What have you seen from CB John Reid on the field and in the meeting rooms as you prepare for the first game?
"You can just tell with John that he's mission-minded. He's come in here with the mindset that he's trying to earn a spot. He's gone out there and put the work in every day. That's a credit to really his upbringing, his parents. He's mature beyond his years and we're very fortunate to have him."
What are you doing as a team to prepare for Hurricane Laura and what do you tell the players with an uncertain next few days?
"I think what's most important is obviously the health and welfare and safety of all our families. That's what Coach (Bill O'Brien) and everybody in the Texans organization is making sure that we can get home and take care of home, because that's what's most important. Secondarily, we'd like to be able to conduct our scrimmage tomorrow. Hopefully this doesn't end up as bad as some areas will be hit. Obviously, we've been through a bunch here, but hopefully we're able to still conduct that scrimmage tomorrow because it is important to our team. We're just keeping our fingers crossed like everybody else and just hoping that Mother Nature takes it easy on us."
Can you go into details about what you are expecting from CB Lonnie Johnson Jr. in his second season? Also, what does it mean to have a player with his versatility?
"It's awesome. It's awesome, particularly in our defense. We ask those guys in the secondary – really, on all levels of our defense to do multiple jobs. Lonnie's athleticism, intellect, it allows him to do all of those things. We're expecting a jump from him from year one to year two. You can obviously see that he's put in the work in the offseason in his body and then getting in the playbook. You've seen that to this point at practice. We're absolutely looking forward to Lonnie having a good year, making a jump and playing multiple spots for our defense."
Is there a cornerback who has stood out to you during training camp?
"Oh man, there's a bunch. I'm thrilled with collectively how our defensive backs have come together as a unit. A lot of that is led by Justin Reid and Eric Murray in the back end because they're the primary communicators at safeties. But Bradley Roby – Vernon Hargreaves (III) has had a good camp. We already talked about John Reid. There's just so many guys that I know that I'm leaving guys out. But I'm just thrilled with the work that Coach (D'Anton) Lynn is putting in with that group, Coach (Deon) Broomfield and just the way that they're gelling and coming together as one. It's been awesome to watch."
What have you seen from S A.J. Moore Jr. during training camp and what are the challenges he faces if he were to take on a larger role?
"A.J. Moore will absolutely have a role. He is a major contributor for us on special teams, but on defense there is absolutely a place for him. He's made plays throughout this entire camp and he made plays last year in camp as well. Sometimes it's just difficult finding ways to get him on the field, but we will absolutely find a way to do that because he brings juice to the defense. He's an energy giver and when he's out there, you can't help but feed off that and he makes the defense better. He's going to contribute to us in multiple ways. He's a lot like Lonnie (Johnson Jr.). He can play safety. You can play him at money. You can play him at multiple spots and we're going to utilize his skill set to do that."
What have you made of DE Charles Omenihu's growth from last season to this season?
"He's just becoming a more confident player, and that comes with age and maturity. Every year in this league you learn a little bit more about yourself and about the guys you're playing against. He's kind of come into his own a little bit. We look forward to that paying dividends once the season starts. He is certainly not a guy who lacks for confidence, and that's what you want when you have players out there with his skill set.
Would you say that CB Gareon Conley and CB Lonnie Johnson Jr. are in competition heading into the season?
"Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. We have competition on all levels of our defense, and I think that's a sign that you have a pretty good football team. Are those two in direct competition? I don't know. Everybody is in competition in the secondary because we have good players back there. But on our defense, you've got to show up day in and day out to try to earn the right to be on that starting unit. But what I tell the guys is I'm not concerned so much about starters, I'm more concerned about finishers. Who's going to finish every play and finish games for us."
Who are three defensive players that have stood out to you since they reported to training camp?
"Well, you know I'm a front guy, so I'm going to try not to be biased in my answer there. The first guy that stands out to me has been Jacob Martin. Jacob Martin, he's a guy that we ask to do multiple jobs. He rushes off the edge. He drops into coverage. He's a guy that can absolutely be a playmaker for us on defense. Number two, I'm going to go with Zach Cunningham. Zach Cunningham is a guy who day in and day out just gets the job done and makes plays that always leave you shaking your head a little bit. You're like, 'how did he make that play?' Then the last guy, I'm going to the back end now, and I'm going to talk about Justin Reid. You just talk about consistency, professionalism, leadership – he checks all of those boxes and he has the desire to be a great one. So, those are the first three names that come to mind."