April 23, 2014

Bradie James is M.I.A.

BradieJames

The Houston Texans worked out several defensive linemen today, as reported by Ravens Insider Aaron Wilson. This is a standard practice for the Texans each week to see if any street free agents have the ability to come in and possibly compete for a roster spot or replace a player in the event of an injury. The Texans brought in defensive linemen Remi Ayodele, Brandon Bair, Corbin Bryant, Daniel Muir, Jay Richardson and Clifton Geathers. I wonder why the Texans didn’t consider bringing in any additional linebackers after the sad display put on by inside linebacker Bradie James? James played a few snaps in the first quarter, was yanked, and then reserve inside linebacker Tim Dobbins was injected into the lineup to replace James. Dobbins was later hurt on a special teams play and was taken off the field and James came back in the game to replace him.

I watched how James showed no explosiveness to the hole and was not attacking the line of scrimmage, but waited until the action came to him which made it easy for the Dolphins’ offensive linemen to wash him out of the play. James was supposed to be the answer for the loss of DeMeco Ryans, who was cut due to reduced playing time and being considered a miscast for Wade Phillips’ new 3-4 scheme. James showed all the makings of a better fit for the scheme during training camp, but when deployed into action in the preseason James looked like a rookie. I know it’s only one regular season game and maybe I can be considered overreacting, but if this is the type of play we can expect from him then I’d rather insert Mister Alexander. I can’t wait for week 6 to arrive so Darryl Sharpton can finally come off the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list and hopefully inject some life into this linebacking corp.

One of the things I noticed about great defenses, especially 3-4 scheme defenses, is that if the 3 defensive linemen aren’t doing it all, the linebackers have to be excellent to make up for what they aren’t getting from the defensive linemen. Just look at the San Francisco 49ers linebackers. They have at least two guys that are of a Pro Bowl caliber, and the other guys are above average. They get great play from their defensive linemen as well as their linebackers, so it makes running on them harder and their defense as a whole solid. This is what the Texans have to get to in order to go from the No. 2 to No. 1.

Bradie James has to step up and do so immediately, especially with Brian Cushing injured and playing at about 70% of his ability. I know we hear Coach Kubiak come on and say Cushing is fine and he’ll be ready to go, but that is coach speak and we’ve all heard it before. I just hope that Cushing is healing and not making things worse by playing because his impact against the run and his ability to blitz from every angle will be needed as the season progresses.

I am of the opinion that any player formerly of the Dallas Cowboys should automatically be eliminated from being brought in to compete or even be allowed on the premises. I can’t think of one player formerly of the Cowboys that panned out for us as a good player. First, there was Jacques Reeves who the Texans brought in to play opposite Dunta Robinson. Fail. He couldn’t turn his head if his life depended on it. Then Alan Ball who I thought was promising as a good sized corner with speed, but he turned out to be fool’s gold as Kareem Jackson has outperformed him. Lastly, Bradie James who, like I said before, was supposed to fill the void that Ryans left, has yet to do so. Ryans may have been out of place in this defense, but he was by far a better leader and a better play-maker than what James is now.

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