he'd be happy there except in pass rushing situations, either.

TJ? I left TJ off my roster prediction because he's injured. The coaches have always praised him but I haven't seen what they're seeing. So, for me, I can lose this guy at this point. He may flourish under Kollar's tutelage but I'm going to have to see it to believe it.
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Old 08-26-2009   #8
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike View Post
There has been a lot of discussion regarding the concern at DT. Obviously, we all hope that the perfmance against the Saints is an aberration. Some think that what we saw is what we have. I tend to think the reality is somewhere in between.

The question is, if the issues we saw last week continue to be a problem going forward, what options do we have with the current players we have on the roster?

(1) Travis Johnson - Some of my favorite posts are people's predictions on the final roster, and a lot of people don't even have TJ making this year's squad. While I have never been a huge fan of TJ, I think there is a very strong argument that he would be an upgrade for what we saw last Saturday. I think he is in a contract year, which can be a big time motivator. All in all, has never been a world beater - but when he gets back up to speed, I would think that he would be an upgrade.

(2) Antonio Smith - When AS came to the Texans, I think his expectation was that he would play most of his snaps at DE. It is my understanding that he split time in Arizona, and if the need is there, I would think it would be something that the staff would at least have to explore.
- If AS slides in, you need to plug in the other DE spot. Clearly, this result in a deficiency at DE - but we just have to pick our poison. I just feel like we have more depth at DE.

(3) Robinson - I haven't heard his name as part of the discussion. Did he play last week? In large part, I thought he played well last year.

(4) Cody/ Zgonina - I haven't heard much about their play. Maybe it is worth giving these guys an opportunity with the first team to see what they can do.

This post isn't suggesting that Okoye and Okam should be cut, but maybe just placed in a reserve role - and never to be on the field at the same time again - ever.

I don't know what to expect, but it does seem to me that we have options, in addition to possibly finding a diamond in the rough on the waiver wire. At the very least, I'd like to see the staff shake it up this weekend and see if there is another combination that works.
Travis Johnson: So many are down on him. I think the only way he doesn't make the roster is if his sports hernia surgery keeps him from contributing. He's better at taking up blockers than most of our options on the roster. One of the reasons people are down on him is they don't like his work ethic. Others are down on him because he doesn't get his name called much. He plays the 3 technique. The Texans in the past have asked him to take on blocks. He does that. They like him. I think you can expect him to be in there on gameday.

Antonio Smith: An aggressive DE/DT that is small for a DT but big for a DE. It seems as if the Texans have expected him to be the DE on running plays and slide in on passing. I don't think it's a sign of deficiency at the position as much as it is a testament to his abilities. Unless Connor Barwin develops quickly I think he'll be our best option at that spot.

DelJuan Robinson: He's looked terrific last season and into the preseason. He played with the 3's but I think the team wanted to give Okam a chance to do something. He didnt. Robinson is above average. He's the best penetration guy. I think he should be starting in place of Okoye.

Shawn Cody: Has shown signs of good play. Hasn't gotten in with the 1's yet so it's hard to judge. He seems more stout than Okoye.

Frank Okam: INCONSISTENCY. If he plays up to what he's capable of, he'd be a lock to start. But he's shown nothing that suggests that that's going to happen.


Zgonina is 6034 years old. If he makes this team we are in bad, bad shape.
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Old 08-26-2009   #9
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

Haynseworth and that big contract are looking pretty good right about now.
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Old 08-26-2009   #10
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

The only time I've seen anyone on this team play NT better than TJ was Okam/Robinson against Kansas City. But that was against Kansas City in the Pre-season. To date, none of us has seen anyone play NT better than Travis Johnson on this team, during the regular season. He is your starter.

I'm not worried about his injury either... the lazy bastard played through it most of last year. No doubt in my mind, he'll do it again when the season starts.

So.... IMHO our best DT combo on 1st & second down, would be Frank Okam, and TJ. That's who I'd like to see on the majority of running situations. I don't care who you call the starter... I don't care who makes the most money... But on obvious run situations, I want these two. TJ at the Nose, and Okam at the Up Tackle.

On passing downs, I'd like to see DelJuan & Bulman as the Tackles. Or a combination of Okam/TJ (at NT) & DelJuan/Bulman (at UT)....

Every now and then, I'd put Okoye in there... but not often.

At DE, my starting line up would be Mario on the Strong side, and Barwin on the opposite side. If they run it to the strong side, Mario will take care of it. If they run it at Barwin, you've got Diles at WILL if Cushings in. Smith would back up Mario..... it's okay, Mario rarely ever comes out of the game.

I originally liked the Antonio Smith signing. Thought about getting a Jersey. But after two preseason games, I wish we'd have kept Weaver to play tackle.
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Old 08-26-2009   #11
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

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Old 08-26-2009   #12
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

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Harry Knowles?
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Old 08-26-2009   #13
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

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Mike Meyers in a fat suit>?
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Old 08-26-2009   #14
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

If you take someone who has a very steep learning curve and give them a break so they can process their experiences, they usually go through a rapid learning phase. It's human nature, and I've seen it happen. I think it would benefit Okoye to play him only on third down pass plays this season.
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Old 08-27-2009   #15
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

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I originally liked the Antonio Smith signing. Thought about getting a Jersey. But after two preseason games, I wish we'd have kept Weaver to play tackle.
I think we've been watching different games.
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Old 08-27-2009   #16
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

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The only time I've seen anyone on this team play NT better than TJ was Okam/Robinson against Kansas City. But that was against Kansas City in the Pre-season. To date, none of us has seen anyone play NT better than Travis Johnson on this team, during the regular season. He is your starter.

I'm not worried about his injury either... the lazy bastard played through it most of last year. No doubt in my mind, he'll do it again when the season starts.

So.... IMHO our best DT combo on 1st & second down, would be Frank Okam, and TJ. That's who I'd like to see on the majority of running situations. I don't care who you call the starter... I don't care who makes the most money... But on obvious run situations, I want these two. TJ at the Nose, and Okam at the Up Tackle.

On passing downs, I'd like to see DelJuan & Bulman as the Tackles. Or a combination of Okam/TJ (at NT) & DelJuan/Bulman (at UT)....

Every now and then, I'd put Okoye in there... but not often.

At DE, my starting line up would be Mario on the Strong side, and Barwin on the opposite side. If they run it to the strong side, Mario will take care of it. If they run it at Barwin, you've got Diles at WILL if Cushings in. Smith would back up Mario..... it's okay, Mario rarely ever comes out of the game.

I originally liked the Antonio Smith signing. Thought about getting a Jersey. But after two preseason games, I wish we'd have kept Weaver to play tackle.
Deljuan deserves a starting spot on this line......after the way Okam embarrassed himself last Saturday, he's still has alot of work to do, before he gets a starting spot over Robinson. After that game I'm willing to concede that TJ will make the team and could even move into a starting spot.....that's how bad Okam and Okoye played, which is sad and depressing.
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Old 08-27-2009   #17
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

I really like Robinson. For the defense that were SUPPOSED to be playing (1 gap, penetrating DTs) hes the perfect fit.

He's 320 but he plays like he's 280; in terms of getting the the QB.
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Old 08-27-2009   #18
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

I just think Okoye needs to stay off the field for at least the 1st downs. They've been hyping up the depth and use of rotations on the dline but I haven't seen it. Robinson looks like the most talented DT we have now.
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Old 08-27-2009   #19
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

I'd like to see the Texans move Okoye down and start Robinson at DT and Okam at NT provided Okam plays well in the rest of the preseason. My D-line would look like this:

Smith-Okam-Robinson-Williams

On obvious passing downs pull Okam, move Smith inside and put in Barwin.
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Old 08-27-2009   #20
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Default Re: Other Options at DT

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I just think Okoye needs to stay off the field for at least the 1st downs. They've been hyping up the depth and use of rotations on the dline but I haven't seen it. Robinson looks like the most talented DT we have now.
This. The man with the non-stop motor looks better to me than the physical freaks with the measurables who only seem to care every third or fourth play. Robinson should be starting and the fact that he isn't tells me that the Texans haven't changed their M.O. when it comes to who plays and who doesn't. High draft picks play and big contracts play while guys who can do the job sit on the bench and come in when the busts need a breather.

Hopefully Kolller can motivate TJ and Okoye (and then Okam) because they're our starters (and potential starter) no matter what I'm afraid.
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