As expected, quarterback Matt Schaub did not practice on the Texans’ first day of organized team activities (OTAs) on Monday at the Methodist Training Center.
Schuab is recovering from a Lisfranc injury to his right foot. The Texans are keeping him out harm’s way during OTAs with the expectation that he will be ready for training camp in late July.
“Matt’s fine,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said after practice on Monday. “To be honest with you, Matt could probably do individual, could do 7-on-7, but we’re just being smart with him. When you haven’t passed a physical, you’re noting going to step on the field, so that’s where we’re at right now.”
Schaub had season-ending surgery on his foot on Nov. 30. He worked on a side field during practice Monday with other injured players, and he watched other parts of practice on the field with his teammates.
“I’m running now and (doing) quarterback drills and everything, so it feels really good,” Schaub said. “We just want to be smart with things here during OTAs, let the younger guys get some reps and just make sure we get to full strength as soon as we can.
“I feel great. I’m chomping at the bit to get back in the huddle, but it’s May right now. I think it’s important to the trainers and to Coach to want to just be smart with things. I’d love to be out there. I feel like I could do everything, but we just want to take it one day at a time.”
T.J. Yates, Case Keenum and John Beck are taking the quarterback reps in practice in Schaub’s place.
“It’s always frustrating when you’re not out there, but it’s also something we’ve got to be smart with,” Schaub said. “I feel great. I’m moving around great – about as good as I was before my injury – so we’ve just got to be smart and not do something here in May when we’re still three, four months away from playing games that could have any setbacks. Everything feels great. I want to be out there, but the powers that be want us to be smart.”
Tags: Case Keenum, Gary Kubiak, John Beck, Matt Schaub, Organized Team Activities, T.J. Yates
Posted in Nick Scurfield | 6 Comments »
Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph ranked 73rd on NFL Network’s list of the “Top 100 Players of 2012,” as voted on by players.
Joseph is the third cornerback on the list so far. Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan checked in at No. 93, while Eagles corner Nnamdi Asomugha was 79th.
“When teams get the scouting report, there are a few highlighted players that you need to know,” Titans safety Jordan Babineaux said on NFL Network’s profile of Joseph that aired Wednesday evening. “He’s one of those guys.”
Joseph was a first-time Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro in 2011, his first season with the Texans. The former Cincinnati Bengal locked down the opposing team’s top wide receiver each week as the Texans improved from 32nd to third in passing defense. Only two wide receivers topped 80 yards against him all season.
“You know what you’re going to get with Johnathan: A really fast, man-to-man cover guy who can make plays on the ball,” said Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who was picked off by Joseph last season in Week 12.
Texans quarterback T.J. Yates and defensive end Antonio Smith also chimed in on Joseph on the NFL Network special.
“He’s got amazing ball skills,” Yates said. “He goes up and gets the ball like he’s Andre Johnson.”
Added Smith: “I like him ‘cuz he aggressive. He gets up in players’ faces. I don’t never see him back down. He’s tenacious.”
Joseph is the first Texans player on the ‘Top 100’ list in 2012. Ten players are revealed each week on NFL Network.
Tags: Antonio Smith, Johnathan Joseph, NFL Network Top 100, T.J. Yates
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According to multiple reports, the Texans have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with veteran free agent quarterback John Beck.
A second-round pick out of BYU in 2007, Beck (6-2, 215) was released by the Washington Redskins after they drafted quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins. He started three games for Washington in 2011, playing in a similar offense to the Texans’ under Mike and Kyle Shanahan.
Beck, 31, will compete for the Texans’ third quarterback spot with undrafted rookie Case Keenum. Starting quarterback Matt Schaub will not participate in 11-on-11 portions of organized team activities (OTAs) as he recovers from a Lisfranc injury, so there will be plenty of reps to go around among T.J. Yates, Keenum and Beck.
Beck has started seven games in six seasons, including four with the Miami Dolphins as a rookie in 2007. He has thrown for three career touchdowns and seven interceptions with a 67.6 passer rating.
Tags: Case Keenum, Free agency, John Beck, Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates
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WHEELING AND DEALING
The Texans have executed 14 draft-day trades, including two in the 2011 NFL Draft. Below is a look at those trades and who was selected with those acquired picks.
2002: Traded fourth-round pick in 2002 to Atlanta in exchange for 2003 third-round pick (88th overall-Dave Ragone).
2003: Traded second-round pick (36th overall) and fourth-round pick (117th overall) to New England for second-round pick (41st overall-Bennie Joppru) and third-round pick (75th overall-Seth Wand).
2003: Traded third-round pick (83rd overall) and seventh-round pick (262nd overall) to Oakland in exchange for 2004 second-round pick (supplemental draft pick-Tony Hollings).
2003: Traded fifth-round pick (138th overall) to Indianapolis for 2004 fourth-round pick (122nd overall-Glenn Earl).
2004: Traded second round pick (40th overall), third-round pick (71st overall), fourth-round pick (103rd overall) to Tennessee in exchange for first-round pick (27th overall-Jason Babin); also exchanged fifth-round picks (138th to 159th overall) with Tennessee.
2004: Traded fifth-round pick (159th overall) to Jacksonville in exchange for sixth-round pick (175th overall-Jammal Lord) and seventh-round pick (210th overall-Raheem Orr).
2005: Traded first-round pick (13th overall) to New Orleans in exchange for first round pick (16th overall-Travis Johnson) in 2005 draft and third-round selection in 2006 draft (66th overall-Eric Winston).
2007: Traded fourth-round draft pick (107th overall) to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for the Saints 2007 fourth-round pick (123rd overall-Fred Bennett) and a 2007 fifth-round pick (163rd overall-Brandon Frye).
2008: Traded first-round pick (No. 18 overall) to the Baltimore Ravens for first-round pick (No. 26 overall-Duane Brown) a third-round pick (89th overall-Steve Slaton) and a sixth-round pick (173rd overall- Dominique Barber).
2010: Traded second-round pick (51st overall) to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for Minnesota’s second- and third-round picks (62nd and 93rd, respectively). Traded the 62nd overall pick and a fifth-round pick (150th overall) to New England 58th overall pick in Round 2 (RB Ben Tate). Traded the 93rd pick, to Kansas City in exchange for fourth-round pick (102nd overall – LB Darryl Sharpton) and a fifth-rounder (144th overall – CB Sherrick McManis) from the Chiefs.
2011: Traded a third- (73rd overall) and fifth-round (138th overall) pick with New England for a second-round (60th overall) pick. Houston selected Miami CB Brandon Harris with its new pick.
2011: Acquired a fourth-round pick (127th overall) and two fifth-round picks (144th and 152nd) from the Washington Redskins in exchange for the Texans’ original fourth-round pick (105th overall) and sixth-round pick (178th). With their picks, Houston selected Virginia Tech CB Roc Carmichael (127th overall), Idaho S Shiloh Keo (144th) and North Carolina QB T.J. Yates (152nd) with those acquired picks.
Tags: Dominique Barber, Darryl Sharpton, Sherrick McManis, Rick Smith, Brandon Harris, Shiloh Keo, T.J. Yates, Roc Carmichael, Texans draft history
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We’re taking a round-by-round look at the players who have been drafted by the Texans since their inaugural season in 2002. In particular focus are the picks made since 2007, Rick Smith’s first draft as Texans general manager.
Bold denotes made Texans’ active roster that season
*Denotes finished 2011 season on an NFL roster
#Denotes Pro Bowlers
Texans fifth-round draft picks
2011: T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina (152 overall)*
2011: Shiloh Keo, S, Idaho (144)*
2010: Sherrick McManis, CB, Northwestern (144)*
2009: James Casey, TE, Rice (152) *
2008: Frank Okam, DT, Texas (151)*
2007: Brandon Frye, T, Virginia Tech (163)
2007: Brandon Harrison, S, Stanford (144)
2005: Drew Hodgdon, C, Arizona State (151)
2002: Ramon Walker, FS, Pittsburgh (153)
2002: Jarrod Baxter, New Mexico (136)
All seven fifth-round picks under Rick Smith have made the active roster (Harrison played in 15 games in 2008 after spending 2007 on injured reserve). Casey (11), Harrison (6) and Yates (5) have all started games for Houston. Every fifth-round pick in team history has made the active roster, although the Texans only had fifth-rounders in two of their first five drafts because of trades.
Casey, Yates, McManis and Keo are still on the Texans’ roster. Casey could be the starting fullback or second tight end in 2012. Yates was elevated to the No. 2 quarterback spot after helping the Texans reach the Divisional Round of the playoffs last season. McManis played in nine games and Keo played in 10 as reserves/special teamers in 2011. Okam has started six games over the last two seasons for Tampa Bay.
Tags: 2012 NFL Draft, Draft pick history, James Casey, Rick Smith, Sherrick McManis, Shiloh Keo, T.J. Yates
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“I’m looking forward to it,” Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said on Tuesday. “It’s later than normal with the new CBA [Collective Bargaining Agreement] rules and stuff, but I think our guys have had a good break. Rehab has been going good, and it’ll be a good chance to get our hands back on everybody and get to work.”
Before the lockout last offseason, the Texans’ offseason program typically started each year in late March or early April. It’s now condensed per the terms of the new CBA, and the format is slightly different.
The Texans’ program has been divided into two phases. Phase One, the first two weeks, will involve the players working strictly with strength and conditioning coach Cedric Smith and his staff. They’ll lift weights at Reliant and do team runs across the street on the Methodist Training Center fields.
In Phase Two, the following three weeks, Kubiak and his assistant coaches can do limited work with players on the field and in the film room. Players also will continue to work out under Smith’s supervision.
“Really, what I want to happen the first two weeks is I want them just to be with Cedric and spend a lot of time physically finding out where everybody’s at,” Kubiak said. “That’s Phase One of the program, so most of that time will be spent with Cedric. Phase Two of the program will encompass the weight room, the running and then we’ll start to get field and classroom work also. So it gives us a chance to go back and review last season, study our cut-ups and then at the end of phase two, we actually get all our young players in and get ready for OTAs.”
Players have been allowed to work out on their own at Reliant all offseason, and the likes of Connor Barwin, Brooks Reed, James Casey, Ben Tate, Antoine Caldwell, T.J. Yates, Lestar Jean and Bryan Braman have been regulars in recent weeks. Defensive ends J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith are among those who have arrived this week to get a head start on next Monday.
The upcoming offseason workout program is voluntary, but the Texans had 90 percent of their players participate in 100 percent of the last set of workouts in 2010. Kubiak expects high participation this year as well.
“It always has been,” he said. “Our guys are great. Most of our guys live here in town. They love living in Houston. It is a voluntary program, but at the same time, our guys, we’ve got a strong football team that believes that they need to be here to get better, and they’ve done a great job with it.”
Tags: Antoine Caldwell, Antonio Smith, Ben Tate, Brooks Reed, Bryan Braman, Connor Barwin, Gary Kubiak, J.J. Watt, James Casey, Lestar Jean, Offseason workouts, T.J. Yates
Posted in Nick Scurfield | 9 Comments »
Yates bailed on Watt (“he had something to do; I think he was going apartment hunting,” Watt said on Tuesday morning at Reliant Stadium), so Watt extended an invitation to fans on Twitter to take Yates’ place.
“I took the first two guys to respond and saw if they were in Houston and they were and they could meet me at the course,” Watt said in the Texans’ locker room Tuesday. “So we went at about 5:30 yesterday, and they beat me. Both of those guys beat me. I’m not exactly the best golfer. It was a lot of fun, though.”
The two fans were Twitter users @THEREALALLENOU and @mr_micah_. Watt tweeted at them after their nine-hole round, thanking both for playing with him. @THEREALALLENOU responded with “thank you. It was a blast. I’ll treat next time.” In various tweets, @mr_michah_ called Watt “a true class act,” “just a great guy to hang with” and thanked Watt for “the early birthday present.”
Watt, the Texans’ 2011 first-round pick and one of the stars of their two playoff games, has more than 65,000 followers on Twitter. He routinely interacts with fans, but the spur-of-the-moment golf outing was a first for him — and, obviously, for the two fans.
“They were real excited,” Watt said. “It was a real good time. It’s always nice to get in touch with the fans. It was crazy to see how many fans offered to play a round of golf. People were saying they would take off of work, they would call in sick to school and stuff, so it was kind of cool. It was a lot of fun and I hope to do that again in the future, because it was fun.
“You never know what you’re going to get when you offer just anybody to come play, but they were very cool guys. The Texans fans down here are awesome, so I have no problem doing stuff like that because the fans have been so good to me, and I really look forward to doing more stuff like that in the future because they’re so good to us here at Reliant that I love giving back any chance I can.”
Photo credit: @mr_micah_
Tags: J.J. Watt, T.J. Yates, Twitter
Posted in Nick Scurfield | 3 Comments »
Texans quarterback Matt Leinart will be waived on Tuesday before the start of free agency at 3 p.m. CT, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. The move has not been announced by the team and, as such, is not official.
“I appreciate and thank Mr McNair and the Texans organization for giving me the opportunity to play,” Leinart said. “I will miss the Texans fans and most importantly my teammates. I have no time to get down, focus is on getting healthy and being ready to go again!”
Leinart, 28, joined the Texans as a backup in 2010. He got a long-awaited chance to play in 2011 after Matt Schaub broke his foot in Week 10 at Tampa Bay, but he lasted less than two quarters before suffering a broken collarbone in Week 12 at Jacksonville. Rookie fifth-round draft pick T.J. Yates stepped in for Leinart and led the Texans to their first AFC South title and first playoff victory in franchise history.
Tags: Eric Winston, Free agency, Matt Leinart, Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates
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In the wake of reports that Arian Foster has agreed to terms on a five-year contract to remain with the Texans, congratulations have poured in for the two-time Pro Bowl running back on Twitter.
Here’s a sampling of the comments from his teammates, NFL peers and others:
@MikeMcCartney7: Congrats to @ArianFoster for agreeing to a 5 year contract with the @HoustonTexans! Arian has showed tremendous class the last couple years.
@MSchaub8: Congrats to @ArianFoster for reaching a five year deal. Much derserved.
@DuaneBrown76: Congrats to my dawg @ArianFoster signing a new deal. Truly a special player that works very hard. Well deserved bruh
@JJWatt: Congrats to @ArianFoster on agreeing to a new 5-year deal! Very well deserved. #Texans
@briancushing56: Couldn’t be happier for my boy @ArianFoster. Very well deserved no one has worked harder.
@GloverQuin29: Congrats to my homie @ArianFoster on the new deal.. Well deserved my brotha..
@grah89ham: Congrats @ArianFoster. Well Deserved
@TJ_Yates: Congrats @ArianFoster on the new deal! Hard works pays off!
@34dombarber:Congrats to the homie @ArianFoster on his new contract! Kid works hard and never complains.. #canigetthatmixtapedoe lol
@MattLeinartQB: To echo my teammates, congrats to @ArianFoster for reaching a new deal. No one is more deserving!
@vleach44: Congrats to @ArianFoster well deserved now it’s time for @RayRice27 to get paid #showmethemoney
@RayRice27: Congrats to the bro @ArianFoster well deserved #respect
@HannahStormESPN: Congrats @ArianFoster And @HoustonTexans fans! RT @AdamSchefter: Texans and Foster agree on a five-year, $43.5 m deal $20.75 guaranteed
Tags: Arian Foster, Brian Cushing, Dominique Barber, Duane Brown, Free agency, Garrett Graham, Glover Quin, J.J. Watt, Matt Leinart, Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates
Posted in Nick Scurfield | 2 Comments »
Jason La Canfora of NFL Network broke the news via Twitter on Tuesday morning. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday afternoon that he received confirmation of Knapp’s move to Oakland from Texans head coach Gary Kubiak. Nothing official has been announced by the Texans or Raiders at this time.
Knapp, 48, was an NFL offensive coordinator for nine seasons before joining the Texans’ staff in 2010. He was the Raiders’ offensive coordinator from 2007-08. New Raiders head coach Dennis Allen coached with Knapp in Atlanta from 2004-05.
Knapp received high praise from Kubiak this season for his work with rookie quarterback T.J. Yates following injuries to quarterbacks Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart. He also spent countless hours with late-season veteran additions Jake Delhomme and Jeff Garcia to get them up to speed on the Texans’ playbook. The Texans used four different quarterbacks and had six on the roster in 2011.
Tags: Gary Kubiak, Greg Knapp, Matt Leinart, Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates
Posted in Nick Scurfield | 5 Comments »