For many reasons, Tashaun Gipson is excited to be a Texan.
He grew up in Dallas, so his family is close. Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is in charge of the defense, and Gipson thinks his "schemes are just amazing".
But teaming up at safety with Justin Reid is another reason Gipson's so enthused to be here. Reid's physical traits and what he was able to accomplish as a rookie are one thing. But Gipson said the second-year defender's brain is what will ultimately set him apart.
"He’s a guy who knows everything," Gipson said during a Tuesday press conference at NRG Stadium. "There hasn’t been a question yet, and I’ve asked him a lot of questions, he hasn’t not had the answer to one question. For a guy being that young – I don’t think he’s even 23 yet – so, for him being this young and understanding the game, that’s the biggest part about it."
Gipson's going through his first offseason conditioning period as a Texan. After three seasons in Jacksonville, and four years before that in Cleveland, Gipson's learning a new defense. Catching up on terminology and concepts has been an easier transition, in large part because of Reid's knowledge.
"The mental part kind of blows you away because the guy is smart," Gipson said. "That’s one of the things that they told me. They said, ‘Hey, the one thing you have to realize with him is he might be too smart.’ I don’t think I’ve ever heard that about a football player."
Reid's learned a lot from his older brother Eric, a safety with the Panthers. The two watched film together when the elder Reid was a 49er, and the younger Reid was at Stanford.
Gipson was asked Tuesday about his own strengths, and he pointed to his ability to cover tight ends effectively, in addition to his athleticism. He also said teaming up with Reid will make for a nice combo at the back end of the Texans defense.
"Just being able to pair with a guy like him, obviously the athleticism is there, the talent is there," Gipson said. "I think that he had one of the more underrated seasons last year. You combine that with the mental skillset, I think that him and I will mesh well. Our skillset is similar and I’m excited to pair up with him.”
Gipson, Reid and the Texans will continue with offseason conditioning at the stadium.
Check out some of the best shots of new Texans safety Tashaun Gipson. (Photos via AP Images.)