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New Defense

Number19

Hall of Fame
There's been discussion on possible lineups for the OL. But I haven't seen discussion on the defensive front 7. Looking over our roster, we have Blacklock set as one DT and Cunningham set as the MIKE LB.

At the other DT position, we have long time Texan Brandon Dunn. But we also have newly signed Vincent Taylor, who is a shade quicker than Dunn. Should be a training camp battle.

For the strong side DE, I see Charles Omenihu, 6-5/280 lbs/4.92

Intriguingly, I see newly signed Derek Rivers listed as an OLB; but I can't find any mention of him playing anything other than DE. But he has prototypical size for the SAM LB - 6-5/250 lbs/4.61. For now, he has to be looked at, at this position. If not Rivers, I have Jonathan Greenard as our SAM at 6-4/263/4.87.

As the WILL LB, I have Whitney Mercilus at 6-4/258/4.68. But an intriguing possibility would be newly signed Christian Kirksey, 6-2/235/4.58.

For the weak side DE, that leaves us with newly signed DeMarcus Walker, 6-4/280/4.88. But we also have the option of dropping Mercilus into this position.
 

badboy

Hall of Fame
There's been discussion on possible lineups for the OL. But I haven't seen discussion on the defensive front 7. Looking over our roster, we have Blacklock set as one DT and Cunningham set as the MIKE LB.

At the other DT position, we have long time Texan Brandon Dunn. But we also have newly signed Vincent Taylor, who is a shade quicker than Dunn. Should be a training camp battle.

For the strong side DE, I see Charles Omenihu, 6-5/280 lbs/4.92

Intriguingly, I see newly signed Derek Rivers listed as an OLB; but I can't find any mention of him playing anything other than DE. But he has prototypical size for the SAM LB - 6-5/250 lbs/4.61. For now, he has to be looked at, at this position. If not Rivers, I have Jonathan Greenard as our SAM at 6-4/263/4.87.

As the WILL LB, I have Whitney Mercilus at 6-4/258/4.68. But an intriguing possibility would be newly signed Christian Kirksey, 6-2/235/4.58.

For the weak side DE, that leaves us with newly signed DeMarcus Walker, 6-4/280/4.88. But we also have the option of dropping Mercilus into this position.
I am slightly optimistic that draft picks Greenard and Blacklock will do much better this season under better coaching. I don't expect many starts until 2022.
 

Rich Schmidt

Myopicone
There's been discussion on possible lineups for the OL. But I haven't seen discussion on the defensive front 7. Looking over our roster, we have Blacklock set as one DT and Cunningham set as the MIKE LB.

At the other DT position, we have long time Texan Brandon Dunn. But we also have newly signed Vincent Taylor, who is a shade quicker than Dunn. Should be a training camp battle.

For the strong side DE, I see Charles Omenihu, 6-5/280 lbs/4.92

Intriguingly, I see newly signed Derek Rivers listed as an OLB; but I can't find any mention of him playing anything other than DE. But he has prototypical size for the SAM LB - 6-5/250 lbs/4.61. For now, he has to be looked at, at this position. If not Rivers, I have Jonathan Greenard as our SAM at 6-4/263/4.87.

As the WILL LB, I have Whitney Mercilus at 6-4/258/4.68. But an intriguing possibility would be newly signed Christian Kirksey, 6-2/235/4.58.

For the weak side DE, that leaves us with newly signed DeMarcus Walker, 6-4/280/4.88. But we also have the option of dropping Mercilus into this position.
I think Shaq Lawson will be in the mix for sure. Blacklock has a lot to prove too, Maliek Collins may have a revival here. Hard to predict what the coaches will do, but unless Mercilus went to the fountain of youth, he needs to be surplanted. Former players have no leg up here, new regime and system, and noone in the front office has any chips on former draft picks or contracts, so I finally feel the best players will get PT
 

Number19

Hall of Fame
I think Shaq Lawson will be in the mix for sure. Blacklock has a lot to prove too, Maliek Collins may have a revival here. Hard to predict what the coaches will do, but unless Mercilus went to the fountain of youth, he needs to be surplanted. Former players have no leg up here, new regime and system, and noone in the front office has any chips on former draft picks or contracts, so I finally feel the best players will get PT
Agree on both counts. Collins will definitely be in the mix for the second DT spot; and Shaq should be pushing Mercilus. It'll be another camp battle to keep an eye on.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
I think Shaq Lawson will be in the mix for sure. Blacklock has a lot to prove too, Maliek Collins may have a revival here. Hard to predict what the coaches will do, but unless Mercilus went to the fountain of youth, he needs to be surplanted. Former players have no leg up here, new regime and system, and noone in the front office has any chips on former draft picks or contracts, so I finally feel the best players will get PT
The benefits of having a new GM calling the shots.

Hopefully even more DL/edge help is on the way via the draft.
 

Number19

Hall of Fame
I really don't see that as a battle because Mercilus is pretty much done. Lawson should win that spot easily.
Can you, or anyone, tell me, did Mercilus play strong side or weak side, last year?

And why do you say he is done? He couldn't stop the run? He couldn't cover? He couldn't pressure/sack the QB?

The thing is, we've had a house cleaning, so why is he still on the roster if he under performed? There is a difference in not having standout statistics, but performing his duties and assignment.
 

Texansballer74

Hall of Fame
Can you, or anyone, tell me, did Mercilus play strong side or weak side, last year?

And why do you say he is done? He couldn't stop the run? He couldn't cover? He couldn't pressure/sack the QB?

The thing is, we've had a house cleaning, so why is he still on the roster if he under performed? There is a difference in not having standout statistics, but performing his duties and assignment.
He played strong side LB majority of the time. He's done because he was extremely horrible in stopping the run. Dude couldn't even stop Big Ben for beating him around the edge. That's how slow he's gotten. He was atrocious at setting the edge. A lot of the big runs last season was to his side in which he didn't set the edge.

He was terrible at putting pressure on the opposing quarterbacks.

The reason why he's still here is because of the cap hit the Texans will receive is massive. And no one is trading for a OLB who doesn't get constant pressure, is terrible in the running game and cant cover a sloth.
 

Number19

Hall of Fame
He played strong side LB majority of the time. He's done because he was extremely horrible in stopping the run. Dude couldn't even stop Big Ben for beating him around the edge. That's how slow he's gotten. He was atrocious at setting the edge. A lot of the big runs last season was to his side in which he didn't set the edge.

He was terrible at putting pressure on the opposing quarterbacks.

The reason why he's still here is because of the cap hit the Texans will receive is massive. And no one is trading for a OLB who doesn't get constant pressure, is terrible in the running game and cant cover a sloth.
Thanks.
 

badboy

Hall of Fame
Can you, or anyone, tell me, did Mercilus play strong side or weak side, last year?

And why do you say he is done? He couldn't stop the run? He couldn't cover? He couldn't pressure/sack the QB?

The thing is, we've had a house cleaning, so why is he still on the roster if he under performed? There is a difference in not having standout statistics, but performing his duties and assignment.
Mercilus is still on the roster because he counts 8 million dead money with just over half a million in cap savings.
I am hoping that after this last season of his contract we might get a late-round comp if he goes elsewhere.
 

badboy

Hall of Fame
He played strong side LB majority of the time. He's done because he was extremely horrible in stopping the run. Dude couldn't even stop Big Ben for beating him around the edge. That's how slow he's gotten. He was atrocious at setting the edge. A lot of the big runs last season was to his side in which he didn't set the edge.

He was terrible at putting pressure on the opposing quarterbacks.

The reason why he's still here is because of the cap hit the Texans will receive is massive. And no one is trading for a OLB who doesn't get constant pressure, is terrible in the running game and cant cover a sloth.
Yep, I am hoping that he was just disgusted with everything going on last season and realizing this is his year to play for a new contract somewhere he cranks it back up. Is it a reasonable hope that remains to be seen.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
Possible Texans starting defense.

Walker- Dunn or Blacklock) Omenihu- Lawson

Jenkins-- Cunningham- Kirksey

Mitchell- L. Johnson- Reid - Roby
King will either be the nickel or the FS. Maybe a little bit of both.

I think they draft another CB too. Could even be in the 3rd. The LB's should be much better this yr. Depth and maybe even another starter is badly needed.

There really aren't any difference makers in the bunch. But the tackling should be better. Don't forget about Taylor at DT, he's got potential.
 

Texansballer74

Hall of Fame

"The defense, it just wasn’t tight enough," said Reid on Friday. "Too many holes, too many pitch-and-catches. We tried to put some emphasis on the ball but we didn’t do a good enough job last year, plain and simple.

"We were one of the bottom tiers in the league."
 
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banned1976

All Pro
For what it's worth, the last 3 games of 2018 the Texans allowed an average of 95.7 rushing yards per game. A really good 89.6 for the season. Last 3 games of 2019 RPG = 178.3, 123.7 for the season. Last 3 of 2020 = 194.7 RPG, 160.2 for the season. In a division in which two of the teams love running the ball, the Texans must expend tremendous effort and assets in shoring in this atrocious run defense. It is the biggest Achilles Heal of the entire team.

Who are the (proven, not wishful thinking) run stoppers for this team?
 


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