Draft Q&A: Chris Houston

Despite the fact that the Bears have two solid cornerbacks in Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher, it may be time to shop for a fresh face. Both Tillman and Vasher are free agents after next season, and affording both of them may not be possible. Such is life in the salary-capped NFL. The Monsters of the Midway formally interviewed Chris Houston at the NFL Combine and liked what they heard.

Ed Thompson: While you were in college, I know you faced some really really good receivers. Who do you think gave you the biggest challenge, and why do you think that?

Chris Houston: Dwayne Bowe, because he had a lot of time to sit down and watch film of me since we played LSU the last game. He's a big, physical wide receiver.

ET: You're a pretty aggressive defender yourself though, right? You were credited with 22 passes broken up during your college career.

CH: Yes, sir. We played a lot of bump-and-run, and when we do that, I want to get my hands on the wide receiver and just try to take him out the game. And I was able to do that to a lot of wide receivers that I faced this year. I was assigned to the top receivers just about every game. It was real challenging, but it was fun, too.

ET: You did some outstanding work as a gunner on special teams and helped your team finish very high in net punting that one season largely due to the work you did. What's your secret to success as a gunner, and is that something you're looking forward to doing again at the NFL level?

Chris Houston battling Louisiana-Monroe's LaGregory Sapp for the ball (AP Photo/David Quinn)
CH:  I love doing gunner. It's all about speed, and that's what my gunner coach taught me. Just beat the man.  If they put one-on-one coverage out there, I knew I was faster then just about all the other guys. Some other people on special teams really don't understand the importance of special teams. I would just run right by the defender and just try to down the ball on the 1 or make a big tackle. When you can down a ball on the 1, that's just like the giving the offense six points. So I love being a gunner, and that's something I would like to do in the NFL.

ET: After an impressive college career paired up with your Combine performance, you had to have been a pretty popular guy in Indianapolis when they started up the formal interview process. Which teams gave you the opportunity to meet with head coaches or general managers during those 15-minute formal interviews?

CH: I got a chance to talk to 16 teams at the Combine. I got to talk to Miami, Dallas, Houston, Carolina, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Denver, the New York Jets and Giants, San Francisco, Chicago, and a couple of others.

ET: When you were meeting with all these teams and had the chance to sit down with these coaches, what was it about you as a person you wanted them to know more then anything else?

CH: That I'm a Christian. I'm lucky to have both parents at home, and I was raised in a Christian home. That's what's got me this far, and that's something I wanted them to know.

ET: When you're not playing football and you're ready to just relax and have some fun, what would we find you doing?

CH: I'm hanging with family. My nephews and nieces, watching my little cousin play football out in the yard. Just sitting around talking to my grandma and how she cooks. Nothing too amazing, but that's what I like to do.

ET: Do you also have any visits lined up yet?

CH: Yes, sir. I'm visiting Washington Redskins, New York Jets, the Giants, and St. Louis Rams.

If you missed the NFL Draft Buzz feature on Chris Houston that provided more details and analysis about his visits and workouts, click here to read it.

A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.

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