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DeMeco Ryans ‘Excited’ About Addition of Wade Phillips, Confident in Texans’ Ability to Improve Defensively Under New Coordinator’s Attacking 3-4 Scheme

Wade Phillips may have been the scapegoat for the Dallas Cowboys’ failures in recent years,  but the Houston Texans felt that one team’s trash is another team’s treasure. The Texans’ defense was atrocious defending the pass and pressuring the quarterback last season. The Texans  had 23 sacks all of last season (23rd)  and couldn’t cover anyone all season, but particularly late in games. Their losses to the the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars are perfect examples of what plagued the defense last year.

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The Texans tried to upgrade their pass defense by signing Danieal Manning and Jonathan Joseph this off-season. DeMeco Ryans, one of the team’s most vocal and well-liked leaders, is excited to be back healthy after playing in only six games and undergoing Achilles heel surgery in ’10. Phillips’ 3-4 defense excites Ryans, even if it is a new scheme to learn in short notice. Ryans feels the 2011 season brings a completely clean slate for the Texans, and he’s confident that he’ll be able to help Houston finally break through in part because of the additional opportunities he’ll be afforded to make plays in Phillips’ aggressive system. DeMeco Ryans joined KGOW in Houston with Nuno & Raheel to discuss the Houston Texans training camp having a different feel with Wade Phillip’s defensive scheme, the status of his foot injury, a new found swagger with the Texans defense after the acquisitions of Danieal Manning and Jonathan Joseph this off-season, the Texans feeling like they something to prove this year and the similarities and differences in Wade Phillip’s 3-4 defense as compared to the 4-3 defense the Texans have played in the last few years.

How different does this training camp feel with the Wade Phillips direction on defense?

“It’s definitely different feeling, but it is a good feeling. In working with Wade we are working with a guy that has proven scheme that works. For us as players we have take ownership of it and go out here and try to perform in it and try to learn as much as we can in a condensed period of time. I think I am really excited about the addition of Wade and the addition of our new players we have with Danieal Manning and Jonathan Joseph on the defense. I think we just have a good group.”

How are you feeling? How is the foot feeling?

“It’s feeling good man moving around feeling a lot better the second day out and just look for it to continue to improve. I’m feeling good and just happy to be back out here with the guys. I missed a lot of time last year and really missed the camaraderie and missed the locker-room being around the guys, so it’s a great feeling to be back out here and be with the guys.”

Do you feel like there is a new found swagger with the Texans defense with the off-season acquisitions [Danieal Manning and Jonathan Joseph] alongside you, Mario Williams and Brian Cushing? Do you guys sense that also?

“We are just looking to improve day in and day out. We always have confidence in what we are doing and we are just looking to see how we can improve on that day in and day out. We are excited about our group. This is definitely one of the most talented groups I’ve been around since I have been here. There a lot of excitement here.”

Do you guys feel like you have a chip on your shoulder and something to prove?

“New year. New year. Clean slate. Last year is gone. We are starting with a totally new team. A new group of guys and we have to go out and win games however we can win. The defense making plays. The offense finding a way to win games and all three phases, so it’s a new year. It brings along a new challenge, so we’ll see how it comes.”

How similar is Wade Phillip’s 3-4 defense compared to the 4-3 defense you played since college?

“A little different. I mean as far as footwork wise it creates ability for inside backers and Mario [Williams] to make a lot of plays. We are definitely happy and excited to be in that position where we can make plays, so it’s a little different, but I can tell you football is football. You still gotta get the guy with the ball.”

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