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  1. #1
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    Texans already getting ripped for this gaffe

    April 28, 2006
    By Clark Judge
    CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer
    Tell Clark your opinion!





    If the Houston Texans weren't going to draft the best player on the board, then they should have drafted for need. And defensive end Mario Williams is not what they need most.

    Tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson is.

    Ask quarterback David Carr. He's the poor sap who was sacked an NFL-high 68 times last year. And 49 times the year before that. And 76 times in his rookie season. The guy's not a quarterback; he's a piñata.


    David Carr can expect a lot more of this after the Texans' No. 1 pick. (Getty Images)
    But he's Houston's piñata, with the Texans making a commitment to him when they could've chosen University of Texas quarterback Vince Young or USC's Matt Leinart. If the Texans honestly believe he can be a franchise passer -- and they sure act like it -- then why not give the guy a chance to fulfill their expectations?

    Why not give him someone who can block?

    It sounds so simple, yet I could understand where the Texans were going. They would draft Bush because he's the best player in the draft and because he could breathe life into a sluggish offense. And if they didn't, they would trade down -- accumulating picks so they could find the parts necessary to keep Carr in one piece and make the club healthy at the same time.

    Fat chance.

    Instead of bailing out Carr with the best running back to come along in years -- maybe decades ... instead of turning to Bush to take some of the heat off Carr and a beleaguered passing attack ... instead of turning to the best offensive lineman in this year's draft ... instead of trading down to pick up draft picks ... they did the unthinkable and chose Mario Williams.

    Nothing against Mario Williams; I just don't see how he's going to handle Dwight Freeney.

    "We have to look at it on the basis of what our needs are and how that player can add value to our team," owner Bob McNair said on Thursday, foreshadowing what was to happen. "Yes, temporarily, some of the fans might be unhappy with the pick. But, long term, what counts is whether you win.

    "If we pick a popular player, temporarily, everybody is happy. But then if you don't win then they say, 'Well, that was the dumbest pick I've ever seen. Why did you listen to me? You're supposed to be the professional.' The bottom line is we have to win, so we'll pick the best player who gives us the best chance to win."

    Fair enough. But McNair started that discussion by saying the Texans had to look at "what our needs are." Question: Is there anything Houston needs more than an offensive lineman who knows how to pass block? The Texans have holes the size of the Astrodome in their front five, yet, for some reason, they chose to attack the other side of the ball.

    Question: What was wrong with D'Brickashaw Ferguson?

    The Texans had 37 sacks last year, which tied them for 14th in a 32-team league. That's not great, but it's not bad, either. In fact, it tied them with Dallas, Atlanta and Arizona. But they allowed 68 sacks, 14 more than the Minnesota Vikings, and you don't have to be an Einstein to figure out what that means.

    It means David Carr must duck. And with Friday's move, Carr must duck again. And again. And again. There's no word yet from Carr, but I bet he's delighted Houston chose a defensive end to cover his back.

    "It's not often we have an opportunity to select a player of this caliber," McNair said of the first choice. "So you want to make a pick of a player who's going to be with you and make a contribution for you for a long period of time because it is a valuable pick."

    If that player wasn't going to be Reggie Bush, it should have at least been someone who addressed the Texans' most urgent need. It should have been D'Brickashaw Ferguson.


  2. #2
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    Re: Texans already getting ripped for this gaffe

    By Pete Prisco
    CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer
    Tell Pete your opinion!





    The Houston Texans have their own Sam Bowie.


    Expect the Saints to scoop up Reggie Bush with the No. 2 pick. (Getty Images)
    Yes, they passed on Michael Jordan.

    The Texans announced Friday night that they agreed to contract terms with North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams, a move that makes him the first pick in Saturday's draft.

    By agreeing to a contract with Williams, the Texans are passing on USC running back Reggie Bush, a playmaker in the Barry Sanders mold.

    Normally, I'm a big proponent of taking quarterbacks, defensive ends, left tackles and corners with the premium picks in the first round. But Bush is different. He will be special. He's the type of player who comes around once in a lifetime.

    Like Jordan.

    Passing on him is a move the Texans will regret. That isn't to say that Williams won't be a great player. He has the chance to be a dominant pass-rushing end in the Julius Peppers mold.

    But the Texans need some juice. A pass-rushing end isn't going to give you that.

    Fans crave offense. Fans crave offensive stars. Bush can provide both of those things.

    Fans don't go to games to watch defensive ends. Bush will be the next Gale Sayers, the next Sanders, the next big-play runner.

    You don't pass that up, even if you couldn't come to an agreement on a deal with him. Find a way. Pick him and then do the deal.

    Negotiations are important, but this is the kind of move that can backfire on a team. Picking based on money -- and don't let anybody fool you, this is about money -- is how franchises stay crippled.

    Check back with me in 10 years when Bush is being mentioned with Sanders.

    You think the Texans won't be regretting this day when that happens?

    Sam Bowie never came close to giving the Portland Trail Blazers the juice Jordan gave to the Bulls -- or the titles.

    And Mario Williams will never give to the Texans what Bush could have given them, which is a once-in-a-lifetime player.

    Boy, did the Texans blow it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Texans already getting ripped for this gaffe

    By Len Pasquarelli
    ESPN.com
    Archive

    In every NFL draft -- actually, with virtually every selection in every round of any draft -- beauty is in the eyes of a team's allegedly elite contingent of talent beholders.

    Unfortunately for many franchises, those beholders are frequently blind men.

    Ladies and gentlemen, your Houston Texans, an outfit that might do better were Mr. Magoo executing its lottery selections. Hand out the darts, folks, and take cover. Even quarterback David Carr, throwing from his back, which is where he has been for most of his four seasons in Houston, has better aim than his bosses.

    Bad enough the loyal fans of Houston have had to suffer through the stigma of four straight losing campaigns, an average of just 4½ victories per year and a team that managed just half as many wins in its fourth season as it did in its expansion year of 2002. Now the fans are saddled with a team suffering from astigmatism.



    AP Photo
    Some suggest Williams beefed up his sack totals against lesser opponents.
    There's a reason that only one expansion team that has entered the league since 1976, the Bucs, won fewer games in its first four seasons than the Texans have earned, and we saw why on Friday night when Houston bypassed tailback Reggie Bush with the top pick in the draft and opted for defensive end Mario Williams instead.

    Some teams try to exercise foresight with such threshold football decisions. Houston, on the other hand, apparently makes them blindfolded.

    By the way, the Bucs, despite winning only 17 games from 1976-79, advanced to the NFC Championship Game in their fourth season. The Texans, with a lot more advantages than those woebegone Bucs ever had in terms of additional draft choices and deals cut with cap-heavy franchises eager to dump veterans with bloated contracts, won two games in their fourth year.

    Two games.

    None of this is to suggest that Super Mario will turn into Blooper Mario. Comparisons of Williams to Reggie White, Julius Peppers and Richard Seymour may be hyperbole, but the former North Carolina State star figures to be a terrific player. In time. Certainly he isn't a dominating defender yet, not when he had sacks in just 16 of his 36 appearances for the Wolfpack.

    Ten of his 14½ sacks in 2005 came in just three games and against lesser opponents. Half of his six sacks in 2004 came in one outing, although, granted, the opponent was Florida State. But you ask yourself: What was this guy doing the rest of the time? Maybe the Texans, who haven't had many answers for anything else in their first four seasons, actually have one for that query.

    Yeah, right.

    When you are as a team as bad as the Texans have been, you need to make solid football decisions, and eschewing a playmaker such as Bush, who will have an immediate impact on the league, in favor of a guy still in his gestation period is a dubious call at best. And make no mistake, this was a football decision.

    Sure, we would all be naïve to suggest the recent off-field publicity generated by Bush's family didn't play some role in the Texans' final decision. But even for a straight arrow like Houston owner Bob McNair, it was likely just a small element.

    As for the so-called "signability" factor -- the notion that Williams was the easier player with whom to reach an agreement -- well, that was no factor at all. The Texans have no idea what it would have taken to sign Bush, because they simply quit dealing with him.

    On Thursday at 2 p.m., when agent Joel Segal hung up the phone after a second brief discussion with Texans chief negotiator Dan Ferens, the expectations of the Bush camp were that talks would resume Friday at some point. Great expectations, though, morphed into no explanations when the Texans suddenly went underground. After 2 p.m. Thursday, the next conversation between the Texans and Segal came 10 minutes after the team had issued a news release announcing the Williams deal.

    Feel free to fill in your own bush line (notice the small "b") at this point.

    Fact is, the $26.5 million in guarantees that Williams received is better than the best deal the Texans ever offered Bush. Published reports that the sides were on the verge of an accord, that there had been a monumental breakthrough in a marathon Tuesday night bargaining session and that the Texans had cleverly leveraged Bush into a corner by also talking with Williams' agent? Pure fiction.

    So throw out the "signability" element.

    Plain and simple, on Friday morning, the Texans brass decided that Williams was their guy. Actually, the criticism of the Texans would be even harsher had they made their decision based solely on the dollars. Instead they exercised bad sense. When you're this bad a team, money shouldn't count, and the only issue should be getting the best player.

    It says here that the Texans didn't.

    The irony of the Williams decision is that such picks based on potential generally come from the personnel people in a franchise and not the coaching staff. Coaches, after all, get fired and they want guys who can deliver quickly for them, so they can avoid the queue at the unemployment line. The guess here is that the call on Williams came in large part from first-year head coach Gary Kubiak, who has certainly been ceded some of general manager Charley Casserly's authority and who has far more clout than his predecessor, Dom Capers, ever did.

    It was Casserly, entering the final year of his contract and rumored in many circles to be moving on after this draft, who worked with someone looking over his shoulder at the end of last season, when McNair imported Dan Reeves as a consultant. In a twist here, it's the personnel guy and not the coach who might be the short-timer. And since Kubiak isn't going anywhere for a while, maybe he exercised a choice for the long-term.

    If the Texans keep making these kinds of questionable personnel decisions, it's going to take a long term, er, time, to ever transform the franchise into a winner.

    One assistant coach on the Houston staff, a guy we've known and trusted for a very long time, made this poor attempt at spin on Friday night: By choosing Williams, the Texans actually helped Carr, because an upgraded defense will eventually benefit the bedraggled quarterback. Uh-huh.

    Fact: In 2002, the Texans' debut season, the team featured the league's 16th-rated defense, a level Houston hasn't reached since then. And Carr, who usually gets the best view of the Reliant Stadium roof when the retractable dome is closed, was sacked 76 times. So much for helping the poor guy out. Giving him a playmaker the ilk of Bush -- now that would have been a gesture of aid.

    So, whither Bush now? The New Orleans Saints, who own the second overall choice and who have Bush atop their draft board, have privately said they will sprint to the podium to choose the USC star when they are on the clock. They might want to think about walking instead. Run too fast to turn in Bush's name and New Orleans officials might miss some of the many phone calls they will now elicit from teams wanting to move up into the second slot to take a player the Texans didn't want.

    Yo, Saints guys, that's probably the New York Jets, who own a pair of first-round picks and have sufficient ammunition to land Bush, calling right now.

    And whither the Texans at this point? Well, nothing against Williams, but it's going to take blind loyalty for a fan base already smarting from the franchise's snub of popular hometown star Vince Young to understand Friday evening's decision.

  4. #4
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    Re: Texans already getting ripped for this gaffe

    HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

    They could have traded that pick for quite a lot - got a bundle for the very first pick. And Mario doesn't warrant being the first pick. If Houston was in love with him, they could've worked out something and picked up Mario a pick or 3 later and got something else thrown into the deal.

    It certainly looks like Houston liked Bush and planned on taking Bush and when negotiations went sour - they hastily moved onto Mario for financial reasons.

    I don't like it and I think they'll live to regret it. Even if Mario is a good player, the first pick was worth more than one good Defensive End. Houston played their hand poorly IMO. If they would've throughly and commitedly pursued trading this pick, there were deals to be made. I believe they were NOT interested in dealilng the pick because they had planned on taking Bush. We know they were negotiating with Bush and there were reports that Houston was
    balked at Bush wanting #1 pick, QB-type dollars. Negotations started late, and someone in Houston decided it was necessary to sign someone before the draft. They hurriedly moved on to Williams.

    Houston had months and months to negotiate. The had some leverage as these players want money, cars, and homes sooner rather than later.

    They totally mismanaged this pick.

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    Re: Texans already getting ripped for this gaffe

    Mario Williams does NOT come close to having the physical tools of Julius Peppers (Carolina).

    Look at what Manny Lawson said of his teammate. When Manny was asked, in a recorded interview, about the speed and athleticism of Lawson compared to Mario Williams, Lawson said it's not even close. That Manny was far better. Manny went on to say that he didn't even think Mario W. would dispute this.

    I'm not saying Mario isn't good or that he won't be a very good Pro, I'm saying that he's not worthy of the very first pick.

    We know the Texans were negotating with Bush, I wouldn't be surprised if the Texans had some negotations with Brick Ferguson agent before moving onto Mario.

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    Re: Texans already getting ripped for this gaffe

    This was written 4 days ago.....


    ... : There's no way Williams goes No. 1
    Michael Rosenberg / Special to FOXSports.com
    Posted: 4 days ago

    Yeah, so the Houston Texans might use the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft on Mario Williams.

    OK.
    How would they announce it? Would they just drop it into their big "Hey everybody, we're doubling ticket prices and cutting the size of beer cups in half!" press conference? Would Charley Casserly hold up a Reggie Bush Texans jersey, then scream "Just kidding!" and then hold up a Vince Young Texans jersey, then scream "Gotcha AGAIN!" and then hold up a Williams jersey? And while he did it, would he be wearing a bulletproof vest?

    Casserly has had a run of failure as Houston's general manager — a job he somehow earned with a run of mediocrity as the Redskins' general manager. But would even he try this?

    I can't believe the Texans are serious about drafting Mario Williams, the defensive end from North Carolina State. It seems pretty obvious that Houston just wants to drive Bush's asking price down. And if so, this is the lamest negotiating ploy of all-time.

    Excerpt.

    Link: http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/5...0813162&ATT=23

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    Re: Texans already getting ripped for this gaffe

    wow williams has got the whole world on his shoulders now, talk about pressure!!!! I bet the fans give him a nice warm welcome when he steps upto the stage!!!!on draft day... holy crap!!!


    steve:clanram:
    "The breakfast Club"

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    Re: Texans already getting ripped for this gaffe

    I don't think the poor kid deserves any of it. If you'll check back a few days, you'll realise the hypocracy of Clark Judge who just two days ago, noted that- in refeence to Williams "you gotta love the kid". Today, he rips Williams and the organisation, saying that he is not a big need for Houston.

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    Re: Texans already getting ripped for this gaffe

    This is NOT going to help the TEXANS weather the storm:
    In the Paper this morning it says Mario Williams did a Mock
    of the Draft for a network a couple days ago - and, Mario, himself had Houston taking Bush and himself going to New Orleans at #2.

    Even Mario didn't think he would go before Bush!!


    LOL

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    Re: Texans already getting ripped for this gaffe

    When he steps on the stage in New York,the Jet fans will prolly cheer like crazy because it may very well mean that Reggie will be a Jet as a result

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