Texans' McKinney ready for greater leadership role in 3rd season

By Lainie Fritz - Sports Reporter

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. - Linebacker Bernardrick McKinney, headed into his third season as a Houston Texan, will step into a greater leadership role this year. 

Head coach Bill O'Brien has often talked about McKinney and his key role in what looks to be a great defense this season.

"Really good player, good teammate. Kind of has everything we're looking for in a player. He fills his role very well. He loves football, has a passion for what he's doing. Has really good leadership qualities. Glad to have him," O'Brien said.

In the offseason, McKinney signed a 5-year, $50 million contract to remain a Texan. McKinney is looking forward to what this defense can do with J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus back from injury.

"It's going to be exciting playing with everybody. J.J. is a great, unbelievable player. Great leader on the defense. Whitney is a great player, leader on the defense. It's going to be great because I miss playing with those guys, their presence in the locker room, but it's going to be great," McKinney said.

Last season, McKinney had five sacks and led the Texans in tackles with 62. 

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