Ross Blacklock has been a misfit commodity for the two seasons.
The Houston Texans drafted the former TCU product in Round 2 of the 2020 NFL draft — the draft that occurred during the COVID-19 lockdowns. After the NFL Scouting Combine, there were hardly any pro days, no 30 visits, and certainly no offseason workouts. Blacklock didn’t step on the practice field with his new team until August for training camp.
In 2021, the Texans switched from a 3-4 defense to a Tampa 2, kicking Blacklock inside to play the three-technique defensive tackle.
Despite the constant change with defenses and positions, Blacklock has endeavored to thrive in the NFL.
“Ross has shown some things here in the spring,” general manager Nick Caserio told “Payne & Pendergast” on Sports Radio 610 June 16. “Ross is an athletic kid. He’s got good quickness. He runs well. He can kind of create some disruptive plays. So, I would say the most important thing is consistently being on the field, being available, and then just taking advantage of your opportunities when you get them. That’s the most important thing.”
Even though Blacklock has had the disadvantages wrought from COVID, he has displayed a “good attitude,” according to Caserio.
Said Caserio: “We’re in a lot of transition that he’s had to deal with, but Ross has some good attributes and I think the most important thing is showing up every day with the right attitude and just committed to getting better as a player, and you have to make the most of your opportunities when you get on the field.”
The expectations for Blacklock are the same for anyone inside the facilities at NRG Stadium.
“I think that’s the expectation and the goal for every player regardless if he’s going in his third year or he’s stepped in the building two weeks ago or we drafted him however many weeks ago,” said Caserio.
Blacklock generated 26 combined tackles, two tackles for loss, six quarterback hits, 2.0 sacks, two pass breakups, and a forced fumble through 14 games in 2021, two of which he started.