Texans general manager Charley Casserly
(on the pick of Drew Henson) "I think in all honesty it was not a very difficult decision. The player had he stayed in college would have been a high first round pick. He was rated as a franchise quarterback. There was no question about that. I think that everyone in the league felt he was that kind of guy. You're in the sixth round of a draft and that player is there, you take him. Then we see what happens between now and then. David Carr is our quarterback. We're happy with David Carr, but we're trying to get value for the pick in the sixth round. I think we potentially got value for the pick in the sixth round."
(on the possibility of Henson being a Texan) "If Drew Henson wanted to sign with us that's fine."
(on Henson not playing football since college) "I can only go back to the one that was in Washington, Jay Schroeder. He had left UCLA after his sophomore year, so he had miss junior and senior year at college. He came to us as a rookie who was a big strong arm guy, kind of raw on technique, been away from it for a while. Just absolutely didn't do anything in his first year. By his third year, he was playing for us, playing at a high level. It might have been his fourth year that he went to the Pro Bowl. He went to the Pro Bowl throwing 4,000 yards. If you have the right talent and are in the proper environment you can succeed. And this guy has the raw talent."
(on evaluation of the draft) "I'm very, very pleased and excited. There's a couple of segments we'll take into it. Let's take the segment of acquiring picks for the future, which I have said all along is important. The other three expansion teams in looking at them that when they got to year three, they still needed to look at getting better and they knew that. I thought that if we could acquire picks going into year three, something we always tried to do in Washington. We have an extra two and an extra four. That's a lot better than I thought we would be and we have the rights to Drew Henson. We were able to get those three things done and a year from now everyone is going to be excited about having those extra picks. Now special teams, we wanted to address some areas there. The return specialist, we wanted to address that. We did on the second day of the draft. We drafted a long snapper to be competitive there. If you go back and look we got certainly a very good kicker, a very good punter, and they other areas we need to work on to see if we can improve them through competition. Which I think we did. Then the next phase of the draft, that is not to be overlooked, is that we traded two of the picks that got two players on our roster now. We traded a sixth for Milford Brown and a fifth for Greg Randall-Robinson. You got to the fifth, sixth round those are far better offensive linemen than what we would be getting with those picks. That's one of the things people keep talking about in our offensive line. Those are fifth and sixth round picks that played in the league last year. So we already know that they are going to play in the league. Now you go to the next phase of the draft, which is the players we actually drafted. I think Andre Johnson gives an immediate impact at that position. One of the things we want to try and do is become strong in certain areas. I think we're strong at receiver. I think we can line up with our receivers and go out there and present match-up problems for people we play. We definitely wanted to add a tight end. We played with two tight ends last year, you always want to play with three. I think Benny Joppru gives you a combination of blocker a receiver. I think that definitely helps us get better there. So we get stronger at receiver, we get stronger at tight end, we've gotten stronger at offensive line. Now you go into the third round and we take three players and get the second rounder for next year. Seth Wand is a good young prospect in the offensive line. If you go around and research the offensive line coaches in the league who studied this guy, this was their sleeper. This was the guy everybody wanted at some point in the third round our fourth round. We coached him in the Senior Bowl. That gave us some inside into him, which I think certainly helped. He got into the Senior Bowl because of us. We wanted him there so we would have a week to coach him and learn more about him. You can never have enough offensive linemen that are quality guys you build on. Then you got Antwan Peek. A guy who has speed, athletic, and a guy who's got pass rush ability. He's a guy who is a project at linebacker. Every guy who plays that position for us is going to be a projection to linebacker. He's faster that Terrell Suggs. Now I'm not saying he's Terrell Suggs, but he was productive at Cincinnati with not the same supporting cast. He's an interesting guy. Now Dave Ragone. This guy coming out of his junior year was rated a first round quarterback. His team wasn't quite as good this year, whatever happened, he didn't get drafted in the first round. You go back to the position, I feel real good about quarterbacks. You got David Carr, Tony Banks, Dave Ragone, and Mike Quinn. If somebody goes down, we're going to keep the ball moving and keep going. That's how I would view the draft. I think you got some immediate impact. I think you got some guys to develop. I think you got some guys on special teams. I think you use two picks in the fifth and sixth rounds to get offensive linemen that are good young prospects and make the team. Then you got something over here for the future. We did a lot of different things and I feel real good about it. We got a lot of things accomplished and don't underrate the fact that we come into next year with a two and a four already in the bank. We traded a four last year to get a three this year, now it's a two next year. You just keep moving it along."
(on being surprised Henson was there in the sixth round) "I was, I thought somebody would take a shot at him earlier than that. We had traded the fifth and we were thinking about it there but when we got the fourth next year, we said let's take the fourth next year. Granted when we do that, take a four and a three, we're bypassing players in the draft. So you might look a little better this year but you're feeling you're going to be better in the long run. Sometimes you got to take a big picture approach to this thing and what you are doing."
(on what will happen with Henson) "Let's just see how the thing plays out as we go forward."
(on what if Henson hadn't been drafted) "He would have become a free agent just like Chad Hutchinson. If a player leaves early, five years after high school he can become a free agent. He would still be a rookie and fit into the rookie pool like Chad Hutchinson has to. There will be limitations on the contract. Clearly everyone agreed that he would have been a high first round pick. He's still young and he can still attain that kind of success in football. There's no doubt in my mind."
(on Benny Joppru after the Senior Bowl) "For us there was no change of how we evaluated him in the fall. I went there in the fall and all our scouts liked him. We all had the same report on him. We went in and evaluated the tight ends and coached them in the Senior Bowl and came out liking him. I think he's a good football player."
(on not taking defensive line or secondary) "If we didn't take them early, I didn't see it happening. I thought the depth at those positions was at the top and not later. You can't take everything, that's why we try to get extra picks that are high to give you the options to do more things. We knew that this could happen, and it did happen. So what you have to view is this, as a football team you're getting better in certain areas and you're narrowing your list of needs down. We are narrowing that list down and that's what I feel good about."
(on post draft moves) "We got Kenny Wright on waivers, so that can always happen. I don't see anything right now, but if you had asked that question a year ago, I would have said the same thing. Eric Brown a year ago, we couldn't sign him at this point and we were able to sign him right before camp. We will not stop looking ever an the door is always open."
(on college free agents) "We're talking to some different people but I don't know. Let's just see how it comes out."
Texans head coach Dom Capers
(Opening Statement): "I'm going to give you a total assessment of our total draft and our perspective on things. Yesterday, with the number one pick and taking Andre Johnson, we felt that we got the best big play receiver at that point. We could see him coming in and having significant impact on our offense and our ability to make big plays and to give David Carr and our offense another big receiver that has the speed to go deep. After Andre, the guy that we had targeted was Bennie Joppru and when our pick came, we felt that we could trade down and pick up an extra third round pick which worked well because we were able to trade down a few slots with New England and be able to draft Bennie. I think that you saw with Bennie today that we're getting a real solid guy. I think that he is a Houston Texan type of a guy and we feel real good about having him. We got into the third round and Antwan Peek was a guy that we felt was an excellent athlete. He is a projection because he is an undersized defensive end. These guys are hard to find. We're looking to add speed and rush ability to our defense and we feel that he can give us help. Seth Wand, our next pick, gives us a big sized offensive tackle that has athletic ability. We really liked his competitiveness at the Senior Bowl and it benefited us to work with him for that week. The next pick we traded with Oakland for a second next year. As you all know, this is the last year that we have extra picks. We felt that if we could pick up extra picks heading into next year it would really help us as a team. We feel really good about having two two's heading into next year. Our last pick of the day yesterday, Dave Ragone, was really the highest rated player on the board at the time. As we've been building this team and you look around at the back up quarterbacks, we have certainly done a lot of studying of the backup quarterbacks of the league. It doesn't take you long to realize that if you can get a young quarterback that is developing he will add value to your team. Today, the guy that we wanted to get with our first pick was Domanick Davis. We felt that he could add value to our football team. He's one of the all time leading returnees in SEC history. He's a kickoff returner, a punt returner and he can play from the line of scrimmage. We view him as a third down type of guy. If you're going to have three backs on game day and you want a guy that will do as much as he can, he will. We're excited about having him. Our second fourth round pick we got involved in a trade with New England to get the extra three. As we got into the fifth round we had an opportunity to pick up an extra pick in the fourth round off Indianapolis for next year so we traded our first fifth round pick because we felt a group of the players that we were looking at that time we could pick up later in the draft. The sixth round pick we picked Drew Henson. When we were starting out here we felt that Drew Henson was a top ten pick, but he decided to sign a baseball contract. Many people might wonder why you would do this since he's playing baseball now, but we felt there could be real potential value in picking Drew Henson at this point. Our next pick we picked Keith Wright, who is an athletic defensive linemen. He's probably a little bit different style than some of our defensive linemen. We think that he might have the ability to rush the passer inside on third down and we like his quickness and athletic ability. Then we picked Curry Burns from Louisville who is a good-sized strong safety. We were impressed with his hitting ability and some of the plays that we saw him make on tape. We used a supplemental pick for Milford Brown and our final pick was Chance Pearce who we worked out as a long snapper. We're going to bring him in and see what he can do for us. As I look and evaluate over all we were really able to grab three offensive linemen, five skilled position players, three defensive players, two special teams players, and a second and a fourth pick for next year. We feel good about what we have been able to get done. Probably everybody feels good at this point in time. You never know until you're two or three years down the road and you're able to see what kind of production you get out of these people. We have been able to meet many goals that we went into the draft with."
(on more offensive players than defense taken) "I think that if you evaluate our team we were obviously further along on defense than we were on offense. When you start six rookies on offense, it's not going to be as smooth as you want it. The benefit of that is that now those players have a year experience under their belt and we should be that much better. We've added some skill and we added to our offensive line. So I think you will see much more competition than what we had a year ago. I don't know of any other time in the NFL that someone brought in six rookies and started them all. That just doesn't happen, so we are going to have good competition in a lot of areas and that is you goal from a coaching standpoint. The more competition you have the better you'll be and it brings out the best in all of us. On defense for both drafts we invested the higher picks on the opposite side of the ball because we have more veteran players on defense. We like the three players that we added on defense, but you can't fill everything that you want in one or two year, but I like the direction we're heading."
(on Henson saying no to football) "Well it's like every decision that you make. You measure the upside potential to the down side risk. The downside risk is a sixth round draft pick. If you look at the percentages of sixth round draft picks that make an NFL team, we felt that it was a good decision on our part."
(on defense) "Well I can tell you that right now on our roster we have about 17 defensive backs. About nine guys that would be considered safeties and a guy or two at corner that could maybe swing over. I see us having good competition. We'll take a look at what our options are."
(on draft planning) "As you rate your players, you have them up there, and you kind of go through the board. There were two or three safeties that went fairly high in the first two rounds. We're always going to look at the top of the boards just like we did with Ragone was sitting there. In the third round he was our top rated player."
(on safeties going early) "I think there were three safeties that went in the first two rounds. Curry Barnes is a guy that we have targeted earlier because we liked his size, hitting ability and we have seen him make some plays."
(on where he had Marcus) "I think that we had him about where he went. He went fairly high, I think to Seattle, and we thought he was a good football player."
(on players targeted and players got) "The first day, obviously we wanted all of these guys, but Andre Johnson was a guy that we have had targeted for a long time. Sure you listen to trade talks, but it would have taken an awful lot to give up Andre Johnson. We spent a lot of time with Bennie Joppru. Once we got done with the Senior Bowl we thought he would add to our football team. We are always looking for a guy like Antwan Peek who has speed and pass rush ability. He can really contribute to our football team as he is learning the position. Seth Wand is 6-7 323 pounds played left tackle for us at the Senior Bowl. He played at a lower level of competition, but we think there is a big upside for him. The same thing with Dave Ragone. We feel fortunate to have Dave Ragone. The quarterback position is such a valuable one. Domanick Davis is a guy that we had targeted early in the second day because of his productivity and work ethic. He is a sternly built guy and has a different style of return. He is a quick guy coming out of the backfield. He has very good field vision and good darting ability to hit the hole. It's hard to argue when you have been a four-year return man and one of the all time leaders in the SEC. From that point on you really don't know, so you have to go on a feel on things that you might have seen and how you think the guy would fit in with the people you have."
a more physical football team) "I think that we are. We'll
have to wait until we get on the field, but that is one of our
goals. As we work through the free agency, the off-season and
some of the acquisitions I hope that we become a more physical