IT'S THE DAY AFTER THE 2011 ROCKET"S DRAFT & I FIGURED YOU FOLKS WERE IN THE MOOD FOR SOME FOOTBALL TALK, SO I PULLED THIS ONE OUT THE HMW VAULT TO REMIND YOU HOW GOOFY MANY OF THIS CITIES FOOTBALL MINDS ARE....ENJOY THE MEMORIES FROM OUR GREAT "FOOTBALL MINDS" IN A "FOOTBALL TOWN"!
DEMECO RYANS-"HOW SOON WE FORGET"
Written by: Craig Shelton
Original date of posted: 12/6/2010
When we lost Demeco Ryans for the season in Week #6 against Kansas City, I remember thinking the season was over at that very moment. That was easily evident to me viewing a roster that had been overvalued talent-wise by the media and apparently by the Texans' brass as well. Rick Smith and Gary Kubiak killed the Texans' 2010 season when they drafted so poorly and followed the draft up with a non-impactful free agent signing period.
Brian Cushing in a season-and-a-half has shown that he just may be a guy that will start seasons off slowly before he rounds into pro-bowl form. Obviously, Cushing's rookie season's contract negotiations and missing training camp affected his rookie season's early development. So, if you throw in Cushing being set back after his four-game suspension to start this season along with losing Demeco Ryans shortly after Cushing's return to his starting role at OLB, an already struggling Texans defense was set back even further. For me those variables further impacted by the poor play of the historically bad secondary spelled doom for the Texans' season.
The flavor of the moment for many of the local talking heads in sports talk radio at the time was to lay out that "the Texans weren't playing well with Demeco Ryans". Ridiculous as that is to go there after we lost Demeco, it really was no surprise to me to hear that from many of the locals because that's pretty much "atypical" of their uninformed analysis we've come to expect.
Was Demeco Ryans playing bad football this season before he was hurt? Of course he wasn't and it's irresponsible to suggest that he wasn't playing well, when in fact he was playing well. Most of you observing and commenting on Ryans' play don't even understand the dynamics of what as the defensive leader and signal caller he's asked to do at MLB?
Demeco Ryans is the Texans most consistent starter on both sides of the football, and along with Andre Johnson, Brian Cushing, and Mario Williams is one of only four Texans that are held in high regard by opposing teams in regard to any type of "fear factor" around the league.
Andre Johnson is as consistent as Matt Schaub's weak NFL passing arm will allow him to be.
BANGING HEADS WITH A BRAIN TO BOOT!
Demeco Ryans is the prototypical NFL tackling machine and with his high football IQ is a coach's dream to coach. Ryans constantly sticks his head into "trash" (football term for "traffic in the box") and makes tough plays week after week, though Demeco can struggle to shed blockers when they're able to get to him at the second level.
More often than not, when Demeco Ryans isn't schemed into unfavorable defensive sets, he will rarely fail you in the run defense. It appears that Frank Bush has never valued the usage of the MLB position as a key component in his blitz packages, and I question rather or not that's due to his philosophical beliefs as a DC or evidence of a lack of confidence in Ryan's blitzing ability?
MINUS 100 TACKLES AND DEMECO'S LOSS NO BIG DEAL?
You can't expect to take 100 tackles out of the middle of your defense, add to those 100 missing tackles the lost of your primary defensive signal caller, and not expect to have a "recipe for destruction"? So how did so many of the local voices your supposed to trust just irresponsibly and casually disregard how critical Demeco's loss would be to the Texans?
WHEN RAY RAY SPEAKS...
Baltimore Ravens' future Hall Of Fame middle linebacker (MLB), Ray Lewis, identified Demeco Ryans as an elite MLB, that's all the confirmation I needed. So when you listen to the likes of Dylan Gwinn of Sports Talk 790 and John Lopez of SportsRadio610 tell you that Demeco Ryans isn't an "impact" player or "difference maker" just take a deep breath and remember to trust your eyes and not your ears.
Trusting your ears when listening to sports talk in Houston will keep you looking and sounding like a damned fool in the barber shop.
Dylan Gwinn was telling us all that Brian Cushing was the Texans' best defensive player, but NFL OC's continue to game plan for Mario Williams and not so much Cushing.
CAN YOU TRUST ANYONE IN HOUSTON WITH YOUR FOOTBALL?
So who can I trust Craig? I'm sure that's the question the average observer has regarding who to trust with your football 411? Who can the average football fan and sports talk radio fan trust when you want solid football opinions in an unbiased fashion?
Here are the only names in Houston I can even remotely take serious when listening to sports talk radio.
PLEASE NOTE: There's no relevance in the order I have the names listed below. Also, I'm not suggesting I agree with their "takes" all the time, but they know what they're talking about when they talk football and that's what's important to me.
"Football common sense is not so common in Houston these days".
Signed: Demeco Ryans is not a difference maker (ridiculous!!!!)
NAMES YOU CAN TRUST WITH YOUR FOOTBALL:
1. Marcus Coleman (1560 The Game)
NFL pedigree as a former player that has a no-nonsense approach to sports talk. Hasn't shown any concerning allegiances to NFL locker rooms and will speak critically of the Texans in a professional, non-personal manner.
2. ND Kalu (Sports Radio 610)
Former NFL player for 12 seasons. Still has a tendency to apologize for his comments as he still has some allegiances to NFL lockeroom player protocol when it comes to media, but knows the game and will speak honestly, especially when he's angered by the comments of his amateurish co-host.
3. Max Edison (Sports Editor/Houston Defender)
Likely the most under appreciated and underrated football and sports mind in general in the market. Super knowledgeable and a respectable X&O mind as well.
4. Lance Zierlein (1560 The Game)
Solid X&O guy with probably the best network of contacts within the league. Likely the most trusted football mind in the city.
5. John Harris (1560 The Game)
Former college player and high school coach with an unrivaled football IQ. Harris isn't close to the players in Houston, so you get football straight talk with no agenda. Harris is a pro, no silly-punkish antics!
6. Andre Ware (Texans Radio Network/ESPN TV)
You will have to listen to Ware do the Texans broadcast to appreciate what Ware provides, but he's gotten a lot more straightforward in his views on the Texans when he's calling their games with Marc Vandermeer who has ZERO credibility with fans.
7. John McClain (The Houston Chronicle)
As the Texans beat writer John has unrivaled access to the team and has way more info than he shares. You won't agree with much of what John offers a lot of times because John tells you what you need to hear as opposed to what fans typically want to hear.
8. Sean Pendergast (1560 The Game)
Has solid X&O knowledge of the game and will offer an opinion.
9. Jerome Solomon (The Houston Chronicle)
Not an X&O guy but will voice unpopular opinions & usually has strong inside perspective on the team.
10. Josh Innes (Sports Radio 610)
Josh will speak honestly of his opinion of the game and the team and players. Not an X&O guy, but has an opinion and will take a risk in voicing it.