Jonathan Greenard has high expectations for 2022.
But one goal supersedes the rest.
"My number one goal is making it through 17 games and being there for my team every single game," Greenard said.
In his second season, Greenard rang up eight sacks in 2021. But the third-year defensive lineman played through injuries, and missed five games last year. In a four-game stretch last October, he registered a sack in each contest, erupting for six in that span. But Greenard recognized that despite his individual successes, he and the Texans are aiming for quite a bit more in 2022.
"I understand nobody cares about that," Greenard said. "This is a new year. I could have one sack, 10 sacks, don't matter what it was. At the end of the day, we are all going to do that collectively and that's going to help us better for the team and that way we can move forward and get where we want to go."
Still, what he was able to do last season was encouraging, and Head Coach Lovie Smith has seen a "confident guy" this offseason.
"Jonathan is a legitimate outside defensive end in the league," Smith said. "I'm anxious to see how far he can go. Being banged up and missing a lot of the offseason work put him behind a little bit, but you see we'll continue to give him more and more reps. He's a big part of what we're going to do this year."
After practice, Greenard has spent extra time working on his pass-rush moves against the likes of Offensive Linemen Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard. He picks their respective brains on what he can do better and improve upon, and gives them pass-blocking feedback as well. Greenard called the tackle tandem one of the best in the NFL. Howard, in turn, appreciates getting the extra work with the young pass-rusher.
"He has a lot of moves," Howard said. "He plays with a lot of energy so you going to see that every week. I've been here with JG for three years now and I think he's getting better every day. I learn from him and learns from me."
Greenard and the Texans defense are looking to take steps forward this fall, and if he's able to build on what he accomplished last year, good things are ahead for Houston.
The Texans practice again on Wednesday at the Houston Methodist Training Center.