When examining the offseason needs of the Texans this year, cornerback was high on just about everyone’s list, so it came as a bit of a surprise that Houston’s resident Emperor of All The Football Things, Bill O’Brien, didn’t bring in a starting caliber free agent cornerback. By not doing so, he sent a message that he believed Bradley Roby, Gareon Conley, and the rest of the returning DBs from the 28th ranked secondary were G.E.T.M.O. (good enough to move on). Fortunately or unfortunately, few outside the general vicinity of Texans HQ shared that vibe.
Enter John Reid, rookie and “next man up.” While some of us hoped Reid would be a camp standout, he didn’t have the sort of NCAA resume that Conley or Vernon Hargreaves III had. But as Hargreaves has shown, all the great collegiate stats in the world don’t necessarily translate to NFL success.
However, when asked about Reid at the end of yesterday’s practice, O’Brien has some pretty high praise.
He’s had a really good camp. He might’ve had the best camp of any rookie. Some of these guys come in here as rookies and they just know how to work. He’s got a routine already. He’s in here early. He’s taking care of his body. He’s studying tape. He’s in the meetings. He spends extra time with his coaches. He’s taking advantage of his reps. He’s just a really focused.
Not only has Reid impressed O’Brien in this year’s training camp, but Reid impressed him while at Penn State, too. More from the Texans’ head coach:
He’s a smart kid. I don’t know if he was 21 or 24, he’s still very smart. He was an engineering major at Penn State and a really mature kid. He’s also a really bright kid. We had camp and Penn State camp there’s probably three sessions and 1,000 kids come to each session. So what you try to do is you try to take some of the guys that you think are prospects and work them out separately, and he was one of those guys. He was only a sophomore in high school from right outside of Philly, and so we took him on the field and did some drills with him and just noticed right away his movement skills - this is when he was 14-15 years old - his ability to follow directions, his intensity, his seriousness.
He’s a good guy, we’re glad we are able to have him. He went through some adversity there at Penn State, injuries and different things, but he came out last year and was highly recommended by James Franklin and did a good job last year at Penn State. We were glad to be able to get him.
With a crowded cornerback room yet none standing out the way Houston’s other Reid (stud afety Justin Reid) does, the opportunity for John Reid to outshine Lonnie Johnson Jr., Keion Crossen, Hargreaves, and even Conley is there for the taking. Hearing Reid has outworked and outshined higher 2020 draft picks in Ross Blacklock and Jonathan Greenard bodes well. Hopefully J.J. Watt’s work ethic rubs off on all of the new Texans. As the saying goes “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” NFL history is littered with incredibly talented athletes who never learned to work hard. Thankfully, Houston’s newest cornerback apparently won’t fall onto that list.