Texans coach Lovie Smith says DE Derek Rivers is consistent as edge rusher

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Lovie Smith already knew what the Houston Texans had in Derek Rivers.

In Week 15 last season at the Jacksonville Jaguars, the 6-5, 250-pound defensive end dropped quarterback Trevor Lawrence for a sack, tallied two tackles for loss, and added two tackles — all on 38 defensive snaps.

When the former New England Patriots 2017 third-round pick generated 2.0 sacks against the New Orleans Saints in Houston’s 17-13 win at NRG Stadium in the preseason opener, the production was on par with what Smith expected from Rivers.

“I wouldn’t say that he’s changed that much,” Smith told reporters Aug. 15. “I’ll go back to the Jacksonville game last year. We had a lot of injuries, and Derek stepped up, and we liked what — he’s got excellent speed. You look at him, he’s our profile that we’re looking for on the outside.”

The Texans already have a potentially dominant edge rusher in defensive end Jonathan Greenard, who added 8.0 sacks in just 12 games in 2021. If the Texans can hav another productive edge rusher, it will make their Tampa 2 scheme formidable.

Said Smith: “If you put defensive end behind your name, you need to be able to rush the passer here. He showed up throughout. That’s what he’s been doing in training camp. Again, you cannot ever have too many pass rushers.”

Rivers will have another opportunity to showcase his consistency and attack profile when the Texans face the Los Angeles Rams Aug. 19 at SoFi Stadium.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire