It won’t take long.
Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was introduced to the Houston media Monday and said the conversion from a 4-3 front to a 3-4 is not as complicated as some might expect.
A lockout could significantly reduce the teaching time the Texans' newest coach has to reshape a group and weave in a draft class and any free-agent additions.
“We’ve always been able to teach things quickly,” Phillips said. “I believe the players that have played for us will tell you that we can implement it pretty quickly. Part of it’s being a player-friendly defense in that we want them to know their assignments quickly. I take care of all the complications. I take care of the complicated stuff as far as how we get it done and teach it to them pretty quickly. It hasn’t been a problem and I don’t foresee it being one.”
Phillips will spend this week with coach Gary Kubiak reviewing and assessing the Texans’ roster. Once they are finished, Kubiak indicated the franchise will have a pretty good feel for what a team that ranked dead-last in pass defense in 2010 needs to add.
“We need to walk out of here at the end of this week saying, ‘OK, here is where we see these guys fitting,’” Kubiak said. “Now, how deep do we have to go in free agency? How deep do we have to go in the draft to make sure that we got depth and we feel good about our starters? So I think we got to get this done first.”
Phillips didn’t want to come across as needy. Perhaps a closer study will change his mind. He’ll certainly be more forthcoming in private meetings. But he spoke with the sort of confidence the team needs.
“I have been in this situation before, coming in with a new team and the questions about whether they had the personnel or not,” he said. “Usually when I went to a new team, it was because they didn’t do well the year before, in fact, in most cases. In my experience in that area is that yes, we have the personnel to improve and do better.
“Do we want more bigger, stronger, faster players? Sure. That’s what you always want. You’re not going to have all-stars at every position, no matter where you are. You have to make the average players good and the good players better. Also, turning good players to great players, that’s part of it, too.”