Rookie diary: James Casey



drafted in the fifth round (152nd overall) this April, is a former minor league baseball player who joined the Texans as a 24-year-old rookie from Rice. He has been chronicling his rookie season with weekly diary entries for*

I mentioned last time that it would be a lot easier if we were winning games to do this diary. Then we came out and played against Seattle like we did, and it is; it's a lot easier to do this.

We played really, really well that first half. I think Coach (Gary) Kubiak said it might be one of the most explosive first halves of offense he's been around, and he's been around a lot of really good offenses, so that meant a lot coming from him.

It was great to come out there and play well against Seattle and get back on track at 6-7. We're still in contention, I guess; there's still a possibility of the playoffs. But we've got to have some stuff happen for us. That Indianapolis win over Jacksonville really helped us out last night.

But again, everything's so much better when you win. I realized this in the NFL early on: When you're winning, everything's better and everybody's happy, and when you're losing, nothing's good. It's really tough. So it feels good this week to be coming off a win.

Unfortunately, during the win, we lost Anthony Hill for the season. He tore his ACL early on in the game when he was on offense. Anthony and I have become really good friends since we got here because we were drafted together and we've been going through the exact same thing. He's a great guy, and my thoughts and prayers are definitely with him. I'm hoping he has a speedy recovery and comes back really soon.

That's got to be terrible to be going through something like that right now, but I know he's a strong guy and he'll bounce back really fast. He's already had his ACL torn once, so he already knows about all of the recovery and everything that goes with how long it takes to get back and everything you've got to do.

It's terrible that it's gotten to the situation like this with Owen (Daniels) going down and Anthony going down. But now it's Joel (Dreessen) and I that are left at tight end, and it's up to me and him to step up and play well and help the team out at the tight end position these last three games.

I know Joel is definitely capable, and it's his time to get out there and get a chance to start and show everybody what he can do. At the same time, hopefully I'll get some opportunities and be able to show the team what I can do and show the team that I can help them also. But a lot of stuff's kind of out of your control, how much they use you and all that stuff, so whatever opportunities they give me, I'm just going to try to go out there and play as hard as I can every snap, whatever role it is, and try to help the team finish strong with these last three games.

I heard how the Rams just completely cancelled practice on a Thursday. That's wild, because Thursdays in the NFL, at least from what we go through and I think a lot of the other teams do, are really when you've got your game plan in. That's the day that you go out and you really show your team that you're ready to play and you grind out all the small stuff you need to get ready for the game, and then Friday you kind of go a little bit easier to make sure you're fresh for Sunday.

So Thursday is a big day in the NFL, and to see that they didn't practice at all is crazy. But I guess when you've got the swine flu issue like they've got, it's best maybe not to spread it around your whole team because then you might be hurt even worse. By the time the game comes around, you might get more and more guys sick. So I'm sure they're going to make it up another way, whether it's practicing more on Friday or watching more film, but one thing's for sure--they're probably going to be fresh for Sunday with that extra day of rest, so that could be an advantage for them.

I'm really excited about the St. Louis game. We got back on track with Seattle, and I can't wait to get out on that field on Sunday and hopefully get back to .500 at 7-7 and keep this thing going. We still need a lot of help, but the playoffs are still possible. We played really, really well against Seattle and showed what we're capable of, and now we've just got to keep going out there and doing it every week and being consistent with it.

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