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Houston DC Brian Stewart putting premium on 1st Down

During the off-season, Kevin Sumlin hired former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator (2007-2008) Brian Stewart to direct the Cougars’ defense.

Citing the poor play in the past from the Houston defense, Sumlin admits, “We can’t be much worse.”

Now, over a week into summer camp, Sumlin says, "We're on the right path. I like what coach Stewart is doing as far as disguising coverages. We're not going to sit there and be a bend-but-don't break defense. We tried that. That didn't really work too well, so let's try something else. Put it this way: We can't be much worse."

Stewart explained his system by saying, "It's all based on attacking and putting pressure on the offense, be it pressure coming or the look of pressure. We're always going to have the feel that we're attacking."

According to Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle newspaper, “Stewart said the overriding philosophy is to get the offense off its schedule. He puts a premium on winning first down — be it by a sack, a stuffed run, or pressure that causes the quarterback to hurry a throw. That puts the defense in a position to go on the offensive- to dictate the terms of the possession.”

Houston begins the season by hosting Texas State and UTEP. Sumlin will then take the Cougars to the West Coast to play UCLA in the Rose Bowl. The season-finale is at Texas Tech.

Below, you can watch Case Keenum behind-the-scenes at ESPN. Keenum flew to Bristol, CT last week to film a number of segments for ESPN.