Jacob Martin is looking forward to the 2020 season.
The outside linebacker joined the Texans via trade from Seattle just a week before the Monday Night Football opener at New Orleans. He steadily earned more playing time as the season progressed and finished with 3.5 sacks, all of which came from late November onward.
But with a full season in the fold, the soon-to-be third year pro has high expectations.
"I've slowly stacked a couple okay seasons together," Martin said. "I think it's time for me to take that next step. I'm excited to do that, and I can't wait."
Martin will be counted upon to help improve the pass rush in 2020, and he'll team with veteran Whitney Mercilus, as well as Brennan Scarlett and Charles Omenihu. J.J. Watt and Duke Ejiofor are returning from injuries as well.
"I learned a lot from him this year working with some of the other guys up front," Martin said. "He's a young dude. He's played the game. He understands the game. He brings a lot of energy. He's just a good guy to be around. He's a super-smart guy you can lean on."
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Martin and the Texans haven't been able to work out on their own at NRG Stadium. He, like many of his teammates, has turned the garage at his home into a gym. Martin said he leaned on strength and conditioning coach Mike Eubank for help in choosing the right equipment to furnish that gym at home, and he's gotten creative in how he's worked out during these uncertain times.
Despite all that, it hasn't dimmed his enthusiasm for what's ahead this season.
"I'm excited to be back another year with the guys, to grow and to learn within the system and to play for Weave and the new members of the staff that they added," Martin said. "I'm very optimistic about the things that we're capable of and the things that we'll achieve from a defensive standpoint and a team standpoint this year."
Martin and the Texans were scheduled to being offseason conditioning together on April 20, but that's been pushed back indefinitely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.