The departure of veteran safety Justin Reid left a big hole in the Houston Texans' secondary this offseason. But it seems they may have already found their replacement, in second-round safety Jalen Pitre.
Having received rave reviews from onlookers since his arrival, Pitre has equally impressed his teammates this summer.
"That's one of the smartest guys I've seen coming in, me going on my fifth year," defensive back Tavierre Thomas said. "You wouldn't know that he's a rookie. Like he ain't make like the little rookie mistakes. But other than that, you wouldn't think he's a rookie. When he's not in, he's calling out plays, calling out formations, so he knows the game. As long as he continues to do that, he's going to be real good in the league."
The 37th overall pick back in April, many will be looking for 23-year-old Pitre and fellow rookie cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. to form the basis of the Texans secondary for years to come.
Not that Pitre's abilities to contribute will be limited to just the secondary, with head coach Lovie Smith hinting that Pitre could see some snaps at linebacker stating "Jalen has done some good things" when discussing his versatility.
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A young core to this defense will be key moving forward and thanks to a fellow rookie, linebacker Christian Harris who has also been impressing this summer, the Texans may be well on their way to establishing this - especially when adding in other second and third year defenders such as linebacker Garret Wallow, and linemen Roy Lopez, Jonathan Greenard, and Ross Blacklock.
However, without many proven starting caliber alternatives at safety, the Texans need Pitre to turn out to be far beyond his year's early success for this young defense to take a step forward.
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