Texans, defensive scheme, blitzes, etc.

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by 76Texan, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

    Dec 28, 2006
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    To start, let's take a look at the first game against the Steelers.

    Their roster full of veterans, all of them (except one or two) familiar with the Steelers' system.

    On the other hand,
    we had Schaub and Green back for the first game, testing their physical condition.
    Slaton and Brown as rookies.
    Brisiel and Bennett still finding their footing.
    Myers and Reeves first time in Texans uni.
    Okoye with his young age.
    Diles as first time starter.
    Demps who fell out of favor with the coaches.
    And we had Faggins in place of Dunta (injured.)

    The conditions were ripe for the Steelers to test our O-line and Schaub.
    So they did.
    And one would figure the Texans would play conservative defense???
    The truth was anything but that.

    I will only look at the first half, in which we held the ball a fraction more,
    and ran the same numbers of play as the Steelers (27).

    We ran 10 times for 25 yards, with Slaton 6 for 14 yds.
    We passed 17 times for 80 yds and Schaub threw 2 Ints.

    They run 17 times for 69 yds and passed 10 times for 103 yds.

    We blitzed 5 times (50% of the time they attempted to pass.)
    Once, Mario got to the QB and forced a fumble with Demeco recovering.
    The Steelers blitzed 10 times (58.8%)

    But we also brought more than 4 men attacking the LOS another 12 times (but they ran the ball.)
    They did it 8 times.

    We also call a Red Dog once (brought a LB and dropped a lineman.)

    We showed blitzes 5 more times, the Steelers 8 times.

    We had movement up front 3 more times,
    when one or more of the back 7 hovered within 3 yds from the LOS.

    Overall, both teams played aggressive defense in 26 out of 27 plays.

    We recorded 2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, 1 quarterback hurry.
    We forced 2 fumbles and recover once.

    The Steelers had 2 sacks, 3 TFLs, 3 QBHs, and 2 Ints.

    There wasn't a whole lot of difference in how both Defenses try to play,
    only in the results.

    And we made more costly mistakes in the defensive backfield.

    How that affects the scheme/play of our defense in later games?
    Were there other reasons?

    Inputs, anybody?
  2. m5kwatts

    m5kwatts Hall of Fame

    Nov 9, 2007
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    The one thing I remember vividly from this game was the Texans first drive of the game and it was 4th and inches and Schaub QB sneak'd it for like 3 yards and it was an obvious first down. So obvious even one of the refs called it a first down. Yet it was reviewed....and ruled not a first down for some ridiculous reason and the Steelers got the ball.

    I think this affected the team for the rest of the game. I remember Kubiak had the most befuddled angry look on his face and it seemed to really influence the play for the rest of the game.

    I don't know if this was the reason the Steelers knifed through our defense with ease but it seemed to ruin the game and it definitely ruined the game for me.
  3. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

    Dec 28, 2006
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    One of the side judge was impeded by a player, so he weaved around (alas, on the wrong side for us.)

    The other judge looked (and due to the mass of humanity in the middle), and adjusted his own stance.

    It was a first down for sure.
    It would likely have helped us.
    But the main thing is that our coaching staff was feeding lambs to the wolves, letting a young line work together.

    That could, and should, pay dividend in the long run.
  4. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

    Dec 28, 2006
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    I'm going to try to find out about whether the Texans had ever utilize the 4-3 under front on offense; whether they ever play one gap on Defense; and whether they ever were in go-read-and react mode.


    1 and 10 at Steelers 48 yd line.
    Ball on the inside right hash mark.

    Pitts with 5-man line.
    QB under center.
    RB Parker as lone back directly behind him, 8 yd behind line of scrimmage (LOS)
    3 men in diamond formation on the left.
    - TE #83 Miller on the LOS, just inside the left hashmark, not too far off from the LT
    - FB #38 Davis slightly behind Miller, and between him and the LT
    - WR #10 Holmes parallel with Davis, on the other side of Miller.
    The other WR #86 Ward on the LOS, on the right side numbers.

    Texans in 4-3 under front.
    TJ as NT (Nosed Tackle), on the outside shoulder of the Center.
    Okoye as UT (Under tackle or 3-tech), on the outside shoulder of the RG
    Weaver as LDE, outside the RT (and the right hash marks.)
    Mario as RDE, outside the LT, somewhat directly in front of the FB
    SAM Diles came up to the LOS, on the left number, somewhat directly in front of the WR Holmes.
    Demeco 4 yd off the LOS, slightly outside Mario
    WLB Greenwood a yard behind him, somewhere between the LG and LT
    Bennett about same depth as Demeco, checking Ward.
    Reeves 6.5 yd off LOS on the other side, outside the left hash marks, checking on Holmes.
    SS Brown 6 yd off LOS between the right hash marks making the formation a little more balance.
    FS Demps played back.

    So, this should please those who like to see a 4-3 under front with a LB on the LOS. (Actually, we had another thread for this already, but no clear example.)

    The Steelers would switch their formation and send men in motion, and the Texans would adjust accordingly… I don’t think we want to call this read-and-react, because if so, then every NFL teams play read-and-react defense.----

    If you want to see whether the linemen attack the gap right off the snap of the ball (without hesitation,) then the Texans did.
    They were in go-read-and-react mode… Also a one-gap attack scheme in this case.

    I hope that clear up a couple of questions.

    Or maybe I missed something?
  5. The Pencil Neck

    The Pencil Neck Hall of Fame

    Apr 11, 2006
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    Moraira, Spain
    So, basically, they were already doing what we hope they're going to do in the future and it wasn't working.

    So... is there any real reason to think it's going to work better for Amobi and TJ in the future if they couldn't make it work in the past?
  6. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

    Dec 28, 2006
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    We can also look at it more positively, like in...

    Okoye was young, he should improve.
    TJ probably will level out, but he can still gain experience.
    Bulman was only young and can also improve.
    Okam may do better.
    Cody, I have reasonably good reasons to say, will provide better depth.
    The sky (hopefully) is the limit for Mario, and that can only help the tackles.
    Barwin isn't here for nothing.

    Smith, I will have to study him closer to have an opinion.

    Besides that, having Adibi full-time will be good.
    And Cushing, in time - don't know how long, should also improve our LB corp.
    When our LBs - on the average - can protect the middle better, it will give a little more time to the linemen to do their job.
    Or they can get there themselves on a situational blitz better/sooner than we've ever done before.

    With Dunta coming back fully (and hopefully), and Reeves making some stride in the later part of the season, the front four will be helped as well.
    Bennett, I think, is rounding into a solid player.
    Molden should continue to improve.

    Hopefully one or two young players can contribute in the secondary as well.

    Ferguson and Wilson will have more time to iron out the communication with the CBs and LBs.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2009
  7. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

    Dec 28, 2006
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    *** Case study

    Browns game, 2nd defensive drive.

    The 5-man zone dog, with Ferguson as disguised safety blitz.

    Browns in shotgun spread, single back next to Quinn to his right, 4-wides.

    Texans in 4-3, but shift both DTs outside the Guards, leaving the Center uncovered.
    Adibi behind LDT Okoye, looking at the C.
    Ryans shaded outside the RDT Bulman.
    Nading outside RT. Mario outside LT.

    Adibi & Ryans both came up the middle on the zone blitz, with Nading dropping back to take on the releasing RB.
    The C took on Ryans.
    Adibi put Quinn on the ground and forced an early, errand throw.
    Browns settled for a FG.

    The result was as good as a sack.

    Some contributing factors, I think, are as followed:

    The Browns didn’t think both LBs would come.
    (or the C may think that the RB will take on Adibi.)

    Ferguson inched up on the left side (ours), hinting that he might come up on a safety blitz (with Adibi sliding over to take on the TE Winslow); therefore, the RB had to keep an eye on him.
    Wilson was already sliding to the other side to back up Dunta and Reeves,
    If Ferguson comes up on a blitz, it only makes sense that Adibi would have to slide over to check the TE.

    The Browns didn’t think Nading would drop back, not having much tape on him.
    Nading started up field then backpedaled and turned nice and tight on the RB (who released when he saw Ferguson dropped back.)
    This took away the only short safety valve for Quinn.

    Coverage was good by both Ferguson and Bennett on the play side.
    (Actually, coverage was good on all 4 receivers plus the releasing RB.)

    Quinn is inexperienced. (May or may not work against the QBs in our division.)

    Texans had a good defensive call (or lucky) when no receiver ran a short route.
    (They all headed for the end zone.)

    So who called that play? Richie or Frankie?
    Is this the vanila defense we're talking about? No disguise whatsoever?
    Is this limiting defensive play calling, as to allow a DC such liberty?
    Is this read and react when we're forcing the action?
    You be the judge!

    Manning and Collins might change the call and have the TE (or the slot receiver) run a slant route where our LBs vacated their spots. Or a crossing route with those two receivers.

    Garrard might very well pull up and run on first sight of Adibi coming.
  8. CloakNNNdagger

    CloakNNNdagger Site Contributor

    Apr 30, 2004
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    Nice analyses. As far as the Browns game, I would hesitate to base any real valid conclusions regarding the Texans' performance. I say that in light of the fact that the Browns won a total of 4 games last year, and that (following their loss to the Texans) they lost each of the remaining 4 games to finish out their season.
  9. spurstexanstros

    spurstexanstros Texans Rising

    Jul 26, 2006
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    San Antonio
    All I remember from the Browns game was Mario picking up Jamal Lewis like a rag doll and the crack of thunder that sounded as lewis hit the ground.
  10. thunderkyss

    thunderkyss MVP

    Sep 19, 2005
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    First, this game, we're talking about the Steelers. The Superbowl winners. So not being "effective" is relative.

    Secondly, yes. Everything Bush/Kubiak has been saying we will be doing, is the same thing Smith/Kubiak has been saying we will be doing.

    Personally, I think our weakness is the interior line, and lack of speed from the LBs & Safeties. Kubiak/Smith/Smith/Bush believe the weakness is at DE, and don't seem to have a problem with the speed behind the DL.

    The reasons to believe we'll be more successful in 2009, is that we have a new DL motivator, we have a better DE rotation(Upgrading Weaver to Smith, Cochran to Barwin) TJ is in a contract year, and Amobi is due to break-out.

    We've got better than good talent at the LB position. IMHO if Cushing is starting, he better be lights out. I know I didn't expect that from Mario, TJ, or even Babin, but I wasn't as high on the surrounding talent as what we have now. We've got four starting LBs in June, Adibi, Demeco, & Diles. If Cush is going to start, he should have to beat out one of those four.....

    And the best reason to believe we'll do a better job defensively, is that we can run the ball. If our Defense does their job, and get off the field on third down, our offense should be able to make the most of it. Eating up clock, scoring, and keeping our defense off the field. So when they do get on the field, they can leave it all on the field, knowing their work won't be in vain.

  11. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

    Dec 28, 2006
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    You're right, CNND. But I also think that it can be telling to watch the second half of last year and compare the progress of the players, and the units. Many of our players are young. To witness their improvements was very hopeful. I really like our team now, the new additions included. I can say without having to worry about being bias, that we are play-offs contenders. The injury bug needs to stay away from us to make up for the percentage the last several years; knock on wood!
  12. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

    Dec 28, 2006
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    Not to mention that he made the Pro-Bowler Joe Thomas look ridiculous at times! :smiliedance:
  13. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

    Dec 28, 2006
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    Agree! Why I mentioned that we were a very young and inexperienced team compared to the Steelers in that opening game.

    About eating up the clock, I think it's all the more important against teams like Indy. The longer Manning had to stay off the field, the more the possibility of him getting cold/frustrated somewhat.
    It's hard to get him off the field at times though!

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