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Minus Ryans, Texans have two defensive captains remaining

Posted by Nick Scurfield on March 21, 2012 – 11:14 am

The Texans will undoubtedly miss DeMeco Ryans, their long-time team captain, but they’re by no means devoid of leadership on their defense moving forward.

Defensive end Antonio Smith and inside linebacker Brian Cushing were also captains last season. Smith, who made the Pro Bowl, was a captain in 2010, too. Cushing, who led the Texans with 114 tackles, was voted a captain at midseason, not long after Wade Phillips described him as a “holy terror.” The Texans also have veteran leaders in the secondary in Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning, and defensive end J.J. Watt has all the makings of a future captain.

Ryans, who has been traded to the Eagles, had been a captain since 2007. His teammates called him “Cap.” Nobody was more widely respected in the locker room, as a look at Texans players’ Twitter timelines from Tuesday evening will indicate. Ryans earned that respect with the way he played on the field and the way he conducted himself off it.

Smith and Cushing’s leadership roles will now be magnified, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Joseph named a captain along with them next season. Smith already challenged his front-seven mates on Twitter on Tuesday with this message: “We have been challenged how will we respond. With greatness.”

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Posted in Nick Scurfield | 24 Comments »

24 Responses to “Minus Ryans, Texans have two defensive captains remaining”

  1. By Ron Kirkland on Mar 21, 2012 | Reply

    As a long time Season Ticket holder I am upset that Rick Smith is looking only at the money. Ryan’s if traded should have gotten more but my idea is to Fire Rick Smith and save money. He is a loser to me by letting so many good players go. I am rethinking buying my season tickets, which went up from last year.

  2. By Mike Taylor on Mar 21, 2012 | Reply

    I can’t explain, how utterly disappointed I am in Rick Smith over this years free agency. Not only is this going to affect the teams moral, it also leaves a large whole in Wade’s prized 3-4 defensive scheme. There must be some backdoor politics at play here, and if Rick Smith is susceptible to such action, frankly I don’t believe he should be anywhere near an organized as prized and loved by the fans as this one. I’ve never blogged before, but frankly this trade and the many other poor decisions elicited by the Houston staff gives rise to this first outcry. Wade Phillips was gift from last year, and I have more respect for that man and what he can do with an NFL defense than any other coordinator in the league. The Texans should do everything in their power to appease this man, trading his best pass rusher and team captain is not the way to go about doing so.

  3. By Red on Mar 21, 2012 | Reply

    I agree with ron…Fire Rick Smith immediately! You don’t trade away the ultimate on the field leader of your defense…What ray lewis is to the ravens is what dameco was to the texans…You cannot put a price tag on that kind of leadership! Well you can if you are r.smith I guess…Once again he should be Fired! Good Luck Mr.Ryans.

  4. By Richard Sanders on Mar 21, 2012 | Reply

    Come on. This move is absolutely brilliant by Rick Smith. Demeco played only 53% of the defensive plays last year and that # would be less if it where not for Sharptons’ injury. Demeco does not fit well in our new 3-4 defensive and he has YET to return to his pro bowl form. He might not ever. The Texans got an extra 2nd day and moved up in the 3rd round, WHILE ditching 9 million in cap space for NEXT YEAR. Which is important because Schaub, Barwin and Brown are our FA’s next year. 2 of those are in the top 3 positions every team must have talent at to be successful and I would expect both to get over 15 million. We need this cap space, and Meco needs a 4-3 front to play in. IF he does return to form he will have the most success, aka tackles, in this front. It is natural for him. He does not have the body size to take on blockers, which you have to do up in the middle in a 3-4 front.

    Texans will come out smelling really good after the impact of this deal has been felt.

  5. By jose reyes on Mar 21, 2012 | Reply

    Just dont trade cushing foster andre or walters.

  6. By Joshua on Mar 21, 2012 | Reply

    I agree with Richard… Before the start of Free Agency, our 6 best Defensive players were(based on last years play, in order) Mario, Cushing, Joseph, Antonio, JJ Watt and DeMeco.. We lost Mario because we could afford him and we traded DeMeco, because we COULD afford to get rid of him and still play well. Next year, we’ll get to keep Schaub, hopefully resign Joel soon. I think it was a good move..

  7. By Joshua on Mar 21, 2012 | Reply

    Rick Smith i sure hope we have another playoff season next year because if not, as im sure you can tell from the comments from fans, it will be on your shoulders. Allen, Ryans, Winston, Briesel and Williams gone and absolutely no free agents to show for it. You better know what your doing gutting OUR team(we pay for the salaries) that finally had success after ten years of failure and, as you say, building through the draft. Bringing in young talent is good but not if your cutting all of your succesful veterans to do so.

  8. By Joshua on Mar 21, 2012 | Reply

    Oh and on another note i dont want to hear from the Texans staff anymore that this organization isnt just a football team as much as a family. At this point that almost seems like borederline propoganda to boost fans already diehard respect and loyalty to the team. Briesel, Winston, Myers and Williams were all very big part of this family. Im more upset of the loss of Briesel and Winston. That seems almost inexcusable to lose 2/5 of the o-line that you and your staff cited as being great due to continuity

  9. By Robert Polley on Mar 21, 2012 | Reply

    agreed smith should be fired and we need to re vap the office staff before we revamp a very very good o line

  10. By chuck902 on Mar 21, 2012 | Reply

    one step foward,two steps back

  11. By ken wells on Mar 21, 2012 | Reply

    damn i really hope they know what they just did and everyone in philly are jumping up in down like they just won a super bowl please tell me u have aplan for my texans

  12. By stephen on Mar 21, 2012 | Reply

    at t least rick cleared up some cap space. and what to do with all this new cap space um idk……. mike wallace come on rick its about time you throw us a bone or a very least try and show us fans you actually want to improve next season instead of cutting all our veteran leaders! and top offensive line men

  13. By Jon W. on Mar 22, 2012 | Reply

    Richard S. has a lot of valid points. It’s easy to be emotional about this, I know I hate to see Ryans leave but, we still have an excellent defense. Losing him does not fundamentally change to the character of the Texans defense (like the Ravens losing Ray Lewis would effect them). We have a really balanced defensive squad. However, the recent O-line moves concern me…was releasing Winston and Briesel truly necessary? Thank God we retained Myers. The Texans don’t want Foster regretting his decision to stay…and he will, if he suddenly can’t get more than a few yards per carry due to weakened O-line.

  14. By Tristeon on Mar 22, 2012 | Reply

    I fully support the offseason moves of GM Rick Smith. It all makes sense to anyone who understands Football & FOOTBALL BUSINESS! Honestly Mario is not worth what we would have to pay to keep him, especially when we have a kid like Reed and Barwin who can do the same body of work. Ryans has been declining in play and more injury prone over the last few season, so saving 9mil to get a younger player to learn from Cushing was an excellent move. We lost valuable Olineman, but i’m sure we’ll find talent that will fit our system and BUDGET effectively which is where the pick from the Ryans trade comes in. If yall would be patient and let the man finish his work you’d see all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Hell you cant fairly critique our offseason until after the draft. Hopefully we’ll get Kendal Hunter to help drown out the inconsistent play of Slot WR#12.(I refuse to refer to that guy by his name). But overall we are in GREAT shape, so be faithful and have patience my fellow Texans! #LETSGOTEXANS

  15. By stub on Mar 22, 2012 | Reply

    I have faith in Wade Phillips and I’m sure he must have had some input into the decision making. I don’t think this was a cap decision. According to the NFL newsletter the Texans have 25-30 million free to spend on the cap. Hope they get some bargain priced free agents to fill in the gaps. Not too concerned about the defense. Think it will be really good this season. More concerned about the offensive line taking care of Matt and his foot.

  16. By don hoxworth on Mar 22, 2012 | Reply

    Lets wait and see the final outcome …Its easy to judge when you dont have all the facts,,,,Rick wants a super bowl just as much as we but this is a new era
    lets not get our panties in a wad over the tweaks that have to be made do if not more…I have been in Houston all though the Luv Ya blue days,,,was there to watch all the great football…Don’tget your panties in a wad over things you don’t know or understand…its easy to stand on the sidelines and grip

  17. By tony on Mar 22, 2012 | Reply

    fire rick smith if you agree thum up….

  18. By Concered Fan on Mar 22, 2012 | Reply

    Rick Smith, Please tell us what your are trying to do. We now have some cap, please do something?

  19. By Don on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    The Texans will do just fine this season…I would bet that the players that have departed were not really TEAM players that fit in this Super Bowl scheme. Get real, most of these players left for more $$$, elsewhere. So they really weren’t team players anyway, Right?!

  20. By Robert Zajicek on Mar 24, 2012 | Reply

    . We finally took a big step in the right direction this year and we basically have all the starters back on defense,which was number 2 in the league. why start letting pieces go? I was fine with letting mario go due to the fact he was going to be very exspensive and brooks reed did a hell of a job. I’m confused on what the texans are doing, we are replacing the right side of our o-line with backup,lost our other tight end, traded demeco. For what? “building through the draft” you never know what your gonna get in the draft…hell look at some of our picks, jackson? okieye?
    we have guys that proved we can win and win big and now we are thin on the o-line and lost a great linebacker? does the front office like being just “ok” or do they wanna be great? I was exstatic about going into 2012, but now im nervous!! 10 years was long enough do put us through that agian,especially since we have already gotten a taste of the playoffs!!!

  21. By Brian Cushing on Mar 24, 2012 | Reply

    Look guys i know you are mad about the Demco Ryans trade, but he only played 50% of the snaps last year. Sharpton a 2nd round pick from Miami played steller Defense and went unnoticed because of our ferocious pass rush. He will feel that void pretty well this season trust me people I played along side with this guy. Rick is definitely gambling this year, but lets just sit back and see where he’s going with this.

  22. By Upnorth Fan on Mar 25, 2012 | Reply

    Still not freaking out, but have concerns about the right side of the O-line. Our defense should be OK, but not as excited about this season as I was before they let Briesell and Winston go. Allen was getting old and everyone said Ryan didn’t fit our system. Hope Schaub stays healthy with a make shift O line.

  23. By Upnorth Fan on Mar 26, 2012 | Reply

    Really hopinf we get a REAL #2 wide out. If we can’t do that AND get a good r-side line man in the draft, then Smith or whoever is making the offensive selections should go!

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