Transcripts: Darren Fells Press Conference (8-20-2020)

What did it mean to you to re-sign with the Texans? Also, how do you help to build on what you accomplished last season?

"Obviously, it's one of those things that I know I had to adjust to every single year having to go to a new team, so being able to come back to the same team and have a home, that's a huge thing. Also knowing my role going back in there and knowing what they expect from me, so I was able to work on things that I know I can improve on and get better on and help out the team pretty much."

After playing professional basketball and now having a long NFL career, what are your thoughts on your journey so far?

"Still surreal. One more year and I've actually played football longer than I've played basketball – college and professional combined. So that right there answers your question, that it's still surreal that I can be playing at a high level for so long and like you said, as old as I am, I guess."

What has it been like to be teammates with RB David Johnson again and how have you helped him get familiar with the team in a difficult offense?

"It's been a lot of fun for me. We played in Arizona for four years, so being able to rekindle our little relationship we had in Arizona and now back here in Houston. It's been a lot of fun catching up. Now he has two kids and I have two kids, so we're trying – obviously with the times, we can't really get together as much as we want to, but we're just relating to each other in that aspect and then just helping him out with the offense as much as I can. He's a huge threat both in the pass game and the run game, so he's someone we can really use. He's a very smart guy. It doesn't take him long to pick up the offense, so I just help him out whenever I can though."

What are your thoughts on TE Jordan Thomas and TE Kahale Waring so far in practice?

"I've always thought those two are extremely great athletes, great players. The biggest thing for them is just getting out there. So when they're able to get on the field, I have no doubt in my mind that they can perform extremely well. The biggest thing with Kahale, I guess with J.T. as well, is just getting them into game mode as quickly as possible. So, I'm just trying to help them speed that process up."

How would you describe what you've given to the game of football and what the game of football has given to you?

"That's a good question. Football to me is the ultimate team sport, so I've built a lot of great relationships. Football has definitely brought a family mentality for me. Being able to play in the league for eight years and build great relationships and play football is a dream, especially in the NFL. It's a huge dream that a lot of guys don't get to do and I'm doing that. So it is – that's pretty much it right there."

What things were you doing during quarantine?

"Not a lot. My wife made me stay home because she said I'm the moneymaker, so I'm not allowed to get sick. I was doing a lot more fatherhood stuff. I have a four-year-old and a two-year-old, so we were doing a lot of bike riding, swimming, just spending a lot of time with my kids and enjoying that time that I had."

Having played basketball before football, what has that provided your body when trying to sustain the rigors of the NFL?

"The obvious point is it's not as physical as football. A lot of guys tell me that four years of college was extremely tough on their body, so not having to do that and coming into the NFL after five years of playing overseas is a huge difference when it comes to the physicality and injuries that would occur in college compared to playing basketball. I tell people you just take four years, maybe five years because of basketball off, so I'm not really in my 30s yet."

What has it been like playing with QB Deshaun Watson and how have you seen him grow?

"He is one of the most phenomenal quarterbacks I've ever played for. His ability to learn from mistakes extremely quick is huge. I've never seen him miss two passes twice. He'll miss one at practice one day and then he'll never miss that again. That, in my mind, is one of the main differences that make up an average quarterback and a great quarterback. His ability to communicate, both in the huddle, on the field, off the field, is huge. It just shows that he's maturing extremely fast and he's on another level when it comes to that ability."

What were some of your impressions that the Texans are taking to keep players safe from COVID-19? Also, what is your comfortable level as a husband and father to be out here playing?

"Obviously with COVID out there, my biggest concern was my family. When I heard the procedures that Houston was taking to be extremely safe, it brings me more at ease. I've talked to a couple of guys on other teams and we are by far one of the safest teams I've heard. We do so much more. Coach (Bill O'Brien) is making sure that everybody's following procedures. No one sits next to each other during meetings. They have little dots on the field to make sure that we're at least six feet apart. Just little things here and there that make me a lot more comfortable to be in the building and less stressed. Also, the fact that we test every single day is another thing that makes things a lot more at ease."

What's it like having RB David Johnson on the team and what have you noticed from him so far? Also, how does his arrival affect how you guys are going to be using the offense?

"I mean, I've always loved David Johnson. We were teammates for four years in Arizona, so it was nice to hear that we were going to bring him in here and have a familiar face. We're going to try to incorporate him in the offense as much as possible. In my mind, he's just like another Duke Johnson. He can cause threats running the ball and in the pass game as well. So just having them both of them out there is going to be one of those – an extra threat that we're going to have the offense."

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