September 3, 2012

Thoughts On Game 4 And The Cutdown To 53


The fourth pre-season game sucked. No starters. No meaning. And no improvement from those sh*tty replacement refs.

That being said...here's what I took out of the game and the subsequent roster cuts.


Welcome to the NFL Trindon Holliday

4 games. 3 touchdowns, including the punt return for 6 against Minnesota. If you want to make a team solely as a returner, that's how you do it.

But how consistent can this guy be? Sure he had some nice returns, but he had a fumble and a muffed punt against the Saints - dropped a kickoff against the Vikings.

Changing the field with a nice return: good. Turnovers: bad. Obviously. We'll see how the little guy does.

John Beck: Maybe better than TJ Yates

Let's be honest. TJ Yates REALLY struggled this pre-season. In fact...he regressed. I was annoyed that the Texans didn't draft a QB back in April. Why? Because I wasn't sold that Yates can really be an effective backup. Through four pre-season games, it appears I was right. He lost confidence. He became indecisive. These are things you expect from a rookie, but a guy with a post-season win under his belt should make serious growth in year 2.

I'm not a John Beck fan (I HATE his throwing motion), but he looked good against the Minnesota backups (which isn't really saying a whole lot). Yates has been here a year and knows the system. But Beck is coming off a year with four starts in Mike Shanahan's offense, which is as close to Kubiak's as you'll find in the league. The disparity between the two isn't that big.

Why did Troy Nolan get cut?

Just a strange move. Nolan wasn't a world beater, but he was quality depth at safety, especially last season when Danieal Manning went down. The Texans reportedly were trying to trade him before they sent him to the curb. Were they trying to save money? They had already re-negotiated his deal in May, reducing his base salary from $1.308M to $540K (with a $110K signing bonus), and would have only counted $664.565K against cap this season. Bizarre.

And how did Alan Ball or Shiloh Keo make it?

Inexcusable. Alan Ball is completely inept in man coverage. I don't care how well he tackles. Nor do I give a sh*t that he's familiar with Wade's system from his Dallas days. The guy just isn't good. Sherrick McManis - who the Texans traded to Chicago for fullback Tyler Clutts - played better at corner, and has more value with what he can do on special teams.

Speaking of special teams, that's the only reason you can justify keeping Keo on the roster. God forbid the Texans suffer a couple of injuries at safety, because this guy can't play defense. Quentin Demps is a solid backup. So was Troy Nolan. Keo? Nope.

Good for Jonathan Grimes and Eddie Pleasant

Grimes was an unexpected surprise this pre-season, both as a running back and receiver out of the backfield. Jonathan Forsett went beast mode against Minnesota, so he had no real shot of making the roster. But we all know that running backs can go down at the drop of a dime.

Meanwhile, Eddie Pleasant kicked ass against the Vikings, downing a punt inside the 10 and making a great play for an interception. Unfortunate that the Texans couldn't stash 'em on the roster, but both were great additions for the practice squad.

Ryan Harris Signing

I've been whining about the offensive line for months now. That sure as shit ain't gonna stop anytime soon with Rashad Butler out for the year.

You're replacing 40% of your line, with Antoine Caldwell and Derek Newton the new starts on the right side. And outside of Brandon Brooks, none of their backups seem to have a fucking clue out there. You're a cataclysmic injury away from the apocalypse.

Ryan Harris is your new swing tackle (signed Sunday). He played with Mike Shanahan back in the day, so he's familiar with the Texans offense. But this guy has been dealing with back issues for a while, and didn't even play last year. Can this guy be counted on if Duane Brown or Derek Newton gets hurt? Doubtful.

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