Sean Pendergast

Four Thoughts on Jerry Hughes Signing With Houston Texans

Sugar Land native Jerry Hughes is the newest Houston Texan.
Sugar Land native Jerry Hughes is the newest Houston Texan. Screen grab from YouTube
One of the nice things about the draft that Nick Caserio and the Houston Texans just conducted a couple weeks ago is that they addressed practically every position group. The only pressing need that they didn't try to fill with a soon-to-be rookie was in the pass rush, so they've been left to cobble that together in a different kind of way.

It appears that way will be via veteran free agents on short term, moderate money deals. Last week, they signed Rasheem Green (6.5 sacks last season) away from the Seattle Seahawks. Yesterday, they announced the signing of Buffalo free agent defensive end Nario Addison, a deal that had been reported last week. Finally, they made residents of Sugar Land very happy by bringing back a prodigal son, former Fort Bend Austin High and TCU product, Jerry Hughes, who was also most recently with the Buffalo Bills.

Hughes spent practically the last decade in Buffalo, where he became the fourth all time sack leader in Bills history, with 53 sacks. He is now heading into his 13th season in the league, and will try to provide a veteran presence on Lovie Smith's defense. A few thoughts on this most recent Texans signing:

Jerry Hughes is coming home, continuing a trend
As mentioned above, Hughes played his high school ball in the Houston area, back when he was a little known running back at Fort Bend Austin. From there, Gary Patterson put him through the position change car wash at TCU, and he came out the other side an All American edge rusher. If we are to believe Lovie Smith, it's no accident that so many ACTUAL Texan players are winding up on the Houston Texans:
Another win for Jacques Cesaire, Texans defensive line coach
Cesaire spent the last two seasons in Buffalo as the assistant defensive line coach, so it's no accident that the Texans two most recent free agency signings were part of Buffalo's defensive line group last season — Mario Addison, whose signing was made official on Tuesday, and Hughes. Cesaire is an energetic, young coach with a big personality. It's nice to have a staff that is viewed as an asset in recruiting free agents to come play for an admittedly rebuilding team.

Jerry Hughes fits the "Faith, Family, Football" culture mantra
Take a look at this YouTube feature on Hughes from a few years ago, and it's really easy to see why the Texans like him so much, and easy to see why he was so popular in Buffalo for the nine seasons he played there:
Man, people in Buffalo really, REALLY like Jerry Hughes
Yeah, if you're wondering what the Bills Mafia (the self proclaimed nickname of the Bills' fan base) thought of Hughes, just go to Twitter and search on Hughes' name with the hashtag "#BillsMafia." He is beloved up there. If you just want a sample, click the video below:
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast