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Houston Texans

2009 Draft Pass: Bush scheming for new talent


For the first time ever, is offering fans exclusive access to all of the major figures in the Texans' 2009 NFL Draft process. In our final Draft Pass segment, Texans TV's Brooke Bentley sat down with defensive coordinator Frank Bush to reflect on the draft and how he will use the five defensive players that the Texans selected.

Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): Coach, this was a big draft for defense - you got five players. Since the draft, you have been locked away in meetings, getting ready for OTAs and figuring out how you are going to use these players. Talk about the versatility this group brings to your defense.

Defensive coordinator Frank Bush: First of all, we are excited about the players we did draft. We got some really good players who are going to be able to come in and help our football team. I am excited about these kids. (Brian) Cushing brings a lot of passion. He played at USC and was a starter for over three years there, and he can play all three (linebacker) positions. He's a smart kid; he's a very tough kid. He loves to play the game. He runs around and knocks the crap out of people. We like that part about him, and he's very versatile.

(Connor) Barwin, he's got "freakish" athletic ability. He's a big kid that's extremely fast. He's agile and mobile. We see that kid coming in and really helping us against the pass game. He can rush the passer because he has such tremendous speed. We can do some different things with Antonio (Smith) and Mario (Williams) that can create some different packages for us and be a little bit unorthodox, so people can't get a read on us all the time. So we are excited about what he brings to the table.

Brooke Bentley: Cushing primarily will be vying for a spot on the strongside. Is that still is where you see him playing?

Frank Bush: Absolutely. He's a big, strong kid, and we like what he brings. If we can get him to compete and be a guy for us on the strongside – just his physical stature and the way he plays the game can allow us to do some things with DeMeco (Ryans) and Zac Diles. If we can get a combination of those guys on the field, we're excited about it.

{QUOTE}Brooke Bentley: Now, with Connor Barwin, you can get really creative with your packages. You can move Antonio Smith inside, or maybe we can even see Connor Barwin get in a zone-dog blitz scheme. Is that something you are considering?

Frank Bush: Absolutely. Because he is such a good athlete, there are things we can do with him, as far as dropping him out. You know, he did play tight end, so he's got good hands and we can drop him into coverage or create packages where we send him from different angles and different situations. Even Antonio knows how to drop. We can create scenarios that people aren't expecting.

Brooke Bentley: Is that what you and the coaches are doing right now, trying to figure out all these scenarios?

Frank Bush: Yeah, we are trying to figure out a lot of different scenarios, keeping in mind that we have to be fundamentally sound. So that's what takes us so long in meetings.

Brooke Bentley: OK, I am going to dive into some fan questions. The first one is: "Gary Kubiak mentioned that you will be keeping six linebackers on the 53-man roster. Is that what you have in mind?"

Frank Bush: That's part of the makeup of your team and the makeup of your defense. I think Gary understands that we are going to keep good players. So if that happens to be seven, then we will keep seven because we try to keep good players. We try to stockpile as many good players as you can. Guys that are versatile and can do more than one thing, those guys are valuable, so we will try to keep good players.

Brooke Bentley: Keeping in line with that, another fan wants to know: "What are your plans for Zac Diles next season? Would he move to the weakside?"

Frank Bush: Zac is an integral part of what we want to do. We loved the way he played football last year. Unfortunately, he got injured, but we were really excited about the progress he was making and we are excited about where he is right now. Of course, he is going to have to compete with Brian Cushing and Xavier Adibi. But we do see him in the plans and we do see him moving around and doing some different things with him. We are excited about where he is, and hopefully, he can come back and contribute big time.

Brooke Bentley: Cato June is a player the Texans signed during free agency. Which side do you see him playing, or will you wait to see him play to make that decision?

Frank Bush: We are going to start him on the weakside, or "other side" - because there is no weakside. We are going to start him out there, and we are excited because he is a kid that's played for a championship team (Indianapolis Colts). He's been a Pro Bowler. He brings a certain veteran savvy, a certain veteran quality that will be good to couple him with DeMeco and help this team move forward as far as leadership is concerned. We are excited about him because he's a playmaker. He's a guy who can run around and hit people.

Brooke Bentley: Another fan wants to know if drafting two cornerbacks changes things for Antwaun Molden and where you see those corners fitting into your scheme.

Frank Bush: It really doesn't change anything for Antwaun; we really just want that kid to get healthy. He was a kid we were really excited about, a big kid that runs and is physical, and he was a heck of a special teams player. And then, unfortunately, he got injured. By drafting those two kids, it gives him a chance to really get himself well. We don't have to push him back too early, and so when he comes back, there's some competition there and that makes him a better football player. We are still excited about him. Hopefully, all that stuff works out when he comes back.

Now, with those two kids, we saw quality football players. With Brice (McCain), we saw tremendous speed. He's a guy who can really run. With Glover Quin, he's a very versatile athlete. He can play inside, he can play outside, he can play the nickel. He showed toughness on tape. We are just excited about what those two guys bring to the table. It's really going to up the competition in the secondary.

Brooke Bentley: Another fan writes: "Tim Bulman looked like a budding star last year in stretches. Does drafting Connor Barwin change things for Tim Bulman?"

Frank Bush: Tim is a budding star, and I don't think it changes anything. I think it enhances what we do. Tim is a kid that plays with such a tremendous motor, and you always need those types on your football team. Hopefully, Connor can buy into some of the stuff Tim is selling and he can play with that same tempo. We like Timmy; we like the things he brings to the football team as well as the defense. With his attitude and the way he goes about it, we are excited about where he is right now.

Brooke Bentley: This fan wants to know: "Can you teach our defensive tackles this year to stop the run better technique-wise? Or is going to be a scheme change?"

Frank Bush: A little bit of both. We changed the scheme a little bit in the sense that those guys are going to attack more. By doing so, those guys will be able to attack the line of scrimmage and hopefully knock guards and centers back a little bit and we do get more penetration and knock guys back. Maybe we reset the line of scrimmage and knock the line of scrimmage back and therefore stop the running game a little bit better. Scheme-wise, we will do some things where we have more guys in the box and bring them from different angles and keep people guessing more. Therefore, they can't just get a read on us and target us and block us a certain way. Up front, we are going to attack more so those kids can get off the ball and reset the line of scrimmage, and that will help the running game.

Brooke Bentley: One last question and you can get off the hot seat. This fan writes: "You've talked a lot about this penetrating defense you want to have. Are you trying to get more swagger for the defense?"

Frank Bush: I guess that's the catch phrase these days: "swagger" or "having a swagger." I think what it is, more than anything, is having kids who will play with a lot of passion. I think the swagger will come from the locker room; I think those the kids will create that for themselves. I think if we can just play with a more violent attitude, fly around and have some fun hitting people and enjoy playing football – I think if we can do that, the swagger will come. And there is nothing wrong with having a little bit of swagger.

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