Lonnie Johnson to remain at safety

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The Texans drafted Lonnie Johnson in the second round in 2019 to play corner. He moved to safety full time last season.

New defensive coordinator Lovie Smith expects to keep Johnson at safety.

“Lonnie has position flexibility,” Smith said during his introductory press conference, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “You’re going to hear that word an awful lot. I think it’s safe to say, we see Lonnie as a safety right now. He feels good about that. He’s got excellent size. He’s got a corner skillset, too. Really feel good about him fitting into our defense.”

Johnson played 703 snaps on defense in 16 games last season, which was 64 percent of the team’s total defensive snaps, despite starting only five games. He made 76 tackles.

Johnson will compete with returning starter Eric Murray and core special teams player A.J. Moore for playing time alongside Justin Reid.

“As you look at our roster right, we’ve gone through that evaluation process,” Smith said. “And if a guy’s here right now, we think that there’s a perfect role for them to fit within our system.”