A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
For Texans, It’s Playoffs Or Bust
HOUSTON — The Houston Texans have opened their 2008 training camp with one thing on their minds; MAKING THE PLAYOFFS! Nothing else matters beyond that, and they are very serious about it.
The offensive unit is wearing the slogan “Protect the ball” on the back of their shorts and the defensive unit is wearing “Take the ball away”. Any questions?
“Nothing else would be acceptible for us in our sixth season,” Texans Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson said. “It was great to have a winning season last year, but we want more!
“Our whole team wants it and we plan on working hard and doing whatever it takes to get there”.
The first week of training camp has been very hot and humid in the morning in the sunny outdoors and the afternoon has been cool in the bubble. Here’s a look at some of the happenings of week one.
– The fans were allowed to attend the first two morning practices and there were alot of kids wearing three players jersey’s. There were a lot of future Andre Johnson’s, De Meco Ryans, and Mario Williams in attendance.
– The Texans have a new second signature logo this season. You can visit the team store or shop on line to purchase any items.
– The Texans had 12 rookies who reported to the first day of training camp. They also have nine players on the roster who are over 30 years old and 28 players who are under 25 years of age.
– Second year player Amobi Okoye is enjoying not having to take helmets and pick up tabs from the veteran players this season. Okoye said that he would keep carrying his own helmet for a while. “I think that I’ll wait another three or four years before I start giving orders to the rookies”. Okoye is only 21 years old.
– Running back Chris Brown arrived for his first day of training camp last Saturday. Brown missed the first day of practices because of a wedding in his family.
– The team is only a week away from their first preseason game. Houston will play host to the Denver Broncos at Reliant Stadium on Saturday, August 9th at 7:00 p.m. CT
– Former Houston Oilers defensive back Bubba McDowell is helping out at the Texans camp. McDowell, who was previously an assistant coach at the University of Houston and Texas Southern, is acting as a volunteer assistant during the camp.
– The Texans have one more practice for the fans to come and watch. They will have a morning practice this Saturday, August 2nd from 8:30-10:45 a.m. CT
– Left guard Chester Pitts, the only player to start every game in franchise history, was in high demand during the offseason. Pitts attended a few Houston Comets games, attended the ESPYS, talked with a movie producer, and visited the Playboy Mansion.
– Number one draft pick Duane Brown signed a $9.1 million contract shortly after 6:00 a.m. last Friday morning and made it onto the practice field with 40 minutes remaining in the team’s first session of training camp. The 6-foot-5, 329-pound offensive lineman was the “only guy on the Texans team to have signed a contract with his ankles taped,” according to head coach Gary Kubiak.
– The Texans are crowded at running back with Ahman Green, Chris Brown, Steve Slaton, Chris Taylor, and Darius Walker. On Thursday, the team signed former Mike Bell.
– Congratulations to Texans Vice President of Communications Tony Wyllie and his wife Natasha. The couple is expecting their second child in February of 2009.
INSIDE THE HUDDLE
“Inside the Huddle” takes a look at some of the things that the players were saying during the first week of the Texans 2008 Training Camp:
PLAYERS THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS YEAR’S TEAM:
TE Owen Daniels- “I’m excited about this team. We were8-8 last year but we weren’t happy with that record. Our goal is the same every year, and that’s to get this city and this team to the playoffs. That’s the most important thing”.
SS Will Demps-”Playoffs is the main goal. We still got to take it week by week, and stay healthy. The mountain is up there and we want to take it”.
WR Andre Johnson-”I’m excited about the season, everybody is zero and zero starting camp and getting ready to accomplish their goals. Everybody’s goal is getting to the Super Bowl. We have that goal too!”
LB DeMeco Ryans- “I expect us to be better than last year. Right now we are in work mode with training camp just getting started, so we’re just trying to put our team together and see where it takes us.
OG Chester Pitts-(on off-season activities) “I spent a lot of time working on football. I did get to do some cool fun things I never got to do before. I spent the most of my off season preparing for the next season.
(On going to the ESPYS)-”The ESPYS were phenomenal. I had a great time. It really is like the Oscars for athletes. I got to meet Candace Parker. I got to meet “The Bus”(Jerome Bettis), that was cool.