Via the Mothership, John Harris explains in simple terms exactly what a 3-4 defense means. Watch the video here. Wish I could embed it, but the NFL is unreasonably jealous in guarding its content. All the other sports leagues freely allow highlight videos to be embedded. Bunch of jerks.
If perhaps Harris' explanation was a bit too basic for you, I invite you to check out Cian Fahey (pronounced: ???), one of my favorite NFL writers. He runs the website Pre Snap Reads and also writes for Football Outsiders and Bleacher Report. I suggest reading at least these two articles from Fahey:
Watt is going to follow in the footsteps of guys like Bruce Smith, Haloti Ngata, Justin Smith, Aaron Smith, Richard Seymour and many more who have excelled as 3-4 defensive ends, but the real question is if he can surpass them all and really revolutionise the position. Bruce Smith finished his career with 200 sacks, but he never reached the heights that Watt did last season and played for 19 years. Smith averaged 10.5 sacks per season for his career, that is a phenomenal number, but it’s possible in today’s league that Watt could take that average and surpass it by some distance.
Talent shouldn’t be an issue and he has shown no signs of durability issues, although it’s way too early to really judge. Durability and longevity are his greatest obstacles to being remembered as one of the greatest players to ever play this game, that is not something that is said about many players.
It feels like hyperbole to type that about a player who is not only still playing but still in the very early stages of his career, but that is how special a player he proved himself to be last season.
Watt was arguably the best defender in the NFL last season, but his team still finished with the worst record.
The quarterback position clearly outweighs any defensive position in terms of on-field impact, but pairing Watt with Clowney should allow the defense as a whole to flourish. Watt was the only disruptive force for the Texans last season, so it was relatively easy for the offense to adjust its game plan around him.
By bringing in Clowney, the Texans should be able to not only get more pressure upfront but make it more difficult for defenses to game-plan for each individual pass-rusher.
Both articles are highly in-depth and well worth the time of any Texans fan eager to learn more about the team's defense this year. You can follow Cian on Twitter here for more of his work.