The first week of spring has been a good one for the Houston Texans secondary, as the team signed free agent safety Ed Reed and re-signed cornerback Brice McCain. Both moves came at an opportune time for the Texans secondary, after the first week of free agency saw them lose two players, free safety Glover Quin, and cornerback Alan Ball.
Reed signed with the Texans Friday, leaving the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens after spending his first 11 seasons in black and purple. Although in the twilight of his career, the Texans get a player in Reed who is the active NFL leader in interceptions with 61. His ball-hawking skills and range should help the Texans improve on the 26 pass plays of 30 or more yards that they gave up in 2012. That number was the second most in the league and a big reason why Houston coveted Reed in the beginning of the free agency period.
It was a courtship that lasted a week and began when GM Rick Smith flew to Atlanta to pick Reed up in owner Bob McNair‘s private plane and fly him to Houston. The Texans hosted him for two days and he left town without signing a deal, although his agents continued negotiating with Smith. A week later, Reed was back in Houston, being introduced after signing a three year, $15 million contract.
Earlier in the week, the Texans made the first move to strengthen their secondary, re-signing nickel cornerback McCain to a three year deal. McCain missed the last four games of the season and the playoffs after suffering a broken foot. He was missed in the Texans secondary, particularly in two losses to the New England Patriots where they could not slow down Tom Brady and Wes Welker.
Houston’s pass defense finished in the middle of the pack at 16th last season, allowing 226 YPG. They struggled against top quarterbacks such as Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Matthew Stafford. With the acquisition of Reed and the return of McCain, the Texans secondary should present more of a problem for top level signal callers in 2013.