Speaking at a town hall meeting Monday, O'Brien made it clear that trio will have company by the time offseason practices begin.
Here's what else we learned from O'Brien's town hall meeting:
1. He believes J.J. Watt is the best defensive player in the league. Playing outside of Wade Phillips' defense for the first time, Watt will be moved around a lot in Romeo Crennel's scheme. The Texans expect to be in nickel packages 70 percent of the time, which will leave Watt inside at tackle quite a bit. We still expect him to wreak havoc on offensive lines.
2. The Texans are on the lookout for a slot receiver, which is important in O'Brien's system. "We don't really have one right now," O'Brien acknowledged. That bodes poorly for recent draft picks Keshawn Martin and DeVier Posey. O'Brien did say he "really thinks" franchise legend Andre Johnson will enjoy the new offense.
3. O'Brien said free-agent acquisitions Chris Clemons and Kendrick Lewis will compete at free safety, with D.J. Swearinger locked in at strong safety. That leaves 11-game starter Shiloh Keo relegated to backup duties and special teams.