** Linebacker DeMeco Ryans (University of Alabama--second round, 33rd overall)
(on his initial reaction to being picked by the Texans)** "I was just happy to hear the phone ring. It was a great feeling to hear the Texans calling."
(on falling from the first round before being picked) "It's been a long day. I've been watching the draft since it first came on."
(on his strengths as a player) "I'm able to find the ball quickly, run around and make plays."
(on how career at Alabama affected his stock, as opposed to combine performance) "It matters a lot because [the coaches] always see you in the picture, no matter
what. The coaches see you running to the ball, and when you're at the ball, you
can make things happen."
(on importance of his Cotton Bowl performance) "The Cotton Bowl was very important. We faced a team that was a different kind of team, a more passing-oriented team, so we had to bring out a different kind of team and pass more than we had in previous games throughout the year. I think it helped a lot. We really ran around great as a team, and it really was a great game for our team and our program."
(on playing every linebacker position while at Alabama) "In the first quarter of [the Cotton Bowl], I had to switch over to play middle linebacker because our middle linebacker got hurt. I was primarily the strong side linebacker, though I played weak side my sophomore year."
(on what head coach Gary Kubiak said when he called) "He congratulated me on being Houston's pick, and I told him I was ready to get in there and work for a starting job."
(on what excites him about joining the Texans) "The Texans are an up-and-coming team; a new team with a lot of upside."
(on what he knows about the city of Houston) "I don't know anything about Houston, but I'll figure out a lot here in a little