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Texans Camp: Former Cowboys DT 'Doing It The Right Way'

Houston Texans head coach David Culley heaps praise on defensive tackle Maliek Collins on Saturday, but Collins isn't yet satisfied.

This offseason the Houston Texans needed to add a defensive tackle. And in former Dallas Cowboys starter Maliek Collins, they may well have gotten themselves a good one.

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After a disappointing 2020 season in Las Vegas during which he failed to record a sack and had a career-low 15 combined tackles, Collins arrives in Houston looking for a fresh start. And so far, it appears he's made quite the impression on head coach David Culley.

"Every time I see Maliek Collins, my energy goes up," Culley said. "He plays the game the way every football player should play the football game. I mean I'm talking about there's no quit in him, he's a heck of a guy, he's always just going full speed. And the one thing I love about him which I think will carry over to all the guy's on our defense is that he finishes every play."

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While Culley was keen to heap praise on his 6-2, 311-pound vet defensive tackle, Collins himself seemed hesitant to praise himself too heavily. When asked how he felt his fresh start was going, Collins simply said he has "harsh" standards for himself and that he still has "a lot of work to do."

"I just hold myself to a different standard just about winning one-on-ones, the way I run to the ball, effort when I'm out there, and just being a good part for this team," Collins said. 

As Maliek said earlier in camp: "I just didn't put out no numbers (in 2020). It just wasn't a big statistical year for me. I'll bounce back.”

Earlier in his career, these higher standards he talks of were clear to see, with the Cowboys' third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft held back not by a lack of talent but by a series of foot injuries. He's happy to be back in Texas (he still resides in Dallas), where was an effective player in Dallas' 4-3, and that of course is the defensive system now in place in Houston. So he fits here in so many ways.

And now, a healthy Maliek Collins? The Texans, and the player, are hoping he's able to reach those "harsh standards'' soon.

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