Jalen Pitre’s play highlights strong Texans defensive effort

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Gary McCullough/AP/Shutterstock (13452188iw) Houston Texans defensive back Jalen Pitre (5) leaving the field after an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Jacksonville, Fla Texans Jaguars Football, Jacksonville, United States – 09 Oct 2022

Jalen Pitre’s play highlights strong Texans defensive effort

The Houston Texans did not allow an offensive touchdown, holding the Cleveland Browns’ offense to a pair of field goals.

The Texans surrendered 27 points on Sunday to the Cleveland Browns, but only six of them were surrendered by the defense. Cleveland scored three touchdowns on returns in Houston’s 27-14 setback against the Browns. The defense’s effort was not lost on their head coach:

“I think the defense played well throughout. Whenever you can keep an NFL offense out of the end zone, that’s big, especially with the amount of firepower we thought they had. Like a lot of the things, we haven’t taken the ball away. Those two takeaways we were able to get helped a lot.”

Smith knew the defense gave the offense opportunities, but that side of the ball could not convert:

“Eventually, we’ve got to have some production on the offensive side. We’ve got to score points. You’re right. It’s good. We were in it, holding them, taking the ball away. On defense, that’s what we’ve been stressing a lot. We’ve got to get our offense more opportunities in favorable situations. But when we get down in the red zone – we had opportunities today. We’ve got to be able to convert some kind of way.

“I think we’re healthy right now, for one thing, defensively. I’m going to go back to the second half of the Miami game. We shut them out the second half, so defensively, we see it coming. Guys were playing hard, start to finish, right up until gave us a chance. We’re doing what the defense says do. It says a lot in a game like that, giving us a chance to stay in the game, but we’ve got to have some more on the other side.”

The Texans head coach thought that Jalen Pitre’s interception should boost his confidence (and may have led to a permanent change in position):

“It has to help an awful lot. Jalen (Pitre) has been in the starting position pretty much since we drafted him. In a few games, he didn’t play his best ball. We’ve moved him back. He’s been playing free safety the last couple of games, and it seemed like he is more comfortable back there. I thought he played the ball well. I thought he tackled well. It’s a good game, and just have to let those young guys continue to play. There’s a lot of good that they did.

“I think that’s a heck of a job for a rookie that’s growing, and I shouldn’t say, rookie. They’ve played a lot of football now. That’s what we told our young players, our first-year guys. Jalen Pitre has an opportunity to be a good football player, and he continues to come to work and improve on those things. Again, he’s played his best ball. Maybe, us as coaches, we had him at strong safety position, and now he is at the free safety position. Didn’t really do a lot of that in college, but it seems like that’s the more natural position for him.”

Lovie is telling his defensive unit to stay positive and hold their heads up:

“What I told the defense is to continue to play defensively. Did a lot of good things. It wasn’t a perfect game, but we’re going to highlight the good things that we did defensively. Things we didn’t do well, you’re going to talk about those too, and we’re going to ask them to do it again, and that’s how it goes. Offense is not good enough. Special teams is not good enough. We need to raise our game. It really is kind of as simple as that. Understand what the record is, and we lost a game today, but those are some of the things. Each player has to just look at how they played, what side of the ball, all of that. That’s what we’re going to do.”

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