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Houston Texans: Mismatches with RBs will lead to success

Double Barrel

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Houston Texans: Mismatches with RBs will lead to success

As for the Texans head coach/general manager Bill O’Brien, he spoke very recently about his running backs, as he was asked about the mismatches the running backs can create this upcoming season. O’Brien had this to say in the question about his running backs with comments provided by NFL Communications:
“We’ve worked hard in the offseason to come up with different packages relative to some of the things we’ve done in the past. Some of those packages obviously involve David and Duke. Both guys are, I believe, three-down backs. They can play on all three downs. They can run it. They can catch the ball out of the backfield, really smart guys. Really good communicators.”
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I hope it happens. An offense with multiple ways to move the ball and strike is always exciting to watch. The potential is there for defenses to be stretched if it works out.
 

OptimisticTexan

Go Texans 4-3...Post OB!!!!!
We got a plethora of weapons, it’s about utilizing them correctly.
.....and them staying healthy. I think everyone in the NFL is aware of the Texans talent base. They're even more aware of their penchant for injuries. If they stay healthy, I believe Watson can have one heck of a season which benefits those that can stay on the field.

Man, wouldn't it actually be nice to see a healthy season on offense?
 
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Double Barrel

Moderator / Admin
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We got a plethora of weapons, it’s about utilizing them correctly.
That's what I'm really interested to see this season. We've got a QB with the talent, so now let's see what he can do in this scheme and the play-calling of Tim Kelly.

There should be choices on each play that will exploit defenses if it's based on the NE EP system.
 

Speedy

Yeller Dweller
I’ll believe it when/if I see it. He’s never taken advantage of the talent he’s had to create mismatches before. Not going to give him the benefit of doubt that it all of a sudden happens in year 7.

No off-season workouts, no scrimmages against other teams in camp, for all these new pieces to get acclimated and in sync. I don’t see how anybody thinks this is going to be some well oiled high flying machine. Especially early on.
 

banned1976

All Pro
I’ll believe it when/if I see it. He’s never taken advantage of the talent he’s had to create mismatches before. Not going to give him the benefit of doubt that it all of a sudden happens in year 7.

No off-season workouts, no scrimmages against other teams in camp, for all these new pieces to get acclimated and in sync. I don’t see how anybody thinks this is going to be some well oiled high flying machine. Especially early on.
The Texans defense will allow the offense to get on the same page, with all those shutouts they’re going to be pitching early on. Can the offense score 3 points? Because that’s all they’re going to need until they get those engines running. Fastest show on turf meets the doomsday defense right here in Houston!!!
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
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The Texans defense will allow the offense to get on the same page, with all those shutouts they’re going to be pitching early on. Can the offense score 3 points? Because that’s all they’re going to need until they get those engines running. Fastest show on turf meets the doomsday defense right here in Houston!!!
I think you forgot the sarcasm thingy.
 

Lucky

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Staff member
I don't see much of a choice as to using Johnson & Johnson extensively in the passing game. Because neither is really capable of pounding the rock inside, as O'Brien likes. Short passes to the backs is what will have to be utilized to keep the blitz off Watson. The Patriots have proven that.

But, that was after O'Brien left for Penn State. In O'Brien's last 2 seasons in New England, the RBs saw an average of 4.5 targets per game. And that was with good 3rd down backs like Danny Woodhead and Kevin Faulk on the roster. Throwing to the RBs has never been O'Brien's thing.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
I don't see much of a choice as to using Johnson & Johnson extensively in the passing game. Because neither is really capable of pounding the rock inside, as O'Brien likes. Short passes to the backs is what will have to be utilized to keep the blitz off Watson. The Patriots have proven that.

But, that was after O'Brien left for Penn State. In O'Brien's last 2 seasons in New England, the RBs saw an average of 4.5 targets per game. And that was with good 3rd down backs like Danny Woodhead and Kevin Faulk on the roster. Throwing to the RBs has never been O'Brien's thing.
True

I think the current Texans RBs are as good of not better than than the Pats RBs are at catching the ball out of the backfield. DJ and Duke are like having an extra wr pm the field. DJ started out as a wr on college.
 

dream_team

Hall of Fame
I’ll believe it when/if I see it. He’s never taken advantage of the talent he’s had to create mismatches before. Not going to give him the benefit of doubt that it all of a sudden happens in year 7.

No off-season workouts, no scrimmages against other teams in camp, for all these new pieces to get acclimated and in sync. I don’t see how anybody thinks this is going to be some well oiled high flying machine. Especially early on.
My thoughts exactly. I remember when we signed Lamar Miller and drafted Tyler Ervin. All that speed was supposed to create mismatches against LBs in coverage. But apparently, BOB saw a different type of mismatch.
 

Earl34

All Pro
My thoughts exactly. I remember when we signed Lamar Miller and drafted Tyler Ervin. All that speed was supposed to create mismatches against LBs in coverage. But apparently, BOB saw a different type of mismatch.
What's funny is you can go back to BOB's days as the Patriots' play caller and you will find fans complaining that he stubbornly kept feeding the ball to BenJarvus Green-Ellis and his 3.7 yards per carry and not getting Woodhead and Ridley more involved in the passing game.
 

Mr teX

Hall of Fame
My thoughts exactly. I remember when we signed Lamar Miller and drafted Tyler Ervin. All that speed was supposed to create mismatches against LBs in coverage. But apparently, BOB saw a different type of mismatch.
Fans kill me with this thought process lol. You can't just run outside zone all the time just b/c you have a fast back; The blocking scheme has to compliment the back's running style. 1 of the reasons Arian was so successful here with us is b/c the blocking scheme complimented his 1 cut and go running style....Add on his ridiculous vision & you have a 1600 yd stud back there.

Lamar Miller's vision was terrible and he had a rather timid & indecisvie running style...for a back with his measurables anyway. Body like Tarzan, ran like Jane type. There is no blocking scheme for that type of runner..not even when you try to have him just run straight forward with minimal reading & cutting like BoB tried to utilize him. .......& as we now know, Tyler Ervin just couldn't play so....
 

Mr teX

Hall of Fame
What's funny is you can go back to BOB's days as the Patriots' play caller and you will find fans complaining that he stubbornly kept feeding the ball to BenJarvus Green-Ellis and his 3.7 yards per carry and not getting Woodhead and Ridley more involved in the passing game.
That says nothing. You can go to any teams' message board or wherever and find them complaining about how a particular player is being utilized/underutilized. Complaining..........its what we do.
 

dream_team

Hall of Fame
Fans kill me with this thought process lol. You can't just run outside zone all the time just b/c you have a fast back; The blocking scheme has to compliment the back's running style. 1 of the reasons Arian was so successful here with us is b/c the blocking scheme complimented his 1 cut and go running style....Add on his ridiculous vision & you have a 1600 yd stud back there.

Lamar Miller's vision was terrible and he had a rather timid & indecisvie running style...for a back with his measurables anyway. Body like Tarzan, ran like Jane type. There is no blocking scheme for that type of runner..not even when you try to have him just run straight forward with minimal reading & cutting like BoB tried to utilize him. .......& as we now know, Tyler Ervin just couldn't play so....
Where did you get run more outside zone from me?

Anyways, I feel like we've had this debate before, so no need to re-hash old arguments as we seem to have different philosophies on football.
 

Earl34

All Pro
That says nothing. You can go to any teams' message board or wherever and find them complaining about how a particular player is being utilized/underutilized. Complaining..........its what we do.
That's true and I agree. However, my point was in 2011 with the Pats, fans were complaining about BOB giving 200 carries to a RB averaging 3.7 YPC. In 2017, he gave Miller 238 carries for...wait for it.... 3.7 YPC.

To @dream_team's post. It was regarding getting the RBs involved in the passing game. My point was BOB's preference appears to be feeding the RBs regardless of their YPC.
 
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Texansballer74

Hall of Fame
That's true and I agree. However, my point was in 2011 with the Pats, fans were complaining about BOB giving 200 carries to a RB averaging 3.7 YPC. In 2017, he gave Miller 238 carries for...wait it for it.... 3.7 YPC.

To @dream_team's post. It was regarding getting the RBs involved in the passing game. My point was BOB's preference appears to be feeding the RBs regardless of their YPC.

Bill O'Brien wants a physical offensive team. Unfortunately they just didn't have those type of linemen or backs. Last year in the beginning the offensive line was pretty good in run pro. Then those pesky injuries took over and our running game took a dive in the wrong direction.
 

Lucky

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Staff member
I think the current Texans RBs are as good of not better than than the Pats RBs are at catching the ball out of the backfield.
They certainly have the credentials to compare with any set of pass receiving RBs in the league, combining for nearly 7 receptions/game over their careers. In contrast, the Texans have averaged less than 5 RB targets/game over the past 3 seasons.

So, we either are about to see a monumental shift in offensive philosophy, or...scratch our heads in confusion as to why O'Brien brought these RBs to the team.
 

Earl34

All Pro
They certainly have the credentials to compare with any set of pass receiving RBs in the league, combining for nearly 7 receptions/game over their careers. In contrast, the Texans have averaged less than 5 RB targets/game over the past 3 seasons.

So, we either are about to see a monumental shift in offensive philosophy, or...scratch our heads in confusion as to why O'Brien brought these RBs to the team.
Exactly. Too often, for multiple weeks, this game plan offense ignores RBs and TEs in the passing game. So, until I see it, "I'm taking, scratch our heads in confusion for 16 games Alex."
 
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Corrosion

Idealist
Staff member
Exactly. Too often, for multiple weeks, this game plan offense ignores RBs and TEs in the passing game. So, until I see it, "I'm taking, scratch our heads in confusion for 16 games Alex."

That leopard aint gonna change his spots - OB is who he is , we have 6 years of history. He wants to pound it between the tackles and chuck it deep with the occasional WR screen thrown in to keep them honest.

What we have to hope is that Kelly isn't an OB clone or a yes man and that OB gets outa the damn way and lets him run the offense ....

What really bothers me is the schedule - those first 4 are really good teams. If they start out 1-3 / 0-4 OB's gonna take over the playcalling which is a total disaster - unless it gets him fired.

That schedule is brutal. Wouldn't be unreasonable to see them 3-5 or 2-6 at the half way point. If OB gets them thru that schedule .500 or better - He's done a very good job.
 

Rich Schmidt

Myopicone
I truly wonder if BOB has not opened it up because our woeful tackles we have had historically and thus needing to max protect or chip more. Anyway, here is to our new OC TK to use the weapons smartly. We have speed, experienced slot, versatile RB's, and a deep but not yet high end TE group. They should be able to game plan and use these weapons if the OL is abover average and DW4 has matured even further to take what is there. Gonna need 28/game unless Weaver is a witch
 

KoolAid Sipper

Waterboy
Fans kill me with this thought process lol. You can't just run outside zone all the time just b/c you have a fast back; The blocking scheme has to compliment the back's running style. 1 of the reasons Arian was so successful here with us is b/c the blocking scheme complimented his 1 cut and go running style....Add on his ridiculous vision & you have a 1600 yd stud back there.

Lamar Miller's vision was terrible and he had a rather timid & indecisvie running style...for a back with his measurables anyway. Body like Tarzan, ran like Jane type. There is no blocking scheme for that type of runner..not even when you try to have him just run straight forward with minimal reading & cutting like BoB tried to utilize him. .......& as we now know, Tyler Ervin just couldn't play so....
How do you think David Johnson currently compares to your thoughts on Lamar Miller. IMO, David Johnson has similar attributes. His vision isn't known to be an asset, he's big but not known for utilizing his size. I would give the edge in receiving to David but that could be based on utilization.
 

santo

All Pro
Contributor's Club
They certainly have the credentials to compare with any set of pass receiving RBs in the league, combining for nearly 7 receptions/game over their careers. In contrast, the Texans have averaged less than 5 RB targets/game over the past 3 seasons.

So, we either are about to see a monumental shift in offensive philosophy, or...scratch our heads in confusion as to why O'Brien brought these RBs to the team.
He's been doing this for 6 seasons. No reason to think he's going to change all of a sudden. :kitten:
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
They certainly have the credentials to compare with any set of pass receiving RBs in the league, combining for nearly 7 receptions/game over their careers. In contrast, the Texans have averaged less than 5 RB targets/game over the past 3 seasons.

So, we either are about to see a monumental shift in offensive philosophy, or...scratch our heads in confusion as to why O'Brien brought these RBs to the team.
True,

I believe that this is the type of personnel that BOB'S wanted all along to run his offense.
 

Double Barrel

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That leopard aint gonna change his spots - OB is who he is , we have 6 years of history. He wants to pound it between the tackles and chuck it deep with the occasional WR screen thrown in to keep them honest.

What we have to hope is that Kelly isn't an OB clone or a yes man and that OB gets outa the damn way and lets him run the offense ....

What really bothers me is the schedule - those first 4 are really good teams. If they start out 1-3 / 0-4 OB's gonna take over the playcalling which is a total disaster - unless it gets him fired.

That schedule is brutal. Wouldn't be unreasonable to see them 3-5 or 2-6 at the half way point. If OB gets them thru that schedule .500 or better - He's done a very good job.
After 6 seasons, I'm still not sure what kind of offensive identity O'Brien is about. It's weird.

Hopefully, like you mentioned, Kelly is not an OB clone. He could bring a perspective that is more consistent and cohesive than we've seen so far.

As far as getting fired, I think O'Brien has immunity through 2021 considering this pandemic upheaval and he was just installed as emperor this year. Plus, he's always got Weaver and Kelly as convenient potential scapegoats.
 

Lucky

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Staff member
What we have to hope is that Kelly isn't an OB clone or a yes man and that OB gets outa the damn way and lets him run the offense ....
Just some facts about Tim Kelly...

* Played d-line at a small school (Eastern Illinois)
* Coached defense at small and mid level schools (Illinois Wesleyan, Minnesota St. Moorhead, Ball State)
* Was a grad assistant at Penn State for 2 seasons under O'Brien.
* Has moved from offensive quality assistant, assistant o-line coach, TEs coach, and offensive coordinator in his 7 years with the Texans
* Has only coached on offense while under O'Brien

I don't know if Kelly is a yes man or his own man. But, what do the facts say? Where does his knowledge of offense come from?
 

Texansballer74

Hall of Fame
Out of curiosity, what makes you believe this? Before he was hired by the Texans and got handcuffed by Ricky, did he run his offense with similar personnel? Was it successful?
Nobody really can saying exactly what Bill O’Brien wanted. Lol that dude has been all over the place. If he wanted that type of personnel from the jump, they would’ve been acquired said talent. It was after the Miami and KC games in which we couldn’t handle their speed, is when we decided to go that route. The following year we drafted for speed and went after speed in FA. Unfortunately it did not pan out because we were still trying to pound the ball like a powerhouse offense.
 
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Texansballer74

Hall of Fame
After 6 seasons, I'm still not sure what kind of offensive identity O'Brien is about. It's weird.

Hopefully, like you mentioned, Kelly is not an OB clone. He could bring a perspective that is more consistent and cohesive than we've seen so far.

As far as getting fired, I think O'Brien has immunity through 2021 considering this pandemic upheaval and he was just installed as emperor this year. Plus, he's always got Weaver and Kelly as convenient potential scapegoats.
Not only that but he’s also the GM. Whatever conversation he had with momma McNair and Cal has really solidified his position with this team for at least 3 more years.
 

Double Barrel

Moderator / Admin
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Just some facts about Tim Kelly...

* Played d-line at a small school (Eastern Illinois)
* Coached defense at small and mid level schools (Illinois Wesleyan, Minnesota St. Moorhead, Ball State)
* Was a grad assistant at Penn State for 2 seasons under O'Brien.
* Has moved from offensive quality assistant, assistant o-line coach, TEs coach, and offensive coordinator in his 7 years with the Texans
* Has only coached on offense while under O'Brien

I don't know if Kelly is a yes man or his own man. But, what do the facts say? Where does his knowledge of offense come from?
ugh. . .just not an impressive resume for a critical thinker that does his own thing. . .just sayin'. . . :dangit:

Not only that but he’s also the GM. Whatever conversation he had with momma McNair and Cal has really solidified his position with this team for at least 3 more years.
Yep. I've resigned myself to the fact that I love my team but I don't have to like certain aspects of it. I can't root against them, so I just have to hope that it works out in spite of the evidence to the contrary.

The last time I checked his contract runs through 2022. So I do not see any scenario that he's on a hot seat until after the 2021 season, all things considered.

That said, I hope for the best, and at worst, Cal would have to fire one dude and fill both positions with men that start building at the same time (preferably hiring a GM first, but whateva'. . .).
 

Corrosion

Idealist
Staff member
Just some facts about Tim Kelly...

* Played d-line at a small school (Eastern Illinois)
* Coached defense at small and mid level schools (Illinois Wesleyan, Minnesota St. Moorhead, Ball State)
* Was a grad assistant at Penn State for 2 seasons under O'Brien.
* Has moved from offensive quality assistant, assistant o-line coach, TEs coach, and offensive coordinator in his 7 years with the Texans
* Has only coached on offense while under O'Brien

I don't know if Kelly is a yes man or his own man. But, what do the facts say? Where does his knowledge of offense come from?
It's probably safe to say they have a similar philosophy and we shouldn't expect much to change.

But we can hope in one hand and ....
 

Corrosion

Idealist
Staff member
After 6 seasons, I'm still not sure what kind of offensive identity O'Brien is about. It's weird.

Hopefully, like you mentioned, Kelly is not an OB clone. He could bring a perspective that is more consistent and cohesive than we've seen so far.

As far as getting fired, I think O'Brien has immunity through 2021 considering this pandemic upheaval and he was just installed as emperor this year. Plus, he's always got Weaver and Kelly as convenient potential scapegoats.
You know I said elsewhere that I think he'd survive a 2-14 meltdown because of Covid. He's like a cockroach.
But the idea of sending Miami two picks in the top 40 might make Cal and Janice go off the deep end.

I don't know what to think about Kelly but Lucky's post above doesn't give me much confidence that things are going to change a whole heck of a lot.
We should probably expect the same crappy offense we've seen since year two of Watson and that those first 8 games were an aberration on the part of OB.
 

Corrosion

Idealist
Staff member
OB wants a power running game and a deep passing game. What do these 2 concepts have in common? Drum roll........the need of a stout OL and OL coach!!!! I guess OB missed this little tid-bit when drawing up his plan for success.

You left out a that RB who can run it between the tackles with regularity - Neither Johnson is really that guy.
 

Earl34

All Pro
You know I said elsewhere that I think he'd survive a 2-14 meltdown because of Covid. He's like a cockroach.
But the idea of sending Miami two picks in the top 40 might make Cal and Janice go off the deep end.

I don't know what to think about Kelly but Lucky's post above doesn't give me much confidence that things are going to change a whole heck of a lot.
We should probably expect the same crappy offense we've seen since year two of Watson and that those first 8 games were an aberration on the part of OB.
Now think about what we've seen from BOB's offense and even after six years, we still cannot agree on the scheme, the personnel needed to run it or what makes it effective. I know some posters do a virtual eye roll at the mention of the WCO. However, I read this article, how the WCO is being taught, the concepts and how it has evolve and I cannot help but wonder why are the Texans wasting their time on this ED offense.

https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2020/8/12/21364152/gary-kubiak-vikings-system-matt-lafleur-kevin-stefanski
 

Corrosion

Idealist
Staff member
2016 DJ was

David was really good running between the tackles consistently earlier in his career.

Duke was very solid for us running between the tackles last season.
Sure they "Can" do it .... but neither is the type of back you want pounding it between the tackles with the regularity that OB has called for it. OB really needs a power back for first and second down.

If you ask me , they are both very similar players (another reason I don't particularly like the trade) and more 3rd down backs than guys you want to be pounding it up the middle.

Now you could get really creative with these two - particularly in the short passing game but .... we're talking about OB here , not some middling offensive mind.
 

Corrosion

Idealist
Staff member
Now think about what we've seen from BOB's offense and even after six years, we still cannot agree on the scheme, the personnel needed to run it or what makes it effective. I know some posters do a virtual eye roll at the mention of the WCO. However, I read this article, how the WCO is being taught, the concepts and how it has evolve and I cannot help but wonder why are the Texans wasting their time on this ED offense.

https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2020/8/12/21364152/gary-kubiak-vikings-system-matt-lafleur-kevin-stefanski
Yeah , I think I called it the ED offense sometime last year .... cause that's what its like - disfunction.

And you know I'm all about the WCO and how it makes the game easier for everyone. Watson and this cast of offensive weapons could do some real damage in that scheme.
 

Pharaohcious

Waterboy
Duke Johnson is not a concern (healthwise)... I know David Johnson was swapped in the trade for DeAndre only... it may be smarter to trade David Johnson, Brennan Scarlette and Whitney Merciless to the Falcons to get Todd Gurley for he is 5.5 million on a 1 year deal compared to David Johnsons cap hit of almost 12 million. Bury Todd Gurley behind Duke and then sign Todd for cheap on a long term contract with the bulk of the pay sitting at the end of the contract for the possibilities of an Injury to keep the caps interest priority for F.A. in case of a needed upgrade or "No-brainor" upgrade at O-line.

I want our organization to take a hit at LB for I believe it will haunt us in the SB run!

Besides Todd Gurley, who and when and, what do you ask for in return?

Julio Jones? I'd love to see William flying the backfield with Julius Jones and Keke perfecting the slot with mentor Randall Cobb.
Duke and Todd Gurley would drop us from #2 in spending allocation for RBs... which I know every football savy geek finds unvaluable and expendable.
 

Texanmike02

Hall of Fame
Contributor's Club
.....and them staying healthy. I think everyone in the NFL is aware of the Texans talent base. They're even more aware of their penchant for injuries. If they stay healthy, I believe Watson can have one heck of a season which benefits those that can stay on the field.

Man, wouldn't it actually be nice to see a healthy season on offense?
I've started following the midtown chess team. They haven't had an injury since steve sprained his wrist trying to hit the time....
 


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