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Catching up

Todd Wade said hello the way only a big, sweaty offensive lineman could.

He shook hands.

It was just too hot for hugs.

Wade had plenty of catching up to do Friday as the Miami Dolphins, his old team, practiced with the Texans at Relian


t Park.

Wade (6-8, 317) left his former teammates when he signed a free agent deal in the off-season. Little did he know he would be reunited so soon.

"It feels like nothing's changed," Wade said. "I haven't been gone for that long. It seems like I have, but I really haven't. At the same time, most of these people on this team I haven't seen since the last game of the season.

"It's very strange. As I walked around the gate I started seeing (media) and personnel and teammates and everything. That was a big surprise. I didn't expect to see all the people. It seems like they've brought everybody."

Since that time the Dolphins have had several notable departures, forcing them to basically rebuild the entire offensive line. Then the running back they were preparing to block for suddenly retired.

But that was not the main thing on Wade's mind. He has said all along the team will be fine without Ricky Williams.

Still, he and the rest of the world, was caught by surprise.

"It was weird hearing about it," he said. "But for one, I haven't really seen any of the offensive guys today, they've been on the other field. I haven't seen the offense running without Ricky. It's unfortunate, but I think they're past that and have moved on to better things."

The new Texan hasn't had much time to adjust, but says he enjoys the facilities and his new team.

He talked at length after the afternoon practice with several of his former teammates. The large offensive linemen gathered like a grove of man-like trees near the practice field gate.

Near by were several new friends with the Texans.

"You establish new bonds and friendships and stuff like that with a new team," Wade said. "I'll always be good friends with those guys, but when you play them in a game it's all forgotten about.

"Its my new life. I want to give as much to this team as I can and try to be the best leader that I can and really be one of the guys people can lean on."

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