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Diverse Texans secondary has Bill O'Brien "excited"

Throughout his six years as head coach of the Texans, Bill O'Brien has emphasized the need for many of his players to be versatile.

That versatility, according to O'Brien, will be a strength of the 2020 Texans secondary.

In a Zoom press conference with the media on Thursday morning, O'Brien pointed to his his defensive backfield and its ability to mix-and-match across the board.

"I'm really excited about the secondary," O'Brien said. "I think that we a very diverse secondary."

Cornerback Bradley Roby re-signed with Houston after a 2019 in which he was steady in pass defense. Roby picked off a pair of passes in December, and was able to help the Texans defense in an array of ways.

"One of the things about Bradley Roby is the versatility he brings," O'Brien said. "The ability to play outside, play inside, to play a lot different positions. Play man-to-man, play zone."

Roby is set to be joined by Gareon Conley, Lonnie Johnson, Jr, Vernon Hargreaves, III, Phillip Gaines and Keion Crossen at corner. It will be year two as a professional for Johnson, and O'Brien is enthused about what he's seen from the young cornerback this offseason.

"Lonnie Johnson, he's another guy when you ask about off-field workouts and things, he's doing a good job of working out and staying in touch with Mike Eubanks," O'Brien said. "Expecting big things out of him."

Johnson started in seven games last season, and played in a total of 14.

At safety, the Texans return starters Justin Reid and Tashaun Gispon, and also added Eric Murray and Jaylen Watkins. He termed them as a "real diverse group of guys" as well, and pointed to Murray and Watkins' ability to contribute at corner as well.

O'Brien said the Texans will be begin a virtual offseason program on April 27, and it will run through May 15.

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