The Texans' defense has a unique challenge this week.
Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is game-planning for an offense led by a new coordinator who has never called an NFL game. The Tennessee Titans promoted Dowell Loggains, 32, from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator on Monday to replace Chris Palmer, who was fired after a 4-7 start to the season.
"I don't know that much about Loggains," Phillips said on Thursday at Reliant Stadium. "I know his mama don't dance and his daddy don't rock and roll, with Messina. I don't know about with (Titans head coach Mike) Munchak, but that's all I know about him."
Phillips was paraphrasing the hook from the hit 1972 Loggins & Messina song "Your Mama Don't Dance." But his comedic quip underscores just how little the Texans know with certainty about the offense they'll face on Sunday.
"For us, it's kind of like that first game of the season where you really don't know what they're gonna do," Texans free safety Glover Quin said. "The tendencies are gonna change, probably. You've got a new guy calling the game, so he's probably gonna call some of the things that he likes, and so we have to go out there and play our tendencies, play our key and do our job and hopefully we can try to figure out what they're trying to do to us and make adjustments, but we'll definitely have to learn on the fly."
The Titans currently rank 24th in offense (327.7 yards/game) and 19th in scoring offense (21.6 points/game). Running back Chris Johnson ranks sixth in the NFL with 942 rushing yards, averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Titans quarterback Jake Locker, the eighth overall pick in last year's draft, missed five games earlier this season after suffering a left shoulder injury at Reliant Stadium in Week 4 while being sacked by Quin.
As for the man now calling the plays, Loggains has never been a coordinator on any level. He joined the Titans as a coaching administrative assistant in 2006 after four seasons as a walk-on quarterback at the University of Arkansas. He was named an offensive quality control coach in 2008 and the Titans' quarterbacks coach in 2010 at the age of 29.
The Texans limited the Titans to 14 points and 325 yards with Palmer calling the offense in Week 4.
"We knew what Chris Palmer did and had an idea of how they were going, what direction they were going," Phillips said. "Now, they brought in another guy… But we expect a similar offense. A quarterback that can really move, a top-notch young quarterback that has great ability, has a strong arm and can really move around well. They've got two tight ends that are really good receivers, good wide receivers, so they've got a challenging group. And then the running back, you can talk all you want to about wow he didn't have this year or that year but he's sixth in the NFL in rushing right now and I think he started out poorly, so they have a great running threat, too."
That much the Texans do know. Phillips is doing his best to prepare them for whatever curveballs may come their way on Sunday.