Neville Hewitt got his first start as a Houston Texan on Sunday when LB Christian Kirksey was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Saturday. The veteran LB finished with a team-high nine tackles (five solo) and had one special teams tackle against his former team, the Miami Dolphins.
"I thought Neville and that entire defense played really good yesterday," Head Coach David Culley said. "I thought they played with a lot of energy. I thought they were all around that football all day."
The Texans defense forced a season-high five turnovers in their 17-9 loss to the Dolphins, including a forced fumble on special teams. Houston allowed just 262 net yards on offense giving up a season-low 47 rushing yards..
"Neville (Hewitt) did a great job," Justin Reid said. "Neville did an excellent job. I love seeing his energy and passion on the field. Playing behind him, watching him just have fun out there, he had like 134 or 143 tackles last season, too, so he's no stranger to wanting to get his nose in there and make some contact. But Neville did a tremendous job stepping up."
Hewitt, now in his seventh NFL season, signed with the Texans as a free agent on May 6. He played three seasons with the Dolphins (2015-17) and three seasons for the New York Jets (2018-20). Described as a film junkie by teammate Kamu Grugier-Hill, Hewitt's success in his first start doesn't come as much of a surprise. In 2020, Hewitt finished with a single-season career-high 131 total tackles last year, which ranked ninth in the NFL.
"I love that guy, man," Grugier-Hill said. "He's hilarious. He went in and had like 25 snaps and 10 tackles. He went crazy. He's a true professional. I mean, the guy watches more film than I have ever seen ever, by any teammate I've ever played with. He's always knows what position to be in. Truthfully a lot of time, I go to him for, 'Hey, what do you think about this play' He's been there for me a lot. Being out there and playing with him, I was excited for him. To see the stat sheet after and just to see him do his thing during the game, it was exciting."
Last year, Hewitt started all 16 games for the Jets and finished with 131 total tackles (89 solo), 2.0 sacks, six tackles for loss, four passes defensed, four quarterback hits, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
The next time you can see the Texans at NRG Stadium will be on November 28 as they host the New York Jets in Week 12. Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.
Check out the best photos from the Texans Week 9 game against the Miami Dolphins.