The Bengals will be getting a smaller D.J. Reader than the Texans had on their defensive line in recent seasons.
Reader was listed at 347 pounds while in Houston, but he’s down to around 320 pounds after making an effort to cut weight this offseason. Reader said he “changed a couple of habits” including staying away from carbohydrates when he wasn’t working out in order to accomplish his goal of slimming down.
“I want to do the things that are going to make me a better player this year,” Reader said, via the team’s website. “Maybe get a little more quicker. My reps might go up, you never know. I wanted to be prepared for everything. I wanted to make sure I’m going to be in the best shape of my career. Play better and yet still be strong.”
The change in size isn’t the only difference from Reader’s time in Houston. Defensive line coach Nick Eason said Reader’s “role is going to be expanded” from what he did while playing around 60 percent of the snaps for the Texans, so there should be plenty of opportunities to show that he can remain effective while carrying less bulk on his frame.