Originally Posted by tru80texan
You did not, but the comparison was warranted, imo, because James ultimately replaced Ryans & was suppose to be a better fit. I would beg to differ. The 3-4 specialist James seemed to be a step down. Considering Ryans was displaying improved health & thus improved production, by Kubiaks own admission, then I believe Ryans could've faired well in a 3-4 had he been given an opportunity that wasn't effected by his health & a shortened learning period in a new scheme. We will never know, but in the end it was not Ryans lack of lateral movement that ultimately got him traded.
Going from 54 tackles in 6 games (prior to injury) in 2010 to 64 tackles in 16 games in 2011 hardly displays improved health and improved production. With a 3-4, on 3rd down without 4 big dL in front of him, and with his lack of explosiveness to pass rush, and with his obvious loss of side-to-side coverage, his tackle numbers would decrease, and he would be exposed in all aspects of a 4 down ILB. If he were kept in 3 or 4 downs routinely, teams would know to how successfully game plan to those weaknesses. As for James, he was expected by Wade to be a player that could fill all those criteria to a decent extent. It didn't work out that way. The Texans, if cap allows, will still be looking for an ILB who can do a decent job of also covering to complement Cushing (unless James miraculously finds the "key" with an additional offseason in the system).