Houston Texans Positional Breakdown: Inside Linebackers

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Oct 5, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Houston Texans linebacker Justin Tuggle (57) celebrates after a fumble recovery in the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Tuggle, 6’3″ 247 Pounds, 25 Years Old

After starting eight games last season Justin Tuggle looked like he may be ready to assume the second starting role at inside linebacker for the Texans. Instead by bringing in McKinney they now have a very valuable backup with some starting experience under his belt.

Some Background Info;

Justin is the son of former Atlanta Falcons five-time Pro Bowl linebacker Jessie Tuggle, who racked up 1,640 tackles in his 14 NFL seasons. Tuggle, the Georgia native, is also the older brother of Falcons rookie defensive tackle Grady Jarrett.

Justin took the same road as his father into the NFL, as both were undrafted, while Jarrett was a fifth round pick this season. I am sure Tuggle would like to duplicate the long career and success that his father enjoyed during a career that spanned from 1987-2000.

Justin had an interesting college career as he played quarterback for Boston College before moving to Blinn College his sophomore year. He finally moved to linebacker when he transferred to Kansas State.

In his two seasons since being signed out of Kansas State Tuggle has recorded 53 tackles, with 39 of those coming this past year. He also added an interception during his second year with Houston.

What To Expect This Year:

Tuggle should be the third option at inside linebacker assuming that McKinney doesn’t have a lot of struggles adapting to the NFL game. What Tuggle gives them is an experienced player to step in if the rookie is not prepared or if Cushing finds himself injured again.

Given Cushing’s history I expect Tuggle to see the field at times for Houston and will be a valuable rotational linebacker for the Texans.

Next: A Veteran With Valuable Experience And A Lesser Known Rookie