This preseason started and ended with pain for the Texans and their fans as the defense at times looked out matched and out played. This shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. The roster was so fluid it was written on a dry erase board. The players were still figuring out what they were supposed to be doing. Veterans were making changes to how they played, rookies were still staggered by the reality of “I’m an NFL player!” and we all saw the hot mess that was the Arizona game. However, against both Atlanta and Denver, the defense showed signs of what to expect. Strong run stopping power and coverage that while at times was beaten a number of those weaknesses are no longer on the roster.
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There are of course, areas of concern. Health being the primary concern. Can Clowney, whose career in the NFL has included hernia surgery and sitting out two preseason games due to minor injuries survive a 16 game NFL season? Will Cushing’s legs survive the year? On top of all that the very real fear is the Texans lack the players with enough skill and speed to succeed in the secondary. We won’t know till the games count and the players start earning their pay. Something tells me we’re going to be pleasantly surprised this year by the defense.
Bend but don’t break. Create opportunities by forcing teams to make mistakes. This is what to expect. Yes, Clowney in coverage is a work in progress. That’s why the Texans have Mike Vrabel as the linebacker coach. He’s been there, done that, got the rings. Clowney and Watt will cause teams no end of migraines and if the pass defense can hold up the quarterback for just a few seconds we could have an amazing year.
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