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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Mark Lane

Texans DE Jerry Hughes says S Jalen Pitre is ‘a step ahead of everyone’

The Houston Texans’ roster will be a generational blend of vested veterans and youngsters in 2023.

Defensive end Jerry Hughes is entering his 14th season in the NFL, which gives him perspective when it comes to younger players asserting themselves on a team. According to the former Indianapolis Colts 2010 first-round pick, what astounded Hughes about the Texans through the first day of mandatory minicamp at Houston Methodist Training Center was the vocal participation from the younger players.

“It was amazing just to see how vocal the team was,” Hughes told reporters June 13. “Normally when you got a young team, that’s one of the things you harp on is that we’re not vocal enough, not able to move fast enough. But that’s not the case.”

One younger player who was excelling even beyond veterans was second-year safety Jalen Pitre, who led the Texans with 147 combined tackles and five interceptions last year.

“Pitre is moving probably a step ahead of everyone at this time,” said Hughes.

Coaching critiques and veteran leadership can only carry a team so far. For the Texans to truly turn the corner on their rebuilding phase, they will need more than Pitre to lead the youth movement throughout the 17-game campaign.

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