Hasselbeck has me feeling good about Sunday with these comments about how good the practices have been this week, and how high the level of expectations have been from the coaching staff coming out of the bye week:
"I think in particular just the speed of practice, how we've started," Hasselbeck said. "If I've noticed anything, the coaches have been a lot tougher on us. You definitely notice the speed of practice and (coaches being) very honest in the film room. They'll throw the film on, put a laser pointer on a guy and say, ‘This is not good enough. Get with the program or out.' I think those kinds of things just make you better."
There are a lot of players on this team who really, really don't like the Texans (probably none more than Cortland Finnegan... with good reason), and Sen'Derrick Marks is certainly one of them. Marks has suffered two ankle injuries thanks to cut blocks by Texans O-linemen, and he sounds excited to get a little playback.
Donnie Avery should get an expanded role in the offense on Sunday now that he's been here a while. If we can get Avery going on some deep routes it'll really help an offense that hasn't had a great deep target since Britt went down.
Sunday's game is a biggie not just for the implications in the divisional race, but because it kicks off a crucial three game home stand. If we can run the table on those three we could end up with a lead in the division that gives us a little buffer room. If we can run the table at home for the rest of the season, that's nine wins right there, with winnable road games against Houston, Indy and Carolina still left.
Frank Bush had the kind of year that has ruined many a NFL coordinator last year in Houston, calling plays for one of the worst defenses in recent memory. Now he's turning his career around by bringing a toughness and speed to the LB corps here in Nashville under Jerry Gray.
Boclair reminds us all that even a banged-up Texans team is still a threat on any Sunday.
PFF features their deep passing stat (20+ yards in the air), and Matt Hasselbeck ranks 13th overall. That's a little lower than I expected, but I guarantee you his ranking would be much higher if he'd had Kenny Britt for the last two games.
Shaun Smith is ready to start gabbing away at the Texans offensive players. On a personal note, the defensive coordinator they mention in this post is a mouth-breathing douchecanoe who is lucky he didn't get his taint kicked in.
Five QBs were taken in the first round of the 2011 draft, and Jake Locker is the only one not starting right now. Fortunately that's more of a comment on how great Hasselbeck has been compared to the stiffs who were starting in front of Gabbert and Ponder (Newton and Dalton started week one since their teams had nobody) than a comment on where Locker is in his progression. In the long run, I think the extra time will help Locker, especially if Palmer sticks around several years as the OC/playcaller. Locker went through a lot of injuries in college, so he can use this time to heal up and work on his passing from the pocket without facing live bullets.
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