While many people, of whatever sex, use this hashtag to highlight a man they think is super cute, we're going to use it today to highlight an oft-overlooked member of our defense.
The friendly folks over at @TexansPR do a wonderful job of highlighting often-ignored statistics for our players. This morning, they chose to highlight Crick, often dismissed as "Not J.J. Watt," JAG, or a cog in the wheel by Texans fans.
Crick played well throughout his career at Nebraska before a torn pectoral his final season dropped his stock down to where we could draft him in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft with the 126th overall pick. He also had to adapt to playing in Houston weather, but was eager to learn everything he could about playing in the NFL.
Crick's role in our defense has increased over the years. His rookie year, 2012, he appeared in 15 games, amassing 22 tackles and 2 passes defensed. In the nightmare season of 2013, he started one game, but played in all 16. Like (almost) everyone else on the defense, his stats suffered in a bleak year, but he racked up 20 tackles and three passes defensed.
In 2014, Romeo Crennel started Crick in 15 of 16 games, and he broke out. In addition to 56 tackles, he got to the QB 3.5 times (his first season recording sacks and good for third place on the team behind Watt and Merc), and defensed six passes. Crick's 3.5 sacks were good for 20 sack yards (his sack yardage was also third, behind Watt and Merc), while his 12 QB hits were second behind Watt, and six TFLs were third behind Watt and Whitney Mercilus.
If Crick continues to develop in Crennel's defense, it would appear that the Texans have found a complement to Watt that can both allow Watt to move around as necessary to create favorable matchups, and make some noise along the line himself.
He's entering the final season of his rookie deal. What say you, folks: have we found our LDE and we need to re-sign him, or is he replaceable and we need to let him walk at the end of his deal?