Defensive coordinator Lovie Smith reveals how the Texans track takeaways

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The Houston Texans have been preaching takeaways on defense since the arrival of defensive coordinator Lovie Smith.

How exactly does the defensive staff track takeaways during training camp practice?

Smith spent time with the media on Aug. 24 and laid out how the Texans keep up with the takeaways during practice.

“It’s pretty easy to track the takeaways per se, but a lot starts before that,” Smith said. “I’m from a little small town in east Texas (Big Sandy). You know, simple math that I got a little bit is you get more takeaways when you are trying to take the ball away. And what I mean by that is if you have an opportunity, if a ball carrier has a ball, you know, we want to see you going after the ball. That’s the first step, trying to strip the football. So that’s what we chart first, just how many times we see guys pulling and yanking and punching the football.”

The results have paid off, at least through two games in the preseason. The Texans entered the final week of the exhibition campaign with the most turnovers in the NFL with seven. It is a good start considering Houston had just nine in 2020, the fewest in the league.

If the Texans can keep the preseason momentum of takeaways into the regular season, they should be able to compete with teams weekly throughout the 17-game season.