Michael Lombardi: Texans Are Thriving With Improved Secondary

Payne and Pendergast
December 05, 2019 - 1:47 pm

With the Texans secondary healthier and deeper than it's been for most of the season, the group is playing at an elite level.

RADIO.com NFL Insider Michael Lombardi joined the show Thursday morning and spoke about the Texans' defensive performance against the Patriots, and how they've been able stock the secondary with a few redemption stories. 

"I said when they traded Clowney this Jacob Martin kid was a really good player," Lombardi said. "Nobody knew about him. In the last few weeks, he's been really good at rushing the passer and making plays. And they got healthy in their secondary. I think that's the key. And they played man-to-man and they were able to get away with it against a Patriots receiving corps that really didn't execute very well, didn't compete at the highest level, and they dominated the game in that area."

Clint Stoerner talked on Wednesday's show about how the six-defensive back package the Texans use is heavily aided by the return of cornerback Bradley Roby, the Texans free agent signing last offseason who missed some time because of a hamstring injury. They can recover as many as four receivers if they need to, which was impressive on game film.

Tashaun Gipson Sr. and Justin Reid executed a game plan against the Patriots that was difficult for safeties to execute because you had to hide double coverages on Julian Edelman in critical situations. 

When asked what he's seeing from Roby, and the newly acquired Gareon Conley and Vernon Hargreaves III, here's what Lombardi said:

"I think that's the job you get paid for, to get the players to play at a higher level. When Bradley Roby was the third corner in Denver the Super Bowl year, he was really effective. There were times he lost his focus and concentration. Conley's the same way. I think you've got to get it out of them. Hargreaves has never been a physical player and I think ultimately when you get cut, or you get traded, I think there's a realization where the player says it's time to turn this thing on."

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