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Is Blake Cashman’s Defensive Player of the Week award a sign of things to come?

Should we expect to see more of this from the fourth year linebacker?

New Orleans Saints v Houston Texans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

There’s been a lot of positive news about the Houston Texans lately. From the playcalling, to the quarterback play, to the defense, the team on Kirby is showing they’re not the same ol’ Texans we’d come to expect over the last few years.

Enter Blake Cashman, a fourth-year linebacker in his second year with the Texans who was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 6 for his performance against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

It’s hardly a surprise he got the nod last week. He racked up 15 total tackles (nine solo, six assisted), two tackles for a loss, and a QB hit. That is an impressive day at the office.

But is this a sign of more to come?

This season is the first one since Cashman’s rookie year with the New York Jets where he has started multiple games. Prior to this season he had been mostly used as a backup by both the Jets and Texans. And his stat line reflects that.

Blake Cashman Career Stats

Year Age Tm Pos No. Games Played Gms Start INTs INT Yds INTTD INT (Long) PD FF Fmb FR Fumble Yds FRTD Sacks Tackles (Comb) Tackles (Solo) Tackles (Asst) Tackles (TFL) QBHits
Year Age Tm Pos No. Games Played Gms Start INTs INT Yds INTTD INT (Long) PD FF Fmb FR Fumble Yds FRTD Sacks Tackles (Comb) Tackles (Solo) Tackles (Asst) Tackles (TFL) QBHits
2019 23 NYJ LB 53 7 5 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0.5 40 27 13 3 3
2020 24 NYJ LB 53 4 1 0 0 0.0 6 4 2 0 0
2021 25 NYJ LB 53 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 3 3 0 0 0
2022 26 HOU LB 53 16 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 3.0 26 19 7 4 5
2023 27 HOU LB 53 5 4 1 0 0 0 4 0 0 1 2 0 0.0 32 18 14 4 2
Career Career 35 12 1 0 0 0 7 0 0 3 2 0 3.5 107 71 36 11 10

So what’s behind the change? How has Blake Cashman gone from backup to playing like his hair’s on fire?

My theory? DeMeco Ryans.

One of the things I remember most about the DeMeco Ryans hiring, and the reason I was so excited about it is because of the stories that came out about him as a coach with the San Francisco 49ers, particularly about Fred Warner.

I especially remember this quote from 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner about DeMeco’s coaching style:

“I think he’s taken the same approach he had as a player into being a coach in terms of just the thirst for knowledge,” Warner said. “He already came into this thing with so much to give because he played at such a high level playing the position. And not all players can go on and be great coaches and translate that knowledge that they have into being a good teacher. But he’s the most amazing teacher ever.”

Now, is Blake Cashman going to be the next Fred Warner? Probably not. I don’t want to say it’s impossible because we’re only a third of the way through the season and they don’t play the same position. But I do think that Cashman could continue to develop into a significant part of the Texans defense if he can continue a pace even close to the one that netted him his DPOW award.

Optimism abounds here in Houston, and I, for one, and confused and elated by it.

How about y’all? You think Cashman’s got the goods to be a key part of the defense?

Sound off below!