Texans: Can Kamu Grugier-Hill repeat career year in 2022?

Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

Kamu Grugier-Hill had a career season with the Texans in ’21. Can he do it again?

Having his best season since joining the NFL in 2016, Houston Texans outside linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill has a lot to live up in his second season with the franchise, but those expectations will be what helps make the defense a better overall unit in ’22.

Grugier-Hill finished the ’21 season with 108 total tackles as those were broken into 71 solo tackles and 37 assisted tackles. Added to those tackle stats were 13 tackles for loss, three passes defensed, five QB hits, two forced fumbles and one interception in 14 games played, all starts.

Before the ’21 season Grugier-Hill’s best season was 2018 where he collected 45 total tackles, including 33 solo tackles and five tackles for loss. That season also saw him have one QB hit, two passes defensed, one forced fumble, and one interception while playing in 16 games (10 starts) with the Philadelphia Eagles.

For Grugier-Hill, the ’22 season is of great importance for him and the Texans because they are going to need him to be even better than the outside linebacker he was last season because of the turnover of the defensive side of the roster compared to last season.

Grugier-Hill is one of the better players in the unit entering the ’22 season, and there is no reason why he can’t be as productive again. Whatever head coach — and defensive coordinator — Lovie Smith did with Grugier-Hill last season, it worked, and now it is time for the head coach to add even more to Grugier-Hill’s game.

Texans: Grugier-Hill had a 20-tackle game in 2022

In ’21, the three sacks by the outside linebacker Grugier-Hill came in Weeks 2, 12 and 13, and in Week 13 — even though it was a 31-0 loss to the Indianapolis Colts — Grugier-Hill finished the game with 20 tackles, including 10 solo tackles and three tackles for loss.

Even though it seemed he had plenty of chances to make those tackles, the Texans’ linebacker not only took a lot of punishment, but he gave punishment to the opposition that day as well.

Nine times last season Grugier-Hill had no less than five solo tackles in a game, and seven times he played in at least 90 percent of the defensive snaps for the game, including 100-percent of the snaps on defense twice (against the Patriots and Colts) in Weeks 5 and 6.

This upcoming season will see Grugier-Hill in a defense that includes fellow linebackers Christian Kirksey (MLB), Jalen Reeves-Maybin (MLB), Neville Hewitt (OLB), rookie Christian Harris (MLB), Kevin Pierre-Louis (OLB) and others in what has a base formation of a 4-3 scheme in the Tampa 2 that has been made famous by Smith.

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When thinking about this upcoming season, it is tough to tell what Grugier-Hill will bring in his second year in Houston, but if it is anything close to or exceeds the ’21 season, then teams on the Texans’ schedule are in for some tough days this upcoming season.