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National Signing Day and the Texans

Posted by drewdougherty on February 6, 2013 – 4:43 pm

ReedThe frenzied morning of National Signing Day is now behind us. A few thousand high school football players signed National Letters of Intent, faxed them in, and joined programs across the nation today.

What’s this have to do with the Texans? Not much in the short term.

But looking back a few years (a few more in some cases) is kind of fun, because everybody on the roster played college ball somewhere, and went through the drill so many prep stars went through about 8 hours or so ago.

For example: wide receiver DeVier Posey was once a 5-star (according to the Rivals.com ranking system) recruit out of Cincinnati’s LaSalle H.S. when he signed on to be a Buckeye at Ohio State. On the other end of the spectrum, 2012 AP Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt was quick to point out this afternoon on twitter that the rankings don’t always matter.

This slideshow covers a wide swath of the team, including some reserves. But going across the starting depth-chart, and keeping in mind that the Rivals’ ranking database only goes back to 2002, here’s how the Texans’ starters stacked up on the first Wednesday in February.

OFFENSE

RB Arian Foster: 3-star recruit from Mission Bay H.S. in San Diego, CA. Signed with Tennessee.

LT Duane Brown: 3-star recruit from Hermitage H.S. in Richmond, VA. Signed with Virginia Tech.

RG Brandon Brooks: 3-star recruit from Riverside University H.S. in Milwaukee, WI. Signed with Miami (OH).

RG Ben Jones: 3-star recruit from Bibb County HS in Centreville, AL. Signed with Georgia.

RT Derek Newton: 2-star recruit from Hinds Community College in Utica, MS. Signed with Arkansas State.

DEFENSE

DE Antonio Smith: 3-star recruit from Northeast Oklahoma A&M J.C. Signed with Oklahoma State.

DE J.J. Watt: 2-star recruit from Pewaukee H.S. in Pewaukee, WI. Signed with Central Michigan (later transferred to Wisconsin).

OLB Connor Barwin: 2-star recruit from University of Detroit Jesuit H.S. Signed with Cincinnati.

OLB Brooks Reed: 3-star recruit from Sabino H.S. in Tuscon, AZ. Signed with Arizona.

ILB Brian Cushing: 4-star recruit from Bergen Catholic H.S. in Oradell, NJ. Signed with Southern California.

CB Kareem Jackson: 4-star recruit from Fork Union Military Academy, VA. Signed with Alabama.

CB Johnathan Joseph: 3-star recruit from Coffyville Community College, KS. Signed with South Carolina.

S Glover Quin: 2-star recruit from Southwest Mississippi Community College. Signed with New Mexico.


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Senior Bowl Snapshot: SMU DE Margus Hunt

Posted by drewdougherty on January 24, 2013 – 1:43 pm

95hunt*This blogpost is part of the Warehouse Pool Supply Path to the Draft coverage.

Margus Hunt, a defensive end from Southern Methodist University, was at the Senior Bowl hoping to make another good impression on NFL scouts and front-office personnel. Hailing from the European nation of Estonia, Hunt shared what his strengths were when we caught up with him after Tuesday’s practice.

“I’m physical, definitely detail-oriented,” Hunt said. “I want to make sure that I do my job. First so that the other guys will be able to play fast off of me and make plays first and foremost.  If I get through and make a play, that’s all good as well but it’s a team sport, so I’m more team oriented.”

He has an interesting background . In 2006 he won gold in the Junior Worlds in both the shot put and discus. He came to SMU in 2007 to throw and wound up joining the Mustang football team in 2009 as a walk-on. In 2012 as a Mustang, Hunt was a first team All-Conference USA defensive end. He tallied  31 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, and an interception. He was a dominant force, as you can see here, in this year’s Hawaii Bowl victory over Fresno State. But during his four years with the Ponies, the 6-foot-8 inch tall Hunt distinguished himself by blocking 17 kicks. When first asked about the unique ability, he deflected the praise.

“Blocking kicks is more about teamwork,” Hunt said. “I had really great defensive linemen who helped me out with getting to the crease, getting separation and getting to the ball to be able to block that kick.”

We acknowledged his modesty, and pressed him on what he did to help block those kicks.

“I have to get skinny and get to the gap and keep my feet going. I have to stay low to get underneath he offensive lineman’s shoulder pads. There’s still something involved, but most of the help comes from teammates.”

*For more on Hunt, check out this Senior Bowl Snapshot VIDEO


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Andre Johnson tops in interesting stat

Posted by drewdougherty on January 24, 2013 – 12:03 pm

Andre JohnsonWide receiver Andre Johnson finished 2012 with a career-best 1,598 yards receiving.

Detroit wideout Calvin Johnson and Chicago Bear Brandon Marshall were the All-Pro selections at receiver, but the Texan had the better numbers in one key category: yards per route run.

According to ProFootballFocus.com, Johnson was the only player to register better than 3 yards per route run, and he finished with 3.01 total. Yards per route run was decribed in the post here:

This unique metric evaluates yardage totals solely based on routes run so that the stats are indicative of performance relative to the number of opportunities. It’s easy enough to understand, so let’s look at the notable performances.

Johnson and eight of his teammates are in Honolulu for the Pro Bowl this week. If the yards per route run stat wasn’t enough of a reminder of just how effective he was this year, there’s always this.


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Plans for fans in New England

Posted by drewdougherty on January 10, 2013 – 6:07 pm

95fansThe Houston Texans have been blessed this season with tremendous fan support on the road. There’s nothing quite like traveling into a visiting stadium and knowing a large contingent of Texans fans are there to have your back in hostile territory.

Many Texans fans form meet-ups in road cities ahead of time, and other fan gatherings develop organically. Long-time season ticket holder Steph Stradley (@StephStradley), a.k.a. Texans Chick, writes a blog for Chron.com and often lists the best places for Texans fans to meet in opposing cities.

For this week’s post, click HERE.  Have a blast in New England and Go Texans!


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HTC lands 10 in top rankings

Posted by drewdougherty on January 10, 2013 – 1:02 pm

600laurenOn October 2nd, 10 Houston Texans Cheerleaders were named to the Fast Life’s Top 100 Most Beautiful NFL Cheerleaders list. (Everyone with the Texans thinks they missed out on 22 others from the squad, however.)

This Culture Map piece from last week went a little bit more in-depth, and talked with each of the 10 in the rankings. Included are the two sets of twins Dresdynn and Schuyler, as well as Michelle and Rachel. Also, rookie Lauren L. claimed the top spot in the rankings overall.

Kudos to the best cheerleading coach/manager/guru in the business, Alto Gary for assembling the squad putting them in position to be the best in the NFL.


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Google+ Hangout on tap

Posted by drewdougherty on January 3, 2013 – 12:20 pm

95fosterallaccessCheck out Nick Scurfield of HoustonTexans.com take part in a Google+ Hangout with Bengals.com writer Geoff Hobson at 12:30 p.m. CT.

Those two should have an interesting back-and-forth about Saturday’s Wild Card matchup. In the past, we’ve done Hangouts with running back Ben Tate, Texans Ambassador Seth Payne and play-by-play voice Marc Vandermeer.


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Win Houston Texans playoff tickets

Posted by drewdougherty on December 31, 2012 – 5:45 pm

95playoffsAre you searching for tickets to the Texans’ Wild Card playoff game Jan. 5 vs. the Bengals at Reliant Stadium? Tickets go on sale to the public Wednesday, Jan. 2, at 10 a.m. CT only on Ticketmaster.com.

There also are several contests you can join this week to win tickets to the game.

Below are details:

Good luck!


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Texans Saturday Injury Report

Posted by drewdougherty on October 6, 2012 – 1:07 pm

Here’s the Saturday injury report and likelihood for the Texans and New York Jets, who play in Week 5 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Monday Night Football (bold indicates change in player’s participation status from previous day):

HOUSTON TEXANS

Out
S Quintin Demps (Thumb/Forearm), WR Lestar Jean (Knee)

Questionable
RB Ben Tate (Toe)

Probable
ILB Mister Alexander (Hip), OLB Bryan Braman (Hamstring/Neck), G Antoine Caldwell (Ankle/Knee), NT Shaun Cody (Back), TE Owen Daniels (Thigh), WR Andre Johnson (Groin), S Shiloh Keo (Neck), DE Antonio Smith (Ankle),  ILB Tim Dobbins (Hamstring), RB Arian Foster (Hamstring), ILB Bradie James (Thigh), C Chris Myers (Back), OLB Jesse Nading (Foot), DE Antonio Smith (Ankle), LG Wade Smith (Knee)

NEW YORK JETS

Out
DB Darrelle Revis (Knee)

Doubtful
RB John Conner (Hamstring), WR Stephen Hill (Hamstring), TE Dustin Keller (Hamstring), DL Sione Pouha (Low Back)

Questionable
DB Aaron Berry (Ribs), RB Joe McKnight (Illness), LB Bart Scott (Toe), DB Eric Smith (Hip/Knee), LB Bryan Thomas (Hamstring)

Probable
DB Yeremiah Bell (Shoulder), LB Nick Bellore (Shoulder), DB Josh Bush (Shoulder), DB Antonio Cromartie (Shoulder), TE Jeff Cumberland (Ribs), DL Mike Devito (Neck), OL Austin Howard (Back), WR Jeremy Kerley (Finger), DB LaRon Landry (Heel), OL Nick Mangold (Wrist), OL Brandon Moore (Hip), LB Calvin Pace (Achilles), QB Mark Sanchez (Low Back), OL Matt Slauson (Knee)


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Texans Google+ Hangout set for Thursday

Posted by drewdougherty on July 25, 2012 – 9:14 pm

Thursday at noon CT, we’re hosting another Google+ hangout. On Day 2 of the 2012 Draft, first rounder Whitney Mercilus joined fans for a hangout and everyone involved had a cool time.

Tomorrow, I’ll join up with voice of the Texans Marc Vandermeer, Nick Scurfield of HoustonTexans.com, and former nose tackle Seth Payne and we’ll have a roundtable Training Camp discussion. But the best part of it all: we’ll have the discussion with YOU!

So please join us for another fun Google+ Hangout, and we’ll talk at noon.


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Super-sized Texans All Access

Posted by drewdougherty on July 16, 2012 – 3:36 pm

Tuesday’s Texans All Access is stuffed with guests and you can listen from noon to 2 pm in a variety of places, including HoustonTexans.com, SportsRadio 610 and the Houston Texans Mobile App.

Quarterback Matt Schaub will call in from Houston Fire Department station 8, and he’ll share the latest on his foot, throwing sessions and a lot more.

Also, tight end James Casey will join the program, as will outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus and receiver Lestar Jean.

Plus, team nutritionist Roberta Anding will talk about her upcoming duties with the approach of Training Camp, as well as running back Arian Foster’s switch to a Vegan lifestyle.

From the NFL offices, we’ll hear from Troy Vincent, and we’ll also catch up with the NFL Network’s Nicole Zaloumis.

On top of all that, Mike Chappell from the Indianapolis Star will have the latest on Andrew Luck and the Colts.


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