Flexibility and mobility.
Those are the two most important things that Jonathan Greenard wants to work on this offseason. In order to improve his game and stay healthy, the second-year linebacker has been fine-tuning his workouts, whether that includes stretching more or gaining strength with single-leg explosions.
Heading into his first real NFL offseason, flexibility and mobility may be even more crucial with a new coaching staff and defensive coordinator Lovie Smith's vision for the Houston Texans 2021 defense. Will the second-year pass rusher remain an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense or become a defensive end in a 4-3?
Either way, Greenard needs flexibility and mobility on the field too.
"I have no problem with it, whether I'm standing up or hand in dirt," Greenard said. "I mean, I really just want to play. Just tell me what I need to do. I can go out there, execute and do that 100 percent and not have us thinking too much. And from that point on, I think you all will see the results play because once we get to a comfortable system that kind of fits everyone, just lets everybody play to their ability and within the system as well, I think that makes everyone play faster."
In college, Greenard was a starting edge rusher for the University of Louisville before transferring to Florida. After playing running back and linebacker his whole life, the Georgia native said he learned everything he knows about the defensive line from his high school football coach, everything from setting the edge to executing reach blocks.
"Not many people know I didn't start playing defensive end, until my junior/senior year of high school and I only came in playing third down," Greenard said. "So I kind of just knew how to just run past it but I knew one move was the sideswipe. And that's kind of where that took off."
So what if he was asked to play on the defensive line again? Greenard says he wouldn't mind making the switch.
"To answer your question, I definitely I love the idea of to just have my hand in dirt and go and just play ball," Greenard says. "Playing on the other side of the line of scrimmage is what I do best. So I hopefully can get that done."
Last season, Greenard saw action in 13 games with one start as a linebacker. He finished his rookie campaign with 18 total tackles (nine solo), two tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, three quarterback hits, one pass defensed and one special teams tackle.