Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Breakdown: The Houston Texans -- Beginnings of Crapulence
There are two good memories of being a Texans fan:
1) Franchise opening win over Quincy Carter and the Cowboys
2) The game Aaron Glenn single handedly defeated the Steelers @ Heinz by returning 2 INT's for touchdowns, signaling the beginning of the end for the Tommy Maddox era.
Other than that, it's been pure agony every Sunday. And thats even before getting into the fact that most of the fans around here are too busy talking about Vince Young is the next Steve McNair. The simple fact of the matter is that the Texans still don't know who is good and who isn't good on their team; they've yet to put together a supporting cast of average that can even help determine who is below or above.
I thought we as a blog could look over the entire franchise history, to glean a better understanding of what it takes to make a horrendous franchise right from the beginning. Sound like fun? No? Well, I have to watch this team every Sunday, so we're doing it anyway.
The Expansion Draft
Pick Player Position Team Salary Cap Hit
1 Tony Boselli OT Jaguars $6.89 million
2 Ryan Young OT Jets $563,000
3 Aaron Glenn CB Jets $8.01 million
4 Gary Walker DT Jaguars $5.25 million
5 Jamie Sharper LB Ravens $2.88 million
6 Jermaine Lewis WR Ravens $4.29 million
7 Marcus Coleman CB Jets $5.48 million
8 Seth Payne DT Jaguars $2.78 million
9 Matt Campbell OG Redskins $875,000
10 Matt Stevens S Patriots $565,000
11 Jeremy McKinney OG Browns $405,760
12 Ryan Schau OT Eagles $563,000
13 Charlie Rogers RB Seahawks $563,000
14 Sean McDermott TE Buccaneers $300,000
15 Jabari Issa DE Cardinals $397,000
16 Avion Black WR Bills $460,000
17 Danny Wuerffel QB Bears $556,000
18 Brian Allen LB Rams $452,000
19 Johnny Huggins TE Cowboys $300,000
1) Tony Boseli - Let me get my checklist out. Never played a game for the franchise, was a huge cap number for many years, brought false hope and kept us from drafting good tackles for the first couple of years of our existence. Yep, this guy is an asshole.
2) Ryan Young - I remember this guy being really good in Madden. He played in 2002, and was a key component of one of the worst offensive lines in football history. Not only was he easily beaten, not only did he commit a lot of false start penalties, but he led the Texans to rankings of 32nd and 29th of the 32 NFL teams on runs to the right tackle and runs to the right end, respectively. Was mercifully released, and retired after the 2003 season.
3) Aaron Glenn/Marcus Coleman - Putting these two together for posterity's sake. Were both great in 2002, but as was known when they were drafted, were on the downside of their careers. Glenn is by far the better of the two, and put together a solid season for the Cowboys last year. After these two left (or slipped, in Coleman's case), the Texans pass defense slipped with them:
2006: (so far) 30th
4) Gary Walker/Seth Payne - An injury prone front-line; when they were healthy, they were pretty solid, but they've rarely been healthy together. Walker was originally an Oiler, and was selected in two different expansion drafts. He made the Pro Bowl in 2002, and since then has only had one healthy season; 2004. He's since been released. Payne tore his ACL in 2003, and has been probably the best player on the Texans D-Line since, which is kind of like being the best talking head on Baseball Tonight. These two weren't so bad, but there was very little help around them.
5) Jamie Sharper - By far the best player on the Texans defense, but once again, was too old to be helpful forever, and was released after being hurt in the 2004 season. Led the NFL in tackles in 2003. Good player, good pick.
6) Matt Stevens - Not logically able to discuss this player except to say that one of the lasting memories of my Texans fanhood is a mental picture of Matt Stevens flailing onto the ground on a missed tackle.
7) Jermaine Lewis - Made a lot of money and was not very fast anymore at this point in his career. Did not score a single touchdown and was released after 2002.
Nobody else had any lasting impact except Danny Wuerffel, who continued to be a punchline for years to come, and was traded for Jerry DeLoach, who looks a lot like that generic fat black dude who ran the Burger Shack in Harold & Kumar and who plays football about as well as him. He's been with us for awhile now.
Granted it's hard to second guess an expansion draft, but Willie McGinest was unprotected, as was solid LT Roman Oben, who has managed to play a few years here and there while Tony Boselli has managed to eat a lot of things dipped in Aunt Jemima's syrup. Chris Chandler would've given the franchise a credible, if injury prone, backup/starter, which means he would've been dead by Week 3 of the 2002 season. Charlie Batch also would've been a credible backup.
2002 NFL Draft
Sel# Team Player Pos. School
1 Houston David Carr QB Fresno State
33 Houston Jabar Gaffney WR Florida
50 Houston Chester Pitts G San Diego State
66 Houston Fred Weary G Tennessee
83 Houston Charles Hill NT Maryland
99 Houston Jonathan Wells RB Ohio State
136 Houston Jarrod Baxter FB New Mexico
153 Houston Ramon Walker SS Pittsburgh
173 Houston Demarcus FagginsCB Kansas State
190 Houston Howard Green DT Louisiana State
229 Houston Greg White DE Minnesota
261 Houston Ahmad Miller DT Nevada-Las Vegas
Ok, let me say before we start that I think that offensive line is the most important position on the football field, and I was fully in favor of drafting Bryant McKinnie and his sex boat as the #1 overall pick. That said, David Carr has provided alright return. He's not a great quarterback, he could be a good quarterback with the right personnel around him; kind of like Jake Plummer or Vinny Testaverde. He won't go down as a bust #1 overall pick. The weird thing is that all of the top picks in this draft besides Julius Peppers have been letdowns. Mike Williams was released, Quentin Jammer is horrendous, Joey Harrington is worse than Carr, Ryan Sims is a key member of the early 2000's Chiefs defense that kept them from winning a Super Bowl. When I look at this first round, I don't see it as that talented. Theres Peppers, John Henderson, Ed Reed, and Roy Williams. Levi Jones and McKinnie are both quality left tackles, Jeremy Shockey is a douchebag and okay tight end, and will always be remembered for this:
and Javon Walker is a decent #1 wideout. Nobody else in this first round really turned out to be all that great.
Jabar Gaffney had 1 big year as an average possession receiver and three as a replacement level receiver before he jumped to the Patriots and called us a second class organization. Have fun up there as a fifth wideout, Jabar!
Chester Pitts has matured from a terrible offensive tackle into a mediocre offensive guard. In his first year at Left Tackle, we were dead last on runs and he was beaten numerous times. He actually probably peaked in 2005, either way he's not a part of the problem anymore, just not part of the solution either.
Jonathan Wells had the worst DPAR of any running back in football in his first year in the league, at -23.0, and after a year of special teams, became Domanick Davis' backup back for the next 2 years and was credible if not outstanding. Overall, he was a good return for a fourth round pick. Clinton Portis became a Bronco.
DeMarcus Faggins is a credible dime/mediocre nickel back, and Ramon Walker was an okay special teams gunner and bad safety. Fred Weary is a bad guard, Charles Hill had 2 career tackles.
List of players that we missed out on in round 3: Will Witherspoon, Brian Westbrook, Chris Hope. Thank God for Charles Hill!
Coming up next week...the 2002 season and the 2003 offseason.