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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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Postgame notes: Texans 13, Bears 6

Posted by Nick Scurfield on November 12, 2012 – 1:18 am

CHICAGO — Courtesy of the Texans’ public relations staff, postgame notes from the Texans’ 13-6 victory over the Chicago Bears in Week 10 at Soldier Field.

THE WIN

·         Improved the Texans’ record to 8-1 on the season, giving the team its best record through nine games in team history.

·         Kept the Texans undefeated against the Bears, improving Houston’s all-time mark to 3-0 against Chicago.

·         Was the fourth consecutive road victory for the Texans, matching a franchise record. Houston previously won four consecutive road games from 12/20/09-10/3/10 and also from 10/23/11-12/11/11.

·         Improved Houston’s all-time record in prime time to 5-8 and improved the team’s record on Sunday Night Football to 2-4.

THE TEXANS OFFENSE

·         Won the time of possession battle for the ninth time this season, holding the ball for 31:09. Houston improved to 46-19 under head coach Gary Kubiak when possessing the ball more than 30 minutes.

·         Outrushed the Bears, 127-115. The Texans improved to 7-0 this season and 44-15 under Kubiak when outrushing their opponents.

·         Ran the ball 35 times in the game and improved to 40-5 under Kubiak when rushing 30 or more times.

·         Helped the team post a positive turnover margin for the seventh time this season, with two giveaways and four takeaways for a plus-two margin. Houston is 7-0 this season when winning the turnover battle.

·         Scored a field goal following a fumble recovery in the first quarter. It was Houston’s 15th takeaway of the season and the 11th time the team scored following a takeaway. Houston has scored 57 points off of its 17 takeaways this season.

·         Opened the scoring for the fifth game this season when K Shayne Graham connected on a 20-yard field goal in the first quarter.

·         Led at the end of the first quarter for the sixth time this season, and at halftime and after three quarters for the eighth time this year.

·         Gained a season-low 215 yards of net offense. The 215 net yards were tied for the sixth-fewest in a victory in franchise history. Houston also gained 215 yards in wins at Jacksonville on 11/27/11.

·         Scored a season-low 13 points. The 13 points were tied for the second-fewest scored in a victory in franchise history. Houston scored 12 points in a win over Buffalo in 2003 (12-10, 11/16/03) and has scored 13 points in victories twice before, most recently on 12/14/08 vs. Tennessee, a 13-12 win.

THE TEXANS DEFENSE

·         Held Chicago to six points in the game. That point total was tied for the fourth-fewest points allowed in a game in team history. Houston has held its opponent to six points on six previous occasions, most recently on 10/4/09 vs. Oakland.

·         Held an opponent to fewer than 20 points for the seventh time this season and the 17th time over the last two years. Houston improved to 16-1 in those games over the last two years and 39-2 under Kubiak when allowing fewer than 20 points.

·         Limited Chicago’s offense to eight first downs in the game, which is tied for the second-fewest first downs allowed in a game in team history. Houston also allowed eight first downs vs. Oakland on 10/4/09. The franchise record is six allowed at Jacksonville on 12/26/04.

·         Held Chicago to 2-of-13 on third-down attempts in the game, for a 15 percent conversion rate. It was the fourth game this season in which Houston held its opponent to 20 percent or less on third-down conversions.

·         Forced three turnovers in the first quarter, which is the most in team history in the opening period. The Texans have previously forced two turnovers in the first quarter seven times, most recently on 9/11/11 vs. Indianapolis.

·         Forced three turnovers in a single quarter for the third time in team history and the second time this season. Houston forced four turnovers in the second quarter of the season opener vs. Miami (9/9) and forced three turnovers in the fourth quarter at Oakland on 12/3/06.

·         Forced four turnovers (two interceptions, two fumble recoveries) in the first half, to tie a franchise record for turnovers forced in the first half of a game. The Texans also forced four turnovers in the first half against Miami in the 2012 season opener on 9/9/12.

ILB TIM DOBBINS

·         Recovered his first fumble of the season and the fourth of his career when he picked up a fumble on the first play of the game. He returned the fumble 28 yards.

RB JUSTIN FORSETT

·         Turned in his longest run of the season when he picked up 25 yards on a second-quarter carry. It was Forsett’s longest run since 2010 with Seattle.

RB ARIAN FOSTER

·         Scored a touchdown in his 11th consecutive regular-season game when he caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from QB Matt Schaub in the second quarter. The touchdown catch was his second of the season and the sixth of his career.

·         Topped 100 rushing yards for the second consecutive game and the fifth time this season. Foster has run for 100 or more yards 21 times in his career. He finished the game with 102 yards on 29 carries.

K SHAYNE GRAHAM

·         Connected on field goals of 20 and 42 yards. It was his fifth game this season with multiple made field goals.

ILB BRADIE JAMES

·         Recovered a fumble in the first quarter. It was his first fumble recovery as a Texan and the 13th of his career.

CB KAREEM JACKSON

·         Intercepted his fourth pass of the season in the second quarter. It was the seventh interception of his career. Jackson is now tied for fourth with Jason Allen (2010-11) on the franchise’s all-time interception list.

WR ANDRE JOHNSON

·         Extended his franchise-record streak of consecutive games with a reception to 91 with an 11-yard catch in the first quarter.

·         Caught the 750th pass of his career when he hauled in an 8-yard pass in the second quarter. Johnson entered the game with 748 career receptions.

·         Passed Hall of Fame WRs Michael Irvin and Charlie Joiner with his 751st career reception, his third catch of the game.

P DONNIE JONES

·         Boomed a 59-yard punt in the third quarter. He has now had at least one punt of 55 yards or longer in four consecutive games and in eight out of nine games this season.

SS DANIEAL MANNING

·         Forced a fumble on the first defensive play of the game. It was his first forced fumble of the season, his first as a Texan and the seventh of his career.

·         Tied his career high with his second interception of the season when he picked off Chicago QB Jay Cutler in the first quarter. It was his 11th career interception. Manning also had two interceptions in 2006, 2007 and 2011.

FS GLOVER QUIN

·         Forced a fumble in the first quarter. It was his second forced fumble of the season and the second of his career. He also forced a fumble in the season opener vs. Miami (9/9).

QB MATT SCHAUB

·         Won his 40th game as the Texans’ starting quarterback. He improved his record to 40-33 under center for Houston.

·         Tossed his 13th touchdown pass of the season when he hit RB Arian Foster for a 3-yard score in the second quarter.

LG WADE SMITH

·         Started the 75th game of his career.

MISCELLANEOUS STATS

·         Inactive players for the Texans were G Brandon Brooks, CB Roc Carmichael, NT Shaun Cody, TE Owen Daniels, SSTroy Nolan, RB Ben Tate and G Cody White.

·         Captains for the Texans were ILB Tim Dobbins, WR Andre Johnson, FS Shiloh Keo, C Chris Myers, QB Matt Schaub, DE Antonio Smith and DE J.J. Watt. Schaub and Johnson went to midfield for the pregame coin toss.

·         The Bears won the toss and elected to defer their option until the second half.


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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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Texans-Broncos connections

Posted by Nick Scurfield on September 21, 2012 – 3:49 pm

Courtesy of the Texans’ public relations staff, here are the connections (of which there are many) between the Texans and their Week 3 opponent, the Denver Broncos:

TEXANS WITH CONNECTIONS TO COLORADO
OLB Jesse Nading (Highlands Ranch; Colorado State); Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison (Rocky Mountain H.S. in Fort Collins; CSU); OL Coach John Benton (Durango/Colorado State); Offensive Assistant Dan Hammerschmidt (played at CSU from 1982-85 and coached there in 1986, 1997-2006 and 2010-11); DB Coach Vance Joseph (played at Colorado from 1990-94 and coached there 1999-01 and 2002-03); Assistant WR Coach Marc Lubick (coached at CSU from 2000-02 and 2005-09).

BRONCOS WITH CONNECTIONS TO TEXAS
G/C Philip Blake (Baylor); LB Von Miller (DeSoto, Texas A&M); G Manny Ramirez (Houston, Texas Tech); C J.D. Walton (Baylor); Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio (played for Dallas Cowboys 1989-91); Special Teams Coordinator Jeff Rodgers (Westlake H.S.; North Texas); TE Coach Clancy Barone (coached at Texas State, University of Houston and Texas A&M); Secondary Coach Ron Milus (coached at Texas A&M); DL Coach Jay Rodgers (Austin); WR Coach Tyke Tolbert (Conroe).

FORMER BRONCOS ON THE TEXANS
C Chris Myers (2005-07); T Ryan Harris (2007-11); Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Rick Smith was an assistant defensive backs coach for the Broncos from 1996-99 before working in the personnel department from 2000-06; Head Coach Gary Kubiak (played for the Broncos, from 1983-91 and coached there from 1995-2005); Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison (played there from 1982-90 and coached there from 1995-09); Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips (head coach from 1989-1994); QB Coach Karl Dorrell (coached there 2000-02); WR Coach Larry Kirksey (coached there in 2004); TE Coach Brian Pariani (coached there from 1995-04); Assistant OL Coach Jim Ryan (played there from 1979-88 and coached there from 2004-08); Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Cedric Smith worked there from 2001-06; Director of Football Operations Doug West was the head equipment manager for the Broncos from 1993-2003.

FORMER TEXANS ON THE BRONCOS
TE Joel Dreessen (2007-11); NT Mitch Unrein went to training camp with the Texans in 2010; LB Coach Richard Smith (was Texans defensive coordinator from 2006-08).

TEXANS-BRONCOS COLLEGE CONNECTIONS
Texans RB Arian Foster (2004-08) played at Tennessee with Broncos DE Robert Ayers (2004-08) and P Britton Colquitt (2004-08); Texans CB Brice McCain (2005-2008) played for Utah with Broncos G Zane Beadles (2005-09); Texans ILB Mister Alexander (2006-10) played for Florida State with Broncos CB Tony Carter (2004-08); Texans OLB Jesse Nading (2004-07) played for Colorado State with Broncos TE Joel Dreessen (2001-04) and QB Caleb Hanie (2004-07); Texans CB Brandon Harris (2008-10) played for Miami with Broncos T Orlando Franklin (2007-10); Texans NT Earl Mitchell (2006-09) and OLB Brooks Reed (2007-10) played at Arizona with Broncos FB Chris Gronkowski (2007-09); Texans TE Owen Daniels (2002-05) played for Wisconsin with Broncos S Jim Leonhard (2001-04); Texans WR Andre Johnson (1999-02) played for Miami with Broncos RB Willis McGahee (2000-02); Texans C Ben Jones (2008-11) played for Georgia with Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno (2006-08); Texans G Andrew Gardner (2005-08) played for Georgia Tech with Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (2006-08); Texans LS Jon Weeks (2004-06) played for Baylor with Broncos C J.D. Walton (2006-09); Broncos WR Matthew Willis (2005) played at UCLA when Texans QB Coach Karl Dorrell (2003-07) coached there; Texans ILB Bradie James (1999-02) and P Donnie Jones (2000-2003) played at LSU when Denver QB Coach Adam Gase (2000-02) coached there; Dorrell (1992-93) coached at Colorado State with Broncos OL Coach Dave Magazu (1992-94); Dreessen (2001-04) played for Colorado State when Texans OL Coach John Benton (1995-03) coached there; Broncos DT Mitch Unrein (2005-09) played at Wyoming when Texans Offensive Assistant Dan Hammerschmidt (2009) coached there; Hanie (2004-07) played at Colorado State when Hammerschmidt (2001-07) and Texans Assistant WR Coach Marc Lubick (2005-07) coached there; Broncos DT Justin Bannan (1997-01) played at Colorado when Texans DB Coach Vance Joseph (1999-01) coached there; Texans Assistant LB Coach Bobby King (2006-07) coached at Baylor when Walton (2006-09) played there.

TEXANS-BRONCOS PRO CONNECTIONS
Texans RB Justin Forsett (2008) played for Indianapolis with Broncos RB Lance Ball (2008), TE Jacob Tamme (2008-11), and QB Peyton Manning (1998-2011); Texans P Donnie Jones (2007-11) played for St. Louis with Broncos DT Justin Bannan (2011); Texans QB John Beck (2009) played for Baltimore with Bannan (2006-09); Texans CB Alan Ball (2007-11) and ILB Bradie James (2003-11) played for Dallas with Broncos LB Keith Brooking (2009-11); Texans QB Matt Schaub (2004- 06) played for Atlanta with Brooking (1998-08); Texans CB Johnathan Joseph (2006-10), K Shayne Graham (2003-09), and T Andrew Gardner (2011) played for Cincinnati with Broncos WR Andre Caldwell (2008-11); Graham (2010) played for New England with Broncos CB Tony Carter (2010) and C Dan Koppen (2003-11); Ball (2007-11) and James (2003-11) played for Dallas with Broncos FB Chris Gronkowski (2010); Texans FS Danieal Manning (2006-10) played for Chicago with Broncos QB Caleb Hanie (2008-11); Texans FS Quintin Demps (2008-09) played for Philadelphia with Broncos LB Joe Mays (2008-09); Beck (2009) and Gardner (2010) played for Baltimore with Broncos RB Willis McGahee (2007-10); Texans NT Shaun Cody (2005-08) played for Detroit with Broncos G Manny Ramirez (2007-10); Forsett (2008-11) played for Seattle with Broncos WR Brandon Stokley (2010); Jones (2005-06) played for Miami with Broncos DT Kevin Vickerson (2006); Graham (2002) played for Carolina when Broncos Head Coach John Fox (2002-10), Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio (2002) and Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy (2000-08) coached there; Texans WR Coach Larry Kirksey (2003) coached at Jacksonville with Del Rio (2003-11); Texans ILB Tim Dobbins (2008-09) played for San Diego when Broncos Barone (2007-08) coached there; Schaub (2004-06) played for Atlanta when Barone (2004-06) coached there; Jones (2007-11) played for St. Louis when Milus (2006-08) coached there; Jones (2005-06) and LG Wade Smith (2003-05) played for Miami when Richard Smith (2005) coached there.


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Game notes: Texans 30, Dolphins 10

Posted by Nick Scurfield on September 9, 2012 – 7:14 pm

Courtesy of the Texans’ public relations staff, here are game notes from Houston’s 30-10 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Week 1 at Reliant Stadium:

THE WIN…
·         Was the Texans’ third consecutive victory on Kickoff Weekend. Houston improved to 6-5 on opening day and 5-3 at home on Kickoff Weekend.

·         Improved Houston’s all-time record against Miami to 7-0 overall and 4-0 at Reliant Stadium.

·         Improved Houston’s record against AFC East opponents to 10-10 all-time.

HEAD COACH GARY KUBIAK
·         Improved his career regular-season record to 48-49 overall.

·         Won his 30th game at Reliant Stadium, improving to 30-19 at home.

·         Unsuccessfully challenged a call on Houston’s first possession, arguing that WR Lestar Jean was in bounds on a catch in the end zone. Jean was ruled out of bounds by the officials on the field. His career record fell to 5-17 on challenges.

·         The Texans have scored 30 or more points 25 times in franchise history, 22 of which have come under Kubiak (2006-12).

THE TEXANS…
·         Did not allow Miami to score an offensive touchdown in the game.

·         Held an opponent to 10 or fewer points for the 25th time in team history and the sixth time in two seasons under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

·         Intercepted three passes in the first half, tying a franchise record for the most interceptions in one half. The last time Houston had three interceptions in a half was in the second half at Tampa Bay last season (11/13/11).

·         Forced turnovers on four consecutive possessions to end the first half.  It was the second time in team history that the Texans forced turnovers on four straight possessions. The previous time was 10/3/04 vs. Oakland.

·         Forced turnovers on three consecutive plays in the second quarter. Following ILB Brian Cushing’s interception, CB Kareem Jackson intercepted a pass on first-and-10 on Miami’s next drive, and SS Danieal Manning recovered a fumble on the first play of Miami’s subsequent possession.

·         Tied the team record for the most takeaways in one half with four in the first half. The last time Houston forced four turnovers in a half was in the second half at Tampa Bay on11/13/11.

·         Held Miami’s offense to -5 yards in the third quarter. The previous low was 1 yard by Tampa Bay in the third quarter on 11/13/11.

·         Stopped Miami on fourth down on three consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter. Houston’s opponents were 6-of-13 (46.2 percent) on fourth-down attempts in 2011.

·         Held Miami to 2-of-10 (20 percent) on third down attempts in the game. Houston’s opponents converted 35.8 percent of third-down tries in 2011.

·         Have scored 30 or more points in each of their last three season openers. They scored 34 vs. Indianapolis in 2010 and again in 2011.

·         Scored 24 points off of four takeaways, their first such points this season. In 2011, the team scored 119 points off of 27 turnovers.

·         Scored 24 second-quarter points, which tied for the most in that period in team history. Houston also scored 24 points vs. Arizona on 12/8/05. Tied for second-most points in a quarter in franchise history.

·         Had four red-zone possessions in the first half and scored three touchdowns. Overall, Houston was 3-of-6 on its red zone possessions in the game. The Texans scored touchdowns on 28-of-60 red zone possessions (46.7 percent) in 2011.

·         Won the time of possession battle, holding the ball for 34:44. Houston was 9-3 when winning time of possession in 2011 and are now 39-18 under Kubiak when holding the ball more than their opponent.

·         Ran the ball 35 times in the game. Under Kubiak, Houston is now 33-5 when running the ball 30 or more times.

·         Outrushed the Dolphins, 83-79. Houston improved to 1-0 on the season when outrushing its opposition and 38-15 under Kubiak.

·         Held a plus-4 turnover ratio in the game (4 takeaways, 0 turnovers) and improved to 28-7 under Kubiak in games with a positive turnover margin.

·         Did not have any rookies start in the season opener for the first time in franchise history.

ILB BRIAN CUSHING
·         Forced a fumble in the first quarter. It was his first forced fumble of the season and the sixth of his career.

·         Intercepted his first pass of the season and the seventh of his career when he hauled in a deflected pass in the second quarter. Cushing returned the interception for 1 yard.

·         Also led the team with seven tackles, including six solo stops. It was the

TE OWEN DANIELS
·         Made his 300th career reception with his first catch of the afternoon, a 23-yard gain on the Texans’ opening drive. Daniels finished the game with 87 yards on four catches.

·         Picked up a first down on all four of his receptions.

RB ARIAN FOSTER
·         Scored his 30th career rushing touchdown and his first of the season on a 14-yard gain late in the second quarter.

·         Became the second Texans position player, along with WR Andre Johnson, to score more than 300 points when he scored his first touchdown of the game. The score gave him 305 career points.

·         Scored his second rushing touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run in the second quarter. It was his seventh career multi-touchdown performance. He finished with a game-high 79 rushing yards on 26 attempts, including his two touchdowns.

K SHAYNE GRAHAM
·         Saw a 52-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter fall short. Graham is now 9-19 from beyond 50 yards in his career. The kick was his 250th career field goal attempt.

·         Connected on a 36-yard field goal in the second quarter for his first points as a Texan.

·         Made a 40-yard field goal in the third quarter to push the Texans’ lead to 27-10. In his career, Graham is 57-of-71 (80.3 percent) on attempts between 40 and 49 yards.

·         Closed the scoring with a 19-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. It was only the fifth attempt of his career from less than 20 yards, and he is perfect on those kicks.

CB KAREEM JACKSON
·         Intercepted his first pass of the season and the fourth of his career when he picked off a deflected pass in the second quarter. He returned the interception 3 yards.

·         Tied a career high with two passes defensed in the game. The last time he had two passes defensed was 11/6/11 vs. Cleveland.

DE TIM JAMISON
·         Sacked Miami QB Ryan Tannehill for a 12-yard loss in the fourth quarter. It was his first sack of the game and the fourth of his career.

WR LESTAR JEAN
·         Made his first career reception with a 9-yard gain on third-and-4 to keep the Texans’ opening drive alive.

WR ANDRE JOHNSON
·         Extended his streak of consecutive games played with a reception to 83 with an 11-yard catch on Houston’s opening drive of the game.

·         Caught his 500th pass under Head Coach Gary Kubiak with a 24-yard gain in the second quarter, his second catch of the day. Johnson has averaged 89.3 receiving yards and 6.49 receptions per game under Kubiak, both of which would be the highest in NFL history by a wide margin if viewed on their own.

·         Caught his 53rd career touchdown pass on a 14-yard scoring strike just before halftime.

·         Surpassed 100 receiving yards on the day with a 29-yard catch in the fourth quarter. The catch gave Johnson 119 yards on the day. It was Johnson’s 39th career 100-yard game.

·         Became the first player in Texans history to play 10 seasons with the team when he took the field to start the game.

CB JOHNATHAN JOSEPH
·         Intercepted his first pass of the season and the 19th of his career when he picked off Miami QB Ryan Tannehill in the second quarter. Joseph returned the interception 36 yards. It was Joseph’s first interception in regular-season play at Reliant Stadium.

SS DANIEAL MANNING
·         Recovered his first fumble of the season and the fifth of his career in the second quarter.

FS GLOVER QUIN
·         Forced his first fumble of the season when he knocked the ball out of Miami RB Daniel Thomas’ hands in the second quarter.

QB MATT SCHAUB
·         Improved his record as the Texans’ starting quarterback to 33-32.

·         Threw his first touchdown pass of the season and the 99th of his career when he hit WR Andre Johnson for a 14-yard score just before halftime.

·         Completed 20-of-31 passes for 266 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions, giving him a passer rating of 102.4. The Texans are 22-6 when Schaub has a passer rating of 100 or better.

DE ANTONIO SMITH
·         Teamed with DE J.J. Watt to sack Miami QB Ryan Tannehill for an 8-yard loss in the third quarter. The half-sack gave Smith 30.0 for his career and 15.5 as a Texan.

DE J.J. WATT
·         Picked up his, and the team’s, first sack of the season when he fell on Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill after Tannehill was tripped by one of his linemen in the second quarter. The sack gave Watt 6.5 career sacks.

·         Deflected three passes, all in the first half, two of which resulted in interceptions.

·         Teamed with DE Antonio Smith to sack Tannehill for an 8-yard loss in the third quarter. It gave Watt second career multi-sack game in regular-season play. He had 2.0 sacks at Jacksonville on 11/27/11.  Additionally, Watt had 2.5 sacks in the AFC Divisional Playoff at Baltimore on 1/15/12.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES
·         Four rookies made their NFL debuts in the game: DE Jared Crick, C Ben Jones, WR Keshawn Martin and OLB Whitney Mercilus. Second-year WR Lestar Jean also made his professional debut after spending his rookie season on Injured Reserve. Veteran free agents CB Alan Ball, FB Tyler Clutts, RB Justin Forsett, K Shayne Graham, T Ryan Harris, ILB Bradie James and P Donnie Jones all made their Texans debuts.

·         Inactive players for the Texans included QB John Beck, OLB Bryan Braman, G Brandon Brooks, CB Roc Carmichael, T Andrew Gardner, CB Brandon Harris and WR DeVier Posey.

·         Captains for the Texans were ILB Brian Cushing, ILB Tim Dobbins, WR Andre Johnson, QB Matt Schaub and DE Antonio Smith.

·         The Dolphins won the toss and elected to receive.

·         Total paid attendance was 71,566, which is the second-largest crowd in Texans history. The team record is 71,585 on 10/2/11 vs. Pittsburgh. Houston has sold out all 104 home games, including preseason, regular-season and postseason, in franchise history.


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Texans-Dolphins Connections

Posted by Nick Scurfield on September 4, 2012 – 1:58 pm

Courtesy of the Texans’ public relations staff, here’s a look at notable connections between the Texans and their Week 1 opponent, the Miami Dolphins:

TEXANS WITH TIES TO FLORIDA
WR Andre Johnson (University of Miami, from Miami); C Chris Myers (University of Miami, from Miami); CB Brandon Harris (University of Miami, from Miami); WR Lestar Jean (Florida Atlantic, from Miami); ILB Mister Alexander (Florida State); WR coach Larry Kirksey (RB coach, University of Florida)

DOLPHINS WITH CONNECTIONS TO TEXAS
LB Kevin Burnett (Dallas Cowboys, 2005-08); TE Anthony Fasano (Dallas Cowboys, 2006-07); FB Jorvorskie Lane (Texas A&M, from Lufkin); DT Kheeston Randall (University of Texas, from Beaumont); QB Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M, from Big Spring); offensive coordinator Mike Sherman (coached at Texas A&M, 1989-1993, 1995-97, head coach 2008-11; Houston Texans, 2006-07); TE coach Dan Campbell (born in Clifton; TE at Texas A&M, 1994-98; Dallas Cowboys, 2003-05); LB coach George Edwards (Dallas Cowboys, 1998-2001); DL coach Kacy Rogers (Dallas Cowboys, 2003-07); assistant QB coach Zac Taylor (coached at Texas A&M, 2011); OL coach Jim Turner (coached at Texas A&M, 2008-11)

FORMER DOLPHINS WITH THE TEXANS
QB John Beck (2007-08); LB Tim Dobbins (2010); K Shayne Graham (2011); G Wade Smith (2003-05); QB coach Karl Dorrell was the Dolphins’ QB coach (2011) and WR coach (2008-10); assistant strength and conditioning coach Matt Schiotz was the Dolphins’ head strength and conditioning coach (2007)

FORMER TEXANS WITH THE DOLPHINS
S Troy Nolan (2009-11); offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was Houston’s offensive coordinator (2006-07)

TEXANS-DOLPHINS NOTABLE COLLEGE CONNECTIONS
Texans QB John Beck and Dolphins LS John Denney (BYU); Texans C Ben Jones and Dolphins S Reshad Jones (Georgia); Texans G Wade Smith and Dolphins T Artis Hicks (Memphis); Texans CB Brandon Harris and Dolphins RB Lamar Miller and DE Olivier Vernon (Miami, Fla.); Texans DE Tim Jamison and Dolphins T Jake Long (Michigan); Texans WR DeVier Posey and Dolphins WR Brian Hartline and LB Austin Spitler (Ohio State); Texans RB Arian Foster and Dolphins LB Kevin Burnett and DT Tony McDaniel (Tennessee); Texans NT Shaun Cody and ILB Brian Cushing and Dolphins RB Reggie Bush (USC); Texans CB Brice McCain and Dolphins LB Koa Misi, DE Paul Soliai, DE Derrick Shelby and CB Sean Smith (Utah)

TEXANS-DOLPHINS PRO CONNECTIONS
Dolphins LB Kevin Burnett (2005-08) and TE Anthony Fasano (2006-07) played for Dallas with Texans CB Alan Ball (2007-11) and ILB Bradie James (2003-11) and while Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips (2007-10), Texans LB coach Reggie Herring (2008-10) and Dolphins DL coach Kacy Rogers (2003-07) coached there; Texans G Andrew Gardner (2011), K Shayne Graham (2003-09), CB Johnathan Joseph (2006-10) and WR Kevin Walter (2003-05) played for Cincinnati while Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle coached there (2001-11); Dolphins LB Karlos Dansby (2004-09) played for Arizona with Texans DE Antonio Smith (2004-08); Texans ILB Tim Dobbins (2008-09) played for San Diego with Dolphins LB Kevin Burnett (2009-10); Dobbins (2008-09) played for San Diego with Dolphins WR Legedu Naanee (2007-10); Texans G Wade Smith (2007) played for N.Y. Jets with Dolphins LB Jason Trusnik (2007-09); Dolphins WR Anthony Armstrong (2010-11)  and T Artis Hicks (2010) played for Washington with Texans QB John Beck (2010-2011); Dolphins G Richie Incognito (2006-08) played for St. Louis with Texans P Donnie Jones (2007-11)


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VanderBlog: Back to Football, Back to Blogging

Posted by Nick Scurfield on August 22, 2012 – 8:37 am

Marc Vandermeer, the “Voice of the Texans” and the team’s new director of radio broadcasting as of 2011, will provide regular commentary on the Texans with his “VanderBlog” on HoustonTexans.com 

I feel like Jimmy Chitwood walking into the town-hall meeting in Hoosiers when he says he thinks it’s about time he started playing ball again. Well, it’s about time I started blogging again. I hope to blog half as well as Chitwood shot the rock for Hickory.

Here we are in week three of the preseason. There is a bit of a ‘to-do’ list before the campaign gets started, but nothing that should set off any major alarms.

Seeing the team give up more than 90 first-half rushing yards against San Francisco certainly caught the attention of Wade Phillips. But Gary Kubiak seems more concerned that his second-team offense didn’t perform with more proficiency.

That the team kept San Francisco out of the end zone was a nice preseason feather-in-the-cap. And even though the defense was ‘held’ to two sacks, they made the big stops when they had to.

The most important result of these games is that Matt Schaub keeps walking off the field under his own power and the rest of the starters do the same. Each day that goes by without a new name on the injury report is a success. This squad has a ways to go before it can truly claim to be a power in the AFC, but it’s safe to say it won’t happen if the injury bug bites like last year.

—————–

People keep asking what it’s like to work for the Texans. It’s fantastic and even better than I thought it would be. It is very special to be part of one of the best sports organizations in the world. This is a group of people that do not and will not rest until everything they do is the very best. That goes for football, marketing, tickets, events, EVERYTHING.

I really appreciate folks who say they miss me in the morning on the radio. And I certainly miss clowning around with John Lopez. He and Nick Wright have a great show on SportsRadio 610, and they will do very well. Nick was a big help on Texans Training Camp Live when we joined forces to do two weeks at the Methodist Training Center. Lopez was his usual entertaining self.

Stay tuned for more as we unveil a full slate of shows starting Tuesday of NFL Week 1 as the Texans gear up to play Miami in the opener.


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Today’s Texans All Access

Posted by drewdougherty on June 12, 2012 – 8:23 am

Make sure you’re listening today from Noon to 2 p.m., as ‘Texans All Access’ features a strong quartet of guests. Host Marc Vandermeer is joined in studio by me and Nick Scurfield, and safety Glover Quin will also ride along at SportsRadio 610 as well. We’ll hear from him about the continued growth of the Bulls On Parade defense, his grasp of the safety position and a really cool trip he’ll take to Washington D.C. next week.

Also, quarterback T.J. Yates will pop on, and we’ll hear his thoughts on how OTA’s went and what he’s picked up this offseason.

Plus, former Patriots and Browns outside linebacker Willie McGinest, who now works at the NFL Network will join us, and he’ll share his thoughts on Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme, where Brian Cushing should play on the field and more.

We’ll also welcome Jets reporter Eric Allen. The Texans play at New York on Monday Night Football in Week 5.

Remember, you can listen here!


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Off the Turf with Scurf: Duane Brown and Paul Kuharsky

Posted by Nick Scurfield on June 9, 2012 – 9:32 am

We debuted my new podcast, “Off the Turf with Scurf,” last week. Aside from a fair amount of grief that I got (and continue to get) about the name of the podcast, it was generally well-received, so my superiors didn’t pull the plug on it and we made it to a second episode.

Episode One featured Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Episode Two features Texans left tackle Duane Brown and ESPN.com AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky.

It’ll be a weekly podcast, posted every Saturday morning. My first guest each week will be a Texans player. The interviews will be in-depth, and we’ll talk about not just football but about their backgrounds – what they do off the field, where they’re from, interesting things about them that you might not know. My second guest will be a wild card each week. It could be a Texans coach, a member of the media, someone in the Texans’ front office, a scout, the team photographer, maybe even a player’s old college coach or relative.

This week, Duane Brown talks about taking his game to another level this offseason, his offensive line coaches, offensive line chemistry, his fellow tackles Rashad Butler and Derek Newton, moving from tight end to tackle at Virginia Tech, his best 40-yard dash time and vertical jump, his basketball background, going to the same high school as NFL players such as Jamie and Darren Sharper, and his upcoming wedding to MTV host Devon “Devi Dev” Anjelica (he gets a little sappy talking about it).

Paul Kuharsky, who was in Houston last week for Texans OTAs, discusses how Arian Foster is now the premier player in the AFC South, how the Texans are the most talented team in the division by a considerable margin, what life in the AFC South will be like without Peyton Manning, why the Jaguars could end up being the second-best team in the division in 2012, the Titans, Andrew Luck and the Colts, and his favorite places to eat in the AFC South cities.

Thanks for listening. Link


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Danieal Manning draws rave reviews in OTAs

Posted by Nick Scurfield on June 8, 2012 – 2:25 pm

Free safety Danieal Manning drew rave reviews from Texans coaches during organized team activities (OTAs), which concluded on Thursday at the Methodist Training Center.

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips couldn’t stop talking about Manning, who signed with the Texans from the Chicago Bears in 2011 on the same day as cornerback Johnathan Joseph, on Twitter. Every single time he tweeted about individual players who stood out in practice during OTAs, Manning was included.

“D-Man was all over the field,” Phillips wrote on May 23. “D-Man continues great effort,” he said on May 24. “D-Man had another big day,” Phillips wrote on May 29.

I asked Phillips about Manning during the first episode of my “Off the Turf with Scurf” podcast last week.

“Tremendous player,” Phillips said. “Coaching-wise, when you see a guy play like he plays and practice like he practices, you realize how good they really are and how important they really are. Really important. He plays faster than everybody else. I’m talking about everybody else that I see play safety. He plays faster than they do. He’s special.”

Manning not only plays fast but is fast (4.46 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2006). He missed three games with a fractured fibula in 2011 but still finished fourth on the team with 59 tackles as the Texans improved from 32nd to third in passing defense. He had two interceptions in the regular season and one in the playoffs.

Manning also averaged 27.4 yards on kickoff returns last season. He indicated Thursday that he won’t be returning kicks in 2012, smiling as he said, “If the head man don’t want me back there, I can’t be back there.”

That’s probably because the head man, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, knows how important Manning is to the Texans’ defense. Kubiak mentioned this week that Manning is one of several players who look like they’re taking their game to another level.

“He’s a leader,” Kubiak said. “He loves to play. He’s 100 miles an hour all the time when you see him out here. He’s kind of becoming a leader of the back end in his own way, him and J-Jo (Joseph). Just another year of being comfortable here in Houston, and I think those things start to take over a little more.”

So why does a seventh-year veteran practice as hard as Manning does?

“You want to simulate what you’re doing in the game,” Manning said. “The only way you can do that is at practice. You’re pretty much going to be losing if you’re just doing it in the game. So you want to practice good habits and get your team doing the same thing. You want to come out here and lead with example before you start opening your mouth, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Manning is excited for his second season in Wade Phillips’ defense. He said Phillips’ defensive calls and packages put him in position to make plays, more so than when he was with the Bears.

“I’m just working on my leadership skills, developing my craft a whole lot better in this defense, playing the style of defense that they play,” Manning said. “I wasn’t used to playing in this defense. I played in a Tampa 2-based defense (in Chicago) and now it’s different in a 3-4, and I’m more aggressive now. There’s a lot I have to learn, also.”

As he continues to learn, he’ll continue to lead by example for the Texans’ younger players.

“When you come in with a mentality of putting a staple of a defense that wants to be physical and dominate and finish, rookies have got to come in and they’ve got to catch a hold of that chain,” Manning said. “That’s the staple we’re trying to set here as a defense.”


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