In an offseason with drastic changes, Justin Reid is a familiar face.
The defensive back, who was a rookie just three seasons ago, is one of the longest-tenured Texans on the current roster. Only a handful of current players have been with Houston longer than Reid. He and his teammates are anxious for this fall.
"We've had a helluva turnover this past year," Reid said. "We've brought in a lot of talent. The coaching staff, I'm excited about the schemes. (Safeties) Coach Greg Jackson, he actually coached my brother (Eric Reid) back in San Francisco so I have a little bit of a prior relationship with him and I like him a lot. I'm just excited. It's an opportunity for us to turn the chapter and move forward."
Jackson, in turn, has enjoyed working with the younger Reid, and described what's enticing about him as a player.
"I just see Justin as a new-age safety now and I see Eric as the old-age safety, which was a bigger type safety," Jackson said. "I think Justin is that type of guy now that can play at nickel, can play strong, can play free safety and can play all three positions."
The flexibility at the back is a big bonus in coordinator Lovie Smith's 4-3 scheme. But Jackson is also optimistic about another aspect of Smith's defense that will benefit Reid.
"He's going to rise up and I think he's going to do some good things for us because this defense is simple, but it's fast and it allows you to play football," Jackson said. "That's what we try to instill in our players is that we're not going to make anything difficult for you. We're going to try to make it as simple as possible and we're going to allow you play football."
Reid's embraced that idea. After the Texans defense registered an NFL-worst nine takeaways in 2020, the defensive back thinks the new system can help him and his teammates turn the tide.
"Obviously there's a lot more opportunities to make plays," Reid said. "I feel like that's all around. I like that the coverage is tighter than it was a year ago. Last year felt like it was almost a little too zoney, too many gaps, but the coverages this year are a lot more tight, which I'm excited about. It's the system that I'm used to."
Reid and the Texans have wrapped up Organized Team Activities (OTAs). They'll return together as a team for training camp in late July at the Houston Methodist Training Center.