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Defense the name of the game for the Texans

Is University of Southern California running back Reggie Bush a no-brainer for the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft?

Maybe not.

Nearly every expert from Mel Kiper Jr. to John Clayton has Bush at the top of their boards as the best athlete in this year’s draft. But can the Houston Texans afford to take a risk this big on a player who might play 25 plays a game at the most?

This thought has kept new Texans head coach Gary Kubiak and General Manager Charley Casserly awake at night. This reason is why the Texans have kept their options open during the interview process with possible prospects.

Enter N.C. State defensive end Mario Williams.

Williams has shown he has game-changing ability on defense and that he is the type of player a team can build a championship-caliber defense around. Williams is in the mold of a Julius Peppers in Carolina or Jason Taylor in Miami.

The 6-foot-7, 295-pound Williams has tremendous athletic ability and great speed for his size. He was a four-year starter for the Wolfpack and played in Atlantic Coast Conference, one of the toughest conferences in college football.

Truth be told, the biggest hole in the Texans’ roster is on the offensive line. There has been no talk about drafting D’Brickashaw Ferguson, but that’s another story.

Even with all the talent Bush has, it will be difficult for him to make the game-breaking runs the Texans need with no holes to run through. Bush only needs to sit down and talk with quarterback David Carr to understand just what he could be getting into.

The justification of picking Williams over Bush comes from the past success of Peppers or Taylor and the impact both players had defensively. Peppers helped lead the Panthers to the Super Bowl in his third year, and Taylor was a major part of helping the Dolphins have a top-tier defense from 2000-02.

Williams’ athleticism allows him to fit into any defensive scheme, whether it’s a 4-3 or 3-4 front. He has the size to come off the end as a traditional pass-rushing defensive end and can also play standing up to cover like a linebacker.

How many players can play defense like that for the Texans?

Quick, name them … time’s up.

Just another reason why the Texans need to go defense with the No. 1 pick and bring Williams to Houston.

The Texans’ defense hasn’t been close to matching up to some of the best defenses in the league. Houston hasn’t been ranked in the Top 20 in defensive statistics since 2002 when it was ranked 16. The team has had one of the worst defenses in the league since its first season in 2002 and has done nothing in the draft to make the defense better.

Enter Williams.

This is a new start for a team with a new coach and a new approach on how to win. Kubiak’s offensive mind mixing with Bush’s talent can be a deadly combination, but defense wins championships, and the last time I looked, Bush plays on the offensive side of the field.

Williams might not be the popular pick – that goes to Vince Young, and the Texans have made it clear they aren’t picking him – but it’s the smart pick to build a competitive defense.

For once, an offensive-minded head coach needs to put his team before popularity, and this is a perfect spot for Kubiak to show that he was the right choice for Houston.

Now on the clock … the Houston Texans.