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  • Fri., Apr. 10, 2015 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM CDT Flashback Fridays: Jerry LeVias at Go Texan Store

    Stop by the Go Texan Store on Friday, April 10, 2015 from 12:30pm - 1:30pm to meet former Houston Oilers wide receiver and current Houston Texans Ambassador, Jerry LeVias.  Fans can also enjoy a 10% off Power Hour discount in the Go Texan Store during the event!

    Store info - http://www.houstontexans.com/gotexanstore.html

  • Sat., Apr. 11, 2015 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM CDT Play Safe Clinic presented by Houston Methodist and GE The Houston Texans are proud to partner with GE and Houston Methodist to launch the Play Safe Football Clinics! These clinics will highlight the importance of concussion awareness,  proper hydration, and nutrition.

    Special guests will include experts in related fields, Houston Texans Ambassadors, and Texans Cheerleaders!  Participants will hear from guest speakers and then take part in interactive football drills. 
     
    Play Safe Football Clinics
    9:30am: Check-in
    10:00am-12:30pm: Clinics


    March 7: Cinco Ranch High School
    March 21: James Driver Park
    April 11: Pearland Junior High West
    April 25: Capmbell Middle School


    These events are free, however registration is required. There are four different dates and locations to choose from. Space is limited, so register for a clinic near you today through this link - http://www.houstontexans.com/kids/footballclinic.html
  • Sun., Apr. 12, 2015 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM CDT First Down Dads Date with my Dad presented by ARAMARK

    Sign up now for the First Down Dads Date with my Dad event presented by ARAMARK on April 12! Dads & kids will spend the afternoon at the Houston Texans Grille with Texans Cheerleaders, Ambassadors, and TORO! Register now at http://www.houstontexans.com/fan-zone/first-down-dads.html!

  • Sun., Apr. 19, 2015 6:00 AM - 3:30 PM CDT 2015 Houston Texans Kids Triathlon

    The all new Houston Texans Kids Triathlon presented by Texas Children’s Hospital is April 19. Space is limited and this event will sell out, so register your kids today by clicking on this link - http://www.houstontexans.com/kids/triathlon/home.html

  • Thu., Apr. 23, 2015 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Texans Radio Live at Houston Texans Grille Stop by the Houston Texans Grille located at CityCentre (I-10 & Beltway 8) as Texans Radio broadcasts LIVE with special guests including Voice of the Texans, Marc Vandermeer!
  • Sat., Apr. 25, 2015 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM CDT Play Safe Clinic presented by Houston Methodist and GE The Houston Texans are proud to partner with GE and Houston Methodist to launch the Play Safe Football Clinics! These clinics will highlight the importance of concussion awareness,  proper hydration, and nutrition.

    Special guests will include experts in related fields, Houston Texans Ambassadors, and Texans Cheerleaders!  Participants will hear from guest speakers and then take part in interactive football drills. 
     
    Play Safe Football Clinics
    9:30am: Check-in
    10:00am-12:30pm: Clinics


    March 7: Cinco Ranch High School
    March 21: James Driver Park
    April 11: Pearland Junior High West
    April 25: Capmbell Middle School


    These events are free, however registration is required. There are four different dates and locations to choose from. Space is limited, so register for a clinic near you today through this link - http://www.houstontexans.com/kids/footballclinic.html
  • Fri., May. 01, 2015 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM CDT Flashback Fridays at Go Texan Store

    Stop by the Go Texan Store on Friday, April 10, 2015 from 12:30pm - 1:30pm to meet a TBD Houston Texans Ambassador.  Fans can also enjoy a 10% off Power Hour discount in the Go Texan Store during the event!

    Store info - http://www.houstontexans.com/gotexanstore.html

  • Sat., May. 02, 2015 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM CDT Texans Care Volunteer Day presented by Reliant Texans Care Volunteer Day presented by Reliant is a city-wide volunteer day on Saturday, May 2, 2015 from 8AM - noon where Texans players, Cheerleaders, Ambassadors, TORO and staff will volunteer alongside Texans fans!

    As an organization, the Texans make it a priority to give back to the Houston community. This day provides an opportunity to invite Texans fans to volunteer with the team to make a positive change. These organizations work to improve the standard of living for the young people of Houston, which aligns with the Texans mission to be Champions for Youth.

    There are plenty of locations across Houston, so sign up today at http://www.houstontexans.com/community/volunteer-day.html!
  • Tue., May. 05, 2015 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM CDT Texans Radio Live at Houston Texans Grille Stop by the Houston Texans Grille located at CityCentre, 12848 Queensbury Ln. Ste 208, Houston, TX 77024 (I-10 & Beltway 8), as Texans Radio broadcasts LIVE with special guests including Voice of the Texans, Marc Vandermeer!
  • Wed., May. 13, 2015 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM CDT Moms Clinic presented by Houston Methodist and GE

    The Houston Texans are proud to partner with GE and Houston Methodist to launch the Play Safe Moms Clinic just for football moms on May 13th!

    This free clinic will provide moms with the latest safety information in concussion awareness, proper hydration and nutrition to prepare them for the upcoming football season.  These classroom-style instructions and interactive football drills will take place in the Houston Methodist Training Center.

    Space is limited, so register today at http://www.houstontexans.com/kids/momclinic.html!

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2011 Position Preview: Linebacker

Posted Sep 8, 2011

The Texans have the makings of a formidable 3-4 linebacker group with starters Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, Brian Cushing and Connor Barwin.


Leading up to the regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 11, we'll be profiling each position group on the 2011 Texans. Each article will contain excerpts from the 2011 Houston Texans Yearbook, the team's official season preview magazine that is on sale now at the Go Texan Store at Reliant Stadium and online right here.

Lineup: WLB Mario Williams (starter), ILB DeMeco Ryans (starter), ILB Brian Cushing (starter), SLB Connor Barwin (starter), SLB Brooks Reed, ILB Darryl Sharpton, ILB Tim Dobbins, WLB Bryan Braman

New additions: Reed (draft pick), Braman (undrafted rookie), Dobbins (free agent)

Departures: Zac Diles (released), Xavier Adibi (released), Jesse Nading (released), Stanford Keglar (released)

The Texans have the makings of a formidable linebacker corps with Williams, Ryans, Cushing and Barwin as their projected starting four.

All four are coming off of injuries, but Williams (sports hernia), Ryans (Achilles tendon) and Cushing (offseason knee surgery) are Pro Bowlers, and Barwin (ankle) could be one of the Texans’ breakout players this season.

Williams is slated to play the Will (weak outside) position, where Wade Phillips and linebackers coach Reggie Herring used DeMarcus Ware in Dallas. The 2006 No. 1 overall pick will be rushing on almost every snap. Opposite Williams at the Sam (strong outside) spot will be Barwin. The third-year pro had 4.5 sacks as a rookie in 2009.

Barwin will be dropping into coverage more than Williams, but the former college basketball player at Cincinnati also is capable of playing the Will. Reed, a second-round pick out of Arizona who had 2.0 sacks in the preseason, will compete with Barwin at the Sam position.

Ryans and Cushing will man the inside linebacker positions. Ryans will be the Mo linebacker on the weakside. Cushing, who played outside linebacker in the 4-3, will play the Mike position on the strongside.

“Both of them ought to be battling for the leading tackler on the team and the league, and that’s going to be our mentality,” Herring said of Ryans and Cushing. “Then at outside, we’re going to challenge the sack leaders in this league at both sides. That’s what the 3-4 presents for us. That’s what makes it tick, along with some sound coverage and some good anchoring inside with our down people. We feel like we’ve got a group of linebackers right now that gives us a chance to be very competitive.”

Sharpton, a 2010 fourth-round pick from Miami, will back up Ryans but can play either inside spot. Dobbins, a sixth-year pro from Iowa State, is listed as the Week 1 backup to Cushing. Braman made the roster after joining the Texans as an undrafted rookie from West Texas A&M.

Coach’s commentary
LBs coach Reggie Herring on Williams: “For the outside linebacker position, he has the arm length, the height, the athleticism, the ability to rush the passer, which is the first priority at that position. Possesses power as well; has speed to convert to power, and that’s always the starting point. In this scheme, will have the opportunity to rush from the outside and be a major piece of the puzzle as far as pressuring the quarterback in early downs as well as third down. At the same time, he’s an imposing physical figure as far as them trying to run to the open or weakside of our defense. Should be formidable in our run defense because of his large mass and structure. As far as dropping in coverage goes, we won’t ask him to do much coverage-wise and we won’t ask him to drop very often. We control when he rushes and drops, and with him being we think the premier pass rusher on our defense at this time, we will utilize him accordingly – to his strengths.”

Herring on Ryans: “When you talk about the Mo position, basically you’re talking about production, playmaking, an instinctive player, and that’s where we see DeMeco Ryans at, as being a productive instinct, run-hit football player. Loves the game, he’s smart, he’s intelligent. We’ll look to him to set the huddle; be one of our leaders, especially out in front of the huddle as a captain of our defense; to make all the adjustments and checks; to be a tempo setter; to be a productive guy using his instincts and his play production, his ability to get to the football, his nose for the football. That’s what we look for in our Mo, as well as blitz capabilities and then the weakside coverage in the passing game. We see him as an all-around instinctive football player that we expect a lot of production out of. And the smartness comes into play as far as his knowledge of football schemes and his ability to set the defense and be a leader in that manner.”

Herring on Cushing: “Boy, if there was ever a coach’s dream of a Mike linebacker. Great physical presence. Big, strong, fast, got a lot of tenacity, a lot of want-to as far as how you play the game full-speed with great effort on every play. With his physical stature and his physical play by nature, he ought to dominate that box physically as far as taking on linemen or lead blockers, and then dropping in coverage to the tight end side and controlling that short zone area and controlling the run. He’s a big run-hit guy, and then also has ability to blitz vertically through the line. You put him inside and you give him a chance to be even more productive than what he’s been. It puts him in a position where he can make plays all over the field instead of lining up at outside on one side. As far as Mike linebackers go ability- and size-wise, he’s top of the line. I mean, you normally would like ‘em 6-2 on average, 250 pounds. Well, he’s, 6-3, 265, and can run.”

Herring on Barwin: “Untapped ability. Still consider him a rookie. Young guy in the league, a player that has a great upside. Has the height, the length, the speed off the edge, the get-off. This one right here has a lot of untapped value and great potential for growth at the outside linebacker position. Has tremendous tools to work with. Is not there yet; there will be a developmental phase that he’ll have to go through at this position, but he has the ability to rush-drop and has a chance to give us the pressure we need from the other side of the football opposite of Mario Williams. Should be an impact player for us on this defense. He also has the ability to swing over to the weakside. If Mario was to get hurt or needed blows in the rotation, we would be able to rotate Connor from Sam to Will or Will to Sam. With his ability, his size, his intelligence, he’s got added value because he can swing the Sam or Will.”

Content on HoustonTexans.com does not necessarily represent the views of the Houston Texans front office staff, coaches or executives.