DENVER – Texans rookie safety Jalen Pitre was fined $9,045 by the NFL for unnecessary roughness, according to a league source.
Pitre was flagged for unnecessary roughness in the third quarter against the Indianapolis Colts for a hit on wide receiver Alec Pierce. It was a bang-bang play where he wheeled around and delivered the hit. Pitre didn’t agree with the call, but he accepted that he could handle that type of situation differently in the future in terms of body positioning.
He was somewhat surprised that the penalty was assessed.
“It was a play later in the down,” Pitre said Tuesday. “It was very quick, something that happened kind of on the spot of the moment. The receiver was there so I turned and I just tried to hit him as hard as possible. In the future, I want to locate the target area a lot faster and hopefully not get a penalty next time because obviously that hurt the team. A little bit (surprised) because I thought that I did lead with my shoulder and not my head, but obviously it was too high.”
The Texans like Pitre’s aggressive, fired-up style of play and his versatility.
“He plays with his hair on fire,” Texans general manager Nick Caserio said after drafting Pitre. “Versatile player, they used him a little bit inside in the slot. He played safety, so he has some position versatility. I think he might have a role in the kicking game. Tough, instinctive football player, loves playing football. His energy was infectious when he was in the building.
“I would say Jalen falls in the category of embodying the types of people and players that we want to have in this building. Kind of their vigor and joy playing football. You see it in the way that he plays. He plays with his hair on fire.”
At 5-foot-11, 198 pounds, Pitre packs a lot of power into a regular-sized frame. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds and posted a 35-inch vertical leap prior to the NFL draft. That means he’s more than fast enough and can jump high to knock down passes against taller wide receivers and tight ends.
“He’s probably the most consistent rookie I’ve seen in my years,” Texans linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis said. “He’s just one of the guys. He is a rookie, but he doesn’t play like one.”
Now, Pitre is preparing to square off against one of the top quarterbacks in the game Sunday: Denver Broncos Pro Bowl passer Russell Wilson.
“I think Russell Wilson is a great quarterback, a great leader and I’m excited to play against him this week,” Pitre said. “It’s a blessing. I wouldn’t say I was a fan but I understood the type of game that he had and how good he was. I understood that he was a great quarterback, but I wouldn’t say I was a fan of his.”
Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter and a contributor to KPRC 2 and click2houston.com.