Houston Texans Strong Defensive Backfield Leads to Surprise Moves

By Joe Serenka

During the preseason, it had become apparent that the Houston Texans had amassed a glut of talent at cornerback and safety. There was no consensus about which defensive backs would make the team. It was rumored that Alan Ball and Shiloh Keo were the closest to the chopping block. Surprisingly, both survived the final cut and Houston decided to part ways with Troy Nolan. Nolan is a three year veteran who entered the league as a seventh round pick of the Texans in 2009. In 30 games, he has three interceptions with the team. It will be interesting to see how well Nolan performs if a team selects him off the waiver wire.

Another surprising move was the Texans shipping defensive back Sherrick McManis to the Chicago Bears for fullback Tyler Clutts. McManius is a former fifth-round pick by the Texans in 2010. He was a depth player for the team who had appeared in 23 games with 18 tackles and one interception. With depth in the defensive backfield and the need at fullback after the Texans cut Moran Norris, McManis became expendable. With Clutts, the Texans get a good special teams player and a ferocious blocker. Not known for his ability to carry the ball, he will be an asset clearing the way for Houston’s strong running game.

With the strong depth that the Texans had in the defensive backfield, it was obvious that not everyone was going to survive the cut down. I believe that the Houston did a good job using their depth to trade for a position of need in fullback. A good blocking back will help accentuate the Texan’s ground game. However, I find it curious that they decided to part ways with Nolan and keep Keo on the team. Over the years, Nolan has been a strong role player on the team and has contributed to the defense. The Texans must have strong faith in Keo’s ability going forward.

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