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For the last few offseasons, many Texans fans have clamored for the team to bring in a true nose tackle. Your Houston Texans management team has answered that clarion call with
an extended middle finger silence. Why? Theories abound after the jump.
A few days ago, TGC hypothesized that Kubes' system relies far more on the linebackers, as opposed to the defensive line, to stop the run. That mentality doesn't necessarily jibe with a traditional 4-3 scheme, but it would somewhat explain the Texans' repeated reluctance to bring in a planetoid nose tackle. So that's one possible justification.
Another is that Bill Kollar has sold Kubes and/or Frank Bush on the notion that small, quick defensive tackles are better options than a space-eating nose tackle. I presume that sales pitch involved repeated "action shots" of Frank Okam. Speaking of...
I mentioned this in a comment the other day, and I figured I'd throw it out here to stir up some more discussion. Is it possible that the Texans' experience with Frank Okam soured this regime on the idea of Casey Hampton/Shaun Rogers/Dan Williams/Terrence Cody types entirely? Back at the 2008 NFL Combine, Frank Okam ran a 5.32 forty, leading Mike Mayock to remark:
"Frank Okam is fat and out of shape," he says, "doesn't he realize how important this is?"
At the time, Okam was nursing an injured calf, but throughout his time in Houston, he's repeatedly heard questions about his desire and/or conditioning. As the only thing approaching a nose tackle the team has had for the last two seasons, you'd think Okam would be in a prime position to get snaps, yet he spent much of the 2009 season watching the games in street clothes on the sidelines, despite not being on injured reserve. Could it be that the perceived sins of Okam will prevent this regime from ever getting a big body for the middle of the defensive line?
Or is the failure to bring in a big body a calculated, scheme-based decision? Or do Gary Kubiak, Rick Smith, Frank Bush, and/or Bill Kollar have crippling cases of cacomorphobia? State your case in the Comments below.