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The Leftovers: Biggest change for 2018 defense

*Drew Dougherty answered a few questions from fans in the video above. He answered many more in the article below. Even though he hasn't won the Masters, or a U.S. Open, or any golf tournament...he's also not qualified to give golf advice. *

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John Sanchez: Dear Drew, How good can the defense be when they are all healthy, and can we excpect JJ Watt's playing time to decrease?
DD: They can be great. If they're all healthy, big things can happen with this defense. The takeaways should certainly rise from 2017, when the defense generated just 15. The return of Watt and Whitney Mercilus will aid the pass rush, and the addition of Tyrann Mathieu and Justin Reid certainly help the very back end of the defense.

As for Watt's playing time, we'll see. There was an idea that he'd be on a "pitch-count" last season and not play as much as he had from 2012-2015. But through the first four games of last season, he was in for 94 percent of the defensive snaps

Cameron Knight: Dear Drew, Why do we play the Patriots at Gillette Stadium for a third year in a row this year? Shouldn't it rotate?
DD: The Texans play the AFC East this year, traveling to New England and the Jets, and getting the Bills and Dolphins at NRG Stadium. The reverse was true in 2015. They played at the Patriots in 2016 and 2017 because they each won their respective divisions. The Patriots played at NRG Stadium in 2013 also, after each team won its division in 2012.

James Garcia: Dear Drew, What is the difference between the new strength and conditioning and old regime?
DD: I'm glad you asked, James. Luke Richesson is the new man in charge, and he's the Senior Director of Sports Performance. He'd been the strength and conditioning coach for the Broncos the last six years. Deepi Sidhu wrote THIS ARTICLE describing some of the changes.

Derwin Jordan: Dear Drew, Where do you think DeAndre Hopkins will fall on the NFL Top 100 list?
DD: I think he could make the Top 10. He and Antonio Brown were the two best receivers in the NFL last year, and he made a mind-bending catch in just about every game last season. His fellow players, who vote on the list, noticed. I bet Hopkins is very high in the rankings.

Adam Martinez: Dear Drew, Do the Texans need to sign Dez Bryant?
DD: No.

George Tsakiris: Dear Drew, (not Houston Texans related questions) Do you think Houston will get an NHL team?
DD: It wouldn't stun me. I've been to a few NHL games in person, and it's a lot of fun. I'd be cool with it.

Derwin Jordan: Dear Drew, Will there be any player meet and greet shows before the season? Verizon? Fuddruckers?
DD: According to my well-placed, high-level inside sources...that's a "hard maybe". Deepi and John Harris were out at the Greenway Fuddruckers last week, and there's a good chance we'll be back there in the coming months. The Tuesday night shows during the season will, for sure, return in September.

I-Min Michael Mau: Dear Drew, The 49ers have opted to let Zane Beadles walk. Can we get him? He fit the kind of multi position player that Obrien want in OL.
DD: The Texans "can" pursue him, and I'm certain they've done the research on him, because they know about every player around the League and whether or not he'd fit here. Beadles has been in the NFL since 2010, and played just about every position on the offensive line. He started five games last season for the 49ers, and split time between left guard and right tackle. He played center, left tackle and left guard in 2016, starting all 16 games that year.

Christopher Nathan Farmer: Dear Drew, The Saints just let go of a tight end, are we looking to more veterans to add before training camp?
DD: I don't think so, Christopher. The Texans have Ryan Griffin and Stephen Anderson, and then the two draft picks from a week ago, as well as Jevoni Robinson, MyCole Pruitt and Matt Lengel. 

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