The Texans no longer have Vince Wilfork at nose tackle. Instead, it’s D.J. Reader’s job.
Reader did enough last season with seven starts, 22 tackles and one sack that the Texans have no worries about his ability to man the middle in the NFL’s top-ranked defense.
“We have very high expectations of D.J.,” Texans defensive line coach Antony Weaver said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “I think you saw just a glimpse of what he’s capable of a year ago. He’s another guy that since he’s been back, you can tell he’s, and I think I speak for the whole defense, they all have a little bit of a chip [on their shoulders].
“Were we happy with what we did a year ago? Sure. But we all know what the ultimate goal is, and I think everybody that walks into this building day-in and day-out, they come with the mindset of like, ‘How are we going to get over this hurdle? How are we going to get to where we want to be?’ And D.J., I think, he epitomizes that every time he walks in this building.”
Frankly, with a front seven that features J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Benardrick McKinney and Whitney Mercilus, the Texans don’t need Reader to be an all-star. They just need to him to do his job.