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Franklin, Bush making an impact


Coaches Jethro Franklin and Frank Bush are having a big influence on the Texans' defensive line.

The decibel level at Texans practice has turned up a few notches.

"GO, GO, GO, GO," new defensive line coach Jethro Franklin yells. "You're not moving. You're not moving."

New senior defensive assistant Frank Bush chimes in sarcastically.

"He CAN"T move coach. He's not programmed to move."

And so it goes. The banter between the Texans' two newest coaches is constant and consistent. They are prodding the defenders on like never before and the Texans' defensive players aren't sure what to think.

"They're aggressive guys," defensive end Alfred Malone says with a smile. "They're guys who have played the game and they know how to coach it. If you take their coaching, you're going to be a helluva football player."

It's not a unique style of coaching, but it's certainly different from what the Texans have had in the past. And Franklin thinks it won't be a problem.

"They're players," Franklin said. "I'm sure they've had it somewhere down the road in their career. I feel like we've got a lot to teach and we've got a lot to offer and I want to do it with enthusiasm and a lot of desire.

"I've always been excited about what I do and I don't have a problem expressing my love and enthusiasm and excitement. I guess I've always been that way.

{QUOTE}"The success rate is a lot better that way. If you don't do it with a sense of urgency and a burning desire, then bad things will happen."

Bush tends to agree. Though not quite as loud and demonstrative, he backs Franklin all the way. The two seem to play off of each other during much of practice, one setting the other up for some kind of ultimate impact.

"Jethro is very, very passionate in what he does and he's high energy," Bush said. "I'm a little bit the same way. We try to bring a little bit of the 'good cop-bad cop,' yin and yang thing to the group. More than anything, we're just trying to get those guys to be as passionate about it as we are.

"It's kind of a natural thing. I see where he is and we just kind of feed off of each other and just go about it. There's no set role that either of us needs to play, we just play. It's all about motivation and making those guys go. They have to have a sense of pride about playing."

Malone believes the players are catching on fast. They have to. There's no stopping for stragglers.

"It's a lot more intense," he said. "They teach on the move. If you've got a question, you need to hold it for a while. It's like their favorite saying, 'Just coach me, coach, coach me.' That's all he wants you to do is just let him coach you. You don't need to backtalk them, just let them coach you."

Coach Gary Kubiak believes it will work for this team.

"I think they can make a huge impact," Kubiak said of Franklin and Bush. "That's why they are here. With that young group of guys that they have, it should be the strength of our team and they can be difference makers.

"I've watched them work and they're full energy in what they do and they're a great tag team, so to speak, together. They are very good friends as people as well as coaches and I really like the job they're doing with those guys right now."

Kubiak first encountered Bush when both were coaching at Denver. Bush was there nine years from 1995 to 2003, three as special teams coach, five as linebackers coach and one as secondary coach. He helped the Broncos improve from 28th in defense in the NFL to No. 4 and was there when Denver won Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998.

Franklin goes way back with Bush, to the days when both were connected to the Houston Oilers. Bush was the West Coast scout for the team when Franklin was playing at Fresno State in 1988 before the Oilers drafted him.

"I've known him for about 20-something years," Franklin said. "He was really responsible for the Oilers drafting me. We have always gotten along.

"We both have a passion for the game. We both have a sense of urgency and we both share the same beliefs. We both played the game so we know what it takes to win and have success. And we understand fundamentals."

Bush concurs.

"Jethro and I have been good friends for a long time," Bush said. "The thing I like most about him is he's passionate and he's real about it. There's nothing fake about him, so you've got to like that."

That passion is always evident between the two of them, and the Texans are starting to respond.

"There's been no negative reaction at all," Bush said. "The guys are just trying to buy into it. It just takes a little bit of getting used to. It's like a water treatment where you just keep dropping the water on their heads until you finally just wear them down.

"Jethro and I are going to be the same way all the time and they just have got to get used to it. We'll get them to move up to our standard and once they get there, they'll move forward."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Carley is a veteran Houston sportswriter who has covered the NFL for more than 25 years. He has worked for such newspapers as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Houston Post, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and the National Sports Daily covering such teams as the Dallas Cowboys, the Houston Oilers, the Los Angeles Rams and the Oakland Raiders.

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