Texans linebacker Brooks Reed gave even more credence yesterday to the long-held belief that his days as an outside linebacker are over. After spending the first day of OTAs as an inside linebacker, Reed answered some questions about the switch potentially becoming permanent. I first hypothesized about Reed being converted to an inside backer two years ago when Wade Phillips experimented with the concept after Brian Cushing’s first season-ending knee injury, and it seems as though it finally might be happening. Here is what Reed had to say about it to the media yesterday.
On what it is like to switch back and forth from outside backer to inside backer:
It’s challenging, but I’m up to the task. I’m just trying to be a good teammate and do my job and play where they need me to play with no excuses.
On if the Texans have told him where he will start:
No. During OTAs they are just in the evaluation stage, really, so I could be bouncing around all over the place [and] they know I can play outside, but obviously right now I’m repping inside just to get reps at it.
On his impressions of new defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel:
I like Romeo. I think he’s a great coach. He’s a teacher of the game. Right now he’s just trying to get everyone on the same page, and I think he’s doing a pretty good job of that.
On if his playing weight will have to change with his shift inside:
No, I mean whatever I’m comfortable at, and whatever they think I’m comfortable at is fine. There’s no designated weight I have to be in.
If permanently shifted inside next to Brian Cushing, Reed’s best asset as a player – stopping the run –could shine on the second level while "Death Row" (Jadeveon Clowney, J.J. Watt, Louis Nix, and Whitney Mercilus) lets out its aggression on opposing quarterbacks. With two inside linebackers who can stack, shed, and tackle, two first round picks rushing off the edge, a space-eating nose tackle, and the best defender in football all in the same front six, the Texans' nickel package might just be scary good in 2014. Despite the atrocity that was last season, it’s good to be a Texans fan right now.