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  • #61
    After all those years of looking for a good Nose tackle we, have Vince Wilfork, and it seems promising depth in Reader.


    • #62

      Bill O'Brien confident in Texans rookie D.J. Reader

      By Aaron Wilson
      Although the Texans haven't ruled out veteran nose tackle Vince Wilfork for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, they are getting rookie D.J. Reader ready to start in case Wilfork is sidelined with a groin injury.

      A 6-3, 335-pound sixth-round draft pick from Clemson, Reader has recorded nine tackles in eight games with one start.

      "I have a lot of confidence in D.J. Reader," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "I think D.J. Reader is a very good, young football player. Has done a nice job as a rookie defensive lineman for us. Hard to move in the running game and he's actually given us a little bit of inside pass rush on third down and things like that, so we have a lot of confidence in D.J. Reader."

      Reader had a tackle for a loss against the Detroit Lions.

      "I typically don't like rookies," Texans defensive line coach Anthony Weaver said. "They're hard to win with. I love D.J. Reader. He's a guy that comes to work with the same mindset every day, happy, loves ball, just puts his hardhat on and gets better. I think you've seen the results of that on the football field. He's earning the right to get more snaps and that's a credit to him."

      Reader has recorded nine tackles in eight games and one start.

      Reader says he's prepared to start if needed.

      "I'll just go out and hold the fort down until the big dog gets back and do my job," Reader said. "I'm just trying to work every day. Coach Weaver does a great job of pushing me. That's a testament to his job. I like it. I'm trying to get better every day."


      • #63
        I love my early adoption. He was my choice right after the draft. of #98 D. J. Reader


        • #64
          The Sky Is The Limit for D.J. READER

          When it comes to the biggest impacts from the 2016 rookie class, D.J. Reader continues to emerge as one of the top end players. Week to week, Reader is playing multiple positions on the defensive line and OBrien is taking notice of his rookie defensive tackle.

          D.J. is an excellent young player. I think the guys got a really good future. Hes tough, explained OBrien. He does a great job with his pad level. He does a nice job of dissecting the play. He rushes the passer from inside there. For a large guy, he does it well. Hes got a good future.

          Reader has picked up his pass rush ability with the additional playing time he has gotten. On the season, Reader has 14 total tackles, 1 tacks, 3 tackles for loss, and 2 quarterback hits.

          If you watch the game film, you see the week-by-week improvement.


          • #65
            Glad he is working out - I liked him in the draft. He could be a stalwart on this team for years and has played up and down the line.
            I reckon he is soaking up everything big Vince is sharing with him and Watt too will be sharing with someone willing to learn like that.
            Question now is, do Texans keep Vince for another season if he wants it, or part ways and either draft another young guy or take a FA?
            Roster spots are a premium.


            • #66
              Houston's Reader flourishes under watchful eye of Wilfork

              HOUSTON (AP) By the time D.J. Reader was 10 years old, he already had the body type he has today. And, he realized that if he kept playing football, his place would be on the defensive line.

              It was then that Reader discovered a rookie nose tackle playing for the New England Patriots: Vince Wilfork .

              Reader was drafted by the Houston Texans 12 years later and was thrilled at the opportunity to learn from the man who he began watching all those years ago.

              "He was the best nose tackle in the league," Reader said. "I was kind of chunky when I was a kid, so I knew I was going to be playing the D-line somewhere, so I just watched the best. Watched him all the time."

              Wilfork, now 35 and in his 13th NFL season, shook his head and laughed when told that Reader had been a fan of his since he was a child. The veteran said Reader never acted star-struck around him despite looking up to him for years before the pair met.

              "No, he hasn't. He kept that to himself," Wilfork said. "(Man) that makes me sound old ... (but) it's a mutual respect. It's good to feel like that. It's even better to give knowledge to the younger players, especially somebody that's in my position that I can actually really mentor because I've played it. I've done it."

              This season, Reader has blossomed under the tutelage of Wilfork and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. His natural talent was clear when the Texans selected him in the fifth round of this year's draft after a career at Clemson where he played in 46 games and had 145 career tackles. But it was also evident that the 6-foot-3, 335-pound Reader had a lot to learn when he first arrived in Houston.

              "These young guys when they come in, they don't understand how the game is played or how to play the game," Crennel said. "I think over this season, he's learned his abilities and how he can use his abilities in the game. I think he's playing better as a result of it. He's understanding the fits, what he can get done, when to come off the block and those kind of things. He's better as a result of it."

              After studying Wilfork for so long from afar, Reader wanted to make sure to take advantage of the chance to work with him.

              The two became close quickly and spend hours together, not only at the stadium, but also in their free time.

              "It's the best. It's like having an older brother who just knows everything," Reader said. "He knows what's coming. When I'm out there on the field with him it's just so much fun because he loves the game and is passionate about it. I like being with him. He's a great mentor, a family man so a lot of good examples come out of him."

              Reader had been learning from Wilfork all season and had started seeing steady playing time when Wilfork was injured and forced to sit out in a game against the Jaguars on Nov. 13. It was then that Reader started in Wilfork's place. But instead of being nervous, Reader was determined to show his mentor that all his teaching had paid off.

              "I was trying to do my best to step in and make him proud and do my job," Reader said.

              And when Reader got his first career sack by taking down Blake Bortles for an 8-yard loss in the third quarter, he couldn't have been happier about what happened next.

              "Vince was there, first one to congratulate me when I got my first sack," Reader said beaming.

              While the Texans are impressed with how far Reader has come since they drafted him, everyone is eager to see how much better he can get if he keeps working as hard as he has so far.

              "I want him to understand how good he can be because he can be a great football player and I think he will because he has the right mindset and he understands things and how things work," Wilfork said. "He's a great professional, a great teammate. Anything the coaches ask of him, he doesn't hesitate.

              "He's always trying to help the team, so I think he will be a good one in this league."


              • #67
                I wonder where his ceiling is cause I am impressed.

                Imagine is Reader and Covington PEAK at the same time................... That interior is gonna be Elite..................... What is the ceiling with our young guys.

                I am seeing something from Covington. I hoped more, but the potential is there.
                THE Anti troll


                • #68
                  Originally posted by MachineToss View Post
                  I wonder where his ceiling is cause I am impressed.

                  Imagine is Reader and Covington PEAK at the same time................... That interior is gonna be Elite..................... What is the ceiling with our young guys.

                  I am seeing something from Covington. I hoped more, but the potential is there.
                  This is definitely a well thought out plan by the Texans and something most of us had hoped for after we drafted him. I think Kevin Johnson has learnt from JJoe also and I reckon McKinney and Simon have benefitted from having Cush right there as well. Having an older guy or three on the team helps out the rooks big time. It's just a pity Foster didn't rub off on Blue a bit more.


                  • #69
                    NT D.J. Reader

                    How ready do you feel to be the nose tackle if NT Vince Wilfork retires?
                    Its going to be a job Im going to have to step into. Play my hardest to be able to do it. Vince (Wilfork) taught me well, Coach Weav (Anthony Weaver) taught me well. Im excited about it.

                    What do you think makes you ready?
                    Just trusting myself, trusting my keys, playing hard and physical every play. Good body for it, built for it. Im just excited to be hard-nosed out there.

                    How did NT Vince Wilfork help you get ready?
                    Just teach me everything. I mean, hes done it. The best in the league for 13 years. You watch that every day in practice, every day at work, every day in meetings, it become second nature and you get to pick up on little things that he does and things that he tells me. Still having him around he lives out here, so still having him around will be good for me.

                    As a young player on this defense, whats the feeling as you see how much potential there is for this defense?
                    Its exciting but we have to go out there and put in that work every time. Its earned. Its exciting to see what we can do and hopefully we can build on that in the future.

                    How exciting is it to get to work this offseason and not have to prepare for the NFL Draft?
                    Its crazy. Im not out there running 40s now. I dont have to worry about doing that or worry about any coaches coming up to me and just pressuring me. Its going to be fun. Its going to be fun to be able to just get to straight football, get on your body and work on yourself better.

                    Whats the plan from now until offseason conditioning starts?
                    Take a little time off and then get right back to the grind. Well see how it goes.

                    Are you going to be able to celebrate Clemsons national championship?
                    Oh, no. Those boys are gone. They got to go right to Draft training so Ill probably go down there and Ill see the young boys, hang out with them for a little bit. All those other guys, theyre gone. They go right into that long year, the rookie season.

                    Whats your advice to those guys that are about to go into that process?
                    Just try to stay off that wall. Then when you do hit that rookie wall, get close to it, get comfortable and just grind through it. Dont let it break you. Its going to be a long year but have fun with it. Its a blessing. Its a great opportunity youre about to have.

                    When did you hit the rookie wall?
                    I dont know, man. I dont even know if I have a specific time. It just started getting rough and then I tried to grind it out. I dont know when I hit it but I know I definitely hit it because Im real tired right now. Real tired.
                    My Texans Rookie of the Year.


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by aussiedave View Post

                      This is definitely a well thought out plan by the Texans and something most of us had hoped for after we drafted him. I think Kevin Johnson has learnt from JJoe also and I reckon McKinney and Simon have benefitted from having Cush right there as well. Having an older guy or three on the team helps out the rooks big time. It's just a pity Foster didn't rub off on Blue a bit more.
                      I don't think anyone other than Foster can pull off Foster.
             of #98 D. J. Reader


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Marshall View Post

                        I don't think anyone other than Foster can pull off Foster.
                        True. I think it is also more than a coincidence that our offense is a paper tiger ever since he and AJ departed.


                        • #72
                          How tragedy forged Clemson roommates ... and now Texas neighbors

                          Carlos Watkins and D.J. Reader spent their college football careers at Clemson living a few steps away from each other's rooms. Now, as members of the Houston Texans, things haven't changed all that much for the duo from different cities in North Carolina.

                          When both defensive tackles moved into their on-campus apartments the summer before the 2012 college football season, Watkins was originally placed in the unit across the hall from Reader with three members of the offense. However, Reader's apartment had an empty room. Watkins jumped over to the empty bed, right across from Reader. In that instant, a friendship was forged.

                          Fast forward to 2017: Both players find themselves more than 900 miles from that first apartment and former campus, but they're now just three doors down from one another in Houston.

                          "I asked could I move in with him. I kind of begged him a little bit. I even told him it would be cheaper if I moved in," Watkins said when he first heard he would be moving to Texas.

                          "He's got to be his own man right now," Reader joked, adding that their current town homes are just a stone's throw away from one another in the same neighborhood. "When he was here for OTAs, he stayed on my couch every single day anyway."

                          The extra distance between each other's couches hasn't stopped the pair from spending every day together. When they aren't hooked on a competitive game of Madden -- Watkins used to win, but Reader claims the former has been "trash" lately -- binge-watching "Orange is the New Black," following hard training regimens or catching up on life, they're both intently studying the Texans' playbook.

                          "I hope he's focusing on the playbook because he ain't focusing on that Madden or 2K playbook," Reader joked.

                          The two players were competing well before they first arrived on Clemson's campus. They played on the same team in the Shrine Bowl in 2011 -- an annual all-star game between the top players of North Carolina and South Carolina.

                          But Watkins and Reader aren't just bonded by Madden or Netflix, or even football -- they're bonded by tragedy as well.

                          In September of 2013, a few days after a Thursday night victory over NC State, Watkins was left trapped in car with a telephone pole across his lap, crushing his legs. The car he was in had hydroplaned, and the crash took the life of one of his closest childhood friends -- a friend Watkins considered family.

                          Watkins was forced to sit out of the remainder of the 2013 season because of the hematomas that had developed in his legs. The internal bleeding was severe and kept Watkins in the hospital for three days. When he was finally cleared to go home, he had to return to the facility multiple times to drain all the blood that had built up in his legs.

                          The bruising made it difficult to walk, so Reader would selflessly drive Watkins to class. Watkins returned to the team less than a year later.

                          In 2014, Reader was the one in need of a selfless friend. His father died from kidney failure. The loss took a serious toll on Reader; he put football aside to focus on his mental health and to process his grief prior to the start of the 2014 season.

                          In the midst of his hiatus from football, Reader would find himself watching game film in the apartment he shared with Watkins so he could offer the latter feedback on his game.

                          And Watkins returned the favor. When he wasn't at class or at workouts, he kept Reader laughing, asking him every week, "Are you coming back yet?" Reader returned to the team six games into the 2014 season.

                          "He never left me alone. He was always there to keep me occupied and keep my mind off of things. It was the same thing for him," Watkins said. "We sit back and reminisce on those things now, but that is truly what made us closer, and that is why we are like brothers now."

                          The friends would eventually be separated for a short time. The Texans drafted Reader in 2016 with the No. 166 overall pick. Even after a season apart, Reader continued to look out for his teammate who remained back at Clemson. In the spring of 2017, Reader talked up Watkins' talent during the draft process, hoping his praise would carry enough weight to bring his brother to Houston.
                          Reader (at right in grey jacket) and Watkins (No. 94) take part in Orange Bowl media day in December 2015 in Miami.
                          Kaila Burns-Heffner

                          As the fourth round of the 2017 NFL draft approached, Reader was still holding out hope that Watkins to land on his team. When the Texans made the No. 142 overall pick, congratulatory calls flooded Watkins' phone. Chief among those callers was Reader, who phoned in along with all of his relatives.

                          "When I found out that Houston was drafting me, everybody was really excited. D.J.'s mom called me, his aunts called me. It is going to be the same way it was in college," Watkins said.

                          Prior to the start of training camp, the 300-pounders were pegged as the potential two-deep options at nose tackle. When the Texans released their unofficial depth chart on Aug. 4, Reader was named the front-runner for the No. 1 spot at nose tackle after playing in 16 games for the Texans last season, while Watkins was listed as working behind two guys at right defensive end.

                          Watkins' goal is to be the Texans' go-to guy, but that means beating out teammates with more experience playing under coach Bill O'Brien.

                          The rookie knows he's not going through the grueling days of training camp alone.

                          In 2016 camp, Reader had former Clemson teammate DeAndre Hopkins to lean on when acclimating to the team's culture, but he couldn't very well ask the receiver for help learning the intricacies of the defense.

                          Now Reader is ecstatic to play that guiding role for Watkins, who has always been there to support him -- even when the support he required had nothing to do with football.

                          "I ain't going to give [the job] to him, that's for sure," Reader said with a smile, and then reiterated he'll do everything he can to help Watkins succeed at the next level.

                          After all, from North Carolina to Clemson and now to Texas, they're brothers before football players.