Ed Thompson: You come out of college as a fourth-round pick out of New Mexico and months later you're a four-game starter for the Houston Texans. That's an awfully quick transition for a rookie.
Glover Quin: Definitely. I've just always tried to pride myself on being where I need to be mentally, and coming from college into the pros is a big adjustment. So you focus on where you need to be, knowing the playbook, knowing your assignments. Everybody at this level has the physical ability to play, I think the mental aspect separates a lot of players, so I just try to focus on knowing what I have to do. And when you know what to do, your ability can speak for itself.
Thompson: How do you keep that sudden success from going to your head?
Quin: I've always been that way. I never really get too high or too low about anything--especially as a DB--because one minute you're making a big play and the next minute you're giving up a big play. So I always kind of stay level with it, playing good and just trying to keep doing what I've been doing to continue to play good. I try not to get too big about it because on any given day you can be right back down on the bottom so there is no point in getting up too high about it.
Thompson: The Texans are 3-1 since Week 4 when you got your first start against the Raiders. You've made 13 tackles during that stretch, including 2 stuffs and defensed three passes. You've got to be feeling like you're making a solid contribution to your club's success since you've gotten this opportunity.
Quin: I just try to come out and do my responsibility. I don't go out and try to make the spectacular play. I just try to make sure I take care of what I am supposed to do, and a lot of times when you do your job, you put yourself in the position to make plays. I just try to make the plays that come my way, and fortunately the last four games I've had a chance to make some big plays and help the team. I've been trying to do my best as a rookie and earn some respect from my teammates, contributing any way that I can.
Thompson: After you were drafted by Houston, how long did it take before you realized you'd be working in a secondary against Andre Johnson?
Quin: (laughing) I actually didn't have a chance not to think about it because during the whole draft process it was presented to me. They would call and ask me how I feel about certain things, would I be scared about having to cover Andre Johnson every day in practice or would I go out and compete thinking Andre Johnson is just like anybody else. The moment I got drafted by them I knew every time I went against Andre Johnson I would have to at least bring my 'A-game' because that's what they've been talking about during the whole draft process. So I've got to at least compete against Andre. Pretty much every time I had to go against Andre it was fun, it was a great challenge, and I enjoy it every day.
Thompson: How much interest did the Texans show before the draft?
Quin: Actually, I didn't really have that much. I had an informal interview with the defensive backs' assistants, Ray Rhodes and Perry Carter, at the Combine. And every now and then Perry Carter would call me and see how I was doing because he is from the same town I am from. He would call just to see how I was doing, to see if I was working out, but not much more than that. They weren't at my pro day, I didn't have a formal interview with them at the Combine, I didn't take a visit to Houston. To me it just seemed like he was calling like everyone else was calling--just to see how things were going, make sure I was in shape and not injured, if I was interested. But I heard that from so many teams that I didn't have a clue that I was coming to Houston. Not one inkling.
Less than nine months after working out at the NFL Combine, Glover Quin has already started in four games.
Scott Boehm/Getty Images
Thompson: Did you have any pre-draft visits? And going into draft weekend did you have a few front-runners that you thought might pick you based on the interest they had shown?
Quin: I went to Atlanta for a visit. I thought I would be ending up either in Atlanta, Cleveland, or Jacksonville. Those were three teams, in my mind, from the interest I heard over the phone and in conversations, that were the front-runners.
Thompson: So instead, now you get to play the Jaguars twice a year. Talk about what's the toughest part about working against a guy like Matt Schaub every day.
Quin: He is a great quarterback and he understands the game and coaches. I remember when I first got here, I was playing nickel. And every time I would get in there during nickel situations, he would throw the ball right at me. The coaches would say I had to know that Matt Schaub is a veteran and he knows I am rookie, so he's going to look me there and throw me there because he knows that I don't know all of this right now. I've learned a lot going against a guy like that.
Quin: They've been great help. We always talk about different situations and techniques and we just talk about the game. I always ask questions about how should I play this or do that because they've have success in this league. I'm new to everything, so I will always ask questions. We help each other, but I don't have much advice because I'm just a rookie. We are a pretty close group and we all just work together and help each other out.
Thompson: Last Sunday was a big day for Owen Daniels against the 49ers. Tell us what you've noticed about him that makes him so dangerous as a tight-end.
Quin: He is a great route-runner, and I don't think enough people give him respect. He is faster than a lot of people think he is. I know when I first got here, the first time I covered him, he made me look bad. He is a hard worker, he is very talented, and obviously it's paying off on Sundays because he is having a great season so far.
Thompson: Your team got out to a big 21-0 lead, the 49ers switch quarterbacks at the half, and came within three points of closing the gap by the time the game ended. What was Alex Smith able to do during those last 30 minutes that upped the challenge a bit for the Texans defense? And what did you guys talk about in terms of adjustments you needed to make as that half progressed?
Quin: I don't think they did anything different in the second half. Obviously, they completely more passes. Maybe their offensive line was blocking bad, I don't really know. I don't think we played with the same intensity as a defense. You see that every week, a team gets off to a big lead in the first half and then in the second half they kind of let their guard down. I really don't think we played with the same attention to detail, because if we do what we have to do as a defense, we should be OK. I don't think we did our job as a defense in the second half. That first drive right after halftime gave them a lot of momentum, and they completed a couple of seam routes with Vernon Davis and just kept attacking. It kept being open, so it got them back in the game.
Thompson: Michael Crabtree made his NFL debut on Sunday. How did your team go about preparing for him since he hadn't played this season? And what were your impressions of him after seeing him in action?
Quin: It was hard to prepare for him because we had no NFL film on him, just college film. You can't really judge a professional player by what he did in college because he is going to change--he's going to get different coaching and develop more. He had something like five catches, so that's a pretty decent day. He's going to be a good receiver in this league, he's a great player. We just had to go into the game and trust our technique and trust our scheme.
Quin: I think we are going to match up well. Terrell Owens is a great receiver, so is Lee Evans. There are going to be some balls thrown around. I think I saw that Trent Edwards is still out, but with their backup quarterback they put up 20 points last week. They like to throw the ball and they have some great running backs, too. We'll have to come in and stop the run first and then we'll have to stop the pass, because if we don't stop the run, they won't have to throw the ball. I think we'll match up good on the edge and it will be a good challenge, but I think we'll rise to the top.
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