Texans general manger Rick Smith and head coach Gary Kubiak addressed the Houston media shortly after the selection of Jacoby Jones. Following are their comments.
Texans general manager Rick Smith
(on where they found WR Jacoby Jones) "I'll tell you what, I think young players on the rise might be the theme for the day. A little bit of a wait from the first pick to the third pick, but we feel great that in our minds our second-round pick is a quarterback (Matt Schaub acquired via trade from Atlanta) that's going to lead this football team, but the third-round pick of Jacoby Jones is a really, really good one for us for a lot of reasons. He's a young player with great size, speed, he's got range around his body and natural hands. He's a kid that is on the rise. The thing that really impressed me about this kid, he's from Lane College, of course, so he hasn't had the opportunity to play in the big stadiums against the great competition, but every time this kid had the opportunity to step up and compete and show that he belongs, he did. He did it in the North/South game. He did it in the East-West Shrine game. He had a great Indy workout at the Combine. Every opportunity this kid had in a competitive environment around players at the so-called big schools, he stepped up and competed. We loved that about him. We love the fact that we think he's a player that's on the rise, and that's important for us as we build our football team with young players. We're excited; we're happy about that. And the kid's excited and the young man is going to come in and be a quality addition to our football team."
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
(on the phone conversation with Jones) "He's very excited. I think he was crying. I was very impressed with this young man when he came in. We had him in for a visit about a week ago, and walking through the tunnel here, he's a very sharp young man, very confident for a kid who's not, like Rick (Smith) said, not been in the limelight, so to speak, of big-time college football. He didn't have any problem letting people know he belongs. He was here for the East-West (Shrine) game and was very impressive. We see a big upside, and it's a tremendous story on this young man. I think he was a 165-pound young man coming out of high school, went to run track, and all of a sudden he's 6-2, 210 (lbs.), and you watch him work out at Indy, you watch him in Indy, and this kid belongs. He's ready to get in here and play with these guys. On top of that, he's got some return abilities. We see a huge upside here and a very hungry young man. He's right here from New Orleans, grew up in New Orleans, and we're excited to have him."
(on if he's expected to make an impact early on returns) "I think it'll be interesting to see how much ground after our month of OTA's (organized team activities), we'll know a lot more about this young man, and every time he's had that opportunity, as Rick (Smith) said, he's shown that, 'Hey, I can do this and I belong playing with these guys.' If he comes in and does the same thing, which I would expect, over the course of this next month, there's no telling. We would expect him to help us next year and help us very quickly."
(on whether the receiver position is a position that a rookie is more likely to play than other positions) "I think it depends on the kid and the situation. I think it's about maturity and being able to come in and handle everything you're doing and you know, I keep using that word 'belong' because there's a lot of kids that come from college and it takes them that adjustment period to have confidence and being around the old pros, so to speak, but this kid sure has shown signs that that's not going to bother him at all."
(on how much better the team got today) "Well, I think we got significantly better. I do. Again, with our first pick I think we were fortunate enough to have an opportunity to add a player like (DT) Amobi (Okoye) to our group and all the various things that he will add to our team. And then this pick here, again, it's a young player that's on the rise, it's a talented athlete, a natural receiver, and a position of need. We needed a wide receiver and we targeted that as one of our positions we wanted to try to upgrade and we feel like we've been able to do that, so it's been a productive day."
"I agree. You never know until you get on that field, but when the day started this morning, to come up with a player in the first round we never thought we'd be able to touch, I felt so good about that. Then it was a long wait for us between that first pick and this one, but our room is very excited because everybody sees a big-time upside in this young man, and we need some help out there at the receiving position, and the fact that it's a player for (special teams coach) Joe (Marciano) to work with as we're trying to get (WR) Jerome (Mathis) back helping this football team, that's even more encouraging."