Houston Texans' Coaching Change: IDP Impact

Football Maniaxs@@FantasymaniaxsSenior Writer IJanuary 25, 2011

The Houston Texans have upgraded significantly at defensive coordinator, replacing Frank Bush with former Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips.

Now on his sixth team as a defensive coordinator, Phillips is known for suiting his schemes to his personnel.

However, he has already made it clear that Houston will be switching primarily from its recent 4-3 scheme to running a 3-4 alignment most of the time.

This switch is going to have a major impact on all Texans IDPs, a unit that includes current studs and young players with great upside at every position.

How will these players' fantasy fortunes be affected?

There are a lot of good things to say from a real football perspective about this hire: Phillips is always willing to adapt to his personnel and he has some very clever play-calling skills.

We can expect the Texans to become better at stopping the run, even with no changes in personnel, which means a few more tackles to be spread around.

Phillips is also adept at finding ways to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, although they will have to get some fresh bodies to make that really happen.


Stock Up:

DeMeco Ryans

The real value in Wade Phillips' system is the weakside ILB. Ryans is clearly the guy who fits that bill.

We can expect Ryans' tackle numbers to stay the same or get even better, while also adding some sacks to his stat lines.


Daryl Sharpton

One thing the Texans have in abundance is a solid corps of linebackers.

I see Sharpton as the most likely to be on the inside with Ryans. He showed some decent promise as a rookie this year and with a regular job at SILB, Sharpton will have the opportunity to average six or seven tackles a game.


Bernard Pollard

Pollard is really the only defensive back the Texans have that will flourish in Phillips' system.

He'll be used even more in run support, adding to his tackle totals and will also be sent in more often on safety blitzes.


Stock Down:

Mario Williams

This will be controversial to people who remember that Phillips has coached IDP studs like Bruce Smith and Reggie White.

Many will predict that Williams will go to the next level in his development, but here's my problem with this: The Texans do not have anyone who can play nose tackle and keep two offensive linemen busy at the same time.

That has to be their top priority in the draft and solid NTs take a few years to develop.

Until that happens, Williams will be stuck at the line of scrimmage and won't have the freedom to chase the quarterback.


Connor Barwin

Congratulations to everyone who stashed Barwin away hoping for the next breakout DE: You just got stuck holding the bag, unless you are on a Web site that will be slow to change his designation to LB.

Barwin will most likely line up at OLB, meaning his main job will be to rush the passer occasionally and otherwise funnel opposing runners to the inside for other guys to tackle.

While I love Barwin as a player, I just don't see him becoming the next DeMarcus Ware.


No Change:

Brian Cushing

Cushing will most likely take the other OLB position. This could mean his stock is down, except I believe his upside already died this year when he wasn't allowed to take steroids anymore.

That means he'll be a lot like he was in 2010, getting you anywhere from two to six tackles a game with the infrequent sack thrown in.


Cut Bait:

Kareem Jackson, Glover Quin

It is possible that both these young cornerbacks could improve, but right now they have serious deficiencies in defending the pass and don't have the skills in run support demanded by a Phillips scheme.

Cornerback is another area where Houston will need to upgrade either through free agency or the draft.


For more fantasy analysis, check us out at Fantasy Football Maniaxs.


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