My first reaction to seeing the new Texans work out at the Methodist Training Center was that it's great to have football back. My next one was that it was a tad strange to see the number 8 on another QB. Matt Schaub looks so physically different than the former number 8 but this is my sixth year coming to practice so I had to adjust my eyes a few times. Darius Walker wearing number 37 wasn't exactly easy either.
Schaub looked like he was getting his sea legs early in the 11-on-11 workouts then started to connect on some deep balls that will be very welcome when the action begins for real. Ahman Green is in tremendous shape and, with health, will enable the Texans to take the next step in the ground game. Right now I have no idea how good Jacoby Jones is going to be but he just has that look about him that says he's a player. We'll see.
Seeing Amobi Okoye and Mario Williams stand next to each other made me think of the awesome potential of these two. The Texans defense was in the top-10 if you separate the last 10 weeks of the season. This is after a three game start that had them about a hundred yards per game in dead last. Think of getting started this season with DeMeco and Mario no longer rookies and Okoye chipping in.
Jon Abbate looks small (5-11, 245) but ferocious. Undrafted rookie Brandon Mitchell (6-2, 205) is easy to spot at safety. C.C. Brown and Glenn Earl were the 'starters', but there is a lot going on behind them. Dexter McCleon got some safety work. So did Von Hutchins.
The most entertaining coach so far is D-line mentor Jethro Franklin. To a player needing to attack better: "Either you're going to have to deal with him or with me, and you don't want to deal with me." You had to be there. Trust me, it's all in the delivery.
Kailee Wong is done. It's sad to know that another original Texan is out. He came back from a knee injury that few thought was possible to overcome. He just couldn't stay back. He will be missed. The best Wong memory is making two sacks on Mark Brunell on the last possession in Jacksonville in '02 in the second ever Texan win. We also lose the fun pop culture connection of Kailee's brother-in-law Mario Lopez of Saved By The Bell fame.
CLICKHERETO SEND AN E-MAIL TO VANDERMEER