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Houston Texans

Wednesday's OTA cut short


Veterans had a short practice Wednesday.

Short and sweet: The Texans practiced for just over 75 minutes Wednesday, about 30 minutes less than what Gary Kubiak has had his team do during the majority of OTA workouts.

Rookies stayed longer, but for the veterans it was a little break to reward them for a strong offseason program to date.

"We've had some good work," Kubiak said Wednesday. "We took some time off today, time wise, gave the (veterans) a little break, wanted to work the rookies a little bit more.

"I'm pleased with where we're at. I think we've had a really good OTA's session, we're winding down now, we actually have (four) more times to come out here, but I feel good with where we're at. We've got (four) more times to be out here and we'll get to see where we're at as we get closer to training camp. Probably the biggest thing is getting a few guys out here that have missed a few days, but I feel good."

Kubiak wouldn't single out one phase of the workouts that he thought was better than any other, but he again reiterated how pleased he is with the quality of talent the Texans have assembled heading into the 2007 season.

"I don't know if there is a single thing, I just know that our football team is very competitive," Kubiak said. "I feel like I know our football team a lot better this year than I did last year at this time as far as our issues and the challenges that we have.

"This is no easy football team to make this year. In all honesty, I couldn't say that last year so I feel good about the competition."

A day at the lanes: The Andre Johnson Foundation and several Texans players hosted over 100 youth from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston Wednesday afternoon at Jillian's Entertainment off the Katy freeway.

"I've had these 'Bowl with a Pro' days before with adults, but this year I wanted to do something for kids," Johnson said. "Growing up in Miami, we just played outside, programs like these help kids stay off the streets."

Reliant Energy, the power behind the Houston Texans, co-sponsored the event providing t-shirts for the youth from the Boys and Girls Clubs. Chester Pitts, Ahman Green and DeMeco Ryans were also in attendance to help out the cause.

"You don't hesitate to help when something like this comes up," Pitts said. "Anything for kids is a no brainer. Andre is more than just my teammate, he's my friend and I'm happy to help him out in something like this."

Sophomore jinx?: It's going to be hard for Ryans to top his rookie season in the NFL. After leading the league in solo tackles and receiving Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, it would seem that Ryans might have already reached his ceiling as a player.

His coach disagrees with that notion and said that Ryans "has to" improve in his second year in the league.

"The year he had was tremendous," Kubiak said. "Hopefully there's many more years like that one to come. I think he improves just through the knowledge of the game."

One of Ryans strengths a year ago was they way he took command of the defense. He is the unquestioned leader, but his style is a bit unorthodox.

"He's an interesting player and I mean this with all due respect. You don't even know he's out here," Kubiak said. "He's a quiet guy who does his job and gets everybody in the right spot. Never a word out of his mouth and what a leader for such a young kid."

If you're wondering how a player leads without words, it not's as difficult as you may think. His teammates respect Ryans for his play on the field, not necessarily anything he shouts at them during the game.

"You've got to be yourself in this game," Kubiak continued. "If DeMeco came out here and started to scream at everybody and talking a lot, they would wonder what was wrong. He leads by example. He's been out here every rep, hasn't missed a down. He's the guy they're all going to right now.

"When it hits the fan out here, when things get a little crazy between players, coaches, situations, they go to DeMeco and that's the way it should be. He's the leader."

The waiting game: Free-agent wide receiver Keenan McCardell met with Kubiak and Texans officials Tuesday. While the Texans would love to add McCardell to the roster, don't expect an announcement anytime soon.

"I visited with (Keenan) on the phone earlier in the week. I sat down with him last night for a half-hour, 45 minutes, and discussed our situation and his situation," Kubiak said Wednesday.

"I would love for him to be a part of our football team. I think he can come in here and help us. I think he's got other options that he's exploring, but hopefully he takes a hard look at our option because I think he could be a big help to us. We'll see. I don't' think time is real important right now. If it's going to get done, we'll get it done and we'll go to camp, but he knows he's wanted and he can help us out."

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