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Texans 2013 Special Teams Depth Chart

 
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Apollo Stallion


Joined: 06 Feb 2008
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Location: Battle Red State
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:30 pm    Post subject: Texans 2013 Special Teams Depth Chart Reply with quote

Okay, this one is a bit of a stretch, but considering how terrible we have been the past two seasons it is a bit of a mission of mine to pay closer attention to these roles this season. Obviously, only the first 3 have dedicated roster spots, but ST capabilities clearly are decision points in choosing depth in spots like LB, S, CB, FB, TE and others.

PK - Randy Bullock

P - Shane Lechler

LS - Jon Weeks

3 of 53 Roster Spots

KR1 - Keshawn Martin
KR2 - Deji Karim
KR3 - Danieal Manning

PR1 - Keshawn Martin
PR2 - Shiloh Keo
PR3 - Devier Posey?


Feel free to weigh in on these coverage roles as I haven't paid too much attention or reviewed tape. Pretty much just used snap counts here and some logic regarding speed guys and tacklers. TEs and FBs are useful in return blocking.

Captain: Shiloh Keo

Gunner1: Shiloh Keo
Gunner2: DJ Swearinger
ST3: Brian Braman
ST4: Tim Dobbins
ST5:: Brice McCain
ST6:: Brandon Harris
ST7:: Joe Mays
ST8:: Willie Jefferson

Other Core ST: Deji Karim, Eddie Pleasant, Roc Carmichael, Ryan Griffin, Justin Tuggle, AJ Bouye, Travardo Williams, DeVier Posey
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Last edited by Apollo Stallion on Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:33 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Apollo Stallion


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Location: Battle Red State
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Initial Analysis:

Worthy of noting that the following players were at the top of our 2012 ST snap counts that are gone:
Nading - 72%
Ball - 45%
Casey - 34%
Demps - 33%
Ruud - 32%
Quin - 29%
Barwin - 29%

I figure Dobbins takes up those Nading snaps returning to a core special teams role and hopefully not seeing much time at ILB. Mercilus ranked 4th in ST snaps last year at 42%, but I suspect that goes away with a starting WLB gig this year. Sharpton has not been used much on special teams due to injury risk, which I consider a major problem in keeping him around if Brooks is the early down ILB. Ball's role I suspect will be upgraded by Swearinger who I anticipate will make an early name for himself in STs as an ideal gunner. Greg Jones doesn't play much special teams, so Tyler Clutts may be able to secure one of those rare flexible roster spots available to core special teamers, but he's got to get back to the standout special teamer he was in Chicago as he didn't show much for us last year. Neither Brandon Harris or Roc Carmichael have shown much on special teams, which is why I can see Eddie Pleasant making this roster as a 5th safety and putting Carmichael's spot at risk. I don't envision Sam Montgomery as much of a special teamer, but I think Travardo Williams can contribute.

The way I see it, special teams ability isn't enough to elevate any player over a better player at their position, but it does have the ability to impact how many players we carry at a position including some of those tougher decisions like whether to keep an 8th d-lineman, 9th LB, or 10th DB. I don't know much about these RBs ability to return kickoffs, but conceivably a 4th RB could be kept if they can (and we already know Deji Karim can run one 100 yards untouched against terrible coverage). If Alan Bonner stands out as a returner, I consider his roster spot safe, but if he struggles it is conceivable that he becomes a practice squad project, especially if Posey is healthy enough to avoid the PUP. Likewise, if Posey is healthy enough to contribute at WR, Lestar Jean's stock fades with special teams ability from Bonner or even TEs Griffin/Supernaw perhaps pushing him off since a #5 WR isn't seeing the field without injuries. We used Posey as a gunner last year, but he was plainly terrible at it and it is doubtful we would want a player coming off an achilles in that role even if he had performed.

Decisions like using Posey as a gunner last year were just dumb, and I'll be the last to make excuses for Maricano's failures in all aspects the past two seasons, but about the closest I'll get is to point out that injuries at LB & DB carry the double whammy of robbing coverage specialists. However, it's still ridiculous that Quin and Barwin logged 30% of ST snaps considering they never came off the field on defense either (and may help explain them wearing down). I sure would like to see us set out to avoid having any starters logging more than a token 10% snaps when we desperately need a blocked kick or protect against a last ditch return. Heck, I'll keep an extra S, ILB, or DE if it means I don't have to risk Ed Reed/Daniel Manning, Watt/Smith, or Cushing/Mercilus getting blindsided or legs taken out.
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ServantofYHWH


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I look forward to seeing Bullock and if his leg strength is back up to par.

Swearinger and Keo should make a nasty gunner tandem.

LS hasn't made any Internet trick shot videos lately. Time to panic? I think so.
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An actual update here this time too. Shapiro might latch on somewhere else and if he doesn't, he would be on speed dial if anything happened to Lechler. UDFAs salaries are nice, but did you see Lechler coffin corner that punt this week then nail a 60 yarder on the next one? This is a season where we need to get all the finer details right, and I fully expect Lechler to make a critical punt or two that could actually be a significant part of a win or two.
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW - I also reduced Bonner to the bubble as at this point, I think our best route would be to either pass him through to the PS. I'm reluctant to use the IR resort as we may need him at some point.

Martin seems ticketed for both KR & PR jobs again. Backup is interesting as Karim has a solid KR history but hasn't done punts while DJ does both. Wood returned kickoffs last year for ND (although not particularly well), but hasn't been back there for us yet.

Coverage teams remain a bit of a mystery, but I bumped Montgomery off altogether and elevated Mays. At this point it's getting really hard to justify Montgomery even on this team, so I elevated Jefferson as I suspect he has earned a roster spot and will be a core special teamer if we just don't default to draft position in handing out gigs. Tuggle and Mike Mohamed are in the running for LB spots as well. Mays secure roster spot may have taken a hit with that pathetic failed tackle on Thomas, but being healthy enough to miss a tackle is more than Sharpton can say at this point. AJ Bouye may have played his way into a roster spot over Roc Carmichael. I'm starting to get the feeling Brandon Harris may be due for a McManus type low end trade as he seems to just not have what it takes anywhere we put him..
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Updated this one too. I suspect Martin will handle punts & kickoffs, but with 5 safeties, Manning could get a few more. Roc is still around for now, but writing seems to be on the wall. He would be the #3 backup PR, but we are actually a bit lacking if anything happened to Martin as beyond Keo there aren't many left with PR experience. I suspect Dennis Johnson will make the PS by virtue of this alone...
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