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Off the Turf with Scurf: Brice McCain

Posted by Nick Scurfield on April 8, 2013 – 6:34 pm

Brice McCainEpisode 19 of my “Off the Turf with Scurf” podcast features Texans cornerback Brice McCain.

McCain, who re-signed with the Texans on March 20, hopes to be ready for the start of OTAs on May 20 after missing the end of last season with a foot injury. The 2009 sixth-round draft pick from Utah discusses his decision to re-sign; growing up with six siblings and two stepbrothers in Terrell, Texas; the nickname “Hot Sauce”; his speed; his height; being part of an undefeated team at Utah in 2008; Ed Reed; Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and defensive backs coach Vance Joseph; video games; his injury; and Jamie Foxx.

Thanks for listening. Link

OTWS archive

2012
Episode 1 (6/2): J.J. Watt, Wade Phillips
Episode 2 (6/9): Duane Brown, Paul Kuharsky
Episode 3 (6/18): Whitney Mercilus, Keith Gilmore
Episode 4 (6/23): Case Keenum, Jerrry Rhome
Episode 5 (6/30): Matt Schaub, Geoff Kaplan
Episode 6 (7/24): James Casey
Episode 7 (8/4): Connor Barwin, Marc Vandermeer
Episode 8 (8/10): Justin Forsett, Chick Harris
Episode 9 (8/17): Bradie James
Episode 10 (9/8): Andre Johnson
Episode 11 (9/15): T.J. Yates
Episode 12 (9/22): Derek Newton
Episode 13 (9/29): Antonio Smith (Video: Smith on start of career)
Episode 14 (10/20): Bryan Braman (Video: Braman on special teams)
Episode 15 (11/3): Owen Daniels (Video: Daniels on TD celebration)
Episode 16 (11/10): Danieal Manning
Episode 17 (12/10): Darryl Sharpton

2013
Episode 18 (1/4): Chris Myers
Episode 19 (4/8): Brice McCain (Video: McCain talks speed)


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Off the Turf with Scurf: Chris Myers

Posted by Nick Scurfield on January 4, 2013 – 6:02 pm

Chris MyersEpisode 18 of “Off the Turf with Scurf,” my semi-weekly podcast here on HoustonTexans.com, features Texans center Chris Myers.

Myers, an eighth-year veteran, has started all 80 games since joining the Texans in a trade from the Denver Broncos in 2008. The two-time team captain was named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl this season. In the podcast, he discusses the Texans are looking forward to the playoffs despite their 1-3 finish to the season; the perspective he gained from playing on a 13-3 Denver Broncos team that lost in the AFC Championship Game as a rookie in 2005; how the Texans dubbed this Monday “Swagga Back Monday”; the team’s renewed energy level and focus in practice this week; the playoff atmosphere at Reliant Stadium for the Wild Card game vs. Cincinnati last year; his teammates Arian Foster, Andre Johnson and J.J. Watt; defensive tackle Geno Atkins and the rest of the Bengals’ defense; the recent criticism befalling Texans quarterback Matt Schaub; the Texans’ offensive line rotations at right guard and right tackle; being named to the Pro Bowl last week along with Texans left guard Wade Smith and left tackle Duane Brown; and his wife, Jenny, and their two daughters, Makenna, 3, and Caylin, 1..

Thanks for listening. Link

OTWS archive
Episode 1 (6/2): J.J. Watt, Wade Phillips
Episode 2 (6/9): Duane Brown, Paul Kuharsky
Episode 3 (6/18): Whitney Mercilus, Keith Gilmore
Episode 4 (6/23): Case Keenum, Jerrry Rhome
Episode 5 (6/30): Matt Schaub, Geoff Kaplan
Episode 6 (7/24): James Casey
Episode 7 (8/4): Connor Barwin, Marc Vandermeer
Episode 8 (8/10): Justin Forsett, Chick Harris
Episode 9 (8/17): Bradie James
Episode 10 (9/8): Andre Johnson
Episode 11 (9/15): T.J. Yates
Episode 12 (9/22): Derek Newton
Episode 13 (9/29): Antonio Smith (Video: Smith on start of career)
Episode 14 (10/20): Bryan Braman (Video: Braman on special teams)
Episode 15 (11/3): Owen Daniels (Video: Daniels on TD celebration)
Episode 16 (11/10): Danieal Manning
Episode 17 (12/10): Darryl Sharpton
Episode 18 (1/4/13): Chris Myers


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Off the Turf with Scurf: Darryl Sharpton

Posted by Nick Scurfield on December 10, 2012 – 11:42 am

Darryl SharptonEpisode 17 of “Off the Turf with Scurf,” my semi-weekly podcast here on HoustonTexans.com, features Texans inside linebacker Darryl Sharpton.

Sharpton, in his third NFL season, has 17 tackles, one interception, one pass defensed and one fumble recovery in three games. He was on the Physically Unable to Perform list for the first nine games of the season because of a 2011 quadriceps injury. In the podcast, he discusses his excitement for not only being “Off the Turf with Scurf” but “back on the turf with my buds”; the Texans’ new letterman jackets; how close everyone on the team is; how “Off the Turf with Scurf” needs to turn into a TV show; returning from his injury in Week 11 against Jacksonville; his emotions when fans at Reliant Stadium cheered for him; how he wondered during his rehab if he was going to play this year and what might happen with his career; how his body felt after playing 103 snaps in five days; his physical style of play; joking around off the field but never on it; making up parody songs, jokes, giggling and tickling his teammates to cheer them up; his injury and long, monotonous rehab; his famous uncle, the Rev. Al Sharpton; getting his degree in finance and his interest in numbers, math, money and financial markets; the influence of his father, an accountant, on his education and strong academic background; how he used to wear an Andre Johnson jersey in middle school; how Johnson is now “definitely one of my most impressive friends”; the strong University of Miami contingent in the Texans’ locker room; getting the nickname “Radio” from the Cuba Gooding Jr. movie while in college; going to Coral Gables High School, the school that produced Frank Gore, Jonathan Vilma, Al Del Greco and Janet Reno; how he gets recognized more in Houston now at his favorite coffee shops, cookie shops and restaurants; and the upcoming Monday Night Football game against the New England Patriots.

Thanks for listening. Link

OTWS archive
Episode 1 (6/2): J.J. Watt, Wade Phillips
Episode 2 (6/9): Duane Brown, Paul Kuharsky
Episode 3 (6/18): Whitney Mercilus, Keith Gilmore
Episode 4 (6/23): Case Keenum, Jerrry Rhome
Episode 5 (6/30): Matt Schaub, Geoff Kaplan
Episode 6 (7/24): James Casey
Episode 7 (8/4): Connor Barwin, Marc Vandermeer
Episode 8 (8/10): Justin Forsett, Chick Harris
Episode 9 (8/17): Bradie James
Episode 10 (9/8): Andre Johnson
Episode 11 (9/15): T.J. Yates
Episode 12 (9/22): Derek Newton
Episode 13 (9/29): Antonio Smith (Video: Smith on start of career)
Episode 14 (10/20): Bryan Braman (Video: Braman on special teams)
Episode 15 (11/3): Owen Daniels (Video: Daniels on TD celebration)
Episode 16 (11/10): Danieal Manning
Episode 17 (12/10): Darryl Sharpton


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Off the Turf with Scurf: Danieal Manning

Posted by Nick Scurfield on November 10, 2012 – 10:07 am

Episode 16 of “Off the Turf with Scurf,” my semi-weekly podcast here on HoustonTexans.com, features Texans strong safety Danieal Manning.

Manning, in his second season with the Texans and seventh in the NFL, has 32 tackles, an interception returned for a touchdown and three passes defensed. In the podcast, he discusses being nicknamed “Superman” in high school in Corsicana, Texas, where he was a highly-touted defensive back and track star; being recruited by Texas, Oklahoma, Penn State, Purdue, Arkansas and Alabama and almost ending up at Texas A&M before signing with Nebraska in 2001; transferring to Division II Abilene Christian; playing for Gary Gaines, the former coach at Odessa Permian who was chronicled in the movie “Friday Night Lights”; his own experience of Texas high school football; playing scout team his first  year at ACU and ruining the team’s offense in practice; being named to the all-century team at ACU as an active player; getting drafted in the second round by the Chicago Bears; going to the Super Bowl as a rookie in 2006; his disappointment over not receiving a long-term contract from Chicago after his rookie deal expired; leaving the Bears and joining the Texans as a free agent in 2011; playing for Wade Phillips and Vance Joseph; his increased comfort level in his second year in the defense; attending practice voluntarily during mini-camp this offseason just so he could watch; having 20-30 relatives in the Houston area and being able to have his family come to practices and games; his wife and kids; his faith; why Texans coach Gary Kubiak is a “players’ coach”; going back to Soldier Field to face the Bears; and whether Sunday night is a chance for the Texans defense to make a statement.

Thanks for listening. Link

OTWS archive
Episode 1 (6/2): J.J. Watt, Wade Phillips
Episode 2 (6/9): Duane Brown, Paul Kuharsky
Episode 3 (6/18): Whitney Mercilus, Keith Gilmore
Episode 4 (6/23): Case Keenum, Jerrry Rhome
Episode 5 (6/30): Matt Schaub, Geoff Kaplan
Episode 6 (7/24): James Casey
Episode 7 (8/4): Connor Barwin, Marc Vandermeer
Episode 8 (8/10): Justin Forsett, Chick Harris
Episode 9 (8/17): Bradie James
Episode 10 (9/8): Andre Johnson
Episode 11 (9/15): T.J. Yates
Episode 12 (9/22): Derek Newton
Episode 13 (9/29): Antonio Smith (Video: Smith on start of career)
Episode 14 (10/20): Bryan Braman (Video: Braman on special teams)
Episode 15 (11/3): Owen Daniels (Video: Daniels on TD celebration)
Episode 16 (11/10): Danieal Manning


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Off the Turf with Scurf: Owen Daniels

Posted by Nick Scurfield on November 3, 2012 – 2:47 pm

Episode 15 of “Off the Turf with Scurf,” my semi-weekly podcast here on HoustonTexans.com, features Texans tight end Owen Daniels.

Daniels, in his seventh season with the Texans, has 33 catches for 416 yards and four touchdowns through seven games. In the podcast, he discusses how good he feels this season; turning 30 next week; training with Arian Foster and his brother Abdul this offseason and how much it has helped him; staying fresh with a new practice schedule; the “night and day” difference in his play this season on film; his ACL injury in 2009; a stress fracture that shut down his rehab for two months; re-signing with the Texans long-term in 2011; being the last member of his heralded 2006 draft class to still be with the Texans; being one of the longest-tenured Texans; coach Gary Kubiak; his “Turning it Up” touchdown celebration; his two younger brothers; getting engaged last week; his “Dumb & Dumber” Halloween costume; his “Weather Man” nickname and meteorology background; moving from quarterback to tight end at Wisconsin; his quarterback background; his alleged nickname “Ol’ Surehands Daniels” on Wikipedia; how his quarterback experience helps him as a tight end; and his hopes for the rest of the season.

Thanks for listening. Link

OTWS archive
Episode 1 (6/2): J.J. Watt, Wade Phillips
Episode 2 (6/9): Duane Brown, Paul Kuharsky
Episode 3 (6/18): Whitney Mercilus, Keith Gilmore
Episode 4 (6/23): Case Keenum, Jerrry Rhome
Episode 5 (6/30): Matt Schaub, Geoff Kaplan
Episode 6 (7/24): James Casey
Episode 7 (8/4): Connor Barwin, Marc Vandermeer
Episode 8 (8/10): Justin Forsett, Chick Harris
Episode 9 (8/17): Bradie James
Episode 10 (9/8): Andre Johnson
Episode 11 (9/15): T.J. Yates
Episode 12 (9/22): Derek Newton
Episode 13 (9/29): Antonio Smith (Video: Smith on start of career)
Episode 14 (10/20): Bryan Braman (Video: Braman on special teams)
Episode 15 (11/3): Owen Daniels (Video: Daniels on TD celebration)


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Off the Turf with Scurf: Connor Barwin, Marc Vandermeer

Posted by Nick Scurfield on August 4, 2012 – 1:02 pm

Episode seven of “Off the Turf with Scurf,” my weekly podcast here on HoustonTexans.com, features Texans outside linebacker Connor Barwin and play-by-play announcer Marc Vandermeer.

Barwin, who led the Texans with 11.5 sacks in 2011, is entering his fourth season in the NFL. The 2009 second-round draft pick out of Cincinnati talks about the first week of training camp; entering his second year as an outside linebacker; the draining daily grind of camp; riding a bicycle to work and driving a Toyota Prius; the Texans’ wave of injury scares this week; a tweet he sent to defensive end J.J. Watt’s “semi-internet crush”; his active use of Twitter, which resulted in the Texans defense’s “Bulls on Parade” nickname and a local street artist painting a mural on the wall of his downtown apartment; whether he considers himself a hipster; showing up to camp with a “Gary Kubiak haircut”; how hard it was to let go of his old “Cosmo Kramer” hairstyle; which NFL tight end he would compare himself to; his career as a walk-on basketball player at Cincinnati, including the infamous game in which he shut down Greg Oden; how he was born deaf; his thoughts on playing in a contract year; the extra work he put in this offseason; and how the Texans’ front seven has a collegiate feel.

Vandermeer, the “Voice of the Texans” since 2002 and the team’s new director of radio broadcasting, discusses the excitement level at training camp compared to years past; his new role with the Texans; the upcoming lineup of Texans Radio programming; impressions from the first week of camp; specific players who have impressed him; what Barwin might be capable of in 2012; what it was like to see the Texans finally make the playoffs last season; the art of broadcasting, including how he prepares for games and whether he practices making calls in front of the mirror; his thoughts on Andre Johnson, whom he also covered at the University of Miami; and what he’s looking to see in the Texans’ first preseason game at Carolina next Saturday.

Thanks for listening. Link

OTWS archive
Episode One: J.J. Watt, Wade Phillips
Episode Two: Duane Brown, Paul Kuharsky
Episode Three: Whitney Mercilus, Keith Gilmore
Episode Four: Case Keenum, Jerrry Rhome
Episode Five: Matt Schaub, Geoff Kaplan
Episode Six: James Casey
Episode Seven: Connor Barwin, Marc Vandermeer


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Off the Turf with Scurf: James Casey

Posted by Nick Scurfield on July 24, 2012 – 6:01 pm

Episode six of “Off the Turf with Scurf,” my weekly podcast here on HoustonTexans.com, features Texans fullback James Casey. I normally have two guests per episode, but Casey’s interview was so long and, in my opinion, so compelling that I decided to feature just him this week.

Casey is entering his fourth season in the NFL after being drafted in the fifth round by the Texans out of Rice in 2009. In the podcast, he talks about his self-imposed offseason media hiatus; his first-one-in, last-one-out mentality; what he’s trying to improve upon this offseason; the dual role of playing fullback and tight end; his hometown of Azle, Texas; how his mother passed away in a trailer-house fire when he was a sophomore in high school; getting drafted as a pitcher by the Chicago White Sox in the seventh round in 2003; his three years as a minor league baseball player; how he ended up playing football at Rice University; switching from defense to offense at Rice and playing seven different positions in a single game as a freshman; being a triple major in economics, managerial studies and sport management with a minor in business; his two-year-old son, Cannon, who already has a written scholarship offer from Rice; and his expectations for the upcoming season.

Thanks for listening. Link

OTWS archive
Episode One: J.J. Watt, Wade Phillips
Episode Two: Duane Brown, Paul Kuharsky
Episode Three: Whitney Mercilus, Keith Gilmore
Episode Four: Case Keenum, Jerrry Rhome
Episode Five: Matt Schaub, Geoff Kaplan
Episode Six: James Casey


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Off the Turf with Scurf: Matt Schaub and Geoff Kaplan

Posted by Nick Scurfield on June 30, 2012 – 12:55 pm

Episode five of “Off the Turf with Scurf,” my new podcast here on HoustonTexans.com, features Texans quarterback Matt Schaub and Texans head athletic trainer/director of sports medicine Geoff Kaplan.

Schaub, who’s entering his sixth season with the Texans and ninth in the NFL, discusses his rehab from last season’s Lisfranc injury; his health status; the players-only throwing sessions he has been organizing at the University of Houston; his thoughts on wide receivers Lestar Jean, DeVier Posey, Keshawn Martin and Andre Johnson; how he and Johnson only played in three games together last season; his disappointment in having to miss the end of last season as the Texans made their first-ever playoff run; the importance of being around the team last season after he was hurt; his upcoming expiring contract; fatherhood with his three daughters Madison, Makayla and Mackenzie; his GR8 Hope Foundation; a whole lot about golf; his relationship with Texans head coach Gary Kubiak; and his goals for the upcoming season.

Kaplan, who’s entering his fourth season with the Texans and 20th in the NFL, talks about what the offseason has been like inside the training room; the camaraderie among players as they rehab; players embracing what Kaplan calls “prehab” this offseason; Schaub’s health status; the specific challenges of coming back from a Lisfranc injury; Andre Johnson’s health status; some of his core principles in the training room; his memories of working for the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans; the importance of developing relationships and trust with players; his protocol on gamedays when players are injured on the field; and more.

Thanks for listening. Link

OTWS archive
Episode One: J.J. Watt, Wade Phillips
Episode Two: Duane Brown, Paul Kuharsky
Episode Three: Whitney Mercilus, Keith Gilmore
Episode Four: Case Keenum, Jerrry Rhome
Episode Five: Matt Schaub, Geoff Kaplan


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Off the Turf with Scurf: Case Keenum and Jerry Rhome

Posted by Nick Scurfield on June 23, 2012 – 2:13 pm

Episode Four of “Off the Turf with Scurf,” my new podcast here on HoustonTexans.com, features Texans rookie quarterback Case Keenum and longtime NFL quarterback coach Jerry Rhome, who tutored Keenum this spring in advance of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Keenum, an undrafted free agent who set the NCAA career passing mark at the University of Houston, talks about getting to stay in Houston and play for the Texans; the fan support he has gotten in Houston since signing; the disappointment of going undrafted; his pre-draft workout for the Texans; what he learned from Rhome; OTAs and mini-camp; his adjustment to playing under center; what he thinks about skeptics who criticize his height; memories of his career at U of H; tearing his ACL in 2010; pursuing his master’s degree; living at the team hotel with DeVier Posey even though he’s married and has lived in Houston for six years; his favorite places to eat in town; his hometown of Abilene, Texas; and about only getting offered one scholarship coming out of high school.

Rhome, 70, was an All-American quarterback and the Heisman Trophy runner-up at Tulsa in 1964, an NFL quarterback for seven years and an NFL coach for 25 years. In recent years, he has worked with high-profile quarterback prospects such as Vince Young, Troy Smith, Kevin Kolb,  Chase Daniel and Andy Dalton. He talks about how Keenum reminds him of Dalton; the fallacy of thinking a player can’t succeed because of his size; his experience coaching Steve Largent and Dave Krieg; who both far surpassed expecta; how impressed he was with Keenum in the classroom; what he did in his workouts with Keenum; what traits Keenum shares with other great quarterbacks he has coached; his memories of playing for the Oilers in 1970; and Keenum’s intangibles and mental toughness.

Thanks for listening. Link

OTWS archive
Episode One: J.J. Watt, Wade Phillips
Episode Two: Duane Brown, Paul Kuharsky
Episode Three: Whitney Mercilus, Keith Gilmore
Episode Four: Case Keenum, Jerrry Rhome


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Off the Turf with Scurf: Whitney Mercilus and Keith Gilmore

Posted by Nick Scurfield on June 18, 2012 – 8:58 am

Episode Three of “Off the Turf with Scurf,” my new podcast here on HoustonTexans.com, features Texans rookie outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus and his college defensive line coach Keith Gilmore, who also coached Texans linebacker Connor Barwin at the University of Cincinnati.

Mercilus, the Texans’ first-round draft pick out of Illinois, talks about signing his contract on the final day of mini-camp; being able to provide financially for his parents, who immigrated to the United States from Haiti; his love of soccer; his meteoric rise to stardom as a junior last season and whether or not he’s a one-year wonder; losing the tip of his left index finger in a weightlifting accident at Illinois; his progress in organized team activities (OTAs) and mini-camp; the Houston heat; Texans coaches Wade Phillips and Reggie Herring; living with other rookies at the team hotel; his best friends on the team so far; his first impressions of the city of Houston; and his goals for the season.

Gilmore, who coached Mercilus from 2009-11 and Barwin from 2007-08, talks about Mercilus’ big season in 2011; Mercilus’ underrated production as a freshman and sophomore; Mercilus’ strengths as a player and work ethic off the field; the weightlifting incident, for which he was in the weight room; Mercilus’ family and upbeat personality; Barwin’s switch from tight end to defensive end at Cincinnati; how he brags on Barwin all the time and showed tape of Barwin to Mercilus while Mercilus was in school; similarities between Barwin and Mercilus; Barwin’s skills as a tight end and basketball player; and his thoughts on Barwin and Mercilus being on the same team.

Thanks for listening. Link

OTWS archive
Episode One: J.J. Watt, Wade Phillips
Episode Two: Duane Brown, Paul Kuharsky
Episode Three: Whitney Mercilus, Keith Gilmore


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