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Maliek Collins ready to be the engine in the Texans defense

Mike Florio discusses the report that Jimmy Garoppolo could go to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and why the Houston Texans are a more likely landing spot for the QB.

Texans head coach Lovie Smith learned the Tampa Two under Tony Dungy with the Bucs from 1996-2000. The Bucs’ three-technique was one of the all-time greats, Warren Sapp.

The position is an important one in the defense.

Smith called the Texans’ three-technique, Maliek Collins, the “engine,” saying that’s where “it all starts.”

Collins joined Texans Radio and was asked about his role in Smith’s defense.

“I’ve got to be the same guy every day,” Collins told Drew Dougherty. “I’ve got to be consistent. If something’s off, I’ve got to be the one that gets it back on track. That’s just the standard I put on myself.”

Collins, 27, was a third-round choice of the Cowboys in 2016 and started 55 games at the position in his time there. He spent one year with the Raiders in 2020 before signing a one-year deal with the Texans.

He was a priority re-signing for the Texans this offseason after he totaled an interception, a forced fumble, 2.5 sacks and 29 tackles in 2021.

“He’s an excellent football player,” Smith said. “He fits the profile. He’s athletic. I think Maliek was just at the tip of the iceberg on what we can be. There’s so much more that he’ll be able to do going forward.”

Collins said he appreciates the support Smith has shown him and plans to pay it back on the field and in the locker room.