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Players reflect on 2013, upcoming changes

Posted Dec 23, 2013

Players reflect on a disappointing 2013 season and the possible roster changes for 2014.

The 2013 season may go down as one of the most disappointing in Texans franchise history. It is history that J.J. Watt wants to put in the past, quickly.

“It’s been frustrating,” Watt said. “It has been disappointing to say the least and it has been very forgettable. It is something that we never want to happen again that is for sure.”

With a new head coach on the horizon, contracts ending, and salary cap issues, the Texans will be entering a new era of changes. Many may not be around to see them unfold. After Sunday’s 37-13 loss to Denver, Matt Schaub did consider that it might have been his last home game as a Houston Texan.

“It has definitely crossed my mind,” Schaub said. “I didn't want to think too far ahead but you know I've played this game long enough I know how things work so you know it definitely crossed my mind. It was exciting all week to be back in the huddle, to be out there with my guys that I’ve been with them some of them for many years, to go to battle here, but we fell short.”

Schaub’s season was a perplexing one too. After leading the team its franchise-best 12-4 record in 2012, Schaub was relegated to backup in Week 7 at Kansas City for a foot/ankle injury. He remained the backup behind Case Keenum for the next seven games before returning in Week 16 against Denver.

“I think Matt’s a great player,” Andre Johnson said. “I think if he’s not here he’ll get another opportunity. Matt can start in this league. He’s done it for eight seasons. Sometimes a fresh start could be something beneficial. You hate to see it, because when you build chemistry like that with somebody you hate to see it go, but that’s just the nature of the business. We’ll see what happens.”

Antonio Smith, in the final season of his five-year contract, certainly has thought about the possibility that he may not return.

“That was the biggest shock that hit me there in the fourth quarter when they were just running down the clock, is that this is the last game of this season, possibly the last game I’ll ever play with my brothers, and play in front of the fans of Houston,” Smith said. “It kind of hit me there. It’s surreal, but I guess it’s reality.”

Johnson has been through his share of losing seasons with the Texans, but the records he broke will be among the few highlights of 2013. On Sunday Johnson became the second player in NFL history to record a 100-catch season, after Denver’s Wes Welker. He’s seen his share of changes since his rookie campaign in 2003 but tries not to focus on what might happen after the season.

“You know what, I try not to look that far ahead,” Johnson said. “From the time I came here, until now I’ve seen everybody come and go out of this locker room. Coaches and players and trainers and all that stuff, that’s the nature of the business.”

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