D.J. Reader has never made a Pro Bowl. His name likely is unrecognizable to the casual fan.
The Texans, though, know exactly how important the nose tackle is to their defense.
“He’s the best; I love D.J.,” Texans defensive end J.J. Watt said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “He doesn’t get enough credit for what he does. He works extremely hard. He’s a lot of fun to be around. He has a grinder’s job. Literally, his job is to take on double teams and block up that middle so everybody else can make pays and he still makes plays.”
Reader has started 30 of 32 games the past two seasons, stuffing the run and occupying blockers. He has four career sacks.
The Texans want to keep Reader long term, according to Wilson, but have not yet started negotiations on a new deal. Reader enters the final year of his rookie deal due a $2.025 million base salary.
“Everybody wants to make it to contract No. 2 in their career,” Reader said. “That’s not something I’m thinking about right now. That’ll be something that’ll be talked about with somebody else. I’m worried about playing football and getting through this season and how’s it’s going to go.”