Brooke Bentley Question & Answer

bridget - karnack, TX, US: where do i find out the history bout your site????

Brooke Bentley:

Hi Bridget,

Thanks for the question! And thank you Texans fans for sending emails for our second Live Chat on HoustonTexans.com. We had an outstanding response last week, so I am excited to get things going!

The website was launched with the team in 2002, but went through a major re-launch in 2007. This past offseason, we submitted HoustonTexans.com for consideration in the 2008 W3 Awards, which is a major web competition sanctioned and judged by the International Academy of Visual Arts and sponsored by Advertising Age. Out of more than 3,000 companies worldwide that submitted entries, the site was recognized as one of the Silver Award Winners. To learn more about the site, click here.


jared battisi - Fort Plain, NY, US: Why dont the texans get a better Quarterback becasue sage is doing a bad job

Brooke Bentley:

Hi Jared,

Quarterback Sage Rosenfels has struggled with turnovers this year, but that was hard to predict last season when he went 4-1 as a starter and threw 15 touchdowns. During the offseason, lots of teams were in the market for him. Sage looked awesome in his first start against the Colts…that was until the final three minutes. And it's been a rollercoaster ride for him since then. The Texans did sign Craig Nall several weeks ago. Nall backed up Brett Favre in Green Bay and spent a few weeks in Houston last season.


Amber Moore - Winton, NC, US: Hey Brooke, What happen to Safety Will Demps, why is he on the inactive list, did he get hurt or something? Will he be out for the rest of this season?

Brooke Bentley:

Hi Amber,

Will Demps was inactive against the Ravens, but he played last Sunday against the Colts. Will was taken out of the starting lineup and replaced by safety Eugene Wilson, who has two interceptions this season. Wilson is a little faster than Demps, and the Texans were looking for speed. The Texans still are experimenting with their safety combination, so don't count Demps out.


Rasheed Rambaran - Jacksonville, FL, US: Are we acquiring Michael Vick? Our QBs are not getting it done. We need an elusive QB like Vick to get out of the pocket and avoid sacks for 1st downs and TDs. I say, Go get him! Rasheed

Brooke Bentley: Hi Rasheed, Michael Vick really is a tremendous athlete who may return to the NFL one day, but a lot of talent evaluators think he won't be playing quarterback right away. Quarterback is such a skill position, and he will be pretty rusty from his time off. Maybe there is a place for him on some team, especially one that runs a creative offense like Miami with their single-wing Wildcat. But I don't think that Vick is anywhere on the Texans' radar right now.


Eric - houston, TX, US: when the defense gives up a big play, does the defense take the blame or the cooridnater

Brooke Bentley:

Hi Eric,

The Texans' defense has gotten burned on several deep plays (i.e.: Calvin Johnson's 96-yard TD). Coach Gary Kubiak has said those types of breakdowns were "busted" plays, meaning the secondary was not following its technique or defensive reads correctly. Who is to blame for that defensive miscommunication? Kubiak has said the coaches and the players share the blame. A lot of people in the media have been pointing fingers at defensive coordinator Richard Smith. Others say the Texans don't have enough talent at cornerback or safety. The players say they are missing tackles and have blown assignments. Really, Kubiak is right - there is enough blame to go around.


waltbabyluv - augusta, GA, US: did dunta make the trip for the colts game???

Brooke Bentley: Dunta Robinson did make the trip to Indy. He said he missed the team charter Saturday morning because of family reasons. He flew commercial in the afternoon and made it to the hotel before team meetings. Coach Kubiak said the coaches handled the issue on Saturday and the team has moved on.


BATTS07 - Chicago, IL, US: HAS ANYONE FROM THE SAFETY ROSTER MADE THE PRO-BOWL THIS YEAR? IF SO WHO?

Brooke Bentley: Pro Bowl voting is going on right now and ends on Dec. 9. So players haven't made it yet. But make sure to vote for players like Andre Johnson and Mario Williams on ProBowl.com!


Tyler Malley - Malone, NY, US: what do you think of the texans season so far and of the speculation of Gary Kubiak getting fired

Brooke Bentley:

Hi Tyler,

I think the Texans feel like they have underperformed this season. They have a ton of talent on offense with Andre Johnson, Steve Slaton and Owen Daniels. In fact, they rank fifth in the NFL in total offense - meaning yards per game. But their quarterbacks have struggled with turnovers, which has hurt them when it comes to scoring. On defense, the Texans give up too many points. The players will be the first to say that they are missing tackles. People in the media may be putting the blame on coach Gary Kubiak, but that's not the case in Reliant Stadium. Kubiak has the support of the front office, and the players believe in him. Just look at the effort that the team plays with and it's obvious that the players still buy in to what Kubiak is teaching.


Kathleen Williams - Webster, TX, US: When are the cheerleader try-outs for the 2009 squad? Thank you!

Brooke Bentley:

Hi Kathleen,

Tryout dates for the 2009 Houston Texans Cheerleader squad have not been announced. Last year, the first round of tryouts were in late April. The team probably will announce the date after the season, and you can get all the info on HoustonTexans.com.


Eric Nene - Springfield, NC, US: Do you think the texans will build a new stadium since hurricane ike partially damaged relient stadium?

Brooke Bentley:

Hi Eric,

The Texans won't build a new stadium. Reliant really is one of the best stadiums in the league (I can attest to that after traveling with the team). Five roof panels were destroyed by the hurricane. Those panels are huge and take time to repair, but the repairs will be done way before next season. So all will be good in 2009 and, hopefully, many more years to come.


RAMIRO - INGLESIDE, TX, US: How many more games are da fans gonna have to put a L beside before we can get our hopes up again? C mon guys i still have faith in yall lets keep our heads up and start puttting some W beside the game schedule

Brooke Bentley:

Hi Ramiro,

You and DeMeco Ryans and Dunta Robinson can start a club because you all feel the same way! After Sunday's game, Ryans said he was sick of losing. Robinson said that losing was inexcusable. Believe me, those two and an entire locker room share your pain. And I know the guys are looking forward to their next chance to get a 'W' for you.


MMFN Hardy - Galveston, TX, US: What is going on with our team im exemely upset with the teams poor performance everything was looking good for us til sage took over why dont coach kubiak bench him already and give nall a shot what else do we got to loose we are 3-7 now just terrible why is this happening i wanted a playoff year for us at least a wild card but its lookin like another 3rd to 4th round draft pick type finish for the team again for the upcoming draft why do this continue to happen do you have any answers for that?

Brooke Bentley: I'm not sure there is one answer as to why the Texans have underperformed this season. I think some of it has been the schedule (the disruption caused by Ike), some of it has been injuries (Matt Schaub and Zac Diles) and some of it has been leadership and execution.

I do know that the players believe in coach Gary Kubiak. He makes all the calls on offense, and the Texans' offense ranks fifth in the NFL this season. They also have a factor back in Steve Slaton. As I mentioned previously, the players can relate to Kubiak because he was a former player and they trust his calls. That being said, I think that changes will have to be made at some level for the Texans to improve. That includes getting more talent on the field. The Texans could get aggressive this offseason and make things very interesting.


Rayh - Baytown, TX, US: where is the pass rush(none)The offense scores enough points but the defense can not do its job-maybe be Kubik should let a few defense coaches go and get some new blood,he states its not the players than it much be the defense coaching.(I have been a season ticket holder since 2002 and beleive I have seem it all.

Brooke Bentley:

Hi Rayh,

The pass rush has been all Mario Williams. Super Mario has eight sacks, which is first among all AFC defensive ends. But Williams can't do it all by himself. Plus, he often is drawing double teams. The Texans haven't found a pass rush opposite of him and have been hesitant to blitz because they don't want to leave the secondary on an island. With linebackers Zac Diles going down and Morlon Greenwood being injured, the Texans haven't had their linebackers blitzing. But you are right, they've got to get more pressure on the quarterback.

Hopefully players like Tim Bulman (three sacks) and Earl Cochran (two sacks) continue to develop, and defensive tackle Amobi Okoye (ankle) returns to finish off his second season strong. If those three players can combine for 12 sacks the rest of the season, the Texans' defense will be in much better shape.


Eric Nene - Springfield, NC, US: do u think that steve slaton will be the future running back for the texans? if we could run the ball better, do u think we would be unstopabel?

Brooke Bentley:

Hi Eric,

A lot of people out there said rookie Steve Slaton was too small to be a starter in the NFL. He is proving them wrong. He has 701 yards rushing and six touchdowns this season. He can break off a huge a play like he did in Indy, running for a 71-yard touchdown. Slaton also is getting better at making plays between the tackles. He fits well with the team's zone blocking scheme.

Slaton would be complemented by a big pounder who can get the dirty yards, especially in goal line situations. But Kubiak and other coaches are beyond thrilled with Slaton. And the running game will look even better next year when the offensive line has had a year of zone blocking under its belt. Assistant head coach Alex Gibbs is, of course, a zone blocking guru and he is just getting going with the young O-line.


Alejandro - Houston, TX, US: Should we start Ephraim Salaam over Brown?

Brooke Bentley:

Hi Alejandro,

Here's the deal. Duane Brown is a tremendous athlete with huge potential at left tackle because he is quick on his feet. To live up to that potential, it's natural that he's going through rookie growing pains. Unfortunately, those growing pains have come against three of the top-five defenses in the NFL and they have led to sacks on Texans' quarterbacks.

Brown needs the playing time to get better, but the Texans do need Ephraim Salaam in there. Salaam is solid in pass protection and run blocking, and that's why he is coming in every third series for Brown. I'm not sure starting Salaam is the answer because Brown is the Texans' left tackle of the future. But I do think the rotation is a good thing.


Tony - LaMarque, TX, US: Hey Brook, what do you think we can do to get rid of our "soft, nice guy, we won't hit you in the mouth" image?

Brooke Bentley:

Hi Tony,

The Texans have a team of really nice guys, and that's great to have. But you do want players who flip a switch on the field. There are guys that do it: Andre Johnson, Mario Williams, Dunta Robinson, DeMeco Ryans and Vonta Leach. In fact, Leach had a hit against the Colts on a kickoff return that made someone's back crack. It was such a big hit that the Texans' team chaplain went over to congratulate Leach for de-cleating the returner.

In any case, the Texans don't want criminals on their roster, but some more hard-hitters wouldn't hurt. You can hit hard and still be nice off the field.


Joey in Dallas - dallas, TX, US: What happened to Fred Bennett? has he been hurt, and what are the odds that Dunte will resign with the Texans?

Brooke Bentley:

Hi Joey,

Fred Bennett has had a few bumps and bruises but no significant injuries. The Texans have been experimenting with their cornerback combinations, and Jacques Reeves and Petey Faggins have been starting a lot. Bennett did start against the Colts when the Texans began the game in nickel. As for Dunta, I know the Texans wanted to evaluate how he would return from the hamstring and knee injuries. He has been the best corner on this team for a while. He's still a little rusty from taking almost a year to rehab, but I think a lot of people want him back.


Jim - Spring, TX, US: Brooke, really think you are a great reporter! My question is: Do you think the quarterback position in Houston is cursed? And what do we need to do about it? It seems no matter who gets thrown back there turnovers seem to abundant. And 2, is it time to look to draft a quarterback higher in the draft next year? Thanks and keep up the great work!

Brooke Bentley:

Hi Jim,

Thanks for your questions and comments! The quarterback position has been a little unlucky for the Texans. David Carr clearly didn't work out. Matt Schaub has huge potential, but he has struggled with injuries in less than two years with the team. That being said, Schaub was putting up awesome numbers before getting hurt. He had a passer rating of 91. And Sage Rosenfels was an awesome backup last year when he went 4-1 as a starter and threw 15 touchdown passes. Rosenfels has been up and down this year. The Texans signed Craig Nall, who backed up Favre in Green Bay. Who knows what happens this offseason, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility of the Texans drafting a quarterback. Which QBs do you like coming out this year?


BMT TEXAN - Beaumont, TX, US: I know that Kubiak has said he is going to get Molden on the feild, but when is he gonna actually put him out there? Bennett seemed to have re-gressed this year & Faggins is Faggins, so do you think we will see Molden against the Browns this week. 2nd question? I know Demeco has some kind of injury going on, byt its evident that he seems to be a liability out there. He is playing very slow & not being aggressive like we are use to, so is there any word that he might sit out to rest & heal?

Brooke Bentley:

After the success rookie lineabcker Xavier Adibi had at Indy (led the team in tackles with 14), coach Gary Kubiak seems more comfortable with giving rookie cornerback Antwaun Molden increased playing time. Molden is a tall corner with huge hands and above-average speed. He needed polishing because he came from a small college, but I have a feeling he will see a lot more action down the stretch. He is fast and has the potential to be physical, both of which will be helpful to the Texans' defense.

As for linebacker DeMeco Ryans, he has a shoulder injury that he has tried to play through, but it has slowed him down. His ankle also has been less than 100 percent. Ryans is the type of guy who hates coming out of the game. And he knows the Texans don't have many options at the position because Zac Diles is gone for the year and Morlon Greenwood is injured. Plus, Ryans wears the defensive headset and relays the plays on the field. The defense really rallies around his leadership. He needs the rest, but I doubt he will get it. Or ask for it.


Mike - Beaumont, TX, US: What's thye deal with the defense. Is it the coach or players? The coach can't play for the players ,but it is his job to make sure they execute. So shouldn't they look at the coach first. Mainly the defensive coaches?

Brooke Bentley:

Hi Mike,

Fans, we are about to wrap up our live chat. Thank you for the questions. You guys are awesome. I will be back next Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. CT, so keep the questions coming!

I touched on this a little bit earlier, but coach Gary Kubiak has said there is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to defensive struggles. In fact, he said on Monday that the defense has found ways to break down. He said the coaches and players need to do their jobs betters. The players missed too many tackles on Sunday at Indy. And Kubiak said the coaches could have put them in a better position to win the game. Dunta Robinson said there were blown assignments on defense. So really, there are a lot reasons as to why the defense is giving up too many points, and something will have to change for that to be fixed.


Jah Onu - atlanta, GA, US: Hey Brooke! I wanna know if the team feels like packing it in for next year or are they gonna come out and try to spoil someone else's playoff hopes by playing hard?

Brooke Bentley:

Hi Jah,

This will be my last question for the afternoon. Thanks again for all the questions. I will be back next Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. CT.

The Texans aren't packing it in. Their playoff chances are slim. They pretty much have to win out to play in the postseason. But they won't be giving up on the season. These guys have way too much pride. Their effort level never has been in question, and I don't expect the team's effort to drop at all the rest of the season.


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