With all of the suffering on the Houston Texans defensive line, opportunity exists and rookie D.J. Reader is getting a chance to make his mark. The defense continues trying to solidify against the run and the rookie nose tackle has been asked to play at more than just that position. As he is worked in at defensive end in the 5-technique in the Texans base defense, Reader is learning on the run.
“I have to make the adjustments, little bit different,” explained Reader on the differences of nose tackle to defensive end. “Same blocks but a little more space. I have to get used to that.”
Reader has steadily seen his game snaps increase through four games, with a season high 22 against the Tennessee Titans. The stat sheet will only indicate one tackle, but he provided some stout run defense that held the Titans rushing attack well under their season average.
His increased playing time is due to the coaching staff liking what they are seeing from the younger run stopper.
“It is good for me because it is telling me I am doing my job,” said Reader of the coaches increasing his playing time.
“There is always room for improvements, I can’t relax and continue to keep working and try to make a difference,” explained Reader.
The Texans have to find help on the defensive line and Reader could be the player they are looking for to help out in their base defense. Being a 5th round pick, he is looking like one of the solid additions to the team early in the season, but Reader knows he has plenty to prove.
“We have to have the next man up and I have to work every week,” said Reader. “Hopefully I can keep improving.”