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The Houston Texans Defense Hinges On This Group Being Unleashed

The Texans desperately need a winning season after three consecutive losing outings. With so many position groups overhauled during the off-season, expectations are still shockingly low for the Texans heading into 2023 with the longest odds to win their division.


A large reason for the low odds rests on the atrocity of the run defense, which was last in the league in 2022.


Texans Defense Will Highlight Linebacker Core


One of the highlights of Demeco Ryans' defense in San Francisco was his usage of the linebackers. Fred Warner was an unstoppable force on the defensive side of the ball, making plays all across the field and receiving the highest PFF grade heading into the 2023 season.


Fred Warner has been coached by Demeco Ryans since he entered the league in 2018, which makes the outlook for the Texans group astronomically better than last year.


Sophomore speedster Christian Harris will benefit from the special attention and expertise that Ryans, a former Texans linebacker, can bring as the new head coach.



Texans Add A Former Pro Bowl Linebacker


One of the more underrated signings of the off-season was the deal that the Texans struck with Denzel Perryman. Perryman was brought in on a one-year, $2,600,000 deal to add maturity and leadership to the Texans locker room.


Perryman is a year removed from his Pro Bowl season with the Raiders, where he accumulated 154 tackles, five TFLs, three QB hits, and three passes defended.


He is almost guaranteed to earn a starting spot this year but has a history that is plagued by injuries. Christian Kirksey, Christian Harris, Garrett Wallow, and Henry To'oto'o will all be pushing for playing time on the opposite side of Perryman to round out this linebacker room.



Can The Linebacker Room Elevate The Texans Defense?


If you watched any games last year, it's no secret that the Texans' defense was a liability for the duration of the 2022 season.


The addition of a defensive-minded head coach, Sheldon Rankins, and a strong run-defender in Will Anderson Jr. should all help the defense play better against the run.


The linebacker room needs to provide stability on the second level, both in run defense and coverage. If the young players in the room can develop to their potential, this unit has a bright future ahead under Demeco Ryans.

 

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