I'm worried about our running game

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by thunderkyss, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. thunderkyss

    thunderkyss Salem Poor

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    Granted at the end of last year's preseason, I couldn't see where our run game was going to come from. & I was also pretty high on the job our OL did as the season went on.

    But looking at our starters in the preseason, I've got to say I'm very, very worried. I understand it's preseason, but I've watched other teams in the preseason run the ball much more efficiently than we do, using the same "system". One being New Orleans, and the other Seattle.

    I've already broken down two of our running plays, the first against Minnesota, and our second in another thread.

    Here is a third run play against Minnesota. This is after the play Schaub initially hurt his ankle. 5:40 remaining in the second half.

    1st & 15
    We're lined up in the offset I, with Leach on the strong side. Two wide recievers out to the left, the weakside. Andre Davis, out wide, and Andre Johnson in the slot. Davis motions to the LT before the snap.

    The Vikings are in a base 4-3 with a Corner on Davis, and no one on AJ. It's times like this, I wish we could audible.

    Davis motions in, the corner covers AJ, and the WLB moves up to the LOS covering Davis.

    At the snap, everyone moves right, to the strong side. Vonta takes on the free cornerback that's off to the right, even though both our receivers were on the left. He shoots at Leaches knees, Leach covers him up, and they are both out of the play. Duane Brown is free off the LOS. He heads to the second level, and throws himself at the MLB. The MLB is hardly phased, as he continues to the LOS, and stops Slaton's forward progress. This is one of the things that is bothering me. We throw ourselves at these defensive players in a very futile manner. We should have the same huge advantage every other team has, when their linemen get to our LBs. They're popping us in the mouth, and we're tapping them on the shoulder.

    Chester Pitts jumps on the ground, as if someone was shooting at him. He lays in front of their back up DT, who jumps over him and continues to make the play & grabs Slaton behind the LOS.

    White gives Kevin Williams a good shove, to help Briesel get him moving laterally along the line. White then turns upfield, and squares off against Greenway, whom he meets at the LOS. He stops Greenway from getting in on the play, and pushes him off the LOS, about two yards. But Slaton is already being gang tackled behind him.

    Briesel takes on Kevin Williams one-on-one. He is initially stood up, but the hit from White gets them moving to the right. He does an okay job of clearing Williams, until he's thrown off balance, by running into the feet of Vonta Leach & the Corner back who was free on the right side. Slaton can't get around Briesel, because of the mess made by Leach & the CB, so he has to cut it up, behind Winston. Kevin Williams is able to take advantage of Briesel being off balance, and come back to the play. He contacts Slaton behind the LOS, at the same time that #90 does.

    Winston, who commited the false start on the previous play, to put us in 1st & 15 to begin with initially puts a good hit on their strong side DE. He passes him off to OD, then tries to move up field. But Briesel pushes Kevin Williams into him, so he dives at the SLB (Greenway) but lands on the ground, totally out of the play.

    OD takes on the RDE, is stood up, until Winston smacks their guy. I don't know what OD was thinking at this time, but he didn't look too concerned about taking the DE out of the play. Instead, he just "stood in his way" preventing the DE from getting behind him, but the DE was able to go back inside, and help gang tackle Slaton.

    On this play, there is no lane for Slaton to run through. No cutback for him to cut back to, nothing.

    Why not? Is it because Minnesota was a top 5 run defense last year? Should we not expect our Linemen to get to & take out LBs? Is Minnesota's LBs so good that our Linemen don't have a chance?

    On this play, we took both DEs & their SAM out of the play, but our RB was still gang tackled after a 2 yard pick-up.
     
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  2. disaacks3

    disaacks3 Site Contributor

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    Yep.

    The bottom line is that we did some good and some bad things on that play and going against #1 (against the run), it ALL needs to go well to be more than mediocre.
     
  3. spurstexanstros

    spurstexanstros Texans Rising

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    and the Texans were so concerned that they drafted a LB yet another DE two tight ends and a S...I am telling ya we made a mistake not drafting a rb in the second or third round.
     
  4. TimeKiller

    TimeKiller Guest

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    Since you clearly have the game recorded...

    Are they utilizing the cut block as called for? I remember when the system came around it was called "notorious for dirty cut blocking" by many and my thought is maybe they leave the dirty stuff out until the reg.

    Or maybe they've just been getting their asses handed to them
     
  5. Carr Bombed

    Carr Bombed Hall of Fame

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    I've seen Duane Brown cut a couple of guys during the preseason, one play he got called for a questionable penalty.
     
  6. thunderkyss

    thunderkyss Salem Poor

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    Here's another play, that most of us would look at as a success.

    3:42 left in the second half. 2nd & 3 from the 4 yard line. We're lined up in the I, twins to the left, strong side to the right. Again, the defense lines up in a basic 4-3 formation, with one cornerback on each side. The slot receiver is Davis, covered by the WILL. He motions behind our OL, the Will moves to above our tackle, the other LBs shift accordingly.

    At the snap, the OL moves forward. Except Brown, who swings left, to take on Will Allen. He does a good job of keeping him away from the play. Looks almost effortless, letting Allen arc around him.

    Chester Pitts attacks the WILL, who sheds Pitts with a simple sidestep to his left. Pitts actually does a flip, and lands on his butt. The WILL does lunge at Slaton, but misses. Now a Houston fan would probably say Chester did a good job. That he did enough to keep the WILL from making the play.

    Chris White took on their back up DT, #90. And does an okay job blocking him. He doesn't give up any ground, but he doesn't push him too far off the line either.

    Briesel takes on Kevin Williams, and does about the same job.

    The MLB shoots through the little gap between White & Briesel. He misses Slaton by a hair.

    Winston comes in to help Briesel. Doesn't really look like he's doing much, as he doesn't move him anywhere.

    Vonta Leach leads the way between Pitts & White. That's where the biggest hole was. But because Pitts did (IMO) such a horrible job blocking a LB, Vonta had to run closer to White than he should have. Slaton following had to do the same. But Vonta got brushed by #90, because he had to run so close. Vonta was still able to put a great block on the SAM, who would have been the only one stopping Slaton from reaching the endzone.

    We scored a touchdown because Vonta Leach is a bad ass..... PERIOD.

    What I want to point out here, is that we all look at Chester Pitts as our best offensive lineman. & he gets tossed like a Ragdoll.

    ZB is supposed to be about blocking the guy that crosses your face, then proceed to the second level. But we didn't do that either. Briesel got locked up on Kevin Williams, and he couldn't get off. Granted Williams is a pro bowler.... but it doesn't look like he even tried to pass him off to Winston.

    The MLB shot through the gap, and missed Slaton by a hair. We shouldn't be relying on the MLB to get through our line, and miss our tailback by a hair. Briesel should have got off his block, and took out the MLB. Chris White even pointed him out twice.

    We've got another formation, a defensive mismatch, with two WRs to the left, and only one CB, and we don't adjust.

    Preseason I know. But I thought this is when we're supposed to be identifying & addressing these problems.

    To see this in the third preseason game, makes me question if our offense is ready for Sept 13.
     
  7. thunderkyss

    thunderkyss Salem Poor

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    A better running back would not fix any of the problems I'm pointing out.

    The only good cut block I've seen in this game, was Duane Brown on Kevin Williams. I'm sure there may be more, but the majority of the ones I'm seeing, our players lay on the ground, waiting for someone to trip over them.

    I'll take that back, I saw a good one layed by Owen Daniels on their DE. He threw his body into the DEs hips, which is a good legal block.
     
  8. thunderkyss

    thunderkyss Salem Poor

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    The only "questionable" penalty I remember on Brown, was when he reached and grabbed a players foot. They called him for holding on that play.
     


  9. DocBar

    DocBar Hall of Fame

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    You make it sound like our OL is coached by Mr. Mittens with the stop drop and roll blocking scheme. I'm about to rewatch the Vikes game and see what I see.
     
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  10. thunderkyss

    thunderkyss Salem Poor

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    Yep, that's what I'm saying. If you see something different, please let me know.
     
  11. TimeKiller

    TimeKiller Guest

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    So they are still cut blocking just not effectively? I'm just saying man, after watching Shanason's conservative ass play calling it wouldn't surprise me to learn that he told the lineman to hold back too.
     
  12. b0ng

    b0ng Ooops

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    All of the starters from last year are in place and healthy for the first game. I am not worried about the running game because I am not worried about a crippled Jets defense. The absence of Shaun Ellis and Calvin Pace (Their best pass rusher) will play a pretty big role, and I have faith our coaches will attempt to take advantage of this perceived weakness. Maybe I'm a big pollyanna but we tangle with a much better defense twice a year and we still do okay. I'm not sure that Rex Ryan the head coach will be the same as having Rex Ryan the defensive coordinator.

    I'm glad you decided to break down some preseason football, for you are more of a fan than I. In the end, it seems like injuries in preseason mean more to the regular season than any sort of performance gauge. If all of the players are there, then I don't see why they can't perform as good as last year or better when the bullets are flying. Having a passing game as good as ours can dictate how the running game goes, and Steve Slaton has proven that he can take advantage of a defense on it's heels from having to defend AJ and OD all day long.

    So to conclude, I see the running game lacking that pop that it had from mid season last year, but I can't just write it off before we've seen what they do when it counts.
     
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  13. DocBar

    DocBar Hall of Fame

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    Looking at the 1st run you dissected, it looks like 94 just made a great play. He shed his blocker and got the tackle. I attribute that to him being a very good DT. The hole was HUGE to start with.
     
  14. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

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    I would say the two main culprits in this play are:
    1. Brisiel in the running lane.
    2. Pitts failing to provide the cut back lane.

    I will elaborate soon!
     
  15. barrett

    barrett Hall of Fame

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    Rick Smith says that he expects the run game to perform fairly well. I agree with him. We think that the ZBS has much to do with rhythm and sync and in the preseason you're starters are pulled.

    Eric Winston and I also think that as a starter you are often times getting pulled from a preseason game just when you're starting to find your rhythm. (I'm not complaining about puling starters. I'm happy with how that system works out.) If you watched the game tonight you saw two fairly sloppy run games.

    After the end of the first two weeks if our run game is looking mediocre and every is crying about how we're gonna suck I'm going to look to our preseason against one of the best run defenses in preseason followed by two of the best run defenses (1st, 7th and 6th respectively)

    I expect us to run the ball well. We may not run it that well in the first two weeks. I think we will be fine.
     
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  16. jppaul

    jppaul Cut and Dry

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    IIRC, I think he was actually executing a cut block and caught the other players legs with his upper arm and was called for tripping, but hey you have the recording.
     
  17. DocBar

    DocBar Hall of Fame

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    I remember one play this PS where DB was actually on his back trying to grab an ankle. I'm on strong pain meds right now, so I could be full of crap.
     
  18. thunderkyss

    thunderkyss Salem Poor

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    I can buy that. Even though Minnesota was a "dress rehersal", you're right in that they barely had a full Half worth of play from the first two games.

    I'm still a little worried.
     
  19. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

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    I make these notes and assumptions.

    Normally, the RB (Slaton) would follow the lead blocker (Leach).
    In this case, Leach went outside the TE (O.D.), so I would assume that's the original point of attack. An outside zone run.

    There was only a DB out there, and when he went wide, Leach took him down, to the outside. That should clear the way for Slaton.

    O.D. blocked in on the LDE. This further indicates an outside zone run.

    Also, Winston joined O.D. in the combo block at the start, but never intended to push the LDE to the outside. The two of them could have easily done that. Further indication of an outside zone run.
    But Winston was to disengage to go up to the SAM, which he did, but missed.

    Brisiel took on the RDT, but couldn't get ahead and got pushed sideway and a little more than two yards behind the LOS, right into the running lane.

    Brisiel needed to get ahead to the playside shoulder of the RDT; that would allow White to join in the combo block and help drive the RDT back.
    White started on it, but realized he couldn't get square up into the block (due to Brisiel), so he broke off and go to the MLB.


    Slaton wanted to cut back but there was no cut back lane.
    Pitts tried to cut block the LDT, but allowed him to get over easily and clamp down from behind.
    (I think it was Vinny who mentioned before about Pitts' unwillingness to cut block high) ... so he rolled down, very early and low.

    A.D. came in to block the RDE.
    Supposedly, a good cut block by Pitts should deter both the RDT and the RDE on the backside. (with a little help by A.D.)
    As well as the WILL who had committed himself to the outside of AD and the RDE.

    Brown also went for the SAM (before Winston) but didn't get him cleanly (being too far away).
    But you can't ask too much of him due to the distance.

    It was a good call.
    We had number on that side. The players just didn't execute.

    Note - I wouldn't worry about all the pre-snap stuffs.
    The D can always adjust.
    Plus they did have the safety to help the CB on AJ.
    Had A.D. stayed outside, the WILL was there; and the other safety can always shift to help.
    There never was any one-on-one situation.
     
  20. Thorn

    Thorn Dirty Old Man

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    The Texans offense will be better this year. Other than the usual worries about injuries, the only thing that really worries me about our offensive players is the QB position, not the rest of them.

    After one year, Slaton has proven more to me than Schaub has in two years. Hopefully Schaub makes me look like an ass for saying this, because I would love to be proven wrong.
     

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