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Texans Coach Lovie Smith Shares Thoughts On Coaching Justin Reid: 'Heck Of A Football Player'

Ahead of his first contest against the Houston Texans, coach Lovie Smith shared what it was like coaching Justin Reid, who will take the field Sunday as a member of the Chiefs.

HOUSTON — Veteran safety Justin Reid will return to NRG Stadium Sunday when the 10-3 Kansas City Chiefs take on the 1-11-1 Houston Texans for a Week 15 contest.  

Reid is the second ex-Texan who will play against his former team in Houston. But unlike when Deshaun Watson faced off against the Texans in Week 13, coach Lovie Smith has found memories of working alongside the veteran safety. 

"What I remember is, heck of a football player, smart football player, athletic, loves football," Smith said. "Justin Reid and I will have a lifetime relationship. I consider him a friend too. I know the type of play. I know he’s playing excellent football for them. He can tackle. He checks off all the boxes when you’re looking for a good safety."

Reid's departure from the Texans came 12 days after Smith made a public pitch to keep the four-year veteran in March. But it was not a surprise that he left Houston in free agency.

Throughout the 2021 campaign, it appeared that Reid was at crossroads with the Texans by voicing his frustration with the team's inconsistencies with their roster. And in a Week 12 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, former coach David Culley suspended Reid one game after violating team rules.

Smith served as the Texans' defensive coordinator last season under Culley.

Reid's departure left a void in the defensive backfield. But the Texans were able to replace his services in April by drafting rookie prospect Jalen Pitre during the 2022 NFL Draft.

"He has a great intellect for the position just like Justin does," Smith said. "He knows how important it is to take the football away. He’s getting more and more comfortable back in his position. I think he’s [Jalen Pitre] going to be a great player in our league for a long period of time." 

The Texans drafted Reid in the third round (No. 68 overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft. Reid appeared in 57 games with 53 starts, where he recorded 315 tackles, 23 pass deflections, six quarterback hits, and two sacks. 

You can follow Coty M. Davis on Twitter at @CotyDavis_24

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