The Texans selected safety Brandon Harrison in the fifth round (144th overall) in the 2007 NFL Draft out of Stanford.
Brandon Harrison spent his rookie season on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. Now, the Stanford alum is competing against six other safeties for a spot in the secondary.
1. What was the most fun thing you did this offseason?
"I got a chance to go hang out with my entire family. My brother's in the Navy and he turned 21 this summer, so we took a little family trip to Vegas for a weekend. That's probably my best thing I had over the summer."
2. How has your injury from last season motivated you this year?
"It's a big motivating factor; there's no doubt about it. You know, I felt like I really had an opportunity to try to help the team, but getting injured and missing the season kind of took that away. So now I'm just trying to put myself back in that position to where I can get out there and try to help us have a winning season, getting to the playoffs."
3. How have your smarts (graduated from Stanford) helped you in the NFL?
"It definitely has been a big help. I think I always prided myself on being somewhat of a smart player and I think I can bring that attitude here, as far as being able to pick up the defense, learn what we're trying to do and hopefully try to exploit what the offenses are trying to do to us."
4. How was the first day in pads for you?
"Tiring, you know it had been so long, a whole season with missing last year. It had been since preseason last year, since I wore pads. So it got me pretty sore for a couple of days, but now I'm getting back into it and getting the feel back."
5. Are you excited to go to your home state of Louisiana and play the New Orleans Saints this preseason?
"Absolutely, all my family is from Louisiana and most of them still live down there. And I actually know a couple of guys on the Saints. So it's going be a fun week, I think. I'm excited to get a chance to go back there and play against the team we all rooted for growing up."
6. Who are you most excited to go against this season?
"I'll say Brett Favre. We play the Packers later in the season, so if somehow he ends up being able to play there, that will be a big-time exciting opportunity to get a chance to step on the field with a guy like that - you know, one of the best to ever play the game."
7. Is there a player on the team who has had a big impact on you thus far?
"I'll say Will Demps, another free safety we've got, a veteran guy, a guy who really understands the game of football. He's been around; he's seen it all. He's been on winning teams and he knows what it takes to win. And just seeing his attitude, seeing how he works and being able to absorb a lot of the things that he knows, I think is making a lot of the safeties better players."
8. How is the competition at your position?
"It's tough. No doubt about it, it's tough. We've got seven guys here right now at camp. All of them can play; all of them know the game. You know, we've got some really good athletes out here. But I think it's helping make all of us better, seeing that competition. I think in the end, the guys that are here are able to play. It's going make them better. It's going to make the team better, since we're pushing each other to the next level."
9. What growth have you seen in the Texans in the year that you have been here?
"I would say the biggest thing is in the attitude around the locker room and upstairs in the offices. You just get a sense this year that everyone expects to win. You know, we kind of were up and down a little bit last year. We had a pretty good home record and sometimes struggled on the road. But it just seems like everybody has the attitude that we really believe this is our year to get over that hump and really make a push."
10. When you were younger, which other occupations were you interested in?
"I was all over the place. When I was little, I thought I wanted to be a priest. I thought I wanted to play basketball professionally. I thought I wanted to be a doctor. But once I got a little bit older and started getting into high school, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer and I ended up majoring in political science."