The mothership has pressers up with and/or about the Texans draftees picked in Rounds Two through Seven. Instead of deluging you with FanShots, I figured I'd combine 'em all into one post, with a few selected nuggets highlighted. Hit the jump, and let's see what Brooks Reed, Brandon Harris, Rashad Carmichael, Shiloh Keo, T.J. Yates, Derek Newton, and Cheta Ozougwu had to say about becoming Houston Texans.
(on playing on the strong side in a 3-4 defense) "I always played on the right side. I didn’t play on the strength. Depending on the offensive scheme, I could have lined up on the strong side. I have done a little bit of both, strong and weak side. I’m up for it. I guess we will see. I’m sure I will transition well as a linebacker. It’s something I am looking forward to."
(on how LB Connor Barwin fits in with Brooks Reed) "Oh man. You talk about exciting. When you make a transformation from a 4-3 to a 3-4, it’s dramatic now. The outside ‘backer position is totally different than defensive end even though they’ll be dropped to defensive end on third downs and rush. At the end of the day, a Connor Barwin, who I liked when I was at Dallas, the upside and potential that he has, the speed off the edge with the length and the height and the range, he’s oozing with potential and things that hopefully we’ll get to a point that y’all haven’t seen yet out of him. He’s still a puppy in my eyes. He’s still a rookie to me.
"With him on the outside with his speed and burst and you’ve got this guy on the other side with speed and a twitch, it gives us multiple things to do with Mario (Williams). Y’all haven’t even asked the question yet, but at the end of the day, it gives us flexibility and I’ll go ahead and address it. It gives you potential moves within your own core system, which we didn’t have when we first got here three months ago. This is a great start for our foundation in our 3-4. When you throw in the other pieces that we already have, you’ve got a lot of young, speed, anxious, hungry football players that can’t wait to get to work. This is a good start for us. Those two guys outside is a good start."
(on his biggest strength) "My versatility - the fact that I can play inside and outside at the corner spot and being able to tackle as well as being able to play off the man-to-man coverage and just adjusting to different things off the fly, and having a football IQ to play fast at a high level."
(on what jumps off the film about Harris) "When you watch this kid play, he plays like a five- or six-year NFL vet. His route recognition, his football IQ, was very, very high. When you meet the kid, he’s energetic. He’s a pro already. He’s going to fit right in. This kid, I’m excited about his future because his pro-ready from a mindset point of view. He’s played a lot of football. He’s played in the slot. He’s played outside. He’s played against top competition, so I don’t see a problem for him coming here and playing."
All the Day 3 picks had a joint conference call; the entire transcript is here. Some notable quotes:
(on how he got his nickname) "That was from day one. I was young, my grandma’s family would call me ‘Rah’ then they would say ‘Rah-Rah,’ then one day when I was three years old my dad just ended it and said, ‘No more Rah-Rah. Just Rock.’ Then in elementary school, I used to write Rock on my papers until I finally got in trouble for it. That’s always been around for me."
(on the Texans’ 3-4 defense) "I think I’ll fit in really well. I’m the type of safety that’s ready to come up in the box and make plays. I played under the 3-4 system at the University of Idaho and went through three different coaching staffs and that was one of the defenses we went with. I have some experience with it. I think they can look at me as the type of guy they could even throw in as an outside linebacker. I am looking forward to it. I can’t wait."
(on what specifically is similar between Carolina’s offense and Houston’s) "It’s kind of hard to put it in generic terms, but just the route patterns and the passing schemes and everything. It’s very similar. We took a lot of what the Texans did last year and a couple years ago and implemented them into our offense and kind of made it our own way. We based a lot from the Texans."
(on what the Texans staff has said to him) "That I could be a big help to the team and they’re ready to get me in to go to work."
(on whether he had any communication with the Texans before the Draft) "Yes, I have. I worked out with them during the local workout. I was actually coached by Coach (Texans Defensive Coordinator Wade) Phillips at the East-West Shrine Game. We developed a relationship there. He’s a great coach. I was actually hoping they would pick me up. Everything works out for the best. I hung in there. It was a long way, but I’m just glad they gave me an opportunity."