When the Houston Texans hire Lovie Smith as defensive coordinator, it meant they were going to transition to a Tampa 2 scheme.
In transitioning to the new scheme, it meant the Texans would have to add a couple new defensive tackles suited for the aggressive 4-3 front.
According to safety Justin Reid, the benefits of adding Collins along the interior of the defensive line has aided the secondary.
"Man, he's doing awesome, bro," Reid said. "He makes my life a whole lot easier. When you're able to have pressure up front, everything on the defensive side of the ball works together. When you have pressure up front, that creates opportunities for us to get turnovers on the back end when the quarterback has somebody in his face so he has to speed up his throw quicker than he wants to. It makes it easier for us on the back end to read those throws and to create turnover opportunities than if he's just sitting back there all day."
The proof has been evident as the Texans have procured seven takeaways through two preseason games, the most in the NFL to this point in preseason. Four of those takeaways were interceptions.
As for Collins, who saw his first action of the preseason against his old team on Aug. 21, the 6-2, 308-pound defensive lineman has collected one tackle during his 16 snaps.
"Maliek has been getting after the ball, man," said Reid. "When we watch film we see it up front. We got all the credit in the world that a lot of those interceptions came from our defensive line, creating pressure on the quarterback."
The Texans will get one last chance in the exhibition campaign to see Collins sharpen his interior pressure before the action counts. Houston hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday night at NRG Stadium.