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Smith talks about Barber


The Texans drafted Minneapolis safety Dominique Barber in the sixth round of the draft. Defensive coordinator Richard Smith talked to the media about Barber, who is the brother of Cowboys' running back Marion Barber.

Defensive coordinator Richard Smith
(opening statements) "With (Dominique) Barber we feel like we have a player with a great bloodline. His dad played with the (New York) Jets; his brother now plays with Dallas. When you get into these kinds of rounds and you are going through and trying to decide who you are going to pick - a lot of things are good here, but it depends on who has a chance to really compete and try to make your football team at this stage. We think because of his bloodline with his dad and also with his brother that this guy will come in here and give everything he's got because it's in his family genes to make this football team. From that standpoint, we will look at him from when he comes in. He's a very instinctive player, very smart and high effort guy. He's more of a box safety than he is as a free safety in the middle of the field. You may say we already have some of those guys right now, but what this move does is give us a younger guy. And we like his football mentality and instincts on the field. He doesn't put himself in bad situations, so he's an intelligent football player. Right away, he can come in and contribute on special teams. You look back and say that we drafted whenever it was (a year ago) with (Brandon) Harrison that came in, but with Harrison right now is a unproven factor. He's been injured. It's really hard for me to sit there to tell you everything about him because last year he wasn't on our football team because of the injuries. Those are still question marks that need to be answered so we are happy with this pick."

{QUOTE}(on how Barber reacts to the ball) "He's got good ball skills. Watching him workout at the combine in terms of his range and his ball skills, I thought they were good. Sometimes when you read his speed and why he didn't go higher, it's not because his football ability. It's because of the speed part of it. I think he ran a 4.65 or something like that. We like him as a football player and we are happy to get him."

(on how competitive safety will be during training camp) "I think its going to be very competitive. I like all of the people at the position that we've got. That position back there, you have to have a guy that understands football and communicates. Anytime on defense, when someone moves on offense it creates checks, which means you can change from one coverage to a different coverage. You need that experienced and vocal guy. Barber is intelligent and we feel he will be able to handle those things. Will Demps comes back, he's got probably the most experience at the position, but he is an older guy. Whatever it was, a couple years ago, getting C.C. Brown before we got here. We might have gotten him in the same round, and he's able to contribute and ends up starting here. We like Barber because, once again, he's a younger player."

(on how much of a factor it is to have defensive backs assistant coach Ray Rhodes bringing his expertise to this draft) "Well I'll tell you what's been really great about Ray. It's from all aspects, his experience. We sat down just the two us, and at times we've gone back over the last few years and we just discuss certain calls and certain situations. From that standpoint, I love his demeanor and I love his experience. He's been very helpful in that aspect. Also, what he's doing is in the draft is he is evaluating the safeties. We gave him that and (Dominique) Barber is one of his guys that he stood up on the table for today. He thought he had a bright future. It's good and he's got a very good demeanor with the players and that's where I think his expertise lies."

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