Thomas Booker could tip Texans’ D-Line requirement

Thomas Booker could tip Texans’ D-Line requirement

The tipping point is that magical moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, flips over and spreads like wildfire. – Malcolm Gladwell, The Turning Point

“The whole book is about the contagion theory,” says Thomas Booker, and suddenly the rookie Texan defenseman is talking about his latest audiobook kick.

The tipping point isn’t just about how the disease spreads in society, says Booker. The point is that even the popularity of a restaurant may depend on the opinion of a supersocial person, whose multitude of subsequent conversations may influence success more than the impression of an introvert.

“And this person, instead of having 20 social contacts that they usually hang out with, has 120,” says Booker. “And it’s going to be exponential from there.”

One can’t help but think about the influence of the social ticket holders in the stadiums, the television viewers and the radio listeners who have been consuming the Texans games and noticing the Stanford fifth round. What opinion has spread? Or perhaps the more specific question would be: How many plays beyond 22 in an NFL debut does Booker need to turn over before he breaks the threshold of his personal turning point?

For now, Booker is little more than an idea. He can wear a new jersey on a rebuilding franchise that badly needs defensive line upgrades. He’s a 6-4, 310-pounder whose combination of speed, quickness and power could give Houston’s four-man frontman another needed punch for defensive-minded head coach Lovie Smith’s disruption-focused scheme.

The Texas defense line has been a successfully polarized unit thus far. He has pressured Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson a total of 22 times in their respective games against the Colts and Broncos, who rank seventh in the NFL, and helped increase the rate of pressure per drop (24.7) since last season ( 20.7) to significantly improve .

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But Houston’s four-man frontline is also partly responsible for the third-worst rushing defense in the league (163 yards allowed per game), which the Colts capitalized on on Jonathan Taylor’s 161-yard run in the season opener. regular and Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett. perhaps he wasn’t challenging enough in Denver’s 16-9 win, though he did let the ball run just once in two score-to-play situations that resulted in field goals.

Booker fits into the hybrid form of a defensive lineman who can be successful as a pass-rusher and a run-blocker. His continued development can support the overall resilience of a solid defense that gave up all three of their opponents’ touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

The Texans regularly rotate their defensive line. Defensive end Jonathan Greenard is the only lineman to have caught more than 60 percent of the snaps in a single game this season, meaning the second row of the depth chart should be just as effective as the first.

“Anytime you’re in, you’re the starter,” says Booker, who was recording a tackle against the Broncos.

There is extensive competition for Snap Count stock. Ten defenders are currently under contract in the 53-man squad and only eight are typically active on the matchday. Booker wasn’t activated in the regular-season opener, but the Texans fielded the speedy rookie for the first time against Denver’s elusive Wilson, and Booker’s skills could come in handy in Chicago against the mobile Justin Fields.

Booker has a versatile position, but works primarily as a 3-tech defensive tackle, a wide-shooting role for starter Maliek Collins, who signed a two-year, $17 million extension this offseason. Collins is the most effective interior designer in Houston. How do Texans work at Booker?

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“It’s easy,” defensive line coach Jacques Cesarie says. “You’re like, ‘Hey you! Get in there and do some damage. We have guys who can create pressure. We have people who can move, who are good at rapid contractions and who have explosive abilities. We have to use that at every opportunity.”

Booker knows that “you have to be prepared for anything.” He has developed a personal learning routine. He treats it almost like the Stanford school. He drives to his apartment in the Houston Medical Center area, makes a movie of the day’s practice, and jots down a list of corrections that usually grows to 10-15 items by the end of his 90-minute sessions. He then singles out three or five that he thinks are viable and doable right now, and tackles them the next day.

One of Booker’s biggest points right now is to remember that he is a powerful human being. He tells himself that he should play like this more often than he does. Dude, you’re 6-4 and over 300 pounds. You have explosiveness. Use that. Don’t try to be a fine guy all the time when you really have the power to bring down the bag.

“Book is a big, strong kid,” says Greenard. “He is also a smart boy. I’m glad he finally gets these opportunities to get his feet wet because a guy his size, his build, what can he do in this league? Obviously with his skills, what he’s capable of doing now as a rookie, just with a few tweaks, he’ll do very well.”

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Just a month after his pro season debut, Booker is already familiar with the ups and downs of adult life. Booker, who received a four-year, $4 million contract, bought a new Jeep Grand Cherokee in August. Three weeks ago he entered the private parking lot of his apartment at 6 am to go exercise and when he approached his car he noticed that he was a little lower than normal.

The Grand Cherokee sat on cement blocks. All four tires had been stolen. The garage door was open.

Booker immediately asked for a ride and arrived at NRG Stadium in time for practice. For now, a teammate in the defensive room, whom Booker kept anonymous, is lending the rookie his backup car. Booker says his auto insurance will cover the theft, and he plans to “keep rocking” the Grand Cherokee in about a week.

“Thank God he set me up,” Booker laughs. “Well, I’m fine for now.”

A sudden tire theft may have been the turning point for a freshman seeking stability in what could be a stressful adjustment to the NFL’s work-life balance. Instead, it appears that Booker is going the other way.


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About the Author: Pierre Cohen

A person who has expertise in politics and writes articles to fill his spare time as a hobby.