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

Texans DE Jerry Hughes still productive as 7-tech pass rusher

The Houston Texans are undoubtedly getting younger at edge rusher with the drafting of No. 3 overall pick Will Anderson. However, the club still believes they have an effective defensive end in Jerry Hughes, and the tape may prove it.

According to Greg Cosell and Doug Farrar from the Touchdown Wire, who studied edge rushers in various techniques from the 0-tech to the wide-9, the best rusher using the 7-tech is none other than Hughes.

The same positive attributes that apply to 6-tech rushers basically apply to 7-techs, and here, we have to point to Jerry Hughes, the veteran pass-rusher who amassed seven solo sacks, 12 quarterback hits, and 17 quarterback hurries in the 7-tech position, to the tight end’s outside shoulder. Hughes was a stalwart in this role because he’s able to combine speed and bend around the edge with power moves to foil the best left tackles. Here, against the Eagles in Week 9, left tackle Jordan Mailata got a taste of what that looked like.

On the year, Hughes generated 9.0 sacks. It was the first time since J.J. Watt’s 16.0 sacks in 2018 that a Texans defender had come close to reaching the double-digit mark.

Despite how Hughes was used in former coach Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2 scheme, the former Sugar Land Stephen F. Austin High School product will be part of an attacking front with new coach DeMeco Ryans.

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