NFL

Texans DC Lovie Smith says turnovers don’t just come. Defense have to talk about them

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The Houston Texans were the absolute worst defense in the NFL at generating takeaways with just nine turnovers procured all season.

That was a 16-game season; none of the games were cancelled due to COVID-19.

New defensive coordinator Lovie Smith knows that one of the philosophies towards generating takeaways is to practice the concept daily; a team can’t simply rely on free possessions to come at once and abundantly.

“I know people say, ‘well, turnovers just come,’” Smith told reporters via Zoom on Thursday. “I don’t believe that. I think when you come and watch us practice, you’re going to see an emphasis being placed on that daily. It starts talking about it first of things that you have to get done.”

Smith, who was the coach of the Chicago Bears from 2004-12, helped the defense create a league-leading 44 turnovers in 2012.

“As you talk about a good defense, if you’re not taking the ball away, if you’re not good on third downs, if you’re not scoring, you’re not a good defense,” said Smith. “It’s just not about total yards. For some reason, not for some reason, but we’ve been able to get that accomplished just about everywhere we’ve been. It’s going to start with a basic philosophy to the players and they’re going to buy into it and we’re going to be teaching it every day, just like we’re going to be teaching tackling.”

One interesting note is that the Texans were practicing forcing turnovers all throughout the 2020 season, even though it wasn’t reflected in their nine takeaways through 16 games.

“We’ve concentrated on it,” then-interim coach Romeo Crennel said on Dec. 21, 2020. “We’ve worked in practice doing turnover circuits and all of those things. Sometimes being at the right place at the right time is part of it. Sometimes making extraordinary plays. If a guy has an ability to jump high, he might be able to jump and tip a ball or something like that, and then getting guys to the ball. As many guys as you can, get to the football and try to strip the ball out. All of those kind of things go into it.”

Given the Texans offense will be extremely challenged in 2021, the defense will have to find a way to take their constant preaching of takeaways onto the field each week.

@GzeroSports

Gzero NewsWire

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