NFL News : Texans big man has giant chance to excel this year

Texans big man has giant chance to excel this year

Giant shoes to fill (literally)

Published on by The Football Feed in NFL News

J.J. Watt. Jadeveon Clowney and... D.J. Reader?

Yes, D.J. Reader. He's the guy taking over Vince Wilfork's spot after the huge nose tackle retired this offseason. 

The 23-year-old Reader, a Clemson alum, has some giant shoes to fill. From the sounds of it he's ready and willing.

"We have very high expectations of D.J.," Texans defensive line coach Anthony Weaver, a former defensive end for the Texans and Baltimore Ravens, told the Houston Chronicle. "I think you saw just a glimpse of what he's capable of a year ago. He's another guy that since he's been back, you can tell he's, and I think I speak for the whole defense, they all have a little bit of a chip (on their shoulders)."

Per the Chronicle, at 6-3, 335 pounds, Reader is capable of providing a stout presence clogging up the interior of the defense and occupying double-team blocks to keep the linebackers clean. He's athletic enough to line up at defensive end and bull his way into the backfield.

Reader started seven games as a rookie and finished with 22 tackles and one sack. How Reader continues to develop is a critical element for a front seven headlined by Watt, Clowney and linebackers Benardrick McKinney and Whitney Mercilus.

"Were we happy with what we did a year ago? Sure. But we all know what the ultimate goal is and I think everybody that walks into this building day-in and day-out, they come with the mindset of like, 'How are we going to get over this hurdle? How are we going to get to where we want to be?' And D.J., I think, he epitomizes that every time he walks in this building," said the defensive line coach. 

 

Source: Houston Chronicle · Photo Credit: Keystone Press Agency