When the Texans hired defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, he joined the team as part of a pakage deal. Along with the coach, the Texans are getting a new defensive scheme – they’ll switch from the 4-3 approach to a 3-4. The NFL lockout comes at a bad time for the Texans defensive players as they get a new coach, new scheme and a new playbook during a time when they’re forbidden to even communicate with the team.
Under the leadership of Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, approximatel 30 players are participating in their own player-run practices so they are physically ready for the field when the offseason does resume.
The Texans defense, which struggled tremendously last season, endured its biggest blow when defensive captain DeMeco Ryans suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon during a Week 6 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs and was sidelined the remainder of the year.
Ryans, who’s further along in his rehabilitation than expected, has been the defensive leader at the player-run practices.
Dr. Kenneth First, an orthopedic surgeon and sports injury consultant for SportsRadio 610, says athletes usually do not recover from injuries like Ryans’ in less than six to nine months. Ryans, only eight months removed from suffering the devastating injury, is back with his teammates and leading teaching sessions everyday during their practices.
Texans tight end Owen Daniels told SportsRadio 610’s Vandermeer & Lopez he’s observed Ryans working with other members of the defense as they teach themselves the basics about certain coverages and fronts that come with playing in Phillips’ 3-4 scheme.
“[The defense] did a good job in defending us during the practices that we did have,” Daniels said during the interview. “There’s nobody better to be teaching out there than DeMeco. It’s good to have him around and to have his insight and expertise.”
Ryans says he’ll be 100-percent healthy by the beginning of August when training camp is supposed to start.
No other NFL team has done as much as the Texans players have with their own time during the lockout.