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Sit down with Marc Vandermeer: Part 2


The voice of the Houston Texans, SportsRadio 610's Marc Vandermeer, sat down with Texans TV to discuss the team's needs in free agency and the NFL draft. Below is a transcript of the second part of this two-part interview.

Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): Of course, the Texans have the 18th pick in the draft and the junior class is very deep at running back. The Texans don't have a second-round pick, and that's what's going to hurt them.

Marc Vandermeer: That's really going to be tough. If you can trade down, that would be nice. The problem with trading down is that you can't sit here in February and say you want to trade out of 18. You can't do it, because you don't know who's going to be there for a team to want to jump into the slot. So something like that likely happens on draft day with preliminary conversation, and then you pull the trigger on it when the 18 pick gets there.

The Texans moved up a few years ago to get Jason Babin and gave Tennessee a great deal to do it. Maybe someone will give the Texans a great deal to get to 18 and you get additional picks. But if you don't do that, who's going to be around in the third round? Well, maybe you get some great names – maybe Jamaal Charles drops into the third round. You know, he's a projected second-round guy and, again, this stuff can all change dramatically as they have their pre-draft workouts, and the Combine's coming up next week.

But you never know; there could be a real nice back for them in the third round or maybe even the fourth round that could really pay some dividends. Hey, remember Domanick Davis played here, now Domanick Williams. Domanick Davis played here, and they picked him up in the fourth round and he did a fine job for three years in a Texans' uniform. You never know what draft day is going to bring.

Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): Let's go back to free agency. There are 15 unrestricted free agents going into free agency and the last day the Texans can tender an offer to them is February 28. Who do you think is still going to be around after that, and what other position groups do you think the Texans will go after?

Marc Vandermeer: Well, André Davis is somebody the Texans really want back. The question if I'm André Davis is: can I make more money somewhere else? Let's face it, it's a business. It's professional football. Certainly, he's been happy here with the Texans. He's been very productive. When Andre Johnson went out for those seven games, André Davis stepped up and as a return man became extremely valuable for this franchise. But is there a better offer for him somewhere else and is that offer better than the happiness he might have here? Those are questions for André Davis and his agent to weigh, but I would think that the chances are decent that he would be back. You'd hope so; you know they are making every effort to sign him.

Another guy that I'm curious about is Will Demps, a Pro Bowl alternate. They got him off the streets. And it's funny, because the Giants – he came from the Giants and played for them in '06 – they were a playoff team. They had issues in the secondary. Will Demps, who was on the streets, he would have been a New York Giant through the postseason. And he plays well enough to be on that type of squad, a Super Bowl contending squad, so he might be somebody that they look at. As far as the other guys, you know, Mark Bruener, you'd love to have a tight end like that around, so I could see that being a good fit as well. Of course, he's not a pass catcher, but he's a good blocking tight end, a good guy to have around in the locker room, as well, and you can't have too many of those.

{QUOTE}Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): Marc, on the airwaves, what are Texans' fans saying about their needs in the offseason?

Marc Vandermeer: The sexy position is running back. Everybody wants to know who's going to score touchdowns out of that backfield. They saw the problems they had with Ahman Green last year. You know, Ron Dayne gutted it out despite having some rib problems, and it was nice to see Ron's performance. They ended up playing a guy, Darius Walker, who was not on the roster at the start of training camp. So you look at the running back situation, and I think the fans really want to see who's going to be the RB on this team for a decade. It's a hard thing to find, isn't it? In the NFL, running backs, I don't want to say that teams chew them up and spit them out, but it's a very physical position. You are getting hit on every play of the game and these guys tend to not last very long.

Ahman's going to be back and that's a wonderful thing, but the fans want to know who's going to be around for the future for this team and I think they're looking running back in the first round. That might be a casual fan perspective, but knowledgeable fans, fans maybe watching this broadcast right now on, know there are team needs that might even come in front of running back, like the ones in the secondary that we talked about.

Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): You touched on this earlier, Marc. There are a lot of unknowns entering next season with Charles Spencer's return, Ahman Green's return, the development of rookies like Jacoby Jones and Amobi Okoye, and then Kyle Shanahan now as offensive coordinator. What are you most excited about?

Marc Vandermeer: I'm excited about everything you just said, because I'm thinking about this young team growing up, taking the next step. When I look at the quarterback situation, is there a team that is better set up at quarterback than the Houston Texans with Matt Schaub and Sage Rosenfels? And then you see the production they got out of running backs just kind of piecing it together. What happens when they finally get this position stabilized?

Owen Daniels, in his third year, the NFL has to notice this guy as such a productive player. And then you talk about Jacoby Jones, he lit it up in the preseason prior to '07 and then he had the shoulder injury and we know that he wasn't the same player after that. He had a rookie issue, anyway, just trying to get acclimated to the NFL. We all know that wide receiver is a very tough position to learn for a rookie. Second year with a full offseason, what is Jacoby Jones going to do? It's exciting.

Kyle Shanahan, I like the hire. He's a football savant. Yeah, he's a young guy, young offensive coordinator. We all know that, but he's got a great tutor in Gary Kubiak and he's got a lot of elder statesmen-type coaches around who can guide him. Alex Gibbs, what better guy to have around to help guide you? And Kyle has the respect and attention of the quarterbacks, Matt Schaub and Sage Rosenfels. They can't say enough good things about him. That's where you have to start, with your quarterbacks. If they respect him as an offensive coordinator as they did a quarterbacks coach – and you see it around the Texans, Kyle is the first guy on the team plane to get the laptop out and go over things with the quarterbacks. I'm not letting out any secret there. This is football enthusiasm that they have. They are gym rats of football, and I like that approach. I think he's going to work out very well as an offensive coordinator.

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