Texans DE Jonathan Greenard let go of missed opportunities in 2021

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The 2021 campaign was both promising and frustrating for Jonathan Greenard.

The former 2020 third-round pick from Florida transitioned from playing as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme to a down lineman in Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2 with a 4-3 base. As a defensive end, Greenard flourished with 8.0 sacks in his second season.

However, those sacks came in 12 games; the Houston Texans’ leading sacker missed five games on the year. Certainly Greenard would have been able to generate more sacks in those missing contests and become the first Houston defender since J.J. Watt in 2018 to record double-digit sacks.

Greenard also would have been one of 18 defenders last season to record double-digit sacks. Consider that only three of the 17 who did so failed to make the Pro Bowl.

The missed opportunities for Greenard were frustrating, especially as he recovered from offseason foot surgery.

“I had to let it go because at the end of the day I was just trying to make sure that — I don’t like living with regrets because if I sat down and thought about that, it would be pointless,” Greenard told reporters after the fourth day of training camp Tuesday at Houston Methodist Training Center. ‘I have a season to worry about next year.”

Greenard’s third season is pivotal as it is the penultimate year of his contract. The Texans and Greenard cannot discuss contract negotiations until the end of the season. Greenard can give himself decent leverage for contract talks if he has double-digit sacks and a Pro Bowl selection to bring to the negotiating table.

“I’m going it continue to work on myself and what I can handle, what I can control,” said Greenard. “My number one goal is making it through 17 games and being there for my team every single game.”

Greenard is anything but injury prone. In his rookie season, he played 13 games out of 16 and logged one start.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire