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Old 08-18-2010   #1
Big Lou
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Default Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

I watched the game against the Cards and was going to rewatch to do some informal break down, but my 3 year old daughter decided to play with the remote and cleared my DVR.

It seemed like the 1st string D was running some unusual defensive formations (When compared to the extra vanilla we are acustomed to!!). Did anybody see that or was I imagining it because I was high on adrenaline from seeing actual real life (all be it preseason) Texans Football?
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Old 08-18-2010   #2
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

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Originally Posted by Big Lou View Post
I watched the game against the Cards and was going to rewatch to do some informal break down, but my 3 year old daughter decided to play with the remote and cleared my DVR.

It seemed like the 1st string D was running some unusual defensive formations (When compared to the extra vanilla we are acustomed to!!). Did anybody see that or was I imagining it because I was high on adrenaline from seeing actual real life (all be it preseason) Texans Football?
Not too far off. I'm used to seeing our defense get burned all preseason
long, and the EXCUSE being "it's just vanilla preseason defense."

Saturday, they were downright DOMINANT, and doing crazy things at
the same time. They even had Connor Freaking Barwin faking a
blitz, then dropping back to cover the flats. Amobi, Antonio, and
Mario were killing the Cardinals all quarter long.

I'm actually ANXIOUS to see how they do against the next two
legitimate teams they have coming up in the next two weeks.
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Old 08-18-2010   #3
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

I couldn't agree with you guys more. Plus Pollard and Cushing laid a couple of hits on Hightower, plus Wilson's hit on Fitzgerald and it looked to me like the Cardinals first team couldn't get off the field fast enough.

You add the Myers impersonation for the Cardinal's RT in Mario's first sack and there was a game full of big time hits that came in the first 7-8 minutes of the game. I'm foaming at the mouth waiting to see if that game was a mirage or are we really going to see that all year. The thought that Ryans might me the 5th best player on that defense and holy smolly who needs a running game to win this year.
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Old 08-18-2010   #4
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lou View Post
I watched the game against the Cards and was going to rewatch to do some informal break down, but my 3 year old daughter decided to play with the remote and cleared my DVR.

It seemed like the 1st string D was running some unusual defensive formations (When compared to the extra vanilla we are acustomed to!!). Did anybody see that or was I imagining it because I was high on adrenaline from seeing actual real life (all be it preseason) Texans Football?
Yep...

They had Mario standing up in a two point stance twice that I saw...Plus Barwin dropped back into covg a couple times...There were also some blitzes mixed in...

I couldn't tell what we were doing on the back...would have to watch the game again to even attempt to decipher that...
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Old 08-18-2010   #5
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

Through good decision making (drafting Cushing, Barwin, Quin) and good luck (acquiring Pollard as a FA), we now have the best personnel on the field than we've ever had. We also have the best DC and the best defensive scheming we've ever had. So many factors have changed from two years ago, while learning curves have peaked, that everyone outside of the Texans fanbase is going to be knocked on their ass by how good our defense will be.

I'm already going to pick up the Texans as my defense in the last round of my fantasy draft. No one else has a clue.
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Old 08-18-2010   #6
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

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Originally Posted by Brisco_County View Post
Through good decision making (drafting Cushing, Barwin, Quin) and good luck (acquiring Pollard as a FA), we now have the best personnel on the field than we've ever had. We also have the best DC and the best defensive scheming we've ever had. So many factors have changed from two years ago, while learning curves have peaked, that everyone outside of the Texans fanbase is going to be knocked on their ass by how good our defense will be.

I'm already going to pick up the Texans as my defense in the last round of my fantasy draft. No one else has a clue.
Easy! Easy there, killer!!

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Old 08-18-2010   #7
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

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Easy! Easy there, killer!!

The last round guys are usually scrubs or kickers anyways.
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Old 08-18-2010   #8
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

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The last round guys are usually scrubs or kickers anyways.
Where would Vista fall to in the draft??
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Old 08-18-2010   #9
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lou View Post
I watched the game against the Cards and was going to rewatch to do some informal break down, but my 3 year old daughter decided to play with the remote and cleared my DVR.

It seemed like the 1st string D was running some unusual defensive formations (When compared to the extra vanilla we are acustomed to!!). Did anybody see that or was I imagining it because I was high on adrenaline from seeing actual real life (all be it preseason) Texans Football?
We had a lot of odd man fronts. Lots of times, we had basically a 3 man front with an "athletic" DL standing up and either dropping into coverage or rushing. Several times, Barwin lined up at DT (either with his hand down or with his hand up) and fell back into coverage.

We had one play where our 3 DL were lined up over their Center and Guards and then Sharpton (iirc) and Barwin came up on either side of the line in 2 point stances and then came on blitzes... that blew up a running play, iirc.

The thing is, we looked creative with our D and that led to some confusion on the Cardinal's part. And I think practicing against that sort of D made our line better able to pick up the stunts and blitzes that the Cardinals were bringing.
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Old 08-18-2010   #10
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

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Where would Vista fall to in the draft??
UDFA.
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Old 08-18-2010   #11
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

Ran a bunch of Under looks too with the 1st team, with Cushing standing up on the edge.
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Old 08-18-2010   #12
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

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Originally Posted by Texan_Bill View Post
Where would Vista fall to in the draft??
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Originally Posted by brakos82 View Post
UDFA.
NFL Europa.
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Old 08-18-2010   #13
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

they did appear to have opened the playbook up a bit more, or what we perceive as vanilla is much more advanced than in previous years now that we're maturing and getting familiar. something i noticed or atleast thought i did is that we switched away from the 4-3 over without cushing, into more often a traditional inside 4-3. i havent rewatched the game yet, so is that something anyone else saw? it makes sense in that cushing is a different animal than all but maybe diles among our linebackers, more suited at the line of scrimmage while bing and jackson need more space.
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Old 08-18-2010   #14
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

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Originally Posted by Scooter View Post
they did appear to have opened the playbook up a bit more, or what we perceive as vanilla is much more advanced than in previous years now that we're maturing and getting familiar. something i noticed or atleast thought i did is that we switched away from the 4-3 over without cushing, into more often a traditional inside 4-3. i havent rewatched the game yet, so is that something anyone else saw? it makes sense in that cushing is a different animal than all but maybe diles among our linebackers, more suited at the line of scrimmage while bing and jackson need more space.
They gave both looks. As people have noted there were quite a variety of formations, who had hands on the ground, drops, stunts, etc. I like the aggression, just hope they don't lose assignment too often.
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Old 08-19-2010   #15
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

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They gave both looks. As people have noted there were quite a variety of formations, who had hands on the ground, drops, stunts, etc. I like the aggression, just hope they don't lose assignment too often.
The alignment that had Barwin or Nading as the DT/LB lined up shaded over the guard's outside shoulder could be very susceptible to running plays into that hole. And if Barwin ALWAYS drops from that position, then a QB like Peyton is going to eat that up.

I think we're seeing that as our players get more and more accustomed to the defense, the defense is getting more and more exotic and ... well... modern.
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Old 08-20-2010   #16
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
The alignment that had Barwin or Nading as the DT/LB lined up shaded over the guard's outside shoulder could be very susceptible to running plays into that hole. And if Barwin ALWAYS drops from that position, then a QB like Peyton is going to eat that up.

I think we're seeing that as our players get more and more accustomed to the defense, the defense is getting more and more exotic and ... well... modern.
PS is always the time when they try out different things.
Each year, it would be some thing else.
Personnel would dictate how much of a variety show a team can put on.

Regarding Barwin lining up as UT and dropping back; I think I like it.
But of course, we don't have to worry about him ALWAYS drops from that position.
A DT who can do a good job dropping into coverage, IMHO, is one of the effective ways to defend against Manning (who's difficult to blitz against to start with.)
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Old 08-20-2010   #17
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

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PS is always the time when they try out different things.
Each year, it would be some thing else.
Personnel would dictate how much of a variety show a team can put on.
I think another issue that lead to the defensive fiasco we saw early last year, was that we were still trying to figure some of these things out in those first three games. When they talk about simplifying the defense, I thought getting rid of these exotic & experimental packages was part of that.

I'm glad that we are working on them now, and would love to see them in the regular season, when they have all the wrinkles worked out.
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A DT who can do a good job dropping into coverage, IMHO, is one of the effective ways to defend against Manning (who's difficult to blitz against to start with.)
I think the most effective way to defend Manning would be to jam the receivers off the line, that includes Dallas Clark, which will require a very talented DE/LB. I would like to see them Jam him with a DE, on his way to the QB, and a LB to pick him up on the release.
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Old 08-20-2010   #18
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

There were two good examples of disguised blitzes. On one play Cushing is lined up strong over the slot and Pollard is in the box eyeing the QB. There is nothing to suggest a blitz. (no leaning in or anything.) At the snap Cushing blitzes and Pollard takes the slot. It's executed perfectly and leads to a fumble. (I think it was a bad exchange actually but the collision with Cushing certainly didn't help.)

Another example is late in game McMannis is lined up on the slot and shows absolutely no sign of blitzing. He checks the QB pre-snap a few times but even goes so far as to zero in on the WR at the snap (while maintaining good pre snap form.) He takes a good angle and would have broken up the play if not for a very good throw.

We're going to have a story on this guy at Texans Bull Blog. His football awareness at this early stage in his career is very VERY promising.
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Old 08-20-2010   #19
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

Notes:

The Texans 2nd/3rd string were going against the Cards' 1st string O-line, basically.

Faneca came out in the second quarter, but the guy who replaced him was the starter last year.

And in the second half, they still had guys who were starters or had seen a lot of games as starters (and are not over-the-hill):
Bridges (43 starts), Hadnot (76 starts), Lutui (56 starts)
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Old 08-20-2010   #20
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Default Re: Defensive Formations against the Cardinals....

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There were two good examples of disguised blitzes. On one play Cushing is lined up strong over the slot and Pollard is in the box eyeing the QB. There is nothing to suggest a blitz. (no leaning in or anything.) At the snap Cushing blitzes and Pollard takes the slot. It's executed perfectly and leads to a fumble. (I think it was a bad exchange actually but the collision with Cushing certainly didn't help.)

Another example is late in game McMannis is lined up on the slot and shows absolutely no sign of blitzing. He checks the QB pre-snap a few times but even goes so far as to zero in on the WR at the snap (while maintaining good pre snap form.) He takes a good angle and would have broken up the play if not for a very good throw.

We're going to have a story on this guy at Texans Bull Blog. His football awareness at this early stage in his career is very VERY promising.
I like all of our draft pick this year.

McManis, (from the games I watched him in college), the main thing he needs to work on is how to get off the WRs to help in on stopping the run.
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