- Created on Friday, 29 April 2011 02:47
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
While his head coaching record has not been that great, wherever he has gone as a defensive coordinator, success was soon to follow. With the first round of the 2011 NFL draft, the team took a step towards making sure that he has the tools he needs to take the Texans defense to the next level.
Seeing the Texans go with a defensive player was not surprising at all. After the year the defense had in 2010 (30th overall, 12th against the run, and 32nd against the pass), the need for improved personnel was clear. Even with all the speculation that they were going with a defensive end, it is a little surprising that they did.
Houston’s secondary was horrible last season. Rookie (and 2010-first round pick) Kareem Jackson had to learn a lot of things the hard way. Glover Quinn was just in his second year and still improving a lot himself.
Even with the need for secondary help evident, the team was looking to pick up a player that could play the left end of Phillips’ 3-4 defense with the No 11 pick. A large part of that logic, however, was based off the idea that the two best cornerbacks in the draft would be gone by time the Texans were picking.
LSU’s Patrick Peterson was taken by the Cardinals with the fifth pick, but Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara was available and did not end up going till the 19th pick (New York Giants). There are rumors that teams (not just the Texans) passed on him due to some possible personality quirks and concerns over whether he will be able to fit into a NFL locker room.
Whatever the reason the Texans chose to pass on him, they still opted to improve the defense by creating a nightmare scenario for offensive lines by drafting defensive end J.J. Watt (6’6” and 285 pounds) from Wisconsin.
“I like his ability,” Phillips said. “He’s our kind of player. He plays 100 miles per hour on every play.
“He’s a good athlete. He ran a 4.81, I believe, at 290 pounds. They (at the combine) worked him out as an outside backer, and he actually didn’t look bad at 290 pounds. He did 34 reps (225 pounds).”
One of the most common attributes used to describe Watt has been his rare work ethic and determination to be among the best at what he does. His enthusiasm was evident when he said:
“It’s a great day to be a Texan,” Watt said from New York, where he attended the draft. “I feel very comfortable playing anywhere along the defensive line. The goal is to sack Peyton Manning. That’s what everyone around here is saying. That’s my job.”
With Watt and Mario Williams working the line next year, Peyton might want to watch out.