Texans Fans & "Houston media" too easy on Kubiaks failure to move Mario to SS DEnd

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by nunusguy, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. nunusguy

    nunusguy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,991
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    Houston
    Back in 2006 when Gary Kubiak arrived on the scene, one of his first decisions was to convert the Texans defense from the 3-4 to the 4-3. And in so doing he signed Anthony Weaver in FA because the Texans existing roster didn't have a legitimate SS DE for the 4-3.
    Fast forward to 2009 and Kubiak repeated the exercise again by signing FA Antonio Smith. But one thing is different in 2009: Kubiak already has one of the best SS DE prospect to come out of college in the last 10 years who has also played successfully, off and on, as the Texans SS DE in his first 3 years in the NFL. Why Mario has not been moved to the strong-side and officially designated as the starter there is something that locals have let Kubiak slide on ? It's just so much easier to find a crack edge rusher for the weak-side as compared to the strongside where a larger, stronger player like Mario is needed for defending against the more demanding rushing-offense.
    Why was this position change not made ? I dunno but don't think it was ever fully explained by the Texans for whatever reason ? We should be focusing on the Orakpos, the Everett Browns, and other top DEs in the first round as our top priority of this years NFL Draft to finally establish a lineup capable of generating a real pass-rush. We can't however possible justify that much additional money/cap on another DE even though the one we've paid so much for in FA this year will play on the inside at DT in passing situations.
     
  2. Polo

    Polo Guest

    Well in passing situations he does often slide to "SS DE".

    Not sure why we still wouldn't be able to take one of the DE's you named.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2009
  3. infantrycak

    infantrycak Mod. Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    54,920
    Likes Received:
    2,605
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    He moves around a lot. I see no problem with letting the best pass rusher on the team pick his side and jack with whoever he thinks he can beat. Smith is certainly big enough to hold down the fort on the SS when Mario is at RDE.
     
  4. Texan JBZ

    Texan JBZ Da Sip's Finest

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,444
    Likes Received:
    183
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, Home of the Texans!
    Mario Williams has 26 sacks over the past two seasons and is one of the best DE in the league versus the run. Kubes>Nunusguy.
     
  5. nunusguy

    nunusguy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,991
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    Houston
    Smith is a band-aid type approach to making our pass-rushing defense more effective, he's a DE/DT type player, a "tweener" between those 2 positions.
    And he wasn't even a regular, full-time starter during the most recent season.
    But he did start some games and still had no more sacks than a DLineman of the Texans this past season who had no starts, Tim Bulman. I got problems with this whole picture ?
     
  6. Polo

    Polo Guest

    So really your problem is with us signing Smith, and not really Mario not being moved?
     
  7. Specnatz

    Specnatz Site Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Messages:
    8,620
    Likes Received:
    458
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    You can count on two hands guys who are not part-time players at DE. Teams are going to more and more rotations if the guy is not a superstud that way a player is always fresh and can just go full bore everytime he is in the game. Just like teams are doing that with runningback.

    You are only looking at part of the picture if you are not including rotations and Tim Bulman having a better season a long with Smith playing opposite Mario.
     
  8. dalemurphy

    dalemurphy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    6,124
    Likes Received:
    662
    Location:
    Austin
    I just rewatched the December games, minus the Oakland fiasco and I would say that Mario lined up as a LDE at least half the time on passing downs. Obviously, with Weaver starting, he couldn't be on the strong side on downs when Weaver was in the game. I think this issue comes down to John McClain misinformation. Mario is going to be moved around a lot... period. I don't think, in this case, McClain has any idea what he's talking about. I wouldn't worry.

    If you're concerned about the Antonio Smith signing, I wouldn't be. He's a good, young player but I don't think the team sees him as the complete answer to our pass rush. I would expect a smaller edge rushing DE to be drafted sometime before round 5.
     


  9. Ole Miss Texan

    Ole Miss Texan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    8,693
    Likes Received:
    685
    Mario moves around a lot on the line, he may "start" the game at RDE but he gets plenty of snaps on both sides.

    I can easily see us finding a true pass rushing guy, starting Mario at RDE and Smith at LDE. Then on passing downs, moving Mario to LDE and the pass rusher to RDE. Smith either takes a break or moves in to a DT spot.

    I've got no problem having Smith and Mario out there as our primary DEs, this will only help our run defense which hasn't been that great in the past.
     
  10. Texans_Chick

    Texans_Chick Utopian Dreamer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2004
    Messages:
    7,279
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    I think that the title of your post is built off of a couple of false premises....

    1. Mario doesn't just play one position. Now that he is more comfortable, they have moved him some depending on matchups and downs. Lots of teams do that throughout the league with their best pass rushers. Part of that is who was available on the line with him.

    2. You can't look at the past to judge the present of the line. The new Dline coach may be playing around with the personnel some.

    3. Kubiak has said that he is willing to move Mario around on the line and that isn't going to affect how they draft for athleticism for the team.

    4. One of the biggest problems with the line is it was either really really young or sucky. Just depending on the draft to fix your bookend issue was just going to add another young young guy. I think all reasonable people think that Smith is an upgrade over Weaver.

    5. Texans defense has a ton of problems. Including not wanting to add more salary at the 15th spot. Do you really want to spend your 15th pick on whatever defensive lineman who is likely going to be the leftovers available at that spot?

    6. Are you suggesting that the Texans give up keep depth building picks to move up for any of the Dlineman? If so you are really going to have to work to justify that move.

    In sum, I don't see how fans and media are being too easy on Kubiak as it relates to where Mario plays. To be honest, I think that a lot of the moves on the line over the last two years have been reflection of the few options the Texans have had with personnel.

    Sorry if any of this is redundant with others said.
     
  11. ArlingtonTexan

    ArlingtonTexan Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    6,159
    Likes Received:
    465
  12. infantrycak

    infantrycak Mod. Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    54,920
    Likes Received:
    2,605
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Smith is a guy who can be played in some situations at DT. He is not a tweener.

    [​IMG]

    His body type lanky not wide body.

    Smith had 2 sacks a forced fumble and a fumble recovery during the post-season--obviously against some pretty good teams. I think you are underestimating him.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
  13. nunusguy

    nunusguy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,991
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    Houston
    Before and after the Smith FA pickup, we still only have one real edge-rusher
    and we need 2. That's the basic problem and we haven't fixed the basic problem yet. And we've also complicated it because we've tied our hands, made it more difficult to go after the best edge-rusher available to us in the Draft because of what we've already sunk into Smith.
     
  14. ArlingtonTexan

    ArlingtonTexan Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    6,159
    Likes Received:
    465
    There are couple of possible maybe

    The Texans may see that the overall play (run and pass) of the "other" DE across from Williams needs more improvement and want someone who is not only a pass rusher.

    Maybe the Texans looked at the draft and though that the "best" edge rusher at pick 15 is not significantly better than one they could get in the 2nd or third round. Smith does not preclude them from getting another athlete at DE to be an end-rusher.
     
  15. dalemurphy

    dalemurphy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    6,124
    Likes Received:
    662
    Location:
    Austin
    It appears the team's philosophy on the DL is to have 4 guys with good size and burst and less specialization. In other words, they are NOT building the a line with a 360 lb NT, a 300 lb DT with burst, a 275 lb strong side DE, and then a 245 lb speedster on the weak side.

    Instead, for the base defense, they want 4 guys that can stand up to the run and also have the explosiveness to make plays in the backfield. That doesn't mean, I don't think, that they won't use a mid round pick on a specialty player like they did Okam last year. We may get a big, fat body on the roster for run downs and we may draft a guy like Sidbury to rush the passer on pass downs. Simply, though, those aren't the players they want on the field on 1st and 10 in the first quarter. And, I don't see a problem with that philosophy.
     
  16. Hagar

    Hagar Drink up yall, its the Texans!

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,066
    Likes Received:
    195
    Well, the Houston Media is too easy on the entire franchise and has been since Casserly and Capers.

    I don't think the new DE Antonio Smith is the answer to our pass rush problems; however, if new DC Frank Bush lives up to his billing/expectations, he will be the answer.

    Essentially, in the past, we ran a very vanilla blitz sceme and opposing offensive lines didn't worry about who maybe coming on the pass rush. It was just the front four almost everytime. If a lineman doesn't have to worry about SS, LB and CB, defeating the guy in front of you becomes much easier. That split second of hesitation to ask, "where's Demeco, where's Dunta" can make a huge difference in the DL ability to get to the QB.

    Anyway, only my :twocents:
     
  17. infantrycak

    infantrycak Mod. Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    54,920
    Likes Received:
    2,605
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Well apparently Bush thought Smith was a big piece of the equation since he coached him and was a big advocate for signing him.
     
  18. nunusguy

    nunusguy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,991
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    Houston
    No, not now. They've already effectively foreclosed that opportunity to themselves by sinking a ton in Smith during FA, which as I've already said in numerous places in ways throughout this thread didn't solve the problem.
    Hence the obvious frustration on my part and other Texans fans who've wanted to have a real pass rush here once and for all after 7 years.
     
  19. nunusguy

    nunusguy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,991
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    Houston
    OK, what other team(s) using that template have had some real success in rushing the passer and getting to him ?
     
  20. dalemurphy

    dalemurphy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    6,124
    Likes Received:
    662
    Location:
    Austin
    I think an improved Okoye with Robinson, TJ, Cochran, and maybe Bulman rotating at DT, along with Mario and A. Smith at DE will be able to apply good pressure. I agree that a pure speed rusher would be a good thing but I also believe that we will see one drafted in the middle rounds. Remember, for the past 3 years, the D.C. has been asking our DTs to do a lot of engaging and reacting at the line. In addition to the improved coaching of the dline itself (Kollar), the one gap philosophy that Bush will employ and the continued development of our young guys should bare some fruit. Also, Antonio Smith is very good. I went back and watched him play using NFL.com/gamerewind (amazing) and he is constantly in the backfield. His sack total is relatively low due to his limited snaps and the fact that he often moved to DT on passing downs. As primarily a DE opposite Mario, I would expect 7-10 sacks from the guy and plenty of pressure. By the way, he'll make a lot of plays in the run game too!
     

Share This Page