The Chronicle ran a story about this year's 0-3 Texans compared to last year's team, which started 0-3 and is its way to 2-14. This year's offense is much better. Corey Bradford was just cut by Detroit this week. That means four of the 2005 Texans' wide outs are out of football (Bradford, Jabar Gaffney, Donovan Morgan and Derick Armstrong). Two of their running backs are out of the game (Jonathan Wells, Tony Hollings) and two of the tight ends as well (Marcellus Rivers, Matt Murphy). That will show you a bit about what they were working with during the worst season in team history.
The defense is another story. Last year's unit was last against the run and 31st overall. The big changes this year were the switch to a 4-3, adding Anthony Weaver and drafting DeMeco Ryans and Mario Williams. So far, this hasn't worked. Personnel issues can't really be solved until '07. Adding Petey Faggins and Kyllie Wong will help. But they have to find a way to cut down on a frightening opponents' 68 percent conversion rate on third downs.
The Dolphins have not gelled yet. They had to rally to beat Tennessee, and Daunte Culpepper looks shaky. Of course, we said similar things about Washington last week, so who knows?
**It's Houston vs. Miami Weekend!
**Not only do the Texans and Dolphins play this weekend, but the UH Cougars visit the Miami Hurricanes. Because I worked as the voice of the 'Canes before coming here, I've been asked to be a guest on a few radio interviews in South Florida. They ask about Andre Johnson, Eric Winston and Philip Buchanon. They all played at the "U" when it was piping hot. Now things have cooled off in Coral Gables and Larry Coker is on the hot seat. Larry is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. Unless Miami wins the ACC, he is probably gone.
Miami doesn't make a ton of money like other big-time programs. They don't draw well unless it's a huge game, and with less than 9,000 students, the alumni base is way smaller than you might have thought. If Miami loses two games in a season, it's a bad year. Three losses is a disaster.
*Great Moment in Texans History *
The only time the Texans played the Dolphins, they beat them in Miami. It was the opening game of year two, and the Dolphins had won 11 consecutive home openers. It was a sweet win as the Texans became the only expansion team to ever win its first two season openers.
The night before, a few of us covering the team watched the Hurricanes come back to beat the Florida Gators at the Orange Bowl. Roomates Andre Johnson and Jabar Gaffney (a Cane and a Gator) had team meetings, so they caught most of the game from their hotel room giving each other grief.