Quarterback John David Booty was a fifth-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2008 after a standout career at Southern California.
Quarterback John David Booty signed with the Texans in January after spending the 2009 season on the practice squads of the Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans. Booty was a fifth-round draft pick of the Vikings in 2008 after a standout career at Southern California.
In this Q&A with HoustonTexans.com, the Shreveport, La., native discusses a variety of topics, including organized team activities (OTAs) and mini-camp, coaches Gary Kubiak and Greg Knapp and the sanctions against USC.
Now that OTAs and mini-camp are behind you, what have your first few months with the Texans been like?
"Well, for me it's been everything that I've heard that it would be from guys that have been through here, and obviously I was with Sage (Rosenfels) in Minnesota last year to talk about it. The way the organization goes about everything, it's lived up to all my expectations that I had of it."
What kind of expectations, in particular, did you have?"The way things are run. Coach Kubs (Gary Kubiak) just really treats us like professionals, and that's all you can ask for and to be treated like men. They do that around here and it really makes it fun to come to work every day when you're working with great people."
How has it been playing for Kubiak, who's notoriously tough on quarterbacks?"That's what you want as a QB. You want to really understand the game, especially being the young quarterback that I am, and come here and learn the system. I really haven't played a lot. I'm still trying to figure out the NFL game. He's just really done a great job so far since I've been here of really trying to help me truly understand what I'm supposed to be doing when I'm out there."
What about quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp?"Me and Knapp worked together at the Senior Bowl (in 2008). We had a lot of fun there. My brother (former NFL QB Josh Booty) was actually with him in Oakland for a short time. I asked (Knapp) if he'd ever coached another pair of brothers, and I think we were the only ones he could come up with. He's a lot of fun to work with and really upbeat and positive. He really knows the game and has been around a long time and been around a lot of the greats. So it's been good working with him."
You've had a bit of a rough path since your USC career. Minnesota seemed like a good landing spot for you, then obviously that didn't work out and you wound up on the Titans' practice squad last season."I've kind of been all over the place, but that's what the life of an NFL player can be like at times. I've met a lot of great people and played with a lot of great players. I've been fortunate there. Just to be able to continue to land is what makes me happy, that I've been able to stick around and continue to be picked up or whatever ends up happening. I'm just fortunate to still be playing and get another shot here in Houston."
You've got three USC guys (Brian Cushing, Darnell Bing, Shaun Cody) here that you played with in college. Has that helped with the transition?"No doubt. Whatever questions you might have had, you don't feel nervous or embarrassed going to ask those guys you've been around and have known for quite some time. It's always great to have some of your former college 'mates with you. The ones we have here were really good friends of mine there in college, and I couldn't ask for more than that."
What do you think about the sanctions levied against USC?
"I hate it, I absolutely hate it. I really feel bad for the guys who are there now. When you think about it, they were freshmen in high school and eighth graders when this stuff happened and we were all there. It's unfortunate to see these guys get penalized. It's just something that was bound to happen. I think they're trying to make a little bit of an example and they're obviously going to pick one of the best programs in the country to do it. I know coach Kiff (Lane Kiffin) will have them coming out and still playing hard, and that's all they can do is go out and show everybody what they're made of."
What's it been like so far working with Matt Schaub and Dan Orlovsky?
"It's been really good. Like I said, I've been fortunate to play with good players and also some good guys. That's the same thing I have here, a great QB room. Everybody's out to help each other, and the vets are out to help me with any questions I may have. As a young QB coming up, that's all you can ask for are some veteran guys to help you bring you along."
Looking ahead to training camp, what can you improve on the most?
"I think just with the offense, still trying to figure out the little parts of it. In OTAs and mini-camp I was trying to figure out the big picture, and now I'm hoping I can start to narrow it down and get really focused on the defense and not the offensive side."
Any exciting plans for the break?
"I'm going to hang around here as much as I can, stay in Houston. I might try to get back to Cali for a couple of days if I can. I'm from Louisiana, so I'm going to get home one weekend and visit the family who've I haven't been able to see much over the last seven years, so that should be good for me."