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Connor Barwin on Whitney Mercilus, Brooks Reed, 2012 and more

Posted by Nick Scurfield on May 16, 2012 – 2:18 pm

Connor Barwin was the featured guest on “Texans All Access” on Tuesday afternoon on SportsRadio 610 AM. The fourth-year outside linebacker had plenty of interesting things to say in his hour-long studio visit – ranging from his thoughts on Co-Marshaling the Houston Art Car Parade on Saturday to looking like Kramer from ‘Seinfeld’ to these nuggets:

On what’s ahead for him after 11.5 sacks in 2011: “I’m very excited. When Reggie (Herring) and Wade (Phillips) came in, they kind of taught me a new way to pass rush a little bit. So now I have a year under my belt. I’ve completely kind of forgotten about the ankle injury and moved past that. I think another thing’s that going to help this season was drafting (Whitney) Mercilus, because I think that’ll give me and Brooks (Reed) a better rotation. Rushing the passer, you can say 70 percent or a lot of times is just hustle, and when you’re out there fresh, which there were times last season when we necessarily weren’t, should definitely give us an advantage into this season.”

On first-round pick Whitney Mercilus’ role: “Fortunately for him, he’ll play the Will, I think, behind me and then we’ll rotate. And then I think early on, we’ll see how much he can mentally grasp… Early on, he’ll just be rushing primarily, which will be nice. It’s just going to be catching on to learning the defense and just getting in there and rotating with all of us.”

On second-year outside linebacker Brooks Reed: “He’s the strongest guy on our team, probably, right now. He’s having a great offseason. Like me, he came in here and we were just learning the way that Wade and Reggie are teaching us how to pass rush. With another year under his belt, the sky’s the limit for him.”

On Texans left tackle Duane Brown: “I think he’s one of the best offensive tackles in the league and also one of the most underrated tackles in the league. He blocks me a lot in practice. He definitely gets me ready for the games… He mixes aggressiveness with athleticism. There’s a lot of left tackles out there, a lot of the good ones that people say are good like Joe Staley and Jake Long, they’re real athletic and they drop and they play with you and that kind of thing, but they don’t ever really attack you too hard… Duane kind of mixes both of ‘em, so you’ve always got to be ready for him.”

On if the Texans’ defense talks about wanting to rank No. 1 in the league: “No, we don’t talk about ranking, but they do say if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse. So, that only leaves one spot for us to be next year.”

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