Lovie Smith allowing Texans defense to play faster, think less at training camp


HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) -- You've heard this line before.

Lovie Smith as the Texans' new defensive coordinator is bringing a linebacker-friendly scheme that will allow this position group to flourish.

Maybe expect a career season from Zach Cunningham, who's already done enough to earn a four-year contract worth $58 million.

Newcomers like Kevin Pierre-Louis and Christian Kirksey are known for flying to the ball, excelling from sideline to sideline.

On the fourth day of training camp, the defense was successful turning over rookie quarterback Davis Mills, who saw more reps with starter Tyrod Taylor's excused absence for a family matter.

"Lovie Smith's defense, he's got us flying around," Kirksey told John Lopez and Landry Locker of In The Loop on Saturday. "We're trying to build this mentality and see who we are, who are identity is. And right now, we're seeing we're a bunch of guys willing to play together, trust the process and run to the ball. That's our main focus."

It's not just the linebackers, though. Second-year defensive lineman Ross Blacklock, who struggled his rookie year spoke last week about this being a more reactive system that prioritizes his instincts, rather than thinking.

“I'm loving it, man. Everybody is flying around, making plays," Blacklock said. "I just feel more comfortable in this system. I think it will be real good for me, and not only me, but for the team as well. Just for the guys we have, the players we have, just to be able to unleash those type of instincts that we have and go create havoc."

"Guys can just go and just rush up field, use a move," he added. "It's not really like a one-system thing. Guys can get out of their comfort zone and try new stuff and new moves, as well as myself. So, I'm excited to see what everybody has for the season and get to unleash some new tricks."