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State of the O-line

Earl34

Veteran
In general, I don't disagree... but sometimes you just have to trust your arm (Watson has a good arm, it isn't Mahomes but it ain't Shaub) and sling it. Closest play I could find in a hurry... Mahomes under pressure, throws it without being able to plant, longer throw than DW would have needed to make.

That is true. But even on that play, that's a low percentage throw. Watch how the DB is closing in on the ball. The easier throw would be the post route. If when his back foot lands, he throws with anticipation to the post, it's an easier throw and likely TD.

IMHO, it's just a risky throw.
 

FuzzyLogic

Mathematically Possible
But if that's third & ten...

Really good defensive call if that's third down.
Not third & ten - 7th sack was a second & nine which led to Duke's big third-down conversion...

2-9-HST 28 (7:43) (Shotgun) D.Watson sacked at HST 19 for -9 yards (S.Neal)
3-18-HST 19 (6:56) (Shotgun) D.Watson pass short middle to D.Johnson to HST 37 for 18 yards (T.Edmunds; S.Neal).

I will try and start listing down and distance for any of the videos.
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
Sack 6 - I don't know how you can't at least give partial blame on the OL. I mean, no one blocked the left edge rusher. No one was open. If anything, could blame DW for not throwing the ball ob and give up on the play.
I'm sure you realize that some plays are designed to leave a rusher totally unblocked in order to allow an open receiver.............his running back let the man through...,....cut to the outside and looked back for the pass as he was open...........Watson stepped into the pocket, but instead of a quick pass, he hesitated losing the window for the running back......leaving him with only one option...............to run.............and get sacked
 

dream_team

Hall of Fame
I'm sure you realize that some plays are designed to leave a rusher totally unblocked in order to allow an open receiver.............his running back let the man through...,....cut to the outside and looked back for the pass as he was open...........Watson stepped into the pocket, but instead of a quick pass, he hesitated losing the window for the running back......leaving him with only one option...............to run.............and get sacked
Are you suggesting it was by design to allow the free rusher, while Chris Clark & Nick Martin block nobody? So it's Watson job to evade the rusher, step up in the pocket, and hit Duke (whom isn't open btw). If Duke let the man through to come wide open, then I would understand, but Duke was covered by the LB. See the pic below, this is the moment right after Watson evades the rusher and would be ready to throw. No one is open. IMO, he should have tucked the ball immediately and try to run for it. Probably his only chance to try to pickup a first.


 

Mr teX

Hall of Fame
Are you suggesting it was by design to allow the free rusher, while Chris Clark & Nick Martin block nobody? So it's Watson job to evade the rusher, step up in the pocket, and hit Duke (whom isn't open btw). If Duke let the man through to come wide open, then I would understand, but Duke was covered by the LB. See the pic below, this is the moment right after Watson evades the rusher and would be ready to throw. No one is open. IMO, he should have tucked the ball immediately and try to run for it. Probably his only chance to try to pickup a first.


screenshots arent good to look at this kind of stuff unless we have abunch of them sequencing the play, or a gif. but cloak is right if indeed Duke let the rusher thru. DW4 hesitated instead of just instinctually taking off like he should've done.
 

Mr teX

Hall of Fame
Kinda looks like it was just a good call by Buffalo really. I don't think duke was supposed to pick up that blitzer in DW4's face..but I do think Duke broke off his initial out route & went up field too early. DW4 could've still got the ball to him on the out once he stepped through the initial rush if Duke would've just continued on that out route for a sec or so longer; he was open. The defender wasn't even looking back at DW4. The o-line did what they were supposed to do its not on them imo.
 

dream_team

Hall of Fame
Kinda looks like it was just a good call by Buffalo really. I don't think duke was supposed to pick up that blitzer in DW4's face..but I do think Duke broke off his initial out route & went up field too early. DW4 could've still got the ball to him on the out once he stepped through the initial rush if Duke would've just continued on that out route for a sec or so longer; he was open. The defender wasn't even looking back at DW4. The o-line did what they were supposed to do its not on them imo.
I agree that it was a good disguise by the Bills on who was actually going to rush the passer. To the untrained eye like myself, just seems odd that the OL and backs didn't do a better job of picking up the correct 4 rushers.

If you're the coach, and you're reviewing the tape with the whole team, what are you teaching the offense here to do better?
 

Mr teX

Hall of Fame
I agree that it was a good disguise by the Bills on who was actually going to rush the passer. To the untrained eye like myself, just seems odd that the OL and backs didn't do a better job of picking up the correct 4 rushers.

If you're the coach, and you're reviewing the tape with the whole team, what are you teaching the offense here to do better?
The only thing would be for Duke to stay with the out route a little longer.

B'c he got immediate pressure, For DW4 I would just continue to reinforce with him to trust his instincts but perhaps look to use his legs more quickly in that situation for 2 reasons. 1 b/c Duke was his only option on that side of the field once he stepped through the pressure and started rolling to that side. The other reason is b/c everyone else was running routes away from the way he was rolling & noone was coming either. Once Duke turned up field, he should've just got what he could get then get down & live to fight another down. But its in his nature to look for the big play & I think once he saw Duke turn up field he was loading up to get it to him deep & by then the opposite side DE had chased him down.
 

dream_team

Hall of Fame
The only thing would be for Duke to stay with the out route a little longer.

B'c he got immediate pressure, For DW4 I would just continue to reinforce with him to trust his instincts but perhaps look to use his legs more quickly in that situation for 2 reasons. 1 b/c Duke was his only option on that side of the field once he stepped through the pressure and started rolling to that side. The other reason is b/c everyone else was running routes away from the way he was rolling & noone was coming either. Once Duke turned up field, he should've just got what he could get then get down & live to fight another down. But its in his nature to look for the big play & I think once he saw Duke turn up field he was loading up to get it to him deep & by then the opposite side DE had chased him down.
Also have to factor in that it's 3rd down. I don't think he gets the 1st if he just tucks & run.
 

badboy

Hall of Fame
Are you suggesting it was by design to allow the free rusher, while Chris Clark & Nick Martin block nobody? So it's Watson job to evade the rusher, step up in the pocket, and hit Duke (whom isn't open btw). If Duke let the man through to come wide open, then I would understand, but Duke was covered by the LB. See the pic below, this is the moment right after Watson evades the rusher and would be ready to throw. No one is open. IMO, he should have tucked the ball immediately and try to run for it. Probably his only chance to try to pickup a first.


Watson should have thrown it to right corner of field; a soft pass with some air under allowing the receiver at the 18 yard line a chance to adjust and run for it. A short gain and the deep back in front of the A could not have gotten to it. Even better would have been running to right while motioning the receiver to go deeper. No one to stop him except sideline.
 

JB

Old Curmudgeon
Contributor's Club
Watson should have thrown it to right corner of field; a soft pass with some air under allowing the receiver at the 18 yard line a chance to adjust and run for it. A short gain and the deep back in front of the A could not have gotten to it. Even better would have been running to right while motioning the receiver to go deeper. No one to stop him except sideline.
He did run right and got sacked for it
 

Corrosion

Idealist
Staff member
You know , they are better than they were in training camp …. Tunsil's been great when he doesn't false start.

They really miss Howard on the right side ...

The middle of the line has been decent.

But they still have to get a lot better and considering the amount of draft capital they have used up front over the past two years , their performance is a little underwhelming.

3 first round picks 2 second round picks in the past two years.
 

OptimisticTexan

6 Years- 1 Game and Counting!!!!
How about inside the 20 having a Super Tackle and big boy Fells as Red Zone target?
Actually, I'd like to see the team roll out a 3 TE formation (1 as H-Back) of Fells, Thomas and Aikens (H-Back) along with Hopkins. There's a good size and athletic advantage with that group in the Red Zone. Chip and release being utilized would be a novel thought for this team.
 

Mr teX

Hall of Fame
Actually, I'd like to see the team roll out a 3 TE formation (1 as H-Back) of Fells, Thomas and Aikens (H-Back) along with Hopkins. There's a good size and athletic advantage with that group in the Red Zone. Chip and release being utilized would be a novel thought for this team.

Chipping before releasing with our TE's and RB's was the primary "adjustment" to help out the o-line last year; It had varying degrees of success. Baltimore uses a 2-3 TE set up regularly & have had great success with it, but Andrews, Hurst & Boyle are all much better blockers than Akins, Fells and Thomas are & the Ravens' offense is primarily based around the run. The other quandry is you'd have to take Stills and Fuller off the field to get the other TE's on if my math is right. Not sure that would play to our advantage.
 

badboy

Hall of Fame
Actually, I'd like to see the team roll out a 3 TE formation (1 as H-Back) of Fells, Thomas and Aikens (H-Back) along with Hopkins. There's a good size and athletic advantage with that group in the Red Zone. Chip and release being utilized would be a novel thought for this team.
yep bulks,strength and good hands.
 

badboy

Hall of Fame
Chipping before releasing with our TE's and RB's was the primary "adjustment" to help out the o-line last year; It had varying degrees of success. Baltimore uses a 2-3 TE set up regularly & have had great success with it, but Andrews, Hurst & Boyle are all much better blockers than Akins, Fells and Thomas are & the Ravens' offense is primarily based around the run. The other quandry is you'd have to take Stills and Fuller off the field to get the other TE's on if my math is right. Not sure that would play to our advantage.
I want receivers inside 20 who can bang and get bangged. That ain't Stills and Fuller.
 

Mr teX

Hall of Fame
OB hasn't made them that type of targets in his offense so it would be difficult to fairly assess what they could or couldn't do in the Red Zone.
But what we do know is that they aren't "bangers" b/c none of them can really block worth a lick.. and Fells is the only guy that has shown he can handle being "banged".............. a little.
 

badboy

Hall of Fame
But what we do know is that they aren't "bangers" b/c none of them can really block worth a lick.. and Fells is the only guy that has shown he can handle being "banged".............. a little.
I was not referring TEs blocking but inside 20 catching then taking a bang and still moving forward even if they must bang a defender and yes all our TEs can do that.
 

justmy2cents

Rookie
Contributor's Club

JB

Old Curmudgeon
Contributor's Club

badboy

Hall of Fame
Opto was RIGHT !!

httpBBZs://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/2020-houston-texans-free-agency-the-offensive-line-still-has-flawsgymJ?ocid/ar-=hplocalnews

I knew you were right, and I agreed with you .... just not very vociferously ! I've got a thing for drafting and molding our own players. However, it seems that our fearless leader is not too adept at either of those tasks .... so, let's get Brandon Scherff .... just not with 1st rd picks !
I am certain you know but just to clarify to the board that Scherff is an unrestricted free agent and does not take any draft picks to get him. Just lots of cash and the Texans have that. He would definitely solidify the line and greatly help returning right tackle Tytus Howard. Add UFA cornerback Byron Jones of Dallas and both sides of the ball takes huge leap forward.
 

leebigeztx

Keep it Movin!
I just listened to 30 yr OL coach Paul Alexander break down what he saw with the 7 sacks that happened Saturday.

1. DW4 ran naked boot and the DE got him.
2. Fulton blocked his man but not great. DW4 had time to get rid of the ball but didn't. 1/2 on Fulton 1/2 on DW4.
3. Duke missed a block allowing a sack.
4. Fells missed a block allowing a sack
5-7 DW4 missed his hot reads and held onto the ball too long.

This is Alexander's film study not mine. By his account there was only 1/2 a sack that was attributed to the OL.
You try to wordplay alot. If Duke , Fells, and a busted call doesn't go against the ol, they're still sacks counted against pass pro
 

OptimisticTexan

6 Years- 1 Game and Counting!!!!
I am certain you know but just to clarify to the board that Scherff is an unrestricted free agent and does not take any draft picks to get him. Just lots of cash and the Texans have that. He would definitely solidify the line and greatly help returning right tackle Tytus Howard. Add UFA cornerback Byron Jones of Dallas and both sides of the ball takes huge leap forward.
We're on the same page. Scherff would be my priority signing since it would solidify the right side and make it as formidable as the left side.

The next biggest question on the OL.....does Martin elevate his game if Scherff is on his right side? I saw a lot of plays where Martin was shoved back 3-5 yards at will. I know his numbers looked good on paper but could Fulton do a better job at Center?

If I had to hold onto Martin, then I'm drafting his replacement in 2020. I've got my eye on C, Cesar Ruiz- Michigan. He's 6'-4" and weighs in at an NFL ready 320 lbs which should be plenty of size to be the anchor. He was a 3 year starter who excelled at both run and pass blocking. He's a former national #1 HS recruit at Center who I think only got better playing under Harbaugh. If trading Martin was an option for maybe a RD3 pick, I'd do it in an instance......then sign Fulton to a 1year extension.

If Wisconsin Center, Biabasz was somehow on the board late in RD2......then Ruiz would be a moot point but that's not going to happen. I think Ruiz is the 2nd or 3rd best Center in the 2020 draft and getting him later than RD2 would be a steal.

Adding Scherff and Biadasz or Scherff and Ruiz to the Texans OL would make this group one of the very best in the NFL. Tunsil will return to his Miami form in 2020 which will only help make the unit stronger.

LT- Tunsil (2021)
LG- Scharping
OC- Ruiz or Biadasz
RG- Scherff
RT- Howard

OT- Johnson (2020 Re-Sign) / Nkansah (2021) / Steinmetz (2021)
C/G- Fulton / Mancz (2021)

Others
OT- Leonard / Murphy (2021)

Outside of Tunsil the 2021 group should be a very affordable group to re-sign. This is how consistency is built for the long haul. Get Tunsil under a new contract and this unit could be together for another 4-5 years. Solid starters and solid backups who are completely familiar with the offense....would keep this offense ticking for years.
 
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thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
I am certain you know but just to clarify to the board that Scherff is an unrestricted free agent and does not take any draft picks to get him.
Just to clarify, Scherff will be an UFA March 18 4pm EST.

He & the team may very well reach an agreement before then.


 

justmy2cents

Rookie
Contributor's Club
We're on the same page. Scherff would be my priority signing since it would solidify the right side and make it as formidable as the left side.

The next biggest question on the OL.....does Martin elevate his game if Scherff is on his right side? I saw a lot of plays where Martin was shoved back 3-5 yards at will. I know his numbers looked good on paper but could Fulton do a better job at Center?

If I had to hold onto Martin, then I'm drafting his replacement in 2020. I've got my eye on C, Cesar Ruiz- Michigan. He's 6'-4" and weighs in at an NFL ready 320 lbs which should be plenty of size to be the anchor. He was a 3 year starter who excelled at both run and pass blocking. He's a former national #1 HS recruit at Center who I think only got better playing under Harbaugh. If trading Martin was an option for maybe a RD3 pick, I'd do it in an instance......then sign Fulton to a 1year extension.

If Wisconsin Center, Biabasz was somehow on the board late in RD2......then Ruiz would be a moot point but that's not going to happen. I think Ruiz is the 2nd or 3rd best Center in the 2020 draft and getting him later than RD2 would be a steal.

Adding Scherff and Biadasz or Scherff and Ruiz to the Texans OL would make this group one of the very best in the NFL. Tunsil will return to his Miami form in 2020 which will only help make the unit stronger.

LT- Tunsil (2021)
LG- Scharping
OC- Ruiz or Biadasz
RG- Scherff
RT- Howard

OT- Johnson (2020 Re-Sign) / Nkansah (2021) / Steinmetz (2021)
C/G- Fulton / Mancz (2021)

Others
OT- Leonard / Murphy (2021)

Outside of Tunsil the 2021 group should be a very affordable group to re-sign. This is how consistency is built for the long haul. Get Tunsil under a new contract and this unit could be together for another 4-5 years. Solid starters and solid backups who are completely familiar with the offense....would keep this offense ticking for years.

Opto, I agree with most of your thoughts, but .... even though I didn't isolate that much on Martin this past season, early on, when I did, it seemed to me that he looked much better than previously. I thought he had finally gotten up to speed and the game had slowed down for him ....albeit, at 6'4" - 295, he is lighter than I'd like. Any idea what PFF graded him out at ?
 

leebigeztx

Keep it Movin!
I'm just telling you what Alexander said, and he didn't blame those sacks on the OL.
I have been a listener on NFL radio since 04. When they do the training camp tour, I'm there. I have Pat , Jim, and the old host Tim Ryan phone number. I've met Alexander a few times at the senior bowl, he knows what he's talking about. When I said you try to wordplay people , I'm speaking about how you conveniently left out the sacks given up by Johnson, Fells, and the bad play call. I never debated or challenged the 5,6,7 sacks were on Watson. If only 3 sacks were on him, then ok, that's what it is, but the other 4 were not even if they were not ol related.

Look, Watson is in the mold of Roger's and Big Ben. He holds the ball trying to make plays. He doesn't take sacks because he has poor pocket presence, he's trying to make plays. You keep bringing up Mahomes. Go back and watch the Titans playoff game and see how long he was holding the ball. One of the big advantages Mahomes has with Andy is he always have an out in Kelce right in front of his face in the middle of the field. Another huge advantage is 5 man routes pretty much every play. Obrien does that probably 25% of the time vs Andy Reid. Not only does he run alot of 5 man routes, he always has an advantage speed wise somewhere on the field. Look at the play of the running back vs Jacob Martin in the playoff game. The Texans have a guy just like that or even better, yet we will see Obrien split out Carlos Hyde. I could go on and on, but I know once you have your opinion about a player, you're never going to change it.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
I have been a listener on NFL radio since 04. When they do the training camp tour, I'm there. I have Pat , Jim, and the old host Tim Ryan phone number. I've met Alexander a few times at the senior bowl, he knows what he's talking about. When I said you try to wordplay people , I'm speaking about how you conveniently left out the sacks given up by Johnson, Fells, and the bad play call. I never debated or challenged the 5,6,7 sacks were on Watson. If only 3 sacks were on him, then ok, that's what it is, but the other 4 were not even if they were not ol related.

Look, Watson is in the mold of Roger's and Big Ben. He holds the ball trying to make plays. He doesn't take sacks because he has poor pocket presence, he's trying to make plays. You keep bringing up Mahomes. Go back and watch the Titans playoff game and see how long he was holding the ball. One of the big advantages Mahomes has with Andy is he always have an out in Kelce right in front of his face in the middle of the field. Another huge advantage is 5 man routes pretty much every play. Obrien does that probably 25% of the time vs Andy Reid. Not only does he run alot of 5 man routes, he always has an advantage speed wise somewhere on the field. Look at the play of the running back vs Jacob Martin in the playoff game. The Texans have a guy just like that or even better, yet we will see Obrien split out Carlos Hyde. I could go on and on, but I know once you have your opinion about a player, you're never going to change it.
I'm not absolving BOB he could provide more options. But many times this yr there were TE's open in the middle of the field.

Question since you want to have an honest discussion, how would you go about teaching DW4 how to beat the 4 man rush with the DE's rushing from almost the wide 9 to keep DW4 in the pocket while dropping 7?

BTW, I never said all 7 sacks were on DW4. I just said the OL was only responsible for 1/2 sack according to Alexander unlike some on this MB have said. Like I said this wasn't my opinion this was Alexander's.
 
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OptimisticTexan

6 Years- 1 Game and Counting!!!!
I think Reid's offense stretches defenses first and takes what they give up in the middle. As the game progresses he'll take them over the top after adjustments are made.

OB on the other hand looks as though he wants to stretch the defense at all times then when faced with 2nd or 3rd and long......willfully turns the game over to the defense to make a stop by running the ball straight into the heart of the defense.

Personally, I have no ducking idea as to what OB is trying to accomplish on offense b/c it's so dammed predictable. DC's have no need for a Denny's menu when gameplanning against OB......3 index cards titled, !st Down, 2nd Down, and 3rd Down. One ST card......titled, When Game Is On The Line and Texans Have The Ball Inside Their 30 Yard Line. Flip it over and it states, Be Prepared For The Fake Punt.

I cannot adequately judge Watson's capabilities until I see him coached and schemed for by another HC and OC. OB on the other hand......he's had 6 different options since he's arrived and he hasn't done shite with any of them. If OB doesn't get this fixed, Watson will walk the moment he has his chance.

My fear, Cal is so smitten with OB running everything that he's going to stay come hail or high water. Watson will be an UFA in 2022 and I'm predicting now......if OB is still running things, Watson will bail for greener pastures and OB will get a top RD3 COMP Pick in return......about the same time he'll have a full compliment of draft picks to work with.
 

CloakNNNdagger

Hall of Fame
Opto, I agree with most of your thoughts, but .... even though I didn't isolate that much on Martin this past season, early on, when I did, it seemed to me that he looked much better than previously. I thought he had finally gotten up to speed and the game had slowed down for him ....albeit, at 6'4" - 295, he is lighter than I'd like. Any idea what PFF graded him out at ?
I am not a PFF fan. They want me to not believe my lying eyes. In their writings throughout last season, they have tried to hype and make Martin something he isn't (as have the Texans). Yet in their end of year assessment they assigned him an overall very mediocre grade of 65.5.

1580048835478.png
 

otisbean

Veteran
Contributor's Club
I am not a PFF fan. They want me to not believe my lying eyes. In their writings throughout last season, they have tried to hype and make Martin something he isn't (as have the Texans). Yet in their end of year assessment they assigned him an overall very mediocre grade of 65.5.

View attachment 5539
I wonder if we’d be better off building Martin‘s strength and trying him at RG. He doesn’t have the movement skills to do what they’re asking him to do. I noticed multiple times during the year where his responsibility seemed to be picking up an outside pass rusher. If thats what Develin, in his infinite wisdom, wants from his center then they need someone else at that spot
 

IDEXAN

Hall of Fame
Contributor's Club
I am not a PFF fan. They want me to not believe my lying eyes. In their writings throughout last season, they have tried to hype and make Martin something he isn't (as have the Texans). Yet in their end of year assessment they assigned him an overall very mediocre grade of 65.5.

View attachment 5539
Yikes 65.5 is not even NFL starting material according to the PFF scale.
 

Earl34

Veteran
Rather than Scherff , I'd leave Howard at OG and sign a top tier RT , ideally Jack Conklin from the Titans.
That dude is a big part of their success running the ball and I'd like to be able to run the ball as effectively as possible.

Signing key pieces away from division rivals .… makes it even better.
I'm not convinced Conklin is a significant upgrade at RT over Howard. Conklin might be a better run blocker, but he still struggles in pass protection. The Titans seems to always be helping him with a TE or RB. Also, with the Texans' running scheme, a free agent guard would appear to have more value than RT.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
I wonder if we’d be better off building Martin‘s strength and trying him at RG. He doesn’t have the movement skills to do what they’re asking him to do. I noticed multiple times during the year where his responsibility seemed to be picking up an outside pass rusher. If thats what Develin, in his infinite wisdom, wants from his center then they need someone else at that spot
Or a new OL coach
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
I'm not convinced Conklin is a significant upgrade at RT over Howard. Conklin might be a better run blocker, but he still struggles in pass protection. The Titans seems to always be helping him with a TE or RB. Also, with the Texans' running scheme, a free agent guard would appear to have more value than RT.
I hope they sign a low level FA guy like Spain/Klien in late FA and draft a mid Rd guy like Runyan that can play both OG/OT in a pinch.
 


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