Sheil Kapadia, with a great counter-example to the Eagles lockout/offseason change excuse:
It’s hard to look at the Texans’ defense and not think of the Eagles. Both teams brought on new defensive coordinators in the offseason. The Eagles went with Juan Castillo, who had never done it before. The Texans went with Wade Phillips, who had been a head coach or defensive coordinator for the previous 29 seasons. Both teams added free-agent cornerbacks. The Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha, who didn’t meet expectations in his first season here. And the Texans added Johnathan Joseph, who was named a second-team All Pro. But maybe most importantly, Houston got immediate contributions from rookies J.J. Watt (1st round, 11th overall) and Brooks Reed (2nd round, 42nd overall). The pair combined for 11.5 sacks. The Eagles have drafted 14 defensive players in the past two seasons, and I wouldn’t be comfortable saying any of them (except maybe Briain Rolle) played at an above-average level in 2011. New coordinator, new personnel, shortened offseason, young contributors, and the Texans improved dramatically on defense.