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Old 05-11-2011   #1
Texans_Chick
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Default Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

Blog post up that surprised me as I wrote it. I knew the Texans defenses under Kubiak were young, but I didn't realize how young.

Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again. This is not working.

Best to combine reading that with the blog post at the end of the post re: Texans as Logan's Run.

I believe that the institutional bias against older players regardless of position puts the Texans in a poor position.

Will also note from something I wrote in the comments:

Quote:
And, in looking at the data available, the defenses that Wade Phillips ran in ATL and SD were older than what the Texans have put on the field: ATL 2002-28.4, ATL 2003-28.0, SD 2004-27.1, SD 2005-26.5, SD 2006-27.5.
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Old 05-11-2011   #2
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

Even with the inflated numbers we got from Zgognina couldnt help us move away from that slot a couple years ago.
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Old 05-11-2011   #3
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

That's because we don't get free agents over 30. Sux!
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Old 05-11-2011   #4
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

Also, Rick Smith is absurdly in love with his draft picks. Keeping the "kids" over Reeves was also stupid.
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Old 05-11-2011   #5
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

Relying on rookies and the draft is just not working but the Texans have not received that message yet.
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Old 05-11-2011   #6
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

This is a bit premature since we haven't been able to sign free agents. Of course our defense is going to be the youngest since we haven't added any vets since last year. I expect some older vets to be signed, call me crazy, but sure sounded to me that Bob wasn't pleased with the kiddie corners last year.
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Old 05-11-2011   #7
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

No cast offs either we need real and very solid free agents.
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Old 05-11-2011   #8
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

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Originally Posted by gary View Post
Relying on rookies and the draft is just not working but the Texans have not received that message yet.
I think they are doing the right thing by building thru the draft - once they get close to title contention they can fill in the last hole or two with Vet FA's who tend to count considerably more against the cap .....

Filling those final pieces to the puzzle may happen this offseason .... once teams are able to negotiate with FA's.


On the other end of the spectrum you have the Washington Redskins ..... who stay in cap hell and seem to give away their draft picks on a yearly basis.
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Old 05-11-2011   #9
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

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Originally Posted by gary View Post
No cast offs either we need real and very solid free agents.
Right now, we just need decentish players who don't embarrass themselves. Even just that would be a huge improvement. Hell, just having a D coordinator who isn't completely incompetent is a huge step.
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Old 05-11-2011   #10
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrosion View Post
I think they are doing the right thing by building thru the draft - once they get close to title contention they can fill in the last hole or two with Vet FA's who tend to count considerably more against the cap .....

Filling those final pieces to the puzzle may happen this offseason .... once teams are able to negotiate with FA's.


On the other end of the spectrum you have the Washington Redskins ..... who stay in cap hell and seem to give away their draft picks on a yearly basis.
Going buck wild with signing free agents is not needed either but I'd chase at least three or four.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBull17 View Post
Right now, we just need decentish players who don't embarrass themselves. Even just that would be a huge improvement. Hell, just having a D coordinator who isn't completely incompetent is a huge step.
That's true right there.
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Old 05-11-2011   #11
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by buddyboy View Post
This is a bit premature since we haven't been able to sign free agents. Of course our defense is going to be the youngest since we haven't added any vets since last year. I expect some older vets to be signed, call me crazy, but sure sounded to me that Bob wasn't pleased with the kiddie corners last year.
If you look at the table in the blog post, the average age of projected defensive starters pre-free agency right now is 27.26 years. No other team is close to the 24.7 mark. Youngest squads going into free agency are Den-26.1, Jax-26.8, STL-26.9, TB-26.7, All the other teams average starters 27 years old or older. Oldest teams right now are Bal-30.6, Min-30.5, Pit-31.5.

Now that looks like numbers that are rebuilding versus established, but the Texans number is a huge outlier 24.7. Nobody's average age numbers look like the Texans numbers, whether we are talking this year pre-free agency, or in previous years after free agency.

I will believe that the Texans are actually intending to sign impact free agents for the secondary when they actually do it.
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Old 05-11-2011   #12
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

The Texans, and the NFL in general, have a Madden-esque view of rookies.

There is so much fanfare and excitement about the NFL draft that people often forget that its better if your rookies don't have to start right away.

I think its part of the reason we've started with horrific defense the past few seasons and then have progressively gotten better (or less bad really) at the end of the year
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Old 05-11-2011   #13
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Last year we got less bad because the teams on the back end of the schedule sucked.
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Old 05-11-2011   #14
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

I think it's a pretty safe assumption that we sign a free agent. Given the turnover already experienced, expected starters, and the assumption we sign Ike Taylor, that'd put us at 26 which, while still the lowest average, is not terribly disparate from any other team.

Average age is a pretty flawed stat, IMO. One extreme case can skew the average of the entire team. I'd bet this changes quite a bit if you look at median age and consider the above assumptions. Further, I'd reject the notion that the average age (or median age, for that matter) stat tells us anything in the first place. I mean, is there any correlation between age and success? Am I supposed to believe that a 26.1 year old defense is inherently better or worse than a 27.4 year old defense? That 1.3 years makes any difference?
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Old 05-11-2011   #15
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

The Texans have the youngest defense in the NFL again? What a shocker.


That's what happens when you're anti free agent to fill holes every off season and try to improve your team every year with rookies.
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Old 05-11-2011   #16
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBull17 View Post
Also, Rick Smith is absurdly in love with his draft picks. Keeping the "kids" over Reeves was also stupid.
I love how Reeves used to get trashed like Kareem is now but now that he is gone it was stupid to let him go. And yes I thought it was a mistake to release him, but I didn't think he was as bad as claimed either.
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Old 05-11-2011   #17
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
If you look at the table in the blog post, the average age of projected defensive starters pre-free agency right now is 27.26 years. No other team is close to the 24.7 mark. Youngest squads going into free agency are Den-26.1, Jax-26.8, STL-26.9, TB-26.7, All the other teams average starters 27 years old or older. Oldest teams right now are Bal-30.6, Min-30.5, Pit-31.5.

Now that looks like numbers that are rebuilding versus established, but the Texans number is a huge outlier 24.7. Nobody's average age numbers look like the Texans numbers, whether we are talking this year pre-free agency, or in previous years after free agency.

I will believe that the Texans are actually intending to sign impact free agents for the secondary when they actually do it.
This is a 2010 issue. The Texans were very young in 2010. Since the only thing that could happen at this point in the 2011 off-season is to get younger, that has happened. Nothing that has/hasn't happened this off-season signals the Texans desire/or lack of to field a team with veterans on defense. Furthermore, the decision to let Wilson and Pollard walk (thank God) may have skewed the numbers further, although I'm not sure the details how these numbers were arrived at (for instance, does it include 5 year players that have been offered a RFA tender?).

The Texans have stated that they intend to make changes in how they operate after the nightmare 2010 season and they have made a number of statements indicating a desire to be significant players in the free agent market. So, perhaps there is a relevant article there also about your cynicism regarding the Texans' front office following through.

Regardless, there is no evidence available or potentially available regarding the Texans' intention and ability to field a more experienced defense in 2011. We just have to wait. Or, you can trust my source and LZ's source- both of which say the Texans are looking to make 4 significant free agent acquisitions on defense, when free agency gets rolling. While some of you may be hoping for 34 years old to bring up that number, I'll take some of these 5 and 6 year vets still in their twenties, thank you very much.
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Old 05-11-2011   #18
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by buddyboy View Post
This is a bit premature since we haven't been able to sign free agents. Of course our defense is going to be the youngest since we haven't added any vets since last year. I expect some older vets to be signed, call me crazy, but sure sounded to me that Bob wasn't pleased with the kiddie corners last year.
Then Bob needs to pony up and get some decent FA secondary players....again. When P-Burnt would be an improvement, you're doing something wrong. If the Texans elect not to play in the Aso sweepstaks this year, I'll know all I need to know about Bob's "Commitment to Winning".

Quote:
Originally Posted by nero THE zero View Post
I think it's a pretty safe assumption that we sign a free agent. Given the turnover already experienced, expected starters, and the assumption we sign Ike Taylor, that'd put us at 26 which, while still the lowest average, is not terribly disparate from any other team.

Average age is a pretty flawed stat, IMO. One extreme case can skew the average of the entire team. I'd bet this changes quite a bit if you look at median age and consider the above assumptions. Further, I'd reject the notion that the average age (or median age, for that matter) stat tells us anything in the first place. I mean, is there any correlation between age and success? Am I supposed to believe that a 26.1 year old defense is inherently better or worse than a 27.4 year old defense? That 1.3 years makes any difference?
Not necessarily, but there is evidently a pretty BIG difference between a 24.x one and 26.x. If your team is the statistical 'outlier', and you're the worst at something, it's a pretty good guess that you need to reconsider your methodology.
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Old 05-11-2011   #19
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
If you look at the table in the blog post, the average age of projected defensive starters pre-free agency right now is 27.26 years. No other team is close to the 24.7 mark.
Who are the projected starters at CB and SS? I would project the following starters (pre-free agency):

Mario - OLB - 26 - 6th season
A. Smith - DE - 29 - 8th season
Mitchell - NT - 23 - 2nd season
Watt - DE - 22 - 1st season
Barwin - OLB - 24 - 3rd season
Cushing - ILB - 24 - 3rd season
Ryans - ILB - 27 - 6th season
Jackson - CB - 23 - 2nd season
Allen - CB - 28 - 6th season
Nolan - SS - 25 - 3rd season
Quin - FS - 25 - 3rd season

* Age as of Opening Day 9/11/11

I get an average age of 25.1 in their 3.9th year in the league. That could get somewhat older if Jackson and Nolan are replaced with older players. But, I doubt the average age would get to 26.

What has hurt the Texans is that guys like Travis Johnson, Dunta Robinson, and Jason Babin didn't pan out or were lost in free agency. And replaced by draft picks rather than vets. The Texans need to bring in vets to challenge young players like Jackson, Mitchell, and yes, even Watt. Handing out jobs to draft choices (rather than forcing them to win the jobs through competition) leads to these abnormal numbers.
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Old 05-11-2011   #20
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Default Re: Texans starting defense youngest in NFL…again.

Good read TC, thanks. Young players plus an inexperienced, and fluid, coaching staff is a match made in fail.

I liked the idea of Wade as DC, and like what I have seen since the hire. I am not expecting a top 15 defense, but I am expecting marked improvement.
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