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J.J. Watt to line up outside, stand up in Texans' D?

Houston Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel plans to move his chess pieces all over the board this season.


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Taking a page from New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Crennel plans to be multiple in how he attacks offenses.

"You have to be flexible and be able to adapt to what your players can do, and you have to be able to adapt to what your opponent's doing," Crennel said, per the Houston Chronicle. "It changes all the time. That's something I learned from Belichick: Study your opponent, find out what they're doing good, and figure out what you need to take away."

The key for Crennel is utilizing OTAs to figure out what his defenders do best and work to those strengths.

The one man with few weaknesses is defensive lineman J.J. Watt. Crennel plans to use Watt up and down the line in his base 3-4 defense. He also hinted at potentially standing the All-Pro up as an outside rusher.

"I think moving him around will be an asset for us," Crennel said. "I know he can play well inside. I watched the Pro Bowl, and they used him as an outside rusher, and he looked pretty good out there."

(And you thought no one watched the Pro Bowl.)

With a stacked line in Honolulu, Watt played defensive end in a 4-3 defense and constantly disrupted the backfield.

If Crennel mimics Belichick's style there is always a chance he could toss in some 4-3 looks (assuming he can find the tackles) and use No. 1 overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney in his college pass-rushing role bookending Watt.

Regardless, with linebacker Brooks Reed's ability to play inside and outside, Clowney's versatility opposite Whitney Mercilus and Watt's dominance wherever he lines up, Crennel has the building blocks of a creative defense.

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