Shooting the Bull: What's next for the Texans?
Eddie Pleasant came into the 2013 season knowing where he stood. He looked at the depth chart and saw a bunch of guys in front of him.
But he kept working and eventually got his shot. And in recent weeks, the second-year safety has been an improbable bright spot for the worst team in the league.
“We had some great safeties ahead of me,” Pleasant said. “We drafted D.J. (Swearinger) in the second round, great player, already doing some great things. So I already knew what time it was, you know. I had to make my way on special teams and then build the confidence up, make the coaches believe in me, get out there and play. I’m just grateful for the opportunity I have.”
Pleasant, 24, was the fifth safety on the roster coming into the season. He was behind Danieal Manning, Ed Reed, Swearinger and Shiloh Keo. If Reed wasn’t hurt to start the season, Pleasant might not have even been on the team.
“It wasn’t too tough. This is the NFL, there’s only like 1,500 dudes in the league,” Pleasant said about being buried on the depth chart. “It’s not college and high school; everybody wants to be here. So as long as I was on the depth chart, as long as I was helping out, if it came to practice, special teams, anything I could just to be on the team. It didn’t really matter to me. But I knew as long as I was patient and kept doing what I was doing, my time would come.”
And his chance did come. I just took a long time.
Even after Manning was injured and placed on IR, Pleasant still couldn’t get on the field. But after Reed was released before Week 11, Pleasant took over dime package duties and has played well. Pleasant said he tried to learn as much from Reed as he could during Reed's time here and said it’s a “great feeling” to take over the job Reed had in the dime package.
Pleasant’s best game this season came against the Patriots in Week 13. Pleasant was forced to go against Patriots’ monstrous tight end Rob Gronkowski and made several huge stops against him.
While some players might take time to marvel at Gronk’s size and athleticism, Pleasant had seen him before. While at Oregon, Pleasant said he faced Gronkowski, who played at Arizona.
“Eddie’s a talented player and we’ve had him for a little while,” interim coach Wade Phillips said. “He’s learned what to do. It’s a simple game. You need to know what to do and how to do it. He started to get to know what to do and now he’s learning how to do those things.”