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Preseason Week 3 GDT: Houston Texans vs New Orleans Saints
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EliteTexan80


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Post game thoughts:

- Geez, my sister can cook. On Saturday, she made this BBQ shrimp, along with lobster tails and beef sirloin medallions. A meal fit for a king, I must of gained about 15 lbs on that meal alone. Since my dad passed away, we have been all taking on these strange projects, just to keep us busy and not thinking of the loss - I'm building this massive set of baby gates to baby proof the two houses and looking to make a huge garden in my mom's backyard to honor my dad, my mom is reading every single book she can get her hands on (she's currently working on the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan), my wife is helping with the baby proofing and is looking into making clothes for our 10 month old son, and my sister is finding her cooking thumb. Wish it could of been done while my dad was around, but...meh, another post for another time, I would say.

- Onto the game...I learned one thing about this team after watching the game: When the chips are down, this team collectively doesn't answer the bell. The Texans had that quick lead, brought on by some deft offense and forcing the usually-sound Saints into a turnover in their own territory. They had much to be proud of in that series...then, Lance Moore made his grab, Trindon Holliday fumbled the ball, and this team just vanished into thin air. There were some great INDIVIDUAL performances in the face of all of this, but collectively - this team shrunk into itself in the face of all of that. It's not a bad thing; The Saints have made a franchise of these sort of moments, rising to the occasion to pull themselves out of tough jams. They have a SB title that was won, largely on that ability. The Texans are a step behind for the most part. There are some guys who do answer the bell, but this has got to be a complete effort, all 53 guys doing so when the opportunity presents itself. That didn't happen. A few guys came out swinging (including Holliday, someone who I expected to falter following his gaffe) but the TEAM as a whole didn't. Not too concerning overall - this is a young team, they have time to learn how to deal with it.

- My goodness, Matt Schaub is playing himself into a $100MM deal right now. I think this is the sharpest he has looked in his time as a Texan, he is right now on another playing field. He's moving well, he's using his motions via rollouts and head fakes to create openings in a defense, he's checking to his 2nd, 3rd, 4th options - he looks and feels like a franchise QB, he looks like a guy who can put a team on his back and win games for the franchise. It is only the preseason, but if he can keep on this clip and stay healthy (which is not a promise, but he HAS been taking some hard hits this offseason, and getting right back up) he is going to be up there with Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady for some post-season awards. MVP, OPOY, All Pro - Matt has these in his sights, and a strong regular season can put him in the discussion.

- That right side of the OL is a HOT mess. Antoine Caldwell has been a plesant surprise, which in itself isn't a surprise - we've been waiting for Caldwell to show up to the party, and here he is. RT, on the other hand? Rashad Butler isn't good, and neither is Derek Newton. There isn't a single thing they do well - they get lead feet when going into pass protection and fast DE/OLBs will get a step on them, and they don't play well in space and let someone sneak in to blow up run plays. There was one play in particular, one of the runs in which Arian Foster was tripped up for a 2-3 yard loss; The play design was to the right side, and the Saints shot the gap and ankle-tackles Foster for a loss. When they showed the replay, you see Newton...just standing there, LOOKING for someone to block. If the run play is to your side and it's your job to help set the edge, you sure as hell better get a hat on SOMEBODY. I don't know whether or not Newton could of got to the person who made the play (I will have to watch the replay, maybe even drop coin for the "22" view) but someone who was busy blocking YOUR edge may of been. Butler was no better in that spot, as the muffed blocks and missed assignments on pass protection really hampered the O. I'm starting to think the ZBS might be too fast and too much of a "thinking man" system for Newton to pick up, and Butler is just plain not good. However, it is what it is, and we have to go into the season with one of these two as the starter at RT. I don't know how Cordy Glenn or Jonathan Martin are doing for Buffalo and Miami, but I am of the mindset that one of the two would of been a nice fit for the role - better than what we have, at least.

- You all know that my favorite punching bag is Kareem Jackson. I just LOVE trashing the guy for his lack of "footballing" good. This game gave me plenty of ammo to head down this path...however, I won't. Dare I say...he played fairly well in this game, compared to what we've seen from him in the past. The biggest knock on the guy was that he was slower than Duane Brown out there, just ran like he had cement in his cleats. That wasn't the case this past game, guy really showed off some track speed when covering the speedy Devery Henderson and Lance Moore. However, he DID show a pretty big deficiency, and that is playing with his head too stiff, and not locating the ball. On the TD pass to Moore, Jackson was in perfect position to knock the ball away - he just didn't get his head around, and Moore made a fine play to grab the ball. Granted, he did show me some good football acumen on the other TD to Jimmy Graham - he effectively broke off his assignment as the ball was in the air, made a great read on a QB who is hard to read in Brees. If Jimmy Graham wasn't such a freak of nature, he breaks up that pass, maybe even picks off the pass. There is a lot of good in Jackson's performance - however, there are those in my own camp, who will focus on the bad. No need to, Jackson has been playing - dare I say - well.

- With all of the contracts that are being discussed, one person who is going to get a nice deal is S Glover Quin. Chances are, it will be with someone else. Quin was really active when playing in the first few quarters, slapping the ball away and really diagnosing what was going on out there. We all remember the dropped INT in the 49ers game, but that is a lone black mark on what has been a solid preseason. Glover has never been a turnover guy, but he's got solid fundamentals and is a smart football player. Given the predicament we find ourselves in, Quin might be pricing himself out of our range. Hopefully we can position ourselves to replace him with someone like Brandon Harris in due time, or actually spend a high round draft pick on a S in next years' draft. I feel as if Quin will follow the dollars next season, and we need to prep for that.

- For the love of Jerome Mathis, please don't read too much into Trindon's fumble. It happened. He got caught with the ball outwards, got smacked, ball came out. THIS is what I really wanted to see from Holliday - because the life of a KR/PR is filled with highs and lows like this. We've seen the highs - the two TDs. Now, we've seen the low - and more importantly, what he did afterwards, which is take a retun 60+ yards with a chip on his shoulder bigger than he is. He tried to hurt Thomas Morestead on that return - boy oh boy, was that little fella MAD. I like that...I like that he came out, guns blazing with his next shot. To go back to my notes, Holliday went out to answer that bell, despite being one of the reasons to allow the Saints to get back into it.

- I would like to see more of John Beck, please. TJ Yates stole my heart last season, but reality is starting to set in. He didn't have time, but he didn't do much to buy himself time. That's part of being a QB in this league - sometimes, you have to make time for yourself in the face of a brutal rush. I'm confident in saying that Yates is still the backup, but I want an extended look of Beck, just to see if he can make this interesting and land on this team as a "2B" QB.

- All in all, my expectations of this team have been lowered. Now, before you break out the pitchforks and call me a Debbie Downer and accuse me of letting meaningless games alter my stance (Jacobys Homey, I'm looking at you) please keep in mind that Tom - the person behind the ET persona - had VERY HIGH expectations for this team. I felt as if our floor was 13-3, that was the worst we can do in this season. Heck, I even had a few scenarios played out where we would be walking into Gillette Stadium UNDEFEATED as we faced off against the Pats, and walking OUT unblemished as well. The fan in me said that the sky was the limit for this team, and there wasn't a team in this league that could put a dent into us. Now? Well...at worst, we are mortal. We are young. We might not have the understanding of how to deal with success. We might not have the chutzpa to rally when things don't go our way. These aren't flaws that will drastically alter this team's destiny this season, but they ARE flaws that can cause a few games to go sideways.

These things aren't items that can be worked on during the course of an offseason. You develop this killer instinct by being thrown in head first, having your feet held to the fire in a game that creates (or destroys) the story of your season. It's only going to come by having games count, playing in hostile territory, with the other team gunning for a W and a "statement win" for their season.

That being said - we're roughly about two weeks away from live bullets being fired. Bring it on, time to see this in action. Very Happy
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amazingandre


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ET, I disagree with your lowered expectations simply because our defense will be much better with Cushing, Watt and Cody back out there, thus creating more problems in the backfield and most likely limiting the points scored.....
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jargin


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a hell of a write up ET.

I think you are right on the money about Schaub. Its like...you can tell that he wants a new fat contract and he is good enough to deserve one. I mean, this game, more than any game, is what those idiots needed who were saying that Schaub needs to be benched for Yates.

Any idiot who said that at any point ever can now firmly close their mouths.
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All and all an impressive effort. I'm not overly concerned about the #2's as in a real situation #2's will be inserted alongside a bunch of #1's who help make up for plenty of sins. When the entire team is #2's the mistakes snowball. A few other impressions.

1) I'm not sure what Glover Quin you guys were watching. The #29 I saw did make a hit or two, but his coverage was terrible. He was so bad on Graham, in crunch time, I would anticipate the Saints pulling a Lance Moore vs. KJ exploitation straight down the field.

2) Wade's secondary coverage calls - I watched Cowboys teams lose every December and 1 January with teams marching right down the middle against safeties and LBs who can't cover. Good God, in what universe do you think you can cover Jimmy Graham with Bradie James? I know it's vanilla, but our zone coverage was awful from an execution standpoint. We need to get the TE coverage figured out and tighten up that zone or the book on how to beat the pass rush will be written quickly.

3) TJ Yates. My deepest wish for the Texans is that this guy never steps on the field this year. I swear there is something to be said for a no expectations rookie who is successful because he just doesn't know any better. You can almost see that as he tries to evolve and go through progressions that he has completely lost that internal clock and awareness that let's him know when it's time to get rid of the ball. Sure, the #2 o-line didn't do him any favors, but throwing under pressure is a skill an NFL QB has to possess. He is what I thought he was: a weak armed 5th rounder who can manage a game you dominate with defense and the run game while picking his spots, but he will not win you any games if he's the one who has to make it happen.

4) Already putting RT back on the 2013 draft need list. Neither impressed, but Newton seems to be the lesser of 2 evils. I am definitely on board with a strategy that sees what we can get out of Newton who can transition to a swing tackle role next year and likely moving on from Butler next year rather than resigning.

5) Garrett Graham needs to play. Dreessen who? From what I've seen, Graham seems to clearly have ascended to true #2 TE role and will allow us to let Casey focus on FB. I think he will get plenty of those wide open looks as teams have to pick their poison and Graham runs open down the seam. I still think Norris makes the team as a traditional FB, but my concerns about not getting a quality TE have gone away with the development of Graham. Can't really speak to the blocking side of things and wonder how much of the #2's blocking problems are a result of not having Dreessen in there helping out.

My expectations are greater than ever. Our #1's beat the Saints by a considerable margin if you eliminate the mistakes by 2 guys who have never played in that situation before (Holliday/Martin). Schaub drove the offense straight down the field in every first possession of the preseason. If we start out games with leads, we will destroy people with the entire playbook opened up and the pass rush freed to tee off on QB's forced to throw. Not as concerned about the #2's as if you plug one in at a time they are fine, just not all of them at once. Remember the o-line all works as a unit in this scheme and 1 weak link breaks it all and we had 3-4 guys out there getting their first meaningful experience all at the same time. There is no reason that this team should not be viewed as one of the top 3 teams in the AFC, especially with Pitt having things falling apart at the seams, Balt in a bit of turmoil without Rice or Suggs, and I'm telling you, this is the year Brady starts slowing down a bit as DCs will have better answers for Gronk.
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jargin


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree fully about Garrett Graham. He is going to make Dressen look like a slow poke. He won't smash people with blocks but he is just as fast and explosive as OD if not more because hes younger.
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amazingandre


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jargin wrote:
That was a hell of a write up ET.

I think you are right on the money about Schaub. Its like...you can tell that he wants a new fat contract and he is good enough to deserve one. I mean, this game, more than any game, is what those idiots needed who were saying that Schaub needs to be benched for Yates.

Any idiot who said that at any point ever can now firmly close their mouths.


Pretty sure this is a jab at me and maybe a mod should deal with this



also, Yates played with a terrible unit, to condemn his play as awful would not be fair. Schaub HAS always been great, but until he proves he can remain healthy your opinion is an inaccurate one, his risk of injury is not worth the reward and I still stand by that
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

amazingandre wrote:
jargin wrote:
That was a hell of a write up ET.

I think you are right on the money about Schaub. Its like...you can tell that he wants a new fat contract and he is good enough to deserve one. I mean, this game, more than any game, is what those idiots needed who were saying that Schaub needs to be benched for Yates.

Any idiot who said that at any point ever can now firmly close their mouths.


Pretty sure this is a jab at me and maybe a mod should deal with this



also, Yates played with a terrible unit, to condemn his play as awful would not be fair. Schaub HAS always been great, but until he proves he can remain healthy your opinion is an inaccurate one, his risk of injury is not worth the reward and I still stand by that


Explain to me how any other QB in the league would not have gotten hurt on the 3 Albert Haynesworth incidents and Jared Allen going at their knee multiple times. It only took one hit from Bernard Pollard to do the job on Brady in 08 and I don't hear anyone writing him off as injury prone. If a 350 lb man stomped on Bret Favre or Peyton Manning's foot, their 3,4,5 metatarsal bones would have broken as well and we wouldn't be talking about their durability streaks. I can tell you about a dozen QBs that would not have been able to play with the shoulder injury Schaub played through the final stretch in 2009, better yet came back to play the 2nd half that very game and led their teams to victory.

Michael Vick is "injury prone" because of the way he plays the game. Ryan Matthews is "injury prone" because he is a puss and can't play with any pain. Hell, Andre Johnson is "injury prone" because seemingly he doesn't understand how to probably workout and stretch to minimize strain on the hamstrings. Don't get me started on Brian Cushing or James Casey and why they are always dinged up with various soft tissue injuries or Brian Hartmann's knee giving out. Matt Schaub has been injured because he has taken cheap shots from two beastly men and was just unlucky last year with a freak injury delivered by one of them. I don't think Scahub has ever missed a game in a season where he haven't played Albert Haynesworth and don't see him hurting Schaub from the couch this year...
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EliteTexan80


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

amazingandre wrote:
jargin wrote:
That was a hell of a write up ET.

I think you are right on the money about Schaub. Its like...you can tell that he wants a new fat contract and he is good enough to deserve one. I mean, this game, more than any game, is what those idiots needed who were saying that Schaub needs to be benched for Yates.

Any idiot who said that at any point ever can now firmly close their mouths.


Pretty sure this is a jab at me and maybe a mod should deal with this



also, Yates played with a terrible unit, to condemn his play as awful would not be fair. Schaub HAS always been great, but until he proves he can remain healthy your opinion is an inaccurate one, his risk of injury is not worth the reward and I still stand by that


...sigh...

There's only so much a Mod can do in managing you two. You've both been reminded of the standards of this site, and the expectations are out there for both of you to follow, or not.

Also - Don't think it's a jab at YOU. You weren't the only one saying your peace about Matt Schaub - for the most part, there are plenty of folks in the Houston area who agreed with what you said.
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