McNair must learn new tricks

Steve McNair faces the most challenging year of his career, while the Texans need big plays from Dunta Robinson.

Originally Published: June 2, 2005
Scouts Inc.
Once thought to be the most dangerous quarterback in the game, how does former NFL MVP Steve McNair become an X factor? Try a depleted Titans roster, an injury-plagued 2004 season and a new offensive coordinator. Scouts, Inc. previews the players in the AFC South who hold the most weight in their teams' fates.

Houston -- Dunta Robinson, DB
Last year's stellar rookie campaign already established Robinson as the only game-changing playmaker on a lackluster Texans defense. Not only did his six interceptions stamp him as a legitimate shutdown, man-to-man corner, but he also developed into a strong run defender and, perhaps most important, a blitzer off the edge.

On a Houston defense that finished dead last in the NFL in 2004 with only 24 sacks, the Texans have to walk a tightrope between putting pressure on the quarterback with blitzes and exposing the secondary in passing situations. Even though Houston traded for ex-Raider Phillip Buchanon to start at the other corner, the pressure for big plays will rest mostly on Robinson. He will continue to be assigned to cover the opposition's best receiver  and that means two games each against wide receivers Marvin Harrison, Jimmy Smith and Drew Bennett.

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