Texans S Justin Reid says new defense plays more downhill

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Lovie Smith didn’t just bring a new front to the Houston Texans’ defense; he also brought a new mentality.

The Texans switched from a 3-4 defense to a Tampa 2 scheme with a 4-3 base when they hired Smith as the new defensive coordinator under rookie coach David Culley. However, there are techniques that the Texans are deploying that are departures from previous seasons when Romeo Crennel was predominantly the defensive coordinator.

“Some of the things we do here are just different, like how we track the tight end,” safety Justin Reid explained. “Everywhere he goes behind the line of scrimmage, that was a first for me. When we played cover three before, we used to stay on the same side. But he has little nuances and it’s all in allowing the defense to be more aggressive, so guys don’t have to worry about two gaps. You only got one gap regardless. If somebody moves somebody is going to be running with that person.”

Even though Reid has had to adapt to a new technique in his fourth season in the league, the former 2018 third-round pick from Stanford appreciates it as it provides for the defense to play faster.

Said Reid: “It’s a little bit different but I am a fan of it because like I said from the get go, it’s a lot more fast, a lot more aggressive. You don’t have to do as much side to side reading. It’s more downhill, north and south. I think that’s created some more pressure that we’ve been missing the last couple of years.”

The Texans defense has generated only 21 sacks, tied with the Dallas Cowboys for the 11th-fewest in the NFL. However, Houston’s defense has procured 19 turnovers, tied for the fourth-most in the NFL, an improvement from nine turnovers total throughout all 16 games in 2020.