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Free-agent safety Eric Weddle, a four-year unrestricted free agent for San Diego, says playing for the Texans is a definite possibility.
Once the lockout is lifted, negotiations with the Chargers may resume, but Weddle, a California native, is curious about the possibility of playing for another team.
“I know there are a lot of teams out there that need a safety,” Weddle said during an interview on SportsRadio 610, the Texans flagship station in Houston. ”I know how the Chargers feel about me, but the time is coming to see if they really want me back or if there are other teams that would have me help them get to the next level and get to the Super Bowl.”
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Last season, the Texans defense ranked near the bottom for almost every measurable statistic. Specifically, the secondary was among the league’s worst, and it needs help.
After clearing out the defensive coaching staff, team owner Bob McNair, general manager Rick Smith and coach Gary Kubiak brought in former Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator for the Texans. Phillips’ resume as a defenisve coach attracts highly-rated players like Weddle.
“His track record speaks for itself,” Weddle said of Phillips’ career coaching defense. “He’s a unbelievable defensive coordinator and was an unbelievable head coach when he was one. You have the respect level because you know what he is as a defensive coordinator and what he brings to the table.
“You get a guy in there his first year, there are going to be a lot of changes. But you know the changes are going to reap awards for your team.”
Weddle, who had 96 tackles, two interceptions and half a sack last season, has spent his entire four-year career with the Chargers, but his desire to be be an impact player for a team that needs help (and a convincing contract) might be enough to bring him to Houston.
“If I do end up in Houston, I will be excited to play under Wade Phillips, knowing the defenses he’s coached have been some of the top defenses in the league,” he said.
The Texans organization will be celebrating its 10th NFL season this year, but they’ve not yet celebrated a playoff berth. While that might be a turnoff to some some players during free agency, Weddle sees potential with the Texans.
“I know the possibility in Houston,” he said. ”They have a great team, great players, an amazing city. They just havent put it all together.”
He understand the feeling all too well.
“In San Diego the last four years, we have had great teams, great seasons,” Weddle said about the Chargers, who missed the playoffs last year and were forced to black out some games. “We just haven’t put it all together. You add a couple pieces, and you add a couple of more wins.”
Weddle could be one of the missing pieces that could help the Texans get a few more wins. But the one thing he didn’t experience last season is being on a bad defense.
Weddle says eliminating thee deep ball and cheap big plays- a near impossibility for the Texans last season – is the key to slowing an opponent’s offense. The Chargers were the N0. 1 defense in allowing 40-yard pass plays, 20-yard pass plays and 20-yard run plays.
Why leave a good thing?
“I’ve had a great four years here,” Weddle said about his time in San Diego. ”I want to see what’s out there. My mind is open to wherever there is opportunity.