Originally Posted by dalemurphy
After hearing the Texans had a 7 hour interview with Lovie Smith, I started thinking about the possibility on defense... It's interesting to consider how the Texans' defensive personnel would fit into Lovie's system.
Cushing would be ideal as the Mike LB. Cushing has the range, instincts, and playmaking ability in the pass game to play all three downs and cause problems for the offense... Cushing roaming the middle of the field every play is a good situation for the Texans.
Watt is interesting... Where would he play primarily? RDE, LDE, or 3 technique DT? He'd play all 3 but his best fit, for the health of the defense, is DT... If the Texans get a big NT... Watt inside with a guy like that would cause constant pocket problems for the QB, shutdown the interior run, and give nice, sharp edges to the DEs.
KJ and JJo would both excel in cover 2 principles- giving them many opportunities to make plays on the ball- also, highlighting KJ's physicality in run support.
D. Manning was drafted and played for Lovie... Lovie's hire would likely mean that Manning would stick around for his last contract year. Swearinger certainly has the skills and play-making instincts to do what Lovie asks of SS. He can blitz, run support, and has the speed and ball-hawking ability to play the umbrella coverage.
Earl Mitchell could be brought back as DT (3technique)... somewhat dependent on their plans for Watt.
Mercilus would fit very well as the strong side DE (or pretty well at RDE also)... Mercilus would look great in this defense, I think!
Brooks Reed-- likely cut. Texans could cut him for $1.5 million savings without any dead money. I don't think he fits well at either DE... His only possible spot would be Strong LB, and I think that is a stretch.
Jamison and Crick are both decent fits as depth, mainly because they can be used in multiple spots.
So, from my view, the Texans could transition well, and quickly, into Lovie's defense... Needs I see:
1. space-eating NT
2. speed rusher DE (either to start or two rotate in when Watt moves to DT)
3. WLB- (Sharpton and Mays are FAs) Lovie knows this position and can draft it and also fill it effectively with a veteran
4. SLB- (see above)
** I'm not sure whether Buoye or Harris could be the nickel CB... nor can I speak to Pleasant as the 3rd safety... but, given the cap room and the draft picks the Texans will have, a coach like Lovie can adequately fill these holes without much difficulty.
Most encouraging is that the core talent on the Texans' defense fit very well into what Lovie would do: Cushing, Watt, Mercilus, KJ, JJo, Swearinger... which is good, because the real issue with Lovie (magnified by the Texans situation at QB) is what will he put together on offense.