The Texans' third-day draft picks spoke to the Houston media via conference call after they were selected on Saturday.
Texans DB Roc CarmichaelTexans S Shiloh KeoTexans QB T.J. YatesTexans OT Derek NewtonTexans OLB Cheta Ozougwu
Texans DB Roc Carmichael(on his initial thoughts of being selected by the Texans) "I'm excited. I'm checking out my younger brother's spring game and when I saw the call, my heart started beating so fast. I've been waiting and anticipating. I actually got to talk to the Texans a few times at the Senior Bowl and the Combine. I think I'll have fun out there and go out and win some games."
(on communication with the Texans at the Senior Bowl) "They checked me out, let me know they were interested and that they had a young secondary, a young team, I could come in there and fit in. I was working out with (Texans CB) Kareem (Jackson) while I was down in Florida training. He told me about the program, the whole thing, and it's crazy; these guys ended up picking me. I'm excited, I can't even think straight right now."
(on his leadership ability) "At every age of football, I have always tried to lead by example. At the Boys and Girls Club, I wasn't there to be the 'make the noise' guy; then in high school, I wanted to play the back scene and push the team along, and keep everyone doing the best they can; more to be like a big brother to the team. When guys see you really trying to help them, they respond to you. Especially on the defensive side of the ball, it's got to be about the chemistry. Going to Virginia Tech from high school, we knew how to play together. I can definitely bring that to the team."
(on his emotions after being selected) "I didn't even tell my family yet. My mom knows. She started crying and knocked the phone out of my hand. I dropped my phone. I'm at my brother's spring game watching him play. All my friends out there just saw me get up. They might know, someone might have told them. I haven't had the chance to hug them yet."
(on his role in the NFL) "I play football. Special teams, kick return, anything. Whatever the coach needs me to do. That's how I was raised growing up, but definitely that cornerback position, but if they think I can work out at safety, I'm going to put my best foot forward, too."
(on where his brother's spring game is) "Towson University in Baltimore."
(on how he got his nickname) "That was from day one. I was young, my grandma's family would call me 'Rah' then they would say 'Rah-Rah,' then one day when I was three years old my dad just ended it and said, 'No more Rah-Rah. Just Rock.' Then in elementary school, I used to write Rock on my papers until I finally got in trouble for it. That's always been around for me."
(on his experience at Virginia Tech) "Like you said, the 2009-2010 season was my redshirt junior year. I got to play with some good guys on the team that helped me out, which led me in the right direction going into my senior season. I was able to be that big brother for the team, playing against Boise State and James Madison, those points of the year and taking those losses. It was tough for us. Being that big brother, I had to hear from my bigger brothers, the guys that were on the team a couple of years earlier, Brandon Frye and Macho Harris saying, 'You need to do something to try to change it up.' Guys like myself and Tyrod Taylor, we called a team meeting without all the coaches and just tried to talk to the team and make sure everything was going right, heading in the right direction, we switched it around and won 11 straight after that. It worked out for us."
(on training with Kareem Jackson) "He helped me a lot, helped me stay calm, because it's a nerve-wracking process going through the Combine, Senior Bowl, and things like that. Just having a guy like that telling me, 'It's not that bad. Just do what you do, and you'll be alright.' He was always joking around, saying, 'We might need corners. We might need corners.' He helped me a lot with the drills, preparing for the combine. He slowed the drills down, and showed me how he did it, and how he felt he did good at his drills. I learned from that, going down and hooking up with them and seeing his learning process will be good."
(on the Texans' draft) "Honestly, I didn't even watch. I'm a wreck, I didn't even tune into the draft at all. My family was watching. I sat outside in the garage, talked to my baby brother the whole time and a couple friends sat there. I was getting the information. I couldn't even watch. I'm going to go look up my new teammates. They'll be getting a call from me."
(on joining former Hokie players on the Texans) "I'm looking forward it. I'm sure they went down there and gave the Hokie program a good name, which helped out for me, just go down there, work hard like we learned at Virginia Tech. A guy like (LB) Xavier (Adibi) is a guy on the defense that I loved to watch that made me come to Virginia Tech. I definitely look up to that guy. It's crazy being able to play with these guys."
(on his brothers) "I have a younger brother, Nygee, playing in spring game for Towson University right now. And I have a baby brother named Shaikh."
Texans S Shiloh Keo(on his initial thoughts about being selected by Texans) "It's awesome. Unbelievable. I had the privilege of playing under (Texans defensive coordinator) Wade Phillips at the East-West Game. I loved the way he coached, felt like I had a great appearance, and was so excited that I might have made a chance for that guy to like me and just so happened he decided to draft me today. I am so thankful and so blessed. It's awesome - I couldn't have gone to a better team."
(on what Wade Phillips told him at the East-West Shrine Game) "Just to be relaxed out there and do your job. Don't worry about anybody else's; just do your job. Work hard on the field but be relaxed. Things are going to happen for you. I feel like he is more of a laid-back coach and I love that. There are times when he will get after it, too. I am looking forward to playing underneath this system."
(on playing multiple positions) "I can play everything. I am ready to come up in the box, am ready to be deep and play centerfield. I am very versatile in my game and am ready for all positions right now."
(on returning kicks and punts in East-West Shrine Game) "I returned punts and kickoffs. It's funny because Coach Phillips said, 'Hey, we're going to take special teams players. Just raise your hand.' They noticed my hand kept going up and they said, 'Geez, do you play everything?' And I said, 'Yes, sir. I play everything. I'll even snap the ball.' They didn't believe I could return the ball until I got out here during the East-West Game and made some great returns. I really think that's another reason they decided to go with this pick."
(on the Texans' 3-4 defense) "I think I'll fit in really well. I'm the type of safety that's ready to come up in the box and make plays. I played under the 3-4 system at the University of Idaho and went through three different coaching staffs and that was one of the defenses we went with. I have some experience with it. I think they can look at me as the type of guy they could even throw in as an outside linebacker. I am looking forward to it. I can't wait."
(on watching the draft) "I am in Seattle right now. My entire family is her;, there are more people on the way. It was awesome. I was actually walking downstairs to find out what the little kids were doing, making sure they weren't getting into trouble or anything because I have so any nieces and nephews. My phone started ringing, I ran upstairs and the entire family started going crazy. It was like being in a football stadium."
(on whether his Combine results helped hi) "I don't know what it did. All I know was there was really good things said about me, and that I was an underdog guy. But you know what? I am, but I'm going to bust my tail like I've always done and prove to the world that I deserve to be on the field with the world's finest athletes."
(on the Texans as a whole) "I don't know a whole lot. They've been struggling in the past, but now they are on the up-swing of things. I know Coach Phillips is coming in and everyone is really excited. For the most part, that's what I know. I feel like I have developed a great relationship with coach and I'm looking forward to getting out there, start working, and help out this team as much as possible."
(on who he admires within the NFL) "Troy Polamalu. I feel like the way he plays, the way I play is very similar. We cover the entire field, backfield to down covering the hail-mary passes. We're all over the field and we're making plays. Plus, we share the same cultural heritage. He's Polynesian, as I am, and it's someone I really enjoy watching and try to base my game off of."
(on meeting Deion Sanders at Combine) "I shook his hand. I guess he was saying some good things, and came up to me talked with me for a little bit, gave me a hug and it was just an awesome experience. It was like a kid walking into a toy or candy store. He was one of those guys I always looked up to and idolized as I grew up playing this sport. To be able to meet him personally and be close enough to give him a hug, it was amazing, a dream come true."
Texans QB T.J. Yates(on how it feels to be a Texan) "It feels amazing. I can't wait to get there."
(on what he knows about the Texans) "When we were going through this past offseason in Carolina, we watched a ton of Texans film from a few years ago because we were running a lot of the same offensive schemes and stuff. Our offenses are extremely similar. It's fun to watch that stuff on film and see yourself as well as what (Texans QB) Matt Schaub does on the field. I feel like I'm pretty prepared going into this offense."
(on what he looks to learn from Matt Schaub) "Just everything about being a NFL quarterback. He is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and I can't wait to get behind him and absolutely learn everything I can from him."
(on how much playing under North Carolina head coach Butch Davis, who has coached in the NFL, has prepared him for the transition) "A ton for myself and everybody else on the team. The amount of NFL coaching we had at Carolina is just helping everybody throughout the draft. As you can see, I'm the seventh guy from our team picked already and it's just helping us tremendously make the transition to the next level."
(on what specifically is similar between Carolina's offense and Houston's) "It's kind of hard to put it in generic terms, but just the route patterns and the passing schemes and everything. It's very similar. We took a lot of what the Texans did last year and a couple years ago and implemented them into our offense and kind of made it our own way. We based a lot from the Texans."
(on his exposure he had with Texans head coach Gary Kubiak or Texans quarterbacks coach Gregg Knapp) "Yeah, at the combine I talked to Coach Knapp and he was the guy that worked me out on the field. It was good. I had a lot of great conversations with him and it was just a perfect fit."
(on his senior season and what will help him make the transition to the pros) "Our team went through an extreme amount of adversity with NCAA violations and injuries and everything. Dealing with that adversity and being able to be an effective leader in a situation like that, it was one thing I think that will help me out a lot in making the transition. I've been through just about everything you can imagine as a college quarterback, as far as up and down seasons and games. I think anything that the NFL will throw at me, I'll be ready for."
(on overcoming the adversity to winning a bowl game last season) "Yeah, it was something that myself and the players and coaches have never been through before. This is a situation that nobody had ever been prepared for. We kind of had to take it day-by-day and literally week-by-week. There were guys being suspended and new guys that weren't allowed to play and new guys that were being reinstated. Throughout the whole entire roster, we had to be ready as a team and it really helped our team as a whole gel together and push through it together. It really made us all better."
(on the opportunity to throw to Texans WR Andre Johnson) "You know, I haven't really thought about that much, but you make a great point. He is arguably the best player, not only the best wide receiver in the league. Having a chance to throw to him is something I'm looking forward to."
(on where he is right now and how he heard the news of being drafted) "I'm at my house in Marietta, Georgia with my family. We're kind of just sitting around, not really paying attention to every single pick, just kind of going on with our day. We just had lunch. Me, my brother and my little nephew are just sitting there. I think my parents are upstairs. I'm just kind of relaxing a little bit. I'm trying not to be too nervous but oh well."
(on if he talked with Coach Knapp about the comeback he led against LSU) "We talked about that briefly. That game, in itself, was pretty crazy. Going into that game, we had 13 players, not only just players but about 10 starters that missed the game for us and we got down big pretty early and our defense posted a shutout in the second half. We had to rally back as an offense and that game was kind of a stepping stone for our entire team, knowing that we could handle all that stuff that the NCAA threw at us."
(on if he is going to try to get down to Houston as soon as possible) "That's something I have to try and figure out. This is a difficult situation for everybody involved. The lockout got lifted and re-enlisted twice yesterday, so nobody really knows exactly what they can do, but all I know is that I'm ready to get to work. I'm ready to go down to Houston, get to my new home, and settle in."
(on what NFL quarterback he models his game after) "It's kind of funny you ask that because when you look on film and stuff as far as mechanics-wise, we've watched so much Texans film because we run so many similar things. You start trying to model yourself after the NFL people you're watching on film. I don't want to say my game is like Matt (Schaub)'s, but it's something similar. We run a lot of the same things that demand the same kind of mechanics I guess."
Texans offensive tackle Derek Newton(on how it feels to be drafted by the Texans) "It feels real good."
(on his time at Arkansas State) "My performance was good. I feel I did pretty good and it helped me out to get drafted to the NFL."
(on if he knows anything about the Texans) "Not too much, but I do watch them play on Sundays."
(on what the Texans staff has said to him) "That I could be a big help to the team and they're ready to get me in to go to work."
(on if he had any idea he would be drafted by the Texans) "No, I really didn't know. It was kind of a surprise to me."
(on who he was with when he heard the news of being drafted) "I'm at home in Mississippi. It's just me and my mom right now. She is really happy for me. She's smiling and stuff like that. I'm really excited and ready to go."
(on if he faced any big programs in his time at Arkansas State) "We played against Auburn last year. We played against some defensive ends from Indiana. We played Iowa in 2009. I played against quite a few good defensive ends in my career."
Texans outside linebacker Cheta Ozougwu(on being selected by the Texans) "It's truly a blessing. I'm very fortunate that (Texans General Manager) Rick Smith and (Texans Head) Coach (Gary) Kubiak gave me the opportunity to play for the team. I'm very thankful for it."
(on whether he had any communication with the Texans before the Draft) "Yes, I have. I worked out with them during the local workout. I was actually coached by Coach (Texans Defensive Coordinator Wade) Phillips at the East-West Shrine Game. We developed a relationship there. He's a great coach. I was actually hoping they would pick me up. Everything works out for the best. I hung in there. It was a long way, but I'm just glad they gave me an opportunity."
(on being drafted by his hometown team) "It means a lot. I'm really good friends with (Texans TE) James Casey, who was drafted two years ago to the Texans. I have heard nothing but great things about them. I've actually developed relationships with the guys there now who are working out either at Houston Athletics or Rice. It's a great opportunity for me to be home, have my family able to see me. Also, be a part of the organization."
(on Mr. Irrelevant activities) "I don't know too much about it. It's funny, one of my teammates about two weeks ago was like, 'Hey man, if you get drafted in the seventh round, like the last pick, you get called something like Mr. Irrelevant or things of that nature, and all these things they do.' I didn't know about it, funny we talked it two weeks ago. I had no idea it'd be me, but I'm definitely thankful for it.
(on receiving the Mr. Irrelevant trophy) "Really? I had no idea. That's awesome."
(on how he will fit into Texans 3-4 defense) "My best bet is wherever they want to use me. They feel I could play a number of different linebacker spots over there. I'm just ready to get in there, learn as much as I can, and contribute the way I can."
(on being selected before CBA rules limit free agency) "It's a big relief. I'm definitely thankful for it and I'm blessed to have this opportunity. No matter what the outcome was going to be, either it was free agency, the fifth-round pick, or the last pick, I just wanted the opportunity to play the game I love. I am really thankful it was given to me."
(on the Texans overall draft) "I haven't. I know they picked up (DE) J.J.(Watt) in the first round and (LB) Brooks (Reed). I met both of those guys at the Combine - really good guys. I don't know who they picked up after that. It seems like they went defensive, which is good. I'm not sure. I can't really answer that."