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May 01, 2015

Houston Texans Transcripts (5/1) - Kevin Johnson Press Conference

Houston Texans Transcripts
CB Kevin Johnson
Head Coach Bill O’Brien
General Manager and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Rick Smith
Friday, May 1, 2015
(Transcribed by Omar Majzoub)
CB Kevin Johnson
(on this being his first trip to Houston) “It was a great experience, just coming in. I was excited to come in and check out the facilities and meet everybody again. It was a great experience coming in here for the first time.”
(on never missing a game due to injury) “Yes sir. It’s very important. I’m a competitive person. I’m going to try and go out there and play.”
(on the most exciting part about being a Houston Texan) “Just being a part of a great organization. It’s been a lifelong dream to play in the NFL, but now I’m just trying to come in here and go to work and earn the respect from the players on the team as well as the coaches.”
(on what he needs to work on) ”I need to work on everything. Coming into the NFL, there’s going to be bigger, better, faster players, so I want to work on everything. Every part of my game I want to improve on.”
(on WR DeAndre Hopkins calling him the best cornerback he played against in college) “I played against him a couple years. It was pretty cool to see that. It’s going to be real good to come in here and compete with a guy like that every day in practice. It’s only going to make me better.”
(on hitting a growth spurt after being five feet tall freshman year of high school) “Yeah, I was legitimately five feet tall. The growth spurt just kind of came out of nowhere. My mom always told me I was going to grow and I would ask her why I wasn’t as tall as my other friends or as big. The growth spurt kind of just happened. It’s a good deal now. “
(on if the imagined playing in the NFL when he was that short) “Yeah, I always thought I was going to play in the NFL and I kind of went about things in that way. I think that was a pretty good thing.”
Rick Smith
(welcoming the Johnson family) “If I could real quick, I do want to welcome- obviously, we’re here to introduce you to Kevin (Johnson), but I also want to welcome his family who’s accompanied him on the track here. Starting with father, Kevin Sr.; his mother, Judy; sister, Hilary; grandmother, Miss Dorothy, and Aunt June. I think you will find that Houston is a good city and a good place. We look forward to having you here with us. We’re excited about his addition and just wanted to make sure we welcome you as well.”
CB Kevin Johnson
(on the Texans secondary led by cornerbacks Kareem Jackson and Johnathan Joseph) “I know a pretty good deal about them. I used to watch NFL tape in college and Johnathan Joseph was a corner that I would check out. It’s going to be great to come in here and learn from those guys. I’m going to soak it all up like a sponge, so I’m excited.”
(on playing with DE J.J. Watt) “I don’t know who that is. I’m just playing. It’s going to be great, playing with a guy like that and just learning from a guy like that every day. Being able to see his practice habits and how he prepares on and off the field. It’s going to be invaluable.”
(on what he was doing when he got the call from the Texans) “I talked to Mr. (Rick) Smith. I was sitting at the table and I just got the call. I picked up the phone and it was the Texans. I was overwhelmed with joy. I was kind of at a loss for words and just really excited.”
(on if he was surprised when the Texans drafted him) “I was kind of surprised. We met at the combine. I felt like there was some real good vibes there, but after that we hadn’t talked much. It was kind of surprising in that sense that they called me, but as far as when it happened, I definitely felt that connection when we met.”
(on Head Coach Bill O’Brien) “He’s a good coach. I’m very excited.”
(on his growth at Wake Forest and career there) “Yeah, definitely. Coming into Wake Forest, I was really small my freshman year. I came in and was like 150-pounds, so just growing throughout being in college and being able to play against guys like DeAndre Hopkins and other great players in the ACC. I think that kind of molded me into the player I am now.”
(on why he decided to attend Wake Forest) “It’s a great school academically. They have a good sports tradition and I felt at home there.”
(on his ties to Baltimore and thoughts on the situation there) “Yeah, we definitely have great ties to Baltimore. Our family is from Baltimore. Obviously, my sister is a cheerleader on the Ravens. People seeing Baltimore in that light, I just kind of want people to see Baltimore for what it is and don’t think of Baltimore a certain way just from what’s going on right now.”
(on giving back to the community) “It’s very important to me. Having an opportunity to give back, that’s something that I didn’t do a lot of in college, but I’m looking forward to it now.”
(on being confident and wanting the ball thrown his way) “Yeah, I just think I’m a competitive person. I want to be a guy who can go out there, impact the game, and help my team win.”
(on if being thrown in his freshman year contributed to his season of academic ineligibility) “I think I just made a mistake. I learned from it and owned up to it, and I think looking back on it now, it’s helped mold me into the man I’m trying to be today. I’m grateful for what I went through, and I’m just trying to better myself every day.”
(on if anyone helped him get through that time and refocus) “Yeah, at Wake Forrest we had a great support staff, people helping me get back to going to class and doing the right things.”
Bill O’Brien
(on what he likes about Kevin Johnson’s game) “Well I think probably the thing that I saw the most on tape was his versatility. That’s the thing that I think Rick (Smith) and I talk about quite a bit is that every position, it’s really important, on offense and defense, to have versatility. So here’s a guy that is going to come in here and compete as an outside corner. We think that he can do some things on the inside of the coverage, special teams, as you can tell right here he’s a humble young man that’s a hard working guy, he’s a competitive guy, he doesn’t feel entitled, he feels like he’s got to go out there and earn everything he’s going to get. That’s why he’s here. So versatility, the type of person that he is, everybody that we’ve talked to, our scouting staff did a great job on Kevin (Johnson) and like we said last night, we’re excited to have him on board.”
Rick Smith
(on why family is such an important thing to this organization) “Well they’re important, obviously because he’s a representative first of himself, and then his family second and then the organization third. So anytime you can have like-minded people in a group, then it makes the group stronger. We’ve got a sign hanging in this building that says we’re looking for tough, smart, physical players that are competitive and passionate about the game of football. I think those attributes reflect what this guy is all about, so we’re excited about having him.”
CB Kevin Johnson
(on his high school battles and friendship with Ravens WR Michael Campanaro) “Yeah no question, he’s my best friend and even going back before high school, we played on the same little league team. We’ve been competing against each other pretty much our whole lives and I think that’s definitely helped mold me into- competing against a great player my whole life has helped me.”
(on if he specifically remembers any one-on-one situations with WR DeAndre Hopkins) “I mean, I definitely remember going against him a few times. He’s a great player. It’s great playing against a guy like that because he’s going to bring out the best in you.”
(on being extremely competitive on special teams even as a fifth year senior at Wake Forrest and if he sees himself in that role with the Texans) “Yeah, no question, special teams is a big part of the game. There is three phases, offense, defense and special teams. I just want to go out there and impact the team in any way I can.”
Bill O’Brien
(on the maturity level and what a player who has been in college for five years brings to the NFL) “I think there’s something to say for that, I think every guy is a little bit different. Each individual has a different time frame as far as their level of maturity and things like that, whether it’s on the field or off the field. I think it’s obvious here right now that we have a very mature young man here in Kevin (Johnson). I do think that level of maturity definitely helps you when you make the jump from college to the pros, because it’s a big jump, the speed of the game, the physicality of the game, those things are big jumps from college to the pros. I think there’s definitely a level of maturity that helps you. If you’re a mature young man and you’re able to handle kind of the ups and downs early on in your career, you’re going to have a heck of a career and we have a guy here that’s going to be able to do that.”
CB Kevin Johnson
(on his size and why he thinks people seem worried about his size) “I don’t know, I was I guess a smaller cornerback as far as weight is concerned, but I’m just trying to get better at everything I do. If weight is something I need to improve on, I’m going to work to improve on it.”
Bill O’Brien
(on Kevin Johnson’s size) “And what people are worried about size? I don’t know. I always wonder about that. You watch the tape, you watch the guy play football on tape, and I think he’s a very competitive football player and, like I said last night, we’re really happy as a coaching staff to have this guy in our secondary.”
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