HOUSTON - Changes are coming to the Houston Texans defense in 2021. Not only has GM Nick Caserio revamped the roster, but new DC Lovie Smith is ready to change up the defensive formation.
For nearly a decade, Houston ran a base 3-4 defense. Both Gary Kubiak and Bill O'Brien made sure no matter their offensive plan, the defense would remain the same.
Smith now will transform Houston to a base 4-3 with an incentive of running the Tampa 2 zone scheme.
What does that mean for Jordan Jenkins? Put him on the field and let him terrorize the trenches.
“I feel like I’m a guy that can use different types of moves to get to the quarterback and can definitely set the edge pretty strong," Jenkins said Thursday on a Zoom call. "I just feel like I can be a violent guy for this team and just be a guy who’s going to give his all.
"Whatever my role is, I’m going to do it to the fullest. There’s no questions about it.”
Jenkins agreed to terms on a two-year deal worth $6 million to join the squad. His role since leaving Georgia in 2016? Add pressure.
Jenkins primarily played outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme under Todd Bowles and later Gregg Williams. Playing off the edge, he recorded 22.5 sacks, including eight in 2019.
Last season, the Texans recorded 34 sacks forced six fumbles and intercepted three passes on their way to a 4-12 finish.
Jenkins, who missed the final four games of the season with a shoulder injury, expects to be back at full capacity come Week 1.
"I’m going to be the same physical, run-through-you type of guy that I’ve been over the last five years," Jenkins said. "That’s something I take pride in being and just being violent and physical and aggressive."
Smith, whose instrumental role with the Buccaneers landed him a future defensive coordinator role, has seen it all. He helped the Rams win a Super Bowl in 2001 as the then-St.Louis defensive coordinator.
Five years later, he'd have the chance to lead the Chicago Bears to a chance at a title as the NFC Champions.
Smith takes over a defense that finished 30th overall, including dead-last against the run. Despite the overall downfall of Houston's defense, Jenkins instead believes with the additions of new players, Houston can find its consistency.
“That’s something that I’ve wanted – to be part of a winning team, for a while," Jenkins said. "With my time in Georgia, I think I racked up 44 wins and I’m not used to losing.
"I’m just striving to be part of a winning program and see what it’s like on the other side of things.”
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