The 2009 NFL draft is complete and the majority of the mock drafts have been proven to be wrong (mine wasn’t close) and even the “great” Mel Kiper was wrong on most picks. It is nearly impossible to be 100% right with the brilliance of Al Davis destroying the validity of any draft by taking a player 30 of the other 31 teams had as an undrafted free agent. I believe Al Davis could draft a fantasy team and not win a single game. With that said; the speculation begins for NFL fans everywhere. Some have hopes and dreams of playoff runs (see Texans, Seattle and Green Bay) while others are hoping for a single win to show improvement over last season (See Detroit). A single player seemed to be the identity of this draft. Let’s discuss the impact this player could have had on The Texans and what affect we can expect him to have on the Lions.
Commissioner: “We have a trade. The Texans trade their entire draft to Detroit and with the first pick in the 2009 draft the Texans select; Matt Stafford, quarterback, Georgia!” We could have heard a similar call a few years ago but replace Stafford’s name with that of Vince Young. Anyone still upset about that…….? I didn’t think so. For argument sake; we look at the affect a Matt Stafford could have on the Houston Texans. You could see the “Matt Ryan/Joe Flacco phenomenon occur and why not? All the pieces are in place right? Well not quite. The Falcons and Ravens had enough defense (especially the Ravens) to stop teams. Without a solid defensive focused draft in 2009 the Texans could improve their offense all they wanted and still not have a good chance at the playoffs in 2009-10. They would be better offensively, I don’t doubt that. But a quarterback, I don’t care how good, won’t get you to the playoffs if you can’t stop the other team from scoring.
Now, what should we expect the affect to be on the Lions? Not good, not good at all unless he sits and watches. What must they have been thinking with the 20th pick when they sent the card in with Brandon Pettigrew’s name on it?? Michael Oher was right there and could have become the building block for the Lions new offensive line. I agree Pettigrew can block but that’s not what you draft a tight end for….is it? The Lions seemed to conjure up the spirit of Al Davis and Matt Milan combined for this draft. They filled a hole at quarterback (see 2008-09 Raiders draft) but then didn’t put anything around him. Is it possible we could see back to back 0-16 seasons??? YES IT IS!!!! I could not feel worse for any player than I feel for Matthew Stafford. He is a good quarterback that; like David Carr, may never realize his true potential. If the Lions do things the smart way; and we have no reason to believe that they will, Culpepper will start. If Stafford is paid his enormous contract to sit on the sideline for the next season or two and learn the NFL while the Lions figure out what offensive linemen are used for he has a chance of actually turning that franchise around in, oh, let’s say….2011. But it won’t happen this year.
Gary Kubiak: A man under fire
Gary Kubiak may be the proverbial “Long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs” when it comes to this season. It is not unrealistic to believe Kubiak’s career is dependent upon the Texans have a winning season in 2009-10. Barring an injury plagued season; if they cannot muster at a minimum a 9-7 season, Kubiak could easily be out as Texans head coach. And make no mistake about it; it must be key players out for extended periods of time. We have yet to see the “make or break” season but we are quickly approaching that very scenario starting August 15th in Kansas City.
Out of the Gate
If the Texans stumble out of the gate much like they like to do, the pressure to win may be too much for this team and this head coach. We are about to find a lot out about Kubiak and his mental makeup. Will a 2-3 start change the way he handles this team. I believe it will be. If the Texans falter early I believe we will see a level of near insanity in play calling seeking to create a winning formula. Pressure can be a good thing but not in the NFL. If players and coaches aren’t loose, “Rosen-copter” happens.
If bad things happen..…..what then??
Texan fan does not want to hear rebuild, restart or recreate when it comes to this football team. There is no reason to believe that that will happen either. If Kubiak cannot lead this team to a winning season; we’re not even going to talk about playoffs yet, changes may be in order.
Should we expect this? No, not yet.
What could be the fate of the Texans? We could see a major change in 2010. It is not beyond Bob McNair to go out and give a blank check to the best available.
Who could that be? There is no reason to no believe we could see Mike Holmgren or Bill Cowher.
But don’t jump out of a window or throw a party yet. Gary Kubiak is a good coach with a very talented team. But is he the right coach for this talented team. Jim Mora had Peyton Manning and a talented Cots team but it took Tony Dungy for the Colts to become winners.
Two rounds of the Draft are complete and this year the Texan’s defense got a boost. Houston Texans took a first round pick of OLB Brian Cushing. Cushing is a strong and very versitile athlete, he will bring a hard working attitude to the locker room that will hopefully flood throughout the team. Kubiak stated after their selection that Cushing carries that blue collar mentality and is all business, he felt that is what seperated him from the rest of his competition during this draft. This all business attitude is what is needed with this team to get this team down to business.
Houston Texan’s 2nd round pick came at number 46, picking DE Connor Barwin. Barwin is an extremely atheletic and will give the Texans defense some depth at the DE position. He will give the Texans an opportunity to move around the front line of the defense and give opponents some new looks at a defensive front. Barwin will find his place moving around on both sides of the defensive line and will have an opportunity to really learn the position from one of the Texan greats, Mario Williams.
So far the Texans have made some really positive moves defensively for this team, and with the next 2 rounds to come it will be nice to see what direction this team decides to go. The Texans can still use a back up RB and can’t go wrong bringing in another offensive lineman.
Here we go. Here’s the 2009 NFL mock draft the Vidler way. Pick at it, beat it up, call me stupid but this is what I would do if I had one of the top 15 picks in this year’s draft and why:
1. Detroit – Jason Smith – OT (Baylor) No, this is not a sexy pick. No, it’s not a high risk, high reward pick either. I believe this to be the safe pick. When you have as many holes as the Lions have you have to start somewhere and I believe the lines, or the foundation of your team has to come first. Smith has the potential of being a stud and will give the much needed protection for Culpepper in 2008 that no other Lions QB received in 2008. He should be a great building block for the Lions going forward.
2. St. Louis – Michael Oher – OT (Mississippi) I know, I know…why too high. I don’t believe that for a second. This guy is highly underrated. Very good run blocker and is a wall in the passing game. The Rams need front line help and have ever since the departure of Orlando Pace.
3. Kansas City –Aaron Curry – LB (Wake Forest) I thought about Orakpo here; and it could still happen. But it looks like the Chiefs are going to the 3-4 so it didn’t make sense. Curry looks like the best Linebacker in the draft to me so you better have the best with QB pressure needed from your LB’s.
4. Seattle – Michael Crabtree – WR (Texas Tech) Because of injuries you could see Eugene Monroe here but they need Crabtree. Their receiving corps has been very average and they need a playmaker. Crabtree gives Hasselbeck a big fast target that, like Randy Moss, can go up and pull a pass out of the air and catches everything. This, in my opinion, will be the rookie of the year and obvious best pick of the draft. Coming from a Longhorns fan like myself, that’s saying a lot.
5. Cleveland – Brian Orakpo – DE/LB (Texas) You want QB pressure…you got it! Orakpo can play with his hand on the ground or not. He has speed and strength to rush from the outside or up the middle. Cleveland’s defensive front 7 gets a real boost with this pick and he will be a difference maker. I expect 5-7 sacks from the rookie in ’09.
6. Cincinnati – Eugene Monroe – OT (Virginia) Only because he’s a knucklehead; I thought about Andre Smith here because he fits the “team mold”. If Monroe goes earlier to Seattle you will probably see either Smith or a trade from the “Bungles”. Of all the teams in the top 10 this is the best area for a trade. Cincinnati gets Palmer back so the offense should improve. They could go defense here but the available secondary players would be a major reach. Basically they take Monroe or trade down and pick up a corner or safety and a pick or two.
7. Oakland – Jeremy Maclin – WR (Missouri) I’ve already heard it. Maclin’s 40 time wasn’t fast enough. He’s not big enough. The Raiders have bigger holes. No, it wasn’t fast enough. No, he’s not big enough, but did you actually see him play?? How many times do these guys get to run flat out off the line? Not often. This guy can go and get it and the Raiders need that kind of playmaker. They would love to have Crabtree here but I don’t see him getting past Seattle or Cleveland.
8. Jacksonville –Matthew Stafford – QB (Georgia) Can you here it? Can you here the Jacksonville faithful? “THANK YOU GOD!!!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!” Yes, I’m sorry but I believe Stafford could fall this far. If Detroit does the smart thing who else is desperate for a QB? Teams still remember Ryan Leaf, Vince Young and Matt Leinart (remember that free fall?) Stafford will be a very good QB but he’s not the answer in Detroit. BUT, he’s a great fit in Jacksonville. Could this guy be the next Matt Ryan??? Huuummmmm, interesting???
9. Green Bay – B.J. Raji – DT (Boston College) “D-Fence!!!……D-Fence!!!” Good call Green Bay. You have a productive offense now why don’t you try stopping someone. Let’s start with the run, shall we? I could have run on the Packers last year (5’6” 225 7.00 or so 40 and 42 years old mind you). Raji will be a great pick for them and will give them the run stopper they so desperately need. He can also occasionally get to the QB to add another dimension to his outstanding inside game.
10. San Francisco – Andre Smith – OT (Alabama) How the mighty have fallen. “Now boys and girls. This is what happens when you don’t eat your vegetables, drink your milk and you’re a knucklehead.” This guy should be #1 or #2 but looked horrible at the combine. I don’t doubt that somewhere inside this guy the stud still lurks and will be released if in the right situation. The 49’ers could be the right place for him. Mike Singletary is a no-nonsense guy who can pull the “player” out of Smith and make him the #1 he truly should be. I love this pick; I know what he’s done but I also know what he can do.
11. Buffalo – Everette Brown – DE (Florida St.) “Can TO turn it around in Buffalo? Can one of the Bills QB’s complete a pass? Can the Bills find a ground game? Will Trent Edwards be TO’s quarterback?” Tune in next week and find out what happens on……As The Stomach Turns” What happened to the once might Bills? The team that came back to beat my Oilers after being down 32 at the half (Get off the ledge Oiler fan…they’re gone…move on). Are they going to be bad again? No, but quite average. These are not your daddy’s Bills. They need help. Brown is a nice start. He can get the pressure on the QB and complement Aaron Schobel and help the secondary by not allowing the QB to “cook a meal” before throwing a pass. I like him a lot but he has to be more consistent in the NFL than he was in college.
12. Denver – Aaron Maybin – DE/LB (Penn St.) Denver has to fix their defense and with the extra first round pick they got from the Cutler trade they should be able to. Maybin can play LB or DE but in the 3-4 I believe he will be on the outside as a LB. The guy can cover a little and can run. So pressure on the QB will be there. Remember WAAAYYY back at pick 6 when I said you could see a trade. This could be their partner. Cincinnati gets the Bears picks, the Broncos get Matthew Stafford, The Jags get heartburn.
13. Washington – Malcolm Jenkins – CB (Ohio St.) Does anyone remember DeAngelo Hall? I thought you might. “Mr. Hall meet Mr. Jenkins…..but make it fast he’ll be on the other side of the field from you all year long and you won’t see him much.” This could create one of the best corner duos in the league. It’s already hard to run on the ‘skins with Albert Haynesworth in the middle now. Now if you can’t pass???? What do you do? We’ll post that question to Wade Phillips once he regains consciousness after this pick. Oh, and don’t forget about LaRon Landry at FS roaming around out there. Ladies and Gentlemen…your 2009-10 NFC East Champions…The Washington Redskins. Just thought I throw that out their
14. New Orleans – Vontae Davis – CB (Illinois) When you have an undrafted player starting (Randall Gay) at corner…you probably need an upgrade. Instant upgrade!! Jabari Greer is a nice player coming over from Buffalo but not the shut down corner they need. Davis can be that corner and should be. Greer didn’t get a lot of looks in ’08 so I hope he’s well rested in ’09 because teams are going to shy away from the left after a few games. Go ahead QB’s; test the rookie. You’ll look great burned.
15. Houston – Clay Matthews – LB (USC) I’ll stop talking now…..after this last pick. The Texans are in a must win situation in ’09. Well; I believe Gary Kubiak is at least. As their offense continues to improve, in spite of the “Rosen-copter” episode, the Texans must now look at their defense and admit…they are not very good over there. This draft for Texans fans may appear quite boring. But in reality it will determine the future success of this team. 3 of the 4 defensive line spots are in very good hands (see Travis Johnson as the “not” when it comes to good hands). At linebacker 1 of the 3 are in good hands (see DeMeco Ryans as the “good hands” person) Barring any contract foolishness; the Texans have three definite needs. D-Line, Linebacker and Secondary. Clay Matthews crosses off Linebacker. It’s true that he only had one really good season at USC. But he adds a ton to a team from pass rushing to run stopping to covering the underneath receiver….this is the man we need to fill that hole. Now, Texans fans, prepare for at least 2 of the next three picks to be defense. It’s ok……calm down…..the offense is fine……we have to stop people…….you’ll be ok.
Are you ready for the 2009 Draft?
Houston Texans fans are anxious to find out what direction the Texans are going to go this year. It’s been set pretty clear that the Texans are leaning in the direction of really putting this defensive front in place. Will the first pick of the Texans go for the Linebacker position?
We’re all in for a treat this year. It’s kind of nice that the Texans aren’t getting all the hype about the Draft like they have over the last few years. Maybe this will let the Texans slip in with some really good choices and changes to structure this team for a playoff bout.
Draft day can’t get here fast enough. Beer and Pizza anyone? Gonna be a long day!
Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans made the decision to come back to Houston and begin workouts with the team. He was quoted as saying that he missed his teammates and was looking forward to getting back into working out with them.
DeMeco Ryans had been working out in Arizona after firing his initial agent Kirk Wood and hiring Mario Williams agent, Ben Dogra. Ryans is expected to earn $1.39 million this year, unless contract agreements are reworked.
Expect to see Ryans back in full swing with his teammates on Monday. As a leader of this team, the Texans need him there to start rallying the troops and building the confidence they’re going to need this coming season to be successful.
The NFL schedule is out and it seems to be more favorable than the whirlwind the Texans played last year. Not only does it look like the teams they will face are not as good as last year, but they also have 3 of the first 4 at home! Now we wait for the Draft and we will be that much closer to the 2009 season!!!
|1||Sep 13||NYJ @ HOU|
|2||Sep 20||HOU @ TEN|
|3||Sep 27||JAC @ HOU|
|4||Oct 04||OAK @ HOU|
|5||Oct 11||HOU @ ARI|
|6||Oct 18||HOU @ CIN|
|7||Oct 25||SF @ HOU|
|8||Nov 01||HOU @ BUF|
|9||Nov 08||HOU @ IND|
|11||Nov 23||TEN @ HOU(MNF!!!)|
|12||Nov 29||IND @ HOU|
|13||Dec 06||HOU @ JAC|
|14||Dec 13||SEA @ HOU|
|15||Dec 20||HOU @ STL|
|16||Dec 27||HOU @ MIA|
|17||Jan 03||NE @ HOU
Well, the last few weeks have been anything but calm for the Texans. Starting with the craziness of what happened with Ryan Moats. What an unfortunate and unbelievable situation, and many prayers continue to go out to him and his family for their loss. This won’t be the last we will hear of this story, as the police officer involved shall never live this down.
On a more positive note, the Texans are getting the team camaraderie going as they hit the fields for off-season conditioning. Almost everyone has made it out the practices minus two: Dunta Robinson and DeMeco Ryans. Both of which are still negotiating contracts. This is a great thing for the Texans, as it is showing the optimism the team has for the upcoming season.
Lets not forget the 2009 Draft, which is only a few weeks away. Maybe the Easter Bunny will have something sweet in his basket for the Texans this year.
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