Houston Texans rookie safety Justin Reid is making his case as one of the better defenders on the team in his first NFL season.
Justin Reid holds an emotional appeal in Brian Gaine’s era as Houston Texans’ new general manager since he was the first draft selection under his tutelage. Drafted in the third round, Reid has proven to be consistently reliable in a very chaotic environment in his first eight games in the league.
From being 0-3 to 5-3 and leading the AFC South, Reid has played a pivotal role in the team’s turnaround season. He has started the last three of the five games the Texans have won, and he has played in all eight games this season.
Reid has been forced into a bigger role than expected due to the injuries that have struck the secondary, and he has proved to be a great fit in his first year with the team. He has been placed all over the secondary and he has been productive with 39 combined tackles, five passes defended and a couple of interceptions. Reid ranks fifth in the team in tackles and tied in first place in the team with his two picks.
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Texans’ defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has been able to rely on him to start and play him the majority amount of snaps in the defense.
According to Pro Football Reference, Reid has played the ninth most snaps on defense and has played a total of 400 snaps or 73 percent of the snaps this season. He is, in fact, the only rookie playing a relevant amount of snaps with the first team this season.
Reid’s versatility to play both on defense and special teams has been underrated. His ability to match up with bigger receivers and tight ends has made him a valuable player in the Texans defense. He has been a key component in allowing the Texans to move defensive back Kareem Jackson from safety back to cornerback because he is capable of fulfilling his assignments on defense.
The Texans have a good group of safeties set in place with Reid blooming as a solid contributor in his rookie season. His great field of play has hidden the lack of depth the team has at the cornerback position.
The team will have a good problem at hand when most of the players in the secondary return to health, Crennel and the rest of the coaching staff will be able to plug and play players that have the hot hand and are playing at their best level.
If this defense continues to improve, it will go a long way in helping the team in their pursuit for a playoff berth for the remaining half of their season. The Texans hope to continue to see Reid develop as they face the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium.