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Old 06-11-2005   #21
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Originally Posted by Bottle-O-Bud
Experience my foot......


If TJ can provide more upfield pressure than G-Funk (by the way walker has been playing lmao!!!!) he will start.

Who starts is irrelevant. My hope is that Johnson will play well enough to be very involved in the DL rotation. It is unlikely that Capers would start a rookie ahead of a vet like Gary Walker, though it wouldn't be unlikely that Johnson could play more snaps than Walker.
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Old 06-11-2005   #22
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Originally Posted by throwANDREtheBALL
I hope that he bulks up and improves his run-defence even more........cuz his pass-rush ability is way overrated..........he had something like 2 and a half sacks last year.

And we are expecting him to come in and beat out Gary Walker ?



our previous first round picks were good and they all became starters in their first years...........I have a feeling that TJ won't...........and therefore adds fuel to the argument that he was a reach.
Well, our previous first rounders, outside of Babin, were all top 10 picks. Perhaps if he doesn't start this year it is because we're getting good value from SPayne, RSmith, and Gary Walker. Regardless, he'll play enough for us to see what he can do.

Leave it to fans like yourself or Bottle of Bud or IBAR to setup arbitrary criteria before the season starts to use as a basis to criticize the organization. Success of first round picks aren't determined by starting status in their rookie season. Otherwise, I guess you could say that Ryan Leaf was a good pick and Steve McNair was a bust. Is that what you're trying to say?
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Old 06-11-2005   #23
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Originally Posted by Bottle-O-Bud
If TJ can provide more upfield pressure than G-Funk (by the way walker has been playing lmao!!!!) he will start.
It would suit me fine if the Texans would just award that starting DT
slot to TJ, making it his to lose or stated another way, putting Walker in the postion of having to "win" back his starting spot. I think most would agree that Sharper and Glenn, who are of course both gone, made much more of a contribution to the defense than Walker did last year. FWIW, I think Walker is much more over compensated and much more of under achiever than those 2 departed players ever were. And what's more, we basically gave rookies D-Rob & Babin their starting jobs last year to lose, and both of those positions, especially Babin's convertion from Downlineman to LB, were more challenging for an NFL rookie that what TJ would face.
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Old 06-11-2005   #24
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The guy on our line that has achieved least or was the least impressive when you watch the games over the years when 100% healthy is Robaire Smith. He was flat out unimpressive for much of last year. 2-gap techniques take a few years to really learn in the NFL, and a reason that TJ will likely be our situational pass rushing DL at first. I can see him replacing any of the 3 down linemen depending on down and distance and freshness. We need 4 -5 guys to run a proper 3-man line an entire game anyway.
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Old 06-11-2005   #25
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Vinny I think that TJ will replace Gary Walker by mid-season as the starter. Robaire and TJ on the outside gives us alot of athleticism. Payne, Sears, Walker, and the other guys will provide depth and rotation. Look for TJ to try and pattern his game after Richard Seymour. He is a poor mans Richard Seymour anyway.
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Old 06-11-2005   #26
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TJ really has more of a one-gap game than Semour does. TJ is really a Gary Walker clone moreso than a Seymour type imo. Walker is our best linemen if he is healthy - Smith our least effective, but I need to see him after a full year as a two gap player.
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Old 06-11-2005   #27
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Can any of the starters play other postions on the line? Because I remember that in our first season SI had Payne projected as a DE and Deloach as the NT. So I was wondering if the could switch around the DEs and the NTs to give offenses different looks and try to confuse them.
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Old 06-11-2005   #28
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All our linemen are pretty much 4-3 DT's. Walker and TJ are the two that are probably least likely to be NT's on first or second downs in running situations though.
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Old 06-11-2005   #29
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TJ may not start this year, but expect to see him on the line with R. Smith before long.
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Old 06-11-2005   #30
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I just want someone to keep the RTs off of #93
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Old 06-11-2005   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny
TJ really has more of a one-gap game
Virtually all of the big, athletic downlineman coming into the NFL played as
one-gappers in college. One exception last year was Marcus Spears, who
played as a two-gap DE at LSU. Spears and TJ were generally considered the 2 best defensive lineman in this years college draft, the Texans had their
choice of the 2, and of course their pick was TJ. So I don't think they have
too many reservations about TJs ability to pick up and apply his skills to the
two-gap configuration. The biggest challenge is of course not being the hero
and going for the home run - gotta be more disciplined as a two-gapper in the 3-4. In addition to being a tremendous athelete for such a big man, the
Texans obviously feel that TJ has the stength and size to be a two-gapper.
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Old 06-11-2005   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunusguy
Virtually all of the big, athletic downlineman coming into the NFL played as
one-gappers in college. One exception last year was Marcus Spears, who
played as a two-gap DE at LSU. Spears and TJ were generally considered the 2 best defensive lineman in this years college draft, the Texans had their
choice of the 2, and of course their pick was TJ. So I don't think they have
too many reservations about TJs ability to pick up and apply his skills to the
two-gap configuration. The biggest challenge is of course not being the hero
and going for the home run - gotta be more disciplined as a two-gapper in the 3-4. In addition to being a tremendous athelete for such a big man, the
Texans obviously feel that TJ has the stength and size to be a two-gapper.
Good breakdown.
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Old 06-11-2005   #33
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nunusguy, I often say it takes a few years to learn 2-gap techniques in the NFL. I'm not excluding TJ and never implied that he can't learn them....but right now he will likely be used more for his penetration skills on passing situations than a pure all-around 3-4 linemen.
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Old 06-11-2005   #34
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We need to differentiate between the responsibilities of defensive linemen in the base 3-4 defense and their responsibilities in the nickle package (which the Texans run 40% of the time).

In the base 3-4 defense all the defensive linemen play 2-gap technique. The nose tackle lines up against the center and the DE's line up against the tackles. Each defensive lineman is responsible for the 2 gaps on either side of his opponent.

However, in the nickle package the nose tackle is removed for a nickle back giving the defense a 4-2-5 look with the DE's becoming DT's and the OLB's becoming DE's. In the nickle the two "OLB/DE's" line up outside the tackles and the "DE/DT's" can lineup in a variety of places depending on what kind of look the defense wants to have. Thus the "DT's" can have either 1-gap or 2-gap responsibilities.

It is in the nickle package that Gary Walker and Travis Johnson can utilize their 1-gap abilities to apply pressure on the quarterback. This is where I thought Marcus Spears would have been a great addition to the Texans, but hopefully Travis Johnson will be able to make an impact. I expect that Walker and Johnson will usually be the two "DT's" in the nickle package and thus will be the linemen who have the best chance at getting sacks. Robaire Smith and Seth Payne will see most of their action in the base 3-4 and short-yardage packages.
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Old 06-12-2005   #35
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I am not sure what the Houston Texans saw in Florida State defensive tackle Travis Johnson. Johnson will flash occasional quickness through the gap, but is very inconsistent. He lacks lateral quickness and gives up on a lot of plays in pursuit. Johnson also will struggle anchoring at the point of attack.
I srumbled across this on ourlads.com, not sure how reputable the site is and I'm not saying I agree, I was just putting it out there.
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Old 06-12-2005   #36
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Originally Posted by bigtex77
I srumbled across this on ourlads.com, not sure how reputable the site is and I'm not saying I agree, I was just putting it out there.
It's the same site that claimed the Texans made a mistake taking Carr over Harrington. They'll hit on some & miss on some. Just like any internet site. As far as what the Texans saw in TJ, all Ourlads had to do was ask Dom Capers.
Quote:
Travis Johnson is a very active interior lineman, a guy we think has a combination of the size and strength to play the run yet the athletic ability to penetrate, and add pass rush to our defensive front. We see him fitting into our nickel scheme right away as an inside rusher and a guy we can fit into the rotation with our front people. We felt he had the most speed, athletic ability, size combination really of any interior lineman in the draft. He plays very aggressively, we like the motor, plays hard, has been very productive and we certainly liked what we saw of him on video.
For the record, I agree with the Texans evaluation of TJ.
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Old 06-12-2005   #37
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It's kind of funny how two sets of people who are both supposed to be professionals can look at the same prospect and get two totally different scouting reports. I personally think the Texans will ultimately be right, though.
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Old 06-12-2005   #38
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Just shows you how tough it is projecting players to the NFL level. Just because guys dominate NCAA kids doesn't mean it will translate to the NFL level. Drafting a 'sure thing' is like trying to pick out who will be most successful person in your graduating class.
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Old 06-12-2005   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtex77
It's kind of funny how two sets of people who are both supposed to be professionals can look at the same prospect and get two totally different scouting reports. I personally think the Texans will ultimately be right, though.
Since I grade for a living, it is not uncommon as you think in all professions. In the NFL, there are players who one GM looks at as undraftable and another who thinks he is a 3rd round pick. In this, I am only talking about two guys looking at film and maybe combine data to determine the difference.

Once you starting adding in personal interviews, character concerns, injury history, the team's particular scheme, the varience widens not close. the player who is thought of in the same manner by a huge majority is the exception, not the rule.
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Old 06-12-2005   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunusguy
If you do any kind of comprehensive analysis of how the the football media rated DTs in this just finished college Draft, you'll find that TJ and Marcus
Spears were the top 2 rated DTs and you'll find that the it was a relatively weak draft for DTs. Very often multiple tackles are taken in the top 10 selections and since TJ wasn't taken until 16, that tends to support the claim about a less than steller froup of tackles this year.
What's very interesting to me is that the top 2 were taken by us and Dallas - both 3-4 teams(Dallas reportedly has commited going 3-4 this Fall). Its my understanding that historically part of the appeal of the 3-4 was that the
Downlineman used were the type who were the more cap friendly very large, strong guys but not necessaryly the quick, explosive, athletic types that were one-gappers in the 4-3; however, both TJ and Spears clearly fit into
the latter category.
Another interesting related topic - the purest, best LB in the draft was Derrick Johnson but 2 3-4 teams (Dallas & SD)both turned their noses up at him to draft tweener DEs D.Ware & Merriman to play LB for them. I gotta wonder if a Demarcus Ware would have even been taken in the first round 5 years ago ? Its all supply and demand, and the renewed popularfity of the
3-4 is placing new demands on the supply of college talent.
While I think supply and demand play a significant factor in the draft process...the notion that 3-4 lineman could be found later in the draft was always over played, if not incorrect. IMO, some 4-3 team were drafting guys who would be great in 3-4 along with the history of NE and Pittsburg drafting Dlman in the first round made this theory just that a theory that had little to no basis in practice.

As for Ware and Merriman being drafted in the first round now versus five years ago, I think teams draft their pass rushing skill not 4-3 end versus 3-4 LB. Given that, I think Ware and Merriman would have been drafted in the first like John Abraham, who at 6'4" 250-255 who would 3-4 OLB or Andre Carter, a little heavier, who is now making the conversion from DE to OLB with the 49ers.
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