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Houston Texans

Bye, bye for the bye?


Texans receiver Jacoby Jones (12) will head home to Louisiana for his bye week break, and he plans on eating a lot of gumbo.

For the first Sunday since Sept. 6, the Texans won't play a football game. The team practiced the Tuesday after the Colts game and then dispersed across the United States to enjoy their handful of days away from Reliant Stadium. The things they'll do - hunt deer, build fences, eat gumbo, and read poetry - are as varied as their backgrounds and upbringings.

Tight end Joel Dreessen, who hails from Colorado, heads back toward his home state but will stop just shy of the border and spend some time in the Texas Panhandle.

"My uncle lives in Amarillo, so I might go up and hang out with him and try to bag myself a big buck," Dreessen said. "It's deer season here in Texas. That's what I'm looking forward to."

Dreessen describes himself as a lifelong hunter, and says it'll be the perfect way to unwind away from the gridiron.

"Hunting, for me, is very relaxing. Just out in nature, relaxing, hoping something comes across your face and you get fortunate and shoot it," he said.

While Dreessen heads west, Jacoby Jones will go a short way to the east and back home to Louisiana.

"I'm about to get on a flight to New Orleans," Jones said. "I'm going to see the family and chill out with them. I know we'll have a little gathering at the house on Saturday. Cook a lot of food. Gumbo. Crawfish. Stuff like that."

Jones said he can wolf down gumbo "24-7" and likely will watch some football on television while he's home.

Ryan Moats grew up in Dallas and will head home with his wife, but this bye week is a working week for the running back.

"I am going home to Dallas, to fix a fence," Moats said, although he won't be exerting too much physical labor. "I'm not going to swing a hammer. I don't want to hurt myself. I'm just going to help get it done."

Another Texan who will be productive over the break is DeMeco Ryans. He returns to Bessemer, Ala., where he'll help some folks who are down on their luck.

{QUOTE}"We have a Turkey Giveaway in my hometown for less fortunate people back home," Ryans said. "I get to watch my high school play in a playoff game against Hoover High School. I'll take it easy. Get some good home cooking."

Wide receiver Andre Johnson was unsure of his plans as of late Tuesday morning, but he seemed fine with "sitting in the house."

Fellow receiver Kevin Walter will do a little sitting as well, and he'll also do some Holiday shopping.

"I'm actually going to the Nutcracker Market," Walter said. "My wife and I are expecting our first child in three weeks, so we can't travel. Nothing beats the Nutcracker market."

Walter also mentioned that he's up for wearing a holiday sweater when he attends the festivities.

Rookie linebacker Brian Cushing was a star at Southern California, and he'll head back to his alma mater for part of his bye week break.

"I think SC is playing at home this week against Stanford," Cushing said. "Hopefully, I'll see that game. Just get my mind off football and really relax for a week."

If Cushing does indeed head to the Trojans game, he says he won't hang out on the sidelines.

"I'll be in the stands," he said. "I don't want it to be a whole big thing. I'll just go over there and say what's up to the guys and that's about it."

Fellow former Trojan Shaun Cody also is returning to Los Angeles, but his week away will be much different.

"I have a lot of plans for my bye week," Cody said. "Finding a good book, cuddling up to a fireplace, and indulging my intellectual side. (I'm) heavy into poetry and other things in the arts."

Also excited about the bye is head coach Gary Kubiak. He said the timing was right, and that the Texans deserve the rest.

"Everybody's been working really hard," Kubiak said. "But we just need to get these guys fresh mentally and physically and we've got a big seven weeks coming up."

He expects to work quite a bit during the down time, but he's optimistic about getting away from the office for at least a little bit.

"I hope so, my wife hopes so," Kubiak said with a grin. "We'll see."

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