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Alex Gibbs Is Gonna Make A Big Difference

Someone else did the legwork for me:

"I looked some stuff up and came up with the following observation.  In 1984, Dan Reeves hired an unknown assistant coach named Alex Gibbs.  Gibbs was the O-Line coach to save John Elway.  Gibbs inserted a new blocking scheme called "zone blocking."  The returns were immediately impressive for the new coach.  In Denver's first game of 1984, they ran for 121 yards on 30 carries.  Not great shakes, but Denver beat the Bungles, so all was good.  Game two was against the formidable Shitcago Bear D (that would set records the next year), and they held Denver to 53 yards on 22 carries.  Game three was again pedestrian--26 carries for 136 yards.  But Denver won again.  Finally in games four and five the O-Line got it, and Denver ran for over 200 yards each game.  236 in Game five was telling.  It took awhile, but the zone blocking scheme took hold and Denver rolled to an 11-5 record.

Fast forward to 2004, Atlanta.  Jim Mora Jr. is hired as HC and his first hire is Alex Gibbs.  Gibbs arrives in Atlanta and brings a young assistant named Jeff Jagodzinski.  Gibbs' job is to revive a dormant Falcon team and bring life to its running game to take pressure off prize rookie Mike Vick.

The first game of that season, a mediocre SanFran team held Atlanta to 95 yards on 28 carries. Atlanta won the game and was praised for "sticking to the run."  Atlanta won their second game and ran the ball much better.  By the third game, Atlanta smoked an overmatched Arizona for 194 yards rushing on 30 carries, a 6.5 yard per carry average.  Game four was more of the same, albeit a little less gouging, as Atlanta ran for 165 yards on 40 carries,averaging 4.1 yards per carry.  This is what Alex Gibbs is all about. 4.1 yards per carry yields a first down every time.  Move the chains with the running game in the NFL and you win."

This past season, your Houston Texans ranked 22nd in the league in rushing yards per game (99.1) and 22nd in yards per carry (3.8).  Perhaps I'm going out on a limb here, but I feel confident predicting that those numbers are going to improve dramatically now that Gibbs is in town, regardless of who gets the carries at RB.