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How to fix Texans run game?

Mangler

Hall Of Famer
We need Caserio to rebuild this team starting with the offensive line. I don’t care if we suck for the next two to three years, fix the god dang offensive line then go all out to get that bell cow RB, and franchise QB. (If Mills doesn’t turn out to be the guy.)

I’m not saying Nick should neglect the defense or the rest of the offense now, just that the offensive line should be the priority. We’re expected to suck for a while anyway, so why not build this thing right?
 

OptimisticTexan

2022 Rebuilding Block 2 / Go Texans
I could easily justify RD1-03 to Kyle Hamilton (ND) and then turn the 2022 NFL Draft over to the offense. Get Mills his weapons this season and then focus the 2023 draft on the defense. At least the offense would have the 2022 and 2023 season’s to establish the cohesiveness to be effective provided Caserio’s 2022 draft hits on his picks.
 
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Texansphan

Hall of Fame
We need Caserio to rebuild this team starting with the offensive line. I don’t care if we suck for the next two to three years, fix the god dang offensive line then go all out to get that bell cow RB, and franchise QB. (If Mills doesn’t turn out to be the guy.)

I’m not saying Nick should neglect the defense or the rest of the offense now, just that the offensive line should be the priority. We’re expected to suck for a while anyway, so why not build this thing right?
We are going to be short on capspace to do too much unfortunately.
Hopefully they can move Watson before or during the draft so we can take a shot at some good FA's AND we still have to pay for the draftees and current roster.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
We need Caserio to rebuild this team starting with the offensive line. I don’t care if we suck for the next two to three years, fix the god dang offensive line then go all out to get that bell cow RB, and franchise QB. (If Mills doesn’t turn out to be the guy.)
We keep saying this. Then in hindsight we're not happy with the OL they got in the draft & act like they didn't address the OL "at all"

I'm not saying we don't need to draft new OL. I'm saying I don't know what the problem is, but it's deeper than just the OLmen we select. They need to take a holistic approach to the run game. & stop wasting the talent they do bring in.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
I could easily justify RD1-03 to Kyle Hamilton (ND) and then turn the 2022 NFL Draft over to the offense. Get Mills his weapons this season and then focus the 2023 draft on the defense. At least the offense would have the 2022 and 2023 season’s to establish the cohesiveness to be effective provided Caserio’s 2022 draft hits on his picks.
Plus young players on defense seem to be able to jell alot faster than young players on offense.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
We are going to be short on capspace to do too much unfortunately.
Hopefully they can move Watson before or during the draft so we can take a shot at some good FA's AND we still have to pay for the draftees and current roster.
They will be somewhat short. But Caserio can find guys on the cheap like Jeff Wilson/Mo Aliie Cox/James Washington. Skill guys on short deals that would be upgrades. There are guys like Cannon and Murray that can be cut to create 11 mil in cap space. You could probably sign all of these guys and a couple of more cheap FA's with that money.
 

Mangler

Hall Of Famer
They will be somewhat short. But Caserio can find guys on the cheap like Jeff Wilson/Mo Aliie Cox/James Washington. Skill guys on short deals that would be upgrades. There are guys like Cannon and Murray that can be cut to create 11 mil in cap space. You could probably sign all of these guys and a couple of more cheap FA's with that money.
Can’t wait for Derapist’s contract to be unloaded onto some other team. That itself will create a crap ton of wiggle room to sign a few decent players through FA.
 

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
We keep saying this. Then in hindsight we're not happy with the OL they got in the draft & act like they didn't address the OL "at all"

I'm not saying we don't need to draft new OL. I'm saying I don't know what the problem is, but it's deeper than just the OLmen we select. They need to take a holistic approach to the run game. & stop wasting the talent they do bring in.
Agreed. Hope Lovie’s comments about wanting to be a power running football team aren’t just lip service. A successful running game is a mindset. Look at Tennessee, Henry goes down and they still have a good running game with former Texans!

I wouldn’t mind seeing Kenyon Green, Kinnard and Allgeier join the team via the draft. That would be quite the mindset (and talent) shift to a physical brand of football!
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
Agreed. Hope Lovie’s comments about wanting to be a power running football team aren’t just lip service. A successful running game is a mindset. Look at Tennessee, Henry goes down and they still have a good running game with former Texans!

I wouldn’t mind seeing Kenyon Green, Kinnard and Allgeier join the team via the draft. That would be quite the mindset (and talent) shift to a physical brand of football!
Yep.

If Caserio cant trade down I'm on board with either Neal or Ikwonu at 1-3 and Salyer at 2-37. However after his Sr. Bowl showing I'm thinking Kinnard might be there at 3-68.

This would be a real win. 1-3 Hamilton or Gardner

2-37, Salyer 3-68 Kinnard. Kinnard is very powerful. But he's an OG vs the RT they had him practicing at in the Sr. Bowl.
 

Texansballer74

The Marine
With the number 3 pick in the 2022 draft the Texans selects Isaiah Spiller RB Texas A&M.

We need playmakers and to help fix the running game, we need to start with a running back who can do it all. Spiller is our guy.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
With the number 3 pick in the 2022 draft the Texans selects Isaiah Spiller RB Texas A&M.

We need playmakers and to help fix the running game, we need to start with a running back who can do it all. Spiller is our guy.
Are you talking 1-3?

Gie me Pierce at #80 or Rashaad White

Give me Jeff Wilson in FA and Ingram in the 5th/6th over both of them.
 

Number19

Hall of Fame
We need Caserio to rebuild this team starting with the offensive line. I don’t care if we suck for the next two to three years, fix the god dang offensive line then go all out to get that bell cow RB, and franchise QB. (If Mills doesn’t turn out to be the guy.)

I’m not saying Nick should neglect the defense or the rest of the offense now, just that the offensive line should be the priority. We’re expected to suck for a while anyway, so why not build this thing right?
If we can find a trade partner wanting to move up to our 1/3 position, we should be able to get two OL'men in the first and second rounds, and have a second round two pick to draft defense. We could then use a third round pick on a RB, and use all our other third round picks on defense. If we wanted to go that route. Depending on what we could get for trading down, we could end up with maybe four third round picks. In this case, if we use one for RB, I think I'd like to use one on a WR if one was available (BPA). Then use the others on defense.

I really like what I'm hearing on the new direction the team will be taking with the o-line.
 

Number19

Hall of Fame
We keep saying this. Then in hindsight we're not happy with the OL they got in the draft & act like they didn't address the OL "at all"

I'm not saying we don't need to draft new OL. I'm saying I don't know what the problem is, but it's deeper than just the OLmen we select. They need to take a holistic approach to the run game. & stop wasting the talent they do bring in.
Listening to 610, there appears to the opinion by those who should know, that there has been a lack of aggression/physicality in offensive line technique since OB had been here. Interestingly, in an interview this past season, Heck made this same observation. Addressing this is going to produce results.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
A game changer would be Breece Hall. But I also like Dameon Pierce, his pass blocking is top notch.
Love Pierce, he's a violent runner who the 1st guy rarely gets him on the ground. Good hands/receiver and in pass pro. Well worth #68. Although I would rather draft Ingram in the 5th (Trade up) or 6th.

I want to fix the OL in the 2nd/3rd if Neal isn't 1-3.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
Texans RB coach Danny Barrett identifies what he looks for in a RB.



Durable. Homer run hitter. Complete. That's all?

If I'm squinting, I would say Breece Hall fills those requirements. 800 carries over 3 years is a pretty heavy workload, but Hall has strapped it up.
I'm hoping for Pierce or Spiller in rd 3

Rashad White/Jerome Ford/Bryan Robinson/Allgeier in Rd 4.

Chandler/Ingram/Corbin/Kevin Harris/Master Teague/Price/Strong in rd. 5/6.
 

Toro Bravo

Waterboy
We are in dire need of a quality running back. As of this writing, 5 RB's are under contract and none of them would be RB1 on any other NFL team:
Rex Burkhead - 6th round
Darius Anderson - UFA
Scottie Philips - UFA
Royce Freeman - 3rd round (71)
Dare Ogunbawale - UFA

I have hopes for Freeman but he showed nothing last year. It should be crystal clear as to why we were last in rushing. It's not all on the O-line. We got lucky with Arian Foster as UFA but that is not a formula for success. We currently have 10 picks in the upcoming draft. It's time to use draft capital on a highly regarded RB prospect or spend some of that Deshaun cap space on a proven FA.
 
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OptimisticTexan

2022 Rebuilding Block 2 / Go Texans
We are in dire need of a quality running back. As of this writing, 5 RB's are under contract and none of them would be RB1 on any other NFL team:
Rex Burkhead - 6th round
Darius Anderson - UFA
Scottie Philips - UFA
Royce Freeman - 3rd round (71)
Dare Ogunbawale - UFA

I have hopes for Freeman but he showed nothing last year. It should be crystal clear as to why we were last in rushing. It's not all on the O-line. We got lucky with Arian Foster as UFA but that is not a formula for success. We currently have 10 picks in the upcoming draft. It's time to use draft capital on a highly regarded RB prospect or spend some of that Deshaun cap space on a proven FA.
This group is okay if the Texans add RB, Breece Hall to the group. Freeman would be an okay option to split reps with Hall. Still like Burkhead as a 3rd down back to split reps with Hall who happens to be an excellent receiver in his own right.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
We are in dire need of a quality running back. As of this writing, 5 RB's are under contract and none of them would be RB1 on any other NFL team:
Rex Burkhead - 6th round
Darius Anderson - UFA
Scottie Philips - UFA
Royce Freeman - 3rd round (71)
Dare Ogunbawale - UFA

I have hopes for Freeman but he showed nothing last year. It should be crystal clear as to why we were last in rushing. It's not all on the O-line. We got lucky with Arian Foster as UFA but that is not a formula for success. We currently have 10 picks in the upcoming draft. It's time to use draft capital on a highly regarded RB prospect or spend some of that Deshaun cap space on a proven FA.
I hope they sign DeEarnest Johnson or Marlon Mack cheaply in FA and draft Master Teague or bring Keontray Ingram home.
 

mws

Rookie
The Texans were last in the league in rushing yards per attempt (3.4), tied with the Giants for fewest rushing TDs (8) & only the Falcons had fewer rushing 1st downs (77). The Texans also had the worst 1st down conversion percentage when rushing for a 1st down (18.3%).

We definitely have to change something going forward.
 

Texansphan

Hall of Fame
The Texans were last in the league in rushing yards per attempt (3.4), tied with the Giants for fewest rushing TDs (8) & only the Falcons had fewer rushing 1st downs (77). The Texans also had the worst 1st down conversion percentage when rushing for a 1st down (18.3%).

We definitely have to change something going forward.
Agree.
You have GOT to have a running game for a young QB adjusting to the NFL - it's a no-brainer.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
We definitely have to change something going forward.
Agreed

They’ve already replaced the OL coach (who has a reputation for physicality) & OC. They’ve also brought in a FA Guard.

I haven’t put my finger on what the problem was. I do agree there was a lack of physicality. But I don’t know if that was the only problem.

I don’t believe there was a lack of strength, or athleticism for what they were asked to do. But I don’t know if they weren’t asked to do other things because of lack of strength/athleticism.

But it looks like they are doubling down on Tunsil, Howard, & Britt
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
The Texans were last in the league in rushing yards per attempt (3.4), tied with the Giants for fewest rushing TDs (8) & only the Falcons had fewer rushing 1st downs (77). The Texans also had the worst 1st down conversion percentage when rushing for a 1st down (18.3%).

We definitely have to change something going forward.
This starts with getting new blood on the ol and adding a couple of RB's in FA/Draft.
 

justmy2cents

Veteran
Contributor's Club
Agreed

They’ve already replaced the OL coach (who has a reputation for physicality) & OC. They’ve also brought in a FA Guard.

I haven’t put my finger on what the problem was. I do agree there was a lack of physicality. But I don’t know if that was the only problem.

I don’t believe there was a lack of strength, or athleticism for what they were asked to do. But I don’t know if they weren’t asked to do other things because of lack of strength/athleticism.

But it looks like they are doubling down on Tunsil, Howard, & Britt

I do remember one thing I heard, but, of course, I can't remember exactly who said it. When reviewing the soft, lackadaisical manner of effortless blocking that was on display last season, interviewer said "I'm surprised some of them didn't come up and say .... Coach, I feel like we're just going through the motions out there"! "One did" he said, .... "Charlie Heck" ! He's a good boy, wish he had a few more pounds and a hair more talent !
 

Texansphan

Hall of Fame
Agreed

They’ve already replaced the OL coach (who has a reputation for physicality) & OC. They’ve also brought in a FA Guard.

I haven’t put my finger on what the problem was. I do agree there was a lack of physicality. But I don’t know if that was the only problem.

I don’t believe there was a lack of strength, or athleticism for what they were asked to do. But I don’t know if they weren’t asked to do other things because of lack of strength/athleticism.

But it looks like they are doubling down on Tunsil, Howard, & Britt
There is another explanation for why the team underperformed - their hearts weren't in it.
David Culley was a nice guy and all that, but his Head coaching probably was not top notch.
Add to that the Watson situation and those combined could not have been conducive to a winning formula.
Plus you had a green rookie calling the shots in an offence you could confidently say was one of the worst in football.
I think we will see a significant change in all those scenarios going forward and it should manifest out on the gridiron.
 

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
I’d like to revisit this topic now that the draft has ended and our roster appears set with 89 of 90 positions filled for camp.

The Texans answer for solving the run game appears to be:

Adding an OL coach that uses a gap scheme and emphasizes attacking with power/physicality over finesse.

Free agent addition at RG AJ Cann to compete for an open position.

First round pick invested in Kenyon Green to be starting LG.

Re-sign Justin Britt to be starting center. Bring back Tunsil/Howard to be bookend tackles. Hope they are all improved with change in scheme and personnel at OG positions.

Add Marlon Mack and Dare Ogunbowale in free agency. Mack, who has a history of success with physical running style but 1 year removed from torn achilles and questions if he can return to pre-injury form.

Ogunbowale solid special teamer and receiving back but not someone you want getting significant carries.

Dameon Pierce to possibly be the starter at RB with well-rounded skillset and fresh legs. Talent to create with minimal space due to his physical running style and ability to gain yards after contact.

Re-sign Rex Burkhead to be the dependable 3rd down RB who can be a more significant part of the gameplan when matchups are favorable.

Add a Y TE with physical in-line blocking talent in Teagan Quitonaro.

Re-sign Pharaoh Brown and hope he reads an NFL rule book over the offseason.
 

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
I think the changes made should allow the team to go from league worst historically awful to league average. Maybe above average if Pierce can prove to be a workhorse instead of a 12-15 touches per game option and Mack shows he is back to pre-injury form.

I think Pierce is in the perfect situation given the identity the team wants to instill as a run-first smashmouth team and the lack of personnel that can compete with him on that front. If he can prove to be a bell cow like his limited opportunities and build suggests he can… then he has the opportunity to be offensive rookie of the year.
 

leebigeztx

Keep it Movin!
I’d like to revisit this topic now that the draft has ended and our roster appears set with 89 of 90 positions filled for camp.

The Texans answer for solving the run game appears to be:

Adding an OL coach that uses a gap scheme and emphasizes attacking with power/physicality over finesse.

Free agent addition at RG AJ Cann to compete for an open position.

First round pick invested in Kenyon Green to be starting LG.

Re-sign Justin Britt to be starting center. Bring back Tunsil/Howard to be bookend tackles. Hope they are all improved with change in scheme and personnel at OG positions.

Add Marlon Mack and Dare Ogunbowale in free agency. Mack, who has a history of success with physical running style but 1 year removed from torn achilles and questions if he can return to pre-injury form.

Ogunbowale solid special teamer and receiving back but not someone you want getting significant carries.

Dameon Pierce to possibly be the starter at RB with well-rounded skillset and fresh legs. Talent to create with minimal space due to his physical running style and ability to gain yards after contact.

Re-sign Rex Burkhead to be the dependable 3rd down RB who can be a more significant part of the gameplan when matchups are favorable.

Add a Y TE with physical in-line blocking talent in Teagan Quitonaro.

Re-sign Pharaoh Brown and hope he reads an NFL rule book over the offseason.
As I stated before in terms of being able to run effectively, go watch 2019. I think Pierce solves alot of those problems the last 2 years, I think if they had added a wr who could effect coverage would've helped alot also. Having Watson as a run threat helped alot too with his mobility like in 2019. I think they will be effective enough to marry up playaction and get some plays off of it. They need to get rid of all those old ass rb's too.
 

Number19

Hall of Fame
I think our run game will be improved on the left side with the return of Tunsil and rookie Green, but we have done nothing to improve the right side.

We currently have four players listed as OG's, two which are rookies. The two veterans are A.J.Cann and Justin McCray.

I find Tytus Howard and Max Scharping listed as OT's, but their PFF rankings are from 2021 as OG's.

For run/pass/overall ranking, higher number is better
For position ranking, lower number is better

A.J.Cann...............54/33/48.........70/81 (from 2020)
Justin McCray....59/33/51.........73/82
Tytus Howard.....70/42/51.........72/82
Max Scharping....52/60/59.........54/82

Charlie Heck is the only OT on the current roster who was on the team last year as an OT. We added seven year veteran Cedric Ogbuehi who hasn't stuck with five teams between 2018 and 2021. He doesn't have a PFF rating.

Charlie Heck......67/41/56.........74/83

Austin Deculus may actually have an opportunity to make a rookie impact and contribute if not start. But we're in trouble on the right side unless Warhop can coach them up.
 

Jack Burton

Veteran
I think our run game will be improved on the left side with the return of Tunsil and rookie Green, but we have done nothing to improve the right side.

We currently have four players listed as OG's, two which are rookies. The two veterans are A.J.Cann and Justin McCray.

I find Tytus Howard and Max Scharping listed as OT's, but their PFF rankings are from 2021 as OG's.

For run/pass/overall ranking, higher number is better
For position ranking, lower number is better

A.J.Cann...............54/33/48.........70/81 (from 2020)
Justin McCray....59/33/51.........73/82
Tytus Howard.....70/42/51.........72/82
Max Scharping....52/60/59.........54/82

Charlie Heck is the only OT on the current roster who was on the team last year as an OT. We added seven year veteran Cedric Ogbuehi who hasn't stuck with five teams between 2018 and 2021. He doesn't have a PFF rating.

Charlie Heck......67/41/56.........74/83

Austin Deculus may actually have an opportunity to make a rookie impact and contribute if not start. But we're in trouble on the right side unless Warhop can coach them up.
I think we’re going to see Deculus-G Howard RT.
 

Texansballer74

The Marine
We should see an improvement in our running game, for sure. The lineup should look something like this:

LT: Tunsil
LG: Howard
CT: Britt
RG: Green
RT: Heck
TE: Brown/Jordan
I know Howard wants to play RT but if coaching continues the motto of the best five of that group. He will have to handle up and play ball.

Im hoping Mack will return back to form. If he does, he will be that bell cow Lovie wants. If not then Pierce should fill in just fine. Burkhead can be that 3rd down back every so often.
 

Number19

Hall of Fame
We should see an improvement in our running game, for sure. The lineup should look something like this:

LT: Tunsil
LG: Howard
CT: Britt
RG: Green
RT: Heck
TE: Brown/Jordan
I know Howard wants to play RT but if coaching continues the motto of the best five of that group. He will have to handle up and play ball.

Im hoping Mack will return back to form. If he does, he will be that bell cow Lovie wants. If not then Pierce should fill in just fine. Burkhead can be that 3rd down back every so often.
Disregarding Tunsil since he did not play last year, why are you ignoring that Scharping was the best veteran olineman on the roster last year?
 

Number19

Hall of Fame
I think we’re going to see Deculus-G Howard RT.
Deculus doesn't have the feet to make it as a tackle at the next level, so yes, he needs to move inside. RT needs to be competitive between Howard and Heck and possibly Scharping, if Deculus can handle RG.

Even when healthy, Cann was worse than a JAG. Maybe good enough to be a backup. We need Deculus to step up and if he can't, then Scharping will have to stay at RG.
 

Jack Burton

Veteran
Deculus doesn't have the feet to make it as a tackle at the next level, so yes, he needs to move inside. RT needs to be competitive between Howard and Heck and possibly Scharping, if Deculus can handle RG.

Even when healthy, Cann was worse than a JAG. Maybe good enough to be a backup. We need Deculus to step up and if he can't, then Scharping will have to stay at RG.
Honestly I think that’s why they drafted him at that point.
He played a boat load at RT and was a solid to good player at RT, so I think they believe he can go inside and be better at G.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
But we're in trouble on the right side unless Warhop can coach them up.
The biggest problem I saw in the run game was about blown assignments & lack of physicality.

I say “blown assignments” but I don’t know what they were told to do. But way too many times defenders were coming through our line untouched.

Only Scharping looked to get manhandled on a regular basis, I don’t understand his grade.

So, yeah… I’m expecting a lot out of the coaches.
 

Number19

Hall of Fame
Gimme your line up.
Impossible at this time. We have Tunsil, Green and Britt. Ideally I'd like to see Deculus at RG. But he's got to beat out Scharping. Then I'd like to see a three way between Howard, Heck and Scharping for RT.

At G, Howard was good in run blocking but poor in pass blocking. Scharping was consistant at both run and pass blocking and overall had the better PFF rating. Heck was like Howard, better at run blocking than pass blocking. If Scharping has the skill set for tackle, he may be the one to win out.

(edit) But Thunderkyss has an interesting take. So who knows at this time.
 


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