Oct 5, 2013; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons cornerback Kevin Johnson (9) returns an interception during the fourth quarter against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at BB&T Field. Wake defeated North Carolina State 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
The Texans were 21st in the league in stopping the pass in 2014 and surrendered 243 yards per game through the air. This number has to be brought down in 2015 and there will be two possible ways to do so.
The first, and in my opinion most important, will be to get in the face of opposing quarterbacks. Someone other than J.J. Watt needs to do that though, because while he had 20.5 sacks, the rest of the team combined had 17.5.
Getting to the quarterback will be extremely vital, especially when you consider who plays quarterback in the AFC South facing Houston twice per year. Former first overall pick in Indianapolis Andrew Luck, former third overall pick Blake Bortles in Jacksonville and to round out he top three, this season’s second overall choice Marcus Mariota in Tennessee.
In the offseason the team did nothing to change their pass rush, and all their hopes on a new pass rusher stepping up rest on the often injured knees of first overall pick from last year, Jadeveon Clowney. While he may step up and help, it won’t be immediately, so he will not be the player looked at here.
Instead we look at one of the newer members of the team again in rookie cornerback Kevin Johnson. The 16th overall selection out of Wake Forest will not be a starter unless the team decides to cut Johnathan Joseph, who is in his final contractual season with the team.
Johnson will however be on the field a lot and he won’t have a long time to learn the nuances of the NFL. The Texans need him to be their third corner now with pass happy teams on the schedule in 2015 like Indy, Atlanta, New England and New Orleans.
If he is able to live up to his selection status, the Texans will be very happy indeed and could see their pass defense become much more respectable this year.
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