Houston Texans: What can be expected of Jonathan Greenard in year two?

Houston Texans Jonathan Greenard (52) Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans Jonathan Greenard (52) Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
Jonathan Greenard, Houston Texans
Houston Texans Jonathan Greenard (52) Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Year two for Houston Texans defensive lineman/edge player Jonathan Greenard could be interesting as he has to learn a whole new defense for the second straight season as Houston is now playing in the Tampa 2 defense of Lovie Smith in 2021.

Greenard didn’t get the most chances in ’20, nor did any rookie for that matter, as the Texans didn’t play their rookies much last season. Greenard was active for 13 games for the Houston Texans his rookie season, making one start, coming against the Tennessee Titans in the regular-season finale.

In that game against the Titans, Greenard finished with five solo tackles, one TFL and one QB hit. For the season, Greenard totaled 10 solo tackles (19 total), two TFL, three QB hits, one sack and even one pass defensed. When in coverage, the opponent had seven targets against him, and they caught six passes for 55 yards for a 9.2 yards per completion average.

In his pass rush work, Greenard blitzed the quarterback 24 times, and though he didn’t have any QB hurries, the defensive lineman did have two QB knockdowns and a sack, which were his aforementioned three QB hits.

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Maybe in not his best moments as a Houston Texans rookie, Greenard had five missed tackles as a rookie and played in just 24 percent of the defensive snaps in ’20, amounting to 265 plays last season.

Being that he’s a former third-round pick in ’20, the past Texans front office and decision makers must have seen something they believed they could build on for the future on the defensive line, and now that job goes to Smith and the rest of the defensive staff in ’21.

Greenard originally signed a four-year contract with the Houston Texans when drafted by the franchise, but now it is basically like his rookie season was a wash as he and the rest of the defense is starting over.

Remember before he was drafted, Greenard at the NFL Combine had 22 bench reps at 225 pounds and had  4a.87 40-yard dash, so the 263-pound defensive lineman is athletic, but so is basically every other player in the NFL as well.

Looking back at his college numbers, Greenard is able to stop the rush as well, so that needs to be a very important focal point of his game to get going at a higher level in his second season too, which would be a great help to the Texans defense.

Houston Texans: What could year two be like for Greenard?

This is a tough one because Jonathan Greenard needs reps. This was said previously for defensive teammate Ross Blacklock, as neither had the amount of snaps needed in ’20 to truly gauge where they are entering the ’21 season.

Again, a lot will come down to how the Houston Texans second-year player Greenard adjusts and gets acquainted with starting all over again and learning a new defense. The Texans need to use Greenard correctly and get the most out of his talents. He has the ability to produce for Houston in his second season, but it is going to take some time with a whole new outlook on defense.

This process could be very beneficial to Greenard and the Houston Texans in ’21, and if given the proper chance, Greenard will cause the opposing quarterbacks some issues, and he’s going to gain experience that will make him a better player down the road.

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The entire Texans defense in ’21 will have a learning curve, and to be honest, the upcoming season is most likely a “season of learning” as expectations are low for team success, but don’t think for a second that expectations should be low for Greenard this season, because they aren’t.