After watching Bledsoe get sacked and hurried every possession, I thought the Cowboys were crazy for giving the reigns to new guy Tony Romo. But suddenly, the pressure seemed to lessen. Fast forward to the offseason, and I was highly speculative about the Matt Schaub deal. Who is going to protect him? I knew he would probably make the OL a little better, but I was in no way sold. Fast forward to training camp, and I start to hear some talk out of our players. They talked about leadership, they talked about field presence. I wasn't sold. I think I even started a thread with the implication being "don't get too excited yet, we're still building" One of my main points was that our OL will look better, but is still a huge issue. And now fast forward to the end of week 2. The Texans are 2-0 for the first time in our history. We have won 4 straight. Our much maligned OL has given us a decent run game and given up 2 total sacks. Last week we saw 0 sacks and only 1 QB hurry from one of the best front 4 in the NFL. Wow was I wrong. Whats changed? Matt Schaub. I see Matt Schaub get most of the credit for improving the OL, but I wanted to point out that many of the reason Im seeing probably aren't telling the whole story. To put it simply, Matt Schaub is more than a quick release. So why is our Offensive Line playing like a group of pro bowlers? Heres my opinion: 1. Matt Schaub's quick release - I know I said this wasn't the only factor, but I do think its an important factor. He snaps the ball, he drops back, he makes his read, then he gets rid of the ball. End of story. No running around. No hesitation. Throw a TD? Good job. Throw an INT? Move on. He gets rid of the ball on time. Man the OL must be loving that. 2. Matt Schaub's pocket presence - This guy feels the rush 100x better than YKW. A speed rusher runs around our tackle behind Schaub? Whats he do? He steps UP in the pocket. I dont think I'd seen YKW do that in the last 2 years. He moves around like a QB should. I bet the OL loves that too. 3. Matt Schaub's play actions - He may not be fast. He may not be glitzy. But damn does this guy sell the play action. I have never seen so many Panthers running in 1 direction with Schaub going the other way. No wonder they call it the naked bootleg. 4. Matt Schaub throws it down the middle - Know why the defense can't blitz down our throats anymore? Because Schaub can actually throw to all parts of the field. YKW was limited to throws behind the LOS and along the sidelines. If the opposing team bumped the receivers they could blitz their safeties without worry. Schaub picks them apart, they back off, end of story. 5. And most importantly, Matt Schaub's leadership. I thought the offseason and preseason fluff articles were a bunch of mumbo jumbo. I thought, "Here is a meaningless story to elicit false hope and get us to buy jerseys/tickets/other expensive items" Boy was I wrong. I can not begin to describe the difference I have seen in our players "will" to play the game. Our offensive line wants to block the DL more than Ive ever seen it before. Its like over the past few years it was their job, but now its their passion. They want to keep #8 off the turf, and its showing. So basically, while Schaubs quick thinking is definitely helping the OL look like a different group out there, lets not forget his incredible leadership ability. Our team is coming together and believing in themselves, and I think that can do wonders for the players abilities. Its an intangible that delivers on Sundays. And its something we finally have the luxury of in Houston. All this said, I do want to give some credit to the OL themselves. A group of scrubs with a great leader is still a group of scrubs. And our OL is anything but. Sure they are going to get beat occassionally, but so far they've played as good as Ive ever seen them play. They have the talent, and with a few more pieces thrown into the mix, could be dominant for years to come. Our OL. Dominant. I can't believe I said it. And believe it. This is a different Texans team indeed.