It's fair to say the Houston Texans made its share of free agency additions this offseason. First-year general manager Nick Caserio has assembled his first NFL roster in sole control after nearly two decades with the New England Patriots.
One such addition was linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill.
For the Super Bowl LII champion, a move to the Lone Star State was a long time coming.
"I love it out here, man," Grugier-Hill told reporters on Thursday. "It’s funny because I told my agent when I was a young player, I was like, ‘if I ever get a chance to play for a Texas team, I’ll take it.’ I don’t know. It’s just the hospitality around here and just the love that I feel from the people, it’s definitely very similar to back home."
By all accounts, it isn't just off the field where the Hawaiian native feels at home.
The former Philadelphia Eagle described playing in defensive coordinator Lovie Smith's scheme as an "honor."
"I’m already in love with his scheme, already in love with the way he coaches and his philosophy," Grugier-Hill said of his role. "Me personally, I think I fit perfectly into it. He likes speed guys. I can run and play the pass and do all that kind of stuff."
Speed will be crucial if Grugier-Hill is to find his place in this new-look 4-3 defense. Linebackers now are tasked to cover ample ground every snap, both against the run but also when in coverage.
One advantage the Texans have in bringing in so many veterans is that there shouldn't be too many 'deer in the headlights' moments. That's at least the case in theory.
Unlike the few rookies on the roster, the vets have been there and done that when it comes to adapting to a new system, team and environment.
It certainly seems to be the case with Grugier-Hill discussing what it has been like adjusting to so many new teammates.
"It’s funny because a lot of these guys – all of us, we’re all kind of vets already," Grugier-Hill said. "We’ve been playing around the league for a while, so we’ve either played against each other or know each somewhere, some form.
"The competition’s been great. We’ve got some ballers in that room for sure. That’s just how the league works, man. It’s no sweat off anyone’s back."
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