Why the Texans are still "shaky" at LT

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by nunusguy, May 14, 2007.

  1. nunusguy

    nunusguy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,991
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    Houston
    "Consider this: Of the 32 projected starters at the primary pass-protection tackle position in 2007 (left tackles for teams with right-handed quarterbacks and right tackles for the three clubs that have left-handed passers), all but four are with the franchise that originally drafted them. That number could be reduced by one if Houston Texans second-year left tackle Charles Spencer successfully rehabilitates from the broken leg he suffered last season and is ready for training camp. "
    **
    "Ephraim Salaam, Houston
    The consummate short-fix guy, Salaam became the starter at left tackle for the Texans early last season when rookie Charles Spencer fractured his leg."
    **
    "Indeed, going the free-agency route to find a pass protector is just as problematic, it seems, as drafting one. The "bust rate" on free-agent tackles in recent seasons is, in fact, deplorable. Plus, good tackles rarely make it onto the market anymore. The veterans who are projected as starting blind-side tackles for 2007 still have an average of more than four seasons remaining on their current contracts.
    And such long-term contracts for tackles, at least in the past five years, have become pricey. That's another reason -- the ability to fix a team's costs at the premium tackle slot for five or six seasons -- why the preferred route for getting a top tackle now is to draft one.
    **
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=pasquarelli_len&id=2867242
    ********************************
    ESPNs Pasquarelli writes a very lengthy but informative article about the all important LT position.
    I dunno if it belongs here or in the NFL section ? Its basically about LTs in the NFL in recent years, with some specifics about the Texans.
     
  2. infantrycak

    infantrycak Mod. Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    55,641
    Likes Received:
    2,703
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    We'll leave it here for now and see if it veers Texans specific or heads more general.

    Here is a giant piece of the equation for the Texans:

    During the Texans era that is just two probowl OT's. One we had a very good shot at since he was taken with our original draft pick--Jamaal Brown although most of the fan base would have passed on him for Derrick Johnson. Marcus McNeil would have come at the expense of DeMeco. Ironically, both were considered to have a serious risk of being RT's compared to many of the other players drafted during the same period.
     
  3. TK_Gamer

    TK_Gamer Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,029
    Likes Received:
    32
    Part of the reason teams still have their drafted left tackle is mainly because the gamble of changing left tackles, even if you found and could afford a free agent that was any good they would still have to gell with your current personel and scheme. It's plain just not worth the gamble. I also believe LT's are some of the most unique specimens in the game. the strength, quickness, footwork, stamina, and resistance to injury required is insane compared to other positions on the lines. so the chances of a college player being good enough for the job is rare to say the least, but the good news is, alot of whats required can be taught or developed, players can get quicker and stronger, they can be taught proper technique and footwork. so longevity or resilience is probably the most important trait. so the lesson is, develop your young talented lineman as long as they are sturdy enough for the learning /development curve. just my oppinnion. I think the longer we keep our unit together, the better they will get.
     
  4. Texans_Chick

    Texans_Chick Utopian Dreamer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2004
    Messages:
    7,279
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    I'll keep this Texans specific....

    One of the things that I wish the Texans put on their TV stuff of the the draft lunchon was Kubiak talking about the LT position. He said a lot of similar stuff. He basically says that all the teams in the league are in perpetual lookout for the longterm future at left tackle. Because it is a hard position to play, to get through free agency of find in the draft. They believe they found their guy in Charles Spencer but that they can't count on him so they have done the best they can in having other options. But that they were not going to reach in either the draft or free agency for something that wasn't there.

    At least that's my summary. Kubiak said it better.
     
  5. Rex King

    Rex King Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    14
    This was intersting article analysing draft risk by position over 15 years:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=kluck/offensiveline/070425

    First-Round Bust Percentages
    QB -- 53 percent
    RB -- 49 percent
    WR -- 45 percent
    DT -- 33 percent
    OL -- 31 percent
    DE -- 31 percent
    CB -- 29 percent
    LB -- 16 percent
    S -- 11 percent

    First-Round Pro Bowl Percentages
    (Percentage of players making at least one Pro Bowl)
    S -- 53 percent
    DT -- 40 percent
    LB -- 39 percent
    RB -- 36 percent
    DE -- 33 percent
    QB -- 33 percent
    WR -- 31 percent
    OL -- 26 percent
    CB -- 23 percent

    While he provides criteria for success, he doesn't set any definite criteria to be classified as a bust.

    Drafting an o-lineman high doesn't look so bad in comparison to drafting say, a WR, especially considering the importance of the position.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/draft07/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=2806572

    Pasquarelli also wrote about the high bust rate at DT:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/draft07/columns/story?columnist=pasquarelli_len&id=2844964


    Anyway, this line is slowly being built through the draft. If Spencer comes back this season, four of the five starters will have been drafted. If Studdard, Frye, or Lucas (can I count him?) make it at center, that will be all five. I think this is just more confirmation of what's been knocked around - that specifically Casserly paid a lot of money for o-linemen that weren't very good, going for skill players in the early rounds instead...and we paid for it.

    I think the logic behind building the lines first is that they take longer to develop and gell as you say, but also tend to have more longevity. So by the time you draft the skill players, your lines will be ready to go. Draft the skill players first, and your lines won't be ready to go until the next cycle of skill players. I think that's where we're getting to right now.

    BTW, Texans Chick, did you write about that part in your blog or somewhere else? Because I remember reading that. And I think that's the point a lot of these guys panning our draft for not taking a tackle are missing. Who was there to draft? It doesn't seem they rated Staley that highly to take him at 10 and it would be a gamble to trade down to draft him later.
     
  6. Porky

    Porky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Messages:
    12,463
    Likes Received:
    988
    I agree with that philopshy, but it will still cause me to cringe if Spencer is finished, and there is a slight chance he is finished, and a decent chance he will never be the player he would have been. But, you still cannot reach. That's not the way to build the best overall TEAM. One piece at a time! :cowboy1:
     
  7. Wolfiegrrl

    Wolfiegrrl Wonder Woman

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    I think Kubiak, Smith, and Sherman are doing a decent job at building our line up. If you look at our sack stats from 2005 to 2006 our sacks dropped from 68 to 43. What a huge difference 25 sacks makes. I watched all of those games last year. Granted, Salaam is not the long term answer, but I think those guys did a heck of a job with all the injuries they had.

    LT will soon be solid for us. I just can't help but think of all the horrible picks that Casserly and Crew wasted in their attempt to force players into a system. Kubiak and Smith are doing it right. Find players that fit your system, don't force them to conform.

    :fans:
     
  8. Honoring Earl 34

    Honoring Earl 34 Hey Koolaid

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    19,761
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Location:
    Houston
    What's been trendy lately is convering a TE to LT . Robert Gallery is the first example ... he is quick , good feet , fluid , and not doing to well . Why ... who knows , maybe it's a strength issue or the nasty streak thing but as of today he was'nt worth the 2nd pick in the draft .

    This year Joe Thomas and Joe Staley were first round LTs that were tight ends . Levi Brown is a natural OT , while not as fast he has more mass and is still pretty nimble . This draft could be a good indicator on converted TEs compared to players who natural OTs .
     


  9. TexanSam

    TexanSam Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    17,071
    Likes Received:
    713
    I thought Staley and Thomas were natural tackles? Did both of them play tight end early in college?
     
  10. Honoring Earl 34

    Honoring Earl 34 Hey Koolaid

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    19,761
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Location:
    Houston
    I'm pretty sure they both started college at TE . I'll double check .
     
  11. Hagar

    Hagar Drink up yall, its the Texans!

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,066
    Likes Received:
    195
    Staley started his college career as a TE and was moved to RT in Sophmore year.

    Joe Staley Draft Prospect Footballs Future

    Not having a franchise LT is not for want or trying. It seems like the position is jenxed or something.

    IMO, given the press we were seeing at the time, if there was an adequate trade on draft day, the Texans would have traded down in the draft and gone after Staley. Apparently, the trade possibilities were too one sided and things didn't work out.

    I'm hopefull that Spencer will come back and play. In lite of it, I hope Eric Winston steps up and takes over the position. I originally picked Winston to win the position, so I'm a little biased.
     
  12. Texans_Chick

    Texans_Chick Utopian Dreamer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2004
    Messages:
    7,279
    Likes Received:
    1,064

    Yeah, I wrote about it on my AskTC Texans Talk blog, and a little bit on the Texans FanHouse blog.
     
  13. badboy

    badboy Site Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    25,577
    Likes Received:
    997
    Location:
    Clear Lake
    Maybe my understanding is incorrect, but I think the scouting for Casserly played a definitive role in the players CC signed off on. The fact that the Texans recently let several scouts walk supports this. We saw last year that Smith's contacts did really well, especially as a bandaid. I trust Smith's decisions. I think Kubes/Smith will build solidly yet push for a win each Sunday. Last years draft of who's? that became starters blew me away. I am hopeful of the same this year.
     
  14. Honoring Earl 34

    Honoring Earl 34 Hey Koolaid

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    19,761
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Location:
    Houston
    When you have a good draft it's because you picked players who were better than where they were taken . That's my best definition .

    1. Last year Mario could'nt go anywhere but down .

    2. Demeco ... defensive ROY . Should have gone in the 1st .

    3. Spencer ... Kubiak said he would have done for the OL what Demeco did for the defense . If that's the case ... where should he have ?

    3. Winston ... a lot of you wanted him in the 2nd .

    4. Daniels ... good player .
     
  15. Maddict5

    Maddict5 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,477
    Likes Received:
    315
    imo thats a pretty weak argument because there are certain higher profile LT's that always get into the pro-bowl every year even if they dont deserve it...

    look at this year- i saw a good few (5 or 6) saints games and jammal brown played pretty well in them but i dont think he deserved to go to hawaii.. i saw a couple pretty bad plays from him- the 1 that sticks in my mind the most is a play when he inexplicably turned in to help the LG (and ended up blocking no1 because the G didnt need help) and gave the RE a free run at brees who got clobbered...

    thats nothing personal against brown because every T makes mistakes and get beat occassionally but it just shows how you dont have to be a 'great' LT to make the pro-bowl because most fans dont watch them and usually just vote by name or winning teams...

    then on the other hand you have excellent tackles like levi jones of the bengals who have never made the pro-bowl...
     
  16. PapaL

    PapaL Loose Screw

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Messages:
    14,344
    Likes Received:
    837
    Location:
    Maryland
    I had already posted this under the NFL section (under the article title, link)
     

Share This Page