Leaders come in all ages, shapes and sizes.
On the Texans defense, Justin Reid is emerging as a leader heading into just his second NFL season.
Both vocally, and by example, the safety has led this spring during organized team activities (OTAs) with the Texans. His position coach in the secondary has liked the progress from Reid.
"Me and Justin had a talk before everything with OTAs started and just talked about him taking that next step, and I've been seeing it on the field with his leadership,” Midget said Tuesday. “Obviously he's a smart person that studies and understands the game and it's been showing in OTAs."
Praised by veteran safety and free agent signee Tashaun Gipson for “almost being too smart”, Reid’s devotion to film work and knowledge of coordinator Romeo Crennel’s playbook have set an example for his teammates.
“He takes more notes than anybody I've ever been around,” cornerback Johnathan Joseph said. “So, when guys see that, I think it kind of rubs off on him. He's a very vocal guy. He means what he says, and he puts his heart on the line each and every time he's in the weight room, practice field.”
Reid’s more than embraced being a leader, and explained his approach to helping new teammates like Gipson and safety Jahleel Addae get comfortable with the schemes and plays.
“My role is just to be a resource for those guys,” Reid said. “They’re smart guys. They’ve been in the league a while. These guys already know football. For me, it’s just helping them get acclimated to our playbook and the way we do things around here, and any questions they might have, just be there for them and help them get settled in with it.”
As much as he excelled last year in the defensive backfield—three interceptions and 88 tackles in 12 starts—Reid also was an important member of the special teams unit. Helping in multiple ways is important to head coach Bill O’Brien, and he said Reid was valuable in that aspect.
“Teammates know that he works hard, they know that he's going to do what's best for the team, and he's a good football player,” O’Brien said. “He really has good command of what we're doing defensively and he has good command of what we're doing on special teams.”
Reid and the Texans wrap up OTAs this week, and will have a minicamp next week at the Houston Methodist Training Center.
Check out some of the best shots from Week 3 of Texans OTAs.