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Old 07-25-2013   #1
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Default LZ: Texans training camp previews

TEXANS TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: DEFENSE
Lance Zierlein, TSV


Quote:
Here are the defensive story-lines for the Texans headed into camp.

1. When will Ed Reed be ready to play?

This may sound simple and even obvious, but it is no less important for the Texans. The Texans let Glover Quin walk because they thought they could add a veteran safety in Ed Reed who could help them get over the top. Right now they are hoping he can get over his hip issue. If he's not back, the Texans will have to start rookie D.J. Swearinger and no matter how talented they believe him to be, he's still a rookie.


2. Can the Texans get more pressure off the edge this year?

The combination of Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed was outstanding in 2011 only to be disappointing in 2012. We will find out if having Whitney Mercilus coming off the edge makes a difference. Mercilus adds more speed out there, but a big part of the Texans pass rush is their T/E and E/T twists so the OLBs have to work together well with Antonio Smith and J.J. Watt at various times. Regardless, a Watt-only pass rush won't work in 2013.


3. Can Brian Cushing come all the way back from his ACL tear?


Brian Cushing isn't Adrian Peterson, and nobody else is Peterson either. I also don't think Peterson is the measuring stick for everyone coming back from an ACL tear. Cushing will have had enough time between his surgery and the beginning of the season to make it back on the field, but the question is going to be whether or not it affects his lateral quickness. LBs don't have to cut and explode like RBs so there is a greater chance of recovery the year after injury for a LB, but we still need to see it play out like that for Cushing.


POSITION-BY-POSITION ANALYSIS

NOSE TACKLES
From what I've seen on tape and in practices, Earl Mitchell is ...
The Texans drafted Chris Jones in the 6th round...
Jared Crick has added 10 pounds..

DEFENSIVE ENDS
J.J. Watt is coming off...
Antonio Smith wasn't as...
Tim Jamison is a big part of...
Jared Crick, as I mentioned previously, is bigger...
The Texans carry four DEs so making the 53 man roster will be very difficult for guys like...

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS
Brooks Reed took plenty of OTA snaps at ILB, but...
whitney Mercilus showed edge speed and quickness that was...
Sam Montgomery flashed at times in OTAs, but...
Kubiak seemed to think that Travardo Williams was slightly ahead...
Bryan Braman may...
Willie Jefferson is an UDFA who...

INSIDE LINEBACKERS
Brian Cushing will take...
Darryl Sharpton needs to...
Tim Dobbins certainly didn't...

CORNERBACKS
Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson have their spots locked down, but...
The nickel CB position will likely go to Brice McCain...
brandon Harris lacks deep speed...
Roc Carmichael...
There is some cornerback talent at the back end of the depth chart headed into camp... Johnny Adams or A.J. Bouye.

SAFETIES
Danieal Manning is obviously locked into his spot and camp won't really do anything new for him. The problem, in my eyes, is...
Until Reed is ready, Manning...
Rookie D.J. Swearinger can play inside the box or in deep middle, according to the Texans, but I'm not sure...
Shiloh Keo ...days are likely numbered...
Eddie Pleasant, Ohrian Johnson...
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