The Houston Texans took a huge step forward last season in the takeaway department but still struggled mightily in the pass and run game.
The good news is that the Texans added a plethora of talented players throughout the draft and free agency and that should lead to their Lovie Smith led defense to have serious progression in 2022.
Here are three defensive players to watch throughout their first preseason game against the New Orleans Saints:
Defensive Tackle Ross Blacklock
Ross Blacklock has shown flashes when given the opportunity but the consistency is not there yet for the former second round pick. Blacklock is entering his third year in the league and has a lot to prove. As of now, Roy Lopez and Maliek Collins are the week one starters but if Blacklock can continue his good offseason and show out during the preseason, there is certainly room for the former TCU standout to carve a role out for himself on the defensive line.
Linebacker Blake Cashman
Blake Cashman is a former fifth round pick of the New York Jets in 2019. Cashman has shown flashes of his playmaking ability throughout his first few years in the league but the problem has always been his health. Cashman has had a serious injury problem but that hasn’t been the case in Houston. Cashman has had an impressive camp and consistently shows off his 4.5 speed and aggressive play style. He is a player to watch.
Safety Jalen Pitre
It is not yet known how much Pitre will play throughout the preseason but the former Baylor star has continued to draw rave reviews from everyone that has been around him throughout his first training camp and will make a serious impact every snap he is on the field. Texans head coach Lovie Smith recently stated that Pitre will be a starter for the team moving forward.
The Texans defense should have their hands full with Saints first round pick Chris Olave and it will be interesting to see which players step up.