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Old 03-28-2005   #1
TEXANS84
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Default Inside Slant, USAToday.com:

Inside Slant

The Texans continue to sort out their plans at linebacker.
What they do know: new acquisition Morlon Greenwood fits best at weak-side inside linebacker and second-year pro Jason Babin is set at strong-side outside linebacker.

After that, the Texans must decide where Kailee Wong best fits into the scenario and whether third-year pro Antwan Peek can become a fulltime starter.

The Texans are forced to explore options after inside linebackers Jamie Sharper and Jay Foreman, the team's top tacklers each of the last three years, were told this offseason they are no longer part of the team's plans. Foreman was granted his wish to be released earlier this month and Sharper has permission to seek a trade, although he's likely to be cut at some point if he isn't dealt.

Wong, who has played both outside positions, could be moved inside to Foreman's former spot. That would open an outside position for Peek, or the team could look to upgrade through the draft. Wong plans to meet with coach Dom Capers next week when Capers returns from the NFL owners' meetings. Wong said he hasn't been told where he would play.

"I just want to play," Wong said. "That's the biggest thing. As long as I'm playing, and I get to play a lot of plays, I'm happy. We're going to definitely have to work harder in minicamp to get everyone on the same page."

NOTES, QUOTES

—The offseason decisions to part ways with starting linebackers Jamie Sharper and Jay Foreman, the Texans' leading tacklers each of the past three seasons, came as a surprise to some teammates.

"I'm surprised on one hand, but on one hand I'm not," cornerback Aaron Glenn said. "In this business, people come and go real quick and you have to fly with it. Hopefully, the people who come in are going to step in and pick up where those guys left off."

—Texans quarterback David Carr and his wife, Melody, welcomed their third son during the offseason.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It seems like the time went by real fast but it's your job so when it's time to go, you have to be ready." - Wide receiver Andre Johnson on the start of the Texans' off-season conditioning program.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

NEEDS/DREAFT PRIORITIES

1. Pass protection. The Texans must do a better job of shielding quarterback David Carr, who was sacked 49 times during 2004 and 140 times in the past three seasons. The Texans were preparing to make a run for left tackle Walter Jones until he signed a multi-year deal to remain with the Seahawks. Buffalo's Jonas Jennings would be a significant upgrade over incumbent Seth Wand. Otherwise, Florida State's Alex Barron and Oklahoma's Jammal Brown are considered the best tackles in the draft.

2. Cornerback. You can never have enough talented corners, especially with Indianapolis residing in the AFC South. Aaron Glenn will be 33 by the time the season starts and it's a deep draft at the position. Imagine getting another one like last year's first round pick Dunta Robinson. Having two terrific cover corners would allow the Texans to do a lot of things with their linebackers and safeties.

3. Wide receiver. Andre Johnson became a Pro Bowl receiver in 2004 but was often neutralized by opponents who thought they could over-commit to Johnson's side of the field because the Texans' lack another reliable deep threat. A free agent such as Jerry Porter (Oakland) or Plaxico Burress (Pittsburgh) would help, although neither will come cheap. Michigan's Braylon Edwards and former USC star Mike Williams are the top receivers in the draft.


usatoday.com Inside Slant article on the Texans
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Old 03-28-2005   #2
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I am 100% behind the draft priorities. Only one thing bugs me from that article: What does Carr's 3rd kid half to do with anything? Dont get me wrong, I congradulate him but it doesn't fit the article.
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Old 03-28-2005   #3
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I think this is pretty old news though.
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Old 03-28-2005   #4
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Inside Slant, USAToday.com:

The Texans have many needs. Pass protection, and Linebacker help. The moon reflects light from the sun.

Now back to the Texans...

j/k
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Old 03-28-2005   #5
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The Texans made an aggressive play for Rams OLT Orlando Pace but were left empty-handed when he signed a lucrative new contract to stay in St. Louis. What does this mean for Houston? Barring an impact addition via free agency or the draft, we’re told the team is likely to give Seth Wand another shot at left tackle. Wand started at left tackle last season, but he had some problems in pass protection. Last month, Texans general manager Charley Casserly said he liked Wand’s potential. “Seth Wand, I think, is a young guy who played a year ahead of time,” he said. “We like him. He’s a good prospect. We’re happy to have him. He’s going through a learning curve. I think he’s done a good job, and I think he’ll continue to improve next year.” The Texans pick 13th in the draft, but a source close to the team says outside linebacker and wide receiver may be priorities ahead of left tackle.
http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW...HI/default.htm
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Old 03-28-2005   #6
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I am shocked noone mentioned our lack of defensive penetration and inability to get to the QB.

I think Our LB problems are not that bad. But that is why im out here and Casserly and Capers are in there.
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Old 03-29-2005   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outofhnd
I am shocked noone mentioned our lack of defensive penetration and inability to get to the QB.

I think Our LB problems are not that bad. But that is why im out here and Casserly and Capers are in there.

well considering that R. Smith, S. Payne, and Gary Walker all have pretty new contracts, and they are pretty nice ones so i doubt the coaches have any intentions of them not starting on the DL for us next season.
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Old 03-29-2005   #8
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Yes they will start but we have yet to go through a season where all 3 have been healthy enough to really make the impact we want from our starting DL.

Not to mention after our starting 3 the backup talent dropoff is staggering. We need to definately grab some young DL soon or we are goin to have the same problems we have been having on our frontline.

Sears and DeLoach just were not the answer.

Iaone has flashes of great play but is inconsistent in his play.

We need to bring in a fresh crop of DL and let them push our "well paid" starting 3 as well as push our backups to do more than they have been the last 3 years.
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Old 03-30-2005   #9
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thats a horrible article they talk about players that have already been signed including joey porter who was signed before greenwood, so no excuse.
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Old 03-30-2005   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Tejano
I think this is pretty old news though.
Posted 3/26/2005 10:27 PM

That is when the article hit USAToday.com.

While the article may have just posted, I do to agree that the editor/writer should have updated some of the talk including the Burress and JERRY PORTER (not Joey Porter).
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Old 04-18-2005   #11
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Inside Slant Article

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Inside Slant
Wide receiver Corey Bradford found no takers in the free agent market and decided his best option was to stay put with the Houston Texans.
Bradford has seen his role in the Texans' offense diminish the past two seasons and now he'll be paid as a No. 3 receiver after agreeing to a one-year deal worth $800,000 that includes a $150,000 signing bonus.

Bradford, a seven-year veteran who led the team with a career-best 697 receiving yards in 2002, saw his role reduced after the Texans selected Andre Johnson with the third overall pick of the 2003 draft. Bradford caught just 51 passes for 859 yards over the past two seasons combined.

The Texans were not overly aggressive in their attempts to re-sign Bradford, an unrestricted free agent. He visited the Lions and Giants before deciding his best fit was to remain with Houston, where he will likely be the third option for David Carr behind Johnson and fourth-year pro Jabar Gaffney.

"The Texans had a better record last year than the teams I was looking at," Bradford said. "We've gotten better every year, and I think this is the year we're going to do it - the playoffs and everything. This is going to be that year, and I'd like to be a part of that."

Bradford's new contract is a bargain for the Texans, considering the team gave him a three-year, $5.25 million deal with a $1.8 million signing bonus when it signed him as a free agent in 2002.

Bradford was the No. 3 receiver in Green Bay for most of his first four years in the NFL before he was signed during the Texans' inaugural season. He proved to be a legitimate deep threat for the Texans, averaging 16.2 yards a catch, but the team often struggled to get the ball into his hands. Since Johnson's arrival, Bradford has caught more than three passes in a game just once.

"I talked to coach (offensive coordinator Chris) Palmer and (receivers coach) Kippy (Brown), and they told me we were putting some new wrinkles in the offense that would give me more opportunities to do what I do best, so I feel good about that," Bradford said. "Also, my parents are getting older, and I want them to be able to see me play. They're only four hours away (in Clinton, La.). I just felt good about doing a one-year contract, seeing what happens and maybe hitting the market again next year."

DRAFT STRATEGY — Unlike past years when it was clear how the Texans would use their first-round pick, there is plenty of uncertainty about what to do with the No. 13 overall selection. This much is certain: They won't use the pick on a quarterback.

It's no secret the Texans need pass blockers, pass rushers, cornerbacks and another wide receiver. The team has done little to improve itself in free agency, so the draft will be critical.

The highest priorities are to find a big-time left tackle and improve the pass rush. The Texans could choose to find an upgrade over Seth Wand, who moved into the starting lineup and had an up-and-down season. Although it wouldn't be the sexiest pick, the Texans could opt to take Alex Barron, a 320-pound offensive tackle from Florida State.

The pass rush has been among the league's worst the past three seasons. Wisconsin's Erasmus James, LSU's Marcus Spears and Maryland's Shawne Merriman, both of whom played end in college, have caught the team's attention. If the Texans don't use a first round pick on a pass-rush specialist they will do so later in the first day.

Finding a complement for Pro Bowler Andre Johnson is also a must. Too many times Johnson was neutralized by opponents and the Texans did not have another big-play threat to keep defenses honest. South Carolina's Troy Williamson or former USC wideout Mike Williams would fit nicely into the Texans offense and give quarterback David Carr another legitimate scoring threat.

The Texans could use some depth at cornerback considering they play the pass-happy Colts twice a year and starter Aaron Glenn will turn 33 in July. Dunta Robinson is an emerging star and Demarcus Faggins continues to make a case for more playing time and is the starter at nickel corner. West Virginia's Adam "Pac Man" Jones could solve their problem at corner and be used as a kick return specialist, another sore spot the past few seasons.

Even with the presence of Domanick Davis, a 1,000-yard rusher in each of his first two NFL seasons, the Texans could elect to take another running back. After Davis the roster is iffy with injury-prone Tony Hollings and Jonathan Wells.

Finding depth at inside linebacker and on the defensive line will also be priorities in the late rounds.

It's a long shot the Texans will move up in the first round, although general manager Charley Casserly has a history of making draft-day deals.

NOTES, QUOTES

—Coach Dom Capers weighs every game on the schedule equally. But there's no question which games mean the most: AFC South Division games, especially against Indianapolis.

Despite a franchise-best 4-2 division record, the Texans have yet to beat the Colts in six meetings.

"I thought we made tremendous strides within the division (with a 4-2 record)," Capers said. "Obviously, Indianapolis still sets the standard within our division. They've been one of the best teams in the league the past few years."

—Houston city officials met with the NFL in New York on April 14 to review their initial bid proposal to host the 2009 Super Bowl.

"We think it's a very strong proposal," Texans owner Bob McNair said Tuesday. "We're going to have to do even more this time than the last time, but we're prepared to do that. I know the NFL knows we can perform. We just have to convince them that this is the place to be in '09."

Houston, Atlanta, Tampa and Miami are the finalists to play host to Super Bowl XLIII. Final bids must be submitted May 2, and the league's owners will vote May 25 at the NFL summer meetings in Washington. Houston and Atlanta are considered the early favorites to win the bid.

Unlike in 2000, when the NFL awarded the Super Bowl to Houston after McNair paid $700 million for the Texans' expansion rights, McNair expects some tough competition.

"They owed me one the last time, and I paid for it. I had some assurances there," McNair said. "Now we are competing with everybody. Now we have to realize we don't have an inside track as we did before. We've got to go out there and give the NFL the best possible proposal."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I get more excited each year because we are getting better. We were very close to the playoffs last year. We've said we want to win the Super Bowl. Well, you can't win the Super Bowl without going to the playoffs. I figured that out a long time ago. We've got to get to the playoffs." — Texans owner Bob McNair.
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Old 04-18-2005   #12
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Good article...Really nothing in there that I can dispute...Bradford seems like a good guy, but this is likely his last year here and I'm not sure he'll even be our #2 this year...
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Old 04-18-2005   #13
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Makes me think the Texans arent going WR at #13 with some of the comments Corey made.

I dont think he would come to Houston to be pushed aside by a rookie again.
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Old 04-18-2005   #14
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bradford has a 1 year contract and it takes rookie wideouts about a year to develop, it sounds like they are setting up to take a wide out early.
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Old 04-18-2005   #15
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Quote:
Finding depth at inside linebacker and on the defensive line will also be priorities in the late rounds.
The thought of drafting Thomas Davis to play ILB does not sound too good right about now
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Old 04-18-2005   #16
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Has anyone thought that maybe we could sign Brad Hopkins or has he resinged with Tenn?
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Old 04-18-2005   #17
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I'm not positive, but I think Hopkins has restructured his contract to allow him to stay in Tennessee...
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Old 04-18-2005   #18
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lol@Bob McNair....

No doubting how he got to be so rich...nice quote.
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Old 05-17-2005   #19
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New Inside Slant Report:
Texans Inside Slant Link

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Inside Slant
One offseason move that did not receive much attention is the signing of unrestricted free-agent inside linebacker Zeke Moreno.
Moreno went largely unnoticed this offseason after he missed the final seven games of last season with a dislocated shoulder. After two years as the backup to Junior Seau in San Diego, Moreno had a career-high 95 tackles and two sacks in 12 starts at middle linebacker for the Chargers in 2003.

Moreno said he is completely healed from the shoulder injury and is participating with the team during on-field coaching sessions through June.

"It's just great to get a new chance, a new beginning," Moreno told the Texans' website. "I'm here to work."

With the addition of Moreno, the Texans have an experienced group of veterans at inside linebacker. Coach Dom Capers expects a tough competition for backup spots after an offseason shuffle led to the release of starters Jamie Sharper and Jay Foreman, the team's leading tacklers, the acquisition of free agent Morlon Greenwood and the move inside by Kailee Wong.

"We'll have more competition on our football team this year than we've had since we've been here," Capers said. "If you have that, you're normally getting better. The first two or three years we've had very little competition in some areas because of our numbers. But I think we'll have better competition this year than we've had at any point in time since we've been in business."

Moreno has a growing reputation as a solid run stopper. He'll also have an advantage of playing in a 3-4 scheme with the Chargers last season.

"I'm an instinct player," Moreno said. "It comes down to studying tape and knowing your opponent."

NOTES, QUOTES

—The Texans are hoping for better results from punter Chad Stanley, who struggled through last season with a knee injury. Stanley finished with a 41.2-yard average on punts in 2004, his lowest since joining the Texans in 2002.

Stanley has been one of the most consistent punters during the last three seasons, leading the league with 91 punts inside the 20-yard line.

—The selection of Jerome Mathis in the fourth round, the offseason pickup of Reggie Swinton and the trade for Phillip Buchanon will likely the end the two-year tenure for return specialist J.J. Moses. Mathis and Buchanon are the early front-runners to return punts, while Swinton has been one of the league's most consistent on kickoffs in recent years.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think Travis is a smart enough guy to know that he has to come in and earn their respect. In this league, nobody is going to give you anything, whether you're the first pick in the draft or a free agent. It's a society of productivity and if you go out and produce, you'll earn respect." — Texans coach Dom Capers on first-round pick Travis Johnson.
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Old 05-17-2005   #20
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i think Zeke Moreno might turn into one of our best pickups, even if he is a backup ILB, a run stopping ILB is what we need, and it wont hurt to have someone like him. i mean 95 tackles in 12 games, if he average what he did through 12 games he would of ended the year with 126 tackles, i mean thats not to bad, and he still has a good amount of better years ahead of him
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