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  • Sat., Aug. 23, 2014 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM CDT Houston Texans at Academy Sports + Outdoors

    Houston Texans Stampede Tour pres. by Academy Sports + Outdoors

    Stop by Academy Sports + Outdoors (8453 Memorial Blvd., Port Arthur, TX 77640) from 4-5 PM to meet the Houston Texans!

    Stop by for autographs and pictures with:

    FORMER HOUSTON TEXANS LINEBACKER #56 JAY FOREMAN*

    FORMER HOUSTON TEXANS KICK RETURNER #84 JJ MOSES*
    HOUSTON TEXANS CHEERLEADERS
    AND TORO!

    Houston Texans Giveaways!

    Autographs not guaranteed for everyone and signings strictly limited to times listed per appearance. *Celebrities subject to change.

  • Sat., Aug. 23, 2014 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM CDT Houston Texans at Buffalo Wild Wings

    Houston Texans Stampede Tour pres. by Academy Sports + Outdoors

    Stop by Buffalo Wild Wings (3939 Dowlen Rd., Suite 11, Beaumont, TX 77706) from 8-9 PM to meet the Houston Texans during the first half of the Texans vs. Broncos game!

    Stop by for autographs and pictures with:

    FORMER HOUSTON TEXANS LINEBACKER #56 JAY FOREMAN*

    FORMER HOUSTON TEXANS KICK RETURNER #84 JJ MOSES*
    HOUSTON TEXANS CHEERLEADERS
    AND TORO!


    Houston Texans Giveaways!

    Autographs not guaranteed for everyone and signings strictly limited to times listed per appearance. *Celebrities subject to change.
  • Sat., Aug. 23, 2014 8:00 PM CDT Texans at Broncos The Texans travel to Denver to face off against the Broncos.
  • Sun., Aug. 24, 2014 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM CDT Back To Tailgating The Houston Texans are Back to Football so it’s time for you to get Back to Tailgating at the Academy Sports + Outdoors in Pearland on Sun., Aug. 24 from 3-5 PM. Join the Houston Texans Cheerleaders, Ambassadors, TORO & Deep Steel Thunder for this free event.  Also, get tailgating tips for the 2014 season from former H-E-B Tailgaters of the Year!
  • Tue., Aug. 26, 2014 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM CDT Houston Texans Team Luncheon presented by Amegy Bank of Texas The Houston Texans Team Luncheon presented by Amegy Bank of Texas is Tuesday, August 26 at 12 noon.  It’s your chance to have lunch with the entire Texans team, as well as hear from new head coach Bill O’Brien as we get Back to Football and prepare for the 2014 season. 
  • Thu., Aug. 28, 2014 7:00 PM CDT 49ers at Texans The Texans host the 49ers at NRG Stadium.
  • Sat., Aug. 30, 2014 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM CDT AdvoCare Texas Kickoff

    Celebrate the return of college football with a Big Ten and SEC showdown at NRG Stadium, as the LSU Tigers and Wisconsin Badgers square off in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff on Saturday August 30 at 8pm. Secure yours today by calling 832-667-2390 or at advocare texas kickoff dot com.

  • Sun., Aug. 31, 2014 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT Kickoff at Kemah Boardwalk Join the Houston Texans Cheerleaders, Ambassadors, TORO, and the Battle Ready Band at the Kickoff at Kemah Boardwalk on Sun., Aug. 31 from 1-3 PM. Bring the entire family for autograph signings, live music, & prize giveaways!
  • Sun., Sep. 14, 2014 8:15 AM - 10:30 AM CDT Houston Texans Running of the Bulls 5K Run/Walk presented by H-E-B Houston Texans Running of the Bulls 5K Run and Walk presented by H-E-B is Sunday, September 14 at NRG Park.  The 5K run/walk and TORO's Kids 1K presented by Aramark will both finish on the floor of NRG Stadium, where the post-race party is with the return of pizza and beer! Also, there is a new course for 2014. Secure your spot before Sept. 8 at 5 PM at HoustonTexans.com.
  • Wed., Nov. 12, 2014 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM CST Bulls & Birdies Golf Tournament supported by Bud Light

    Have you ever dreamed of playing a round of golf with the Houston Texans Cheerleaders cheering you on?  Now’s your chance!  Sign up today at HoustonTexans.com for the annual Bulls and Birdies Golf Tournament supported by Bud Light at Wildcat Golf Club on Wednesday, November 12.

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2010 season in review: Linebacker

Posted Apr 4, 2011

Linebacker was a position of strength for the Texans in 2009, but an injury to DeMeco Ryans dealt a crushing blow to the group - and the entire team - early in the 2010 season.


Top performers: Zac Diles (81 tackles), Brian Cushing (76 tackles, 1.5 sacks)

Newcomers: Darryl Sharpton (draft, fourth-round pick), Stanford Keglar (free agent), David Nixon (free agent), Isaiah Greenhouse (undrafted free agent)

Major injuries: DeMeco Ryans (Achilles, Week 6), Sharpton (shoulder, Week 16)

Position coach: Johnny Holland (16th NFL season, 5th with Texans)

Year in review: Linebacker was one of the Texans’ strongest positions in 2009, but the group took a major hit before the 2010 season even started. Brian Cushing, the ’09 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, was suspended for the first four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

The Texans managed to go 3-1 in Cushing’s absence, but the defense suffered another setback in Week 6 when Ryans was lost for the season with an Achilles injury. The two-time Pro Bowler and defensive captain had started all 70 games in his career up to that point.

Cushing moved to middle linebacker after Ryans’ injury, but that experiment lasted all of two games. He then returned to his natural strongside position and finished the season fourth on the team in tackles, with eight tackles for loss and 12 quarterback hits.

Sharpton, a rookie from Miami (Fla.), played his way into the starting lineup midway through the season. He notched his first-career sack in Week 14 against Baltimore and moved inside to middle linebacker in Week 16 at Denver. A shoulder injury ended his season a week early.

Special teams standout and ninth-year veteran Kevin Bentley stepped into the starting middle linebacker role when Cushing returned to the strongside. Bentley totaled 51 tackles, a pass defensed, three tackles for loss and two quarterback hits.

Diles had a career-high 81 tackles despite being hampered by various injuries. The fourth-year pro played in 15 games and started 10, including eight on the weakside.

Third-year linebacker Xavier Adibi filled in on the strongside during Cushing’s suspension, starting three of the first four games. He finished the year with 19 tackles, including 14 solos and two tackles for loss.

The Texans signed Keglar, a third-year pro, after losing Ryans. He made a big play early in Week 9 vs. San Diego, tipping a punt deep in Chargers territory that quickly resulted in a Texans touchdown.

Nixon played in three games with the Texans, recording six tackles before he was released on Oct. 19. Greenhouse, an undrafted rookie from Northwestern (La.) State, played in two games and had one special teams tackle at Oakland.

Season highlight: Week 11 at New York Jets. Though it came in a loss, Bentley had a standout game with a season-high eight tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery. The two turnovers both came in the fourth quarter to help spark a furious rally by the Texans that ended up falling just short.

Cushing had four tackles, including one for a loss of eight yards, and forced the fumble that Bentley recovered. Sharpton made his first-career start and had five tackles, one tackle for loss and two special teams tackles.

Season lowlight: Week 6 at Kansas City. The Texans won the game, but they lost their defensive captain for the season. Ryans, the team’s all-time leading tackler, tore the Achilles tendon in his left foot in the second quarter.

Ryans was hurt during Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe's 17-yard touchdown catch with 13 seconds left in the first half. His leg gave out when he planted and tried to jump to make a play on the ball. Ryans was carted off the field to the locker room several minutes later and was on crutches after the game. It was the first major injury of his football career.

Notable number: 157 – Tackles that Ryans was on pace for before his injury. He had 54 tackles in only five and a half games. Ryans’ career high in tackles is 156, set in his rookie season of 2006.

Key splits: The Texans’ defense struggled with Ryans in the starting lineup, but they did enough for the Texans to win. With their defensive captain, the Texans were 4-2. Without him, they were 2-8.

Cushing started 10 games at strongside linebacker and two games at middle linebacker. The results were appreciably better on the strongside, where he averaged 6.6 tackles per game compared to five per game in the middle. He also was more active pressuring the passer, with all of his 1.5 sacks and 5.5 of his six tackles for loss coming from the strongside in 2010.

Quotable: “I almost threw my remote through the TV a couple of times, but I kind of restrained from doing that. It’s been tough because you look at about six of those games were close games and could go either way, and we didn’t find a way to win those games. We’ve been in all of those games, but somebody didn’t step up to make a play to actually win the game… To be just sitting at home and not being able to help or being able to say something to the guys, it was very difficult. You’re just helpless, and it’s a feeling that I would never like to have again.”
- Ryans, in the Texans’ locker room on Dec. 30, on having to watch as the team collapsed after a 4-2 start to the season

Looking ahead: Like the defensive line, the linebacker unit will get a facelift in 2011 as the Texans switch to a 3-4 under Wade Phillips. New linebackers coach Reggie Herring said earlier this offseason that Cushing and Ryans will likely be the two inside linebackers. Ryans would be the Mo (weakside) linebacker, while Cushing would play the Mike (strongside) position. The Texans see Cushing as a potential anchor in the run game who also can pressure and blitz from the inside.

Connor Barwin and Jesse Nading are moving from defensive end to outside linebacker. Barwin, who’s coming off a season-ending ankle injury, is expected to start at one of the outside linebacker positions. The Texans will rely on him and whoever mans the other outside spot for plenty of sacks and pressure. Defensive end Mark Anderson, who’ll be a free agent, also could be an option as an outside ‘backer.

Sharpton is a thumper who could thrive on the inside in the 3-4. Diles has not been re-signed, meaning he’ll be an unrestricted free agent later this offseason.

Content on HoustonTexans.com does not necessarily represent the views of the Houston Texans front office staff, coaches or executives.