H-Town Sports

Houston Sports Blog - Real sports cities have TWO Conference USA teams

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Quick Question

What exactly did the Titans do this season to "give Vince Young a chance to succeed?" I've heard plenty about the Texans' failure to put the tools around David Carr necessary for him to be successful. What tools did Vince get? Ben Troupe? Travis Henry? A lockdown defense? I don't think so. Andre Johnson is a definite #1 WR, right? Domanick Davis was a 1,000 rusher, right? I realize that the line had definite holes and Corey Bradford stinks, but the pantry was not complete empty, was it?

Maybe it's not a fair question. If not, let me know. I'm just not totally convinced that such an injustice was done to DC. Not many first-round QBs are handed the keys to a gassed up Ferrari their first few seasons in the league, basd on the fact that they're being drafted by a team with a bad record the season before. Sure the team had a lot of holes, but my feeling is that a lot of QBs would have fared much better than Carr did under the same set of circumstances.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont you mean Domanick Williams? :)

Also, not to defend Carr or belittle anything that Young has accomplished this season... But Travis Henry rushed for over 1200 yards this season and averaged 4.5 a carry. I think most teams in the NFL would have enjoyed that consistency in the backfield. Young may not have been loaded with big name weapons, but I do think its safe to say he has an underrated receiving corps and an offensive line that played a pretty damn good season. Also, I wouldnt say that their defense is great, but they were certainly opportunistic this season and played well in some big games.

Sometimes a quarterback gets too much credit for a teams success. And other times, a quarterback gets too much blame for a teams struggles. At this point though, I think the Texans and Carr are like a bad marriage. I think Carr cound use a change in scenary and likewise, I think the texans need to go a different direction at QB.

Tue Jan 02, 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Ted Bosquez said...

The Titans did have an effective rushing game this year. I believe that most would admit this, but I believe a convincing argument can be made that Vince Young had an impact on this ground resurgence.

As was the case at the University of Texas, the presence of a mobile quarterback in the backfield enhances the opportunities for the featured tailback. For example, a linebacker upon the snap of the ball must be aware that three possibilities can occur when Young puts the ball into the gut of the tailback - (1) he releases the ball and the tailback marches off (2) he retains the ball and throws or (3) he retains the ball and scrambles.

In the case of most quarterbacks, the linebacker really only has to worry about two of those three possibilities as the majority of quarterbacks are not legitimate running threats. It complicates the reads for a defensive front seven as well as safeties on whether to cheat back into coverage or cheat up to assist in run support.

The defense must respect that the quarterback is a legitimate running threat and therefore they must pay more attention to the quarterback and the expense of both coverage and additional run support responsibilities. It places another layer of stress on the defense.

It's hard (though admittedly not impossible) to believe that the resurgence of Travis Henry's career was in no small part related to the changing dynamic of the backfield from the aged, now largely immobile Steve McNair to the young, highly mobile Vince young.

Whatever improvement in the Titans offense (mediocre at best), is rightly attributed to the extra dimension of Vince Young. The real secret is the defense, which other than the mystical notion of "improved attitude" - Vince Young has little to do with.

If the offense was a bit better and converted on more third-downs, you could make the argument that the offense stayed on the field longer giving the defense more time to rest. However, that was largely not the case. The defense played very well and pretty much won several of the games for the Titans.

In short, I believe the Titans late season success was do largely as the result of Vince Young and improved defensive play not any notions of underrated offensively talent, Travis Henry man-child reborn, or a collection of super secret Pro Bowlers on the Titans offensive line.

Tue Jan 02, 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make some very good points. Having an extremely mobile QB does command the attention of the defenders thus possibly making things easier on a RB. However, I think you speak way too dramatically about Young's involvement in the Travis Henry resurgence.

Henry has never been a slouch at the tailback spot when given the chance. Last year in Tenn, he had only 88 carries on the season because the Titans were hell bent on Chris Brown being thier feature tailback. Similarly the year before that, in Buffalo, Henry only had 94 carries because a young and healthy Willis McGahee was decided to be their feature tailback. If you look at Henry's numbers the two years previously, you see a 13 and 14 hundred yard season!

Therefore, I dont think Henry's rushing numbers last year compared to this year based on McNair or Young as QB is a very fair assessment. In fact, if you pro-rate Henry's rushing stats from last year to this year in # of carries, then he was almost an 1100 yard back last year. Thats not too shabby with McNair at QB...

Tue Jan 02, 03:28:00 PM  

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