March 18, 2018

Are Sherman and Nolan the Secret Weapons?

Week one is upon us and the Houston Texans are early favorites to defeat the visiting Miami Dolphins in the season opener at Reliant Stadium. The Dolphins have been featured this season on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” and been the center of talk surrounding the reality portion of the NFL.

Former Houston Texans Safety, Troy Nolan at 2012 Training Camp, SOTT Staff Photo

Always important for a team to start the season off on the right foot, the Dolphins seem to think they have some inside information on what the Texans could be doing this Sunday. Look no further than the names of Mike Sherman and Troy Nolan, who are both coming to Houston wearing the teal, orange and white.

After the active roster was set, the Texans made the one “unexpected” cut by sending veteran safety Troy Nolan to the waiver wire. Nolan, who was expected to make the Texans’ roster for the third season in a row, was beat out by Quintin Demps and Shiloh Keo for the final safety spots on the team. If anything, Nolan had a knack for being around the football and was a solid backup safety for the Texans. This past offseason Nolan was asked to take a paycut which could have been a “small” reason for the Texans going a different direction in 2012.

With his release, the Dolphins were the only team to put a claim on him and he magically is in Miami for week one and facing his former team.

This was quickly tweeted out upon his arrival in Miami:



The question that comes into play is how much Nolan knows about the Texans’ offense and the defensive front seven. It is safe to say Nolan should have a good grasp on what the Texans do in the secondary with coverage and calls, but it is tough to see Nolan knowing “exactly” what the front seven does every play. The secondary only practices with the rest of the defense on team sessions and they are so focused on their duties in the secondary it is tough to see him having a grasp of the entire scheme.

As for the offense, Nolan practiced every day against them and knows the audibles at the line and probably other tendencies that are hard to see. Don’t think Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison are not aware that Nolan is on the other side and have plays in their bag of tricks for situations like this. Plus, Nolan is listed as a backup safety at the moment and it is hard to see him making a difference on the sideline. He is already behind the eight ball trying to learn the Dolphins’ defense, and less than a week still might not be enough time to give enough information to the Dolphins coaching staff to really make a difference in the long run.


Then this came out,



Tight end Jeron Marshall catches a pass as offensive coordinator Mike Sherman looks on during Miami Dolphins practice at Dolphins Training Camp in Davie on August 21, 2012. Joe Rimkus Jr. / Staff Photo

Now, we find it hard to believe that there will be any real chess match this Sunday between Kubiak and Sherman. Despite their relationship, so much time has passed since the two were together in Houston. Talking to a credible source at training camp, the relationship between Sherman and Kubiak went south when there was a difference of opinion in the run game philosophy. Kubiak wanted to stick to his zone running scheme while Sherman opted for a more power running game, we all see who won this battle.

I really don’t see where the “chess match” will happen since neither of the two coach the defensive side of the ball.

The Dolphins can try to pick Nolan’s brain or depend on Sherman’s past knowledge, but the truth remains that this will be settled between the white lines. This game will be settled by the players and, despite the Intel the Dolphins might have, it is hard to think that it is enough to make a real difference.





You can follow Patrick on Twitter.  He is the Editor of State of the Texans.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: