Justin Reid Ready for a Bigger Role with the Houston Texans in 2019
Patrick D. Starr
The Houston Texans had fortune fall their way in the 2018 NFL Draft finding safety Justin Reid in the third round with their selection. The Texans did not have a first or second round selection due to the shuffling of their quarterback position but the wait on draft day was well worth it for the franchise. General manager Brian Gaine wasn't necessarily looking for a safety after moving Kareem Jackson to the position and signing free agent Tyrann Mathieu giving them two starters to pair with third safety and ball-hawk Andre Hal. Gaine stuck to his draft board and drafted Reid which ended up being a selection that could go down as potentially as a steal.
Reid forced his way into the starting lineup and moved Jackson back to cornerback, and in just less than a season, Reid finds himself the lone starter from that safety group left standing heading into the 2019 season. In his rookie season, Reid defied the early odds by getting on the field and contributing but most importantly making a positive impact to the game on the field.
"Most rookies don't play a lot," Bill O'Brien said of Reid's rookie season. "Go look at the stats on – I think we probably had one of the most, when you look at the numbers, the most rookies that played last year. I think we had 12 rookies or something like that that played. Most rookies don't play a lot, and so Justin got a lot of playing time and played at a good level. All of those guys take a big jump because they understand things better from their first year to their second year."
Reid started 12 of the 16 games he appeared in and posted 88 total tackles with ten pass deflections and three interceptions that included a 101-yard interception return against the Washington Redskins that sealed a victory in that contest. It is that strong rookie season that has Reid looking to build for an even bigger season in year two as a starter in a remade secondary.
"There's like a comfort level – not a comfort level as in I'm satisfied," Reid explained. "Like I'm taking it easy or anything like that, but a comfort in knowing where I am, knowing the playbook, knowing my teammates better and that sort of deal. It just feels like I get to use last year as a springboard into going into this season. Instead of starting down here, now I get to start here and keep trying to build up and raise from there."
Tashaun Gipson is set to start at safety next to Reid while Jahleel Addae is projected to be the third safety while Bradley Roby, Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Lonnie Johnson Jr. are all expected to see time at cornerback in the next look Texans secondary. Johnathan Joseph and Reid are the only true holdovers scheduled to be on the field as much as they were in 2018.
Reid knows there has been plenty of change in the secondary and he knows his role is moving forward.
"My role is just to be a resource for those guys," Reid said. "They're smart guys. They've been in the league a while. Tashaun (Gipson Sr.) has been on two teams. These guys already know football. For me, it's just helping them get acclimated to our playbook and the way we do things around here, and any questions they might have, just be there for them and help them get settled in with it."
It is set to be a big season for Reid with growing expectations, but he remains loyal to his teammates, coaches, and the organization.
"I'm excited and I'm ready for it," Reid said of the expectation for him. "Anything that the team asks or wants me to do, I'm up for anything. I'm a team guy. You want me to play special teams, I'll do it. Anything that the coaches want of me, I have no problem doing it."
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