Let's talk about some football realities first.
The Texans have defeated the cream of the AFC South, the Indianapolis Colts, once. In eight (freaking!) years.
The Colts have been one of the best passing teams in the NFL for years.
If the Texans want to win the AFC South or make the playoffs, they have to improve their defense, specifically against the pass.
The Texans have young and inexperienced (perhaps the optimist would call them "untested") corners. One of the best ways to cover up for an untested secondary is with a strong pass rush.
The Texans have historically struggled rushing the passer.
These are realities.
Now, let's talk about free agent Aaron Schobel. More specifically, let's talk about how he can help the Texans.
Sure, he's from the area. The whole angle about the local good making good or the prodigal son returning make for good stories. It might help sell some T-shirts, but it's time for the Texans to focus on winning.
How does Schobel, if he signs, help the Texans?
At 32, Schobel still has plenty left in the tank. He had 10 sacks last season on a bad Buffalo Bills team. He will bring a veteran presence to one of the NFL's youngest teams. He can make the pass rush better, even in a limited role.
The Texans won't ask Schobel to be a starter. He'll be part of a rotation if he joins the team. That rotation will help keep all the pass rushers fresh.
Playing Schobel and Mario Williams at end will allow Antonio Smith slide down to tackle on obvious passing downs. He can also mentor second-year player Connor Barwin and, to an extent, Super Mario.
The most important down in football is third down. The offense wants to keep its drive moving and the defense wants to get off the field without giving up points. It's not important who starts the game, it's who is on the field when the chips are down.
This is where Schobel can help the Texans. He can play in the obvious passing downs when the nickle or dime defense is on the field. Those are the money downs.
Let's also not lose sight of the fact that Schobel's position coach in Buffalo for years is current Houston defensive line coach Bill Kolar. Kolar knows how to bring out the best in Schobel, and Schobel can help the other Texans learn from the D-line guru.
Bottom line: Aaron Schobel can only help the Texans. Rick Smith, get it done. Bob McNair, get it done.
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