Friday, September 27, 2013
Loud secondary faces quiet receiving corps
By Tania Ganguli
HOUSTON -- Several weeks ago, I asked Andre Johnson how he deals with defensive backs who talk a lot on the field.
"I don't talk," Johnson said at the time. "I'm not going to argue with you. I'm not going to go back and forth with you. I gotta play the game. You can talk, but my play gonna speak for itself. You want to talk all game, I'll go out there and have 10, 11 catches, and X amount of yards. You can keep talking, but you look bad.
"I've just always been that way. I've just never been a person that talked to people out on the field. There are times when you may exchange a word here or there. but that doesn't' bother me, somebody talking to me. You can't get up under my skin. That doesn't bother me. You can talk all you want to, I'm more of a person, the more you talk to me, the more damage I'm going to do to you on the field."
He'll have that tested this weekend, playing against perhaps the best secondary in the league, led by a chatty cornerback who backs up his brash talk. Asked about Seattle's secondary specifically, Johnson said he doesn't worry about trash talk. His protege, DeAndre Hopkins, echoed the thought, saying the best way to quiet a talker is to play well.
What the Texans' receivers will have to prepare for is the size they'll face back there. Across the NFL, five defensive backs who have started in a game this season are 6-foot-3 or taller. Three of them play for the Seahawks: Cornerbacks Brandon Browner (6-4) and Richard Sherman (6-3), and and safety Kam Chancellor (6-3), according to ESPN Stats and Info.
"Everything has to be crisp, every route," Hopkins said . They’re long, so you gotta go up and attack the ball."
That's Hopkins' style anyway.
Though a rookie, he showed a calm confidence in facing the Seahawks.
"They’re human," he said. "They make mistakes just like we make mistakes. Just gotta capitalize on every play. I feel we got a good game plan going in, so I feel confident about this week. ... Always up for the challenge. They’re a great group of DBs. I feel like we’ve got a great group of wide receivers and tight ends, and basically the whole offense I feel like is ready to go up against their defense."