March 18, 2018

The Texans’ Unsung Defender

These past few weeks while putting together some snap counts for the Houston Texans, there were many thoughts that showed up while watching the films through the first five games. The team evolved every week, especially on defense, but one player made me think about his role within the defense, safety Glover Quin.  What he does for the defense, not only the secondary, shows he is one of the most important parts for the defense.

Many analysts around the league talked about how much of a liability Quin was to the Texans’ secondary and how much they need to replace him after the 2011 season. We actually covered this topic and how Quin was the “X-Factor” coming into the season, from going from cornerback in 2010 to safety in 2011. His ability to make the transition opened the door for the Texans to not have to go look for an extra safety but instead concentrate their efforts on bringing in free agents Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning.

At the beginning of the season, Quin was having issues with his run fits and he was taking bad angles to the football. As the season progressed, Quin learned from his mistakes, became solid in the run support game and became more comfortable covering in the middle of the field. What was asked of Quin in year one of a new defense during a position change, it could have not gotten any better for the Texans. Wade Phillips used Quin’s strengths to the Texans’ advantage and Quin playing with his eyes to the line of scrimmage only helped him more as a player. He was able to play downhill from the secondary and use his tackling skills to their fullest. Throw in good coverage skills, Quin is a well-rounded player in all facets of his game.

How important is Quin to defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and the defense?  Let us show you.


Quin in the Texans’ defensive scheme

(You can click on the pictures to get a better look)













This is Quin in the Texans normal base 3-4 alignment. He is actually in man coverage covering Hines Ward, the slot wide receiver. So from 9 yards deep, he is responsible for both pass and for his run fill.















In this frame, Quin is responsible for the underneath routes where he and Brian Cushing are playing zone. This is the Texans dime package.  Quin is almost a hybrid player here, able to cover pass but playing run from a linebacker position.

















This is also the Texans in their dime package but instead of the middle of the field zone responsibilities, Quin is in press man coverage. He is one on one with the #2 wide receiver on the right side of the formation.















Same scenario here but they are asking Quin to be able to flip to the other side of the field and play man against the Steelers #3 wide receiver on the left side. Quin is asked to be able to play multiple positions in the Texans dime scheme.
















This is the Texans short yardage personnel and Phillips is able to bring in an extra linebacker and move Quin to the corner opposite of Joseph. Danieal Manning is playing the middle and Quin provides a good run defender in the process.

















To keep opposing offenses guessing, Quin is actually playing a deep zone helping on the twins (2 wide receivers) side of the formation. At the snap, Quin backpedals to prevent the deep ball while Manning is on the backside of the Texans defense covering the tight end.


Glover Quin is an essential piece to the Texans defense and as you can see he is asked to do multiple jobs on the football field. Quin is actually the only Texans defender that is a hybrid player.  He plays safety, corner back and linebacker at any given time of the game. He is moved around throughout the game and proved to be a big reason for the Texans ability to improve defensively in 2011.

With his contract expiring after the 2012 season, Quin is increasing his value as a NFL player. With other big names coming up for paydays for the Texans, Quin should not be over-looked by the Texans front office for an extension. We know money will be tight but the Texans need to do everything in their power to bring back Quin for the coming years. Quin has steadily improved since his rookie season of  2009 and this season should not be any different.


You can follow Patrick on Twitter.  He is the Editor of State of the Texans and is a draft analyst on Sideline Scouting.

8 Responses to “The Texans’ Unsung Defender”
  1. Pete says:

    Nice write up… definitely learn something through this. I’m hesitant to believe that the Texans will be able to bring back all of their FAs next year.. or at least the 4 that I can think of off the top of my head (D Brown, Schaub, Barwin, Quin).

    I think Barwin might price himself out of our ability to keep him with another solid year, so that’s good for Brown, Schaub, and Quin coming back. Pure uninformed speculation though.

    I’ve always liked Quin and his approach. Seems like we didn’t hear his name too much last year, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for a secondary player. Definitely unsung, as you state here. I didn’t realize the versatility he has, and the multiple ways he was used.

    Anyway, great write up – not only informative on Quin, but helps explains some of Wade’s D looks.

  2. john says:

    Quin couldn’t cut it at corner. He had an mediocre season as a starting safety (both were mediocre), which was a big improvement from having the worst secondary in the history of the NFL the season before.

    He is slow and cannot cover the long pass. He has poor ball skills (remember Chicago, when instead of batting the ball to the ground, he batted it up in the air like a volley ball. mistimed, lost us the game).

    Be honest – quit kissing Kubiak rump.

    • Patrick D. Starr says:

      Mediocre? He was second on the team in tackles and did better than what people expected from him. Why leave him at corner when his natural position was safety coming out of New Mexico. That is why moving him to safety was the best move for him and the Texans, just trying to point out that Quin is more valuable to the Texans defense than what people think.

      It was Jacksonville not Chicago.

  3. TXCleaver says:

    Is Jason Babin’s middle name John?

  4. The Halby says:

    Yeah Cleaver only the Tattooed Joey Fat-One could spew that sort of ignorance. He said Manning had a mediocre season also? Both had good seasons. John needs to watch football before spouting off. He is obviously lacking in football knowledge.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Home › NFL › The Texans’ Unsung Defender […]

  2. […] – Glover Quin (pictured above) had his best game of the preseason, where he was active in coverage and made his presence felt with a big hit on Saints running back Chris Ivory with a forced fumble and rumble recovery. Quin also had two pass break ups with three tackles in limited snaps, and having him looking like this could prove big for an already deep Texans defense. In a contract year, Quin will be under the microscope from the organization, and his versatility within the defense is something often overlooked. […]

  3. […] Quin has been pretty impressive and what he means to the Texans defense is important to know. He is able to play safety (free or strong), linebacker or slot corner when needed, but he has been […]

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