Texans’ secret weapon.

By John Granato
& Sean Pendergast

The Texans rookie star quarterback from last year’s historic playoff run will be ready if needed. The fifth round pick from North Carolina holds school records for total passing yards, single season and single season total offense weighs in.

John Granato: Compare last offseason to this offseason for you.

T.J. Yates: As everybody knows, there wasn't an offseason last year, so coming into training camp a lot of the rookies' heads were spinning. We had about a week of meetings before we had our first practice. Compared to this time, last year is night and day. I came into this training camp having game experience under my belt, some OTA (organized team activity) and minicamp experience. Being able to have an offseason and work with my quarterback coach, make corrections to my game – they're things I wasn't able to do last year because we hit the ground running in the middle of the season.

JG: You know, one of the reasons your teammates have respect for you is because of your work ethic. Even when you were the number three guy, the stories were about how much time and extra effort you put into getting to know that playbook and being ready. Is there anything that you just don't know, or have you just absorbed yourself in this thing?

TJ: You know, not really. I've pretty much got this offense completely down. The best teacher is being able to go out there in games and do it under fire. A lot of the young guys don't get that chance and I'm fortunate that I was able to go in there and get those chances, but I think that's the best way to learn. It's hard to learn some stuff on a piece of paper, you just have to go out there and do it. Last year was invaluable to my experience level and my progression.

Sean Pendergast: Talk about that, T.J., the preseason and the practices you guys go through. There's not a lot of time obviously in pads, there's only “x” amount of time in preseason games. Do you feel like, especially for a young quarterback, that the preseason is enough time to get ready?

TJ: It's tough, especially when you don't have an offseason. The lockout was really tough. Last year during the lockout the guys had things going on outside the facility over at Rice. We were able, the young guys who were in town who wanted to get a head start, to get a chance to do more because the veteran leaders on this team provided that for us. Last year that helped a lot but it's tough to get ready for NFL football just having the preseason.

JG: Before we let you go, the young receivers – who's opened your eyes a little bit?

TJ: The two guys we drafted – they're making plays left and right. DeVier Posey and “K-Mart” Keshawn Martin have really been stepping up. They know that they were drafted here for a reason. We have a lack of depth at wide receiver. Some of those positions are wide open and a lot of them are stepping up. Lestar Jean is really starting to practice like a pro, coming into his own. Especially with Andre Johnson being out for a while, he's going to have to step into that starting role again like he did in OTAs.

JG: Hey T.J., we appreciate it, thanks for stopping by for a minute. Best of luck, congratulations on your success last year and we're looking forward to more.

TJ: Thank you very much. Thanks for having me.

Catch John Granato & Sean Pendergast every weekday morning from 7:00am to 11:00am on Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560AM.