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Earl Mitchell on free agency, Crennel's defense

Posted Feb 18, 2014

Earl Mitchell discusses his impending free agency and how defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel's defense may require a different sort of nose tackle.

After playing football for four years in his hometown, nose tackle Earl Mitchell finds himself in a different role this offseason. With the March 11 deadline just weeks away, the four-year veteran will be an unrestricted free agent.

“It’s definitely different for me but I’ve been in the business long enough to see what a lot of these guys go through,” Mitchell said in a radio interview with Texans All Access. “I’ve seen a lot of guys that have come in and how they’ve handled themselves. It’s a business and I’m just prepared for whatever happens.”

Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is known for running a traditional 3-4 scheme that could require different personnel than Wade Phillips' system. Nose tackle is one position that could see some changes.

“Usually guys in a typical 3-4 are much bigger guys and have a stouter presence,” Mitchell said. “There is a difference between that scheme and Wade’s (Phillips) because Wade’s was more of a straight penetrate, one-gap still, and instead of 4-3, ours was just a hybrid scheme.  It’s definitely different because (Crennel’s) is more of a two-gap with those three defensive linemen controlling the line of scrimmage.”

Should he stay, Mitchell will be reunited with defensive line coach Bill Kollar who was one of just two coaching assistants that remained from the 2013 season. Under Kollar, Mitchell logged a career-high 1.5 sacks and led the league at his position in tackles with 87 (33 solo) in 2013.


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