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Texans Pass Rushing discussion

TheKDog

Hall of Fame
PFF ranks Texans pass rushing unit #5.

I assume that's with clowney.

https://www.pff.com/news/pro-pff-ranks-all-32-pass-rush-units-ahead-of-the-2019-nfl-season

5. HOUSTON TEXANS
This group desperately needs Whitney Mercilus to get back to his best. Mercilus had a decidedly down 2018 season after returning from a pec injury that cut his 2017 season short. He racked up only 42 pressures. Not even 29 years old yet, there’s hope Mercilus can return to form that saw him rack up 122 pressures in 2015 and 2016
 

DocBar

Hall of Fame
Contributor's Club
PFF ranks Texans pass rushing unit #5.

I assume that's with clowney.

https://www.pff.com/news/pro-pff-ranks-all-32-pass-rush-units-ahead-of-the-2019-nfl-season

5. HOUSTON TEXANS
This group desperately needs Whitney Mercilus to get back to his best. Mercilus had a decidedly down 2018 season after returning from a pec injury that cut his 2017 season short. He racked up only 42 pressures. Not even 29 years old yet, there’s hope Mercilus can return to form that saw him rack up 122 pressures in 2015 and 2016
Meh...PFF has gotten kinda wacky over the years. I used to like their reports.
 

Seegara

Guitar Picker, Dog Lover, Woodworker
Safe to say it won't be as high this season. If it's just better than average, the rush has done its part.
 
I take it with a grain of salt because we played some pretty weak QBs last season and whenever we played am upper tier QB they had all the time in the world to throw. Dealing with the passing game and how to stop, or at least slow down, the Bradys, Lucks, Rogers and Brees of the NFL will be the biggest challenge of the Texans this next year. If you put aside the discussion of coaches I'm actually more worried about the defense than I am the offense from a pure player ability. The tough schedule we are playing is tough because of the offense these teams have, not so much the defense with the Ravens being the notable exception.
 

BOBdaFRAUD

Waterboy
We need Clowney. LOL on folks at Kirby hyping Scarlett...................... Bwajajajajajahahahahahahaa......... Give me a break!

Be nice if Mercilus shows up this year. Don't know what the hell happened to this guy.
 

Uncle Rico

Ur apology should be as loud as Ur disrespect was
Mercilus is not a pass coverage LB, I think they learned that last year, and hopefully they will allow him to go back to rushing the passer and getting upfield, since that is his strength and what he was drafted to do. Im high on Blackson as a pass rusher from the inside. Curious to see what dynamic Charles Omenihu will bring to that unit since he seems somewhat well regarded as a pass rusher.

Obviously it all begins with the bookends .. Watt enjoyed a renaissance last year and it was in no small part to the amount of attention JD Clowney draws on the other side. If some of the younger guys can create more havoc or give the positional group depth so that they can stay fresh throughout the games then it would probably propel the unit near the top of the league. If its just going to be the JD & JJ show it will have those guys sucking air with their hands on the knees again this year, didnt like that at all from last season, need them fresh for the 4th!

I think Texans are top 3 against the rush also in most published reports, should be a good year again for that unit - Crennel keeps doing a great job.
 

gs27

Veteran
Mercilus and Clowney should split reps at Jack opposite Watt to keep them both fresh. Scarlett should play behind Watt where Mercilus has been playing since 2016, he will play better there than Mercilus. Hopefully Kalambayi can back up Scarlett. We have ridiculous depth inside. Watt, Reader, Dunn, Watkins, Blackson and Omenihu, would be nice if we could get something in a trade for 1. Would also like to see Dylan Cole on the field most of the time when healthy, IMO he is our best LB.

I am most worried about the secondary, pass rush doesn't matter if we can't cover for 3 seconds.
 

Seegara

Guitar Picker, Dog Lover, Woodworker
Mercilus is not a pass coverage LB, I think they learned that last year, and hopefully they will allow him to go back to rushing the passer and getting upfield, since that is his strength and what he was drafted to do. Im high on Blackson as a pass rusher from the inside. Curious to see what dynamic Charles Omenihu will bring to that unit since he seems somewhat well regarded as a pass rusher.

Obviously it all begins with the bookends .. Watt enjoyed a renaissance last year and it was in no small part to the amount of attention JD Clowney draws on the other side. If some of the younger guys can create more havoc or give the positional group depth so that they can stay fresh throughout the games then it would probably propel the unit near the top of the league. If its just going to be the JD & JJ show it will have those guys sucking air with their hands on the knees again this year, didnt like that at all from last season, need them fresh for the 4th!

I think Texans are top 3 against the rush also in most published reports, should be a good year again for that unit - Crennel keeps doing a great job.
Blitzing may be Mercilus' strength, but if he does it every down, offenses will be able to slow it down. A LB must drop back in coverage part of the time, by definition of the position. If you can't cover at all, you have no business being a LB.

Have you ever noticed how the top teams protect their passers with a steel curtain when they have to score in a hurry?
 

Uncle Rico

Ur apology should be as loud as Ur disrespect was
Blitzing may be Mercilus' strength, but if he does it every down, offenses will be able to slow it down. A LB must drop back in coverage part of the time, by definition of the position. If you can't cover at all, you have no business being a LB.

Have you ever noticed how the top teams protect their passers with a steel curtain when they have to score in a hurry?
Mercilus was turned into a pass rusher his senior year at Illinois and it resulted in a 16 sack/ 23 TFL season which prompted the TExans to draft him to help them RUSH THE PASSER! He's always been at his best when tasked with getting to the QB .. it improves his run coverage and keeps him aggressive. Asking a guy who has only dropped into coverage maybe one or two years in his playing career to keep doing it because the 'position requires it' is only asking for more blown coverages and missed assignments. Put your guys in the best position to succeed, play to their strengths. If you need a pass coverage LB, you have a couple of those guys in Scarlett and Cole or at least better than Mercy. Im really hoping they learned from that experiment last year and let Mercy go back to getting after it without having to think too much and worry about what zone or man he may have when the play is a pass - go get the QB! If the newfound positional requirements prohibit him from being a "LB" then put his hand in the dirt as a DE, I dont care just stop asking him to drop back.
 
Bellamy out of Georgia has been working in the offseason, he might offer some 3rd down rushing ability. (Only since this is a pass rush thread)

Hopefully this Clowney situation gets handled one way or the other.
 

badboy

Hall of Fame
By bringing in Roby, drafting Lonnie Johnson and picking up other press coverage type DBs, hopefully our LB covg deficiency will not be as noticeable. Our FA safeties should take TE and RB opponents out of their game. These guys may not be the right guys but it was a step in the right direction.
 

thunderkyss

It's good to be me... again.
Staff member
Contributor's Club
Asking a guy who has only dropped into coverage maybe one or two years in his playing career to keep doing it because the 'position requires it' is only asking for more blown coverages and missed assignments. Put your guys in the best position to succeed, play to their strengths.
I don't understand how you can say pay Clowney & rush Mercilus more in the same breath.
 

thunderkyss

It's good to be me... again.
Staff member
Contributor's Club
Because Clowney deserves to be paid and Mercilus can’t cover a pass? Want to finish the loaded comment?
Well if we're going to pay JD to rush the passer Mercilus is just insurance. You either sit your first round pick, trade him, or put him in coverage blitzing from time to time.

If you want to see Mercilus rushing the passer more, JD or Watt (our two primary pass rushers) need to rush less.
 

DocBar

Hall of Fame
Contributor's Club
Because Clowney deserves to be paid and Mercilus can’t cover a pass? Want to finish the loaded comment?
Clowney does not deserve to be paid top pass rusher money. He's not been a cousin to a top pass rusher. Good teams don't pay guys that get there a second too late top pass rusher money. A second too late is Clowney's M.O. That's why Mack and Watt deserve to have top contracts, even with injury concerns, and Clowney doesn't. Clowney is Mario Williams 2.0 with a slightly higher motor.
 

Earl34

Rookie
Texans have never figured out how to use Clowney and Mercilus on the field at the same time.
Agree. With a healthy Clowney, I know Mercilus' role has changed, but the same way we move Clowney and Watt around, couldn't some coaching creativity do the same for Mercilus? Some fans might consider this blasphemy, but I don't feel Watt, Clowney and Mercilus bring the unrelenting, consistent and ferocious pass rush that you expect with their reputations. They have these individual games from time to time or even great individual seasons, but as a unit, they seem to lack something or Romeo and the coaching staff don't seem to creatively mix 4-3 and 3-4 fronts to maximize their talents.

Also, I still don't feel Clowney has been able to take advantage of his physical attributes. The guy is 6'5" and has a 6'11" wingspan yet he always seems a second late to the QB. Why isn't he using his hands and wingspan better to get to the QB to force fumbles and incompletions? Too many times it appears if he would only reach out when closing in on the QB he would be even more disruptive.

Finally, with all of his physical attributes, Clowney just does not seem like a smooth football player. He doesn't seem as coordinated as a Vonn Miller or other elite pass rushers.
 

Uncle Rico

Ur apology should be as loud as Ur disrespect was
Well if we're going to pay JD to rush the passer Mercilus is just insurance. You either sit your first round pick, trade him, or put him in coverage blitzing from time to time.

If you want to see Mercilus rushing the passer more, JD or Watt (our two primary pass rushers) need to rush less.
but making those two statements "JD should get his money, AND Mercy focusing on being a pure pass rusher" shouldnt be mutually exclusive, actually they should be the plan of attack if you really want your defensive front 7 to be the best it can be. Romeo Crennel employs 5 DBs almost all the time- his alignments become very creative when you can line up Clowney at any position on the defensive front and actually let him play the amoeba/elephant position and look for mismatches. JJ Watt is a LDE - thats what he is, thats where he gets his money. He hardly bounces around anymore. Put Mercy on the other side with a pure pass rush mentality and allow JD to roam- you still have your 5DBs and a coverage LB with 3 down linemen.
 
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Uncle Rico

Ur apology should be as loud as Ur disrespect was
That's 113 @ MLB. So much for only 30 not at DE.
dude even if you were to assign the other 300 snaps that you say are missing in space to the position of LB is still ridiculously one sided? Or will you debate that too? OKAY 729 snaps a DE and 333 at LB .. hmmmm something still seems off? Jesus Christ.
 

infantrycak

Admin & Mod
dude even if you were to assign the other 300 snaps that you say are missing in space to the position of LB is still ridiculously one sided? Or will you debate that too? OKAY 729 snaps a DE and 333 at LB .. hmmmm something still seems off? Jesus Christ.
Given that source's snap total & LB snap count are grossly in error STOP PAYING ATTENTION TO THEM AT ALL.

Duh!

You find something that erroneous you don't keep using it. You see a book that says 2+2 is 7 would you cite it for 3+3 being 11? Of course not.
 

Uncle Rico

Ur apology should be as loud as Ur disrespect was
Given that source's snap total & LB snap count are grossly in error STOP PAYING ATTENTION TO THEM AT ALL.

Duh!

You find something that erroneous you don't keep using it. You see a book that eays 2+2 is 7 would you cite it for 3+3 being 11? Of course not.
well you can start sending the correct snap counts to all the media outlets in the nation whenever you get some spare time.
 

thunderkyss

It's good to be me... again.
Staff member
Contributor's Club
but the same way we move Clowney and Watt around, couldn't some coaching creativity do the same for Mercilus?
New York was able to put together a heck of a pass rush with Strahan, JPP, & Umenyiora so you'd think so.
 

DocBar

Hall of Fame
Contributor's Club
but making those two statements "JD should get his money, AND Mercy focusing on being a pure pass rusher" shouldnt be mutually exclusive, actually they should be the plan of attack if you really want your defensive front 7 to be the best it can be. Romeo Crennel employs 5 DBs almost all the time- his alignments become very creative when you can line up Clowney at any position on the defensive front and actually let him play the amoeba/elephant position and look for mismatches. JJ Watt is a LDE - thats what he is, thats where he gets his money. He hardly bounces around anymore. Put Mercy on the other side with a pure pass rush mentality and allow JD to roam- you still have your 5DBs and a coverage LB with 3 down linemen.
The Texans have tried this. Wasn't great. JD just isn't a 100% every single play guy. He has a very limited bag of tricks and relies on natural talent, rather than honing his skills in the offseason. I'm cool with your junior GM sucking his dick, but me and my GM will play a little harder to get.
 

infantrycak

Admin & Mod
The Texans have tried this. Wasn't great. JD just isn't a 100% every single play guy. He has a very limited bag of tricks and relies on natural talent, rather than honing his skills in the offseason.
JD was reported to be at a pass rushing camp this off-season.
 

thunderkyss

It's good to be me... again.
Staff member
Contributor's Club
JD just isn't a 100% every single play guy. He has a very limited bag of tricks and relies on natural talent, rather than honing his skills in the offseason.
I like JD. I hope he'll become the player we drafted him to be. But I agree with you. He's being compared to Mario Williams. But Mario Williams "almost good seasons" came with Jason Babin & chopped liver on the other side of the line. Clowney has Watt...

I can't imagine anyone paying Clowney to be their primary pass rusher.
 

TheKDog

Hall of Fame
Tweet from @riversmccown: One of the basic Week 1 plans against J.J. Watt on four-man rushes was to have Larry Warford help set Erik McCoy's man, have Ramczyk cover the outside on Watt, then have Warford come over to bump him. https://t.co/VfoFIvF1RO
 

mws

Waterboy
Tweet from @riversmccown: Whitney Mercilus interception: One of the few plays of the first half where the Texans actually brought Watt in to the inside and got him matched against rookie center Erik McCoy.

Got a little pressure despite the three-man rush. https://t.co/lWXYrz6LPO
I know his body probably can't take the pounding anymore but I always thought he was better on the inside where Wade played him.
 

ATXtexanfan

Hall of Fame
I don't wanna take too, too much away from Ramczyk, any good job is a legit good job against Watt. But 3-step drops versus 3-man rushes 40% of the time allowing for additional help ... sh*t, going to need to give JJ a hair more support than that for a good season.
And he will see more if this against the qbs the texans will play

Throw in that gonna be playoff football.

Best qbs in league make a living that way. Watt will get his but this pass rush isn't what is needed to win in playoffs. Hopefully the defense will evolve
 

Mollywhopper

Facilitator
Staff member
And he will see more if this against the qbs the texans will play

Throw in that gonna be playoff football.

Best qbs in league make a living that way. Watt will get his but this pass rush isn't what is needed to win in playoffs. Hopefully the defense will evolve
Sure we're facing talented qbs who know how to get rid of the ball, no reason we have to give them an anemic pass rush by our design though.
 

ATXtexanfan

Hall of Fame
Sure we're facing talented qbs who know how to get rid of the ball, no reason we have to give them an anemic pass rush by our design though.
Yup, I fear our HC/GM doesnt quite know how to design a defense or does he know defensive talent when he sees it.

Man I hope the old man romeo has some mad scientist still in him. JJ needs some help. I'll give romeo the benefit of the doubt but hasnt he always been bend dont break.

Man, I don't like our D. Offense will be in shoot outs.

Just ramblin off thoughts....
 

Corrosion

Idealist
Staff member
Yup, I fear our HC/GM doesnt quite know how to design a defense or does he know defensive talent when he sees it.

Man I hope the old man romeo has some mad scientist still in him. JJ needs some help. I'll give romeo the benefit of the doubt but hasnt he always been bend dont break.

Man, I don't like our D. Offense will be in shoot outs.

Just ramblin off thoughts....

Yeah , he's been bend don't break for the most part and its hard to argue with it. More often than not , its not the scheme that fails , its a players execution of the scheme - Case in point the final play against the Aints.

Everyone crying that they went prevent , that's absolutely false. Prevent defense …. you aint playing man coverage at all much less that tight.

RC had schemed up the perfect defense for that play. They were in very tight man coverage on 4 route runners and supposed to be the same on the 5th.
It was a breakdown by Colvin , just a complete lack of situational awareness.


That was typical of the secondary Subday , one guy making multiple critical errors.


I'm not happy with the pass rush either but we do have to realize that it was Drew Brees who gets rid of the ball as fast as any QB in the game. You aren't going to pressure him often by design.



I'm more looking forward to the Chargers game as I think it will be more telling about the pass rush than either of these first two games on polar opposite ends of the QB spectrum with the Jags Gardner Minshew II and Brees.
 
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Uncle Rico

Ur apology should be as loud as Ur disrespect was
I don't wanna take too, too much away from Ramczyk, any good job is a legit good job against Watt. But 3-step drops versus 3-man rushes 40% of the time allowing for additional help ... sh*t, going to need to give JJ a hair more support than that for a good season.
Worry for me is Watt being nonexistent in run support - granted more than half of Kamaras runs were away from Watt, there were plays to be made and it just seemed uncharacteristic of Watt. Being schemed out of a pass rush with short passing game is kinda what NO does, so I was disappointed that the D couldnt generate any pressure with a couple of weeks to prepare. Watt was just running into the wall play after play, his only move the dip and rip time after time - either that or the bull rush. Not sure what to think about that. Could this be a signal of father time? Wasnt one of Docs last posts kind of cryptic in regards to Watt and what could be some underlying health issues he may be dealing with behind the scenes? I dont know. He didnt look good at all I think that everyone can agree on and it wasnt a case of double or triple teams.

Without an effective Watt this defense will not be able to stop anyone.
 
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Mr teX

Hall of Fame
Worry for me is Watt being nonexistent in run support - granted more than half of Kamaras runs were away from Watt, there were plays to be made and it just seemed uncharacteristic of Watt. Being schemed out of a pass rush with short passing game is kinda what NO does, so I was disappointed that the D couldnt generate any pressure with a couple of weeks to prepare. Watt was just running into the wall play after play, his only move the dip and rip time after time - either that or the bull rush. Not sure what to think about that. Could this be a signal of father time? Wasnt one of Docs last posts kind of cryptic in regards to Watt and what could be some underlying health issues he may be dealing with behind the scenes? I dont know. He didnt look good at all I think that everyone can agree on and it wasnt a case of double or triple teams.

Without an effective Watt this defense will not be able to stop anyone.

It was all of the above. the double/triple teams....the fact that he no longer moves around so the offense knows exactly where he’s gonna be each play.......and the fact that Romeo’s scheme was very passive with only 3 man rushes the majority of the time....& the fact Brees gets rid of the ball very fast.

All of that works against ANY pass rusher. The Raiders employed damn near the exact same offensive gameplan against Miller and the Broncos & Miller himself was on record as saying he didn’t get not 1 hit on Carr in the entire game.
 

Thorn

Dirty Old Man
Watt isn't the player he once was, I think we all know that. The injuries have piled up and are having an effect, I'm sure. But there's a reason he's still being double and triple teamed, because if you don't do that he's still good enough to create havoc in your backfield.
 
PFF ranks Texans pass rushing unit #5.

I assume that's with clowney.

https://www.pff.com/news/pro-pff-ranks-all-32-pass-rush-units-ahead-of-the-2019-nfl-season

5. HOUSTON TEXANS
This group desperately needs Whitney Mercilus to get back to his best. Mercilus had a decidedly down 2018 season after returning from a pec injury that cut his 2017 season short. He racked up only 42 pressures. Not even 29 years old yet, there’s hope Mercilus can return to form that saw him rack up 122 pressures in 2015 and 2016
This article was written on July 17 and is based on the projected players at the time. We still had Clowney on the roster and no one thought the Texans were dumb enough to give him away for a bag-a-beans. If it were written today, we would rank about 23.
 


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