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

Texans’ Jerry Hughes details how DL differs from Tampa 2

The Houston Texans went with the Tampa 2 for the past two seasons with Lovie Smith as defensive coordinator under David Culley in 2021 and then coach in 2022. Although the scheme was predicated on having rotations of defensive linemen, the results were underwhelming.

Defensive end Jerry Hughes had success in Smith’s scheme last season as he led the Texans with 9.0 sacks, the most since 2014 when Hughes had 10.0.

What Hughes sees from the Texans’ new defensive scheme with coach DeMeco Ryans is more of an attacking front.

“Just like the way DeMeco has us attacking off the ball, on the ball, just playing on the other team’s line of scrimmage, just really taking that attack to them,” Hughes told reporters Tuesday after mandatory minicamp. “We get to set edges, be more violent with our hands. Doing a lot of technique work in this offseason which has been really great that we get to get back to the fundamental elements of playing football.”

The Texans could stand to refine their fundamentals either individually or collectively as they gave up the most rushing yards per game at 170.2 and the fourth-most rushing yards per attempt at 5.1.

Although Hughes seemed to have success in the Tampa 2, the 34-year-old values the engagement in the new scheme.

Said Hughes: “I get to attack the tackles a lot more. I get to be more hands on, using my hands. Just things like that where it’s not so much avoiding setting the edge. Here we encourage it. I think it takes out a lot of the guessing game of what the up front is going to do. It allows the guys on the back end to play a lot faster.”

If the Texans are able to form a defense that is known for its defensive line, then it shouldn’t take much longer for the team to be known for its wins.

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