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Quotes: Vance Joseph second-round press conference

Posted Apr 29, 2011

Texans defensive backs coach Brandon Harris spoke with the media on Friday about the selection of Miami's Brandon Harris in the second round.

After the Texans drafted Miami cornerback Brandon Harris in the second round, Texans defensive backs coach Vance Joseph spoke to the media about the pick.

Texans defensive backs coach Vance Joseph
(on what he thinks about CB Brandon Harris) “He is a good football player, first of all. He’s a very smart guy. He’s played a lot. He’s been productive. He fits our mold: smart, tough and athletic. That’s what we’re looking for.”
(on if he was surprised that Harris was still on the board and if that facilitated the trade up) “Not really. He’s probably a second-round pick talent. He was a slot player most of his career. It’s hard to say. Where guys get drafted doesn’t mean what kind of player they’re going to be. Obviously, he was evaluated as a second-round pick and that’s where he went. I’m fine with that.”
(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.”
(on how impressed he is with Harris’ confidence) “Confidence for a corner is everything. He is obviously a confident guy. When you guys meet him, you’re going to say he’s confident. That’s important for a corner, because it’s a hard spot to play in the NFL. Bad things happen all the time. Every game, something bad is going to happen, but you’ve got to be resilient and come back from it. He’s that kind of guy.”
(on what he means by calling Harris already a pro) “His mindset. How he handles himself, his football conversation. He wants to be great. He talks about being great, about going to Pro Bowls. That’s the kid’s mindset. He wants to be a pro. He wants to be a great pro. He studies the game. He knows the history of the game. That’s important for a young guy coming into the NFL.”
(on if they were looking for players with great mindset this draft) “Well sure.  Smart players win games. In this league, the team who makes the least mistakes, they win games. We’ve drafted three players who are smart, good football players, who want to work every day. Probably less flash than some other guys that we could’ve drafted, but we’ve got three good, solid football players that are going to be the same every Sunday and that’s important.”
(on if there was a large gap between Harris and other corners that might have been available in the third round) “Not really. We had some guys in the lower two and earlier three. With corners, it’s always hard because most corners go higher than their evaluated draft position because corner is an important position. It’s hard to say who’s a second and who’s a third. It’s kind of like, as they go, that’s where they’re supposed to go. Corner is hard to evaluate and it’s so important that most corners get pushed up a little bit more than most positions.”
(on if he likes Harris inside or outside) “When you watch the film, he’s playing inside a lot. So obviously, I like him inside. He has the ability to play outside. College ball is more of a one-back spread game. The best corner usually goes in the slot in college, so it’s hard to say where we like him, but obviously he’s played a lot of nickel and he’s played outside. He’s a corner. We’ll see where he fits.”
(on if he would describe Harris as a playmaker or just a solid player) “He’s made some plays. A year ago, he had a bunch of PBU’s (pass breakups), so he has the ability to make plays. Opportunity, sometimes, prevents that but he has good hands. He has good quicks. He has good eyes. He’s got great route recognition and so he can make plays. I’m fine with that.”
(on if his production tailed off last year from 2009) “Numbers tell you that, but when you watch the kid play, he’s a really, really bright, smart, tough football player. Sometimes when you have a reputation like that in college, most teams avoid you. So it’s hard to say if he had a better or a lesser year, but he’s a good player.”
(on what he’s seen from the secondary and what he can do to improve it) “First of all, our first two draft picks, that’s going to make us better. In San Francisco, we were in a very similar defense. The key to our pass defense on first and second down was our run defense. The front seven stopped the run for us so we rarely played with a middle field close safety on early downs. That protects everyone. That’s first of all. The better you are up front, the better you’re going to be in the back end.

“Second of all, we’ve got to play better team secondary defense. It’s hard to play isolated secondary defense. That is a bunch of cover-three, a bunch of ones. That’s tough to play in this league because the receivers are so good and the quarterbacks are so good. The rules don’t allow you to bang guys down field so you’ve got to play really good team secondary defense. Disguising, knowing where you’re help is, those things are important and when you’re that young in the back end, those things are hard to accomplish. As you get more experience and guys play more, those things happen faster.”
(on what he thinks about moving CB Glover Quin to safety) “I like Quin. He’s a solid football player. Again, a smart guy, tough guy, with some cover skills. We’re going to play the best guys. If he’s a better fit at safety, that’s where we’re going to play him. We’re going to find four to five guys who we can go out and compete with every Sunday and be successful. If he’s a better fit at safety, that’s where he goes.”
(on what he’s looking for out of his safeties and his expectations of them) “It’s a split safety defense, so we really want two twins. We want two guys who can tackles. We want two guys who are smart. We want two guys who can cover and have range over top of the zone. Once we find that, that’s the solution. I think, Quin, he can do those things. Being an ex-corner, he’s going to have better cover skills than most safeties. Those traits he does have. We need to find one more.”

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