Monday, November 18, 2013

What's going on in Houston

What's going on in Houston?

 Been extremely busy, with personal stuff, to keep up with posts this season but things are just insane out there. Something needs to be said but where to start? Let's start with the big one....QB controversy!

 I've said before, and I stick to my guns, that Matt Schaub is an extremely intelligent QB. The man can read a defense with the best of them. Unfortunately, Matt is seems to have a very difficult time getting his body to do what his mind knows needs to happen. Those closer to me already know my theory on that.

 T.J Yates is a younger, stronger but inexperienced version of Matt Schaub. I see T.J. being a very good starting QB for a team that really needs a good QB to help move the ball down the field but, the Texans aren't that team because they already seem to have that guy and with a contract coming up, it wouldn't be smart business to pay your back up more than your starter. That, and it would be a waste of a pretty strong QB to keep him on the bench if he can make a difference somewhere else.

 Case Keenum is the guy to mold. With all of Keenum's skill, he really needs to learn when to stay inside the pocket in order to let his blockers do their job and he needs to learn to better read blitzes. Let's go back to Schaub. If Schaub is willing, he should transition into a QB coaching position. Yes, the Texans already have a pretty good QB coach but Matt has the on field modern experience to work hand-in-hand with the young Keenum to develop him into a strong defense reading machine. Keenum has a physical skill set that you don't see in either Matt or T.J.. However, if you can stuff Matt's defense reading intelligence into Keenum, Schaub can still get a Superbowl ring, next year, with the team that he has sacrificed so much for.

 If Matt can take the route that Kubiak took when realizing that he wasn't going to lead a team to the championship on the field, he will see his great mind leading those who are on the field. And, that is just as important as being out there. So, in short, roll Schaub over to a coaching position, let T.J. prove his talents on a team that can pay him as a starter and start Keenum the rest of this season and let Schaub work with him to strengthen his weaknesses for the rest of this season and during the off season and keep Schaub on the coaching staff to mine his knowledge.

 As for the rest of our mess? Well, I'll just slap it all together and make it short and sweet. Okay, maybe not so sweet.

 Andre Johnson deserves a ring! Not just a ring, he deserves a ring with the organization he has been loyal too for so many years. This man, I"m sure, has gotten offers galore over the years but he has stayed where he knows people love and respect him. Even in off years, fans still wore his jersey, wished him well and a quick return to the game and basically never wavered from seeing him as the greatest Texan to ever take the field. Johnson has allow adjustments to his contract in order to help open cap space to help the team gain new talent. Johnson has stuck with the city and organization through thick and thin. The man has been inspirational off the field as well, especially during the holiday seasons where he selflessly help so many under privileged children have something to look forward to on Christmas morning. This organization owes this man a ring!

 Now, for the not-so-sweet part.... Replace Brice McCain, now! Bullock needs a vet to work under to build on his mechanics to better develop accuracy. We should have brought back Niel Rackers or Shane Graham  to help Bullock. I see potential in Bullock. The kid has as strong a leg as any special teams coach could ask, he just needs to be trained how to better use it!

 Do something with the right side of the O-Line. If the Texans get early draft picks, we desperately need a solid corner (replacement for McCain), right side help with the offense and stronger depth in the linebacker positions. If the Texans do pick up a QB in the draft, it should be later down the road and that person needs sit back and learn.

 At the running back position, with a few releases, we should be able to pay Tate and Watt. There is no need to explain the need for Watt but let me explain Tate. Foster is a beast on the field, as is Tate. Foster may be coming of a surgery that could weaken his game in the future. As much as I would love to see Foster come back with a full recovery, we must have a plan in place for what may happen while keeping in mind the business side of the game. Foster is getting paid. If we pay Tate, too, we will have to luxury of deciding which one we want to keep while putting them in a better position for their careers.

 If Foster comes back strong as ever and Tate is already getting paid, he will be worth more to other teams that have a need for the position. If Foster comes back struggling, someone will still be willing to gamble on him developing a come back so, it's a win-win for everyone. Which ever one might get traded, Texans get a good chunk of money to cover other needs that might arise by that time.

 Anyway, this has been a bit long winded for a sports blog post but like I said, there was much to say and even though I've put a lot out here, I left a lot on the drafting pages 'cause I could certainly take up more of your time with all that's going on. I just wanted to address the bigger issues.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Backup QBs in Houston

 Here we go into another season of football! y'all know I love this time of year.

 I may not have any influence over anything but I have to voice my opinion on the backup QB position the Texans are facing. I will more than likely get some negative feedback as well as positive 'cause in ANY QB controversy there will be those that have venomous support of their guy to get the bigger job.

 I'll start off by saying that I am very impressed with both of the backup guys under Schaub. I honestly feel that Yates has proven himself as a young, starter quality QB that could just use a full year as a starter to work out a few kinks. With Schaub just signing a nice little deal for a few more years with the team, I don't see a number 2 guy moving up in the ranks any time soon which is why I would like to see Keenum be the number two guy.

 I know some are probably taking a step back and thinking "Wait, you just said TJ was a starter quality QB". Yes, I did. In fact, it would be a waste, in my opinion, if TJ stuck around as a number 2 for the duration of Schaub's new contract. TJ needs to get picked up as a starter in a rebuilding season on a good team. I'd hate to see him go but I don't see him being allowed to 'move up' in a timely manor where he is.

 Regardless of what people think of Schaub (I've heard from haters and supporters) the reality is, is has the contract and ain't goin' no where any time soon. So, that being said, we need a solid young guy that needs a little more development but that already shows good promise. Keenum, I think, is that guy.

 It might be a bit late to find a team willing to buy out Yates' contract to move him into a starter position this season so it might be for the best to leave him at number 2 just to help keep him in spot light for a starter position next year. But, I can't deny the obvious progress made by Case Keenum and the scramble ability he showed while keeping composure in the pre-season opener. There was one play where he was on the run and was still able to square off the shoulders and make an impressive TD pass (I believe that was to Lestar Jean) while in motion.

 Yates will make a great starter for some lucky team and I will follow him where ever he goes and voice support but when it comes to the future of he Texans, considering contractual obligations for the near future, Keenum will end up being the future of the Texans.

 Now for the usual disclaimer. These are my personal opinions and I have absolutely zero say in any decisions made in the Texans organization. These are only my opinions and they are based on what I see from various sources including game situations as well as practice videos and interviews from the Texans organization. I'm not a professional journalist, I only play one on the internet.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Texans, Patriots rematch (Playoff addition)

 If writing were my primary job, I'd be updating far more often, unfortunately, I've missed opportunities to provide the posts I'd like to have made. Well, here we are back in the second round of the playoffs, again.

 "The Brady Bunch" has weaknesses but everyone has to be on top of their game if they want to exploit those weaknesses. Special teams can continue as they have in the last part of the season (Minus a few penalties) but there needs to be some movement with the offense and defense to make the biggest impact against this Patriot team.

 I'll sound like a broken record when discussing the offensive attack. Score early and score often. The Texans must grind down the clock with the offense and find a way to put 7s on the board every chance they get. This will probably be done best with an explosive ground game and quick, short passes just to move the chains. The Texans must keep their defense fresh to the very end of the game, especially with all the injuries to so many starters.

 To keep things simple, the offense has two goals in this up coming game against the Patriots. Score with every possible opportunity and hold on to the ball as long as possible.....KEEP BRADY OFF THE FIELD!

 The defense has to stay with the "Bulls on Parade" mentality. To keep Brady from taking advantage of his key players, the back field must stick to their guy like glue, unless the ball goes somewhere else. What do I mean by that? Corners safeties and inside linebackers need to back each other up while stumping their primary assignments.

 Brady is a quick strike QB. One thing Brady does well is get rid of the ball, fast. Key? Don't let him. Do not give the tight ends or backs any breathing room off the line. Those guys thrive of catch and run in the check downs and design short plays. The Texans secondary must keep Brady searching for open targets and cut his ability to find them.

 Second responsibility for the secondary will be to back each other up. Once the ball is in the air, attack the ball....even if that means leaving the guy they are covering in order to back up their brother in arms. It's a nice maned coverage that morphs into zone tackling as the play evolves.

 As for the front guys, do what (Watt) you do. Attack the man with the ball. If Brady is holding on long enough, well.....need I say more? Aside from introducing Brady to the turf as often as possible, watch for the runs and scrambles. When doing a Pinch attack, keep an inside linebacker or Safety ready to come up the middle. It's nice to collapse the pocket from both sides but the middle seems to be the weak point of a pinch.

 Well, that's my 2 cents. I guess I'm about as qualified to as any other arm chair QB with a keyboard. As I say all the time. I just call it as I see it.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Target, Patriots!

 I would like to apologize for the time between posts. Between work and family, time hasn't been on my side.

 When this season started, I had 4 games that concerned me the most. Those games would be Green Bay, Baltimore, Chicago and New England. Making it through the first 3 or those 4 with only one loss was refreshing.

 This being one of the big games in the AFC for the Texans, it is also my final big concern for the season. Sure, the Texans could drop one against the Colts or the Vikings but those will not be the confidence builders we can see from a shoot out win against Tom Brady in his own house.

 With many people still saying this is a lost cause for the Texans, they MUST go into Foxborough with a huge chip on their shoulders. There are things that can be done to help keep things moving in the right direction for Houston.

 The first thing is, stop the pass! Brady is an 'air strike commander'. I have little concern with the Texans ability to choke New England's run game to a meaningless effort but the air game is a completely different story, all-together.

 J-Joe must be healthy. If this is not the case, Jackson will have to cover Welker and the Safeties will have to work to help the less experienced corners along with the ILBs to cover New England's impressive tight end corps..

 The front 5 on the defense will need to cover the run, as usual, and find a way to not just pressure but bring down Brady. Brady can work under pressure pretty well so just 'giving him a hard time' will not disrupt his game as it would a lesser experienced QB. He needs to find himself getting up off his butt early and often.

 Besides the defensive side of he ball, Houston will need to stack up the points. Head for the end-zone at every opportunity with whatever tools are available in which to get there. I know Houston is well known for it's running game but in the case,  they need to put on a display with their receivers and tight ends.

 Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels and Arian Foster need to have the game of their lives to make sure this New England team cannot out score them.

 In short, I am still hearing a lot of people saying the Texans can't win this game. I'd sure enjoy those people being proved wrong.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Texans need to reboot the Defense for the season

 (Be sure to read comments on Mr. Rogers toward the end of this post.)

 I have one name that comes to mind.....Bryan Brahman

 With Cushing out for the season the Texans D still has a lot of experience but what I see as a weak point is the intensity that 'Cush' brought to the field. One thing I saw, even from last season, is that Brahman has the young intensity that any team would be crazy not to use, especially when losing someone like Cushing.

 Dobbins has been around and I don't want to take anything away from him as a vet and someone that has played under Phillips in the past. I have to say, though, I am not sure if he is the starter the Texans need to replace the intensity that Cushing brought to the team, on the field.

 With JJ Watt burning up the line, It's my opinion that Bradie James, who probably has the most knowledge of Wade's defense, hold the roll of play caller while having high motor youngsters like Watt and Brahman running around like mad-men putting fright in the hearts of opposing offenses. Mix up the experience and youth to get the best of both worlds. Most of all, have fun.

 One thing I would like to add to this post is the comments made by Rogers after the end of Sunday night football. I should probably say the lack of comment made. When asked about the game, he completely shunned his opposing team. Talked up how he was still great and how his team made great plays did he not recall the pressure brought on? Did he not recall hitting the ground a few times and even losing his helmet when going down at one point?

 My question to Mr. Rogers is, why couldn't you acknowledge the play of the defense that kept you on the run? When I played football, or any sport for that matter, there was always acknowledgement of the other team and anything good they may have done, even if it was a blow out. That's just good sportsmanship. I appreciate the history and legacy of the Green Bay organization. I cannot take that away from them. Though Rogers shows to be an efficient player, I can't say I appreciate his apparent lack of sportsmanship and professionalism.

I understand that Rogers was not happy about his critics and anyone who's ever played any form of sport will know that everyone goes through a slump or just has a few bad days from time-to-time. So, I can respect and understand Rogers sending a message to those people but to, seemingly, disrespect the team he just won against in the process? Not sure it was intended that way but it sure came across that way to me.

 As always, I'm just calling it as I see it.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Andre Johnson is still elite

 There has been talk lately that No. 80 might not be the same player he once was. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to tell you that Mr. Johnson is every bit the player he has ever been. As an avid Texans fan, I might be taken as a biased source but being such a fan means I watch the players and see what they do.

 There are multiple factors in the, perceived, loss of productivity. Some are things that would eventually happen with any given elite player in a professional sports team. Others can be attributed to team evolution.

 A player that has been around for almost a decade cannot escape the film that follows him through the years. Johnson has so much film on him, the inevitable has come to fruition. Coaches have found a way to cover his style of play. It's obvious for anyone who has ever played and/or coached the game that defenses are covering elite players, such as Andre Johnson, in ways that even the greatest would have trouble with. Attacking a player from multiple angles in double and triple coverage will cause a loss of productivity from that player, regardless their elite status.

 Another thing to note when wondering about lost productivity is the need to go to someone in double or triple coverage. The Texans offense have evolved into a well rounded system that doesn't rely on any given player or position as they were forced to do in the past. The talent available in the passing game this year is greater than at any given time in the history of the franchise.

 Every team expects Johnson to be the main target for the long ball. Thing is, he's is no longer the only field stretcher on the team. Kevin Walter has upped his play making him a greater threat. Now add new young speedsters  like Jean, Martin and Posey an you have a field that is not only stretched North/South but also East/West. With everyone expecting the ball to go to Johnson's side of the field, Schaub isn't given much choice but to go to the other side or even go shorter to Daniels, Graham or Casey. Too many options when your best guy is covered like a baby with a king size blanket.

 All-in-all, if the Texans want to start helping Andre Johnson get back to the 1100+ yards seasons he's had in the past, they need to stack the opposite side of the field to force loose coverage on their star receiver. If defenses are forced to cover 2 wide outs, a tight end and possibly a halfback on one side of the field, they'll have to leave the star open to cover them.

Summing things up, Andre Johnson obviously still has plenty of gas in the tank, the team just needs to clean the filters so he can run at optimum performance. The man still has another 4 to 5 years before reaching his physical peak.

Friday, October 05, 2012

I'm still around

Sorry I haven't been able to post anything for a while. Family and work are preventing me from hoping much here. Would be nice if I could live off doing my blog so I could concentrate more on important things like football is life.

If nothing else, I'll drop a few quick obvious observations and hopefully get a chance to do some proper reviews in the near future.

JJ Watt is killing everything holding a ball. Schaub is doing a great job of spreading the ball around. Though still playing like a young rookie, Keshawn Martin is playing better receiver than Jones did. We need to fix the run game and that might have a little to do with the right side of the line. I expect that to smooth out as the season progresses, though.

Hope everyone is enjoying the 2012 Bulls on Parade. And, sorry again for this crappy post. Will work on a better article with my normal or above average substance, soon.