Texans takeaways earn spirited response from veteran Mike Adams

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HOUSTON -- When the Houston Texans signed safety Mike Adams this season, he and coach Bill O'Brien sat down to talk about his role.

They talked about the way the 38-year-old Adams could help mentor some of the young players in the defensive backs room, how he could help them on the sideline and how his teammates could learn from the professionalism he brings to work every day. And all that has happened. But while teaching them about scouting opposing offenses, he also has taught them another important lesson.

After the Texans' Week 13 victory over the New England Patriots, Adams started a trend in the DB room when he presented cornerback Bradley Roby with a bottle of Hennessy cognac the week after he intercepted one of Tom Brady's passes during the Texans' victory.

"I'm old school," Adams said. "See, they don't know about Hennessy. I'm old school, so ... I'm trying to bring my experiences to them instead of me going to their experiences. I'm just trying to switch it up a little bit."

The gift-giving is something Adams started when he played for the Carolina Panthers and wanted to continue in Houston.

"Being the OG that he is in the room, anybody who [forces a turnover], he brings in a customized bottle of really good Hennessy," safety Jahleel Addae said. "But it means everything, just seeing a veteran guy who has played so long do something like that for the group. It adds some extra motivation.

"It's all fun and games at the end of the day. Obviously we [don't] need any incentives to put the team first and win, but getting that gift at the end of the day is great."

The bottles, usually left in the player's locker, are engraved with the players' name, opponent and the date of the game.

Adams was busy after the Texans' defense forced five turnovers in Week 16 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on their way to clinching the AFC South. Addae, safety Justin Reid and cornerbacks Johnathan Joseph and Roby intercepted passes from Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston. The fifth turnover was from linebacker Tyrell Adams. Before that game, Mike Adams had presented only defensive backs with the bottles of Hennessy, but after "his nephew Tyrell" forced the fumble and asked why he didn't receive a bottle, Mike Adams gifted him an engraved bottle as well.

"I just thought he should venture out and include more people," Tyrell Adams said. "Be all-inclusive. So he included your boy. I appreciated that. ... It's just cool to have a guy that respects guys making plays and celebrating their success with them."

And just like Adams has made a difference in the defensive backs room with his knowledge as a 16th-year NFL veteran, he has made it even more fun for the Texans' defense to force a turnover.

"Everything tastes better when it's free," Reid said. "It's not even something you really even think about ... before you go and play, but you get the reward of it at the end. You feel like [he’s saying], 'We appreciate that play you made and you helped the team.'"