Texans confident in new-look safety group heading into the 2020 season

Defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver likes his trio of safeties with returning stater Justin Reid leading the way.

Houston, Texas- Shortly after the conclusion of the season, with the contract for Romeo Crennel ending, the Houston Texans made a calculated decision to promote their defensive line coach for the past four years, Anthony Weaver, to the defensive coordinator position. 

With the team currently working through their off-season virtually, Weaver has started to implement changes in the terminology and adjustments to the scheme. His new playing style is an attempt to rejuvenate a defensive squad with overall poor performance for the 2019 season

Last season, the defense tied for 19th in league with 31.0 sacks. 18th in the league in quarterback hits with 42. The Texans pass rush was ranked 31st in the NFL in pressure rate at 18.1%, with only the Miami Dolphins trailing at 16.5%. 

The Texans 2019 defense also allowed conversion on third-down 48.51% which ranked them 31st in the league, and on third-and-long 38.7%, the Texans could not stop their opponents. 

A significant concern for the Texans defense is their secondary as they have been very porous in past years. Facing quarterbacks like Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes, Baltimore's Lamar Jackson, and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers in the 2020 season, the Texans' secondary improvement is critical. 

Weaver is confident in the Texans' pass defense and their new additions to the roster. With the defense adding safeties Eric Murray, Michael Thomas, and Jaylen Watkins, the Texans have opted to move on from Tashaun Gipson, Sr. to bring in a more versatile group.  

"We're extremely excited about Eric Murray and Michael Thomas," Weaver said when asked about the newest additions to the safety group. "They're both proven veterans, phenomenal human beings that know how to play the game and how to win."

Weaver was quick to point out that the Texans already have a budding star and an essential building block in their safeties group. 

"We have Justin Reid," Weaver pointed out. "Justin Reid is a heck of a football player." "He's going into year three. It was amazing to see some of the things that he did last year, particularly when he was nursing really two shoulder injuries the entire year."

During the off-season, Reid underwent shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum he suffered during training camp in joint practices against the Detroit Lions. 

When fully healthy, however, Weaver predicts that Reid can play at a much higher level. "So, when he comes back this year, and he's healthy, 100 percent healthy, I could see him taking a huge jump as well."

All in all, with the new safety additions to the roster and the already strong leadership of Justin Reid, Weaver already has strong confidence in the safeties.

"I have the utmost confidence in our safety position," Weaver finished. "With just the professionalism we have in there and obviously the ability as well."

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