HOUSTON, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 11: Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor #28 runs past Houston Texans safety Jalen Pitre #5 at NRG Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The second-round pick had a strong first game but has bigger ambitions.
Texans S Jalen Pitre finished with 11 tackles in his first professional regular season game. Those 11 tackles were tied for the eleventh most in the league, yet he was only third on his own team behind Jonathan Owens’ 15 tackles and Kamu Grugier-Hill’s 18 tackles (league high).
Pitre also nearly had his first career interception, a play he is keenly aware of that he would like to make in the future:
“In terms of my interception, I think I could have zoned in on the ball a lot more and not worried about the tight end as much as I did. I think I could have executed and made the interception on the play. That’s something I want to improve on.”
Head coach Lovie Smith had previously spoken about the defensive backs making a lot of tackles in the run game Sunday and that he’d like to see those numbers come down. Pitre, however, expressed enthusiasm for making plays in run defense:
“Definitely had a couple great run fits. I think that I showed up on time to make the play. Like I said, there were a couple that I thought it could have showed up a little bit earlier on to define things for other players around me. I look forward to improving on that.”
Pitre also knows he has somethings to work on, and he specifically mentioned tackling:
“First, starting off on my angles, understanding where I’m coming in and what type of tackle it’s going to be, whether it’s going to be a roll tackle or if its going to be one of those more form tackles. Just understanding where my leverage is and the angle that I have and executing that to the best of my ability.”
When asked about the hit he was assessed a personal foul on, Pitre admitted to his mistake:
“It was a play later in the down. It was very quick, something that happened kind of on the spot of the moment. The receiver was there so I turned and I just tried to hit him as hard as possible. In the future, I want to locate the target area a lot faster and hopefully not get a penalty next time because obviously that hurt the team.”
Pitre also felt that his playing over 90 snaps helped him and the rest of the defense develop more continuity and strengthened their bond.
As for what needs to be done for Sunday’s game in Denver, Pitre stated:
“Just making sure I’m locked in what I need to be locked in on and executing on when it’s my play to be made.”