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Young Safety Play Key To Texans Success In 2022

The Houston Texans moved on from star safety Justin Reid and hybrid defensive back Lonnie Johnson Jr, so what happens now?

It was no secret that the Texans and Justin Reid weren't likely to reunite in 2022.

Despite a frustrating injury history, the Stanford product put the NFL on notice with his playmaking ability as he progressed throughout his young career.

Then, he capitalized on that ability, signing with the Kansas City Chiefs on a $31 million dollar deal over three years.

Lonnie Johnson Jr. asked the Texans for a trade following the NFL draft, and he was granted one when the Texans traded him to the Chiefs (where he reunited with Reid).

While Johnson also had his moments for the Texans, he struggled as well, being moved from cornerback to safety and eventually, to the bench.

Now that both are out of the picture, some newer players on the roster have more room to show what they can do. 

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Coach Lovie Smith called rookie safety from Baylor Jalen Pitre “outstanding”, and raved about the mental side of his game. 

And so far through minicamp, Pitre is proving to be a good investment.

“Jalen, he’s a sponge,” Smith said on May 24 during OTAs. “He’s picking up quickly.”

Meanwhile, Jonathan Owens is also making it known that he deserves a shot to be in the rotation as well.

He has been putting in the work this offseason, and in matchups against the Jaguars and the Chargers later in the year, Owens assumed a starting role. 

Owens was able to capitalize on that opportunity, allowing just one catch, while also racking up an interception and a fumble recovery.

And while the pair still has plenty to prove throughout offseason workouts, the Texans' young secondary looks to be in good hands heading into the future.