The Houston Texans will head into training camp with 22 new faces on defense as they load up for what will inevitably be a vastly different unit from 2020.
And with general manager Nick Caserio emphasizing the need for competition for every single roster spot this offseason, newly acquired linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis is only too happy to buy into this mentality.
"With that level of competition that’s across all positions, it makes you really take advantage of your time while you’re here and really be a true professional," said Pierre-Louis.
And while the free-agency signee stated that the high level of competition will create "a sense of urgency," it isn't just the competitive mentality that brought him to Houston.
"It was clear to me that they are trying to start something new and headed in a clear direction," said Pierre-Louis. "Every team is preparing for a Super Bowl, but being able to have the opportunity to be a part of something going forward was something that attracted me to this place. That was pretty much it, just the attraction and the competition level, truly testing myself and seeing where I can be."
Pierre-Louis, 29, is somewhat of a late bloomer, having enjoyed a career year in 2020 for Washington. Starting in a career-high 11 games, he recorded 56 combined tackles, one sack, two quarterback hits and two defended passes.
As such, if he feels he hasn't yet fully tested himself and his ability then the Texans could have found themselves a free agency steal.
Fresh off of a fine year, and one of the few players signed by the Texans this offseason to a multi-year contract, it seems likely that defensive coordinator Lovie Smith is assured that Pierre-Louis will have a role in this defense in 2021.
Throw in the fact that last season's impressive performances came in a 4-3 defensive scheme similar to Smith's, and Pierre-Louis should be a solid fit for this rapidly changing defense and their competitive approach.