The Houston Texans had been the worst group within the NFL at stopping the run a 12 months in the past.
Groups busted the Texans for five.2 yards per carry in 2020, the best within the NFL. It was only one element of the Texans’ 4-12 document, however it might have been the one statistic tied to effort.
“Stopping the run, to begin with, is a want-to factor,” Texans defensive finish Jonathan Greenard informed reporters on a Zoom name on June 10. “Should you don’t have the need or the need to cease the run, you’ll be able to’t do anything within the sport of soccer. Enjoying protection goes to get you the rewards for all the things, so stopping the run is the principle emphasis that we’re placing on now.”
The Texans have gone from a 3-4 protection, which they performed since 2011, to a Tampa 2 scheme with a 4-3 entrance underneath new defensive coordinator Lovie Smith. Though the emphasis to cease the run is common amongst each protection, Smith’s scheme supplies for a brand new technique to method the endeavor.
Stated Greenard: “Taking pictures your palms, ensuring your eyes are in the appropriate place, palms in the appropriate place, you’re in the appropriate hole and ending on the ball. Plenty of occasions final 12 months you noticed we had quite a lot of performs we simply didn’t end, quite a lot of video games we didn’t end. We take that as a chip on our shoulder.”
The previous 2020 third-round decide from Florida collected 19 mixed tackles, two tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, 1.0 sack, and a go breakup by 13 video games, one in every of which he began.
Greenard isn’t burying the unhealthy reminiscences of failing to cease the run, and neither are his teammates who remained after common supervisor Nick Caserio’s 90-plus roster strikes all through the offseason.
“Don’t assume that we sort of simply put it on the backburner as a result of we positively do keep in mind that,” stated Greenard. “We positively use that as gasoline as a result of that’s one factor he’s instructing us as quickly as he acquired in there, is flip the ball over, get after the quarterback and make these guys really feel you.
“I believe that’s one factor we’ve acquired to carry again right here is to make individuals really feel us and never regulate to them. They acquired to regulate to us.”