Texans S coach Greg Jackson predicts Justin Reid will ‘rise up’ in new defense

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Houston Texans safety Justin Reid had just another season in his third year as a pro.

Although the former 2018 third-round pick from Stanford collected 83 combined tackles, the second-most in his career, tallied six tackles for loss, and four quarterback hits, each his highest in a single-season, he had four pass breakups, the fewest of his career. Reid also failed to force a fumble, recovery a fumble, or intercept a pass.

New Texans safeties coach Greg Jackson knows what the problem was for Reid in 2020.

“When I watch the tape, the first thing I thought about it is he’s thinking too much and not just playing football,” Jackson told reporters on a Zoom call on June 8. “When I say that, I say he’s making a lot of different checks, communicating with different guys rather than just trying to focus on playing the free safety position, which is just looking at the formations, looking at tendencies out on the field, following the quarterback.”

Reid was effective as a blitzer with 2.0 sacks, a new career high, coming through his 13 games last year. However, Jackson believes Reid will excel in the new Tampa 2 scheme because of the simplicity of the defense.

“I think in this system here, I think he’s going to rise up and I think he’s going to do some good things for us because this defense is simple, but it’s fast and it allows you to play football,” Jackson said. “That’s what we try to instill in our players is that we’re not going to make anything difficult for you. We’re going to try to make it as simple as possible and we’re going to allow you play football. I think that’s what you see in Justin when you watch the tape, is that he’s going to improve.”

While Jackson appreciates the mental side of Reid’s game, the defense will accentuate his physical tools and allow him to make more plays.

“You just need to take a whole bunch of the thinking out because even though he’s a smart player, when you get out on that football field, it’s all about playing fast,” said Jackson. “I think in this system it’s going to allow him to do that.”