Tag Archives: Houston Texans

NFL Draft Review: Houston Texans

Ed: Welcome back, readers. The NFL draft has come and gone, so we’re going to be doing something a little different on GASB for the next month or so.

Normally when you read NFL draft coverage, you’re reading straight-laced un-biased appraisals of the teams and their players. Not here. Each of our draft reviews will be coming from a fan of a given team, which will give you a chance to get an idea of what that fanbase thinks about the direction the team is headed in and how the new players will fit with that vision.

It won’t be the perspective of a journalist, it will be the perspective of you. The perspective of the fan.

First up, the Houston Texans.

1 (11): JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin

Immediately after this pick talk radio shows around town were full of people calling, furious over the choice go to with Watt over Auburn’s Nick Fairley.

Not only are Fairley’s talents (limited body of work, stockpiling stats against garbage opponents) debatable, but he simply does not fit the most pressing needs of the Houston Texans, who desperately need pass-rushing capabilities.

In Wade Phillips’ 3-4, which will feature multiple looks including 4-3 and hybrids, versatility is vital. Unfortunately, those people calling do not understand that in this system players who can play both DE and DT are just as important as those who play OLB/DE.

Watt will play DE in the 3-4, but can also slide inside to play DT in 4-3 formations and will provide ample pressure on the quarterback as well as support against the run game, and has the strength to tie up blockers for the men behind him.

Additionally, Watt has zero character issues, never gives up on a play and his tangibles are through the roof (please do me a favor and compare them to Fairley’s). Fans of college football will recognize that though the Big 10 (12) is certainly a shell of its former self, the league is still well known for its massive lineman on both sides of the ball. Watt faced these types of players weekly as a Badger and excelled against them.

Hopefully this means that Amobi Okoye’s days are done and fans of this franchise can move on from that debacle.

2 (42): Brooks Reed, OLB/DE, Arizona

As mentioned above, Houston drafted a DE/DT in the first round and in the second round they drafted an OLB/DE. As a result of this combination, the Texans gained two players who can play four positions.

Reed is all over the field and many analysts had him listed as a first-round talent. Reed should complete the Texans’ LB corps in the 3-4 set. He will be largely responsible for pass rush in either set, however. This is likely the best “value” pick of Houston’s entire draft.

Reed is tenacious, a good tackler, and has great game speed. The announcement late last week that Mario Williams will line up as an OLB in the 3-4 makes this pick even smarter.

With Reed and Williams on the outside, Connor Barwin is freed up to provide depth at the OLB position.

3 (60): Brandon Harris, DB, Miami

It could be argued that the Houston Texans’ secondary of 2010-2011 was one of the worst in the history of the NFL.

The youthful group gave up play after big play that cost the Texans big and that need was a priority in this season’s draft. The Texans were in place to draft Prince Amukamara, but passed on him.

That was likely also a good choice.

Harris provides a similar skill set, but in the third round. He runs a 4.4 and has the capability to guard WRs in a man-to-man scheme. Fans of the college game might recall that he occasionally looked out of place and lost at The U. This cannot be blamed solely on Harris.

After all, he played during the Randy Shannon era.

4 (127): Rashard Carmichael, DB, Virginia Tech

As a Texans fan I cannot tell you how happy I was when this selection is made.

It’s not that I think Carmichael is the second coming of Charles Woodson, but it is apparent to me that Wade Phillips is in charge of this draft. That is precisely was this team needs.

The duo of Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith has been below average as talent evaluators. What’s the result of below average talent evaluation? A 6-10 record. The Texans have focused entirely on the defensive side of the ball through the first four rounds, which is exactly what they should be doing.

Carmichael was the best player in a Virginia Tech secondary that was outstanding last season. He’s physical with WRs at the line of scrimmage and is not afraid to tackle. He will likely make a living playing in nickel and dime packages.

5 (144): Shiloh Keo, DB, Idaho

For those asking “damn, does Houston need that many defensive backs?” the answer is a resounding, “YES!”

The Texans apparently love Keo’s playing style. He’s not going to cover anyone man-to-man and it is doubtful he will get significant starting time at any point in his career. But he will be a special teams player and a backup safety.

Wade Phillips is reportedly enamored with his willingness to play the run and take on blockers and believes he has a real chance to be a good NFL player. I’m willing to accept Phillips has forgotten more about football than Mel Kiper, Jr. and I have ever known.


5 (152): T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina

I have no problem with this pick.

So long as Matt Schaub stays healthy, his job is safe, but that’s not what this pick was about. Though he’s certainly a developmental player, Yates can play and is 6’4”, 225 lbs. The fact that he was able to accomplish anything behind that North Carolina offensive line speaks to his potential.

He has outstanding accuracy, as evidenced by his performance in the Texas vs. the Nation college post-season game (which Texas won by the way). I think the Texans likely chose him in hopes that he develops and they can trade him to a QB-hungry team in a couple of seasons. If they can turn this late fifth round pick into a second round pick, I will be thrilled.

This reminds me of a couple of horror stories I need to share with this blog’s readers. These incidents occurred during the Texans’ Charley Casserly era, a truly miserable era in the franchise’s history.

First of all, in 2003, the Houston Texans drafted Dave Ragone out of Louisville in the third round. That doesn’t sound so terrible if that’s all the information you’re provided. But consider the Texans drafted David Carr No. 1 overall that year. Forget about what a disaster Carr was and just consider this: Casserly used a third overall pick on a player who, if the rest if the draft (specifically the No. 1 overall pick) worked out, would NEVER set foot on the field for the Houston Texans.

I have no issue with a team taking chances like this in the fifth round, but the third?! No wonder Carr was running for his life for so long.

But Ol’ Charley wasn’t done. NO! He had more tricks where that came from! In that same 2003 draft, Casserly picked Drew Henson in the sixth round. This had the potential to be a brilliant pick (largely because it was in the 6th round). Henson had skills that were coveted by many teams and the size (6’4” 240) to back it up, but he was playing baseball at the time.

In 2004, the Dallas Cowboys traded the Texans a third round pick for the rights to Drew Henson, who retired from baseball and joined them that season. So this sounds great, right!? The Texans essentially traded a sixth-round pick for a third-round pick! Well, Charley couldn’t leave well enough alone and he packaged a second-round pick and that third-round pick (that represented Drew Henson, essentially) and sent them to the Oakland Raiders for Phillip Buchanon in 2005.

Yes. Phillip Buchanon.

It was widely reported at that time that no other team had even considered offering Oakland a fourth-rounder for Buchanon’s services. So, apparently Charley Casserly outbid himself and the result was getting the short end of the stick on a trade with Al Davis and the Raiders. That’s how bad he was.

But I haven’t even mentioned the best part! After it was painfully obvious that the Buchanon trade was a disaster, Casserly appeared on a local radio show and, when questioned about the trade he said something to the effect of, “well, we got that third-round pick from the Drew Henson deal, so we shouldn’t have had that in the first place. We look at it as if we gave up only a second-round pick.”

I was livid.

Was Charley saying “if I find $100 on the sidewalk and spend it on a $10 novelty toothbrush it’s ok because, I simply found that money anyway!” What a jackass. I hope Smithiak (or their successors should they go 6-10 again) handles T.J. Yates a little better.

7 (214): Derek Newton, OL, Arkansas State

Obviously, in the seventh round basically every pick is a crapshoot. Newton is 6’5” and could offer depth at right tackle or the interior line. He excels in the run game, which means he might find a home in Houston assisting Arian Foster.

7 (254): Cheta Ozougwu, OLB, Rice

If “Mr. Irrelevant” never sets foot on a NFL field I don’t care.

He is the type of player the Texans should have chosen with the last pick in the draft. He does not project to ever be much of a run-stopper, but he is extremely athletic and is a project with pass-rushing capabilities. As usual, the Texans took no chances regarding character issues. The man went to Rice and by all accounts is as decent of a person as there is.

– No Legs 2011

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Week 5: The Fantasy Football Follow-Up

For those of you that checked out the F3 for Week 5, here’s how my picks came out…

Nailed It (Great call!):

Kurt Warner (QB, Arizona): As predicted, Kurt went off… 26-of-38, 302 yards, and two TDs. Top 10 in quarterbacks in Week 5.

Matt Hasselbeck (QB, Seattle): FYI, some “experts” had Seneca Wallace in their top-20 rankings for Week 5. I doubt that will happen again. Hasselbeck was 18-of-30 with 241 yards, and four, yes, four TDs. Money!

GOT TOUCHDOWNS?

GOT TOUCHDOWNS?

Glen Coffee (RB, San Francisco): Coffee had 12 rushes for 45 yards and a TD, four catches for 21 yards. Even in a blowout, he was still a solid play this week.

Tim Hightower (RB, Arizona): Not a breakout week, but Timmy definitely helped his owners out in Week 5. Especially in PPR leagues, six rushes for 17 yards and a TD, with five catches for 30 yards is nice.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh (WR, Seattle): He’s back! Five catches for 77 yards, two in the endzone. Keep an eye on Seattle going forward.

Hines Ward (WR, Pittsburgh): Consistent “Hines Ward” performance. Notched 85 yards on seven catches. This time he picked up a TD, which makes this NAILED IT that much sweeter.

Bills (D/ST, Buffalo): Ohhhh boy were they wrong! A lot of columnists predicted a high-scoring defensive anti-clinic. That didn’t happen.

Browns (D/ST, Cleveland): Same as the Bills. Ugly game, but the D/ST’s pick were perfect.

Got Nailed (Terrible call!):

David Garrard (QB, Jacksonville): Sorry, folks. Here’s to the worst-rated quarterback in Week 5, and I liked him. He did virtually nothing, aside from the two fumbles. My bad.

Jerome Harrison (RB, Cleveland): Noone saw this coming. Sure, an eyebrow or two raised when Jamal Lewis was announced as active, but I would have never expected Harrison would be essentially de-activated as a result.

Derrick Mason (WR, Baltimore): Doubled the second he stepped off the bus. No chance. My apologies.

Dolphins (D/ST, Miami): I had it wrong. As bad as the Jets D/ST played, the Fins were neck and neck.

FROM DOLPHENSE OR LOLFENSE

FROM DOLPHENSE TO LOLFENSE

Steven Hauschka (K, Baltimore): No explanation, it just didn’t happen.

Joe Nedney (K, San Francisco): Extremely disappointed. Don’t forget about Joe though.

Wash (Probably didn’t kill you…):

Brent Celek (TE, Philadelphia): My TE picks weren’t stellar at all this week. Case in point, Brent. My “Wild-Vick formation big play” prediction didn’t pan out either. You could have done worse though…

John Carlson (TE, Seattle): T.J. took over. Surprised he didn’t get a look while Hasselbeck was playing Madden in the endzone all day.

Marcedes Lewis (TE, Jacksonville): The good part about Garrard’s JaMarcus Russell impression was that a completion or two belonged to Lewis. One of the brighter points, although not that bright.

BMW 1, MARCADES 0

BMW 1, MARCEDES 0

Dan Carpenter (K, Miami): Not a huge day, but at least he nailed 4 XPs.

* (16-11-9, 0.569) after Week 5. Still over .500!

Haterade Blog

Steve Smith (WR, Carolina): My hate was warranted. In most standard leagues, the original Steve Smith is averaging single digit fantasy points per week. Not what you’d expect, but I think you can expect it from now on.

Marshawn Lunch and Fred Jackson (RBs, Buffalo): I’m calling this one a tie. Lynch was serviceable, Jackson was a ghost. I said the Bills would suffer from “subtraction by addition” upon Lynch’s return, and I stick by it. The Bills were a scarier team with Jackson getting all the touches.

Cedric Benson (RB, Cincinnati): I was wrong, but can you blame me? Sure, he finished the 2008 season running hard. Sure he’s been dominant thus far in 2009. But, I can’t get over his “Cedric Benson”-ness, so its hard, but I’m coming around.

YOUR NFL LEADING RUSHER... CEDRIC BENSON. WAIT, WHAT?

YOUR NFL LEADING RUSHER... CEDRIC BENSON. WAIT, WHAT?

* (4-1-1, 0.750) when it comes to spitting hate!

“Big Johnson”:

– Ok Chris, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. You’re done. If you think I’m falling for your crap this week, you’re wrong. Not against my Pats. The Big Johnson this week was Andre, who put up foolish numbers, but the interesting Johnson is Josh, the Buccaneers’ new QB. He could contend in the future weeks for the biggest Johnson. The more the merrier! (Wait, that’s a little weird…)

* (0-2 0.000) at nailing the Johnson’s.

Week 4’s Top Performers: Fluke or For Real

Quarterbacks:

No. 1) Peyton Manning – Indianapolis Colts

FOR REAL: More of the same. Obvious play. Do I need to say more? (Notice, I didn’t even change this one from last week. Lazy? Yes. True? Also yes.)

No. 2) Matt Schaub ­– Houston Texans

FOR REAL: This is a hard one, because all the factors are there. I like Schaub. He’s got a great RB in Slaton, a filthy WR in Andre Johnson, and an emerging TE in Owen Daniels. The options surrounding Schaub are top-notch. The problem is his fragility. When he’s healthy, he’s capable of top-10 numbers. In saying he’s FOR REAL, I’m relying on his continued health, but I think he ends up near, if not in, the top-10 after Week 17.

No. 3) Kyle Orton – Denver Broncos

FOR REAL: He is not Peyton Manning. He is not even Jay Cutler. But with Marshall, Royal, and Stokley surrounding him, Orton is definitely start-able. I have Orton resting in the Flex spot in one of my more competitive leagues. He’s not on the same level as other QBs of 5-0 teams, but the record is surely not in spite of Orton. His numbers probably won’t make your eyes bug out like some, but he’s FOR REAL.

THIS MAN IS THE QUARTERBACK OF A 5-0 TEAM... I'VE GOT NOTHING

THIS MAN IS THE QUARTERBACK OF A 5-0 TEAM... I'VE GOT NOTHING

Running Backs:

No. 1) Ahmad Bradshaw – New York Giants

FLUKE: Guys, this is a conditional FLUKE. What the heck happened to Brandon Jacobs in the offseason?! In 2008, he was running like Lendale White to a round of tequila shots at an Old Country Buffet. Bradshaw geeked the Raiders on Sunday for two scores and over a hundred yards rushing, with a 50+ yard reception to boot. It was nice, but he’s still just a “change-of-pace” back, which have proven to be fantasy teases (e.g. Leon Washington, Darren Sproles, Fred Jackson).

No. 2) Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons

FOR REAL: Yes, the Burner is FOR REAL. But, it’s not for the reason you might think. Sure, he’s the only guy getting touches near the goal line (fantasy plus). He reached paydirt Sunday three times (fantasy money). Turner is FOR REAL, because he’s being conserved, not over-used. If you spread his carries out over the season, the result is consistent play in a good offense, not a burnout (fantasy gold). Start Turner every week.

No. 3) Cedric Benson ­– Cincinnati Bengals

FLUKE: I am stubborn. I refuse to believe that Benson is a dominant fantasy RB. I won’t do it. BUT, as a man of the people, if he plays well against the Texans, I promise to proclaim his FOR REAL-ness, but I’m not ready right now. It’s freaking Cedric Benson everyone! Come on!

Wide Receivers:

No. 1) Miles Austin – Dallas Cowboys

FLUKE: No. None of the receivers on the Cowboys impress me. You know why Austin had freakish, Madden-on-easy-difficulty-like numbers? I’ll tell you why! Because the Chiefs can’t tackle! Watch his big plays, and you’ll see something that would make any Pop Warner coach vomit. Oh yea, and he should have had four TDs, but he dropped two in the endzone. That’s the kind of thing that really bugs me.

BECAUSE POINTDEXTER AUSTIN WOULDN'T FIT ON THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE

BECAUSE POINTDEXTER AUSTIN WOULDN'T FIT ON THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE

No. 2) Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons

FOR REAL: More than a few fantasy teams had their names changed to “Ooochy-Roddy-Roddy-Ooochy-Bang-Bang” after Week 5. We’re talking bigtime numbers in a legit offense (eight catches, 210 yards, two TDs). While Roddy’s been quiet prior to Week 5, I think he lives up to his draft position in the coming weeks.

No. 3) Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia Eagles

FLUKE: DeSean Jackson owners unite! Grab your pitchforks and lanterns! I’m kidding guys, Donovan’s back, and he looks great. Maclin isn’t the receiver you want on the Eagles, DeSean is. It seems to me that this was one of those fluky weeks where supporting cast outshines the stars, so don’t go dropping Jackson for Maclin. Maclin’s mega-week was a FLUKE.

Tight Ends:

No. 1) Kellen Winslow ­– Tampa Bay Buccaneers

FOR REAL: The Bucs are bad. There’s no hiding that. But, aside from Antonio Bryant, Winslow is the target in the passing game. With Leftwich out, and Johnson in, I think Winslow continues to receive looks as th No. 1 or No. 2 option from now on. I’m on board, but don’t expect multiple TDs each week.

No. 3) Owen Daniels – Houston Texans

FOR REAL: Daniels is averaging 5+ catches for 50+ yards each week. That kind of consistency is hard to come by at the TE position, so if you’ve got him, start him, if you don’t maybe look to pick him up in a trade for a questionable RB (Willis McGahee, Jamal Lewis, Beanie Wells).

#3. Dallas Clark – Indianapolis Colts

FOR REAL: Don’t kid yourself, Clark is a WR. Like Witten, their roles is to catch passes and sometimes try to block. If you drafted him, you’re giddy through Week 5, if you didn’t, chances are your TE won’t be as good as Clark when you match up with his team. Definitely FOR REAL.

Defense / Special Teams:

No. 1) Seattle Seahawks

FLUKE: Nope. Two fumble recoveries and a TD on defense. They blanked Jacksonville. Look back a little bit further though… they went from -2 fantasy points to 29. They had a great week, and might have another one against Arizona in Week 6, but I will not hesitate to call the Seahawks a FLUKE.

No. 2) New York Giants

FOR REAL: They played the Raiders in Week 5. That’s enough to make and D/ST look FOR REAL, but they’ve looked that way all year.

BIG BLUE - DOIN' THANGS

BIG BLUE - DOIN' THANGS

No. 3) Cleveland Browns

FLUKE: The only reason I picked the Browns D/ST in Week 5 was because of their matchup with the Bills. Both offenses suck, which means the D/ST’s in turn look great. The Browns’ offense was slightly less terrible than the Bills’, so they got the edge in points. Dump the Browns for a team with a better matchup in Week 6.

Kickers:

No. 1) Lawrence Tynes – New York Giants

FOR REAL: Still the best. The perfect situation for a K to thrive is on a good offense, with a good defense, that moves the ball even against strong D’s. He’ll get you points no matter what.

No. 2) Olindo Mare – Seattle Seahawks

FLUKE: That was not what you can expect from the Seahawks each week. The Jags looked particularly lost, and Seattle rightfully ran up the score on them, giving Mare big numbers in the process.

No. 3) Rob Bironas ­– Tennessee Titans

FOR REAL: Last year, Bironas was a “stud” K if there ever was one. Now he’s putting up points for a very different reason, because noone else can. The Titans scored so much in 2008 that Bironas ranked amongst the top K’s solely because of his XPs. This year, he’s responsible for a lot of the Titan points in general.

* Check back on Friday for the Week 6 F3, where I’ll make my fantasy picks for the upcoming weekend. As always, any questions or comments can be posted here or emailed to briangrimsley@gmail.com.