Texans ink Cody to free agent deal

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The Texans signed Detroit Lions free agent defensive tackle Shaun Cody, the team announced today. Cody, 26, visited the Texans last Tuesday. He joins defensive end Antonio Smith as the second defensive lineman to sign with the Texans during free agency.

A second-round draft pick (37th overall) out of USC in 2005, Cody made 12 starts in four seasons with the Lions. He missed 10 games with a toe injury in 2006 but played in 47 of 48 games in his other three seasons. Cody started five games for the Lions in 2008, recording a career-high 37 tackles, and has 1.5 sacks in his career.

He was attracted to the Texans because he views them as a young team on the rise. Defensive coordinator Frank Bush and defensive line coach Bill Kollar also drew Cody to Houston.

"They have an aura about them that they are excited about this team and they are excited about where the defense is headed," Cody said. "They got me pumped up at dinner one night. We were talking football, and it was exciting. When you have coaches that are passionate like that and want to coach football and are excited about it and excited about the direction, there is no better position for me."

Bush said that Cody is quick enough that he can create some push inside in the pass rush, but he's also stout enough sit down in the middle and handle the running game. Cody plays more 3-technique than nose tackle but, according to Bush, can fulfill both roles inside.

{QUOTE}"Shaun's a very passionate guy; plays with a lot of passion, plays with a lot of effort," Bush said. "He's got good size, good quickness. He can play multiple positions. Very intelligent kid and gives you a ton of effort, so he gets production through his effort."

At 6-4, 310 pounds, Cody adds bulk to the interior of the Texans' defensive line. The other defensive tackles on the roster are Amobi Okoye, Travis Johnson, Frank Okam and DelJuan Robinson. Sixteen-year veteran Jeff Zgonina is an unrestricted free agent.

"He's going to have to come in and compete with those guys and blend into that group, but we do see him contributing," Bush said. "We see him getting some quality minutes. But it's to be determined what that rotation will be."

In a decorated career at USC, Cody was named first-team All-American and Pac-10 co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2004. He was the USA Today All-USA Defensive MVP in 2000 after his senior season at Los Altos High School in Hacienda Heights, Calif.

"He was a kid that was highly touted player coming out and went to Detroit and did a lot of good things, but unfortunately that situation didn't work out," Bush said. "He wasn't as productive there, but we're hoping he can find it here. Sometimes, a new address helps a kid, and being in our rotation, maybe we'll keep him a little bit fresher and do some things differently that give him a chance to kind of find his stride and make some plays for us."

Cody is looking forward to a fresh start with the Texans.

"Four years in Detroit, they were four long years," he said. "It was culture shock for me going from L.A., being a West Coast guy, going out all the way to Detroit in the cold weather. It was tough. Hopefully, here in this warm climate, we'll see my career take flight."

Following are the free agents the Texans have signed:
DTShaun Cody6-4, 310
QBDan Orlovsky6-5, 230
DEAntonio Smith6-4, 285

Following are the free agents the Texans have re-signed:
WRDavid Anderson5-10, 194
TEJoel Dreessen6-4, 260
SNick Ferguson5-10, 201
DEStanley McClover6-2, 263
CChris White6-2, 292
FSEugene Wilson5-10, 195

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