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Old 06-13-2007   #1
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Default Chronic: Texans up front about line's role in improving defense

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/4884817.html

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There is also less confusion this year . The coaches enter the season with a better understanding of the talent they have to work with. The players have a better understanding of the schemes.

"Everyone actually knows what we're doing," said linebacker DeMeco Ryans. "We really know the whole concept of the defense, whereas last year I don't think everyone really understood. I think we were out there just playing and just trying to make a play."
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When asked if he expected the sack total to rise, Williams laughed awhile before saying, "Yeah, I expect that."

Williams is already more relaxed and comfortable than he was at any point last season. He said he is looking forward to the challenge of showing people why he was selected No. 1 overall in 2006.

"I'm glad that Amobi (Okoye) was the first pick this year, so that takes a little pressure off me, but yeah, I'm ready for it," Williams said.
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"If you go back and look at some of the things we did last year stunt-wise and those types of things where we weren't quite getting there I look at him and say, 'This kid would have gotten there many a times last year,' " coach Gary Kubiak said.
Quote:
Now, the Texans enter with no excuses just lofty expectations. They are no longer new to the 4-3. Their strongest leader Ryans is no longer a rookie. And the defensive line has four first-round picks, three of whom are pass rushers (Williams, Babin and Okoye).

"I expect our team to be led by our defense, and I expect our defense to go out and dominate some teams," Ryans said. "We've got some big-time guys up front. Those guys have great ability and great potential. They are going to be great pass rushers. I hope to see a lot of sacks out of those guys."
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Old 06-13-2007   #2
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Default Re: Chronic: Texans up front about line's role in improving defense

When you look at the fact that the Texans have picked a defensive lineman in the first round of the last four drafts, something has to be in the mix to improve.

Our entire defensive philosophy, like most teams, revolves around putting consistent pressure on the pocket. Certainly we'd like to see these guys stop the run, but getting to the opposing QB is key to helping our coverage and establishing a blitz that actually works.

We've got a lot of potential...obviously, we should with four first round picks stocking up the line. But the line is something that has to be proven under fire, and I am less inclined to drink any battle-red koolaide and be blindly optimistic until these guys show us something.

I do not expect Pro Bowl performances, as Mario and especially Okoye will still be learning how to be an NFL defensive lineman. But I do think it is reasonable to expect some signs of greatness and clear indications that we're on the right track. Only regular season time will tell.
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