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Old 10-19-2010   #1
dalemurphy
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Default Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

One month ago, I would have argued that our starting linebackers (including Cushing) were, perhaps, the best group of 4-3 backers in the NFL. Well, Demeco is out for the year, Diles is playing horribly the past few weeks, and Cushing has been inconsistent in his two games since returning from suspension. It is going to be very interesting to see how MLB is addressed over the next few days. Judging by Diles’ performance and the confusion of the defense after he slid over to MLB at halftime, I am doubtful he is the solution there. However, there are a host of problems if it is someone else. First, Xavier Adibi is the linebacker the Texans like first off the bench. However, he is exclusively a WLB. So, starting Adibi would mean Diles has to move to the middle. Bentley is a solid option at MLB. He’s a good tackler and can handle the defensive calls. However, his lack of speed is a serious liability in coverage. And, if he is inserted at MLB due to his ability to run the defense, he will still be removed in nickel, which would mean someone else would take over quarterbacking the defense. Daryl Sharpton has the ability to play every down at MLB. However, not only is he a rookie, but he has been inactive most of the regular season due to injury. And, I’m not sure how excited the Texans are about replacing the defensive leader with a rookie in the midst of all the issues with the youth in the secondary. That hardly seems like an ideal way to create stability and lessen the confusion that has been evident.

All of that being said, this is a deep and talented group of linebackers. Replacing Demeco may actually improve the athleticism at the position and could be especially beneficial in coverage. At least the staff has the extra week to work on the solution.

Below is some unpleasant video of Cushing and Diles from the KC game. One thing for certain: these two will need to play much better if this team can prosper without Demeco… and, maybe the Ryans’ injury will serve as a wakeup call for them.

(We didn’t have the heart to film David Nixon lowlights. The FCC would probably levy a hefty fine for indecency if we did)

VIDEO OF Diles and Cushing
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Old 10-19-2010   #2
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

Do we need to start different LBs (already on the team) or sign a free-agent LB to improve this group's performance?
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Old 10-19-2010   #3
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

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Do we need to start different LBs (already on the team) or sign a free-agent LB to improve this group's performance?
I think any signing will be for depth only. You need the MLB to make defensive calls, etc... and, I can not imagine that working with a guy who has only been with the team for 10 days. I think the decision comes down to whether the Texans value the leadership and steadiness of Bentley over the athleticism of Sharpton. I think they will refrain from moving Diles to the middle. He seemed lost. However, maybe being prepared to play it with a week a practice would change that... I'm not sure.
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Old 10-19-2010   #4
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

Sharpton is the most gifted & natural MIKE of the bunch. Initially I thought the Texans had him projected as the #2 behind DeMeco. Didn't understand why they would post him weakside unless they were not real happy about Diles, which was never mentioned. Cushing, Sharpton, Diles should come out swinging @ Indy, remember their MLB is also a rookie, Angerer & sharpton shows better intstincts for the ball, very quick read & react

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Old 10-20-2010   #5
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

If Sharpton is healthy, I say you play him. He's got the physical skills to replace Demeco. He needs the experience, and we can't really get any worse.
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Old 10-20-2010   #6
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

Funny, how just a few weeks ago, in the context of having such a poor rush and terrible secondary play, the Texans and many fans were saying "At least we don't have to worry about the LB corps with Cushing coming back and all our depth."

But don't worry, Kubiak has assured us, we'll be solving our problems "in house."

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Old 10-20-2010   #7
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

Queue TTP talking about how we needed to draft Clay Mathews because he is the long hard peg that fits in our soft round hole.
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Old 10-20-2010   #8
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

What ever happened to Danny Clark?
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Old 10-20-2010   #9
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
Funny, how just a few weeks ago, in the context of having such a poor rush and terrible secondary play, the Texans and many fans were saying "At least we don't have to worry about the LB corps with Cushing coming back and all our depth."

But don't worry, Kubiak has assured us, we'll be solving our problems "in house."

I see what you did there....I expect a Adibi - Diles - Cushing LB crew out there against the Colts but I'm not exactly excited for it. Diles practically walks into blocks and missed tackles, at least Cushing has the excuse of returning from suspension and even then he's more active than anyone other than Antonio Smith. By the way, if we had another DL like Smith we should be good to go, that guy is in the backfield on practically every play.

These film studies are getting worse. It's like they don't understand how a coverage is supposed to contain, let alone STOP a play. DM/B are totally correct that the secondary is a group of individual players instead of just being a group. Zone is trust and their zone/trust in each other is dookie piles.

Hooray for 2 weeks to FIX THE PROBLEM. I mean, at this point it's almost as easy as "Hey, you know how you aren't dropping into your zone....okay so DROP INTO YOUR ZONE!!!"
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Old 10-20-2010   #10
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

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What ever happened to Danny Clark?
Danny Clark was picked up after we cut him here.
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Old 10-20-2010   #11
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

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I see what you did there....I expect a Adibi - Diles - Cushing LB crew out there against the Colts but I'm not exactly excited for it. Diles practically walks into blocks and missed tackles, at least Cushing has the excuse of returning from suspension and even then he's more active than anyone other than Antonio Smith. By the way, if we had another DL like Smith we should be good to go, that guy is in the backfield on practically every play.

These film studies are getting worse. It's like they don't understand how a coverage is supposed to contain, let alone STOP a play. DM/B are totally correct that the secondary is a group of individual players instead of just being a group. Zone is trust and their zone/trust in each other is dookie piles.

Hooray for 2 weeks to FIX THE PROBLEM. I mean, at this point it's almost as easy as "Hey, you know how you aren't dropping into your zone....okay so DROP INTO YOUR ZONE!!!"
That's the good thing about our zone coverage issues they are MENTAL lapses that you see in high school, these SHOULD be fixable. I don't really understand how you can regress this way unless someone is doing a horrawful (shaq refence) job of coaching them...
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Old 10-20-2010   #12
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

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Is it just me, or are all those run plays to Antonio's side?

On that first play in the Cushing video, please tell me they called that hold against Mario.... please, actually both ends were being held, but that one on Mario was blatant. That must have been one of the plays he didn't take off, since he was in on the tackle on the other side of the field.
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Old 10-20-2010   #13
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

I may be in the minority, I'm not really sure, but I think as soon as Merriman is healthy and released we should do what it takes to sign him. Throw him on the outside and move Diles to the middle. Diles as our MLB isn't exactly encouraging, but the best thing we've got.
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Old 10-20-2010   #14
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

I kind of get Cushing, since he is getting up to speed of the game off of a suspension. Diles is who I thought he was.
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Old 10-20-2010   #15
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

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I may be in the minority, I'm not really sure, but I think as soon as Merriman is healthy and released we should do what it takes to sign him. Throw him on the outside and move Diles to the middle. Diles as our MLB isn't exactly encouraging, but the best thing we've got.
We both might be in the minority then. Unless Diles just dramatically improves, which is possible considering he played MLB at K-state and has two weeks to ease into the transition better, I sit him and put in Sharpton at MLB.
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Old 10-20-2010   #16
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

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We both might be in the minority then. Unless Diles just dramatically improves, which is possible considering he played MLB at K-state and has two weeks to ease into the transition better, I sit him and put in Sharpton at MLB.
I'd be fine with that, though I'd prefer we ease Sharpton in by Diles initially starting with Sharpton being subbed(sp?) in more and more frequently to see if he can handle it.
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Old 10-20-2010   #17
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

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That's the good thing about our zone coverage issues they are MENTAL lapses that you see in high school, these SHOULD be fixable. I don't really understand how you can regress this way unless someone is doing a horrawful (shaq refence) job of coaching them...
I think they are trying to get the players to do too much.
Football players (almost all of them) are not rocket scientists.
I hate to say it again, but our defense is still one of the youngest in the league. That's not even counting all these players who missed games.

In order for all eleven of them to stay on the same page, I would think the coaches should have simplified their assignments to begin the season.
Then they can add things as they see fit.
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Old 10-20-2010   #18
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

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I think they are trying to get the players to do too much.
Football players (almost all of them) are not rocket scientists.
I hate to say it again, but our defense is still one of the youngest in the league. That's not even counting all these players who missed games.

In order for all eleven of them to stay on the same page, I would think the coaches should have simplified their assignments to begin the season.
Then they can add things as they see fit.
If they are asking our players to do too much in this defense I'd hate to see us move to something like the Jets/Steelers play.. ugh..
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Old 10-20-2010   #19
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

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We both might be in the minority then. Unless Diles just dramatically improves, which is possible considering he played MLB at K-state and has two weeks to ease into the transition better, I sit him and put in Sharpton at MLB.
I think a lot of it depends on the health of these guys.

If they are all healthy, I think (and prefere) that they put Bentley at MLB (experience - he had played MLB for us before) and keep Diles at WILL (experience.)

Get Sharpton to share the load at MLB and give Adibi some snaps at WILL.

In nickel situation, I can see Cushing & Adibi (Sharpton).

In the 4-3, but in obvious passing situation, I see Cush, Sharpton, and Adibi.

Diles is better playing downhill.
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Old 10-20-2010   #20
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Default Re: Middle linebacker. What will happen? and, Diles stinks right now!

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If they are asking our players to do too much in this defense I'd hate to see us move to something like the Jets/Steelers play.. ugh..
Got to go... will get back later.
But yeah, you need to learn to walk before you can run.
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