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Horton on Houston Texans
I don't have insider but that is the preview
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Re: Horton on Houston Texans
Horton Hears a Hooston playoff team?
sorry, that's all I could think of after reading this...
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Re: Horton on Houston Texans
Scouts Inc. takes a look at all 32 NFL teams heading into the 2010 season: the decision-makers, the offensive philosophy, defensive outlook and three main team needs. Find your favorite team -- or its rivals -- in the sidebar to the right.
Decision-makers: GM Rick Smith and head coach Gary Kubiak work very well together. Most of the time, they are on the same page, and they have a scouting department that is better than the product we see on the field. On the surface, this doesn't make a lot of sense. The Texans may have more scouts than any other team in the league, including a lot of veteran guys who give them great national coverage. However, it hasn't really worked to their advantage.
The Texans' front office is conservative and sometimes stubborn and is not prone to making risky decisions. Their deep scouting department gives the team much knowledge about players, but you just don't see it making a lot of "gut" decisions. The Texans stay true to their draft board and philosophy, which eliminates mistakes but also takes creativity out of the mix. However, it looks as if they hit the lottery with last year's first-round pick, outside linebacker Brian Cushing.
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Offensive philosophy: Because Kubiak played and coached in Denver, this is a Broncos-style offense with a patented stretch-play run game and a versatile passing game that feeds off it. Kubiak has a trusted offensive coordinator in Rick Dennison.
The Texans' key to the run game is their zone-blocking up front for that stretch play. They ask their backs to make one cut and go run-style. Although this is a run-first offense, the Texans make more explosive passing plays than you might think, even though most of the throws are controlled and safe. They get the ball out quickly on three- and five-step drops and count on yards after the catch from big, physical receivers. When they do go deep, it is usually off play-action; Kubiak is an excellent playcaller who picks his spots well. This is a very sound offense that still lacks the ultimate personnel to run it to perfection.
Defensive philosophy: The Texans continue to run a 4-3 defense under coordinator Frank Bush and are finally getting closer to having the personnel to make it productive.
Houston preaches a front-four pass rush that creates most of the pressure and does do not depend on the back seven for help. It prefers not to blitz a lot and plays it pretty safe on the back end with a lot of zone and "off" schemes in the secondary because it does not have a group of good cover corners. That puts additional pressure on the guys up front to play disruptive one-gap schemes designed to force opposing quarterbacks to get the ball out quickly. The Texans have an aggressive front four and a conservative back seven, but they want the back end to be physical and tackle well, and speed is an attribute that they always look for.
1. RB: Although rookie Arian Foster showed promise late in the season, the Texans' run game is near the bottom of the league. Steve Slaton finished the season on injured and never came close in 2009 to being the back that we have seen in the past; he also is coming off neck surgery. The other guys are nondescript and not ready to step in. This offense needs a workhorse back who can be productive in its zone-blocking schemes up front.
2. DC: The Texans did not put the franchise tag on Dunta Robinson again and lost him to Atlanta. They have not successfully replaced him in free agency, so now they will look at the draft to find an eventual shutdown cover guy. There are some young guys whom the Texans like, but they may not be ready for a while.
3. DT: All the pass rush and big plays come from the outside, and the Texans are good at defensive end but just average inside. Starters Shaun Cody and Amobi Okoye are solid run-stoppers, but they are not big-play guys. A perfect fit would be an athletic, one-gap penetrator who could give them an inside pass rush.
Gary Horton is the founder of Scouts Inc. and has spent more than two decades around the game of football.
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