For the Houston Texans, Johnathan Joseph was that rare free agency signing. Brought in back in the summer of 2011, Joseph was one of the highest paid acquisitions in that free agency cycle, but he was just what the doctor ordered for a Texans defense that was a joke defending the pass in 2010. Joseph's effect was profound on the field and in the locker room.
In short, you could see that Joseph had "future coach" written all over him, and on Friday, the Texans announced the beginning of Johnathan Joseph's NFL coaching journey, along with that of six other coaches and one scout:
The Houston Texans have added seven coaches and one scout as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching and Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowships for their 2023 Training Camp presented by Xfinity, the team announced on Friday.Joseph is obviously the marquee name for Texans fans on this list. (The biographies for all eight of these men can be found here.) Anyone who has spent any substantial time with Joseph knows that, in addition to being an outstanding player and a former first round pick, he is an incredibly intelligent football player and great communicator.
Darrius Darden-Box, Scouting (Colorado – Director, Recruiting)
TJ Hollowell, Defensive Line/Linebackers (Michigan State – Defensive Analyst)
Jerry Johnson, Strength & Conditioning (Texas A&M – Assistant S&C Coach)
Johnathan Joseph, Defensive Backs (Former Player)
Darrell LeBeaux, Running backs/Tight Ends (Pleasant Grove H.S. Head Coach)
Jamarcus "JJ" Nelson, Wide Receivers (Rice – Offensive Analyst)
Manny Ramirez, Offensive Line (Texas Southern – OL Coach)
Zerick Rollins, Special Teams/Offense (New Jersey Generals – QB Coach)
Since its inception in 1987, the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship is designed as a vocational tool to increase the number of full-time NFL minority coaches. With all 32 NFL clubs participating each year, the program's objective is to use NFL clubs' offseason workout programs and minicamps to give talented coaches opportunities to observe, participate, gain experience, and ultimately gain a full-time NFL coaching position.
Established by the NFL in January 2015, the Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship exposes interested and qualified candidates to a career in professional scouting. The program gives participants a unique glimpse into Player Personnel by introducing them to various areas related to college and pro scouting within a club.
When Joseph was signed by the Houston Texans in 2011, his cornerback counterpart on the Texans' defense, then-second year CB Kareem Jackson was coming off one of the worst rookie seasons of any high draft pick in team history. Jackson's improvement in his second season was substantial, and everyone involved with that defense credits Joseph's influence as a big factor in Jackson's advancement.
The hope in 2023, obviously, would be Joseph's having a similar effect for second year cornerback Derek Stingley, Jr., who was held back in his rookie year more by injury and Lovie Smith's scheme than his own individual performance, but there is no doubt that the return on the huge investment in Stingley, the third overall pick in the 2022 draft, feels slightly more attainable with Joseph in the building.
The connection with Jospeh and the Texans is a logical one, as Joseph and head coach DeMeco Ryans were teammates on Wade Phillips' defense in 2011. The two were selected nine picks apart in the 2006 draft, and both are widely respected inside the building at NRG Stadium and round the league. Basically, this feels like a great fit.
We will get our first look at Johnathan Joseph, defensive backs coach, at Texans training camp on Wednesday, when the team begins practice in preparation for the 2023 season.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast, on Instagram at instagram.com/sean.pendergast, and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.