HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) -- No one starting in the Texans’ secondary this season has as much experience as cornerback Bradley Roby.
He replaces longtime Texans corner Johnathan Joseph as the new OG among the position group.
Roby, 28, returns for his second season with the Texans after signing a three-year contract this offseason with $19 million guaranteed.
Aside from Joseph, Roby was part of a group of Texans newcomers mixing and matching to find the right fit at cornerback last season.
Former first-round pick Gareon Conley was traded to the Texans from the Oakland Raiders in Week 8, right as the two teams were scheduled to face each other at NRG Stadium.
Vernon Hargreaves III, also a former first-round pick, was claimed off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the season.
Lonnie Johnson Jr., a second-round pick in 2019, was up and down as a rookie.
Roby, the oldest and most accomplished player of them all, was in his first season with the Texans and was clearly taking the role of No. 1 corner. But he also struggled to stay healthy and played in a career-low 10 games.
“Last year we were kind of grabbing guys from different teams and things like that during the season, trying to get a cohesiveness down,” Roby said Tuesday during a conference call. “Now we have a full year in together and I think that’s only going to help us. We’re coming together as a unit now and not just a whole bunch of guys strung together.”
Roby and Conley go back since the Ohio State days. Conley was a freshman in 2013, Roby’s final year with the Buckeyes.
They figure to be the top corners for the Texans this season, with the hope Johnson takes a big leap forward in his second season.
“It’s super cool for me because when I was at Ohio State, (Conley) was my little brother,” Roby said. “In your last year at Ohio State you have to get a rookie or a freshman and he has to be your little brother. He goes around with you and stays in the same hotel as you on road games. He was my little brother.
“Fast forward six or seven years, for us to be on the same team is pretty special. Like I said, secondary is all about that connection you guys have and we have that. He looks up to me and it’s fun to play with him. It’s just fun to play with guys that you’re friends with. It doesn’t seem like a job then. It seems like you’re a group that’s out to accomplish big things.”
Roby also said he feels like it’s his job to lead the Texans’ secondary to improvement.
Houston ranked 29th in pass defense last season and the worst of any playoff team.
“My goal is to be a whole lot better than we’ve been over the past couple of years,” Roby said. “That’s my plan and I’m doing everything I can to help everyone, including the safeties as well. Trying to get on the same page as J-Reid (Justin Reid), working out with him this offseason and just getting that bond together.
“One thing I know about the secondary is you have to be a tight-knit group on and off the field. I think I’m trying to build that as much as possible.”