The NFL lockout is still crawling along at a snails pace and with no resolution any where near the horizon. Players are still doing their part to stay in shape.
The Houston Texans have been working out since almost as soon as the lockout started. The Texans have had players working out at two different places. Quarterback Matt Schaub and many of the offensive players have had work outs at Rice University.
While team captain DeMecco Ryans rehabs his injured knee at the University of Alabama, linebacker Brian Cushing and many of the defensive players have been working out at Plex Gym in Stafford a Houston suburb.
With the priority not really on the offensive side of the ball due to the fact that the system will not be changing on that side of the ball this season and the offense ranking 3rd last year in total offense. It seems fitting that the emphasis, this off season, is placed on the defensive side of the ball. That could not have been more evident than it was during this years NFL draft.
The defense last year blew five games and finished 30th, including 32nd against the pass. The Texans gave up 33 touchdowns through the air. The Texans defense also allowed 427 points to rank 29th. Late in the season the Texans defense was on pace to break the single season record for most yards surrendered per game but narrowly averted that record.
With all that being said it is presumed that the Texans defensive team leaders have been hard at work trying to prep for the upcoming season by working to install parts of Wade Phillips defense on their own. Glover Quin who is rumored to be making the move to Free Safety, if the Texans can grab a veteran corner in free agency, did in fact receive a defensive playbook. During the brief 24 hour window in which the lockout was temporarily lifted.
Glover Quin confirmed this during a telephone interview on the Dylan Gwinn show on 790 AM in Houston. When asked by Dylan Gwinn if Quin has been told one way or the other what position Quin would be playing this year?
Glover Quin’s response was as follows, “I don’t know either. I’m hearing the same rumors. I’ve talked with them (coaches) before the lockout. I actually had a talk with them the one day they lifted it but I’m still up in the air. I think it all depends on what happens in free agency and what happens with the corners that we have on the team and things of that nature. As of right now I’m a corner so until I’m told different I’ll be a corner. But I heard there is a good possibility that I could be playing free safety.”
During the same radio interview when Quin was asked by NFL scout Jayson Braddock about the brief window during the lockout in which the lockout had temporarily been open and whether or not Quin was able to get a playbook. Quin had this to say, “We didn’t actually get together as a team. I think a few of the guys that were actually in town got a chance to go up there. And depending on what time you were up there, I think if you were up there earlier I don’t even know if they had the play books ready for ya. I know when I went up there I was actually able to get one so I’ve been able to look at some stuff.”
Glover Quin went on to talk about all things football related such as the defenses horrendous performance, their youth last year in the secondary, his new secondary teammates and Coach Phillips’ implication that the defense isn’t that difficult to learn and that it should be a quick transition for the defensive guys.
Quin’s suggestion that he has merely “been able to look at some stuff” from the playbook leads me to believe that the defensive players that are getting together for workouts may in fact only be working out and not working as a unit to install the defense to the best of their ability.
Jayson Braddock seems to feel that the transition to free safety is a logical one seeing how physical Glover Quin plays as a cornerback. Quin ranked in the top 10 in tackles amongst cornerbacks in the league last year. Quin did show a physical side to his game last year that excited some fans but it was truly hard to be very excited when the lone bright spot was surrounded by so much gloom in other spots.
Only time will tell with the new defense. Let’s just hope the defensive unit is working on installing and learning some of the play book and terminology during the team workout sessions at the Plex.
If the Houston Texans are able unable to sign a veteran strong safety but nails down a free agent corner then look for the tandem of Quin and rookie strong safety Shiloh Keo to make a possible opening day start together at the two safety positions.
You can hear the entire interview by clicking the link. NFL Scout Talk: Interview with Houston Texans Glover Quin.