Found March 14, 2013 on State of the Texans:
Guest Spot from Tx Cleaver…….   Complaining is easy.  Pointing out problems is even easier.  Texans management is paid to do neither.  They are tasked with finding solutions for current problems, and avoiding future issues.  In that context, let’s look at their decision to let Glover Quin walk, and make a run at Edward Earl Reed, Jr. Texans issues relative to defense and safety: Salary cap (paydays to JJ Watt, Cushing, Kareem Jackson ahead.) Dismantled by competent QBs Big plays against (missed assignments, no safety cushion) Big plays for (minimal interceptions) Relatively young defense Status quo   Cap flexibility The Texans cap issues are well-documented.  To avoid a cap hell situation, management has to plan beyond the upcoming season in managing the contracts of their players. The Texans apparent strategy is to bring in a veteran like Ed Reed as a short-term fix at safety, and presumably draft replacements. Assuming I’m reading the tea leaves correctly, this is a wise strategy, given their cap circumstances (and yes, being in those circumstances is its own topic.) Strong safety does not merit a large cap allocation, unless the player is a game changer (Quin is not.)  An Ed Reed + draft prospects plan avoids unnecessarily committing money to this position (Quin’s deal with the Lions is over $5M/year, as I understand it) and this year’s draft is apparently deep in safety talent. The Texans have the luxury of mid-round compensatory picks, where safety value is normally highest.  They can draft two rookies, add Eddie Pleasant to the mix, and hope that two of them work out long-term, and play on rookie contracts.  The importance of having contributors playing on rookie contracts cannot be overstated.  The salary cap does not allow all starters to get paid like veterans. Note: Glover Quin was on the field from the moment he was drafted…in the 4th round. If draft replacement plan does not work, the issue is in player evaluation, not cap management.   Big plays against Quarterbacks exploit mistakes in coverage, and safety is the ideal position to minimize or cover-up mistakes.  Quin played as a strong safety, and was not available as a safety (pun!) blanket for rest of the secondary.  Obviously part of that is due to the issues at inside linebacker.  Part of that is also due to his limitations as a safety (susceptibility for sticking his nose into the play.) A veteran safety presence should lessen the number of missed assignments, improve pre-snap reads, and improve in-game adjustments. Perhaps most importantly, a veteran safety can make QBs question whether shots into coverage are worth the risk.  Is the worst case scenario an incompletion?  Or is it an interception?  Last year, it was an incompletion.  When elite (there’s that word!) quarterbacks get going, there is little that can be done in man coverage, given modern coverage rules.  Defenses have to force them to rethink taking those shots, which leads to….   Big plays for Tackling is good. Tackling also implies a completion was made, and yards were given up.  Tackling is fine against teams that can’t continue to push the ball down the field (12-4, in the Blaine Locker division!)  Tackling is simply not enough against the best quarterbacks, as it implies that they’re getting additional opportunities to make plays.  The only ways to negate the best quarterbacks are either keeping them off the field or generating turnovers. A ball hawk at safety, more so than a sure tackler, changes the calculus against such teams.  The Texans have the luxury of having two sure-tackling cornerbacks in Jackson and Joseph.  With competent play from the inside linebackers (that’s another topic), they don’t need both safeties to be tackling machines.  They DO need them to be turnover threats.   Young group Despite having some veterans on defense, the Texans as a whole have a young, naïve defense.  The defense can be very competent and then collapse in minutes. There is a tangible value to the intangibles brought to a squad like this by a veteran, Super Bowl champion, Hall of Fame shoo-in, leader like Ed Reed. Seth Payne noted on Twitter that the Jaguars brought in legendary, all-decade player Carnell Lake at the end of his career, and his impact was significant on the younger guys (including Payne himself, a defensive tackle.) I don’t want to belabor this point, as intangibles talk quickly turns to hyperbole.  However, consider the Ravens defense for the last ten years.  Is that ALL due to Ozzie Newsome and his scouts?  Or does some of that credit go to the mentoring from the leaders on the defense (Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, etc.)?  Players like this set a tone, and the Texans have been short on those kinds of players since their inception.   Status quo Let’s not forget that for all of the purported talent on the Texans defense, the unit as a whole was not good.  For long stretches of games throughout the season, it was JJ Watt and everyone else.  The Texans need playmakers.  They need mentally and physically tough guys.  Adding Cushing back to the mix will help, but they also have to roll the dice and deviate from “on the right track.”  I could go on, but that’s a topic for another day.

Texans rumors: Ed Reed, Houston have mutual interest.

Baltimore Ravens free agent safety Ed Reed visited with the Houston Texans yesterday. Reed thoroughly enjoyed his stay with the Texans, and told reporters, including John McClain of The Houston Chronicle, that interest between he and Houston is mutual. “It’s mutual,” Reed said about his interest in the Texans. “Both of us are contenders and want to get a championship,...

Reed reportedly visiting with Texans

The Baltimore Ravens aren't done losing veteran players just yet. Safety Ed Reed, a Raven since being drafted in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft, is set to visit the Houston Texans on Thursday. Houston lost one of its starting safeties, rising star Glover Quin, to the Detroit Lions in free agency on Wednesday. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle first reported Reed&...

Baltimore Ravens: Ed Reed to Return?

For the past two days, it appeared that long time Ravens icon and future hall of famer Ed Reed was ready to join the mass exodus of free agents to leave Baltimore. But after receiving a contract offer from the Houston Texans after a lengthy visit, rumor has it that he is returning to Ozzie Newsome to see if his only employer at this level in his career will help him to retire as...

Texans owner picks up Ed Reed in private plane

Ed Reed may be headed to Houston. The veteran safety was picked up by Houston Texans owner Bob McNair and other team officials prior to a meeting on Thursday. Reed had been a large part of the Baltimore Reavens defense for a decade but with the team in salary cap trouble has become expendable. The Texans would pair Reed with Daniel Manning who would operate as the teams strong safety...

Ed Reed Watch

Updates on free agent Ed Reed visiting the Houston Texans.    Ed Reed has landed in Houston w/ his financial advisors Brad Davis and Brad Schwartz. Texans trying to woo him — Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 14, 2013   Ed Reed arrived n Houston escorted by GM Rick Smith. They’re headed 4 Reliant Stadium. — John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) March 14...

Reed leaves Houston with no deal

Free agent safety Ed Reed is leaving Houston with no deal in place with the Texans. The nine-time Pro Bowl safety departed Reliant Stadium on Friday after two days of talks. Reed arrived in Houston on Thursday aboard team owner Bob McNair's private jet and had a full day of meetings. The team announced on its Twitter site Friday morning that Reed was back in its offices at Reliant...

Day 4 Wrap-Up: Texans Free Agency

After much anticipation and talk of free agent safety Ed Reed signing with the Houston Texans on Friday, it was all quickly shot down when Reed left home for Atlanta with no deal. Day 4 Notes - The Texans signed their only restricted free agent in Andrew Gardner who was an offensive tackle on the roster last season. Alan Ball - Free agent running back Justin Forsett  has signed...

49ers interested in Woodson?

Free agent Charles Woodson is expected to visit with the San Francisco 49ers, who reportedly have interest in signing the veteran.

NFL Free Agency: S Adrian Wilson headed to New England Patriots

Despite rumors that the New England Patriots might be interested in free agent S Ed Reed, nothing has materialized on that front. On Friday the Patriots moved to secure another veteran at the safety position, inking 33-year old Adrian Wilson to a deal. Wilson, a 12-year veteran and four-time All-Pro, was released by the Arizona Cardinals in a cost cutting move. Wilson is a large...
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