This is the second “marshal” duty of 2012 for Watt and Barwin, two rising stars in the city of Houston. Watt and Andre Johnson were co-Grand Marshals of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Downtown Parade on Feb. 25. Barwin (or “Baldwin”) rode in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 17.
“It’s a huge deal,” Barwin said Tuesday at Discovery Green. “I’ve heard great things about this parade and I know this is one of the most unique things about the city of Houston, so I’m very excited, and it just shows the amount of support that this city has for the Houston Texans to invite me and J.J. both out there.”
The parade goes from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday. It features “over 300 jaw-dropping cars, bikes, skaters, and motorized creatures” and is expected to draw more than 300,000 spectators along the city streets.
“It’s phenomenal,” Watt said. “It’s unbelievable, and the one thing that I’ve always believed is if you want the community to support you and appreciate you, you need to support them and appreciate them, so it’s very cool that I can do these kinds of events, and I’m very humbled every time I get asked to do an event like this. I’ve only been here for one year, but I hope I can stay here a lot longer, because this city’s been very good to me in my short time.”
Barwin and Watt’s car on Saturday won’t be an homage to the “Bulls on Parade,” but Watt was asked Tuesday what such a car would look like.
“It would have some horns, it would be fearsome, and it would probably have some wacky hair because Connor would get a hold of it,” he said. “But it would be pretty cool. And Wade (Phillips) would drive it, because he’s the man.”
Tags: Bulls on Parade, Connor Barwin, J.J. Watt, Wade Phillips
Posted in Nick Scurfield | 1 Comment »
This time in 2011, the lockout had just begun and there was an uncertainty about whether or not the NFL would start on time, much less start at all.
Closer to home, some wondered how quickly the Texans’ defense would be able to pick up Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme.
All those uncertainties were washed aside in what became a groundbreaking season for the AFC South champs.
Connor Barwin was switching from defensive end to outside linebacker in the new scheme, and was also coming off a severe leg injury he suffered early in the 2010 season-opener against the Colts.
Barwin racked up 11.5 sacks in 2011 to lead the way, and on Wednesday at a Houston Food Bank community appearance, he described what he was doing in mid-March of last year.
“Last year I was doing all rehab, still, at this time,” Barwin said. “I was not even running full-speed yet. So it feels great to be out there running full speed.”
Because Barwin’s able to go at the tempo he’d like, he said he’s refining some parts of his game.
“Now I’m able to start working on my pass-rushing technique, which I was not able to do last year, because I was still trying to work on my ankle full-time,” Barwin said.
That’s pretty encouraging news, considering Barwin and the rest of the BullsOnParade unit sprang into action and were able to be so successful last season, despite a limited time absorbing Phillips’ scheme.
“There’s no doubt that the defense will know each other better,” Barwin said of the 2012 outlook. “Know Wade Phillips’ system better, because we have a season under our belts. So there’s no doubt that we’ll kind of advance ourselves mentally in the defense.”
Barwin also said he’s living in Houston this offseason and keeping in touch with many of his teammates. If you haven’t seen this nice piece by Winston Dutchin, which chronicles Barwin’s greener lifestyle changes, it’s worth a look.
Tags: Bulls on Parade, Connor Barwin, Wade Phillips
Posted in Drew Dougherty | No Comments »
Fans at Reliant Stadium on Sunday may have noticed the song of that name by Rage Against the Machine blaring when the defense was on the field – and Barwin waving his arms and dancing feverishly every time it did.
“I think it’s official that ‘Bulls on Parade’ is the new name of this defense,” Barwin said after the game. “You could hear it: Every time they played that song, the crowd was like a 12th man. I mean, Matt Ryan couldn’t even get his audibles if you saw him. He was having to walk to every single lineman and tell (them) the play.”
He then sent out the following tweets:
- Coming out to this song (start at 3:05) youtube.com/watch?v=l6_PAh… before every series would CRUSH at reliant!!! #BULLSONPARADE
- RT if your with me! @HoustonTexans @NickScurfield #BULLSONPARADE
Fans obviously loved the idea; more than 100 people retweeted the second one. The Texans’ in-game entertainment staff caught wind of the idea the next day and decided to take Barwin up on his idea.
Sure enough, the Texans’ defense was introduced to the song before their game against the Falcons on Sunday. And on almost every series, the song blared from the Reliant Stadium loudspeakers as Houston’s defense took the field.
“That place was rocking today,” Texans nose tackle Shaun Cody said. “That Rage Against the Machine was going with ‘Bulls on Parade,’ and guys were pumped up. Connor was pumped up. He was like the DJ out there for the stands, and it was good.”
The Texans’ defense has certainly become nickname-worthy this season. They rank in the top five in the NFL in just about every category that matters. They forced two turnovers on Sunday and knocked down Ryan 10 times, and they have limited six consecutive opponents to 14 points or less.
Barwin leads the defense in sacks with 8.5. He also now leads them in nicknames created.
Tags: Bulls on Parade, Connor Barwin, Shaun Cody
Posted in Nick Scurfield | 22 Comments »