The Houston Texans lost a major component to their defense when Glover Quin left via free agency, as he gave Wade Phillips‘ unit a player who could do a little bit of everything — and do it well. This was critical in Phillips’ attacking scheme, and while second-round rookie DJ Swearinger might be groomed to eventually fill Ed Reed‘s free safety role, the ability he showed to play both strong and free at South Carolina should serve him well in this scheme.
If Swearing can rise to the occasion in training camp and come out NFL-ready Week 1, it would help the Texans defense reclaim the form it lost down the stretch in 2012.
“Obviously, he’s a guy who’s got great talent, great instincts, got some ball skills to make plays on the ball,” Texans No. 1 CB Johnathan Joseph said, via the team’s website. “He’s also a very, very smart guy. He’s picked the system up very quickly, and he’s playing well for a rookie. You don’t know until you coach guys how smart they are, but his football IQ’s very high.”
Reed is currently missing OTA’s with a hip ailment and it’s helping the 5-10, 208-pound Swearinger already catch eyes while getting work with the first-team package — which Houston uses a ton — and second-team base defense.
“I think there’s been an acceleration with D.J. with the fact that Ed is not here,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Thursday. “So it’s been a quick push. He’s basically a starter out here from the standpoint of what we do dime-wise right now and working with Keo (Shiloh). (He’s) working with a lot of starter reps. He’s going to be called on very quickly, and he’s sure acting like he can do it. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed, keep going.”