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Preseason Game#3 Thread: Houston Texans vs Los Angeles Rams

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Game 3 of preseason which means "dress rehearsal" for the starters.  Interesting in seeing which starters actually play.  Doubt we see ALOT of Watson but we need to see ALOT of the starting OL.

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Offensive Battles I'll be watching for:

  • Webb vs. 6th WR/4th RB/FB/10th OL - personally I think it is insane that a team that has started over a dozen different QBs in the O'Brien era including pulling TJ Yates off the couch twice would even think about keeping only 2 active QBs and no legit practice squad project.  Hoping Webb continues to build on two strong performances and maybe takes some special teams / WR snaps.
  • Pope/Swanson/Ervin vs. Blue - please, please, please give Swanson the stinking ball on 1st/2nd and rotate Pope/Ervin on 3rd/passing downs. What else could we possibly learn from watching Blue run up lineman backsides for 2.5ypc that hasn't been clear the past 4 seasons?
  • Sammie Coates - DO NOT PLAY!  What the f is wrong with this franchise where we are even thinking about playing a guy a week out from a concussion in a pre-season game?  Fido had no business playing week 1 last year after a camp concussion and it cost him most of his season, then his career. I don't care if he's fighting for a roster spot, the massively increased risk and consequence for a 2nd concussion this close means you are either risking the season of a player who could be a contributor for this team or you are risking paying a player you don't want or could trade to a season on the IR.
  • Jordan Thomas/Stephen Anderson - pretty sure this battle is already over, but it would be nice to see Thomas actually make some plays and earn it.  Anderson has overcome his lack of size the past two seasons by standing out in camps and making plays in the preseason but losing Fido/Griffin showed the risk of having a guy who really can't do a critical part of the job (blocking) when forced into full-time action. 
  • O-Line - I think 8 are pretty well set with the starting 5 and Rankin, Mancz, Fuller. Kelemete is getting the LG job based on experience and contract, but Fuller has been a stand-out especially in the run game and presents the most upside amongst the interior guys. Rod Johnson has outplayed Lamm to my eye, but this staff seems to have a massive blind spot when it comes to Lamm and Rankin has months of catching up to do so we gotta have a swing tackle that's ready day 1.  Slade has surprised me and his ability to kick outside in a pinch helps his case over Quess who can really only play G, but either will be a tough cut to make.  Can't say that I've seen enough out of Gentry,  Coyle, or Jones-Smith to even care about developing them on the PS. 
  • FB - Prosch vs. the field.  I could make an argument for keeping one more player than last year at every offensive position vs. the value Prosch has brought in 4 seasons. #3QB, #4RB, #6 WR, #4 TE, #10 OL.  Hell, for me, Punter Trevor Daniel is a tougher cut as he reminds me of Brett Hartmann before the Reliant turf monster ate him, and while I know cutting Lechler ain't happening, part of me hopes we can to IR/redshirt him like we did with Fairbairn.      

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Posted (edited)

Defensive battles I'll b watching for:

DLine - This unit has been stout even without Justin James. There is going to be a tough cut to make here and I think Angelo Blackson has played his way into bumping Heath or Dunn off. Would be nice to see some evidence that Watkins is any good as I think we've let him coast on his "mini Reader" rep without much evidence.  Even some of the long shots like Kilgo and Hardison have flashed talent.

LBs - So many LBs, so few spots.  My guy Kalambayi needs to make some plays or he's in danger of being exposed to PS.  Gilchrist and Lewis both have played like reliable vets and Bellamy and Keyes have made big plays. Kamalu is in the mix again, too. Not sure why Peters and Scarlett seem to be treated as if their spots were sacred, cuz I'm not seeing it.

CB - Come on Bryce Jones and Jermaine Kelly.  You're at the top of the list simply because not playing means you haven't looked foolish yet, unlike Chachere, Virgin, and Bademosi.  Would be great to see Colvin actually look like a starting caliber corner and confirm Joseph hasn't lost another half-step.  Can we please add "man coverage skill" to our list of requirements for our corners that always seem to be better qualified as box safeties.

S - I think we finally get to see Matheiu who pretty much has to be the second coming of Ronnie Lott to compensate for another fundamentally flawed set of corners.  Hoping Reid improves as much from 2-3 as he did 1-2 as Kareem continues to play like a starting job in this secondary is his birthright. Kurtis Drummond has been a bright spot and am hoping he continues pushing Moore closer to the bubble and Decoud off it.

K - Fairbairn needs to heal fast as Nick Rose is a nightmare.  This is a guy who famously choked away UTs comeback in the Cal game on an XP and introduced "coffin corner field goal attempt" into the lexicon after one of the worst missed kicks ever for the Chargers last year. We're not seeing anything the 6 other teams that cut him in the past two years haven't.  Big leg, bigger headcase.

Edited by Apollo Stallion

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I was hoping to see Keke Coutee today but based on what I heard on the radio it doesnt seem like he wont be playing.  Fuller has a hamstring injury and wont play either. 

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Why even play the starters if you are going to sit them that quick regardless of how poor they play. 

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I dont like Watson being out the game this early.  You might as well should have not played him if thats the case.  He didnt look good.

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Q1 -

Kendall Lamm starts with Henderson out - ugh this guy is our swing tackle.  Hope Henderson is ok and his absence isn't Crohns related. Holding penalty #1.

Prosch sighting on first running play - Miller runs right with Prosch blocking left and not even throwing a block

Sammy Coates playing week after concussion including as gunner - pathetic

Kareem Jackson beaten badly 2 of 3 first plays but bailed out by Mannion's awful accuracy. Good play on int, tho.

Covington has really stood out this offseason and remains underrated because he doesn't get sacks.

Braxton Miller frustrating Watson again

Ill Advised pass by Watson - about the only thing that worries me about him is that he got away with a few too many ugly passes like this last  year

Davenport with ridiculous hold on 3rd and long.

Trevor Daniel needs to be our Punter!  Use the head, not heart.

Some great blocking by Ryan Griffin so far.

Blue with a 3 yard run that didn't suck. And right back to 2 yards into lineman butts. Well - there he goes with his annual big run that keeps him on the roster.  Credit due- that was pretty.

Jeez, add Ben Heeney to the LB's who have flashed this PS

Shocker, Vrigin beat for a 3rd down conversion.

Chachere has looked less awful the past 2 wks - but just got beat bad for TD

Man it's gotta be hard to call fair catches and not bring out deep kickoffs when you know you need to break a return to make the team. (Ervin).

On cue, Pope with another big return to cement his lead on Ervin.  Dude has done everything asked of him. 

Coates is the Hopkins of drawing PIs

Weeden making Webb look accurate so far.

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Q2

I swear Nick Rose choking easy kicks is as predictable as Lucy pulling the ball on Charlie.  I swear I can hear him scream "aaarrrggggghhhh."  Has a kicker ever just completely missed the ball on a kick attempt, cuz the way the ball comes off his foot, he's got to be coming close to a swinging strike. 

Can we please actually get a returnable punt this preseason

Kendall Lamm penalty #2 - on a screen pass

Dang Dummond has looked good this ps

Ick - my guy Kalambaya just got manhandled

Heath/Dunn/Watson all answering my pre-game challenge, but Blackson holding up his end,

Badesmosi keeps making arm tackles - not even the usual bad form where you fail to square up and drive with legs, this guy literally keeps trying to drag guys down BY THEIR ARMS.  It is a really tough call on which of Virgin, Chachere or Bademosi is most maddening. Kelly and Jones, you're up.

Whelp - this is the o-line we know and hate.  Didn't see who gave up the sack, but the penalties have been atrocious.  

Jeez - Coates is a PI creating machine.  Nice to see him actually catch one for some yards, but this dude is sloppy.   Pls sit him down the 2nd half and avoid the IR concussion to come.

Braxton keeps doing just enough to make cutting him hard, especially since Coutee is still in the tub. 

I will continue to downvote the Watson towel headband look.

 

 

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This game reminds me of how terrible BOB is at getting our guys ready to play. We play much better when he just lets guys go. The more and more he puts in his system or his way of doing things the worse we get. 

A 3-13 season that sees Watson stay healthy and lands us a top 3 pick and a new coach wouldn’t be the worst thing. 

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Q3

This Keyes guy does a pretty good Cunningham impersonation in coverage.  Don't think he's making the team, but hope he latches on somewhere.

Virgin keeps getting beat, but at least it's by a step or two.  Chachere can't stay within 4 yards in man coverage. 

QB reads vs. Texans - look for dreds and throw to whoever they are covering.    Welp - add run towards them with Virgin adding a hands to the face penalty.

Bryce Jones - new #3 CB.

Told ya Hardison has been looking good!  Wish more of the guys with PS eligibility were making plays as guys like Hardison, Keyes, Kilgo, Kamalu, Heeney are in roster no man's land.

 

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Posted (edited)

Q4

Like seeing Rankin getting time at G which is where he belongs long-term

This Weah guy needs to bulk up a bit more and go for a Ricky Seals-Jones type role

Swanson and Thomas struck me as standouts in camp, but they have barely seen the field in PS

Classic Bob playcall - when has throwing 5 yards short of the goalline/first yard marker ever led to a td/conversion for this team?

I wonder how long BOb would have to grow his beard to cover up the buttchin. Would probably make it worse/borderline obscene the first few weeks, but ultimately make him so much easier to look at.

Feed cut out for the Webb/Smith 43 yarder. So bored, I'm contemplating BObs grooming and they miss the 1 friggin play that happens in 2.5 hours.  Last week it was play-by-play guy missing the call and arguing against it being TD, this week they just throw up yellow screen. ABC rules.

I like going for 2 there - couldn't even tell what the playcall was, but that page needs to get ripped out of the playbook.  Entire right side got free run at QB with LT blocking in and TE not even chipping and Rod Johnson whiffed completely on the left.

Still no Jermaine Kelly sightings.  Think I saw Decoud get a snap or two.   

O'Brien in midseason 2 minute drill form, not getting play in/off before the free timeout at 2 minute warning.

Calling it now, Rose can nail the long field goals (timestamp 6:08). aaaarrggh - best kick of the night.  Dude has a good driver, but can't hit a chip shot to save his life. 

2nd game in a row with Kevin Cooper botching final call - "he's got it...", next words, "thanks for watching..."

Ugh - it's preseason, but we're trending the wrong direction with game 1 being the high point.  Secondary has been consistently bad, but concerns about oline and backup QB play have certainly resurfaced.  Run game was better than last week, but really just because of the 36 yarder.    Front 7 is a clear strength both at top and depth. Special teams looks improved. 

Silver lining - don't recall ANY injuries and next week should be treated like a bye week.  This new strength and conditioning guy (Luke Richesson) may be the MVP of the offseason so far!

Edited by Apollo Stallion

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