Free agent linebacker Shawn Barber concluded a two day visit with the Texans Friday. Following are his remarks to the Houston media shortly before departing Houston.
**(on the visit to
)** "It was a good visit. I could definitely feel the excitement in the coaching staff, and the excitement in talking to (general manager) Rick Smith and (defensive coordinator) Richard Smith and (linebackers) coach (Johnny) Holland about the way they envision me as being a part of this team is exciting. The future of this team is definitely going in the right direction, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They made great strides over the second half of the season and they're probably in position to make further strides going into the 2007 season."
(on how the Texans envision using him) "Definitely playing to my strong points, being one of the more athletic style linebackers, and using my athleticism, my speed, my experience in the passing game on third down nickel situations, and then being able to be a leader in the locker room in the offseason and during the season. Those things would fit perfectly with this defense."
(on his health and injury history) "I guess when it comes to negotiating contracts, those are things that team use to, whether it's to raise your market value or lower your market value. But I'm a football player; I play the game it's meant to be played. I play 110 percent every time I'm on the field—practice field, game field—and injuries are part of the game. When you're flying around the way we do at this level, sometimes your ligaments and your arms and legs don't go the same way. There's a lot of high-speed collisions going on out there, so injuries are part of the game and the guys that can come back off those injuries and still play at a high level are the guys that are going to be still playing in their ninth and tenth years and still playing at a high level. Injuries are something that I see as being part of my past; what the future holds, no one can call it, so I get through them, I rehab it and I continue on with my career."
(on having played for playoff teams and possibly coming to the Texans who have not been to the playoffs) "I see them as in the playoffs every year, the teams I've gone to and I've been a part of, I see that as a potential Super Bowl candidate. When I look at this team, it's a young team; it's a team that has a bright future. When I look at the defense, it's a team that, in the second half of the season they got really aggressive, and the more aggressive they got, the more success they found. They have a team with guys at the front end, the back end and the linebackers that all can make plays on the ball, can play at a high level, get pressure on the quarterback. So I see those as being pluses. I see those as being a play here, a play or two there away from being an 8-8 team last year.
"When I looked at the film, I didn't look at the film of a team that was 6-10. When I looked at the film, especially on the defensive side of the ball, I looked at the film of a team that was probably in the top 10 as far as being a defense. I would think that the addition of a few more parts might take that to a top five defense. To me, I'm all about defense. I don't really care or make comments about the other side of the ball. I wouldn't care if they ran the ball every down and then punt it away and let us go play defense again. I'm a defensive type guy and all I care about is getting pressure on that quarterback, and they do a great job here of stopping the run, too."
(on his level of interest in the Texans) "As I quantify my level of interest in the Houston Texans, it would be a very high level. I felt a great deal of comfort in meeting with Rick Smith. With us both being from the same hometown, him being from
) Kubiak has going on here."
(on if he has other visits planned) "Yes, I have a visit planned for the (