Safety Will Demps has been one of the Texans' most consistent performers on defense throughout the season.
Each week throughout the 2007 season, we will conduct interviews with players and stream them live on Texans TV. This week, we featured safety Will Demps, who recently was named a second alternate for the 2008 Pro Bowl.
The best part about this series of live interviews is that fans can submit their own questions for the player by [clicking here](mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Question for Will Demps). Please include your name and where you're from.
Click on the window to the right to view the archived version of the Will Demps interview. Below is a transcript of the interview.
1) Jason Duplechin (Houston, TX): Wow! The team had two tough road losses and then two big wins in a four-day span against Tampa Bay and Denver. Do you feel that the team has a slight advantage going into the Colts game with 10 days off?
Will Demps: I wouldn't say it's an advantage. It does give us extra time to rest because we had two tough games in that span. Now we have another 10 days off just to prepare for Indianapolis, and that gives us an edge just knowing we can rest our bodies. And we get more time to watch Peyton Manning run his offense. I think it's a little bit of an advantage, but you definitely still have to go out and compete and make those plays on Sunday.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): The Colts are 12-2, so this is no easy task. What scares you the most about Indianapolis?
Will Demps: They just do so many big things. They have Peyton Manning, who knows how to run an offense, and they have big players on that offense. We just have to play our defense and be sound and disciplined and make the plays that we are supposed to make. If we just do that, we should be ok.
2) Jason Duplechin (Houston, TX):You have adapted so well to the Texans' defense in the short time you have been there. What do you credit this to?
Will Demps: Just studying. The coaches gave me an opportunity to go in there and make plays. I have the advantage of understanding the defense. I credit that understanding to my teammates around me. They helped me out and I bonded with them. They knew I was new to the defense and they helped me out a lot. Coming in, I knew defenses similar to the one Richard (Smith, defensive coordinator) runs, and that was an advantage to me. The guys around me and the good environment really helped me out.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): Yesterday, coach (Gary) Kubiak said that you learned great discipline in Baltimore. What did you learn from the Ravens that you brought to the Texans?
Will Demps: Just to make plays and play fast. You have to be accountable for doing your job. Once you understand that, you can't go out of the umbrella and try to do other people's jobs. You just need to do your job and do it fast and make plays. If you mess up, you have to go 100 percent. I think that's what we did early when I was young as a rookie, and I think ever since then I've gotten better. It's helped me get to where I am today.
3) Linus (Sweden): Hey Will, I'm from Sweden and a big fan of the Texans. I really like how you've been playing this season. Who do you think is the best safety in the league?
Will Demps: There are a lot of great safeties. I'm going to be biased and say Ed Reed, who I played with; he's such a great playmaker. Brian Dawkins is always going to be that guy. Darren Sharper's been around the league – there are a lot of great safeties, just to name a few of those guys.
4) Doug Lacy (Clear Lake, TX): Who hits harder, you or Dunta Robinson?
Will Demps: I think pound-for-pound, he's bigger hitter. It was his defense before I got here, so he's the bigger bitter.
5) Doug Lacy (Clear Lake, TX): Which NFL players did you like to watch when you were growing up?
Will Demps: That's tough because I didn't really watch football growing up. Being from L.A., I watched the Oakland Raider or the L.A. Raiders. I was biased because I was always a San Francisco fan. Ronnie Lott was always a big guy that I used to watch, so I was a big fan of him.
6) Dave McGheee: I'm a big, big fan. We have needed a free safety for awhile and you are playing some of your best defense. Is that the result of the guys on the team or you adjusting to their defense?
Will Demps: I think it was a result of both. I think the environment around you, your teammates, makes it easier to make big plays. You feel more comfortable; you can be instinctive and play around the ball better. Once you have a nucleus of guys who understand how you play and you understand how they play, being a safety you can actually adjust off them and play faster and better. I think that's why we've been so great every week, because guys like Mario are playing fast and I'm playing fast. People say we are just putting guys in different places because they are hurt, that's not the way it is. We are in the league because we are professional, and we just have to feed off each other. It doesn't matter if I'm playing better, it's that everybody is feeding off each other to play better.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): The Texans lost three safeties to injuries earlier this season, but you have really gelled with C.C. Brown. What has been the reason behind that?
Will Demps: I think it's just communication. We have that bond of free-strong and strong-free. I think that once you communicate well, you communicate with your corners better. It's like, "You run that one side and I'll run the other side." You can talk about routes that you see and that he sees. I think we have done so well because I understand what he is all about and I understand his personality. That's what Ed (Reed) and I did. He was in jump routes, and I knew I needed to be in places where I could save him. I knew what his strengths and weaknesses were and he knew what my strengths and weaknesses were. I think we just fed off each other like me and C.C. are doing.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): How important do you think it is to know a player's personality off of the field?
Will Demps: I think it's a big thing. You're never going to be best friends off of the field. But as long you know how that person is when the bullets are flying, it helps you out when things are flying around on the field. C.C.'s a really quiet guy., but he knows football. He's a really smart, young guy. He's going to hit you and do things and make plays. He'll ask me about plays, "How did you see that? What did you do?" He's really never had a veteran safety here before to understand and teach him, and now he understands and is making a lot of plays for us. I'm excited to work with him, as well as other safeties. We're actually playing great together and feeding off each other.
7) David: What does it do to the confidence of the team to win the turnover battle?
Will Demps: The turnover battle is key. Coach Kubiak and all the coaches in the league say if you go to wins and losses and you look at the percentage of teams that have turnovers versus not having turnovers – if you're a team that turns the ball over a lot on offense, as we are here, you're not going to win many games or you put yourself in position to lose games. For us on defense, we always stress a way to make those big turnovers and plays like that, because they are going to change the outcome of the game. For us now, it's about feeding off each other and making turnovers. We can't worry about what the offense does, but if we can get the turnovers on defense, we're going to give the offense more opportunities to score and our chances of winning the game gets higher. I think that's our focus on defense – to run fast and be in position to make plays. Once you understand that, I think every game we'll get better, which is a big step for us right now.
8) Ursula (Los Angeles, CA): What are your plans after the season? Do you have a girlfriend?
Will Demps: My plans for the offseason are just to relax. It's a long year with my transition from New York to here. You take a hard beating the whole year and your mind kind of wanders. I'm going to some R-and-R, take some vacation time and get away from the country. You give yourself a few weeks and then you get ready for the offeason workouts.
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