Playing without cornerback A.J. Bouye, who was recovering from a groin injury, the Houston Texans called upon Darryl Morris, the cornerback they claimed off waivers after the San Francisco 49ers cut him in final cuts.
Morris delivered in Sunday's 23-17 win over the Buffalo Bills. Among his exploits was the game-clinching interception late in the fourth quarter. He earned a game ball from head coach Bill O'Brien.
So who is this guy? I'll let him tell you.
So what’s the fastest you’ve ever run?
Morris: I’ve been clocked at a 4.2 (in the 40-yard dash). At my Pro Day. ... We had a bunch of scouts there. They all did their time and they averaged them out. I had some 4.2s in there and some 4.3 lows.
How helpful is your speed in playing corner?
Morris: I mean, it’s definitely a blessing. My old AAU coach, a good family friend, he always used to say God blessed me with the ability to pick 'em up and put 'em down. So I just tried to use the abilities that God gave me to the best and apply it to the football field.
What's the best football advice you've ever gotten?
Morris: Just not stress over things. Trust God. That’s definitely something I always take with me. In this game you get injured a lot, things like that happen. Guys come in, people lose their jobs. There’s a whole lot of stuff you can worry about, a whole lot of stuff you can stress about. I’m big on my faith. It’s all in God’s hands, so I don’t worry. That came from my dad. ... He’s a big influence on me.
Best non-football advice?
Morris: Probably just trusting God. We’re a real religious family. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs in my career, being an undrafted free agent out of a smaller school like Texas State. Wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school. Really just trusting God and working hard. When you do those two things, you can’t really have any regrets.
What kind of music do you have on your phone?
Morris: I’ve got all kinds of stuff. I’ve got old school, I got hip hop, R&B, I’ve got gospel, I’ve got reggae. I got all kinds of stuff. My mom’s full Jamaican, so I’ve got a little bit of that on that side.
Do you have family in Jamaica?
Morris: Yeah, I do. A lot of her family is still in Jamaica. Some of them are here in Houston. They all have like strong accents and things like that. My mom doesn’t have her accent because she came when she was young.
What are your memories of visiting Jamaica?
Morris: I actually had this one story I will never forget. Me and my sister were playing, really young. They had these big hills. I’m crawling up the hill on my hands and feet and I get to the top and I look at my hands and they’re covered in fire ants from crawling up. I just remember they were all over me and that was something. I just like shook them off. ... My grandparents had a lot of land. They did like coffee and sugar cane. Bunch of chickens. We were just running around, you know, being kids. ...
Another one I remember, my grandparents they had a lady that helps around the house. She was cutting the head off a chicken. She put a bucket over the chicken’s head. I think it’s supposed to be the other way around because she cut the chicken’s head off and it was still alive and the blood got all over me and my sister and it freaked me out.
So you’ve actually seen a chicken running around with its head cut off?
Morris: Yeah, it was crazy. Especially when you’re really young. I’m probably like 7. Really young.
Did you see the crops?
Morris: Yeah, we used to eat the sugar cane. You could just pull it right off and chew on it. It’s been a while since I’ve had sugar cane. I used to love it. It’s juicy, too.
Where did you grow up?
Morris: My parents are both military, so I’ve kind of been all over. San Antonio was where I was last. We lived in Alaska for three years. It was fun. I think it was like my fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade years. Snowboarding, skiing, snowball fights. Snowmobiles. Things like that were real fun to do. It wouldn’t be somewhere I’d like to be at this age.
Do you do much traveling?
Morris: I’ve been a couple places. We went to London last year with the 49ers. I’ve been to Jamaica, Mexico. But definitely as the years go on I want to see the world a little bit.