Here's my second weekly installment of the Fan Mailbag. I'll be doing this every Friday, same time (more or less), same place.
Without further ado:
Q (from Barrett in Austin):I'd sure appreciate it if someone would ask Coach Kubiak directly for some sort of explanation on a semi-technical level what they are seeing on film that would suggest that DelJuan Robinson is less effective than our other players in the DT role. It seems somewhat clear to me that Cody and Robinson have the best results when they are on the field. Why is Robinson not getting more reps? Thank you.
A (from me in Houston): Talked to Coach about it today. He said: "I would say DelJuan's probably been a little bit like our defense, inconsistent. He's done some good things, he has been hurt. Now, I want everybody to understand that: DelJuan missed his time because of a calf injury. He was just getting over that last week and he played about 15 plays last week, and he's going to play more this week. So really, his ineffectiveness for a portion of the time was due to an injury."
Q (John in Sugarland): Hey Nick, what do you think is better? The red shoes they had last week or the pink ones? I saw those pictures of the pink shoes today on houstontexans.com.
A: I love the red cleats (and the red uniforms in general), but I've got to go with the pink ones because they're for a great cause. Here's a link to the photos and to the article about the players wearing pink on Sunday. Andre Johnson's pink cleats are SWEET – even more so in person – especially the silver bottoms. They're so shiny they're like full-on mirrors.
Q (John Jones aka theCATALYST): When Texans fans in attendance begin to boo, is it detrimental to the outcome of the game or does it motivate you into trying harder that game and in future games?
A: Some of the players talked about it after last week's game. I asked right tackle Eric Winston about this today, posing the question to him pretty much verbatim, and here's what he said:
"It's definitely not motivating any time you hear your fans boo. But sometimes I can understand the frustration level. If they're frustrated, imagine how frustrated we are. So I understand. You know, they pay money, they've got the right to boo. I don't think it helps anything, though; that's the problem. I feel like sometimes when they boo, it gets the visiting team even more hyped up. When they're booing, it's like the visiting team knows, 'Oh, man, look, they're turning on them.' I just feel like a crowd that stays positive, I think their team will stay positive, and it kind of goes around like that."
I also asked him, on the flipside, what it does for the team when the crowd is loud and behind the players.
"It's great," he said. "Even when we're on the bench as an offense and they're screaming their heads off for the defense out there and disrupting the other team's offense and making it tough on them, that's really encouraging for an offensive player just listening to them. And then when they're really quiet into the game when we're on offense and not saying anything when we get down in the red zone, that helps a lot, too. Just their participation in general makes home games what they are. When they're tough on the opposing teams, it really fires us up."
Q (LaTusha, Section 644 row k):Is the team truly prepared to play Oakland, Sunday, Oct. 4? I hope the team will play harder and better this season, so we can go to the playoffs, at least.
A: They play their hearts out every week, believe me. If you need any evidence, I strongly encourage you to watch this video of running back Chris Brown after the Jaguars game. His emotional reaction to the fumble and his belief that he let the team down should serve as proof of just how much the games mean to the players. But to the rest of your question, yes, I think they're really fired up for this game. I like the vibe that's been going around Reliant Stadium this week – on the practice field, in the locker room, even in the team cafeteria. The players felt like they lost a game they should've won last week and are eager to get back to .500.