As playoff football continues in the NFL, the 24 teams who have been eliminated from contention have transitioned into off-season mode. They have begun scouting potential draftees, made plans to attend workouts such as the Combine and the Senior Bowl, and eyed players that are scheduled to be free agents this year. This is part of the normal cycle of the NFL, but this year has a different feel due to the uncertainty with collective bargaining agreement. The CBA issue may affect the Texans more than some other teams as they are attempting to switch defensive schemes in a turbulent off-season. How do they plan on going about this undertaking? Follow the jump for your daily links.
John McClain lays the groundwork for all of the off-season steps such as the draft, free agency and even existing players switching positions. Couple of interesting notes here:
-First of all, he suggests that Glover Quin should switch to free safety. While this shoudn't be considered a revelation because that's been bfd's brainchild since he was drafted, its also something that Wade seemed to allude to in his introductory presser.
-Secondly, he states correctly that no free agents will be signed as soon as the league year is over, but incorrectly states that there will be a draft because "college players aren't members of the union until they sign". The actual CBA that is set to expire stipulates that the college draft shall be held for one more year. If, God forbid, there was no season next year, and a new CBA was still not set in place, there would be no draft next year.
As for the draft, Jesse Rios explained his interpretation of Gary Kubiak's comments relating to leaning on Wade Phillips for drafting defensive players. You can check out Daniel Charles' ongoing thread about the Texans draft history to see why it is probably a good idea for Wade to give his input on defensive draftees.
The Texans first-round pick in 2010, cornerback Kareem Jackson, had a pretty rough rookie season. During his Texans chat yesterday, John McClain laid out why he thinks it was not as bad you think. John Hallam thinks that Jackson can improve next season, but Rivers McCown thinks that Jackson's stats aren't as bad because of luck, not good play.
Free agency and the draft will be important, but what might be more important is how Wade handles the players already on the roster. Patrick from the Texans Tribune explains to Wade the situation at hand as he sees it. Also, Richard Justice thinks that Wade needs to start by talking to Mario Williams, who he thinks has never turned in a full effort.
Brian Cushing won Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2009, but had a disappointing sophomore season. He raised some eyebrows recently when he switched representation to Drew Rosenhaus. Apparently, the agent switch was not related to trying to get a new contract.
With the defense getting all the focus, one thing that has been flying under the radar for the most part is the potential hiring of Rick Dennison as the Denver Broncos next head coach. Mike Kerns asks hypothetically if he is the favorite to get the job, and what that might mean to the Texans.