NFL

Texans DE Jonathan Greenard says new scheme allows him to make plays on the ball

The Houston Texans switched from their 3-4 defense they had been running since 2011 to a Tampa 2 with a 4-3 base in the offseason.

For former 2020 third-round pick Jonathan Greenard, it left him with having to switch from playing outside linebacker and standing upright to putting his hand in the dirt in a three-point stance as a defensive end.

The 24-year-old is looking forward to the opportunity to play more as a defensive end in defensive coordinator Lovie Smith’s scheme.

“Two-down, when you’ve got a two-point stance running a 3-4 scheme, more time’s designated to go against the tight ends and have more coverage responsibilities in the two-point stance in the 3-4 scheme,” said Greenard on a Zoom call on Wednesday. “You go to 4-3 scheme, you switch it up.”

The part that Greenard finds encouraging for his development is that as a defensive end in Smith’s scheme, there are less obligations to drop back in coverage. Instead, Greenard’s main focus can be to target the football, whether the running back or the quarterback, and go make a play.

“Now you’re more so of a defensive end who can now possibly drop, but his main job now is to more so to go against the bigger offensive tackles,” Greenard said. “Like I said, the nitty gritty dirty work up front. More so, like I said, just to dumb it down, I have less coverage responsibilities in this scheme and it just lets you be more of a defensive lineman and go make plays from the other side of the ball.”

Greenard provided the Texans with 19 combined tackles, two tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, 1.0 sack, and a pass breakup through 13 games, one of which he started. The Texans are counting on the former Louisville Cardinal and Florida Gator to be part of a disruptive edge defense in the new defense.


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