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  • Tue., Nov. 04, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST Duane Brown Live at Houston Texans Grille Join Texans offensive lineman Duane Brown every Tuesday from 6-7pm at the Houston Texans Grille (12848 Queensbury Ln, Houston, TX 77024), then stay Texans Live from 7-8pm.  Lots of Texans prizes & giveaways
  • Tue., Nov. 11, 2014 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM CST Verizon Texans Players Show

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Torri Williams making most of opportunity at CB

Posted by Nick Scurfield on June 1, 2012 – 11:01 am

On Wednesday, Texans coach Gary Kubiak mentioned four young players who have stood out to him so far during organized team activities (OTAs).

One of those players was Torri Williams, an undrafted free agent out of Purdue in 2010. Williams (6-2, 210) is playing cornerback after being listed at safety in his first two seasons with the Texans.

“For a guy who’s only played corner for a little bit of time, he’s showed great movement stuff, great awareness,” Texans defensive backs coach Vance Joseph said on Thursday. “He’s got some size, so I’m excited about Torri getting more reps in OTAs and coming into camp ready to compete.

“I think his best chance of making the team is at corner, in my opinion. And a big guy with movement skills like that, why waste him playing safety? I think his natural position is corner, so it’s the best thing for Torri, and for us, obviously.”

Williams’ football career has been full of twists and turns. He missed his sophomore season at Purdue in 2005 after breaking his right leg in spring practice. He started Purdue’s 2006 season opener but dislocated his right knee in the third quarter, ending yet another season. He battled some legal issues in 2007 and spent six seasons at Purdue because of his medical hardships.

The Texans signed Williams as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He wound up on the practice squad and was called up to the active roster in November, then suffered a season-ending hamstring injury in his first game.

In 2011, the Texans tried Williams at corner in their preseason finale. They released him a few days later but signed him back to the practice squad in October.

“Really, I’m just blessed, man, to even still be here, to even go through the things I’ve been through in college and my first couple years here,” Williams said Thursday. “I’m blessed to still have an opportunity to continue playing and do something that I love and enjoy, so I’m happy.”

When the Texans signed Williams to the practice squad last year, they told him they wanted to give him a shot at corner. So that’s where they put him, giving him a year to develop at the position.

“I’m getting adjusted to it, just watching the other veterans, watching how they work, watching how they cover, watching more film and seeing route recognition,” Williams said. “It’s exciting.”

Williams played safety and corner at Purdue, which he said has helped his transition at the NFL level. But the Cedar Park, Texas, native is still learning.

“For him, it’s footwork and alignment, just those things that he hasn’t done in a long time,” Joseph said. “He’s got natural route recognition. He’s a smart player. It’s just footwork and alignments, and that’s what he’s lacking right now, which comes with experience.”

Williams has unconventional size for a corner at 6-2, but he doesn’t see it as a hindrance.

“With the game now, you’re getting a lot of bigger receivers, so I guess on some of those deep balls they expect me to be in position to be able to play those better,” he said. “Being a big corner is definitely a plus for me.”

Joseph agrees.

“He’s got great movement skills,” Joseph said. “For a big guy, he can really move and he can really bend. He’s awful quick and he’s got some long speed. He’s surprisingly one of our better movement guys doing drills, so with more time and experience, he should be fine at corner. I’m excited to see him grow and come into camp competing.”

The Texans did not sign a veteran corner this offseason despite the departure of veteran Jason Allen in free agency. Joseph acknowledged that there could be an opportunity for Williams to push for a roster spot.

“Sure,” he said. “We didn’t draft any corners, and we signed one (undrafted) free agent guy (Toledo’s Desmond Marrow), so there’s always room for good players. If he’s a good player coming out of camp, he’s gonna be here.”


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Intriguing group of young players stepping up in OTAs

Posted by Nick Scurfield on May 30, 2012 – 4:47 pm

The Texans had their fifth practice of organized team activities (OTAs) and second practice of the week on Wednesday at the Methodist Training Center.

Head coach Gary Kubiak said he liked the competition at practice – the defense would win a period, then the offense would win a period, back and forth throughout. Kubiak also said he’s excited to see some of the Texans’ second- and third-year players “really starting to do some good things” on the field.

“There’s some guys really jumping at me,” he said. “When I look at Trindon Holliday starting to look like a wide receiver out here, he’s making plays. I think (tight end) Garrett Graham is doing some good things. The defensive side of the ball, I look at (outside linebacker Bryan) Braman and how far he’s come in such a short period of time, and also (defensive back) Torri Williams. What we’re going to eventually be (as a team) will probably have a lot to do with how many of those types of guys step up and all of a sudden become real good pros, so we’ll see.”

It’s an interesting group of players that Kubiak listed. Let’s take a closer look at them:

  • Holliday is the team’s smallest player at 5-5, 170. He’s also probably the team’s fastest player, with official electronic times of 4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash and 10.0 in the 100 meters. He was drafted in the sixth round in 2010 primarily for his return prowess, since he barely played receiver at LSU. After spending his rookie year on injured reserve, he spent most of last season on the Texans’ practice squad. Kubiak has said time and again that Holliday will need to show he can help the team as more than just a returner, and it sounds like he’s on his way doing just that.
  • Graham is entering his third season out of Wisconsin. A fourth-round pick in 2010, he has drawn favorable comparisons to fellow former Badger (and Texans fourth-round pick) Owen Daniels but has rarely seen the field in his first two years, in part because of injuries. At the NFL Scouting Combine in February, Kubiak said the biggest thing for Graham is to stay healthy and called this a “huge offseason” for him. James Casey is currently the Texans’ number two tight end and starting fullback, but Graham has a clear chance at more playing time this year with Joel Dreessen now on the Denver Broncos.
  • Braman (6-5, 246) made the team last year as an undrafted rookie out of West Texas A&M. He’s a gifted athlete who had some off-field issues in college; the Texans took a chance on him based on the recommendation of defensive assistant Bobby King, who coached him at West Texas. Braman turned heads in the preseason last year with his pass-rushing ability and unique off-field story, and he was one of the Texans’ best special teams players in 2011. This play pretty much sums him up.
  • Williams (6-2, 210) has been playing cornerback in OTAs. He was listed at free safety for the last two seasons. He played both positions in college at Purdue – corner in his final two seasons in 2008-09 and safety from 2004-07 (he had six years of eligibility after season-ending injuries in 2005 and 2006). Undrafted in 2010, Williams was activated from the practice squad for one game as a rookie before suffering a season-ending hamstring injury. In 2011, he was released in the Texans’ final roster cuts in the preseason but re-signed to the practice squad a month later. The Texans did not sign a veteran corner after losing Jason Allen in free agency to the Cincinnati Bengals, so there could be room for Williams to push for a roster spot.

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Undrafted rookie S Eddie Pleasant already has a nickname: “The Missile”

Posted by Nick Scurfield on May 16, 2012 – 9:27 am

In a very informative appearance on “Texans All Access” on Tuesday on SportsRadio 610, Texans special teams coordinator Joe Marciano gave a glowing review of rookie safety Eddie Pleasant.

Pleasant, an undrafted free agent from Oregon, was previously mentioned by general manager Rick Smith as a player the Texans had contemplated drafting. Marciano seconded that notion, and then some.

“We’ve got Eddie Pleasant, who we really liked,” Marciano said in response to a question about UDFAs who could make an impact on special teams. “We thought we were going to draft him. That’s another story for another day, but we had him and his card was picked; we were ready to take him. I already gave him a nickname. His name is ‘The Missile.’ He seeks in on the target and he just takes off and hits it. He’s a very, very exciting player. I’m excited about him to come in and see what he can do.”

Pleasant (5-10, 211) was a three-year starter at Oregon, starting his career as a linebacker and emergency running back. He didn’t play safety until his junior year with the Ducks but blossomed as a senior in 2011, recording 61 tackles, three interceptions and 11 passes defensed en route to first-team All-Pac 12 honors. He posted a 4.63 40-yard dash, 33.5-inch vertical jump and 22 bench press reps of 225 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Texans currently have eight safeties on the roster: 2011 starters Danieal Manning and Glover Quin; 2011 contributors Troy Nolan, Quintin Demps and Shiloh Keo; 2011 practice squad player Torri Williams; and undrafted rookies Pleasant and Desmond Marrow (Toledo).

Four safeties were on the Texans’ active roster on opening day in 2011 (Manning, Quin, Nolan and Dominique Barber). There could be room for five this year, since the Texans had seven cornerbacks in Week 1 last season and now have only six corners on the roster. It’ll be a tough group to crack, but it certainly sounds like Pleasant has a legitimate chance.


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Texans-Eagles Wednesday injury report

Posted by Nick Scurfield on December 1, 2010 – 4:11 pm

Here’s the Wednesday (final) injury report for the Texans and Philadelphia Eagles.

Texans

Out
LB Xavier Adibi (hamstring/DNP), TE Owen Daniels (hamstring/DNP)

Doubtful
None

Questionable
WR David Anderson (hamstring/limited), DE Jesse Nading (knee/DNP), WR Kevin Walter (calf/limited)

Probable
LB Kevin Bentley (knee, shoulder/full), LB Brian Cushing (knee/limited), TE Joel Dreessen (knee/full), WR Jacoby Jones (illness/full), CB Glover Quin (hand/full), QB Matt Schaub (knee/full), T Eric Winston (shoulder/full)

Notes: Safety Torri Williams was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury on Wednesday. Daniels is expected to return to the field next week.

Eagles

Out
DE Juqua Parker (hip/DNP)

Doubtful
None 

Questionable
WR Riley Cooper (knee/DNP), CB Asante Samuel (knee/limited)

Probable
CB Jorrick Calvin (back/full), G Nick Cole (knee/full), CB Trevard Lindley (knee/full), RB LeSean McCoy (shoulder/full)

Notes: Samuel’s status will be one to watch. The three-time Pro Bowler was inactive in last week’s game against the Chicago Bears.


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Texans-Eagles Tuesday injury report

Posted by Nick Scurfield on November 30, 2010 – 5:01 pm

Here’s the Tuesday injury report for the Texans and Philadelphia Eagles.

Texans

Out

Did Not Participate in Practice
LB Xavier Adibi (hamstring), TE Owen Daniels (hamstring), DE Jesse Nading (knee), S Torri Williams (hamstring)

Limited Participation in Practice
WR David Anderson (hamstring), LB Brian Cushing (knee), WR Kevin Walter (calf), DE Mario Williams (groin)

Full Participation in Practice
LB Kevin Bentley (knee, shoulder), TE Joel Dreessen (knee), WR Jacoby Jones (illness), CB Glover Quin (hand), QB Matt Schaub (knee), T Eric Winston (shoulder)

Notes: Texans coach Gary Kubiak said that there’s a 50/50 chance that Daniels will play this week and that he should definitely be back next week.

Eagles

Out

Did Not Participate in Practice
WR Riley Cooper (knee), DE Juqua Parker (hip)

Limited Participation in Practice
CB Asante Samuel (knee)

Full Participation in Practice
K David Akers (r. hamstring), CB Jorrick Calvin (back), G Nick Cole (knee), CB Trevard Lindley (knee), RB LeSean McCoy (shoulder)

Notes: The Eagles’ injury report was identical on Monday and Tuesday.


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Texans-Eagles Monday injury report

Posted by Nick Scurfield on November 29, 2010 – 4:02 pm

Here’s the Monday injury report for the Texans and Philadelphia Eagles.

*Note: The Texans will be conducting a walkthrough on Monday at 7 p.m. Their Monday injury report is an estimation.

Texans

Out

Did Not Participate in Practice
LB Xavier Adibi (hamstring), WR David Anderson (hamstring), LB Brian Cushing (knee), TE Owen Daniels (hamstring), WR Kevin Walter (calf), DE Mario Williams (groin), S Torri Williams (hamstring)

Limited Participation in Practice
LB Kevin Bentley (knee), TE Joel Dreessen (knee), DE Jesse Nading (knee), T Eric Winston (shoulder)

Full Participation in Practice
CB Glover Quin (hand), QB Matt Schaub (knee)

Notes: It’s worth noting that wide receiver Andre Johnson (ankle) is not listed. He practiced without limitation each day last week.

Eagles

Out

Did Not Participate in Practice
WR Riley Cooper (knee), DE Juqua Parker (hip)

Limited Participation in Practice
CB Asante Samuel (knee)

Full Participation in Practice
K David Akers (r. hamstring), CB Jorrick Calvin (back), G Nick Cole (knee), CB Trevard Lindley (knee), RB LeSean McCoy (shoulder)


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Texans-Jaguars inactives, lineup changes

Posted by Nick Scurfield on November 14, 2010 – 10:43 am

Hot off the presses, here are inactives and lineup changes for the Texans’ Week 10 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. local time, noon CT.

Texans inactives
9 QB Matt Leinart (third quarterback)
30 CB Jason Allen
42 S Torri Williams
52 LB Xavier Adibi
64 G Kasey Studdard
67 DT Malcolm Sheppard
72 DE Jesse Nading
81 TE Owen Daniels

Texans starting lineup changes

Joel Dreessen will start at tight end for Daniels, who is out with a hamstring injury.

Notes
Allen was claimed off waivers on Thursday and was under consideration to play this weekend. Williams was signed from the practice squad on Saturday.

Jaguars inactives
17 WR John Matthews
20 CB Terrence Wheatley
26 CB Chevis Jackson
44 FB Brock Bolen
68 OT Guy Whimper
79 OT Adam Terry
97 DE Aaron Morgan
98 DT Nate Collins

Jaguars starting lineup changes

None annnounced

Notes
The Jaguars will also be without starting defensive end Aaron Kampman, their top pass rusher. Kampman tore an ACL in practice this week and is out for the season.


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Texans put Paymah on IR, sign Torri Williams

Posted by Nick Scurfield on November 14, 2010 – 9:29 am

The Texans placed cornerback Karl Paymah on injured reserve yesterday with a wrist injury and signed safety Torri Williams from their practice squad.

Williams (6-2, 210) is an undrafted rookie from Purdue. Here’s a blurb I wrote on him during training camp, when Williams caught the attention of defensive backs coach David Gibbs while he was battling for a roster spot.

Paymah (6-0, 195) played in two games for the Texans this season. He had two special teams tackles after being signed on Sept. 29. A sixth-year veteran, he was the most experienced cornerback on the Texans’ roster. That distinction now belongs to fifth-year pro Jason Allen.

Also on Saturday, the Texans added cornerback Antwaun Molden (stomach) to the injury report for today’s game. Molden is listed as probable.


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