Discussing the draft

It's been a while since my last blog, and now is as good a time as any to talk about the draft and how the offseason has been going. There are some exciting times around Reliant Stadium right now.

This past weekend I watched the draft up until our first pick. I like our entire draft class in general, but I really like our first-rounder, Amobi Okoye. I'm really excited about the opportunity to work along with him and help him hone his skills a little bit and see what he's all about. Any first-round pick, like Mario last year, is going to be exciting to watch. In general, I think our team is going to be a lot of fun to watch for our fans this year.

I haven't met Amobi, but like coach Smith said, he's a prototypical 3-technique defensive tackle. To clarify, the 3-technique tackle is always lined up over the guard, while the 1-technique tackle is lined up over the center. Whereas your 1-technique, or nose guard, is usually your run stopper, the 3-technique not only has to be a run-stopper because he's going to face a lot of double teams, but he also has to put pressure on the quarterback, whether that means taking up two guys on a double team and getting push up the middle or just beating the offensive lineman cleanly. So the 3-technique has to be a certain size where he can take on a constant double team, and also be able to withstand that impact on his body week-in and week-out. And he also has to be quick enough where he can put pressure on the passer, too.

I played the 3-technique a little last year, and it's a tough job. So Amobi will be a huge asset for us in the trenches, and everyone expects great things from him.


A lot has been made of Amobi's age. I don't think it's a big deal. Simply put, if you can play, you can play. That being said, I look forward to working with him and mentoring I'm going to continue what I've been doing and hopefully lead by example. I'm not going to go out there with any more emphasis on trying to be a rah-rah guy or anything like that. I just plan to go out there and work as hard as I usually do and hope that those other guys follow in line.


As you might know, I've been rehabbing my shoulder this offseason. I had surgery right after the season. It's coming along well. According to all of the doctors and trainers, everything is on schedule. Right now, the biggest thing is just dealing with the monotony of rehabbing. It's hard to see my teammates go out there and work together and run routes or practice moves and not participate. So right now, I'm just trying to stay positive and keep things going in the right direction. I hope to be back at full strength at least by June, if that's at all possible. But I'll be back at full strength by the start of the season for sure. There's no doubt about that.


Overall, our offseason strength and conditioning program has been going great so far. The most difficult thing you have for any strength program is just having guys show up. It's the ability to show up, and all these young guys have done that. And not only have they showed up, but they've come here and worked really hard from the get go. I think that's going to bode well for our team during the season. You build championship football teams during the offseason. It doesn't just start in August.


One thing that's really helped build excitement around here is the addition of Matt Schaub. While everyone here had a great deal of love and respect for Dave, sometimes it's good to hear a new voice. There's a new sense of excitement now. Guys really don't know what to expect with Matt, but they want to go out there and help him prove himself and flourish on this team. Matt's a guy that really hasn't had an opportunity to go out there and showcase his skills. I think guys are excited to see that happen.


One thing that Matt did when he got here was call everyone together after the first running workout and talk about his expectations and let everyone know what he's all about. I wasn't there, but I heard about it, and that's exciting for him to take on that role. That's what you expect from your quarterback. You expect him to go out there and be a leader for the entire football team, because that's the responsibility that his job entails. That's exciting to hear about.


Another development this offseason has been the addition of defensive line coach Jethro Franklin, who replaces coach Karm. The two have vastly different coaching styles. Coach Karm would get on you every now and again, and he had a tremendous amount of passion for the game. But Jethro approaches things a little bit differently, maybe because he's younger. He has a little bit more bounce in his step. I think the young guys on our defensive line will relate to that maybe a little bit better than they did with Karm. It should do well for us.


In July we'll have some time off before the season, and I'd like to get away for a few days before training camp. I don't have anything planned yet. But to be honest, my mind hasn't gone that far ahead. My focus right now is just to get back healthy for the season. My mission has started already. I want to get back and play my natural position, which is defensive end, and have an impact out there. While I think I played well last year, I think I could've done more, and I expect to do that this year.


Keep in touch and thanks for all the support.


Take care,
Anthony
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