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Old 04-26-2010   #1
keyser
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Default Our Defensive Backs Situation

OK, now that we have the draft (and most UDFA signing) behind us, I wanted to look at where we stand at one of our most problematic areas, CB/S. I think we currently have the following players, which I'm lising in sort-of depth order:

CB:
Kareem Jackson *
Glover Quin
Jacques Reeves
Brice McCain
Antwaun Molden
Fred Bennett
Sherrick McMannis *
Pierre Singfield **

S:
Bernard Pollard
Eugene Wilson
Troy Nolan
Dominique Barber
Aaron Webster **
Nick Polk **

* is a draft pick, and ** is a UDFA signee. That's 14 people, and I'm assuming we won't carry more than 10 of these on the 53 man roster. So - who do you think gets dropped?

My own bets are that we lose Singfield and Bennett (I'm betting Molden gets 1 more year) from the CB group. I don't know about the Safetys - other than Pollard, I don't think any of them are clearly going to make the team, though I guess Wilson and Nolan, if healthy, will be there.

It's interesting to me that the CBs are, except for Reeves, all fairly recent draft picks. Bennett is the oldest, at 3 years experience. We're almost certainly going to have to give up on at least one of these young guys this year (unless McMannis goes to the PS or something). Since Rick Smith came here, 9 of his 31 draft picks have been Defensive Backs. In that same time, he's drafted only 5 Offensive Linemen and 4 Defensive Linemen (the others: 4 LB, 3 TE, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 QB, 1 KR). I don't know exactly what that says, but I would hope that after that much of our drafting effort being put into these positions, we would be set there for a while. I'm not convinced that we are, though, at least at Safety.
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Old 04-26-2010   #2
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Default Re: Our Defensive Backs Situation

CB: Jackson, Quin, McCain, Reeves
SS: Pollard
FS: Wilson

Will almost definitely win their spots unless one of the new kids surprises the hell out of everyone. (Jackson is of course automatic.)

It's up to everyone to win their jobs.

The newer players all have to play ST except for Jackson.

So, it's going to come down to who wants it more.
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Old 04-26-2010   #3
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Default Re: Our Defensive Backs Situation

Quote:
Originally Posted by keyser View Post
S:
Bernard Pollard
Eugene Wilson
Troy Nolan
Dominique Barber
Aaron Webster **
Nick Polk **

I don't know about the Safetys - other than Pollard, I don't think any of them are clearly going to make the team, though I guess Wilson and Nolan, if healthy, will be there.
Smith and Kubiak commented in their post-draft press conference that they were happy with their current depth at safety going into next season. I did not take that to mean that they believe we could not benefit from upgrading the position. Just that they feel like if they are unable to upgrade the position any further prior to training camp, which they did not seem to think was a priority, the Texans are good to go.

I have heard these two make comments in the past about Eugene Wilson being viewed as a quality player at Free Safety. And I also heard one of them, Kubiak I believe, say that Dominique Barber looks like he could be on the verge of establishing himself as the starting free safety for a number of years to come.

I know this is not what the popular view is in the media or around the message board circuit. But it does appear to be the view of Kubiak and Smith, and therefore of the Houston Texans. Just saying.

In any case, this season will tell the tale at free safety for the Houston Texans, as this is one of the few question marks on defense that the Texans have left. Although the Texans certainly have room to improve at this position, they have come a long way since the early days of Matt Stevens.
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Old 04-26-2010   #4
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Default Re: Our Defensive Backs Situation

Bennett was great in his first season, and horrid his second. He's still young, and I'd like to see him get another chance to see if he can bring back his previous form. Molden has been injured too much to know how good he is, another young guy I'd like to see back.

Looking at this list of DBs, I'm actually much more comfortable at CB than I thought I'd be.

As far as safety, Pollard is a good starter at SS, with a decent backup in Barber. FS is a little more nerve-wracking. Unlike many on the board, I think Wilson is a quality starting FS. The problem is if he goes down like he did last season. The depth behind him is very young and unproven.

Geez, our secondary is YOUNG.
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Old 04-26-2010   #5
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Default Re: Our Defensive Backs Situation

This morning LZ was talking up Nick Polk big time, FWIW. He was using superlatives like "solution at FS for the Texans" and "should make the team" to describe him. So if you're looking at a sleeper to make the 53, he's as good of a candidate as any.

With that in mind, I'd probably go like this:

CB:
Kareem Jackson *
Glover Quin
Jacques Reeves
Brice McCain
Antwaun Molden
Sherrick McMannis *

S:
Bernard Pollard
Eugene Wilson
Dominique Barber
Nick Polk **
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