Safety Quintin Demps never thought he'd be back at NRG Stadium reporting for work. The Texans signed the free agent on August 19 and he returned to the team where he'd spent more than a third of his NFL career.
"It honestly just feels like home," Demps said in an interview with Texans Radio. "This is where I've spent most of my career."
After three seasons with the Texans (2010-2012) and appearing in all four of the franchise's playoff games, Demps had spent the past two seasons with Kansas City and the New York Giants.
This summer, the veteran safety entered free agency and returned home to Dallas. Demps trained and made the most of what he referred to as "an extended offseason."
"I was hoping to get picked up a little earlier but that's not how the chips fell so I just kept at it," Demps said. "I kept working out, staying in shape. I was just being a dad and a husband."
Then the Texans called. Demps, now entering his eighth season, didn't want to get his hopes up.
"Sometimes they bring you in to just kick your tire, you know, to work you out," Demps said. "But, I was grateful to get a call. I just knew it was about that time again so I was excited of course."
In a scene from HBO's "Hard Knocks," Demps tried out for the team and ran a 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds. He even surprised himself with his time, although the former track athlete maintains his speed with heavy track workouts in the offseason.
It didn't take long for Demps to begin making plays. During his first day of training camp, Demps even caught an interception. He's maintained his playmaking abilities since then, transitioning nicely into Romeo Crennel's defense.
"It's been pretty good, really," Crennel said of Demps' transition. "I think he's got some instincts. I think he said that he kind of likes the system and he may be a good fit in this system. It's kind of playing out like that right now that he kind of understands that, he's learning it and he can make some fits and make some plays because he does have some instincts as well. I expect a lot from him."
Crennel believes the combination of Demps' experience with different schemes, as well as his quickness and anticipation have helped the veteran become an instant contributor. Less than a month after his arrival, he's listed as the starting strong safety and kick returner on the Texans unofficial depth chart for the season opener against the Chiefs.
It also doesn't hurt that Demps has picked up where he left off with his fellow teammates in the backfield.
"I think K-Jack (CB Kareem Jackson) and J-Jo (CB Johnathan Joseph), those guys are kind of familiar with me," Demps said. "You know we've got a little chemistry from years past. Me and (S) Rahim (Moore) are still working on some things, but I think sky's the limit for us."
The Texans host the Kansas City Chiefs in their regular season opener on Sunday. Kickoff is set for noon CT on CBS KHOU-11 and SportsRadio 610.
Take a look back at the six-game series history between the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs.