Schaub, Johnson see more contested balls

August, 13, 2011
8/13/11
2:27
PM ET
HOUSTON -- Not all the beneficiaries of the Texans' revamped defense are defenders.

Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson both raved to me this morning about how much the defense is helping the offense.

“There are more guys around the football,” Schaub said. “Andre and I talk about this just about every day. There are not receivers running wide open throughout the secondary. Every ball is a contested ball. There is always a defender in the area. That’s a positive sign when you get that in practice.”

Johnson’s impressed with the buy-in defensive players have made into Wade Phillips’ defense.

“Practice is as competitive as it’s probably been in a long time, you see a lot more balls broken up,” he said. “I’m just very anxious to see it (against other teams).”

While the two big outside additions -- cornerback Johnathan Joseph and safety Danieal Manning -- certainly have a big bearing on that, they haven’t outright seized leadership in the secondary.

“I told Glover Quin, ‘This is your secondary, man, look I’m a new guy,’” Manning said. “'You run it how you want to, I’m going to follow and if I see something out of whack or whatever I’m going to support you (with information and help).

'You’ve been here the longest. Run it, run it how you see fit.’ He’s like the quarterback back there, he’s calling everything. He’s going to be a great player.”

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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