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Texans 4-3 (1 Viewer)

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Now that the Texans are deep into their offseason program under new coach Gary Kubiak, the defensive players are certain that switching to a 4-3 scheme was the right thing to do.

After playing a 3-4 for four seasons under former coach Dom Capers, the defensive players are excited about the change under new defensive coordinator Richard Smith.

Smith, who was Miami's co-defensive coordinator last season, has built a reputation as an aggressive coach who wants his players to attack rather than read and react.

"I'm ready to strap on my boots because the linemen in a 4-3 get to fire off the ball," said tackle Travis Johnson, last year's No. 1 pick who was ill-suited for end in a 3-4. "The 4-3's ideal for me because I'm agile, mobile and hostile."

When Johnson came to the Texans from Florida State last season, he wrote "trespass" and "danger" on his wristbands.

"Playing in a 4-3 this season, I'm going to get charged with trespassing a lot," he said. "If God's blessed you with gifts that suit a certain style, you can't just sit and catch blockers all day.

"The 4-3 is really suited for all of us on the defensive line. We are going to cause some havoc."

Like Johnson, Robaire Smith has moved inside to tackle from end in the 3-4. Smith played tackle in Tennessee's 4-3 before leaving the Titans to sign with the Texans.

"It's sort of like riding a bicycle in that once you've done it and that's what you love to do, it's going to be easy to pick it back up," Smith said of the change. "This (4-3) is more about using your natural talent.

"Instead of sitting and waiting and reacting to somebody, which we did in the 3-4, we can get off the ball and penetrate. As long as you're knocking your guy backward and controlling your gap, you're going to do well in a 4-3."

The tackles aren't the only defensive players breathing sighs of relief at the switch.

Antwan Peek and Jason Babin, who started at outside linebacker in the 3-4 and dropped down in passing situations, are competing at right end. Ideally, in passing situations, Babin will play left end, and Anthony Weaver, the free-agent addition from Baltimore, will move inside to tackle.

"I'm sure looking forward to it," said Peek, who has to gain weight and continue to get stronger to play end on a full-time basis. "It's going to be a big difference."

Peek's strength is his quickness to get off the ball and get after the quarterback. His quickness and aggressiveness will cause him to make some mistakes when he gets fooled, but it also will help him make big plays.

"It was frustrating," he said. "In a 3-4, you don't get enough opportunities to rush to set up your moves. In a 4-3, you get so many more chances to rush. There'll be so many more opportunities to utilize what I do best.

"The first thing the coaches talked to me about was putting me in the best position to make plays. They want me to go hard every down and get that ball."

Babin, a No. 1 pick in 2004, started every game as a rookie and had four sacks. Last season, he suffered a shoulder injury in training camp, missed a lot of time and was never 100 percent. He still had four sacks.

"I get to go back to defensive end, where I played in college," he said. "It's more natural for me than linebacker.

"When I had to drop back and read pass coverage, it was a little hard for me to learn at first. Naturally, I want to go forward and attack."

It's not just the linemen who are ecstatic about the 4-3.

"It's a new beginning, and this system allows us to play more than having to spend so much time thinking," cornerback Dunta Robinson said. "Any time you switch coaches, a lot of changes are going to be made. Sometimes, change can be exciting."

Looks like a mess with no clear cut pass rushing guy to bank on. Their lack of talent on the DL will hurt even more if the offense can't move the ball IMO. Not enough playmakers on throughout their defense and if the Offense is not doing much this mediocre D will have a very tuff time this upcoming season.

Sheesh, no DL or OL...not a great way to build a team. :confused:


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