One of the recurring criticisms this season of the Texans has centered on Houston's nearly constant refusal (my crude estimation pins it at 98.3% of all snaps) to even think about, maybe, possibly, one day utilizing the blitz. Indeed, the last several postgame breakdowns here at BRB have devoted at least some space to lamenting Richard Smith's apparent deep-seated philosophical aversion to sending anyone other than his four (4) down linemen after the quarterback. See, for example, my whining here, here, here, here, here, and/or here; MDC also has voiced his concerns on the topic over at DGDB&D here and here.
Given my track record, it's hard for me to fathom what I'm about to type. Here goes: Richard Smith's absurdly conservative base defense may be just what the doctor ordered on Sunday at Tennessee. Ugh. I felt dirty typing that. Yet I stand by it.
Vince Young is at his best in chaos, when he has a chance to make a play with his legs, be it scrambling out of the pocket for positive yardage or within the confines of the pocket to buy his receivers extra time to get open downfield. As such, I honestly think that keeping six or seven in coverage for the vast majority of VY's snaps is probably the best way to limit him on Sunday. Now, if Kerry Collins was back there, I'd pray that Smith would release the hounds every snap (which, unfortunately, Smith refused to do when the Collins-led Titans came to Houston in late October). I'm interested in hearing what everyone else thinks about this topic, but I think blitzing Vince Young with any regularity cedes the advantage to him. I'm not saying, of course, that the Texans should totally refrain from blitzing VY; just that if there was ever a time to embrace Richard Smith's idiosyncracies, I think this week is it.
Update [2007-11-28 20:50:53 by Tim]:: Hmmmmm...mere hours after this post went up, it seems like John McClain has fervently taken up the pro-Richard Smith/anti-blitz banner in today's Chronicle. I'd express admiration for McClain standing up in the face of adversity, except for the fact I think his arguments are the equivalent of hocking loogies in the face of logic. MDC does a tremendous job dissecting McClain's defense of Smith here, so I'm not going to waste anyone's time reiterating MDC's cogent, scathing, and most importantly, accurate indictment of McClain's defense of Richard Smith. This could get ugly.