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Lets Talk Defensive Line

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
Trenches win games. Lets talk about what DeMeco Ryans wants in a DL.

The team wanted Obo back, they were in the running but lost out on signing Samson Ebukam. They are bringing in edge rushers and likely (hopefully in the 1st) addressing the position in the draft.

With the signings of Sheldon Rankins and Hassan Ridgeway I feel like the Texans have made a sizeable upgrade at DT. The run defense was arguably the worst in franchise history last season. Rankins gives the team its best DT since Reader. Ridgeway is a solid run defender when healthy which is an upgrade over Lopez.

DT will be better. I think Collins and Rankins will generate pressure up the middle and make it even easier for the DEs to get home to the QB.

DE: The team has Jerry Hughes who we hope can drink from the fountain of youth again this season. Then it has Greenard in a contract year who hasn’t been able to stay healthy. I am upset Mario Addison was just released. Need a quality rotational DE to take some snaps off of Hughes.

I am confident given DeMeco’s scheme having a track record of getting edge rushers career year production and paid in FA that a lottery ticket will emerge and have a breakout season. So far, the team has two low expectation one year deal fighting to make the roster candidates (just like Obo last season). Chase Winovich and Derek Rivers. Rivers was my favorite DL last preseason and suffered a season ending biceps tear at the end of training camp. I am hopeful one of those two can be the designated pass rusher and fill that Obo role on the defense.

Ebukam, Omenihu and Arden Key all got nice paydays this free agent season after benefiting from SF’s defense reviving their careers. I expect that to happen for a lucky winner on this roster!

But in the draft I expect with such a deep class of edge rushers that DeMeco goes hunting for his Bosa in round one. Cannot count on Greenard to stay healthy for a full season and would be too much to ask of Hughes to be a full time starter at this point in his career.
 
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badboy

Hall of Fame
Improved but nothing to motivate me and most gone after two seasons which is okay. Give the draft I'm hoping for time to snap in.
 

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
Hopefully there's a pick or two in the first two rounds to shore up that defense.
This draft is deep at DL. Texans will need to take advantage and build the foundation of DeMeco’s defense for years to come.

SF defense is successful because they can get pressure with four players. They had the defensive player of the year starting at DE for them. Texans need to find talented players on the DL that can consistently pressure the QB.
 

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
Rankins/Collins/Ridgeway/Lopez make a solid four deep rotation at DT.

The rest will have trouble making the team this season. Booker and/or Hinish dark horses but I don’t see both making it. And this is before the draft. I don’t see the team going DT unless its towards the end of the draft now. But DE and MIKE are firmly at the top of the team’s needs on defense and need to be addressed. MLB may be addressed as soon as today with Denzel Perryman visiting.
 

Mr teX

Hall of Fame
Rankins/Collins/Ridgeway/Lopez make a solid four deep rotation at DT.

The rest will have trouble making the team this season. Booker and/or Hinish dark horses but I don’t see both making it. And this is before the draft. I don’t see the team going DT unless its towards the end of the draft now. But DE and MIKE are firmly at the top of the team’s needs on defense and need to be addressed. MLB may be addressed as soon as today with Denzel Perryman visiting.
Hinnish odd guy out imo. He got some meaningful time last year and didn’t show a whole lot….Barely made the team last year and is undersized.
 

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
Rankins is an important addition definitely feeling better about the Dline today than a week ago. Still really need to get a legit young pass rusher in there. Prime position with this class at 12 or 33 to make that happen.
Agreed. I want edge at 12. Especially if QBs like Richardson or Levis go early and push one down to that range!
 

DocBar

Hall of Fame
Contributor's Club
The Texans' run D was usually strong early in games last season. It was after 3 & out after 3 & out that they would start getting gashed.
Having an offense that could sustain drives would be a huge help in improving the run defense.
Having said that, I wouldn't mind taking Will Anderson at 1.2 and the BPA defensively at 1.12 and draft Hooker in the 3rd or 4th round.
 

Toro Bravo

Rookie
Rankins/Collins/Ridgeway/Lopez make a solid four deep rotation at DT.

The rest will have trouble making the team this season. Booker and/or Hinish dark horses but I don’t see both making it. And this is before the draft. I don’t see the team going DT unless its towards the end of the draft now. But DE and MIKE are firmly at the top of the team’s needs on defense and need to be addressed. MLB may be addressed as soon as today with Denzel Perryman visiting.
Agree that we need a Mike LB who can stop the run, rush the QB and cover RB's and TE's. I really like Nolan Smith in that role. Linebacker is such a hybrid role in todays NFL because many of the guys who would have played LB 10 years ago are now listed as edge. Smith's size and speed make him a perfect fit for MLB.
 

banned1976

sleeper mode
Agree that we need a Mike LB who can stop the run, rush the QB and cover RB's and TE's. I really like Nolan Smith in that role. Linebacker is such a hybrid role in todays NFL because many of the guys who would have played LB 10 years ago are now listed as edge. Smith's size and speed make him a perfect fit for MLB.
He can cover TE's, defend the run and rush the passer. I'd take him at 12 in a heartbeat. He's a little small to take on guards, though.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
The Texans' run D was usually strong early in games last season. It was after 3 & out after 3 & out that they would start getting gashed.
Having an offense that could sustain drives would be a huge help in improving the run defense.
Having said that, I wouldn't mind taking Will Anderson at 1.2 and the BPA defensively at 1.12 and draft Hooker in the 3rd or 4th round.
Agreed, especially if the 2nd round receivers are as deep as “they” are saying.
 

Texansphan

Football connoisseur
I don't expect much of Stingley. Gonzales is his eventual replacement.
I doubt Gonzales will be there at #12 but you never know.
I also doubt Texans take a corner there after taking one so high last draft, but if Stingley has an issue with his foot that will effect his future playing career, they just might pull the trigger on a good one at #12. There are at least 3 that would be worthy of the #12 pick.
 

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
I doubt Gonzales will be there at #12 but you never know.
I also doubt Texans take a corner there after taking one so high last draft, but if Stingley has an issue with his foot that will effect his future playing career, they just might pull the trigger on a good one at #12. There are at least 3 that would be worthy of the #12 pick.
Would be a lot of resources poured into the secondary. I think DeMeco would rather shore up the trenches and build a defense that can get pressure with four guys consistently. More guys in coverage. Doesn’t matter how good a DB is if they have to cover too long because the pass rush isn’t getting home.
 

Texansphan

Football connoisseur
After rewatching the entire 2022 season on the all-22, the vast majority of those passes from Mills were with pressure in his face. It was appalling how much pressure he was under from the middle of the pocket.
I noticed that too.
Nobody can seriously expect any QB to play at a high level like that - unless they are elite and even then their play has to suffer.
Just common sense.
 

Texansphan

Football connoisseur
Would be a lot of resources poured into the secondary. I think DeMeco would rather shore up the trenches and build a defense that can get pressure with four guys consistently. More guys in coverage. Doesn’t matter how good a DB is if they have to cover too long because the pass rush isn’t getting home.
I think so too - he has seen first hand how a good DLine can win over a couple of seasons so I imagine he would be keen to install that here too.
 

DocBar

Hall of Fame
Contributor's Club
I noticed that too.
Nobody can seriously expect any QB to play at a high level like that - unless they are elite and even then their play has to suffer.
Just common sense.
Pressure up the middle is the best recipe for beating pocket passers. The ability to move outside the pocket and hit targets downfield is what makes Mahomes and Wilson so special.
 

OptimisticTexan

2024 / Rebuilding Block 4 After Playoffs / Texans
After rewatching the entire 2022 season on the all-22, the vast majority of those passes from Mills were with pressure in his face. It was appalling how much pressure he was under from the middle of the pocket.
……dammit man!!!! That doesn’t fit the narrative b/c the Texans had a much better than advertised OL or so they say.

That OL should’ve had the nickname, “Venus Flytrap” b/c Mills was the fly and that OL was clam shelling in around him the moment the ball was in his hands….on the majority of drop backs.
 

76Texan

Hall of Fame
After rewatching the entire 2022 season on the all-22, the vast majority of those passes from Mills were with pressure in his face. It was appalling how much pressure he was under from the middle of the pocket.
The Texans ranked 17th in pass block win rate.

Sure, there were pressure.
Most every QB saw pressure.
The thing is Mills was worse .
He was terrible at times even without pressure.
Mills is garbage.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
After rewatching the entire 2022 season on the all-22, the vast majority of those passes from Mills were with pressure in his face. It was appalling how much pressure he was under from the middle of the pocket.
I want the Texans to run with Mills for the next two years, as a game managing don’t do anything stupid QB.

But I remember it totally different, especially early in the season. He didn’t trust the OL & they blocked well. He rushed himself for no reason.

Later, yes there were protection issues, but there would be two or three where there wasn’t & if the receiver didn’t drop it, Mills would short arm it or sail it.

Unlike others, I don’t think that means Mills is garbage. Overall his whole career he’s been a totally different guy. Last year was the outlier. I’m not ready to dump him based on an outlier season.

At the same time I don’t think he’s the one & the Texans should be looking for the one. I don’t think that means draft a guy you don’t believe in. Bryce Young could go to Indy or Seattle & be the next Brady. But I believe in my heart of hearts if Mahomes came to Houston & Watson went to KC, we’d have won 4 games in 2019 & the Chiefs would have won two Super Bowls.

We need a Matt Schaub type QB now. & build that team that drafted Watson. I think our biggest mistake was not going all in when Arians was available. Should have dumped O’Brien & hired Bruce
 

Texansphan

Football connoisseur
I want the Texans to run with Mills for the next two years, as a game managing don’t do anything stupid QB.

But I remember it totally different, especially early in the season. He didn’t trust the OL & they blocked well. He rushed himself for no reason.

Later, yes there were protection issues, but there would be two or three where there wasn’t & if the receiver didn’t drop it, Mills would short arm it or sail it.

Unlike others, I don’t think that means Mills is garbage. Overall his whole career he’s been a totally different guy. Last year was the outlier. I’m not ready to dump him based on an outlier season.

At the same time I don’t think he’s the one & the Texans should be looking for the one. I don’t think that means draft a guy you don’t believe in. Bryce Young could go to Indy or Seattle & be the next Brady. But I believe in my heart of hearts if Mahomes came to Houston & Watson went to KC, we’d have won 4 games in 2019 & the Chiefs would have won two Super Bowls.

We need a Matt Schaub type QB now. & build that team that drafted Watson. I think our biggest mistake was not going all in when Arians was available. Should have dumped O’Brien & hired Bruce
What do you think of Stroud? Upgrade over Mills?
I think he is.
 

DocBar

Hall of Fame
Contributor's Club
I want the Texans to run with Mills for the next two years, as a game managing don’t do anything stupid QB.

But I remember it totally different, especially early in the season. He didn’t trust the OL & they blocked well. He rushed himself for no reason.

Later, yes there were protection issues, but there would be two or three where there wasn’t & if the receiver didn’t drop it, Mills would short arm it or sail it.

Unlike others, I don’t think that means Mills is garbage. Overall his whole career he’s been a totally different guy. Last year was the outlier. I’m not ready to dump him based on an outlier season.

At the same time I don’t think he’s the one & the Texans should be looking for the one. I don’t think that means draft a guy you don’t believe in. Bryce Young could go to Indy or Seattle & be the next Brady. But I believe in my heart of hearts if Mahomes came to Houston & Watson went to KC, we’d have won 4 games in 2019 & the Chiefs would have won two Super Bowls.

We need a Matt Schaub type QB now. & build that team that drafted Watson. I think our biggest mistake was not going all in when Arians was available. Should have dumped O’Brien & hired Bruce
Coaching and schemes make a huge difference in a player's development. I agree with you on having Mills at QB for at least the '23 season, if the Texans draft a QB this year, and '24 if the Texans wait until next year to draft a QB. I think Mills will be a different QB in '23. His skillset matches up pretty well for the WCO.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
Would be a lot of resources poured into the secondary. I think DeMeco would rather shore up the trenches and build a defense that can get pressure with four guys consistently. More guys in coverage. Doesn’t matter how good a DB is if they have to cover too long because the pass rush isn’t getting home.
He did draft Anderson with the 2nd overall. Unless there’s a Mike LB there… take the best defensive player available. Back end works hand in hand with the front four. Got to give them time & more than that we have to capitalize on mistakes forced by the front four.

but I do agree it’s getting crowded on the back end. That would be a good problem to have
 

Thorn

Dirty Old Man
I want the Texans to run with Mills for the next two years, as a game managing don’t do anything stupid QB.

But I remember it totally different, especially early in the season. He didn’t trust the OL & they blocked well. He rushed himself for no reason.

Later, yes there were protection issues, but there would be two or three where there wasn’t & if the receiver didn’t drop it, Mills would short arm it or sail it.

Unlike others, I don’t think that means Mills is garbage. Overall his whole career he’s been a totally different guy. Last year was the outlier. I’m not ready to dump him based on an outlier season.

At the same time I don’t think he’s the one & the Texans should be looking for the one. I don’t think that means draft a guy you don’t believe in. Bryce Young could go to Indy or Seattle & be the next Brady. But I believe in my heart of hearts if Mahomes came to Houston & Watson went to KC, we’d have won 4 games in 2019 & the Chiefs would have won two Super Bowls.

We need a Matt Schaub type QB now. & build that team that drafted Watson. I think our biggest mistake was not going all in when Arians was available. Should have dumped O’Brien & hired Bruce
Historically the Texans are just a poor organization making bad football decisions. Until that changes, nothing will in Texan land. As usual, I just keep hoping this year is different. Hiring DeMeco Ryans is a start in the right direction though. As to Mills, with a better cast of players around him, he'd be an OK QB. Which you can say about a whole lot of QBs that aren't performing well.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
What do you think of Stroud? Upgrade over Mills?
I think he is.
Hard to say really. What these kids do in college doesn’t always translate to what they will do in the league. Mills is a bird in the hand & id rather fix the pass rush & skill positions before QB.

I don’t want to spend anything, anything outside of defense & skill positions.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
Coaching and schemes make a huge difference in a player's development. I agree with you on having Mills at QB for at least the '23 season, if the Texans draft a QB this year, and '24 if the Texans wait until next year to draft a QB. I think Mills will be a different QB in '23. His skillset matches up pretty well for the WCO.
I may change my mind after 2023. If DeMeco fields a well oiled machine on both sides of the ball, maybe.

But I think I’ll still feel the same. Unless there’s a guy I truly believe in I’m not going to make a “need pick” on QB.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
Historically the Texans are just a poor organization making bad football decisions. Until that changes, nothing will in Texan land. As usual, I just keep hoping this year is different. Hiring DeMeco Ryans is a start in the right direction though. As to Mills, with a better cast of players around him, he'd be an OK QB. Which you can say about a whole lot of QBs that aren't performing well.
Agreed.

The Texans are a bad team until they aren’t. I don’t see a QB in this draft that can overcome a bad team. If Stetson Benett or Bryce Young were 6’5” I’d be all over it. But hoping they’re just as good doesn’t make it so.
 

Texansphan

Football connoisseur
Hard to say really. What these kids do in college doesn’t always translate to what they will do in the league. Mills is a bird in the hand & id rather fix the pass rush & skill positions before QB.

I don’t want to spend anything, anything outside of defense & skill positions.
I'm not ready to give up on Mills, but I did notice he has inaccuracy issues.
Stroud appears to be pretty accurate, but that might evaporate behind a subpar line - like Mills?
 

Number19

Hall of Fame
After rewatching the entire 2022 season on the all-22, the vast majority of those passes from Mills were with pressure in his face. It was appalling how much pressure he was under from the middle of the pocket.
Thanks, this may be the first objective assessment explaining Mills' performance last season. Now we need to go and get an OC in the draft.
 
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KA4Texan

10%
Contributor's Club
It's not fear to make wise decisions.

For one, even IF they draft Young or Stroud.

Hell lets play pretend and they draft both Stroud and Young.

Do you honestly believe that they make a run in the playoffs by those picks? What about 2024?

IF the answer is No.... then you must agree that there are other positions of need that need to be addressed before can even pretend we are a QB away. Why not address those issues now that the QB class comes with a lot of questions

Personally, I dont care if we roll with Mills or draft. IF they draft a QB I want it to be the one they wanted. (I believe every coach should be given the freedom to live or die by their choices....) I'd prefer they adress other issues so that WHEN we draft "our future" he is set up for success.

If your answer is you believe they make a run is "Yes" then you are more optimistic than me, but I understand your view. IF I believed we were a QB away, I would be all about QB #2 also.
 


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