Christian Kirksey is one of the stable veteran linebackers for the Houston Texans, and his previous eight seasons in the NFL gives him a basis to evaluate younger talent.
The Texans used their No. 75 overall selection in Round 3 of the 2022 NFL draft to take former Alabama linebacker Christian Harris. Although the 6-2, 232-pounder doesn’t speak very much, his actions are saying a lot to Kirksey.
“Man, he’s quiet,” Kirksey told reporters on June 1 after organized team activities at Houston Methodist Training Center. “He doesn’t say too much which is good because he’s a sponge. He’s soaking up all the knowledge he can and the kid is fast. He’s athletic.”
Even though Harris comes from Alabama where Kirksey admits that coach Nick Saban “polished him well and got him ready to go,” rookies still have their moments and growing pains. According to Kirksey, Harris should be able to contribute immediately.
Said Kirksey: “Now, you don’t see that all the time in a rookie, but he’s picking it up fast, and I’m happy that he’s here.”
During rookie minicamp on May 13, Harris admitted that he was trying to learn the entire defense, not just his assignments at linebacker.
“I’m just trying to really learn as much as the defense as I can, not just my spot but everybody’s,” said Harris. “Just make myself a little more comfortable so I can play faster and do whatever I can to hopefully bring some more wins to this team.”
Kirksey also appreciates having another linebacker in the corps who shares the same first name as him.
“Also, that’s the third Christian; it’s myself, him, and then my son, Christian Jr.,” Kirksey remarked. “So, there’s a bunch of Christians all over the place, which is cool.”
The Texans are hopeful that with the infusion of younger talent at linebacker, coach Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2 scheme will have athletic, willing tacklers to patrol the line of scrimmage and also cover in space.