Expect the Texans to use CB Desmond King in the nickel

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The Houston Texans signed an assortment of free agent cornerbacks in the offseason to bolster their secondary and ease the transition from a 3-4 to a Tampa 2 scheme.

According to coach David Culley, one of the roles that the club has in mind for cornerback Desmond King is playing nickel for defensive coordinator Lovie Smith.

“He’s had a productive career, he’s been an [All-Pro] player in the past,” Culley said. “At our nickel position, he’s the kind of guy that Lovie feels comfortable there.”

On the unofficial depth chart, Bradley Roby and Terrance Mitchell are listed as the starting cornerbacks. King is listed behind Roby, and behind Mitchell is Vernon Hargreaves.

Culley says that King has made progress throughout camp, working through his initial struggles to grasp the concepts of what the Texans’ new defense was trying to accomplish.

“I thought early in the training camp that things were a little slow for him but now he’s kind of got the hang of what we are trying to do right now and the last two games he’s really played well,” said Culley.

The Texans also like King’s ability to return punts, and are hoping that he provides them with a bevy of weapons in the return game along with receiver Andre Roberts.

Said Culley: “An additional thing with him, that guy is an excellent returner and helps us in our return game also. Obviously we have Andre back there and he did a phenomenal job for us in the preseason with Andre not being back here returning and we are not surprised by that.”

King earned his lone All-Pro selection in 2018 when he was a member of the Los Angeles Chargers. The former 2017 fifth-round pick from Iowa collected 62 tackles, four tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, three interceptions, 10 pass breakups, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries through 16 games, eight of which he started.