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Old 03-22-2012   #21
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Default Re: Free Agency - The Big Picture

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Originally Posted by Runner View Post
If you want to make your participation in this thread about Demeco that's your choice. I don't think it makes a big contribution to the discussion of overall team health.
Seriously?

Because I gave mention to Demeco?

Everything I've written in here besides that one blurb, IMO, has been dedicated to the thread topic about as well as you could expect on a message board.
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Old 03-22-2012   #22
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I think people are just shocked and upset that the team did something they didn't think was possible. JMO.
It's "damned iffin ya don't, damned iffin ya do" with fans sometimes..

"This HC and FO don't have the testicular fortitude it takes to make tough decisions!"

then they make a tough decision:

"Waaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh..wahhhhhhhhhhhhh *sniffle*.. wh *sniffle* wh-wh-why *sniffle* did they g-get rid of *sniffle* DeMeco wahhhhhhhhhhhh"

I dunno if i could have made the decision they did... But i'm glad they did..
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Old 03-22-2012   #23
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Seriously?

Because I gave mention to Demeco?

Everything I've written in here besides that one blurb, IMO, has been dedicated to the thread topic about as well as you could expect on a message board.
My apologies. I guess I'm tired of the name calling and whining about people who want to seriously discuss this topic. Your Demeco comment was the post that broke my back, as it were.

I've come back to posting regularly for a week, and I've been called a moron and chicken little, been characterized as woe is me, a child, etc., mainly because I'm not all rah rah everything is good.

Internet tough talk doesn't bother me, because I think it says more about the poster who does it regularly than it does about his target. I also know that I can be drawn into the wordplay and I (sometimes) regret that.

It is just that this forum has historically been a place of good discussion, and I expect more from it.
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Old 03-22-2012   #24
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Default Re: Free Agency - The Big Picture

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Originally Posted by Runner View Post
Sure, we can show the replacements are on the roster. Does that make the team better? The Texans are supposed to contend for a Super Bowl. They have to be better than last year, not just field a team. I don't think th jingo "Next Man Up" is a good management plan, especially when injuries start taking some of these next men out.
How do you know the replacements won't be improvements? Maybe Sharpton has surpassed DeMeco because of his injuries. Maybe Butler can both pass protect and run block. Maybe Brisiel was just a cog and Caldwell can replace him.

Why can't the Texans still make a run at a Super Bowl despite losing a few players?
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Old 03-22-2012   #25
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Default Re: Free Agency - The Big Picture

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He said we need 5-6 high quality starters in the draft...Not 5-6 replacements.

Fair enough, we still need 5-6 starter-level replacements that we don't currently have on the roster

And Demeco was not the QB of the defense.

Yes he was, per the coaches AND his teammates. Try again.


We still have:

Wade Phillpis - hint - this isn't a player
Gary Kubiak - hint - this isn't a player

They coach talent, they don't acquire talent, that's the GMs job.


Then we have some interesting young prospects in Mahael, and Jean and Shelly Smith.We also have Roc Carmichael and Brandon Harris and Braman on defense...

How many snaps (other than Braman) combined there?

We have some veteran guys that should be able to step in without major drop off in production in Butler, Caldwell and Sharpton.

We already played Caldwell to reduced production last year. You think losing Brisel changes this how?

Then on top of all that we actually do have draft picks to play with and maybe we can sign a decent FA here or there. We've been pretty good with UDFA's.

Great signings last off-season, and zip so far this year. The remaining hope is the draft and cast-offs from other teams when they don't make it out of TC. Fantastic.

But really, none of this doom and gloom stuff and "LOOK AT EVERYONE WE'VE LOST!!!!" talk started until we lost Demeco. Yeah, a few people were upset at Eric Winston, but it wasn't near this backlash. I think people are just shocked and upset that the team did something they didn't think was possible. JMO.

Meco may have pushed it over the edge, but it started with Winston and has gained speed since.
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Old 03-22-2012   #26
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Default Re: Free Agency - The Big Picture

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Originally Posted by Runner View Post
I didn't intend for this to be a prediction thread, so I'll ask some open ended questions.

Do you think the Texans have the resources available to make this a better, more talented team? Do you think they will be about the same, a little better, or a little worse? Do you think they are in full rebuilding mode due to openings and a roster that is getting older or more fragile?

And why?

I think they have the opportunity to be better than they were last year for the simple fact that we can be healthier in key positions. If, and this is of course the mother of all ifs, we have a lucky season in regards to injury, I would be surprised by anything less than a 12 win season.

Yes, we've lost Mario, but we didn't really have him last year, and there really hasn't been that much correlation between his performance and our W-L record. Briesel and Winston are both big losses, but also the two most replaceable players on the O-line (although I fear that's a rationalization. Everyone remembers Myers struggling his 1st year in this system).

I truly believe KJ is ready to step up, and he should have more support from a healthy Manning, a more comfortable Quin, and hopefully an emerging Nolan, McCain and Harris. The secondary is potentially the most talented unit on this team, not including RB, which is only 2 or 3 players.

From there, we're looking at 5 wins just from a very weak division schedule and veterans like Schaub playing for a contract and AJ ready to make amends for the last two years.

This isn't how any of us saw the off season going, but making tough cuts isn't what kills a team, it's making bad signings when you cant afford them. We're taking our medicine now when we can afford to, and I think we'll be strong in the short term and even stronger in the long run for it.
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Old 03-22-2012   #27
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Default Re: Free Agency - The Big Picture

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Originally Posted by Runner View Post
My apologies. I guess I'm tired of the name calling and whining about people who want to seriously discuss this topic. Your Demeco comment was the post that broke my back, as it were.

I've come back to posting regularly for a week, and I've been called a moron and chicken little, been characterized as woe is me, a child, etc., mainly because I'm not all rah rah everything is good.

Internet tough talk doesn't bother me, because I think it says more about the poster who does it regularly than it does about his target. I also know that I can be drawn into the wordplay and I (sometimes) regret that.

It is just that this forum has historically been a place of good discussion, and I expect more from it.
Understood.

And I've agreed with a bunch of your takes throughout the years. I try to stay away from the namecalling and express my views in a matter of fact manner. But we are all human and we bristle at times...

And I agree...The board is definitely a little differnt than it used to be...
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Old 03-22-2012   #28
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How do you know the replacements won't be improvements? Maybe Sharpton has surpassed DeMeco because of his injuries. Maybe Butler can both pass protect and run block. Maybe Brisiel was just a cog and Caldwell can replace him.

Why can't the Texans still make a run at a Super Bowl despite losing a few players?
True, the backups might be better. If they are worse the team has lost something.

However, if all the backups are better than the lost starters from last year.
1) I'd be very surprised.
2) We really do need new coaches who won't start the second string.

Their price/performance ratio may very well be better, but the performance by itself needs to be at a certain level too.
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Old 03-22-2012   #29
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Default Re: Free Agency - The Big Picture

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Originally Posted by Runner View Post
My apologies. I guess I'm tired of the name calling and whining about people who want to seriously discuss this topic. Your Demeco comment was the post that broke my back, as it were.

I've come back to posting regularly for a week, and I've been called a moron and chicken little, been characterized as woe is me, a child, etc., mainly because I'm not all rah rah everything is good.

Internet tough talk doesn't bother me, because I think it says more about the poster who does it regularly than it does about his target. I also know that I can be drawn into the wordplay and I (sometimes) regret that.

It is just that this forum has historically been a place of good discussion, and I expect more from it.
The big picture plan. So our main losses so far, again.

Mario Williams - He will need to be replaced by a high draft choice. Yes, Barwin and Reed will be starting, but you cannot rely on both to stay healthy all season. A rotation of 3 starter caliber players is a necessity. They will select one by round 2.

DeMeco Ryans - Came off the field alot, but Dobbins is a UFA and his replacement (Sharpton) is coming back from from a quad tendon rupture. The same with OLB, we wont have the cash to sign a high priced FA, so we will use a draft choice on a starter or 2nd string ILB.

Joel Dressen - His replacement is already on the roster in Graham. Texans might spend a low draft choice on a 3rd string TE, or sign one for cheap when FA prices come down even more.

Eric Winston - He will be replaced by our swing tackle, Butler, and the new swing tackle is Derek Newton. Who knows how Butler is going to work out on the edge but I would prefer we spend a 3-4th rounder on a backup RG/RT.

Mike Brisiel - Texans are planning on Antoine Caldwell to replace him. I think Caldwell will be a fine replacement but I do not think we have his backup on the current roster. Shelley Smith and Thomas Austin do not do it for me. Maybe the coaches think differently. But we do not get the privilege of seeing their progress.

Neil Rackers - Veteran FA kicker. We need this dude back. I do not want a rookie kicker coming in here and getting the starting job. I expect the Texans to sign him back. We need stability and experience in our kicker since this is a playoff team.

Jason Allen - I think we are stacked at DB with Joseph, Jackson, Harris, McCain, McManis, Carmichael. No adjustments needed unless they want to use a late round choice or UDFA.

Derrick Ward - Can be replaced with an UDFA or late choice. Not worried.

Wide Receiver - Obviously when AJ goes down we seriously lack down the field plays. We are not bringing in any high priced FA's to play WR2. This will be filled in the draft in the first 2 rounds.

Again, this isnt a ***** and moan, or chicken little post. This is just an observation of where we stand and what I think needs to be done to be a well rounded team again.
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Old 03-22-2012   #30
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Default Re: Free Agency - The Big Picture

IMO:

Winston -> Butler = Push
Briesel -> Caldwell = Lose
Demeco -> Sharpton = Lose, but IMO DeMeco's production can be replaced with an average ILB (leadership void will be filled or offset to an extent by current players)

Vickers -> Casey = Lose Blocking / Win Receiving & Versatility
Allen -> ? = meh (lots of bodies on the roster at CB, and that's what Allen was, a body)


Now, having said that, I agree that the team got weaker, and not better. I don't think anyone could rationally deny that. However, I choose to go with the "good is the enemy of great" mantra and expect the best. It may not be realistic, but that is what I choose to do... as long as they cut freakin jacoby Jones.
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Old 03-22-2012   #31
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The big picture plan. So our main losses so far, again.

Mario Williams - He will need to be replaced by a high draft choice. Yes, Barwin and Reed will be starting, but you cannot rely on both to stay healthy all season. A rotation of 3 starter caliber players is a necessity. They will select one by round 2.

DeMeco Ryans - Came off the field alot, but Dobbins is a UFA and his replacement (Sharpton) is coming back from from a quad tendon rupture. The same with OLB, we wont have the cash to sign a high priced FA, so we will use a draft choice on a starter or 2nd string ILB.

Joel Dressen - His replacement is already on the roster in Graham. Texans might spend a low draft choice on a 3rd string TE, or sign one for cheap when FA prices come down even more.

Eric Winston - He will be replaced by our swing tackle, Butler, and the new swing tackle is Derek Newton. Who knows how Butler is going to work out on the edge but I would prefer we spend a 3-4th rounder on a backup RG/RT.

Mike Brisiel - Texans are planning on Antoine Caldwell to replace him. I think Caldwell will be a fine replacement but I do not think we have his backup on the current roster. Shelley Smith and Thomas Austin do not do it for me. Maybe the coaches think differently. But we do not get the privilege of seeing their progress.

Neil Rackers - Veteran FA kicker. We need this dude back. I do not want a rookie kicker coming in here and getting the starting job. I expect the Texans to sign him back. We need stability and experience in our kicker since this is a playoff team.

Jason Allen - I think we are stacked at DB with Joseph, Jackson, Harris, McCain, McManis, Carmichael. No adjustments needed unless they want to use a late round choice or UDFA.

Derrick Ward - Can be replaced with an UDFA or late choice. Not worried.

Wide Receiver - Obviously when AJ goes down we seriously lack down the field plays. We are not bringing in any high priced FA's to play WR2. This will be filled in the draft in the first 2 rounds.

Again, this isnt a ***** and moan, or chicken little post. This is just an observation of where we stand and what I think needs to be done to be a well rounded team again.
Good post. If I wasn't on TapaTalk I'd rep you. Maybe later.

So you are looking at a couple of impact rookies to end up with a team with decent starters, and then they'd probably have much less depth than last year. Injuries will tell the tale in that scenario.

Incidentally, I really don't see the loss of Mario as a big deal. Frankly, I wouldn't have kept him at Winston's or Demeco's salary. He had the potential to be a game changer, but to me he was always just a cog.
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Old 03-22-2012   #32
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Originally Posted by michaelm View Post
IMO:

Winston -> Butler = Push
Briesel -> Caldwell = Lose
Demeco -> Sharpton = Lose, but IMO DeMeco's production can be replaced with an average ILB (leadership void will be filled or offset to an extent by current players)

Vickers -> Casey = Lose Blocking / Win Receiving & Versatility
Allen -> ? = meh (lots of bodies on the roster at CB, and that's what Allen was, a body)


Now, having said that, I agree that the team got weaker, and not better. I don't think anyone could rationally deny that. However, I choose to go with the "good is the enemy of great" mantra and expect the best. It may not be realistic, but that is what I choose to do... as long as they cut freakin jacoby Jones.
I thought it was "better is the enemy of good enough".
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Old 03-22-2012   #33
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Default Re: Free Agency - The Big Picture

I think we need more like 2 starters, 4 quality rotation/backups and then fill out the roster with the usual. More would be better, but you can't be stacked everywhere and we do have a lot of returning guys who are very good at their positions.

I think with the full offseason we'll be okay on the O-line. I'd like to be better, but I don't think they'll hold us back too much.

I'd like to see a new starter at WR. We could need a #2 TE but wouldn't necessarily need more than a serviceable guy if we add more of a playmaker at WR. We still have OD.

We could use a starter quality guy in the LB rotation since we've lost two LBs and will be elevating backups. After that we just need depth there.

So WR and LB are the starters I think we need.

We could use a quality guy at 3rd CB, but he might already be on the roster. Kareem showed significant improvement over year one, especially towards the end, so I don't think he goes anywhere. He could still turn into an above avg #2. We're obviously set at Joseph's spot.

We should be fine at RB with our top two guys locked up together for two years, so they only need depth there this year.

They will probably bring a vet kicker in before preseason; it's not unusual to wait to sign a kicker.

They should be able to sign a few good but not great UFAs (could include Rackers and Dreesen), get some guys in the draft, and be at least as good as last year. We could be better, especially if we have better luck with fewer injuries. However, if they don't draft well, I think we'll take a step back. It's too early to tell one way or the other yet.

The good news to me is that if their moves this year were done for the reasons I think they were, we're finally starting to set ourselves up for long-term success.
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Old 03-22-2012   #34
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Default Re: Free Agency - The Big Picture

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Originally Posted by Runner View Post
True, the backups might be better. If they are worse the team has lost something.

However, if all the backups are better than the lost starters from last year.
1) I'd be very surprised.
2) We really do need new coaches who won't start the second string.

Their price/performance ratio may very well be better, but the performance by itself needs to be at a certain level too.
Thanks for posting this topic.

Last Tuesday Wade got on SP610 and pretty much unbidden he stated that they haven't lost any starters on the defense. He reiterated several times that Barwin and Reed were our starters at OLB, and they had been for most of the season. This was the same day DR was cut, I believe, so he knew about it.

Now, I'm not one to take a coach for his words, because these dudes have become politicos in our modern media age...but Wade really isn't anyone to blow smoke; so if he thinks he still has his guys on defense (although I cringed a little when he spoke so highly of KJ), then I'm going to take that as about, oh...I don't know...maybe 90% the truth? Yeah, that sounds about right.

Of course Wade doesn't speak for the offense either. Moreover, to me at least, it seemed that Wade didn't want to speak too much about the draft—which is understandable.

So, the offense? I think we've got a hell of a chance to knock this draft out of the park on both sides of the ball. We'll see.

But really, to answer your original question, I think our success is predicated on Matt Schaub and his health. If Schaub is healthy and he gets at least one more weapon, then we're a better team. We've tasted the playoffs. We're a better team for it. If Schaub is not healthy, and the season rests on Yates, then we are probably a little worse, though I expect that Yates will be better than last year.

The OL? If we didn't have guys on staff that were already used to the synchronicity of the ZBS, then I would worry. Yeah, I have some trepidation about Caldwell, but not so much with Butler. In fact, I'm kind of a Butler fan. But OL depth? Sure, we need to shore that up a bit.

I don't think any of this off-season derails them the Texans from shooting for a Super Bowl this year...or even making it! They had better be thinking that, at least. Because if not? They are already sunk.
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Old 03-22-2012   #35
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Default Re: Free Agency - The Big Picture

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Originally Posted by Runner View Post
I didn't intend for this to be a prediction thread, so I'll ask some open ended questions.

Do you think the Texans have the resources available to make this a better, more talented team? Do you think they will be about the same, a little better, or a little worse? Do you think they are in full rebuilding mode due to openings and a roster that is getting older or more fragile?

And why?
Years like this is really what you see what you have in the FO as far as being able to identify talent and if your coaching staff is good enough to ask for talent and develop it.

Pay dirt year for Gary and Rick IMO.

Can Garrett Graham step in the loss of Dressen? I think its possible. We've been stacking players at the position for a while.

Vickers to me isn't a HUGE loss. Can Casey turn into a much better blocker to match what he can do as an offensive weapon? Up to him and the staff. If not, I think we can find a capable FB post draft if need be.

Winston was a big loss. No he wasn't ace in pass protection, but did a good job paving the way in run blocking. Time to see what this staff thinks of Butler and if they make a high pick at Tackle.

Brisiel fit nicely with what the scheme, but no one should mistake him for being an elite G. Got a big payday from the Raiders..but who hasn't lately? I haven't been impressed with Caldwell at guard, but he might be out of position considering he was an All-American C at Bama. Shelley Smith might be a candidate as well for replacement. We could also look for value later in the draft or FA.

Sharpton was taking more reps last year and probably has a little better size to man the spot. People talk about Meco's leadership, but I think we have it in spades and at different levels on this defense. To me the moment Cushing stepped onto this team the attitude changed. the biggest thing we lost with trading Meco was making calls and letting Cush do his thing. Can Sharpton take that responsibility? We'll see. LBer is another spot where this team has been able to consistently develop talent at.

Addressing our Bigger FA keeps and loss:

If this was the Pats and they saw that they got consistent and good production without Mario Williams: they wouldn't have thought twice about letting him walk. Period.

I think the biggest thing we will have to really replace is having a third guy in rotation at OLB or in case Reed or Barwin go down. Which I hope doesn't happen. We do need to look at that either early in the draft or find a a vet in FA.

Myers retention was key in keeping the OL clicking hands down IMO. We also did it without breaking the bank.

Seeing Foster paid was rewarding on so many different levels. This guy's vision is elite and he's the focus of this offense. Despite only being a RFA I think the team had to show its own players and players around the league they will get rewarded here for hard work and coming out on top.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorn View Post
Wade's second year history is not as good as his first year after taking over. I don't think that will happen this time, but I don't expect our defense will be so highly rated. I do think until a new on field defensive leader comes into his own to replace DeMeco, we can expect a small let down. With a good draft, our defense will still be scary.

As to the offense, if Schaub can stay on his feet we'll be OK. Somehow I think they'll get the offensive line going and our run game will be fine. I believe they'll draft a WR in the 2nd or 3rd round that will see some playing time.

We are not in full rebuilding mode, but we are in a "need to patch some holes" mode which is not quite as bad. The team will be a good one, maybe not quite as good as some of us hope for.

In the draft, I think in the first four rounds you will see them pick a LB, O-Lineman, and a WR for sure. After that, not sure.
To me overall leadership isn't going to be an issue without Demeco per se. Physically, I think Sharpton is at least comparable. What we really lose is Demeco knowing the calls and being able to have Cushing let loose to do what he does best. Can Sharpton grasp it all in the off-season? Up to him and this defensive staff.
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Old 03-22-2012   #36
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Default Re: Free Agency - The Big Picture

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Way to totally discount the 5 games from Mario Williams, our veteran kicker, our punter, Joel Dreesen, Vickers and Tim Dobbins.

And I love how you say the right side of the line so nonchalantly. Like its so easy to just swap out 2/5ths of an offensive line and not skip a beat.
I obviously don't value the likes of Mario, Rackers, Vickers and the like as much as you do. Rackers could be had easily anyways, methinks. We chugged along fine without them, Mario especially. I have faith in the system when it comes to the right side of the line, which wasn't as all world as outsiders would believe.

Quote:
And why are you quoting super squad? I call the team well rounded and you plug in "super squad?"
Yep, what's the big deal?

Quote:
And dont call me chicken little. You obviously dont know how to correctly use it and come off as ignorant and obtuse.
I called you Chicken Little to imply that this situation isn't as doom and gloomy as you make it out to be, much like anyone else ever uses the term. Not sure how you got ignorant and obtuse out of that, maybe you are the one that doesn't know how to use it correctly

I agree that our team hasn't gotten stronger, but I don't think we've dropped off too much, and with addition of a healthy Matt Schaub and a solid draft, I think we'll be just fine.
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Old 03-22-2012   #37
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Default Re: Free Agency - The Big Picture

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Originally Posted by Allstar View Post
I called you Chicken Little to imply that this situation isn't as doom and gloomy as you make it out to be, much like anyone else ever uses the term. Not sure how you got ignorant and obtuse out of that, maybe you are the one that doesn't know how to use it correctly

I agree that our team hasn't gotten stronger, but I don't think we've dropped off too much, and with addition of a healthy Matt Schaub and a solid draft, I think we'll be just fine.
How you took my fact based information as doom and gloom is beyond me. Yeah you are right. We are a great team full of resiliency, starters 4 deep, sunshine and kittens! Go Texans!

/sarcasm
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Old 03-22-2012   #38
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How you took my fact based information as doom and gloom is beyond me. Yeah you are right. We are a great team full of resiliency, starters 4 deep, sunshine and kittens! Go Texans!

/sarcasm
Hmmm, a little sarcastic doom and gloom there, with some hyperbole for added flare...

Whichever storybook/movie character did that, i call you them!
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Old 03-22-2012   #39
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Default Re: Free Agency - The Big Picture

If some back ups step up, we have a chance to not miss a beat. If we draft as well this year in rounds 1 and 2 we should be just fine. I think you'll see Rick trade some of those extra picks from this year, and maybe some anticipated picks from next year from FA departures to get another pick in round 2, and if the first three players we pick are decent we will plug holes.
Let's recap who's left:
Mario: Played well with out him last year, so who cares.

Briesel: A little concern, but Briesel was developed, perhaps they can repeat the formula.

Winston: I think Butler ha a chance to be just as good if not better. We had a different swing tackle last year since Butler was on IR, so very little change.

Allen: 50% of the board is worried about this and 50% are happy, I think he contributed, maybe KJ takes another step, but there is some guys ready for taking the next step to compete.

Vickers: We'll see how this plays out, if Casey can stay healthy I think we are fine.

Hot Tub Matt: He play less than a half, no big loss.

Meco: It sucks he was coming back last year, but has had health issues. Not a big drop off with Sharpton.

Potentially lose:
Dressen: I'm most concerned about this, but we will see what Graham has, OD will hopefully be closer to 100%, and who know we may draft 4 or 5 TE's this year.


If we can draft a WR, find a value FA that is left if there are any, or trade for one I feel good going in to next year. WR is our biggest hole.
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Vickers is a cowboy now, Big Lou...
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