I wanted to try out a theoretical exercise: what would the Texans look like if they went to a 3-4 Defense. First a couple of rules. 1) I will only use players on the team 2) I can choose to play players in every position I see fit. 3-4 So the basic 3-4 looks like this DL-NT-DL LB LB LB LB CB SS FS CB 1) DL If the Texans went to a 3-4, what might it looks it? This system failed in the Capers era because he did not have the prototypical NT. Compare the Capers era 3-4 without a studly NT with the Jets (Kris Jenkins), Steelers (Casey Hampton), and Ravens (Ngata). Now clearly, the Texans do not have such a player, but for the purpose of this exercise, I will start DelJuan Robinson at NT. After figuring out the NT, the next area are the two DE spots. There are two schools of thought here. The traditional 3-4(think jets and Steelers) utilizes a monster NT and 2 lighter DEs(under 300lbs). The Ravens though go with all kinds of looks. Sometimes Ngata lines up in a "DE" position sometimes he is in the traditional NT slot. Sometimes the Ravens line up 1NT, 1DT, 1 DE. So, for them its all over the place. I say lets stick Super Mario at one spot(he could be our Shaun Ellis or Richard Seymour?) and Shaun Cody at the other DL spot. Putting Mario here allows him to exploit mismatches and get to the QB. He can play solidly against the run and will be a nightmare to face in passing downs. I toyed with the idea of putting him at OLB, but I think DE is where he will be the most useful. Mario-Robsinon-Cody 2) LB So, in a 3-4 you need 4 linebackers. Htown has several good options, but lets get to the obvious one first. Demeco will take one of the two inside LB positions. Now, to fill it out. I would put Diles next to Meco as the second ILB. He would fill in great here. On the ends are our OLBs, the guys who need to be super studs on this D. So, whom do I choose? I would put none other than Brian Cushing and Connor Barwin at these spots. Barwin is a more natural fit at 3-4OLB and could become our version of a Mike Vrabel type of player. Cushing-Meco-Diles-Barwin 3) DB As always whether you play 3-4 or 4-3 you need DB help. And sadly,no scheme will help this area out for Htown. Our players are either not performing or are simply not up to it. For now, I will put Pollard for NOW at SS, but if I ha started this at the beginning of the OTAs just after the draft, I would not have allowed Adibi to put on any extra weight. I would have kept him at the 220lbs range and had him actually drop down to about 215 or so and stuck him at SS. At FS, I think Glover Quinn is the guy. I would put McCain at CB and Reeves at the other CB spot. Since Reeves is currently injured, I guess my choices are Dunta and Bennett. I will take DR. Robinson-Adibi-Quinn-McCain So basically our 3-4 D would look like this: Mario-Robinson-Cody Cushing-Meco-Diles-Barwin Robinson-Pollard-Quinn-McCain On first thought, the LBs once again stand out as the strength of the team. This may be one reason to consider a 3-4 front. I think Mario will be great as a 3-4 DE, but I am worried about Robinson as a NT. I think he is actually more suited as the second DT. The man who has the right size to play NT is of course Frank Okam. Sadly his looks like Tarzan plays like Jane mentality makes him to unreliable at the NT position. And of course you can ask questions about the DBs, but really, have the previous starters done ANYTHING to warrant starting status? I suppose another thing I like about this configuration is that it gets football players onto the field. People like Barwin can get in on every play now. He may make a mistake or two, but he is a football player and we need more of them. Any thoughts?