Texans special teams coordinator Joe Marciano spoke to the media after special teams practice on Friday morning, and he had a lot more to say about the NFL's new two-man wedge rule. I'll have a write-up of the NFL officials' mid-day meeting with the local media, during which they explained the league's new rules, later today on HoustonTexans.com.
For now, here are Marciano's comments from after practice. **Click here to see the full transcript** of Texans quotes from practice on Friday morning.
Texans special teams coordinator Joe Marciano
(on eliminating the wedge) "Well, rules are rules. It's equal sticks for everybody, so everybody's got to try to figure it out."
(on how he's figuring it out) "Well, I think everybody's going to have two fat boys in there. Two offensive linemen, two defensive linemen, and you can't put three and four of them in there anymore. I don't see how you could because if they can't join the wedge, then they're going to block somebody in open space, and that's not fair to a big guy. When you get three or four or the old Detroit wedge where they had five guys in that wedge, they could all be shoulder pad-to-shoulder pad and let the little guys come to them, that's what they used to do. So, I think it eliminates your personnel. I think if you're going to have a two-man wedge, your two big boys ought to be in that wedge."
(on how far apart the two players will stand) "The two big boys? They're going to be shoulder pad-to-shoulder pad. But nobody else can be shoulder pad-to-shoulder pad."
(on how far apart the rest of special teams players will stand) "They tell me three yards, but we're teaching our guys four so we don't walk the grey area because the penalty is too severe. You get three guys in the wedge and that forms up at, say, the 12, the flag is thrown. If they form a three-man wedge at the 12, immediately the flag comes and you're starting at the six, so the penalty is too severe, yeah."
(on if he is being forced to redesign his playbook) "Yeah, re-writing the book. A lot of guys had to re-write the book, everybody except San Francisco. They've been doing that, (49ers special teams coordinator) Al's (Everest) been doing that all his career, the two-man wedge."
(on if he likes the two-man wedge) "Yeah, it's fine. It eliminates a lot of headaches on kickoff coverage because you have different wedge fits, you know. If you have a three-man wedge, a four-man wedge, Detroit five-man wedge, you've got to know where to fit in there. You can't just go there and get two guys in one gap. It eliminates a lot of problems on coverage."
(on if it impacts who makes the team) "On special teams? That's always been the case."
(on if it's going to impact the make-up of the club) "No."