By now I’m sure you’ve seen this article. Wade Phillips goes over several topics relating to the 2011 Houston defense, which still holds many mysteries. Mysteries! One thing that’s not a mystery? Wade’s opinion of Frank Bush as a defensive coach, which he doesn’t discuss openly, but you can read between the lines.
Wade, Gary Kubiak, and Rick Smith have given little hints here and there about what to expect personnel-wise for 2011, but I’m still holding out hope that there is a lot of smoke in all of this speculation.
From the above-linked article, regarding Mario Williams as a stand-up rusher:
“When they did stand him up, he took that false step every time, and that made him late on his rush. You don’t want him late on the rush. That’s just fundamentals, something you have to work on. That’s what happens when you have a player who’s not used to standing up stand up. I don’t think you need to stand Mario up. He comes off the ball so well with his hand on the ground I don’t know that you’d ever want to stand him up.”
Wow, take that Frank Bush. Or, take that, Mario Williams, depending on your perspective. Part of coaching is putting your players in the best position to take advantage of what they are best at. If the “false step” issue was a recurring one with Mario, how did Frank Bush not fix that? Mario may be a traditional hand-on-the-ground rusher, but there’s NO WAY he couldn’t be coached to avoid that false step Phillips is talking about. I’m not saying he could have been coached into being an excellent stand-up rusher, but a guy with Mario’s talent – there’s no way he wouldn’t be able to correct something like that. God, Frank Bush was an absolute abomination.
Antonio Smith will start opposite Williams. The more Phillips sees of second-year defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, the more he likes the idea of Mitchell’s becoming an effective nose tackle.
This is not a Phillips quote. It’s just part of John McClain’s copy. I find it interesting that Phillips didn’t have anything to say (or at least nothing notable enough to make the article) about Antonio Smith. We’ve seen tons of talk from Wade about Earl Mitchell, Shaun Cody, Mario, the linebackers, etc – but barely a word about Antonio. Hm.
Regarding Mitchell: “I like him a lot. His strength is in his legs. Guards don’t move him. I know the center won’t move him. He’s got the quickness and speed that make him a good player wherever he is. I think we’ll be versatile enough to put him in a position where he can help us.”
Versatile enough to put him in a position where he can help us? Wherever he is? Doesn’t sound like he has Mitchell tabbed as the starting nose tackle, does it? Sounds like he may move him around and have him as a part of the rotation.
This is my favorite, regarding “nose tackle” Shaun Cody: “I think it was important to re-sign Cody because we know who we have.”
WE KNOW WHO WE HAVE?!?!? THAT is what you have to say about your alleged STARTING nose tackle in the first year of a new scheme, in a season where we need an IMMEDIATE TURNAROUND on defense?!?!?!
Let me repeat what I’ve been saying all offseason. I really, really believe (HOPE) that the whole “Earl Mitchell and Shaun Cody are our nose tackles” thing is a smokescreen. They’re going to draft a NT. A guy they think can start. Or they’re going to sign one in free agency. Put me down for this. Hold me to it. It’s going to happen. Not a rotational guy, not a “can start in a couple of years” guy – but a guy who is going to start in 2011.
Yes, I know, Shaun Cody signed a new contract. I’m just going to ignore that, because right now I’m blinded by false hope. Cody and Mitchell will be rotation guys, with Mitchell possibly moving around on the line. I’m not sure how that’s going to work, but Wade’s comments seem to back that up.
So that’s the part that I both like, and am confused by. So that’s it. We’re done.
What’s that? The secondary? Oh, yeah – I nearly forgot. It was one of the worst in NFL history. HISTORICALLY bad. Lots of talk in this article about the defensive line and linebackers, so yeah, about that secondary?
Regarding Glover Quin: “If we get another player, he could go someplace else.” [You mean, like waivers?] “He’s versatile enough to play corner or safety. I like having that kind of flexibility.” [Oh.]
Not that I would want to cut Quin – quite the opposite. He’s the best corner on the team, by far. (How far? Pretty far. Which is a scathing indictment of the position group considering he was as bad as he was last year.)
Anyway, translation – (and we already knew this from all the talk, this just reinforces it) Glover Quin is going to be your starting FS in 2011, which is a move that would have been welcome TWO YEARS AGO!!! The Texans will add a veteran CB when free agency returns, and Quin will be the free safety. Who’s the other corner going to be? Obviously a guy with the experience and success as a defensive coordinator such as Wade Phillips is going to make Kareem “Twitter is hard” Jackson EARN whatever spot on the depth chart he ends up at next year:
“We’ve got to get (Kareem) Jackson playing better and not put him in some of the situations the corners were put in last year.”
BUAHAHAHA *Wade sneaks up on Frank Bush!* *punches Frank Bush in the back of the neck* *kicks Frank Bush while he’s down* GET OFF HIM, WADE!!!
Bum’s son is throwing haymakers here, and I don’t think McClain realized it.
Alright, that’s a blog post. I may seem a little… on edge tonight? That’s because former Texan, and GREAT guy Charles Spencer worked me into a tizzy tonight when he said – with 100% seriousness – that both Patrick Ewing AND David Robinson were better centers than Hakeem Olajuwon. I know, that doesn’t even deserve a response, but respond I did. With venom.
It’s a good thing I like Charles, because if not I would definitely have reported him for SMOKING A MICHAEL IRVIN-SIZED PILE OF CRACK BEFORE OPENING HIS TWITTER ACCOUNT!!!