disclaimer - it's 3am & i went out partying earlier, i shouldnt be posting but i'm going to anyways, hopefully this is coherant. i had a chance to rewatch the game in detail last night and a few things stood out to me, some a reinforcement of what we already know, and some new impressions (i was focusing exclusively on the lines through the first 3 quarters) ... babin's never going to be great. he will be good however. he's above average in every way, but isnt overwhelming. he looked exactly the same against every player he went against versus KC as he has against everyone else when in a 3pt stance. good size, good speed, good quickness at the snap, good fundamentals, good strength. combined, that's going to make for a starter that's going to help the texans win games. babin WILL lead the team in sacks this year and is also very strong against the run. i'm dying to see spencer go up against first stringers. it's going to take him a season to adjust to the speed of the NFL and time to learn, but his combination of quickness & size is going to make him a man among boys very soon. he's going to need some coaching to keep his feet under him, but spencer's upper body is overwhelming - the play was over for the defensive end as soon as spencer got his hands on him. he showed serious dominance in his first appearance as a texan. i hope pace plays this week, because he's the closest comparrison i have at this point. as i said in another thread, i like wand & think he has all of the tools, but wand is going to be out of a job by opening day if he doesnt develope a mean streak real quick. mario needs to slow down. he seemed entirely too eager and appeared to overthink most plays (basically "looked like a rookie"). the game will slow down for him noticably each game, but i'd really like to see him get as many reps as possible (safely) before the season starts. mario wont have an impact until he settles down. if and when he does however, mario's going to be a highlight every weekend. it's entirely too early to give any real analysis, but mario looked most comfortable at LDE. mario's performance has been diagnosed, but a little unfairly IMO. while mario wasnt focused on by the defense, he did see initial double teams and was cut on more than one occassion. when he was "blocked by tony gonzalez" was on running plays where mario stood up tony and pushed him back 2 yards. the rookie mistake was being caught up on the blockers and not fighting towards the ball. ryans is going to be a stud. i guess that's all i've got to say about that. dunta robinson, orr, peek, & simmons need to be signed for the next 10 years. these guys sole purpose in life is to hit people ... hard. orr had one of my favorite plays when he took himself out of the play by flattening the fullback during a run in the first half, but the fullback never went looking for orr after that play. simmons once again knocked himself out hitting people at 90mph. payne not only needs to start, he needs to be more vocal. payne should be the leader of our defense and demonstrates it with his play. first string, second, or third ... you cant block payne with 1 guy. he also doesnt stop until the play's over. payne literally will go chasing a receiver after a 60 yard throw, and he should be the example that our defense follows. if there's one word to describe payne's rush technique (atleast in last week's game) it's "leverage". any time payne was 1vs1 against a lineman, he literally grabbed the blocker and threw him to the side (obviously why he was chosen as a 3-4 NT, but he should translate relatively well). the only time i saw payne out of synch, was on a quick snap, but he still held the LOS. i dont want to say it, but i have to. weigert looked great. he had a little extra spring in his step and was initiating contact very well on both passing & rushing plays. where he really stood out to me was with a tight end on his side, weigert played a pulling tackle and went hunting ... not to block someone, but to flatten someone. weary also looked pretty solid most of the time, the best being a complete walling off during lundy's first TD run (i'm pretty sure it was weary). i love our run blocking, BUT we've got a lot of work to do. i saw way too much of our guys tripping over eachother. the cut blocks looked forced and the outside lineman was unprepared - trying to move in that direction instead of being aware and moving to the next level (they need time to gel, sorry it hurt me to say it). that being said, watching our rushing plays is bliss. even with shaky execution, the scheme looked fantastic. i thought that i was fully aware of how zone blocking was supposed to work, but you dont appreciate it until you see it in motion. defensive tackle, linebacker, safety, it doesnt matter ... our guys moved in one direction and hit everything that got in that path - if it's not in your path anymore, move on until someone is and hit them as hard as possible (as the guard's cut block eliminates both the DE, his DT, and with any luck, the OLB). with that said about our run blocking scheme, i say once again ... DD rushes for 1500+ yards if he can stay healthy for 14+ games. he runs stronger than smith, has more initial quickness than lundy, and better instincts than any rb on the staff. DD is a top 5 fantasy pick on the off chance that he can get and stay healthy (neither being very likely at this point). peek is and always will be a liability on rushing downs. i'm sorry, i like him as much as anyone else here, but he's a pass rusher. his tendancy to overrun plays and his inability to push the pile is the opposite of what is necessary to stop the top rushing teams. he doesnt have the instincts or awareness of babin, nor the technique and lower body strength. he's a pure 3rd down guy, but should be out there on EVERY 2nd or 3rd and long ... peek is impossibly quick off the line. i'd trust kalu or weaver much more to come in for first downs and short yardage in relief of babin/mario. cook looked terrible outside of the initial kickoff IMO. luchey was a little better, but i honestly didnt pay any real attention to him. there's good reason that joppru is rumored to be seeing more time at fb/hb. putzier is going to catch 50+ passes. dave casper was the ghost, putz is going to be the phantom ... both houston fans & opposing teams will be wondering what that "tight end" is doing in a texans offense. carr's "one bad throw" was going to be bad nomatter what. he didnt have a running lane and from the few angles that i could see, didnt have a single open target. his tipped pass to AJ was as good as it could be. great route, perfect pass ... the defender simply made the play by his fingertips - congrats to the defense there. flanagan is the most important pickup of the offseason (outside of coaching staff). i'll leave it at that.