Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC South [Print without images]

Monday, September 13, 2010
One 'no' vote on Texans chasing Schobel

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

HOUSTON -- Connor Barwin’s awful dislocated ankle suffered in the Texans’ win over Indianapolis Sunday will prompt another round of Aaron Schobel questions.

Schobel, who’s from the area, chose to retire. But indications were he was at least initially intrigued by the idea of playing in Houston after Buffalo released him.

In his second season, Barwin was in line to play left end on pass rush downs and gave the team confidence it had a third-rushing end with upside.

“It’s one of the worst things you’ll see … It’s tough to see him go down,” DeMeco Ryans said. “The kids been fighting and working to get better for us and he brought a different element to our defense. It’s going to be tough losing Connor. Next man up has to step in.”

Now, if Antonio Smith goes inside in such situations, the team will be looking to Jesse Nading. Nading took some of those snaps against the Colts once Barwin went down. Or they could leave Smith outside and play Amobi Okoye and rookie Earl Mitchell as their tackles

The possibility of Schobel stunting Barwin’s growth was one issue that may have prevented the Texans from going full bore after Schobel. With Barwin expected to be lost for the season, might they make a call to Schobel’s agent for one last try?

I think they ought to.

Ryans disagrees.

“Nah, we’ve got guys here,” he said. “We’ve got the guys here in this locker room that can get it done. We’re established as a unit now. We don’t need any outside help.”

We'll find out quickly if Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith agree.