Each Thursday throughout the 2007 season, we will conduct interviews with players and stream them live on Texans TV. This week, we featured rookie cornerback Fred Bennett, who recorded his first career interception in Week 9 and will start Sunday against the Saints.
The best part about this series of live interviews is that fans can submit their own questions for the player by [clicking here](mailto:email@example.com?subject=Questions for Owen Daniels). Please include your name and where you're from.
Click on the window to the right to view the archived version of the Fred Bennett interview. Below is a transcript of the interview.
1) Doug Lacy (Clear Lake, TX): What has been the most difficult thing you have had to deal with since moving from the college game to the pro game?
Fred Bennett: I would have to say the mental aspect of the game. You've got to be mentally tough to be in this league. You're really got to be mentally tough.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): How much has Dunta Robinson helped with that, being you both are former Gamecocks?
Fred Bennett: He's helped me tremendously. He took me under his wing. He showed me the ropes of the NFL. He's been teaching me and I've been learning a lot from him.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): Was the hardest thing looking through that big playbook?
Fred Bennett: Yeah, the playbooks are big around here. You've got to be sharp in everything you do. You've got to know what you've got to do when you get out on the field – you've got to know.
2) Doug Lacy (Clear Lake, TX): What was it like playing for Steve Spurrier at South Carolina?
Fred Bennett: We really never talked. He dealt with the offense more and he would sometimes deal with defense, but he basically left everything up to our defensive coordinators. Me and him were basically more of a, "Hey, how are you doing." But he is a great coach. I have a lot of respect for him and the things that he is doing in South Carolina these days. I have a lot of respect for him.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): Do you think he'll go back to the pros or stay in college?
Fred Bennett: I think he'll stay in college. I think that's him. I think that's what he's best at.
3) Doug Lacy (Clear Lake, TX): How hard is it defending against Andre Johnson in practice?
Fred Bennett: Very hard. Me being a rookie and my coaches throwing me out in the fire, saying go cover number 80 – I'm just lining up against this guy and he's so big and so strong and very fast. He's kind of a unique player to have that size and speed combination. And the hands – he can catch and route run. But I feel like going against him day in and day makes me better.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): What does it mean for the team to have Andre back this Sunday?
Fred Bennett: It means a lot. He brings that fire to our offense. He brings that spark to our team. He's one of the leaders, one of the captains of the team, so he brings that spark.
4) Brandon (Houston, TX): Do you think it will be hard to adjust to playing opposite of Von Hutchins?
Fred Bennett: Not at all. I think Von will step in and do a great job at corner for us. He's got a lot of experience. I think he's a third or fourth-year player. He's played at the free safety spot for us. We're just moving him to the corner position that he originally played in the past. So I think he'll do fine.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): Von originally played corner. He moved to safety when Glenn and Jason went down, and you're obviously going to be starting opposite of him. And Petey (Faggins) will be used in nickel situations. Then you have Will Demps staring at safety, so there's a lot of shifting, but it's all positions that you are familiar with.
Fred Bennett: A lot of new faces in the secondary – still a young secondary. But we still have the chemistry - these guys, going in and out of practice week in and week out. We had a little rotation going, so I think everybody's comfortable with each other out there.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): Have you talked to Dunta at all?
Fred Bennett: I talked to him for the first time last night. He just told me to keep my head up and just focus on me getting better right now in any way I can help this team. He was just straight forward. He said, "Things are changing around. We've got new faces, people changing positions, people at new positions, but I need to do what I can to help this team win." That was his advice.
5) Jason (Sugarland, TX): What are you doing to get ready for Reggie Bush?
Fred Bennett: I'm pretty sure our coaches will have a great game plan. Going through practice, going through this week, our coaches put together a great game plan. It's up to the players to go out there and perform.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): After practice yesterday, your coach said the Reggie Bush is scary every time he touches the ball. He leads his team in receptions and rushing yardage. How scary is he for a cornerback?
Fred Bennett: He's real scary. They line him up as a receiver sometimes. He's all over the place. He's a very big part of their offense. He's a very big part of their team. He's the guy that brings that spark to their team. He loves the game. He goes out and plays hard every play. I watched him on film and he's a very unique player. We've just got to come prepared to play. We can't back down. It's the NFL. We can't back down. We can't say, "Oh, this is Reggie Bush, so we can let him get his. Let's worry about everybody else." No, we've got to come ready to play.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): This is just your rookie year, but have you been hearing a lot about the Reggie versus Mario story?
Fred Bennett: Nah, I haven't heard too much about that. I know it's something big around this league, but I really don't get into all that. We're just going out there to play a game.
7) Beverly Bentley (Houston, TX): What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Because you are more than welcome at the Bentley house.
Fred Bennett: I have not idea. As of right now, I'm by myself. So I have no idea, but I will take that invite. I'm still looking.
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