Lovie Smith says Texans will blitz, but goal is to not rely on it

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Blitzing is not exactly a trait many Tampa 2 defensive coordinators are known for.

In the new scheme the Houston Texans will be running in 2021 under defensive coordinator Lovie Smith, the defensive line generates the pressure with its four-man front. There are no disguises or any trickery to force the quarterback and pass protection to guess where the free rusher is coming from.

However, just because the Texans’ new defense is designed to get pressure with just a four-man front doesn’t mean Smith will eschew the blitz for all 17 games this year.

“We don’t want to have to rely on blitzes to get pressure,” Smith said. “We’re basically a coverage team, but we will blitz and all.”

During Smith’s media session on Aug. 18, he joked with reporters that perhaps they should publish that the Texans won’t do any blitzing in 2021.

Said Smith: “Maybe you should get that out to our opponents that we’re not going to blitz. That may be a good thing, setting them up a little bit.”

The lack of blitzing will be especially pronounced in preseason as the Texans evaluate how their edge rushers are able to win individual matchups.

“In the preseason games, we want to win the football game, but we want to see guys get in one-on-one situations and see exactly what we can do,” said Smith. “If we can win without blitzing, in an ideal world, we have a four-man front. You would like to be able to get pressure with your four guys, and the only way to know if we can do that, of course, is put them in as many of those situations as possible right now.”

The Texans used to rely on the blitz under defensive coordinators Wade Phillips (2011-13), Romeo Crennel (2014-16, 2018-19), Mike Vrabel (2017), and Anthony Weaver (2020) when the team ran the 3-4 defense.