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Mr. Laz
07-15-2006, 12:18 PM
July 15, 2006, 12:20AM
Wade released as shake-up continues on Texans' O-line
New blocking scheme makes big tackle expendable

By MEGAN MANFULL
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

With changes in the works on the offensive line, the Texans released veteran tackle Todd Wade on Friday.

The 6-8, 314-pound tackle was lured away from the Miami Dolphins with a $10 million signing bonus in 2004. He started 22 games for the Texans before spraining his medial collateral ligament against Indianapolis on Nov. 13. His rehabilitation continued this offseason, and Wade was unable to participate in the Texans' workouts.

"Anytime you're in a situation like I am, you have to make tough decisions," Texans general manager Rick Smith said. "As an organization, we appreciate what Todd has done for us. He's a good football player. But you have to factor in so many aspects when making a decision, like a player's salary, his style and how it fits in your system and where we want to go in the future."

Wade, a starter since he entered the league in 2000 out of Mississippi, likely will be picked up quickly by another team. He was not able to be reached for comment.

Texans guard Steve McKinney said Wade will be missed when camp begins July 27.

"It's tough, because Todd was a good friend," McKinney said. "The unfortunate problem was his injury came at a time when there was a coaching change and the offensive line was having fingers pointed at it. Changes were inevitable, and sometimes you get lost in the shuffle when you're in an injury situation."

Because of the injury, Wade never was able to show how he might adapt to playing in the new scheme coach Gary Kubiak brought from Denver. The Broncos use a zone-blocking scheme that utilizes quick linemen who must be able to make the initial block and then get to the second level. Because of that, the linemen in this scheme typically are some of the NFL's smallest.

Some of the Texans' linemen have been trimming weight and switching positions. At this point, right tackle Zach Wiegert is the only player returning to the same position at which he started when the 2005 season ended. McKinney is at right guard, free agent Mike Flanagan is at center, Chester Pitts is at left guard and Seth Wand is returning to left tackle, where he started in 2004.

"The attitude will be a little different," McKinney said. "Some of the blocking schemes will be different. The position moves they've made are putting guys in the best positions for them, I think. I felt in the past, some of us were playing in the position that wasn't best suited for us. Regardless of whether we like all the moves they've made, we believe it's put the best five on the field in the best five positions they can play."

The Texans also will monitor the progress of rookie tackles Charles Spencer and Eric Winston, each third-round draft picks. Neither is expected to crack the starting lineup by the season opener, but each could make an impact at some point in the year. Winston is slated to back up Wiegert, and Spencer is competing for the backup job at left tackle.

The coaches hope the changes will improve the team's pass protection. In four years, quarterback David Carr has been sacked 208 times. Three out of the last four years, he was the most sacked quarterback in the league.

megan.manfull@chron.com

chief52
07-15-2006, 12:24 PM
Charley Casserly was terrible with Washington and worse with the Texans. I never did figure out what any owner could possibly see in him.

Mecca
07-15-2006, 12:27 PM
Atleast the Texans are smart enough to start dumping big salaried under performing players.

HemiEd
07-15-2006, 12:46 PM
The Broncos use a zone-blocking scheme that utilizes quick linemen who must be able to make the initial block and then get to the second level. Because of that, the linemen in this scheme typically are some of the NFL's smallest.





Yep they gotta be small and quick to get at the defensive players legs.

SLAG
07-15-2006, 12:51 PM
Could the texans be the first expansion team that gets the AXE

htismaqe
07-15-2006, 02:12 PM
Charley Casserly was terrible with Washington and worse with the Texans. I never did figure out what any owner could possibly see in him.

Casserly is gone. Rick Smith is the GM.

Brock
07-15-2006, 02:14 PM
Casserly made a lot of bad decisions. The worst was probably when he expansion drafted the The Most Photogenic Left Tackle Of All Time, Tony Boselli.

Spicy McHaggis
07-15-2006, 02:46 PM
Could the texans be the first expansion team that gets the AXE

I doubt it. They still make money and that's really what it's all about.


And if Winston is healthy I could see him starting by the end of the year.

hypersensitiveZO6
07-15-2006, 02:54 PM
Does this mean Houston will suck more than they did last year?