Texans | New Linebacker Schemes Thur, 02 June 2005 9:20:59 -0700 With approximately 64 linebackers on the current roster, the Houston Texans are looking to create new defensive and offensive schemes. "When you have these kinds of guys, you kind of want to let them do their work." Coach Dom Capers said. In the typical 3-4 scheme, Linebackers are essential to the success of the defense, But with so many Linebackers in the roster, the Texans are looking forward to utilizing the Linebacker corps even more by infusing new defensive schemes. "The most popular is the $1.10 (buck-ten). Where we let these guys do what they are supposed to." Coach Capers Comments, referring to their innovative new 0-11-0 alignment. Called the "Sea of LB's" by the players it allows for a theoretical total of 363 different combinations of attack and coverage for the defense. "We suspect that offensive coordinators to be pretty surprised, and well, overwhelmed." Expounds Kailee Wong, the new play caller for the defense. Scouts and coaches across the league will surely keep a careful eye on the Texans defense to see how this new defensive scheme progresses. But linebackers are not only projected to be used on defense. After the lackluster performance from the offensive line and continuing poor luck at the Tight End Position, Offensive Coordinator Chris Palmer has created a new offensive formation featuring 10 Linebackers and a Quarterback. "These guys are used to blocking and being blocked." Explains Palmer. "So it only makes sense to try to use their skills for the offense as well." The theory behind the new offensive scheme called the "Phantom Menace" is to not only use the increased athleticism of the Linebackers to hold the defense at the line, but to get at least one open who will then be a Tight End by default. "Some of these guys have some really soft hands." David Carr comments. "These guys usually try to intercept a ball that is not at the right trajectory or at the right speed to be caught. So when a ball is purposefully thrown for them to catch it, they do pretty well." The QB who has historically had to work with the least time (after the snap) in the entire league commented (when pressed) that he didn't see that much of a difference in amount of time he had to throw. Other NFL teams with poor Offensive Line performance are gearing up to employ a similar scheme in the pre-season. But even with backups, these schemes use around 30 linebackers; only half the corps currently on the roster. Which leads to the last phase of the football strategy: Special Teams. "Linebackers have always been an essential part of the special teams concept." Explains Joe Marciano, Special Teams Coordinator for the Texans. "With our new schemes, the Linebackers will play a more important part." The Texans plan on featuring a 10-1 option for kick and return teams, while leaving the extra point teams intact. "Kris Brown will still be kicking the ball, but after those couple of big tackles he made last season, he's been made an Honorary Linebacker." Special Teams Specialist LB Jason Bell reveals. Other sources within the Texans stated that with the increased speed of Jerome Mathis and Phillip Buchannon at kick return, the returner will remain a dual position and not based in linebacker...for now. Known for playing conservative, the Houston Texans have made impressive moves this off season. Speculation about the impatience of owner Bob Mcnair to see results appears not to be entirely unfounded. With their large changes in personnel in this off-season and the high-risk trades and draft choices made by GM Charlie Casserly, the Texans powers-that-be are looking to swing the pendulum to the other side. The team known for playing it safe seems to be ready to take a different path at this fork in the road. "If this doesn't work, we're all boned." Commented an official who requested to remain nameless.