Key Matchup: Simon vs Brown

Defensive tackle Corey Simon should get noticed more than usual with the matchup he has drawn this week in Houston. Greg Talmage fills you in on the details.

Coming into last week's game, Houston Texans quarterback David Carr had been sacked 27 times in his first four games of the 2005 season. So something had to be done, and the offensive line was the place to start. 

Houston has made four personnel changes to their O-line in the last two weeks. One of those change was the insertion of OG Milford Brown into the starting line-up. 

Milford Brown is a short area offensive guards with solid power and strength. He flashes the ability to be explosive, but lacks body control at times -- and as a result will get tossed-off too easily. He is also limited in space. Brown has a tendency to play heavy footed, too slow to redirect and doesn't get off initial blocks well. In pass protection, he uses his heavy hands to deliver that initial punch and will fight the defender. But he's not consistent in protecting his edges. 

For Milford, his goal on Sunday is simple. Keep Corey Simon in front and at the center of his body. Do not let Simon beat him off the snap and to an edge. Milford is still a very raw player who needs to improve his techniques in order to become a mainstay in this league. 

Corey Simon has the make-up to go toe-to-toe with Brown in space. He has solid change of direction skills and movement in the short area. Because of his active feet and persistent motor, Corey Simon is not easy to keep blocked. He also has excellent instincts, a great feel for blocking schemes and does a good job of finding the ball. 

Brown simply lacks the lateral mobility or foot quickness to counter when Simon tries to redirect inside after starting outside. Combine that problem with the fact that the Colts do a lot of stunting and twisting with their front four and it only makes matters worse for Brown. 

He must not be too aggressive and lunge at Simon. If he does and Simon is stunting, it will open up a seam for the defender stunting into Milford's gap. 

Houston defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is well aware of the pass-rushing presence and abilities of Dwight Freeney. He has had some monster games against the Texans, including 3 sacks in the game at Houston last season. In order to account him, Houston will likely keep tight-ends and running-backs back to double-team and chip Freeney. The extra attention Houston gives to the edges will leave DTs like Corey Simon in a lot of one-on-one blocking situations. Hopefully Simon's high motor and penetrating abilities creates all kinds of havoc for Milford Brown. 

Could we see Corey Simon's first sack as a Colt this week?

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