LINK: http://www.houstontexans.com/news/news_detail.php?PRKey=1697 Changing of the guard By Nick Schenck HoustonTexans.com It would be easy for head coach Dom Capers to lament the loss of inside linebackers Jay Foreman and Jamie Sharper this off-season, or worry about how the teams current linebackers will adapt to their new roles, but thats not his nature. Instead, Capers, a glass-half-full type of coach, is focused on how the Texans personnel adjustments in the linebacking corps will benefit the team. Through three coaching session practices, Capers is excited about the projected starting lineup of Antwan Peek and Jason Babin at outside linebacker and Kailee Wong and Morlon Greenwood at inside linebacker. Of the four, only Babin, in his second year, returns as a starter. Peek was a reserve last season, but now replaces Wong, who is moving inside to team with Greenwood, a free agent that played strongside linebacker in the Miami Dolphins 4-3 scheme for the past four seasons. In practice this week, the players have been studying their assignments and getting a feel for each others strengths and weaknesses. Without prior experience playing together, the linebackers are trying to gain some chemistry before training camp. So far, says Wong, he likes how theyve gelled. I think were looking good, Wong said. Were still learning a lot. All of us have a lot to learn because basically there are three new starters out there. Babin is the only one that is a repeat starter. So its going very well. Both Babin and Peek converted from defensive end in college to their current positions. The transition has its growing pains, which explains why Capers expects each player to show improvement this season with another year under their belts. While Babin had an opportunity to show his talent last season in 16 starts as a rookie, Peek has started only five of his 24 games the past two seasons. In that time, he has accounted for three sacks and 40 tackles. Capers anticipates those numbers to increase considerably this year in an increased role. Theres no question about his athletic ability and his explosiveness, Capers said of Peek. We feel hell give us good pass-rush ability. The inside tandem of Greenwood and Wong is intriguing since neither has played the position before. The Texans are counting on Greenwood s athleticism to aid his adjustment. Also, after playing in the shadow of Zach Thomas, Greenwood will have a chance to step into a leading role with the Texans. Although Wongs experience playing inside in the 4-3 with the Minnesota Vikings will help him, his current duties are different. To his credit, Wong played inside on third down in the Texans substitution package last season, which should ease some of the burden. But he admits that he still has a long way to go before he feels completely comfortable in his new role. It entails a lot different responsibilities, Wong said of his position change. It makes me have to be a leader in terms of veteran leadership, but also in terms of making calls and doing those types of things. So it has put a lot of pressure on me to learn the system. Each season, Wong reviews the Texans game tapes to correct his mistakes and pick up any bad habits he has developed. This off-season, he has plugged in tape of another team as well. Once I found out what I was going to be playing, I went through some of the Patriots games, said Wong, who is entering his eighth NFL season. In the past, I wouldve been watching the outside guys, but this year I was watching Tedy Bruschi, in particular. Wongs extra effort in the film room has benefited him in the coaching sessions. Capers envisions him as a three-down player that can help the defense in a number of ways, especially in the huddle when hes relaying the play calls to his teammates. Kailee is one of those guys that because hes so smart and so instinctive that if there is one guy that can move and make the transition, Kailee can do that, Capers said. Hes our signal-caller. Hell be out in front of the huddle. Hes somewhat the defensive quarterback. Plus, we know what he can do in terms of rushing the passer. Free agents Frank Chamberlin and Zeke Moreno will join DaShon Polk inside to provide depth behind Greenwood and Wong, while Charlie Anderson gives the team a dependable third option as an outside linebacker. One year ago, the Texans didnt have nearly the same backup power. With that type of versatility, its evident why Capers isnt fretting over the change of guard. I like the guys we have there right now, he said. I feel like we have increased our speed and athletic ability. Itll be interesting to watch them develop.