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Old 08-24-2010   #1
dalemurphy
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Default Solution for Starting LG

I'm hopeful that, after the horrid performance by Wade Smith and another good (but short) performance by my new, favorite Texan (Shelley Smith) that we may see Shelley get some reps against the 1st unit on Saturday.... Here's the article:



This is my second article in a week praising Shelley Smith’s performance. So, I should preface this one by stating that I am not a Colorado State graduate. I watched Shelley Smith at training camp and came away unimpressed. So, I was as surprised as anyone to witness his performance in Arizona. It was flawless. Kubiak made special mention of Smith’s performance in the press conference after the Arizona game when asked an unrelated question. So, clearly the coaching staff took note. So, I was excited to see Shelley Smith play against New Orleans’ second unit this week. Unfortunately, because of a lack offensive snaps due to a pitiful defensive performance, Smith did not enter the game until the final drive. I am hopeful that Shelley Smith will get a genuine look in the game versus Dallas, but I am concerned that (for reasons I am not privy to) the Texan coaching staff has determined that he is not a consideration for an active day roster job, either as starting LG or as the G/C backup… He did, after all, start at center for three years at CSU.

Below is a play from the end of the game at New Orleans. Shelley Smith is LG, #71. He only played about 10 snaps but once again never got beat and always looked good. What I love about this video are a few things: He takes care of his primary job. He has his head on a swivel, looking for blitzes and stunts. He realizes he can help elsewhere. He is determined to hit somebody. The physicality and agressiveness he displays as he takes out the RDE. Below the Shelley Smith highlight are two lowlights of Wade Smith from Saturday. His play was very poor, in my opinion. Finally, there is a link below to check out highlights of Shelley Smith from the Arizona game, if you are so inclined:

Here's the link to the video
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Old 08-24-2010   #2
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

Nickname him Hambone and Im in .
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Old 08-24-2010   #3
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

The Saints game Saturday drives home that point, that cliche about football games being won at the LOS. When a team has a guard tandem so good, like the Saints, that they can make Reggie Bush look like Christian "The Nigerian Nightmare" Okoye running up the middle, well that's says it all.
And this has not got anything to do with Ben Tate being injured, but I would have hoped the Texans had used their second round puick on an interior OLineman given the concerns at that position, but I know the Wade Smith FA pickup precluded that option in the 2010 Draft.
Regarding the idea of inserting the CSU rookie at LG, not gonna happen. It's now too late in the preseason for Kubiak to do anything that bold, or risky.
If we have injuries in that area, we may see him but otherwise I doubt it.
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Old 08-24-2010   #4
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

I liked the pick when it happened, became slightly discouraged during training camp when he was not mentioned, and am now back to being excited. Ah, the joys of off-season!
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Old 08-24-2010   #5
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDEXAN View Post
The Saints game Saturday drives home that point, that cliche about football games being won at the LOS. When a team has a guard tandem so good, like the Saints, that they can make Reggie Bush look like Christian "The Nigerian Nightmare" Okoye running up the middle, well that's says it all.
And this has not got anything to do with Ben Tate being injured, but I would have hoped the Texans had used their second round puick on an interior OLineman given the concerns at that position, but I know the Wade Smith FA pickup precluded that option in the 2010 Draft.
Regarding the idea of inserting the CSU rookie at LG, not gonna happen. It's now too late in the preseason for Kubiak to do anything that bold, or risky.
If we have injuries in that area, we may see him but otherwise I doubt it
.
I think you are right. However, I would like to see him given enough reps that he could solidify himself on the roster. I would hate for them to expose this guy to waivers. It is frustrating, though, that there was supposed to be an open competition for a spot and this guy has been great in games, yet he seems locked out of the competition. Perhaps, though, Kubiak simply doesn't want to introduce inexperience into the offense unless it is neccessary. I think the gameday evidence/performance should override such thinking, though. It doesn't appear that Wade Smith's experience is providing much for them right now.
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Old 08-24-2010   #6
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

He may be a "game day"player. Some guys just crank it up for a game. 10 plays is not enough to get time with the ones IMO but he needs to just keep plugging because I can see an opportunity for him to get much more time on field as season progresses. I am underwhelmed by our Oline.
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Old 08-24-2010   #7
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

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Originally Posted by badboy View Post
He may be a "game day"player. Some guys just crank it up for a game. 10 plays is not enough to get time with the ones IMO but he needs to just keep plugging because I can see an opportunity for him to get much more time on field as season progresses. I am underwhelmed by our Oline.
On the other hand, it pretty cool that nobody is even discussing the OTs! They've been good and are reliable. Nice not to have that problem anymore, isn't it?
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Old 08-24-2010   #8
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

Didn't Duane Brown give up that sack?
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Old 08-24-2010   #9
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

Quote:
Originally Posted by badboy View Post
He may be a "game day"player. Some guys just crank it up for a game. 10 plays is not enough to get time with the ones IMO but he needs to just keep plugging because I can see an opportunity for him to get much more time on field as season progresses. I am underwhelmed by our Oline.
This

I was also underwhemed by both of the interior OL/DL.

Not that this should be suprising. Since these 2 areas were failed to be addressed this offseason.

If there has been one failing in the Smithiak regime it has been the failure to invest in the interior OL/DL. Games are won in the trenches and the Texans are severely lacking in talent in these 2 positions. IMHO

I dont see the playoffs in the Texans future until these problems are fixed.
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Old 08-24-2010   #10
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

The 3rd and 4th round picks of this draft were terrible, IMO. That's not a knock on the players, but rather a knock on the staff for choosing irresponsibly, IMO. The team needed interior line, both defensively and offensively. They drafted Earl Mitchell, but let's be honest - he isn't the type of DT the Texans need. And in the 4th round, they chose yet another TE and a LB. Sharpton is playing very well, and Graham has shown he can contribute as well. But somewhere in there, even if you think Earl Mitchell is the answer at DT (which I don't), you could have taken a C/G.
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Old 08-24-2010   #11
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelbtexan View Post
This

I was also underwhemed by both of the interior OL/DL.

Not that this should be suprising. Since these 2 areas were failed to be addressed this offseason.

If there has been one failing in the Smithiak regime it has been the failure to invest in the interior OL/DL. Games are won in the trenches and the Texans are severely lacking in talent in these 2 positions. IMHO

I dont see the playoffs in the Texans future until these problems are fixed.
Steel,

I agree that these two areas are a weakness. However, I don't think they went unaddressed. Our biggest FA signing was Wade Smith and we also drafted Shelley Smith. On the DL, we drafted Earl Mitchell.

Now, at this point, I could argue that the Wade Smith signing doesn't look good, but I think the organization attempted to strengthen both positions.

Also, I think Caldwell has looked very good at RG. With Brisiel returning, I think this group should be able to play up to the 2008 standard. Which was average, at least. By the way, Indianapolis has had a nice run of seasons despite average interior Oline play and poor DT play.. So did Arizona and Phildelphia. Hope is not lost!
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Old 08-24-2010   #12
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

The answer to solving the LG problem is to trade next years no.1 pick for all pro LG Logan Mankins. He's 28 yrs old I believe and would help solidify the entire OL.

Of course you would have to sign him to a contract extention. So this isn't going to happen.
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Old 08-24-2010   #13
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelbtexan View Post
This

I was also underwhemed by both of the interior OL/DL.

Not that this should be suprising. Since these 2 areas were failed to be addressed this offseason.

If there has been one failing in the Smithiak regime it has been the failure to invest in the interior OL/DL. Games are won in the trenches and the Texans are severely lacking in talent in these 2 positions. IMHO

I dont see the playoffs in the Texans future until these problems are fixed.
They've taken Amobi and Mitchell in the first and third rounds...They've taken Okam in the fifth (iirc).

They took Caldwell in the third and they took Studdard in the fifth and we took Shelley Smith this year.

The investments may not have had much return, but they have invested in both the D-line and O-line.

Can't address everything though...Maybe the TE picks have been redundant, but it's not like they have proven to be bad players either.
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Old 08-24-2010   #14
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

I hope you are right.

They did attempt to address the problem with Mitchell and Smith. It just appears as of now these Smithiak aquisitions =fail.

With that said it's still the preseason and I'm not going to jump off the proverbial ledge yet.
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Old 08-24-2010   #15
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rey View Post
They've taken Amobi and Mitchell in the first and third rounds...They've taken Okam in the fifth (iirc).

They took Caldwell in the third and they took Studdard in the fifth and we took Shelley Smith this year.

The investments may not have had much return, but they have invested in both the D-line and O-line.

Can't address everything though...Maybe the TE picks have been redundant, but it's not like they have proven to be bad players either.
This is more of an example of the ineptness of the front office than anything. IMHO
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Old 08-24-2010   #16
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

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Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
On the other hand, it pretty cool that nobody is even discussing the OTs! They've been good and are reliable. Nice not to have that problem anymore, isn't it?
Sorry, but gonna throw out another old cliche: "you get what you pay for".
Our LT is a first-rounder and Winston was taken very high in the third round IIRC ? On the other hand our collection of guards/centers are FAs and late round picks, while the best interior lineman the Texans ever had (Chester Pitts) was a second-rounder.
While I could always see the importance of using high-picks on OTs, I've now changed my mind about interior olieneman and think their importance is also too much to wait around to see who's left every draft in the late-rounds.
Of course there's no guarantees getting high-value with high-picks, but the margin of error is greatly reduced.
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Old 08-24-2010   #17
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

Quote:
Originally Posted by eriadoc View Post
The 3rd and 4th round picks of this draft were terrible, IMO. That's not a knock on the players, but rather a knock on the staff for choosing irresponsibly, IMO. The team needed interior line, both defensively and offensively. They drafted Earl Mitchell, but let's be honest - he isn't the type of DT the Texans need. And in the 4th round, they chose yet another TE and a LB. Sharpton is playing very well, and Graham has shown he can contribute as well. But somewhere in there, even if you think Earl Mitchell is the answer at DT (which I don't), you could have taken a C/G.
Can you name someone specific?

I went back and looked at this past draft, and there really isn't much there...Also, you have to remember that the Texans want guys that fit their system...

Sure they could have taken one just to take one, but do those players immediately come in and make us better?

I don't know...
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Old 08-24-2010   #18
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rey View Post
Can you name someone specific?

I went back and looked at this past draft, and there really isn't much there...Also, you have to remember that the Texans want guys that fit their system...

Sure they could have taken one just to take one, but do those players immediately come in and make us better?

I don't know...
Zane Beadles taken 45 overall by the Broncos - a natural ZBS LG.
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Old 08-24-2010   #19
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

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Zane Beadles taken 45 overall by the Broncos - a natural ZBS LG.
The Texans had the 58th pick in the 2nd round.

Are you saying they should have traded up to get him or taken him in the first round?
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Old 08-24-2010   #20
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Default Re: Solution for Starting LG

Nice videos. They illustrate him very well, a highlight reel of sorts for an OL, showing every skill you could possibly want to see. Exploding off the line into the defenses 2nd level to knock out a LB, absorbs a DT/keeps him blocked AT THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE AND NOT 3 YARDS INTO THE BACKFIELD...good blocking technique, good strength, good quickness in run blocking. The next post showed off his pass pro, again absorbing the initial DT punch without losing a single step to him, passes him off the the C, keeps his head up to see a DE getting the better of his T and promptly lays the wood on him, keeping his QB upright and able to throw.

I seriously wonder what it will take to remove Studdard. God writing a message with clouds and floating them over the stadium?
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