When you're busy pushing out a book, sometimes things get a little too hectic to get every theory down that you concoct. Given that I figure I'll have less and less time as things go on, I thought a good way to counteract this would just be to not flesh out the thoughts completely and leave them as dangling theories. Low-hanging fruit for my fellow Texans bloggers to expound on, or just ideas to get a conversation started. Anyway, here are things I believe this week:
1) Johnathan Joseph's groin injury worries me. One of the main reasons I would have rather signed Nnamdi Asomugha this offseason was that Joseph's durability has been a question mark. After missing 12 games over the past three seasons, I would love the Texans to take it very slowly with him. By that I mean: I don't want to see him on the field Monday, and if someone could cover his house with bubble wrap too, that would be a nice touch.
2) Should Joseph start off the season healthy, I could be swayed to be more worried about the run defense than the pass defense. The additions of Danieal Manning and Joseph have given the secondary three solid rocks, and while that was absolutely the right style of defense for the Texans to focus on improving after last year's debacle, that and the salary cap left them unable to pursue solutions in the run game. Think of it this way: J.J. Watt and Brooks Reed are rookies, Mario Williams and Connor Barwin are converting to linebacker, nobody knows just how clean DeMeco Ryans' recovery is, and nobody knows what to expect of Brian Cushing this year. Oh, and we can talk up Earl Mitchell's gap skills all we want: he's still a light nose tackle.
3) Losing Vonta Leach is going to hurt the short game, but not as much as simple regression will. Houston had an absurdly high percentage of 3rd/4th and shorts converted last season. Leach was a big part of that. However, Leach also was pretty bad in 2009, and there is no guarantee that someone who spends so much time hitting people is a solid long-term investment (especially at those numbers) to keep as healthy as he did in 2010. The Texans were bound to drop off there anyway.
4) If I am Rick Dennison, I am watching lots of 2010 Patriots tape. Between James Casey, Joel Dreessen, Owen Daniels, and Garrett Graham, the Texans have a plethora of tight ends that they can expect to be solid in the passing game. New England was able to create a lot of mismatches in 2010 specifically because they could bring a couple of tight ends (Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski) on the field and isolate them on linebackers in spread formations. I know Lance Zierlein already talked to Eric Winston about some three tight end sets as a change of pace, and a basic 1-2-2 looks like an optimal Texans formation to me. They can run some shotgun spread out of that, keep the play-action game, and take what the defense gives them.
5) If Kareem Jackson had been a fourth-round pick, I would only give him 50/50 odds to make the roster. The fact that Wade Phillips singled him and Amobi Okoye out as players who needed to improve, then cut Okoye, would have me pissing my pants if I were Jackson. Then again, after Jackson's offseason, I'm not sure if he's aware that he even has an image to maintain. Here's the truth of the matter: he's looked bad in some practices, he's looked good in others, if he's starting on opening day, it's a nod to his draft status rather than him actually having earned it. And I won't expect it to last long.
6) Sublist for the sake of discussion: Battle Red Blog memes that I'd like to gracefully die off:
- Bleach (funny on occasion, does not need to be used every other post)
- TE jokes (it's a neat observation about a tendency, just like the Colorado State jokes, but it's more of an observation than something that is really funny)
- The media never pays attention to the Texans!!! (You know why? Because the Texans have never won anything! EVER. The teams that tend to get a lot of media attention -- yes, most of them are in big markets -- are consistent winners. When Houston consistently wins, they will get the attention.)
- HOLY CRAP THAT GIRL IS HOT!!! (When it's mentioned, like say in MDC's last mailbag -- fine. Just bringing it up out of nowhere? Fratty.)
- Mike Kerns <3's Ben Tate (showing it's age)
NOTE RE: OMG THE TITLE IS WRONG U R A WRITER?!?!? (See)