Texans CB Vernon Hargreaves says new coaching staff not like a ‘dictatorship’

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Houston Texans cornerback Vernon Hargreaves majored made the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll at Florida. He may know a thing or two when it comes to identifying different forms of government.

If Hargreaves had to compare David Culley and his coaching staff to a form of government, dictatorship would not enter the conversation.

“You know, they’re understanding,” Hargreaves said of Culley’s staff. “They came in and didn’t try to make it a dictatorship. They’re new, and a lot of times it does go that way, but they let us do our thing, they let us be pros. They let us have fun, hang out. We appreciate that as a team. You know, like I said, all this is just getting forward to September 12th.”

The prior regime led by Bill O’Brien petered out four games into the 2020 season after an 0-4 start. Chairman and CEO Cal McNair made the move to dismiss O’Brien, and one of the outcomes McNair wanted to see was for football to be fun again throughout the team.

Perhaps the Texans achieved that with the hiring of Culley.

What also helps the Culley regime is their defensive coordinator, Lovie Smith, who is deploying a Tampa 2 scheme, the likes of which Hargreaves thrived in when he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2016-19.

Hargreaves says the one area where he has grown as a player since joining the Texans in November of 2019 is in the mental phase.

Said Hargreaves: “It’s the mental aspect. Learning how to play football, learn the position, learning how to play corner. It’s more than going out and covering people. Understand what’s about to come. Understand who you’re covering. That’s where I’ve grown the most.”

Hargreaves gets to show how much he has learned as the Texans take on the Dallas Cowboys in the second game of preseason Saturday night.