At safety, Quin giving Texans more

The Houston Texans' defense was a mess last season, and while Glover Quin had a lot of skills befitting a safety, I was among those that questioned the logic of moving the team’s best corner.

But in with everything else the Texans did from 2010 to 2011 to transform their defense, Quin’s shift to safety has worked out beautifully.

He lines up at strong safety in the base defense, but covers a lot of tight ends and running backs in a dime package the team uses a lot too -- when Troy Nolan or Quintin Demps takes his place.

“I feel like a safety but I play so much man-to-man too,” he said. “Call me a hybrid.”

Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. loves the work Quin has done and likes him as a piece of a strong secondary.

“I really like Quin at safety,” Williamson said. “Unlike most teams, the Texans have big cornerback types at safety, which gives them a lot more flexibility with their coverage. Quin can walk down and cover the slot or handle deep patrol in centerfield or in Cover-2. And he doesn’t lack for physicality.”

As a corner last season, he pulled in three interceptions. This year has produced none, though he said his teammates still give him grief for one they think he should have had at Jacksonville.

Texans defensive backs coach Vance Joseph called Quin the poster of consistency.

“We thought he was going to be an average, OK corner, but a pretty good safety,” said Joseph, who’s in his first year with Houston. “Any time you can find a safety with corner qualities, that’s a big-time safety. It’s been natural for him.

“He’s a tough, physical tackler and with his corner ability he can cover some of the flat receivers one-on-one. He gives us the opportunities versus some of the three-wide teams to stay in our base package on first and second down. That allows us to play our man coverage, to play our zone coverage and to keep the box heavy with linebackers.”

Quin chipped in with five tackles when the Texans beat the Bengals 20-19 in Cincinnati on Dec. 11.

In Saturday's rematch, he will surely be a factor in limiting quarterback Andy Dalton's passes to tight end Jermaine Gresham, the team's second leading receiver with 56 catches this season.