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Texans d-line looking to step up in new scheme

The Houston Texans head into their second season in a 4-3 defensive scheme, this time under new Head Coach DeMeco Ryans and Defensive Coordinator Matt Burke. When asked how he'd describe his version of the Texans 2023 defense, Burke used one word: attack.

"We play our defensive line in a penetrating style, try to edge them up, play nine techniques, those sort of things to cause disruptions," Burke said. "Our goal is to be able to affect plays with our front by the style that they play, the attack mode they play in and penetrate and disruption and reset the line of scrimmage and those sorts of things. I would say if you just wanted to bottle it up, that would be the main thing."

Houston will rely on its four-man front to pressure the quarterback on every play, freeing up other players to play multiple coverages and keep offenses guessing, according to Burke. Jonathan Greenard, now heading into his fourth season, says while there are similarities to last year's 4-3 scheme, the defensive line is expected to be faster and take on a bigger role this year.

"Obviously the intensity is going to change and how we run a couple of things for sure, but just overall in a different perspective, I think with us having the keys as a defensive line of us being the primary unit, that's going to set the tone and make all the plays," Greenard said on Texans Radio. "In my eyes, I'll definitely take that chip on our shoulder. We love it."

The Texans drafted DE Will Anderson Jr. with the third-overall pick and TCU product Dylan Horton in the fourth round. Houston also added key free agents DL Chase Winovich, DT Sheldon Rankins and DT Hassan Ridgeway. Rankins started seven games last year under Ryans in San Francisco. Ridgeway played in a similar scheme for Robert Saleh in New York, starting 15 games for the Jets in 2022.

The Texans will kick off training camp on Wednesday, July 26 at the Houston Methodist Training Center.

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