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News » Houston Texans Inside Slant 2009-02-24


Houston Texans Inside Slant 2009-02-24


Houston Texans Inside Slant 2009-02-24
With the scouting combine finally arriving, the Texans are keeping their focus on the defensive side of the ball. With the 15th overall pick in the first round, much of their attention is resting on trying to improve a pass rush that has struggled consistently since the team's inaugural season.


Last season, the Texans had just 25 sacks, which ranked them 27th in the NFL. Mario Williams accounted for almost half of those sacks with 12.

This offseason, they will start by seeking a complement to Williams. That will be a focus in the first round, meaning the Texans could enter the season with four first round picks on the defensive line. They already have Williams, Travis Johnson and Amobi Okoye.

However, that task might not be so easy to accomplish in the first round. It's most likely that when the 15th pick comes around on draft day that there are not any pass rushers worth using the pick on. There is expected to be quality linebackers available and that is another area the Texans could use help.

Much of the decision on which direction the Texans take will rest with new defensive coordinator Frank Bush and assistant head coach/defensive line coach Bill Kollar. They are entering this season as replacements to former defensive coordinator Richard Smith and defensive line coach Jethro Franklin, who were each fired after the defense's poor season last year.

The Texans have shown that they are not afraid to draft down however. If they don't find an outside linebacker they want to take at 15, they could trade down and pick up a defensive end. That is a much more likely scenario than the Texans moving up in the first round.

Either way, the top pick should definitely be on the defensive side of the ball. The Texans' top two priorities will be at outside linebacker and defensive end. At linebacker, they have two young starters in Zac Diles and Xavier Adibi. They like both of the players, but they are small and unproven. In their first seasons on the field last year, they battled injury problems.

Linebacker was one of their thinnest positions as well. Two possible prospects that could be worth a 15th pick would be USC's Brian Cushing or Clay Matthews, who can play outside in a 4-3 or 3-4.

If a defensive end is drafted high, it would likely mean that Anthony Weaver would lose his starting job. He plays primarily in run defense situations.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 24, 2009

Jamar Fletcher Name: Jamar Fletcher
#21
Position: CB
Age: 28
Experience: 8 years
College: Wisconsin
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