Could It Be a Breakout Season for Texans Nose Tackle D.J. Reader?

As a rookie, Texans nose tackle D.J. Reader built a reputation for versatility, toughness and a willingness to accept coaching, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Besides being mentored by five-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wilfork, Reader soaked up knowledge from defensive line coach Anthony Weaver and defensive ends J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.

Reader flashed enough ability to shed blocks as a run-stopper and pass rusher that the Texans have no concerns about his ability to replace Wilfork in the middle of the NFL’s top-ranked defense.

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.

“We have very high expectations of D.J.,” said Weaver, a former defensive end for the Texans and Baltimore Ravens. ” 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).

“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.”


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