What To Do At C?

First off, congratulations to the New York Giants and all of their fans for an incredible game last night.  Regardless of who you were backing, we were treated to a great contest.  My issues with Eli and imbecilic predictions aside, Manning The Younger rose to the occasion, and that New York defense played damn near as good a game as you'll ever see.  Now that the Super Bowl is over and the 2007 season is officially in the books, it's time to go full bore into offseason analysis and draft hype.  With that in mind, let's continue with the next installment in BRB's "What To Do..." series.  Next up--center.  As of today, here are the options at center on the roster:

  1.  Steve McKinney
  2.  Mike Flanagan
  3.  Greg Eslinger
  4.  Drew Hodgdon
  5.  Chukky Okobi
  6.  Chris White
Jebus...that's a lot of centers.  In fairness to Jebus, it should be noted that snapping the ball in a Houston uniform this season was the equivalent of playing Russian roulette with a bullet in every chamber.  It seemed like any man who dared to line up at center was destined for a gruesome injury that would invariably leave me (1) cringing; (2) cursing the heavens; and (3) morosely cracking another beer to speed up my descent into blackout.  My problem drinking notwithstanding, the fact that everyone should be healthy going into next season means that most of the guys listed above, particularly those signed to futures contracts and/or purely because of injury to someone else, won't be back.  Indeed, only McKinney and Flanagan have any guaranteed money coming to them (in the form of deferred bonuses) in 2008.  As such, the Texans could break up the logjam with minimal financial penalty.

I thought it was a lock that Smithiak would have parted with McKinney or Flanagan this last season; paying your second-string center more than $2,000,000.00 a year seemed imprudent to me.  But both were kept on the roster, thus providing me with Reason #4,328 why I am not a general manager for a team in the NFL.  With that in mind, I'm assuming that both return this season, with McKinney getting the starting nod if he doesn't show any lingering effects from the ACL injury (a big "if" to be sure, but remember the night-and-day difference in the Houston running attack once McKinney went down in Week Three).  I also think Chris White is on the Opening Day roster, chiefly due to the fact that he's the Swiss army knife of offensive linemen; he can play either guard spot in addition to center.  Throw in the possibility that Kasey Studdard gets some reps at C, and the roster spots are pretty much spoken for; I really don't see the Texans bringing in any free agents or burning a draft pick on a C, unless it's via the "best available" strategy late in the second day.  In my mind, anyway.  But as we've established, I'm no general manager; I am but a fan with an endearing habit of fervently supporting the world's breweries as strongly as I do the Texans.

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