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Joel Heath, young D-linemen play well at Tennessee

Posted Jan 1, 2017

Rookie DE Joel Heath sacked Matt Cassel twice on Sunday.

The Texans sacked Matt Cassel four times on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.

The three defensive linemen who got to him have a combined four years of NFL experience. 

Rookie defensive end Joel Heath got two of those, while second year defensive end Christian Covington and rookie defensive end Ufomba Kamalu tallied one apiece.

On 1st-and-10 at the Titans' 36-yard line, Heath dropped Cassel for a loss of four yards. It was the first sack of the undrafted free agent's career, and the Michigan State Spartan explained what happened. 

"It was a lot of fun," Heath said. "I was able to get a good inside move and get good pressure. It was kind of uphill from there."

In the fourth quarter, on 1st-and-10 at the Tennessee 40, Heath corralled Cassel for a loss of seven yards, as Covington and Reader were disruptive on the play as well. 

"The second one, with D.J., he just had great pressure and then Cov came off pretty well too and swung him around and I was able to just loop around and get that second sack," Heath said.

Heath wound up with three tackles on the day. Covington had five tackles and a batted pass to go along with his sack. Kamalu had a sack and two tackles for loss, while Reader finished with a pair of tackles and a batted pass.

That quartet got a bit more playing time than normal, as several Texans starters didn't play much in the second half. Heath ultimately was disappointed he and the Texans weren't able to win. But based on the gameplan, and the way they practiced during the week, Heath said the Texans defense expected to be able to apply pressure.

"It was a lot of fun out there playing with the young guys," Heath said. "We expected that we'd have a pretty good pass rush. So it was just a lot of fun going out there and knowing that we could execute the entire week." 


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