1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

[My Theory] The stagnant offense, and its cause

Discussion in 'Houston Texans' started by Two Sandwiches, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. Two Sandwiches

    Two Sandwiches Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    22,561
    Likes Received:
    14,116
    Here's my theory on why the offense has gone stagnant. Cliff's notes version: Kubiak doesn't trust the youngsters on the right side of the line.

    *This, being as it's my "theory", I don't have a lot of statistical information to support it, other than what I've observed watching the games.

    Basically, it seems like Foster has been held out of the passing game (something we all know). I think part of this reasoning is because Kubiak usually feels he needs some extra pass protection for Schaub, because of the right side of the line. In order to have this extra pass protection, Kubiak is either forced to keep Foster, Casey, or one of the tight ends to pass blocking. This takes away some of our biggest mismatches - Foster, Casey, Daniels, and Graham being able to be sent together, in any combination, on pass routes. In this ideal situation, a defense basically has to pick their poison. When you're in a zone, and you have two or three receivers, a running back, and a tight end (or converted fullback) running routes at you, someone is going to end up in a linebacker or safety's zone, and Schaub will be able to exploit that mismatch. In man coverage, this will be even more of a mismatch. With the extra pass protection, we have now lost this edge, as safeties are not forced to move up as much to cover that extra non-receiver. Linebackers can now play mirror protection and/or rush the quarterback, and it's a cycle that basically ends with teams feeling more comfortable sending an extra rusher.

    Now that Foster has been taken mostly out of the passing game, he's not as effective in the rushing game. Part of that is because of worse o-line play than last year. Part of that, in my opinion, is because of his loss in effectiveness in the passing game. This cycle runs hand-in-hand with why the playaction game is not working as well.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I think the key here is James Casey. I think his athleticism allows you an extra dimension that most teams do not have. I think getting Casey and Foster in open space on short routes at the same time is key. Something like an angle route for Foster and have Casey run an out towards the sideline area where the receivers, running downfield, have vacated. This forces a safety to step up on one of them, and a mismatch with a linebacker. Also, it allowes one on one coverage over the top with Andre. It seems like the last few games when we've been struggling, teams are double and sometimes triple-covering Andre over the top.

    I also think an underrated loss that has hurt Foster has been Vonta Leach. His ability to lead block and pave the way for Foster would allow Foster to gain enough steam on some plays that he was hard to bring down. Don't get me wrong, Casey has not been bad with his blocking, but he's nowhere near what Leach was. Also, Leach afforded you a great extra pass blocker, without the loss of a receiving target. When he did slip out on a pass pattern, he was very effective. I'll go as far to say that I think Kubiak knew how to utilize a classic fullback, but he's struggled to create and utilize this hybrid that he's created in James Casey.

    With that said, I hope that James Casey remains a Texan.

    How do we fix this? I don't know. I think time and maturity are the biggest factors. Ben Jones has been coming along. I think we need a new right tackle. I don't think anyone has separated themselves in that situation the way that Kubiak and Smith thought they would, and now we're pretty much stuck laying in the bed that we've made.
     
    #1 Two Sandwiches, Dec 31, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  2. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2000
    Messages:
    25,266
    Likes Received:
    12,973
    He doesn't trust the right side of the o-line because they suck.. He shouldn't trust them. While it'd be nice to have the aspect of the offense your talking about back, Kubiak has to scheme the way he does at times.

    What I don't understand, though, is why they'll try run plays right at the weak part of our line on 3rd and relatively short, when he has in no way set up the defense for that play. It's ok to run right, or even do screen right, but he needs to set it up better. If you're going to get blown up on the right side of the line, you scheme away from it and to counter it. You see very few screens to the right of the type where the offense knows its going to get blown up on that side anyway, and kind of let it happen, to set up the screen.

    Heck, we don't even see that many wide receiver screens anymore. This used to be a play Kubiak called frustratingly way way too often. Now not often enough.

    Outside of scripted downs (first drives of halves), he seems to fall into favorite plays, regardless of situation. This year the favorite play is the draw for some reason.

    To his credit, 12-4 IS a great record, and for the most part things were working till the last month. But as we know, it was fool's gold.
     
  3. HTown_TMac

    HTown_TMac Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    4,530
    Likes Received:
    1,518
    We just need to open up our playbook.
     
  4. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1999
    Messages:
    61,417
    Likes Received:
    28,911
    This team has not been good the last 8 games really

    in those games we are 5-3
    Of those 5 . . . 2 where overtime victories that we had to come from behind
    against inferior teams

    Rocket River
     
  5. Summer Song Giver

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2000
    Messages:
    6,334
    Likes Received:
    197
    I too believe the right side of the line is the root cause of the offensive woes but it is not the only problem. This head caoch continually makes very stupid mistakes / in game decisions.

    The challenge yesterday for 12 men on the field, very stupid. In fact I would rate Kubiak's challenges at 70-80% stupid. Another bone headed play call, the QB sneak at 3rd and 2, that was absolutely atrocios play call. The timoeout called to decide whether to kick the 50+ yard field goal completely stupid, in fact Kubiak's use of timeouts are generally horrible.

    Bottom line, the o-line has taken a major step back with the release of Winston and Briesel BUT this team continually has to overcome the boneheaded decisions and play calls of it's coach. I watch A LOT of football (fantasy player) and I do not see these types of mistakes anywhere else where the team was talking playoffs / superbowl all year. Only in places like Jacksonville and Arizona do you see this type of stupidity.

    On James Casey, I truly believe he has the talent to be every bit as good a pass cathcing TE as Owen Daniels if not better; he should be in the rotation at TE, if you want to line him up in the back field occasionally fine but asking him to be primarily a run blocker is stupid, if I'm James Casey I'm out after this season.

    I am fed up with this team, I do not believe in Kubiak or Schaub or Foster or Wade Phillips or Bob Mcnair either at this point, there has to be repricussions for this type of collapse late in the season, you can not roll this same group out next season and say, we were so close because only a fool would do that.
     
  6. RV6

    RV6 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    25,522
    Likes Received:
    1,109
    So, basically, it's Matt Shaub.
     
  7. macalu

    macalu Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    16,761
    Likes Received:
    635
    the playbook isn't the problem, it's the execution. when the pocket is collapsing, when Foster is getting stuffed 5 yards in the back field, when Schaub is underthrowing wide open recievers, when the ST is letting the returner catwalk his way to the endzone, when the defense can't stop a 3rd and 23...that's a lack of execution.

    now when they did a QB sneak on a 3rd and 2, that was Gary Kubiak. he doesn't even allow Schaub to sneak on a 4th and inches but i have no idea wtf was that.
     
  8. famicom

    famicom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,185
    Likes Received:
    50
    So letting Winston go, comes back and bites them in the ass this season?
     
  9. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1999
    Messages:
    61,417
    Likes Received:
    28,911
    The issue I have with the losses is . .. AGAIN Kubiak overestimated his ability

    Reminds me when he came in . . he said he could turn David Carr around.
    Then he said he could work around losing 2/5ths of the line

    Rocket River
     
  10. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    46,550
    Likes Received:
    6,131
    I know everyone hates Jacoby, but we don't have a deep threat anymore outside of Andre. It's Jacoby, not Casey, that provides that extra x-factor.

    We've tried Lestar, Keyshawn, and now Posey, and none of them can stretch the field and take some pressure off Andre like Jacoby did. He averaged 16.5 pards per catch for us last year.

    Our offense is vintage 2006 right now. Force feed Andre, then kick a field goal.

    I wish we could have kept Jacoby as a 3rd receiver and taken him off punt return duty.

    Plus, our right side of the line is weak. The loss of Winston is hurting.
     
  11. utgrad97

    utgrad97 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,109
    Likes Received:
    714
    Kubiak is too stupid to try something different to break his own tendencies.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. today

    today Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 1999
    Messages:
    2,123
    Likes Received:
    1,051
    Agreed, I think a new RT will have a positive domino effect on all portions of our offense. The main portion being our running game.
     
  13. Scarface281

    Scarface281 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    8,427
    Likes Received:
    3,020
    Or maybe Schaub just doesn't have the arm. Jean was open yesterday for example. He had a good step and a half on the defender + safety that gambled wrong on the play. Schaub just can't get it over the top.
     
  14. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    46,550
    Likes Received:
    6,131
    But it wasn't an issue in previous years. Schaub had good deep ball stats.
     
  15. ROXRAN

    ROXRAN Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2000
    Messages:
    17,978
    Likes Received:
    4,297
    We need to try new things, for example the Titans would employ a triangle back set with Chris Johnson in which he would be in the middle part of the backfield, with 2 blockers on each side. The blockers would attack either side or one side. There seemed to be good success when everyone knew they would use the run. Just to change up some things or just little things is needed.
     
  16. macalu

    macalu Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    16,761
    Likes Received:
    635
    how about Wade stop sending 6 rushers all the time. maybe when they know you're always blitzing it's easier to defend. one on one coverage has been a recipe for disaster lately.
     
  17. emjohn

    emjohn Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Messages:
    12,132
    Likes Received:
    567
    The right side of the line has definitely been an issue all year. Newton and Jones have gotten better, but Newton has looked a sluggish since his knee injury. He's been a step late in pass protection and in blocks where he pulls (Andre's failed screen Sunday as one example - Newton was WAY late and his man creamed AJ).

    Kubiak found late last season and early this season that ball control and time of possession to be a winning formula. Unfortunately, it feels as if he's become so immersed in that mentality that he can't adjust when we fall behind early. I had hoped that the Jags and Lions shootouts would have shaken that off, but our ability to score the last 4 games has been harrowing. This was the coach that used to be prone to go for it on 4th down or use the boot or quick TE patterns - now he's resigned to punts before 3rd down and trying to come from behind relying on FGs.

    They made a move to address the WR corps but it may have been a year late. Jean's knee surgery hampered his season, Martin's raw, and Posey's showing promise. But even bigger than personnel, Kubiak has yet to implement or use much in the way of 3 wide vertical plays - sticking with the play action on 3rd and long.

    The other obvious issue is that Matt Schaub has looked flustered ever since New England. Every time the camera pans to him, all you see is frustration and exasperation...if not resignation. I don't think he has much confidence at all right now, and that's scary as we prepare for his first taste of postseason action.

    It's tough - we are far too good to be in anything but win now mode...but some of our more worrisome issues can only be dealt with by losing a year or two rebuilding at key positions. There's a reason teams like the Ravens are so slow to dump liabilities like Flacco.

    It's been commonplace for several years for Schaub to underthrow deep balls and force the deep receiver to stop and wait for the ball to get there, or for crossing pattern receivers to catch the ball behind them or at their knee. He's had good deep ball stats because the man was so incredibly wide open when the ball was thrown. But anyone watching, especially those of us in the stadium, saw an upsetting number of no contest TDs not happen because DBs were given time to catch up.

    Schaub is a good decision maker, but his ball placement is, and has been, lacking.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2000
    Messages:
    25,266
    Likes Received:
    12,973
    But it's not impossible to have a great offense with just one deep threat. Kubiak/Smith let Jacoby go. It was their job to either replace him with whatever they wanted, or to scheme appropriately with the new receivers.

    To deflect blame from them on that issue somewhat, the problem is so clearly the right side of the O-line. Arian is worse on the whole but especially to the right, and isn't catching as many passes, all of which trickles through to impact play action, screens, etc. With more time in the pocket, plays develop better. So you can have 1 guy going deep, one guy underneath, the TE up the middle and the safety valve in Arian.

    Then Kubiak hasn't schemed around this issue.
     
  19. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    46,550
    Likes Received:
    6,131
    Yes that's true, but his deep ball numbers will still much better in the past.
     
  20. solid

    solid Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2001
    Messages:
    19,921
    Likes Received:
    6,969
    I have watched this all my life; the leadership problem. Translation: the wrong leaders in the wrong positions at the wrong time in the wrong situations result in disaster. I have seen it in government (where there is an endless host of examples), in education, in churches, in business, and in sports. Not that "nice guys" can't motivate, some can. There is no single stereotype because leadership is based on both universal principles and situational factors.

    As most fans know, but the Texans brain trust doesn't know is that Kubiak and Schaub are both very talented people but lack the leadership qualities to produce at a high level in the positions that they currently occupy. Frankly, they are bland, inflexible, and uncreative. There is no fire. The team takes on the temperament of the leadership. McNair should know this, he should see this, but he doesn't.
     

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now