NFL Nation: David Anderson

Wide receivers Vincent Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Reggie Wayne, Robert Meachem, Eddie Royal, Laurent Robinson, Josh Morgan, Eric Weems and Harry Douglas have found new homes after hitting the NFL's free-agent market.

Franchise tags essentially removed from consideration Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker and DeSean Jackson.

Others, such as Marques Colston, re-signed before free agency.

Teams still searching for help at the position -- that would be pretty much everyone but Seattle in the NFC West -- are left with a picked-over group of free agents.

Jerome Simpson, Burress, Brandon Lloyd, Legedu Naanee, Devin Aromashodu, Roy Williams, Mario Manningham and Early Doucet are the only ones remaining to have played at least half of their team's offensive snaps during the 2011 season.

As the chart shows, Burress was particularly effective in the red zone for the New York Jets. He converted first downs 38 times in 45 receptions for the third-highest percentage among wide receivers with at least 40 receptions, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Burress is also up there in age. He's among 12 available wideouts already in their 30s: Hines Ward (36), Burress (34), T.J. Houshmandzadeh (34), Kevin Curtis (33), Patrick Crayton (32), Deion Branch (32), Rashied Davis (32), Donte Stallworth (31), Jerheme Urban (31), Bryant Johnson (31), Lloyd (30) and Williams (30).

Of them, Lloyd has visited the San Francisco 49ers.

Nine more are 29 years old: Greg Camarillo, Keary Colbert, Mark Clayton, Jerricho Cotchery, Roscoe Parrish, Michael Clayton, Courtney Roby, Michael Spurlock and Braylon Edwards.

Still interested?

OK, let's check out 18 others, all younger than 29: David Anderson, Legedu Naanee, Devin Aroshamodu, Donnie Avery, Anthony Gonzalez, Maurice Stovall, Derek Hagan, Mike Sims-Walker, Ted Ginn Jr., Andre Caldwell, Steve Smith, Doucet, Brett Swain, Chaz Schilens, Simpson, Manningham, Devin Thomas and Kevin Ogletree.

Schilens visited Arizona and San Francisco. Manningham visited the 49ers and the St. Louis Rams.

I've also broken down the available wideouts by drafted round:
  • First: Williams, Burress, Ginn, Stallworth, both Claytons, Johnson, Gonzalez and Edwards
  • Second: Avery, Thomas, Simpson, Smith, Parrish, Branch, Colbert
  • Third: Roby, Doucet, Hagan, Stovall, Manningham, Caldwell, Curtis, Sims-Walker, Ward
  • Fourth: Cotchery, Lloyd
  • Fifth: Legedu Naanee
  • Sixth: none
  • Seventh: Houshmandzadeh, Crayton, Schilens, Aromashodu, Anderson, Swain
  • Undrafted: Davis, Urban, Camarillo, Spurlock, Ogletree

Only a handful of the available receivers project as starters. None would qualify as an outright game-breaker.

The Rams in particular need playmakers, but in looking at what is available, how many would qualify as dramatically better than what they already have? Austin Pettis, Brandon Gibson, Danario Alexander, Dominique Curry, Greg Salas and restricted free agent Danny Amendola are their current wideouts.

Considering Avery versus Mason

October, 12, 2011
10/12/11
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Let’s stop this before the volume gets too high.

Many Titans fans are pouting this morning, suggesting that their team should have traded for receiver Derrick Mason, who was acquired by the Texans last night in a trade with the Jets that could send a seventh-round draft pick to New York.

The Titans signed Donnie Avery after Kenny Britt went down and have used him very little so far.

Look, these are different teams with different needs who sought different things.

The Titans lost Britt for the year. Their intention was to move their young players up, so they can finally get a verdict on Damian Williams and Lavelle Hawkins. They were looking for a fourth guy who might challenge for time after he got comfortable, and a guy with speed.

That’s Avery.

The Texans lost Andre Johnson, probably for three games, and decided they could use an additional veteran presence.

While the Titans have young guys they like and want to give a chance, the Texans started off thin at receiver. They don't have guys who've been waiting who they think have promise.

They know exactly what they do have in Kevin Walter (a reliable guy who can’t always separate), Jacoby Jones (an unreliable guy who can separate), Bryant Johnson (a late addition who's not a big answer) and David Anderson (a guy they were willing to part with at cut time.)

Adding Mason makes a lot more sense for the Texans than for the Titans.

Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. says Mason and Avery “couldn’t be any more extreme” in the possession versus speed regard.

“Mason is very reliable, but only a short-to-intermediate player,” he said. “Avery is extremely hit or miss, but when he hits, he hits big with blazing speed.”

The Titans want to be younger and faster. Mason wouldn’t have helped in either regard. They are riding with their kids and hoping they ultimately get more hit than miss with Avery.

The Texans need depth, and they got a reliable veteran.
HOUSTON -- Andre Johnson went down untouched after a second-quarter reception for the Texans against the Steelers, writhing in pain and holding the back of his right knee.

After trainers attended to him, he got up and left the field under his own power.

He paused briefly in the bench area, then walked with team personnel to the locker room, moving slowly and with the injured leg staying stiff.

Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter are now working as the top two Texans’ receivers and Houston throws a bunch to tight end Owen Daniels.

Bryant Johnson is the only other active wide receiver. David Anderson was a pregame scratch.

The Texans have a 10-0 lead on Pittsburgh.
HOUSTON -- Kareem Jackson is out with a knee injury for the Texans’ game against the Steelers, replaced in the starting lineup at left cornerback by Jason Allen.

Jackson struggled through his rookie year but held on to his starting spot through the preseason despite a strong challenge from Allen.

The Texans' secondary was picked apart in second half by Drew Brees last week in New Orleans in a loss to the Saints. Jackson was not good, but plenty of other defenders were victimized as well.

Allen will line up across from speedy receiver Mike Wallace, and should get significant safety help.

The banged up Steelers are down four starters -- defensive end Brett Keisel, left cornerback Bryant McFadden, left tackle Jonathan Scott and right guard Doug Legursky are all out.

The Texans' defensive front will be attacking an offensive line with two subs -- left tackle Trai Essex and right guard Ramon Foster.

The complete list of inactives:

Texans
Steelers
NEW ORLEANS -- As expected, Arian Foster won’t play for the Texans against the Saints today.

Ben Tate will bid to become only the second running back in league history to top 100 yards in his first three games, matching Cadillac Williams.

The Texans get a break with New Orleans injuries. Jo-Lonn Dunbar will play middle linebacker in place of the injured Jonathan Vilma, and Patrick Robinson will replace Tracy Porter at right cornerback. Receiver Devery Henderson is out of the offensive lineup, with Robert Meachem.

The full list of inactives:

Texans
Saints
Rarely, if ever, does an NFL unit simply pick up where it left off one year as it begins the next. Coaches talk all the time about how you’re actually starting from zero every time you start up.

Gary Kubiak’s been reminding his offense of that, and he wishes it had more of a chance to build some continuity in the first week of camp and in life after Vonta Leach.

Instead, with contract delays, injuries and a later addition in Leach’s replacement, Lawrence Vickers, the Texans have been patchwork on offense.

Here’s Kubiak with Houston media today:
“The number one thing I wish would happen is I wish we had these offensive guys on the field working. That’s been disappointing because you can have all the guys you want on paper, but they need to work together and play together. With Arian [Foster] going to miss some time now and Andre [Johnson] has missed some time; Jacoby [Jones] missed a lot of time, not his fault by any means; [Owen Daniels] missed a day. We need that continuity. We need to get on the field and get better. We’ve got to replace Vonta; we’ve got to replace the things David Anderson did for us, so we need that continuity, but I’m hoping that starts to pick back up next week.

“… They did some good things last year; that’s last year. You don’t ever stay the same in this business. You’re either moving forward and getting better or you’re stepping back. We’ve got a good group and I like the way our guys up front have worked, and they look very solid. Our tight ends look solid, but it’s about putting the whole group together and everybody being there to work for Matt [Schaub]. We’ll be smart; we’re not going to throw somebody out there who’s not ready to go, but boy, I sure would like to get them all back out there.”

I get to Houston on Thursday. Selfishly, I'd love it if the offense was closer to fully stocked during my visit.
The Denver Post is reporting former Baltimore running back Willis McGahee will become a Bronco pending a passed physical.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday he agreed to terms. The Denver Post is reporting the deal is now for four years, $9.5 million. McGahee will turn 30 this season. Again, I think McGahee can make some plays, but his contributions will likely be limited. He had 209 carries the past two years combined.

In other AFC West news:

Denver agreed to terms with receiver David Anderson. The former Colorado State player was cut by Houston. He has a chance to be a rotational receiver and special teamer in Denver.

The Chargers had interest in former Green Bay linebacker Nick Barnett, but not at the price that it will take to sign him.

There still doesn’t seem to be much of market for Oakland Pro Bowl tight end Zach Miller. At this point, I’d be surprised if he went elsewhere.

As expected, the Broncos cut safety Renaldo Hill as the team clears cap space. Hill was with the team the past two years. He wasn’t going to start this season.

The Broncos were interested in former Houston first-round pick Amobi Okoye. But he reportedly agreed to terms with the Bears shortly after being cut by the Texans. In a strange one, Denver is bringing in Broncos’ defensive tackle Marcus Thomas in for a visit. He has been with the team since 2007.
In general, we expect too much from late-round picks. (And from overall draft batting averages.)

In a recent conversation with former Denver general manager Ted Sundquist, he pointed to an article he once read in Ourlads by Joe Landers. Apologies, I couldn’t find the link.

“Using some common sense and a little investigative research, you'll find that it's rare, at least according to Landers’ study, to find a cornerback or running back or wide receiver that's really going to help you in the last three rounds,” Sundquist said. “And yet you'll find teams constantly take a reach on one of these positions.

“Evidence shows you're more likely to find a defensive tackle, offensive lineman, safety or tight end in the later rounds. Why? Most conventional wisdom says don't draft a safety or tight end high due to escalating rookie salaries and the going market at the position. As for defensive tackles or offensive linemen, it’s probably because of the greater numbers at the position. Both circumstances force down talented players at those positions.”

I went back and combed over the AFC South drafts since 2002, to see how many picks they spent on each side of the ledger Sundquist sets forth and how often the Colts, Jaguars, Texans and Titans did well with a fifth-, sixth- or seventh-round pick at those spots. This is, of course, highly unscientific. Metrics guys can probably shred it. But I thought it worth fiddling with.

Notables are players who played significantly, even if it’s been with another team, or recent picks who appear on track to contribute.

Houston Texans

WRs, RBs. CBs: 9

DTs, OL, S, TEs: 14

Most: Six safeties, four receivers, corners and defensive tackle

Notables: Colts

WRs, RBs. CBs: 7

DTs, OL, S, TEs: 13

Most: 13 offensive linemen

Notables: Jaguars

WRs, RBs. CBs: 12

DTs, OL, S, TEs: 9

Most: Five receivers, four offensive linemen

Notables: Titans

WRs, RBs. CBs: 14

DTs, OL, S, TEs: 16

Most: Seven offensive linemen, six wide receivers

Notables:
Of the notables from the division drafted since 2002, 73 percent (19) have been from the positions Sundquist says teams should concentrate on late while 27 percent (seven) play positions he believes should generally be avoided.

I'd be fine with the Titans not wasting yet another late pick on a receiver and with the Texans using late-rounders on something other than corners and receivers for sure. But it's not like Houston's spending late picks on safeties or the Colts use of such selections on offensive linemen have paid huge dividends either.

I'd love to read your thoughts.
Williams/GarrardAP Photo/Phil CoaleMario Williams and David Garrard are two of the 53 players under contract in the AFC South slated to make more than $1 million this season.
After being struck recently with how the NFL's labor rift has been cast as billionaires vs. millionaires, I thought I’d look at some players' salaries.

Totaling-up career earnings is quite difficult, and bonus money can be hard to nail down and sort through.

We can still get an interesting snapshot by looking at scheduled 2011 base salaries. I suspect many readers will be surprised that the vast majority of players will earn less than $1 million this fall.

Here, according to the NFLPA, are the players from each AFC South team currently scheduled to make a base salary of $1 million or more in 2011. Keep in mind guys in line for some form of free agency are not part of things here.

Fifty-three of 216 players under contract are slated to make $1 million or more. That’s 24.5 percent of the division.

Houston Texans
Total base salaries of $1 million or more: 13

Total players under contract for 2011: 49

Percentage of roster making $1 million or more: 26.5

Indianapolis Colts
Total base salaries of $1 million or more: 11

Total players under contract for 2011: 57

Percentage of roster making $1 million or more: 19.3

Jacksonville Jaguars
Total base salaries of $1 million or more: 13

Total players under contract for 2011: 51

Percentage of roster making $1 million or more: 25.5

Tennessee Titans
Total base salaries of $1 million or more: 16

Total players under contract for 2011: 59

Percentage of roster making $1 million or more: 27.1

*Young will be cut or traded, the Titans have announced.

Texans put Mario Williams on IR

December, 15, 2010
12/15/10
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The Texans and Titans have slim playoff possibilities, but they’ve waved the white flag in terms of having veterans push through injuries.

Houston put Mario Williams (sports hernia) on IR along with receiver David Anderson (shoulder) and right guard Mike Brisiel (shoulder), according to John McClain.

That means increased opportunities for Mark Anderson, Dorin Dickerson and Antoine Caldwell. No news yet on filling the roster spots.

The Titans put center Eugene Amano (neck) on IR Tuesday and defensive tackle Tony Brown (knee) followed him there Wednesday.

Fernando Velasco will take Amano’s place at center, while the Titans look to get Sen'Derrick Marks, Marques Douglas and perhaps Malcolm Sheppard, just signed off the Texans' practice squad, some time on the interior.

The Titans promoted interior offensive lineman Kevin Matthews off the practice squad. Matthews, son of Oilers/Titans Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, is an undrafted rookie out of Texas A&M.

Bruce Matthews is an assistant offensive line coach for the Texans, who play in Nashville on Sunday.

“It’s a great coincidence,” Fisher said. “Kevin gives us the ability to have someone who can play both center and guard since basically that’s what we lost in Eugene. It allows us to minimize moves if we have a problem up front.”

Wrap-up: Eagles 34, Texans 24

December, 3, 2010
12/03/10
12:15
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Observations from the Texans' 34-24 loss to the Eagles on Thursday:

What it means: The Texans fell to 5-7 and sit alone in last place in the AFC South, awaiting the results of Sunday’s Jaguars-Titans game. The seven losses assure they cannot top last season’s 9-7 record.

The Vick factor: The Texans got quality pressure on Michael Vick at times, delivering some shots in the first half that served to slow him. But ultimately he was more than capable of making the plays the Eagles needed to win, throwing for 302 yards and two touchdowns and running for another score.

Crucial spot: Tight end Brent Celek was able to spin and stretch for the first-down marker to convert a third-and-19 on the touchdown drive that put the Eagles up by the final 10-point margin. He was initially marked short, but a replay challenge by Eagles coach Andy Reid was upheld. Celek landed on top of Kevin Bentley as he made the lunge, and safety Troy Nolan, the second player with a chance to stop him short, flew past the play as he tried for a hard shot rather than worrying about Celek’s location.

What I liked: The Texans’ ability to come back -- down 17-3 early, they were ahead 24-20 in the third quarter… Some good life out of Amobi Okoye (for the second week in a row) and Antonio Smith up front… Big third-and-long conversion catches by Joel Dreessen, David Anderson and Andre Johnson.

What I didn’t like: There were a lot of failures beyond Matt Schaub for the Texans, but he had at three especially bad moments. First was a brutal interception late in the first half on a short throw intended for Arian Foster. Then there was the bounce pass toward Kevin Walter on a third-and-7 when Schaub had room to run for a conversion (on the possession after Philadelphia retook the lead). And what about the play-call and/or Schaub decision on fourth-and-5 on Houston’s last best chance, a back shoulder throw intended for Walter up the right sideline?

What I couldn’t tell: If Schaub actually got hit in the helmet by Joselio Hanson on that fourth-down play, which would have warranted a flag and produced a first down. Schaub and Gary Kubiak certainly thought there was a missed call.

What’s next: The Texans host Baltimore on "Monday Night Football" on Dec. 13.

Five things to watch: Texans at Eagles

December, 2, 2010
12/02/10
12:00
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Brian CushingBob Levey/Getty ImagesBrian Cushing and the Houston defense will have their hands full against Michael Vick and Philadelphia.
The Houston Texans had given up at least 24 points in each of their first 10 games. Now they are coming off a shutout of the Titans.

As we prepare for Houston’s game in Philadelphia tonight, here are five things to consider.

Can the defense contain Michael Vick? Titans rookie quarterback Rusty Smith was no scrambling threat. Against Smith, Texans defensive tackle Amobi Okoye had one of his best games. But the defensive line might be coached not to be overly aggressive in this game. Get too far upfield and you risk taking yourself out of the play -- leaving Vick with one fewer guy to get past when he decides to run.

The Giants and Bears had success against Vick pushing the left-hander from left to his right. If the Texans can guide him that way, he’s clearly less comfortable and less dangerous when he’s moving against his throwing arm. But whichever way he’s moving, he tends to keep plays alive for a long time, and the Texans do not have defensive backs who can cover quality, speedy receivers downfield for extended periods of time.

“The guy can throw ball for miles,” safety Bernard Pollard said. “He can run like a running back. Then you have a two-headed monster in the backfield along with some dynamic receivers. We know and understand that and we are ready to go.”

Will they punch it in from the red zone? Houston’s really worked on improving its red-zone offense and has had pretty good results once it gets inside the 20-yard line. The Texans are ninth in the league with a touchdown percentage of 59.5.

That lines up nicely with a Philadelphia weakness. The Eagles have the league’s worst red-zone defense, by a mile. They allow touchdowns 76.7 percent of the time an opponent crosses the 20, and that’s a substantial lead on the second worst team (Kansas City, 67.9 percent.)

If we see much of Neil Rackers on field-goal attempts of 37 yards or under, that will be a bad sign.

Can they stand toe-to-toe? The Texans get sick of hearing themselves branded a finesse team, and the tough, physical Arian Foster has helped them fight the label this season.

Philly isn’t super physical, but the Texans haven’t been great in their three games against NFC East opponents so far. They mounted a great comeback to win in Washington, but got pasted by Dallas and the Giants. Houston’s AFC South competition is 1-2 against the Eagles, who beat Jacksonville and Indianapolis but lost to the Titans.

“Coming off a short week, it’s about getting fresh and being mentally ready to go with your game plan,” Matt Schaub said. “It will be a physical battle up there, always is. We’ve played a few physical games this year, none more physical than the one we played on Sunday. We just have to bounce back and be ready to step to the plate.”

Will they be able to protect the ball? The Eagles lead the league in turnover differential at plus-14, and no one has more than their 26 takeaways. The Texans are at plus-1.

“They do a lot of different things, a lot of different complex looks and you just got to be aware of what coverages they’re playing behind and they’ve got some veteran guys that know what you’re trying to do, as far as routes,” Schaub said. “They jump things. They’re opportunistic. You got to be right with your protections and where you’re going with the football. You can’t guess, because you’ll be wrong more often than not.”

Texans wide receivers Kevin Walter and David Anderson are both dinged up. They are both more dependable than Jacoby Jones, who will be featured more if one or both of them are missing or limited.

Can Brian Cushing build off last week? Insert your PED joke here. But since returning from his four-game suspension to start the season, Cushing’s hardly been the impact guy he was as defensive rookie of the year. Last week against the Titans, he played like the 2009 version.

If he can fly around and handle LeSean McCoy the way he helped stop Chris Johnson, the Texans' chances will improve greatly.

“If I’m going good or if someone else is going good and the defense is playing well, it’s just one of those spark kind of things,” Cushing said. “It’s momentum. It’s a snowball effect that just keeps it going.”

Philadelphia cornerback Asante Samuel leads the league with seven interceptions, but is questionable with a knee injury.

Will they get it to Foster? He’s showing himself to be not just a great running back but also a great pass catcher. In half of the Texans’ six losses, he’s had fewer than 20 touches. Last week he had 39 touches in the shutout of Tennessee.

Houston can still fall into the idea that it’s a passing team, because in 2009 it was unable to run the ball. But now, Foster’s the second-best player on the team next to Andre Johnson. Coach Gary Kubiak needs to remember it and be sure to get Foster the ball no matter how the game unfolds. The Texans have also had too many games with too few offensive snaps.

“I hope we run 76 plays again,” Kubiak said. “That’s the first time in a while we were able to hold the football that long. There were plenty of snaps to go around. We ran a football game that demanded that we hang on to the football and run the ball well. When he’s able to touch it that many times, usually good things happen.”

On the radar: Dorin Dickerson

June, 10, 2010
6/10/10
1:00
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NFC On the Radar: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A player, coach or issue that should be on your radar as training camp approaches.

[+] EnlargeDorin Dickerson
AP Photo/David J. PhillipThe Texans drafted tight end Dorin Dickerson to play him at receiver.
HOUSTON -- When the Texans drafted Dorin Dickerson in the seventh round with the 227th overall pick, many people immediately questioned why they would take yet another tight end after James Casey and Anthony Hill last year and Garrett Graham three rounds earlier.

But Houston quickly said Dickerson would be a receiver, not a tight end, in the NFL. He certainly looks well cast in the part at Texans OTAs.

At 6 foot 2, 230 pounds he’s about Andre Johnson’s size. Dickerson was productive at Pitt with 10 touchdown catches last season.

While he could have opportunities to produce on special teams, he also might be positioned to be a developmental guy. Johnson, Kevin Walter, Jacoby Jones and David Anderson are assured of spots ahead of him and those four accounted for 97.3 percent of receiver catches for the team last season. (Andre Davis had six, but worked as the primary kickoff return man.)

Davis could be in jeopardy now, as Jones or seventh-rounder Trindon Holliday should be better as kick returners. Dickerson could offer more long-term upside as a receiver.

The team carried six wide receivers last year.

If Holliday can be a reliable returner and he and Dickerson show potential, they could bump Glenn Martinez and Davis off the roster. The team would have to have enough confidence in one of them to step in and see some action on offense if one of the top four receivers gets hurt.
NFC On the Radar: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A player, coach or issue that should be on your radar as training camp approaches.

[+] EnlargeTrindon Holliday
Bob Levey/Getty ImagesTrindon Holliday's speed has impressed coaches during OTAs.
While he was at LSU, Trindon Holliday didn’t get enough touches. When he did, he was feared in space because of his blazing speed. A little guy, he could also be hard to see.

It wasn’t hard for the Texans to see his value.

The sixth-rounder’s been impressive in early action with the Texans as OTAs have gotten under way. The Texans have some fast skill players, but Holliday’s feet and speed have stood out. And not just on special teams.

“He’s been impressive, and I think everyone knew he was a returner and that’s why we drafted him, but he’s held up outside, too,” coach Gary Kubiak said. “So we’ll see.”

Andre Johnson’s supporting cast at receiver can be productive, but the Texans will find room for Holliday on the field if they see ways to get him in space and believe he can be reliable. That could cost David Anderson or Jacoby Jones some touches.

But it’s very intriguing to imagine Johnson clearing out some defenders and Matt Schaub finding Holliday a few times a game on offense.

The Texans review their draft

April, 25, 2010
4/25/10
10:41
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Some post-draft notes from the Texans:

    [+] Enlarge Ben Tate
    John Reed/US PresswireThe Texans used the 58th overall choice on Ben Tate, the highest pick used on a tailback in team history.
  • Ben Tate, chosen 58th overall, was the highest pick in team history used on a running back. The previous high was in 2005 when Houston picked RB Vernand Morency out of Oklahoma State in the third round with the 73rd overall pick. Tate became the sixth running back drafted by the Texans.
  • Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison was asked about Tate’s patience and vision as a runner: “His skills as a runner are good. He was asked to be in a spread formation, which is a little bit different from what we’re going to ask. Most of the tight zones will be similar to him because that’s all you can really do from the spread gun. The wide zones will take a little bit of an adjustment with his running skill I think. With time and working, I think we’ll be in good shape.”
  • Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, Houston’s third-round draft choice (81st overall), grew up in Galena Park outside of Houston and went to North Shore High School. Mitchell is the 12th Texans draft pick who grew up in Texas and the sixth since head coach Gary Kubiak was hired in 2006. Three players from 2009 had Texas roots: James Casey, Anthony Hill and Brice McCain.
  • Guard Shelley Smith, the first of two sixth-round picks (187th overall), played collegiately at Colorado State. Smith becomes the fifth former Ram on the Texans roster, joining receiver David Anderson, guard Mike Brisiel, Joel Dreessen and defensive end Jesse Nading.
  • Kubiak on seventh-rounder Dorin Dickerson: “He’s got 43 1/2-inch vertical and he runs a 4.5 so he’s got a chance to be a big receiver, and we’re going to line him up behind Andre [Johnson] and he’s going to learn from the best. We’ve got a long way to come with him, but he’s going to be a great project for us.”
  • Kubiak on the health of his tight ends: “Owen [Daniels] will be coming back and he is ahead of schedule from what I understand in his rehab process. He learned how to rehab that injury. I have a lot of confidence that he will be back and will be fine. Anthony Hill had knee surgery as well and Joel Dreessen had a couple of surgeries. We expect those guys to be back, but we also want to continue to get better and when there is an opportunity to improve your football team you figure out a way to get good football players out on the field. That’s our philosophy and that’s why we acquired the players that we have.”
  • Kubiak on plans for Trindon Holliday: “We think we have a returner that can change the field for us. As punt and kick returner we think he could do wonders for our football team. I think we could teach him the back position and certain wide out positions.”
  • GM Rick Smith on filling needs: “I think in a lot of respects we filled some needs. The way I approach the offseason, I don’t think you can always fill every need that you have and I think it’s unrealistic to think that you do. Because a lot of times you make mistakes if you try to reach or do something to fill every need. But I think we were successful at addressing the areas on our football team that we needed to improve and it is up to these guys to go out there and coach them up.”

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