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Old 05-12-2004   #1
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Default Competition and Depth at Defensive Tackle

The Texans starting defensive line - Gary Walker, Seth Payne, and Robaire Smith - appears to be a strong unit compared to the rest of the league. However, there have been a number of suggestions on this board that the defensive tackle spot is probably the weakest part of the Texans team due to the lack of depth and to uncertainties related to Payne and Walker coming off of injuries from last year.

I am curious about the quality of the depth, and of the upcoming competiton for the backup spots on the defensive line this year. Hopefully none of the backup guys will be called on to start. But, in case they do, I am wondering if any of the young guys have the potential for a breakout year. Also, who has the best chances to make the team in a backup role? Any longshots?

Some of you guys seem to be very insightful about these kinds of questions, so I am interested in knowing what you all think about this.
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Old 05-12-2004   #2
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All I know is that Deloach is the first backup, Sears the 2nd, Ioane 3rd, so I dont see a young guy having a nice year.
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Old 05-12-2004   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoMan
The Texans starting defensive line - Gary Walker, Seth Payne, and Robaire Smith - appears to be a strong unit compared to the rest of the league. However, there have been a number of suggestions on this board that the defensive tackle spot is probably the weakest part of the Texans team due to the lack of depth and to uncertainties related to Payne and Walker coming off of injuries from last year.

I am curious about the quality of the depth, and of the upcoming competiton for the backup spots on the defensive line this year. Hopefully none of the backup guys will be called on to start. But, in case they do, I am wondering if any of the young guys have the potential for a breakout year. Also, who has the best chances to make the team in a backup role? Any longshots?

Some of you guys seem to be very insightful about these kinds of questions, so I am interested in knowing what you all think about this.
Drafting a DL is no guarantee of an impact player. Last year there were 8 (I think) first round draft picks at DT and there WEREN'T 8 mpact players. I think Kevin WIlliams played the best (even though draft types love to slam the Vikings). Some were busts (Joseph), or never dressed (Kennedy).

I think Walker-Payne-Smith are an excellent 3-4 defensive line. I think having guys like Deloach, Sears and Ioane, or Martin are good back-up opportunities for us, because they have a lot of experience (starts last year, or two years for Deloach). If we don't have any injuries, they still will get some reps when the starters need a break.

I don't think we could count on drafting someone in the second, third, or fourth round and getting an improvement in his first year. Perhaps we can add a little to the back up competition with a late free agent, or roster waiver.
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Old 05-12-2004   #4
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I wonder how DJ Renteria looked in minicamp? He's a guy from New Mexico signed as a free agent who has played both nose tackle and DE who was expected to go in the draft. His profile at NFL.com sounds pretty good.
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Old 05-12-2004   #5
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I think having guys like Deloach, Sears and Ioane, or Martin are good back-up opportunities for us, because they have a lot of experience (starts last year, or two years for Deloach).
If you are talking about Steve Martin, he is no longer with us. But if you are talking about Terrance Martin he is third on the depth chart behind Robaire Smith and Jerry DeLoach at RDE.
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Old 05-13-2004   #6
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Originally Posted by A Texan
I wonder how DJ Renteria looked in minicamp? He's a guy from New Mexico signed as a free agent who has played both nose tackle and DE who was expected to go in the draft. His profile at NFL.com sounds pretty good.
This is something I've been thinking a lot about lately too. I'm really curious if this guy has a chance of making the team this year because he looks (to my admittedly fan-based eyes) to be the kind of UDFA who could turn out to be a find.
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