Texans defense making strides at OTA's

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 6/13/22

“Those rookies that can go right now are really settling in,” Smith said. “Pitre for one has been outstanding. He has a knack for the football and has done a lot of good things. You can say the same thing about Kenyon (Green).

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Texans defense making strides at OTA's

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Love Smith has built his entire career on building excellent defenses.

The Texans head coach wasn’t satisfied with a defense that ranked 27th in the league last season, allowing 26.6 points per game while ranking 26th in sacks.

So the Texans went out and made moves this offseason, both in free agency and in the draft to better that defense. It seems to be paying dividends at organized team activities so far, especially at the back end of the defense.

“They’re getting better,” Smith said. “Especially in the secondary is, you had different guys making plays and that’s big. Defensively, you have to show up. It’s not just about coverages or tackling, it’s about taking the ball away. We were able to take the ball away through the air and with punching the ball out quite a few times today. That’s good for the defense.”

Among those new additions is Steven Nelson, who signed a two year deal with the Texans and brings good experience to the team from his time with the Chiefs, Steelers and Eagles.

“It’s been going really well,” Nelson said. “For the two months I have been here you can just see that there’s great guys here. The coaches have done a great job making a group that wants to compete and get better. There’s a like-mindedness from everyone and it’s going really well right now.”

Jalen Pitre also has had a strong showing thus far and has shown why the Texans invested a second round pick in the Stafford native.

“Those rookies that can go right now are really settling in,” Smith said. “Pitre for one has been outstanding. He has a knack for the football and has done a lot of good things. You can say the same thing about Kenyon (Green), Christian Harris was out there with the starters a lot of the day too. The young rookies are progressing well and the way we want them too. With this offseason they get to have a lot of work.”

With OTA’s at their end the Texans will continue the offseason with mandatory minicamp for three days this week.

It will be the first time that the team has fully gathered together since January. Most are in attendance for OTA’s but a few players will join the team for the first time for minicamp.

It will also be a chance for those young rookies to prove themselves once again.

“I always tell those young guys, those veterans don’t care about you being young or inexperienced, if we put you out on the field, we have to expect that you know what you are doing out there and you’re ready,” Smith said. “Those veterans, they read the papers too, they know what people are saying, they know when these guys are drafted and the expectations. It’s up to the young guys to prove it to them on the field. That’s what these rookies have done. It seems like they never leave the building and when they get their opportunities they have stepped up and made plays. They have been coming in and working and that leadership is wearing off on them.”

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