Found May 25, 2012 on Fox Sports Houston:
HOUSTON There was no time for rookie coddling, hand holding or intensive individual instruction. Post-lockout haste negated all of that. Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and linebacker Brooks Reed were forced to swim after being tossed in the deep end of the pool as rookies out of sheer necessity last season, and each showcased an inspiring amount of adaptability by contributing to a unit that ranked second in the league. Cornerbacks Roc Carmichael and Brandon Harris weren't afforded the same sink-or-swim luxury; the Texans' depth at cornerback prevented the team from requiring rookies to man the secondary last season. What Carmichael and Harris did not experience qualifies as both a blessing and a curse. Both have been around long enough to grasp the system, yet haven't had the opportunity to apply that knowledge on the field. "I think they're rookies still," Texans defensive backs coach Vance Joseph said. "Until you play in this league it's hard to say if you're ready to play. So until they play in an actual game they're going to be rookies. And they're still learning." The loss of veteran free agent Jason Allen, who paced Texans cornerbacks in tackles (45) and interceptions (four) last season, has created an interesting void in their secondary. Johnathan Joseph remains a fixture following his fabulous debut season with the franchise while besieged third-year corner Kareem Jackson appears set to graduate from the platoon status he shared with Allen last season. Carmichael and Harris are among the myriad options available to provide depth behind the presumed starters. What makes that duo intriguing is the gray area they occupy as second-year players with potential who lack the experience to inspire or generate fan excitement. While Carmichael, a fourth-round selection out of Virginia Tech, missed most of his rookie season after being placed on injured reserve last September (shoulder), Harris, a second-round pick from Miami, garnered spot duty and accumulated three tackles in seven games. While outsiders bemoan the Texans' supposed lack of cornerback depth, Carmichael and Harris have zeroed in on the opportunity at hand. "It's definitely going to be a very critical time in our careers," Harris said. "This is the first time we really have for our coaches to take it slow, to make sure we're gaining the concepts. Last year coming in off the lockout, for us it was our first time getting right to it. From a coaching standpoint we understand they had to prepare for a season. They didn't have the time to really slow it down as much as they want to like they get to do now. "That's why (organized team activities) are good for them and for us so we get to learn the concepts and get more reps in the offseason that we didn't have last offseason." Should Carmichael and Harris advance accordingly in their first full offseason with the Texans, their additions will be akin to small-scale free-agent acquisitions. While it's true that neither has logged the number of game reps worthy of being distinguished as a veteran, it's not like Carmichael and Harris will enter their second training camp blind. They understand what defensive coordinator Wade Phillips wants. They know the responsibilities inherent to their position, and have established bonds with the more experienced members of the secondary. Should they see the field this season, Carmichael and Harris will represent second-year players with rookie-level enthusiasm. They'll serve as an asset so long as they absorb the available teaching these next two weeks. "Last year after the lockout it was time to play football," Vance Joseph said. "We installed very fast. We had the defense installed in four days. "Having an offseason now and OTAs, it's been wonderful for the young kids and the veterans. They hear the concepts again and hear why we do certain things. For most players, if they understand why we do it they have a better understanding and importance of doing their job the right way. If you don't know why the system requires you doing it a certain way, you don't have the same urgency to do it right." There has been no confusion over what this moment demands from Carmichael and Harris. They have been immersed in their playbooks and reliant upon the veterans that surround them. As products of Atlantic Coast Conference programs, they use their rivalry to spark their competition. When so much whirled about so quickly during training camp last year, Carmichael and Harris did the best they could to hold on. Things are moving much slower now. Everyone stands to benefit from these moments where time isn't as essential as reinforcing knowledge. "That's what you need on the defensive side of the ball," Carmichael said. "But I think it helped us grow, too, because we had to come in and get into it very quick. We had to jump right into it. It helped us out coming into these OTAs. We know what we're doing a little bit from being able to get a glimpse of it last year. It was tough, but it helped." Follow me on Twitter at moisekapenda
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Off The Field: The Justin J. Watt Foundation

“Dream Big, Work Hard” Texans’ fans, you should be very proud. Everyone knows the impact JJ Watt had in his first season as a Texan on the field, but no matter what he achieves on the field, it won’t compare to what he is doing off the field.   In just his second year as the Texans’ starting defensive end, Watt has fully embraced Houston.  Even as much as recently tweeting...

Conspiracy Theory: The Quarterbacks

Is there something the Houston Texans front office and coaching staff isn’t telling us? I am of the belief that something is being covered up by the Texans in regards to the Quarterback position. We have seen the Texans bring in plenty of backup Quarterbacks in recent years and have them compete for a spot on the team, but we can’t recall the Texans bringing in a legitimate player...

No Puppies: Texans OTAs

Some more notes from the first week of Texans 2012 OTAs.   - Second year cornerback Roc Carmichael feels fortunate to have sat out his first season and learn the defensive scheme, and he felt that his playing time would have been little with him behind in the learning process with the lockout last season. He also felt fortunate to use the 2011 season as a “redshirt” season...

McNair thinks city should lead in Super Bowl bid

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair says the city should take the lead in trying to land the Super Bowl. On Wednesday, Harris County Sports Convention Corp. chairman Edgar Colon said the county and Reliant Park plan to bid on the 2017 Super Bowl. Reliant Stadium hosted the 2004 Super Bowl, two years after the Texans joined the league. McNair acknowledges that Houston is not considered...

Houston planning to bid on Super Bowl 51

Getty Images Houston is reportedly planning a bid to host the 51st Super Bowl in 2017. Not able to bid on the 50th Super Bowl to be played in 2016 (that one is currently up for bid and a will be assigned a host city in May 2013) because Reliant Stadium is already hosting the 2016 NCAA Final Four, Harris County and Reliant Park officials plan to attack the next bidding war ‘forcefully...

Walter committed to all facets of his game

By now Kevin Walter is used to the talk every offseason: How the Texans absolutely have to upgrade at the wide receiver spot opposite Andre Johnson and how they need to add another deep threat to the offense. "They've been saying that since I've been here," said Walter. "This is my tenth season, my seventh year (with the Texans) and they've been saying...

Bradie James could be the starter for Texans at middle linebacker

When the Texans traded DeMeco Ryans this offseason, they did it presumably to get Daryl Sharpton some more playing time. Sharpton, a 2010 4th round pick, was solid in limited action last season. The Texans also signed Bradie James this offseason. James, an aging veteran at 31, has 4 years of experience in Wade Phillips defense from Dallas. According to linebackers coach Reggie Herring...

NHL Network’s Carrie Milbank: former Houston Texans cheerleader (photos)

NHL Network personality Carrie Milbank is yet another example of a cheerleader turned media personality. She captained the Houston Texans squad for four years. From NHL.com The Hockey Show profile: She was discovered by NFL Films in 2003 when she auditioned as a Guest Host on NFL Under The Helmet (FOX), revealing her Number One passion as an on–camera entertainer. She quickly...

Texas size Super Bowl bid

By CHRIS DUNCAN AP Sports Writer HOUSTON (AP) -- Houston Texans owner Bob McNair says civic leaders should orchestrate efforts in trying to land the Super Bowl, and that the team should have little involvement. On Wednesday, Harris County Sports Convention Corp. chairman Edgar Colon said the county and Reliant Park plan to bid on the 2017 Super Bowl. "That's fine,"...

Conspiracy Theory: The Offensive Line

In this series we look at the moves the Houston Texans have made since the free agency period and during the draft and let you know what is “really” going on at Reliant and with the team in 2012.           One of the more interesting positions to keep an eye on heading into training camp is what is occurring at the offensive line position. Considered one of the best offensive...

Forsett to Visit Texans

    According to ProFootballTalk, Justin Forsett, RB, (26, 5’8″, 198 lbs.) formerly of the Seattle Seahawks, will be visiting the Houston Texans on Wednesday, May 30, 2012.  Forsett saw a large decrease in carries with the Seahawks in 2011  with 46 carries for 145 yards and 1 TD  as Marshawn Lynch became the primary back. In recent years, Forsett produced 118 carries...

NFL Predictions - The Superbowl

After breaking down every Team and going through the playoffs, here's how the Superbowl matches up. San Francisco 49ers vs Houston Texans will match up in the Superbowl. This was a popular prediction last season, after the year started. Green Bay was still thought of as the heavy favorite through he season....

Random Athlete Of The Day- JaJuan Dawson

Jajuan is the answer to one of my new favorite trivia questions: Who was the 3rd string wide receiver for the Houston Texans in their inaugural season? Dawson was born in Gibson, LA, a town with a population of just under 2,000. At H.L Bourgeois High School the 6-1 Dawson was a star in Football, Basketball, and track, which escorted him directly to Tulane University, which is a bit...
Texans News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.