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Old 04-18-2005   #1
nunusguy
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Default Lopez rains on our parade

Chron editorial writer brings a dose of reality to dampen the optimism and
hope we all have for the season. Says this may be our most important Draft given that amoung other things we need to replace the 2 ILB we've lost from the teams D.
***************
"This is the fourth season. I'm not seeing a team that is appreciably better since last fall. If anything, I'm beginning to wonder if it will be worse or about the same as the up-and-down, 7-9 squad we saw last year."
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http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/3139827
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Old 04-18-2005   #2
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To be honest, I've never really paid attention to his articles, from from what I've heard, his schtick is to predict doom and gloom twice a year for the Texans, then write about whatever else the rest of the year, so I'm not really worried about what he has to say...
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Old 04-18-2005   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunusguy
***************
"This is the fourth season. I'm not seeing a team that is appreciably better since last fall. If anything, I'm beginning to wonder if it will be worse or about the same as the up-and-down, 7-9 squad we saw last year."
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http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/3139827
I didn't know Ibar Harry wrote for the Chronicle? :woot
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Old 04-18-2005   #4
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He is correct in that we haven't done much in FA to bring the level of the team up, and a reasonable case could be made that we have stepped back a bit by letting the ILBs go. However, I think we are actually moving forward with the focus on LB speed. Would I have prefered that they pick up a couple of guys like Wahl to shore up the inside of the O-line.....you bet, but they didn't and we will need to see how that plays out. Barring injuries, the O-line SHOULD play alot better this year. If not, I suspect there will be some folks looking for a job elswhere, both players and coaches.
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Old 04-18-2005   #5
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Joppru is finally ready to play
The OL will be together for the 2nd year
2nd year of zone blocking
Dunta and Babin are no longer rookies
The DL can't possibly play worse than last year
Peek gets to start
Greenwood could make the D better with speed and coverage
Glenn Earl was a surprise last year and is no longer a rookie
Marcus Coleman has a year under his belt at FS
AJ is entering his 3rd season which is usually known as a breakout year at WR

There is just too much to be positive about this season.
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Old 04-18-2005   #6
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I'll play Devil's Advocate:

1. We have reshuffled the LB's, but are they better than last year's?

2. We haven't made any changes to what was bad O-line production in 2004. Even if they get better, will they be even an average line?

3. We have yet to add an offensive playmaker (whether a WR, TE, or power RB) to keep defenses from using a 2-deep zone with emphasis on scheming out AJ. Are we going to draft/acquire one?

4. The D-line has been injury riddled for 2 years. Is that really going to change this year? Are we going to have better depth if that does happen?

5. Joppru hasn't played a down, yet we are counting on him to remain healthy AND productive?

6. Carr made major strides from 2003 to 2004. If the line continues to struggle to pass-protect, will Carr continue to progress?

7. Aaron Glenn's production took a dive last year. Was that a product of lingering injuries or of his age?

I'm not saying I believe that we are doomed. These are just areas of concern for me going into this season.
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Old 04-18-2005   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOgre
I'll play Devil's Advocate:

1. We have reshuffled the LB's, but are they better than last year's?

2. We haven't made any changes to what was bad O-line production in 2004. Even if they get better, will they be even an average line?

3. We have yet to add an offensive playmaker (whether a WR, TE, or power RB) to keep defenses from using a 2-deep zone with emphasis on scheming out AJ. Are we going to draft/acquire one?

4. The D-line has been injury riddled for 2 years. Is that really going to change this year? Are we going to have better depth if that does happen?

5. Joppru hasn't played a down, yet we are counting on him to remain healthy AND productive?

6. Carr made major strides from 2003 to 2004. If the line continues to struggle to pass-protect, will Carr continue to progress?

7. Aaron Glenn's production took a dive last year. Was that a product of lingering injuries or of his age?

I'm not saying I believe that we are doomed. These are just areas of concern for me going into this season.

Well, I'll tell you what I think about your concerns. Some of them I share of course but here it is.

1. On the linebackers I don't know and I wonder about that too. I do know one thing and that is I'd like to see them play Mr Peek. I believe that if our current crop of linebackers has a chance of being better than last years group then (barring a move to draft DJ) our best shot at it is going to be Babin, Greenwood, Wong, and Peek. I expect the Texans to put their 4 best linebackers on the field at the same time and while I know Wong wanted to be "OLB Sack Master" I think he plays where he helps us most.

2. I look at not changing the offensive line as a good thing. Overall our guys aren't any worse than average. We've got solid people there who just need time to get good together. This I don't worry about. I don't think they've got that far to go to reach average.

3. I think we've got two ways of dealing with the "offensive playmaker" question. On the one hand the Texans might be thinking that if the line plays up to snuff then increased performance from our exisiting playmakers might be enough. What's the biggest thing holding AJ back? I'd say it's Carr having time to spare to let AJ get away from his man. With Armstrong, Gaffney, and everyone else catching be ball not named Johnson or Davis the biggest problem is Carr looking for his primary and then his safety valve. I think the coaches might be right in expecting better things with better line play. A lot of if's in there though. On the other hand they may add a playmaker through the draft, a big running back or one of the better recievers might come down to us.

4. The D line better stay healthy this year. They're due an injury free season IMO and it would make all the difference in the world.

5. This one scares me too. Joppru misses another year and even though you can't blame him for his body not working you have to move on. I'm so sick of not having a real TE on the roster who can block AND catch. I'm about done with Billy Miller who I think the world of but who's the answer to nothing at TE. I'd rather see Bruener start every game and drop half the balls thrown to him then see Miller come in on passing downs all year. We need a TE badly.

6. I'd like to think that Carr is going to progress again this year but I think if the season starts off with him being mugged heavily then it's going to be about the same as last year. He needs the line to give him a reason to trust them. It's all so tied together. Here I'm worried too but I'm trying to keep my faith up. So much is tied to the line doing better here.

7. Glenn will be fine unless injuries get him. He had a down year but the defense in general seemed to have a down year. Glenn's not as quick as Dunta is and I think the weak pass rush last year hurt him more than it did Robinson in the latter part of the year.

That's what I think at least.
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Old 04-18-2005   #8
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Lopez flops around like a fish. If you hang on what he writes, hang on tight because you will be swinging all over the place.

The following are a few examples of what he was saying after the Jags game on Dec 26 last year:

"[The Texans] never had a win that reinforced philosophies and toughened resolve more than they did Sunday."

"The plan is working."

"All the things that made fans and NFL analysts wonder — Domanick Davis' running, playmakers on defense, offensive line production, play-calling — took giant steps forward."

"...this team is closer than it ever has been to planning on wins instead of hoping for them."

I have no idea where he finds "giddy optimism" wafting all around...

I think "guarded optimism" is a more accurate term for what I sense is out there.

Stick with what you know, John. That would be the Astros and soccer. I don't mind stirring things up - it's healthy - but at least suggest who some of these "big name" players are that the Texans should have acquired this off season.

Last edited by aj.; 04-18-2005 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 04-18-2005   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOgre
I'll play Devil's Advocate:

1. We have reshuffled the LB's, but are they better than last year's?

2. We haven't made any changes to what was bad O-line production in 2004. Even if they get better, will they be even an average line?

3. We have yet to add an offensive playmaker (whether a WR, TE, or power RB) to keep defenses from using a 2-deep zone with emphasis on scheming out AJ. Are we going to draft/acquire one?

4. The D-line has been injury riddled for 2 years. Is that really going to change this year? Are we going to have better depth if that does happen?

5. Joppru hasn't played a down, yet we are counting on him to remain healthy AND productive?

6. Carr made major strides from 2003 to 2004. If the line continues to struggle to pass-protect, will Carr continue to progress?

7. Aaron Glenn's production took a dive last year. Was that a product of lingering injuries or of his age?

I'm not saying I believe that we are doomed. These are just areas of concern for me going into this season.

Devil's Advocate? Sounds like legit reality to me. I have one more though...Joppru gets cut this year cause he's gonna have an injury again before we go to Boofalo.
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Old 04-18-2005   #10
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One small point. I like this year, because we have so many returning starters. This will allow the Palmer and Fangio to expand their gameplan more than usual. I expect the Texans to show a few more plays that we didn't see coming. Like letting the punter run an option (I was thinking fumble the whole way on that play).
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Old 04-18-2005   #11
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i personally like the look of our team, i mean the running game looks to be better than last year with a full year of zone blocking, our secondary has the potential to be one of the top in the league. AJ and Carr will be in their 3rd year together and have some great chemistry going. The OL will be the same guys as last year and i think its a good thing, cause they have playing time together and should help improve their game. I see to many positives about our team.
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Old 04-18-2005   #12
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Lopez is a baseball writer and he is a naive scribe when it comes to football. The Chronicle has an embarrassing football department. Their most insightful football guy covers the Titans and Cowboys more than the Texans.
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Old 04-18-2005   #13
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Those sports writers at the Chronicle get the VV award.

Valen Verga!
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Old 04-18-2005   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bckey
Joppru is finally ready to play
The OL will be together for the 2nd year
2nd year of zone blocking
Dunta and Babin are no longer rookies
The DL can't possibly play worse than last year
Peek gets to start
Greenwood could make the D better with speed and coverage
Glenn Earl was a surprise last year and is no longer a rookie
Marcus Coleman has a year under his belt at FS
AJ is entering his 3rd season which is usually known as a breakout year at WR

There is just too much to be positive about this season.
I love the optimism. Your breakdowqn is accurate assuming these guys can stay healthy, come ready to play, Casserly and the big guns draft someone to help AJ out, and someone lights a fire under Dom to let the offense and defense play to it's athletic potential. The guy is just to conservative and plays not to loose games, rather than playing to win! With the speed on defense, we should be moving to the ball like the Steelers and Ravens, and with the offensive play makes, more on the lines of the St. Louis Rams, quick strike offense. I'm ready to say we're going to the playoffs, but if Dom becomes methodic again..........forget about it. We'll pray for 7-9!
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Old 04-18-2005   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus
I didn't know Ibar Harry wrote for the Chronicle? :woot
You just figuring that out.................
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Old 04-18-2005   #16
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I'm sorry some of you feel I'm so negative - and then you see someone locally say the same thing - although I will agree with Vinny on perhaps his credentials. I have had run-ins with writers that didn't know what they were takling about.

I, however, think some of you are too close to the action to see the total picture. They would say you are looking through rose colored glasses. Again, I hope I am wrong, because I would like to see the Texans be in the SB.

I use to do an awful lot with the Basketball program at Fresno State. A friend and I did a lot of computer evaluation models as well as work with a number of the coaches and watched new recruits come in. Each year we would watch and everyone would say, boy how great we are going to be this year, and of course, it just never seemed to happen most of the time. The real problem was you were watching your own players perform against each other and it was really hard to get a true measure of how solid you were. After the season started, you began to realize you looked so good, because what you were playing against - your bench - was so weak.

While the Texans have some very good to great players, as a whole, they really are not up to the NFL standard. As a result in practice we think we are looking good, when in reality its who we are practicing against as a whole. I suspect the O-line looks good in practice, because our defense can't put a rush on us little lone the other team. You can go on from here, but I really don't believe we have the talent to compeat in certain areas and its hurting us badly. I believe the moves made so far --------- remember, so far --------- have hurt us rather than helped us. You have to have a few key people on offense and defense and I don't see that as yet. Who's the defensive leader right now? Its the leaders that the ball club will jell around. I have a feeling, as yet, we have little leadership on this ball club.
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Old 04-18-2005   #17
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Anytime your MLB says he is looking for someone to lead us to a victory, that aint no leader. This team will do just fine without him.
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Old 04-18-2005   #18
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This off season the Texans are allowing the decisions of the three previous season work or not. By not making any significant moves and stating that he does not expect anyone from the draft to come and start Casserly is trusting that he has brought in the right people who should be improving and coming together as a team. For a nice handful of players this means that Casserly believes that it has been exerience needed and not the talent of the players. If the Texans evaluation is right then this team improves to a playoff contending team w/o major changes. If the team does not improve because of experience then the evaluation on the front end was lacking.
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Old 04-18-2005   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Tejano
Those sports writers at the Chronicle get the VV award.

Valen Verga!
Muy bien Tejano.
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Old 04-18-2005   #20
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If I remember correctly, John Lopez had to issue an apology after the very 1st
article he wrote for the Chronicle. He's always been a "glass dang near empty" kinda guy. I don't know what his deal is, but he just doesn't seem to like ANY Houston sports franchise.
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