Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Mark Lane

DE Jerry Hughes predicts Texans will be ‘more violent’ on defense

Houston Texans defensive end Jerry Hughes can already see the changes to the defense.

New coach DeMeco Ryans spent the entire offseason program from April 3’s voluntary workouts to June 14’s mandatory minicamp laying down the foundation of his scheme he ran with as the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator the past two seasons.

Hughes spent his first season with the Texans under then-coach Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2. Although the former Sugar Land Stephen F. Austin product was able to lead Houston with 9.0 sacks last year, the focus of the defense was different.

“We’re not trying to run around blocks anymore,” Hughes said. “It’s moreso attacking. We got to be defenders, we got to be the aggressor. I think that’s what a lot of guys were excited to get back to, is kind of football, in my mind.”

Not only has the defensive philosophy changed for Houston, but the Texans have added younger personnel with rookie defensive end Will Anderson, fifth-round linebacker Henry To’oTo’o, and the continuous ascension of second-year safety Jalen Pitre. Houston also signed defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, linebacker Denzel Perryman, and safety Jimmie Ward in free agency.

Hughes has also noticed the defense is “probably faster.”

Said Hughes: “Guys are running around making plays. They have been with our strength staff here who has done a tremendous job of keeping everyone healthy. With that added element, guys are moving a lot faster.”

A faster scheme with an attacking scheme should lead to a different on-field profile for Houston in 2023.

“I think you’re see a lot more violent defense, guys that are flying around the ball,” said Hughes. “We got 11 hats coming after you. It’s going to be something that a lot of people are going to be excited to see. I know I am. I know the guys on defense are. We’ve just been perfecting it for these past couple of months. It’s going to be really exciting.”

The Texans were tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles for the fifth-most takeaways last season with 27. However, Houston gave up the third-most total yards in 2022 with 6,452.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.