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.