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On to the offseason

Well, the season has been over for a few weeks, but my work is just beginning. I already had surgery done on my right shoulder, and now I have a long rehab process so that I can be ready for the 2007 campaign. I don't plan on missing any time this year, so I'm going to work as hard in the training room as I do on the practice field to make sure that my shoulder is even better than before.

I just look at my injury as another challenge, and I am taking it on with a full head of steam. While it's not going to be a normal offseason, in the end I'll probably be better because of it. I've been told that the recovery process is about four to six months, so I'm anxious to get the ball rolling and make some progress.

You hear a lot of athletes nowadays that get their respective surgeries done by Dr. James Andrews, an orthopedic surgeon in Alabama. My agent wanted me to see him, but I had the Texans' team physician, Dr. Walter Lowe, take care of my shoulder. I like Dr. Lowe. I trust my gut most of the time, and something told me to stay here in Houston to get the surgery done. So I'm optimistic.

Now that I've had time to sit back and gain a little perspective on the season, I believe I can evaluate things with a clear head. There's no doubt that there were a lot of ups and a lot of downs this past year, but ultimately we had a great finish. I'm really proud of our guys. Nobody hung their heads and we finished the season with some momentum.

Ending the year with back-to-back wins is huge. It's huge just from a morale standpoint. Now when guys go into the offseason to start working out, we believe that we can win. We know we can beat the Indianapolis Colts now. It's not a matter of wondering if we can. We've done it. So now we're optimistic knowing that things can be a lot better in the future, beginning in 2007.

One thing I'm excited for is having a healthy defensive line next season. We were battered and bruised this year. I'd love to see Mario Williams play a full season healthy. Now with a year under Mario's belt, I think he's going to do a lot of great things. Mario and Anthony Maddox will be here next year in training camp, and with all of us together and building on our familiarity with each other, I think we'll make a ton of improvement.

I really look forward to the future. I think this program is moving in the right direction behind coach Kubiak. You can just tell by the players the team has brought in – rookies like Mario, DeMeco Ryans and Owen Daniels – that we're in a good place. Once we add some veteran presence with those rookies and get a little mix in here, I think the sky's the limit.

Obviously, the hot topic following the season has been quarterback David Carr. He's been highly scrutinized, which comes with the territory of playing behind center. My stance on David is that I still believe in him. The thing about him is that he gets a lot of blame, but there are 10 other guys on the field with him, and everyone has to do their part to win, not just the quarterback. I think that if we can keep David upright more often that he can be a great quarterback. It's just a matter of everybody pulling together around him. I haven't lost faith in him or anyone on offense.

Of course, as a defensive player, I look at what I can do to help the team, and what we can do as a unit to win, before I look anywhere else. And we still have a lot of room to improve. With another productive offseason, we can make some serious noise in 2007. I hope all you guys come along for the ride.

Take care,

Anthony **


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