While at the Texans Charity Golf Classic, Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips on Monday announced that Amobi Okoye would be moving to defensive end as the Texans move to a 3-4 defense. This is follows the announcement last week that Mario Williams would be moved to weakside outside linebacker.
A lot of moves have been announced over the past few months of players going to different spots in this defense. However, this announcement could potentially keep Amobi with the Texans after speculation that the 3-4 move left him without a position on the field. In a chat on Chron.com back in March, NFL writer John McClain wrote, “I’ll be surprised if he’s on the team. He’s a 4-3 DT who specializes in stopping the run but can’t rush the QB.”
ProFootballTalk picked up on him saying that and pointed out the amount of money Okoye is scheduled to make this season – $2.95 million.
Gary Kubiak alluded to the fact that Okoye will be battling for playing time with J.J. Watt, the Texans first-round pick, and veteran defensive end Antonio Smith. But it doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of playing time between the three players.
“There’ll be plenty of ball to go around,” Kubiak said. “We’ll just start from scratch.
“That’s the great thing, everybody’s starting from scratch with Wade, when we go into the meeting room that day or the field whenever that occurs.”
Wade Phillips follows up what Gary Kubiak said about Okoye’s move to defensive end.
“It’s a natural position for Amobi to play,” Phillips said. “I’ve had them all the way to Elvin Bethea, who was here with the Oilers and was a similar type guy. Hopefully, Amobi will be a Hall of Famer. (He) had a lot of quickness and great lateral movement – that’s what you look for in a defensive end, so I think he’ll fit in well.”
One player that comes to mind about making the move from 4-3 defensive tackle to defensive end in a 3-4 defense is Glenn Dorsey back in 2009 with the Chiefs. Romeo Crennel took over the defense that season and since then, Dorsey has combined for 92 tackles and three sacks. As opposed to 32 tackles and one as a 4-3 interior defensive lineman.
Once the players are able to come back to the Texans facility and get ready for hopefully a full season in 2011, we might see more moves made in this new scheme. It continues to get interesting to see how this 3-4 defense will look once football is back in play.