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Old 09-30-2011   #1
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Default Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

The Washington Post reports:

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Texans try to fix breakdowns inside the 20-yard line with Steelers up next
Friday, September 30, 4:53 PM

HOUSTON — Houston coach Gary Kubiak started the week by meeting with his offense and reviewing all the Texans’ plays inside the 20-yard line over the first three games.

No one liked much of what they saw.

The Texans (2-1) are tied with New England for the most trips inside the so-called red zone with 16, but they have only five touchdowns to show for it. The inefficiency cost them in a 40-33 loss to New Orleans last week, and correcting the problem has been the focus heading into Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh (2-1).

“It hadn’t been good enough, so we’ve got to do something different, something better,” Kubiak said. “I’ve got to call things better. We’ve got to block better, run better, throw better.

“That’s part of football,” he said. “Some things you’re doing good; some things you’re not doing good and you work hard to fix them.”

Houston should get a boost this week, with Arian Foster expected to start after sitting out two of first three games to nurse a strained left hamstring. Foster led the league in rushing -- and rushing touchdowns, with 16 -- last season.

“If you’ve got to play block for two (yards), he’ll find a way to get three or four,” Kubiak said. “He’s always been that way and he’s tough to tackle down there and make somebody tackle him three times. He’s usually pretty successful down there. He was a big difference last year.”

But everyone agrees that the formula for more red-zone success involves more than just handing the ball to Foster instead of Ben Tate, who rushed for over 100 yards in Houston’s first two games.

The Texans rank fifth in rushing (138 yards per game) behind an experienced offensive line, but the offense has produced no gain or lost yardage on 21 of its 51 plays run inside the opponents’ 20.

“When you’re in the run game, and there’s not a lot of space, and there’s 22 bodies within three yards of space, it’s going to be about who wants it more, a battle of will,” quarterback Matt Schaub said. “But it’s also about execution, too, and being smart with what you’re trying to get done.”

The Texans have averaged only 1.8 yards on their 16 initial plays in the red zone, immediately creating more pressure for Schaub and limiting Kubiak’s play-calling options.

Houston scored three touchdowns on six red-zone visits in a 34-7 win over Indianapolis in the opener. Since then, the Texans have mustered only two touchdowns in 10 drives inside the 20.

“I think the last two weeks, first-and-10, we’d run the ball, (then face) second-and-10, second-and-nine, second-and-11, so you’re off schedule,” Kubiak said. “Against New Orleans, we had three second (down) and less than three yards, and we went backward. You can’t have negative football plays ... Find a way to save the play.”

Scoring touchdowns won’t be much easier on Sunday. The Steelers’ defense has allowed nine red-zone visits and only four touchdowns.

“I’m pretty sure on every team, when you get in the red zone, guys are probably in the huddle (saying), ‘Hey man, we need to get seven points here,’” All-Pro receiver Andre Johnson said. “But that’s what makes this game so challenging, because you have a defense out there trying to make you go three-and-out. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to score as many touchdowns as we would like, but I think we’ll get it fixed.”

Johnson said Monday’s film session showed every offensive player what he needs to do better.

“It’s not just one guy. It’s everybody,” he said. “You may have a guy may miss a block or a pass that may have been dropped in the flat or something like that, that a guy could have turned up. You just have to make those plays and, like coach Kubiak said in the meeting, when you get down in the red zone, every time you catch a ball or run a ball, you want to make sure you’re going forward and not going backward.”

Notes: CB Kareem Jackson (right knee) did not practice on Friday, and Kubiak said his availability will be a “game-time decision.” Veteran Jason Allen would start in Jackson’s place. ... RB Derrick Ward will sit out Sunday’s game to nurse a right ankle sprain.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

I think people are just fooling themselves. There is something terribly wrong........lots more than just not having Foster. If you just have a mediocre RB, mediocre QB, mediocre WRs, mediocre line........and even a mediocre coach, you should be able to scrounge up more than an average of 1.8 yds per attempt...........and we are not talking about only 2-3 yd goal stances.........we are talking about some red zone attempts being well away from the goal line within that 20 yd distance from the goal line. No, something other than the absence of Foster is just not right.
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Old 09-30-2011   #2
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

i just think schaub doesn't have that touch within ten yards. i swear our wr's have to work to catch his passes, it's as if he has no short or deep game but is solid from 10-40 yds. he can't throw a quick slant to save his life it seems. you would think with AJ we would throw that slant more often but we don't. we also dont have that dude to throw a jump ball to ala plax. maybe foster will help but i put it on schaub
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Old 09-30-2011   #3
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

Aran Foster
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Old 09-30-2011   #4
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

I think it's been the play calling the last two weeks...

they had one RB that they had faith in (see Slaton shown the door)... I feel a Ward/Tate combination would have produced more in the redzone , not just Foster... They tried drawing other things up, and it didn't work...

Foster coming back healthy should fix it is what I'm thinking... Ward coming back and Foster still being out would help fix it also IMO... How many times did we see Foster or Ward do well between the 20s, then the other come in with rest and make it happen in the redzone? They have yet to have that option this year...

But just my opinion... I don't see any other difference between last year and this year that would suggest that something else is wrong...

[I don't see Leach being gone as a difference effecting the redzone offense just yet...I may be proven wrong... we'll see at the end of the year...]
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Old 09-30-2011   #5
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

I guess then there are no teams out there that can punch it in without a star RB?
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Old 09-30-2011   #6
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

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I guess then there are no teams out there that can punch it in without a star RB?
Which is why I said it's the play-calling... with a healthy 1-2 punch, the offensive staff has confidence in what made them a good redzone team last year... they haven't had that this year, have strayed from it and done a bad job of replacing it...

Running once in the redzone and passing the other two downs isn't what the Texans were doing in the redzone last year...
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Old 09-30-2011   #7
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

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Which is why I said it's the play-calling... with a healthy 1-2 punch, the offensive staff has confidence in what made them a good redzone team last year... they haven't had that this year, have strayed from it and done a bad job of replacing it...

Running once in the redzone and passing the other two downs isn't what the Texans were doing in the redzone last year...
No argument there at all.
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Old 09-30-2011   #8
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

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Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns



ARIAN FREAKIN' FOSTER!

Problem Sol-Ved!!
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Old 09-30-2011   #9
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

So why exactly do we not have any plays that involve AJ going to the corner on a fade route? I see it work against us, but I never seen them try that with AJ. His number doesn't seem to be called much inside the red zone.
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Old 09-30-2011   #10
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

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So why exactly do we not have any plays that involve AJ going to the corner on a fade route? I see it work against us, but I never seen them try that with AJ. His number doesn't seem to be called much inside the red zone.
It's either a pitching problem or a catching problem..........and I'm betting that it's not the latter.
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Old 09-30-2011   #11
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

It's on the players. I don't care what you call, if the players don't execute properly or half-azz execute their assignment or fail to execute altogether, then the play will FAIL.

There's one play that sticks in my craw from the Saints game. I think it was 3rd & goal on about the 9; we were up 10-7 so it was mid 2nd qtr. KW was wide left, AJ was wide right but in motion to the left. Casey was the lone HB and OD was tight on the right and Dreessen was tight on the right. The play was supposed to be a quick 3-step drop (I base that assessment on the short patterns that were being run). Schaub threw the ball in AJ's direction on his first step back. In fact he threw some kind of bozo jump pass thing that was behind AJ. Had he waited just one more second for the play to properly develop, he could have hit Dreessen about two yds deep in the endzone because AJ and OD were on the right and Casey was coming out of the backfield in that direction. So three receivers in the same area got the attention of the Saints DBs leaving Dreessen wide open. Instead, he threw it early - AJ wasn't even looking back yet. The Saints were dropping back into zone, so there was no blitz in his face.

A little bit of patience, a little bit of redzone poise and we would have had six instead of kicking our second FG in a row.

The play's strategy worked perfectly; get the D worried about the overload on the right then throw it left. But poor execution resulted in FAIL.

So I don't care what you draw up in the dirt. If the players don't execute it properly, chances are the play will fail.
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Old 09-30-2011   #12
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

i think it's a number of things. it all starts up front and as we know we dont have the offensive line or scheme to brute force our way in closer quarters. from there, tate doesnt yet have the vision to make the most of the tiny lanes that we do open. foster will overcome those deficiencies. finally, schaub gets increasingly jittery the closer we get to the endzone and playcalling didnt help him much against the saints. we need more leaks and dumps (teehee) in the redzone to keep him comfortable.
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Old 09-30-2011   #13
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

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Originally Posted by Dutchrudder View Post
So why exactly do we not have any plays that involve AJ going to the corner on a fade route? I see it work against us, but I never seen them try that with AJ. His number doesn't seem to be called much inside the red zone.
Generally speaking, Because they 16 people on him.

No seriously, that's part of it but also partially true.
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Old 09-30-2011   #14
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

I would like to see more receptions inside the 50 taken to the house. How many TDs were results of a pass outside of the 30. Don't need a power back or goal line stance for those points.
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Old 09-30-2011   #15
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
The Washington Post reports:




I think people are just fooling themselves. There is something terribly wrong........lots more than just not having Foster. If you just have a mediocre RB, mediocre QB, mediocre WRs, mediocre line........and even a mediocre coach, you should be able to scrounge up more than an average of 1.8 yds per attempt...........and we are not talking about only 2-3 yd goal stances.........we are talking about some red zone attempts being well away from the goal line within that 20 yd distance from the goal line. No, something other than the absence of Foster is just not right.
You're pointing out something that has been sticking in the back of my mind and I don't want to admit-- More often than not, Schaub appears to not think clearly under pressure. We've all seen the examples. It seemed worse than I've ever seen it during the Saints game. My dad told me Kubiak had some words with him. Now it's something I'll have to watch for.
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Old 10-01-2011   #16
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

Redzone failures are a direct result of qb indecision. If you think or pulled up all the average redzone teams, it points to qb play.

In the redzone, the accuracy of a qb is really highlighted. Also, the ability of the qb to fit a ball in a tight space unless the team can run it in. Houston has been a godd red zone team 1 time under kubes and that was last season.
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Old 10-01-2011   #17
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
It's either a pitching problem or a catching problem..........and I'm betting that it's not the latter.

Bingo!! MS ain't no Drew Brees, and never will be!!
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Old 10-01-2011   #18
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

Did we have a good redzone offense last year? Yes. Has our offensive scheme changed? No. Have we only played 3 games? Yes. What is the missing link from last year? Arian Foster. Why? Who cares as long as Foster is healthy.
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Old 10-01-2011   #19
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

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[I don't see Leach being gone as a difference effecting the redzone offense just yet...I may be proven wrong... we'll see at the end of the year...]
I'm actually becoming a little worried about this. Seeing a few plays of Casey blocking for Tate, well they don't look as clean as Vonta's blocks. I'm hoping he improves though, since he brings so many other assets to the position.
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Old 10-01-2011   #20
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Default Re: Texans Trying to Fix inside the 20 Breakdowns

Has Vickers been in on any of these plays? The one player we're missing from last year is Leach.
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