Continuing a position-by-position look back at the Texans' 2012 season:
Strong safety Danieal Manning and free safety Glover Quin both started all 16 games in 2012, patrolling the back end of the Texans' secondary together for the second consecutive season.
Manning and Quin combined for 161 tackles, two sacks, eight tackles for loss, four interceptions, 22 passes defensed, five forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. They accounted for almost 20 percent of the Texans' defensive tackles and more than 25 percent of their interceptions.
Manning, a seventh-year pro and second-year Texan, started all 16 games for just the second time in his career. He ranked third on the team with 77 tackles, tied a career high with two interceptions, had eight passes defensed and scored his first-career defensive touchdown on an interception against Tennessee. He forced a fumble on the opening defensive series in Weeks 10 and 11 and the opening overtime series in Week 12 at Detroit.
Quin, a converted cornerback, led the Texans with 84 tackles, three more than J.J.W att. He had 105 tackles according to coaches' statistics, two behind Watt. A fourth-year pro, Quin had two interceptions, 13 passes defensed, one sack and two forced fumbles as he started all 16 games for the third consecutive season.
Quintin Demps played in 12 games as a backup. He had 27 tackles and five passes defensed in his fifth NFL season. Shiloh Keo, a second-year safety from Idaho, played in all 16 games with four tackles and one pass defensed. He was named a special teams captain at midseason by a vote of his teammates. Demps was the Texans' top backup safety for much of the season. He and Keo shared reps in December. Keo was the top backup in the playoffs while Demps did not play any defensive snaps.
Troy Nolan played in four games and had nine tackles before getting released in November. Eddie Pleasant, an undrafted rookie from Oregon, was signed from the practice squad on Dec. 21 and played in two games, getting just three snaps on defense.
2012 Safeties in Review - Quick Hits
Starters: Manning (16 games plus 2 in playoffs), Quin (16 games plus 2 in playoffs)
Snap count (% of defensive snaps played): Manning (98%), Quin (97%), Demps (33%), Nolan (10%), Keo (5%), Pleasant (0%)
Injuries:** Demps (broken thumb/forearm, Weeks 5-7)
2,074: Defensive snaps played by Manning (1,047) and Quin (1,027) out of a possible 2,126 (98%). Manning sat out just 16 of the Texans' 1,063 defensive snaps all season. Quin sat out 36. No other Texans players played more than 95 percent of the defensive snaps in 2012.
Best game: Week 4 vs. Tennessee – Quin knocked quarterback Jake Locker out of the game with a shoulder injury and Manning scored a defensive touchdown to propel the Texans to a 38-14 victory. The Texans led 7-0 in the first quarter when Quin sacked Locker for an eight-yard loss, forcing a fumble and removing Locker from the game. In the third quarter, Manning picked off Matt Hasselbeck and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown to put the Texans up 21-7. Quin (six) and Manning (five) combined for 11 tackles.
Quotable: "If I had to pick, I would say those two safeties are playing better than any other safeties in the league right now. It's a great feeling, because those guys are the quarterback for the defense. They give everybody in the secondary help and are talking to us. It's big to have guys like that behind you. They're pretty much the same player." – CB Johnathan Joseph on Manning and Quin on Sept. 30, after the Titans game
"He was coming back home. He played a lot of great football here, and I know it was important to him. He had a great week of practice… He played extremely well, but boy, he's been extremely consistent for us and plays well all the time." – Kubiak on Manning on Nov. 12, after Manning had an interception and forced fumble at Chicago
"GQ and D-Man are both having great years. Even if people go three-wides on us, we're comfortable staying in our base because we think our safeties can cover. The fact that they're there right now brings a lot of leadership to the group." – Kubiak on Nov. 30