Texans DC Lovie Smith says DE Jacob Martin ‘can beat a lot of guys’

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Jacob Martin has been one of the overlooked parts of the Houston Texans’ edge rush since his arrival at the end of the 2019 preseason.

One of Houston’s rewards for trading Jadeveon Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks, Martin has provided the Texans with 7.5 sacks, including 1.0 last week in the 31-21 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Martin’s 7.5 sacks are more than double what Clowney has produced in the same span with three different teams.

According to defensive end Lovie Smith, Martin provides speed off the edge in their new Tampa 2 scheme, which is just what the Texans are looking for.

“Jacob has excellent speed,” said Smith. “He fits a profile that we would like at our five technique, our open-end position. He’s athletic enough, you’ve seen him play on different special teams too. Maybe even linebacker-type skill set that he has.”

Thursday night’s encounter with the Carolina Panthers to kickoff Week 3 at NRG Stadium will be a big game personally for the former Seattle Seahawks 2018 sixth-round pick. Panthers coach Matt Rhule was Martin’s coach when he played at Temple.

“It’s a big game for him of course playing against his old college coach, too,” Smith said. “But we want to be able to rush the passer with a four-man rush and not have to rely on blitzing and Jacob does that.”

Smith says that Martin’s talent was evident to him in the second preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Said Smith: “You look back to the pre-season, I can recall against Dallas to start the game off. Get him in a one-on-one situation with a tackle, again, he can beat a lot of guys.”

Martin will be going against veteran tackle Cam Erving. If Martin is able to beat him as just one of the guys, then the Texans should be able to provide an effective pass rush of quarterback Sam Darnold.