As of last week, several mock drafts projected the Texans to take a nose tackle in the first round of the 2012 draft.
Given how the Texans’ coaching staff feels about the play of Shaun Cody and Earl Mitchell at the position last season, it doesn’t sound like much of a priority.
“If you look at ‘em, take both of ‘em and say they’re your starter – they basically split time – they played extremely well,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Friday in Indianapolis. “And our defense played well all year long. There’s all kinda ways when you’re running a 3-4 – a lot of people think you need a big nose. Those two guys aren’t very big but they’re very active, and [defensive coordinator] Wade [Phillips] has played with both and obviously was successful with those two guys last year, and we think the world of ‘em.”
Phillips actually has coached more “undersized” nose tackles like Cody (6-4, 301) and Mitchell (6-3, 289) than players like 365-pound Ted Washington, who he had in Buffalo in the late 1990s.
The Texans ranked fourth in rushing defense in 2011 (96.0 yards/game) with Cody starting all 16 games. He had 23 tackles, one sack, two passes defensed and a fumble recovery along with seven tackles in two playoff games. Mitchell played in every game and had 27 tackles, one sack, one pass defensed and two fumble recoveries. He had five tackles in the playoffs, including a sack in the Wild Card victory over Cincinnati.
Nose tackle could certainly be a possibility for the Texans at some point in the draft, but it’s not exactly a glaring need.
Tags: 2012 NFL Draft, Earl Mitchell, Gary Kubiak, Shaun Cody, Wade Phillips
Posted in Nick Scurfield | 4 Comments »