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Quotes: LB coach Reggie Herring press conference

Posted Apr 27, 2013

Linebackers coach Reggie Herring spoke to the media regarding Trevardo Williams on Saturday.

Linebackers coach Reggie Herring

(on fitting in the Texans program) “Well, the way we saw this was we had had several possibilities on the board just now and this is kind of the way it fell. What we see in our system is the more linebackers, the better. They give flexibility within your system, which is critical. Our numbers outside were down. We feel with this move, with his ability, Trevardo Williams’ ability, to rush the passer, his speed; his height is not ideal for the position, but it is adequate. There’s plenty of 6’1” ‘backers that are pretty good in this league. His play strength is really good, which is really important to me if you’ve heard me speak before. The transition to this league with the play strength, but the one thing he has that the rest of them on the board don’t is he’s fast, period. The guy can fly, and the transition to this league without knowing any technique or fundamental skills on rushing the passer in this league, if you are fast, you have a chance to be successful early before you even learn any techniques. Fast is important. Speed is very valuable in our defense, and that’s what he’s got, and that’s why I’m emphasizing that. He’ll play SAM (Strongside Linebacker) along with (OLB Sam) Montgomery, the SAM position with flexibility to go either way. What this does is once again, it does provides us with options to possibly move (OLB) Brooks Reed inside, which Brooks Reed, I said last night, has played inside for us at times. We feel very comfortable with that move if that is an option to get our best 11 on the field, so what it does is it adds speed to your special teams, adds speed to your team. He possesses exceptional pass rush, speed outside which is key for our scheme. It gives us depth and moves of flexibility down the road or initially – we’ll wait to see. We have time to evaluate, to see how this draft plays out the rest of the day. I would see this as a move that could turn into a great positive for us either way. It’s a good move because ‘backers are important in this scheme.”

(on potentially moving OLB Brooks Reed to ILB) “That’s something I don’t want to get nailed down to right now. I would feel extremely, and I know (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) feels the same way, extremely comfortable with moving Brooks Reed inside. LIke I said, I’ve got a highlight tape of him playing inside last year and he might be, without hurting anybody’s feelings, he might be the second best IL (inside linebacker) on campus right now. He has an IL body, he’s got instincts, plays with his hair on fire, he can shock and loc. They try to run lead plays on him, he sheds the guy in the hole, and makes plays just like a great linebacker. Unlimited possibilities there. I know he’s embraced the idea early on. After the season we discussed possible moves in the offseason that might predicate him having to be moved inside. He was excited about the move. He’s done it; he’s seen himself have success. It’s no different when we moved Cush (ILB Brian Cushing), who’s playing outside, inside. We moved him inside and everyone was like, “Oh, who knows.” At the end of the day, if you could hunt with instincts and play extremely fast with play strength, we’ll find a place for you inside. What it does is there’s a comfort with taking two outside ‘backers right now. I guess to answer your question, we feel very comfortable if we decide to move Brooks inside, we feel very, very comfortable about that, to get our best 11 on the field. What we feel like we’ve added is exceptional pass-rush with (OLB) Sam Montgomery outside as well as (OLB) Trevardo Williams and that’s where this scheme starts and I think Wade will echo the sentiment that outside ‘backers, you can’t have enough. What it does, is gives us flexibility.”

(on OLB Trevardo Williams being evolved enough to play) “The best guess would be (OLB) Sam Montgomery, I know can play the run in this league because he has above average play strength. And I’ve seen him set the edge and he will probably set the edge as good as anybody we have right now coming in. This guy is an above average edge-setter. He is a physical, explosive guy. The only question I had on him was how comfortable he was going to be dropping at times. We try to keep it simple with him, take the back in the flat and the things like that, or buzz the curl, so we have to be flexible with that on what players can and can’t do. We have to be flexible with that on what players can and can’t do. To answer your question I don’t think he will have any problem transitioning into this league early. Personally, there were a couple of us that had him in the first round and the second round. We got him in the third, guys. In our eyes, ability-wise, why he was there in the third, that is for Inspector Caruso to figure out, but at the end of the day you couldn’t pass up his playing skills and value. If you expect a first- or second-rounder to come in the League and play or start for you, which we normally do, that’s where we personally had him ranked. So, having said that, we feel pretty confident play-strength wise, he can make the adjustment and survive in the physical and the speed of the game. (OLB) Trevardo (Williams) has exceptional play-strength as well, 30 on the bench, he’s shown he can play over a tight end and be very physical, and he’s shown that he’s got the speed to run by off the edge. I do see him more as a back-up right now working behind Sam (Montgomery) in that manner and then see how it plays out. But it does give us more bullets on the outside.”

(on how the two draft picks would be listed on a depth chart) “Right now, it doesn’t matter; it’s all competitive and it would only make one or the other mad, but I’d probably start out with (OLB) Sam (Montgomery) just because he’s bigger, and then have (OLB) Trevardo (Williams) backing him up. Right now, and there’s nothing nailed down, we’ve had (OLB Bryan) Braman behind Whit (OLB Whitney Mercilus) right now on the other side. Braman is outrunning wideouts right now, but we’ve got to get his weight up obviously he’s up and down since he’s had that surgery. But we feel like we’re really getting fast outside as a group. And then you put (OLB) Brooks Reed in the equation, who can play in this league. He’s got the fastest get-off in the last two years in the Combine and including (Denver OLB) Von Miller, as far as the first 10 yards go. The guy is a really good football player. We’ve got some moves, we’re going to have to look at this, but there are moves to be made. So the lack of not having an IL (inside linebacker) in this draft right now, it gives us flexibility.”

(on OLB Trevardo Williams saying he had limited contact with the Texans prior to the Draft) “Oh we’ve always had him earmarked at coming in as a backup SAM, special teams, pass rush, and develop into a possible starter someday. That’s where we had him ranked, and that’s the definition of where we’ve had him. There’s a lot of fourth-rounders in this league starting, and seventh-rounders. As we look at developing backups in this league, the backup guys, you want them to at least some day have the chance to get there and they have to have some special quality, whether it be incredible play-strength to stop the run and dominate or be a great pass rusher. You have to have some quality and he has that redeeming quality – he is very fast.”

(on if OLB Trevardo Williams’ speed is his biggest strength) “You just answered the question. All you have to do is turn on the film and watch him. He’s running by guys, and he does it very well. I think the big thing is, if he was two inches taller, then he’d have been in a lot higher rounds. He’s just marginal size, but his speed is above average, so you’ve got to look at the draft and find out how many 4.4 (40-yard dash) outside ‘backers or d-ends –I don’t know if there are any others. You tell me. There might be one 4.5 guy. You see what I’m saying? It’s rare, and that’s what you’re looking for in a developmental backup quality.”

(on OLB Trevardo Williams’ lack of height) “He might get engulfed at times, say if he was rushing on tackles all day. He’s going to have to get the big guys off the spot because you’re going to have to go again 6’6”, 330-pound, 36(-inch) arms and things of that nature, there’s a lot of physics involved in this game, but the one thing speed can do is break all that down. It’s (Denver OLB) Von Miller. Von Miller is 6’1” and 250 pounds and ran a 4.4. He’s not an ideal great-sized ‘backer; so is the other guy they just cut from Denver and went to Philly (OLB Elvis Dumervil). He was 6-foot, so those guys possess great speed and it therefore creates anxiety. If you’ve got to get the big spot off the spot, you know create seams inside and mobility issues whether you can beat him outside or inside, that’s where your speed works for you.”

(on OLB Trevardo Williams’ potential for success) “Well, I think that’s what we all do. We all rely on examples in the past from our experiences and through positions of who’s been successful at what. Long arms as a pass rusher has always been a bad red flag for outside guys until Dwight Freeney came along and just flat ran by everybody; the greatest get off in probably the last 30 years in the NFL when he was in his prime. He had short arms. I was here 10 years ago with (former Texans Head Coach) Dom (Capers) and went to work him out as an outside ‘backer and all we heard was his arms are short, they’re too short. And now he’ll be in the Hall of Fame someday and one of the greatest pass rushers to come around in a long time because of his speed and his get-off. He got away with the basic scale because he had a quality that could balance out a lack of other skills or measurables.”

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