What has been your process to keep your body healthy and prepared for this season given the circumstances of the offseason?
"Most of my offseason, the first phase of it was rehabilitation post-surgery, making sure I'm coming into the building, doing what I need to do to make sure my shoulder is healing the correct way. After a point that it hit a point of stability, then it was just rebuilding it back up, putting muscle back on, doing strengthening exercises, Now it's back to a point that it's strong and stable and I'm comfortable and confident in it. At this point it's just maintenance. Just making sure every once in a while, one or two weeks, I just get it checked out again, get it stretched, do pre-hab. I go see the trainers – they do a phenomenal job here – and just make sure that I continue to stay on top of it so I can be healthy throughout this season."
From your standpoint, how much better is QB Deshaun Watson responding the variety of looks you guys are giving him in practice?
"It's a tangible feeling you have there just playing against him. We give him a lot of exotic looks and he's able to just command the offense. I mean, half the time he's able to call out what we're doing. It's very noticeable, especially on the defensive side of the ball, playing against him. You've seen that he's taken those steps and taken command and leadership of the huddle with his play calling, with making adjustments and just having that calm, cool, presence, almost like a dagger-like mentality, to attack the looks that we're giving him. We're giving him a bunch of stuff. We have a bunch of veterans on both sides of the ball, and he's done a tremendous job."
What benefit will it bring to have continuity in the secondary?
"Huge, because now it's not a whole bunch of new faces. We have a couple of new faces in Eric Murray, Mike T (Thomas), Jaylen Watkins. But for the most part it's a lot of the same guys. We already know that camaraderie, that chemistry with each other, the matchups that we're going to be looking for. The communication is probably the biggest thing in the sense that we already know those trigger terms that we use with each other communicating in the backfield whenever we work together. Just that veteran presence that you feel in the defense and the secondary. We have a lot of guys that have played a lot of ball and bring a lot of different experiences and we're able to feed off each other with that and really grow. The backfield has been really strong. The communication has been good and it's just exciting just to bring all the experience into one room."
Do you set personal goals for yourself every year and what are some of those goals?
"I try not to have my goals stick to, per se 'I want three picks.,' You never know how many opportunities you're going to get. The goal that I set for myself is, 'I don't want to drop any picks.' Every opportunity that I get the chance to put my hands on the ball, I want to catch every single one of them. Obviously, I have individual goals, being All-Pro, Pro Bowl and all of that, but more than that it's just a team goal. Winning in general. We want to do more than what we did last year. We want to start winning championships in Houston. When you win on the team side of things and you accomplish team goals, then the individual accolades will just come along with that. The big focus for me is doing what I can to help my teammates, better them and also learn from them to better myself."
What have you thought about how the Texans have handled the COVID-19 procedures and how comfortable are you in the building?
"I feel extremely comfortable. We get COVID tested daily. We have all the latest technology and equipment. You don't even have to touch the doors to open them. Social distancing. Getting your hands sanitized every other hour. I think they've done a phenomenal job really transforming the entire building from before we came in here to now when we're in the building every day, just keeping a good job keeping everybody safe and healthy. That's also credit to the players doing their part and not doing anything dumb in order to bring the virus into the building has been going really well here."
What are some things you did during quarantine?
"Aside from the social justice initiatives I started participating in, I've always been a big proponent and supporter of kids in general. Whether it be technology, donating laptops, going out and speaking, trying to be a mentor to the next generation. Also, learning a little bit myself. I took a few more classes at Stanford to chip away at my degree. They made the entire year online, so it made it very easy to take classes abroad, just from my laptop. Aside from that I got to spend the offseason in Arizona working with a DB coach out there and also a couple other DB's from around the league. Me and (Bradley) Roby were out there together. That helped build our chemistry together and really just dial in on the techniques, once I was healthy from my surgery, to go out there and really start perfecting my craft to come into the season this year feeling great. The work that I've put in all of the offseason has shown up. I feel really comfortable and confident. I'm also excited to continue to do the off-field stuff that I've been doing with social justice and also with the philanthropy working with kids and hopefully soon getting my own foundation launched off the ground."
What do you like most about how you're going to be used in this new scheme?
"It's just a lot of opportunity for versatility and just a lot of opportunity in general. We have a bunch of veteran players that all know ball. We're able to just move around, talk a lot. We're able to just do a whole bunch of different things just with the veteran presence, being able to communicate with each other. I'm just excited with the plays that we're installing. A lot of it is the same stuff that we've been doing, but just to have that experience on the field and be able to trust that my teammate's going to be there doing his job, I'm going to be able to do my job and to play full speed and have an aggressive mentality and be violent while doing it. That's the biggest exciting part for me. This is definitely the most experience that I've ever been around on a defense as whole, and you can feel that on the field."
How have you seen CB Bradley Roby step up and be a bigger leader for the defense?
"We have a bunch of veterans in the room. Roby has definitely stepped up and taken on some leadership roles. I, myself too. But that's the great thing about it is we have such a professional football team now with guys that know how to be pros that at any point in time, anyone can step up and be the leader in that space. So, Roby has done a good job of it. I'd even say Eric Murray has done a great job of it, too. Jaylen (Watkins) – all of the veteran players we have on our team have done a great job just being professionals day in and day out. We have a standard of accountability that we hold each other to. So anyone in the room, if there's a violation of the accountability, can step up and call another player out on it and we respect that. There's a high level of respect across the room about it and we maintain that standard."
What are your thoughts on S A.J. Moore Jr. in training camp so far?
"A.J. Moore has been shining. I like what I've seen from A.J. He's been making plays. He had an opportunity to make a couple more plays today in practice. He's been doing an excellent job. Getting the guys all excited about the interception he had two practices ago. I've got nothing but good things to say about A.J. He's a hard worker. He comes to work every day. You can already expect the energy he's going to bring. He brings it every single time. He's a great player."