Texans S Justin Reid says he has ‘seen a lot of growth’ from the defense

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Houston Texans safety Justin Reid likes what he has seen from the defense.

Although the Texans sustained their lone preseason loss of the exhibition campaign Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at NRG Stadium, Reid likes the energy on the defensive side of the ball.

“I’ve seen a lot of growth,” said Reid, who collected three combined tackles a special teams tackle in the 23-16 loss. “There’s a buzz in the locker room, there’s a buzz on the defensive side of the ball. That’s just excitement to go out there and play. Doesn’t matter what the situation is or anything like that. Guys were excited to go out and just play football.”

The Texans have a roster replete with players on one-year deals or expiring deals. There isn’t much security in their contracts. However, the players are in for the love of the game, according to Reid.

Said Reid: “It’s just a love for the game, a passion for the game that you see coming out. It’s just exciting to be a part of it. I love this system. It’s aggressive and lets us make plays and lets us make calls, so I’m having a ton of fun out there, having a blast just going out and playing football.”

The system the Texans defense has moved to is a Tampa 2 scheme with new defensive coordinator Lovie Smith. The former Chicago Bears coach from 2004-12 is preaching takeaways, and it manifested in the preseason with 10 —quite an accomplishment for a team that generated just nine through 16 games in 2020.

“You could just see what Coach Lovie Smith is preaching what means about getting to the ball, being aggressive, finding ways to get to the ball,” Reid said. “Everything is about the ball and it’s coming out on the tape so we have to take that with us into the regular season and continue to force turnovers to help our team win games.”

Houston kicks off the regular season Sunday, Sept. 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who managed a 34-14 win over the Dallas Cowboys in their preseason finale Sunday.