Skip to main content
Houston Texans

Fans thinking playoffs in '09


Thousands of Texans fans filled the Reliant Stadium floor on Wednesday night for the team's All Access event for season ticket holders and sponsors, getting a chance to meet their favorite players for autographs and tour the stadium.

During the event, Texans general manager Rick Smith and players including Andre Johnson spoke to the fans about their expectations to make the playoffs this season. Most fans seemed to agree that the goal is within sight.

"I believe we're going to make the playoffs this year," said Richard Behrens, a season-ticket holder since 2002. "I hope we do, because we've been getting better every year."

"We were .500 last year," his wife, Roseanne, added. "I think we'll improve on that this year."

The Texans will have a friendlier schedule this year than in 2008, when they opened the season with three consecutive road games against playoff teams and started 0-4. This season, the Texans will play three of the first four games at Reliant Stadium, with only one of those games coming against a 2008 playoff team.

"With the schedule that we have, I believe that the Texans have no reason not to be over.500," Cory Faulkner of Clear Lake said. "I believe that they should be in the playoffs. I mean, look at last year, the last game when they beat the Bears. The Bears were a shoo-in for the playoffs, and look what they did to 'em: They tore 'em up. So it just goes to show you, if they were in any other division, they would be able to compete for the playoffs almost every year. So I'm hoping they'll make it there this year."

Fans were abuzz about the Texans' offseason acquisitions. One of the busiest autograph tables at the All Access event was that of rookie tight end James Casey, a fifth-round pick who played at Rice University.

{QUOTE}"I'm from Houston, so I love to see local talent here," Faulkner said. "With all his skill, I can't believe that he actually was still around in the draft, so I told him I think he was supposed to be here. Hopefully, he can stay on the Texans for a while. He's young talent, and that's what we need. You've got to have young talent if you're going to produce."

Another rookie that had the fans excited is first-round draft pick Brian Cushing from USC. David Jarusinski of Spring, sporting a custom-made No. 56 Cushing Texans jersey, was one of hundreds of fans who waited in line to get Cushing's autograph and see him in person for the first time.

"I'm a big USC fan and I love the Texans, so I'm happy we got Cushing," Jarusinski said. "I'm hoping he's going to be a real hard-hitting linebacker and get everybody excited."

Defense was the Texans' primary focus this offseason, so it came as no surprise that players like Cushing and defensive end Antonio Smith were popular choices among fans when asked to name the player they're most excited about this season. Arnold Loredo of Sugar Land couldn't pick just one player, saying that he looks forward to seeing the entire defense improve under new coordinator Frank Bush.

"I want to see that defense just rock and just take over the field and get the offense the ball," he said. "If they can, then hopefully we can win 10 games or more. That's what I'm hoping for. I'm just hoping to have a winning team and for them to come out strong like I know they can, and everything else like the playoffs will just fall into place."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content