Lets talk about the move fans have felt was long in the making. Brooks Reed; Inside Linebacker. While it’s not set in stone just yet, the signs point to Reed moving next to Cushing on the inside come September. This is a good thing. Reed has range covering tight ends and crossing patterns but his pass rush hasn’t really justified having him on the outside. With Clowney and Mercilus getting the most snaps at outside linebacker it’s up to Reed to prove he’s got the chops to play inside or play back up. With the bad luck the Texans have had keeping linebackers healthy Reed’s ability to play inside or outside is a boon to the depth chart.
Why we believe:
Reed has been a positive force on the team. He’s got attitude, flashed some skills over the course of his time here and is always on the move trying to be effective. He’s got the smarts to play linebacker and the determination to work to bettering himself. Often in the company of JJ Watt for working out, Reed takes care of his body and strives to make sure when he needs to put the hammer down he’s got the muscles to back it. Romeo Crennel has a history, like Wade Phillips, of finding the best ways to utilize his players. Expect Reed’s skills to be put to new uses as the defense finds it’s identity.
Why we worry:
Moving from outside linebacker to inside isn’t a guaranteed improvement for Reed. While he’s effective tackling can he make a positive impact and be a threat to stop inside runs and rush the QB if the need arises? His sack numbers last year was a paltry 3.0, and that was with JJ Watt sucking up two or three defenders. Can Reed take advantage of the new Crennel scheme and more disruptive line to show he’s got what it takes to start on the inside? Last year the Texans hoped he and Mercilus would be able to cause enough of a threat to lessen the options teams had to double up on Watt. This sadly failed to materialize as a viable plan with neither men being all that effective. Regardless how the season unfolds, one thing is certain, Reed will give you his 110%.
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