ILB Tyrell Adams believes he can play in Texans’ new 4-3 scheme

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Mark Lane
·2 min read
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Tyrell Adams has always bet on himself.

The 28-year-old from West Georgia was a member of seven NFL teams, mostly as a practice squad or offseason player, from 2015 to 2018 when he finally settled down with the Houston Texans.

In 2020, with Pro Bowl inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney out for the season after the first four games, Adams took over the second inside linebacker spot in the 3-4 defense and provided Houston with 125 combined tackles, five tackles for loss, four pass breakups, 2.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

Just he has throughout his career, Adams is betting on himself to adjust to new defensive coordinator Lovie Smith’s Tampa-2, which deploys a 4-3 front.

“I think I’m really versatile,” Adams told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “I play smarter and quicker than most guys, and I’m good in zone and man coverage. Coming downhill and playing really physical, adding that to my repertoire, I’m an all-around linebacker. I’m pretty well-versed in all aspects of being a complete linebacker. I can run and get to the ball.”

Adams predominantly has played in a 4-3 defense when looking at his other stops. The 2015 Seattle Seahawks were a 4-3 front, as were the 2015 Kansas City Chiefs. The Oakland Raiders under Jack Del Rio were a 4-3 in 2016 before switching to a 3-4 in 2017The Buffalo Bills in 2017, the Indianapolis Colts in 2018, and the San Francisco 49ers in 2018 deployed 4-3 fronts.

“Playing in a 4-3 gives me the ability to move and really excel physically,” Adams said.

Adams made $910,000 on a one-year contract with the Texans in 2020. As a free agent, the Texans will evaluate what the 6-2, 228-pound linebacker can bring to the new defense. The Texans already have a tackling machine on the roster in inside linebacker Zach Cunningham, and McKinney is still under contract with the Texans through the 2023 season.

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