Athleticism. It's hard to quantify, but when you see it you know it. So I decided to experiment a little and put the Texans roster on the basketball court. I wanted to see which 13 Texans players would make the best NBA team.
Allow me to introduce your Houston Texans basketball team.
C - Ephraim Salaam 6'7" 302
One of the unsung heroes among Texans players; he's really athletic for his size, and he's tall. He's the backup center like Dikembe Mutombo. He'll get his minutes and contribute.
C - Eric Winston 6'7" 310
A big athletic former tight end that likes to push people around. This team needs his size. He's not the fastest guy on the court, but I doubt many players could stop Neanderthal.
C/F - Mario Williams 6'7" 291
I see Mario Williams being in the mold of young Tim Duncan or maybe Dwight Howard (Superman). He's got the size to play the low post, and the athleticism to defend most any big man. You'd see Mario swinging from the rim.
F - Duane Brown 6'4" 310
This is the guy who covered punts as an offensive tackle in pads. He's too big to be stopped, and he can run with the best. Can you imagine 300+ lbs driving to the hole? Brown would be a bowling ball on the court.
F - Earl Cochran 6'5" 285
He plays special team and blocks punts. This guy can run. He subs in for Duane Brown as another big guy that will be a handful for any defense.
F - Chaun Thompson 6'2" 255
He's one of the fastest linebackers for his size in the league, strong and explosive.
F - Owen Daniels 6'3" 247
The tenacity...does anyone fight each play more than Owen Daniels? This guy takes licks and gets in defenders' faces. You can expect him to be aggressive with or without the ball.
F/G - DeMeco Ryans 6'1" 230
G/F - Andre Johnson 6'3" 220
G - Kevin Walter 6'3" 210
The hardest worker on the team, he gives everything on every play. He's the Shane Battier of this team. He could defend anyone.
G - Jacoby Jones 6'2" 207
This guy sets the return game on fire and has shown flashes of dominance on the field. He'd be a slashing point guard to pair with Andre Johnson.
G - Andre Davis 6'1" 195
He's made acrobatic catches and can really go up for the ball. His role on this team would be as another slashing player to compliment Jacoby Jones if they run small. I can see his return skills translating to solid penetration on the court.
G - Dunta Robinson 5'10" 184
(when healthy) He was all over the field. He made tackles everywhere. He made defensive calls. "Have you ever seen a little man hit like me?" He would not be scared to penetrate even against bigger players; he's fearless. Dunta would have no problem distributing on offense, and he should be able to run with the best.
This would be a strong, physical defensive team that can run. What they give up in height, they make up for in power and intimidation. Robert Horry would not mess with this team.
5 Mario Williams
4 Duane Brown
3 Owen Daniels
2 Andre Johnson
1 Dunta Robinson
This would be an explosive group. Mario and Duane are bigs. Owen Daniels can get after anyone. Andre should score from anywhere, and nothing would stop Dunta from either distributing or scoring himself.
5 Ephraim Salaam
4 Mario Williams
3 Duane Brown
2 Chaun Thompson
1 Andre Johnson / Jacoby Jones
After a game or two, I don't think any team would want to play big against the Texans, since they could hit you with Mario, Duane and Andre and then bringing in Chaun and Ephraim. That's a great deal of size, weight and power.
5 Mario Williams
4 DeMeco Ryans
3 Andre Johnson
2 Kevin Walter
1 Jacoby Jones
This team can also go small. DeMeco and Andre play as forwards; Kevin and Jacoby as guards, with Kevin holding whoever the leading scorer is, Andre and Jacoby will do damage. I bet Mario can keep up with anyone in a small set. And who's going to stop Superman?
5 Duane Brown
4 Andre Johnson
3 Jacoby Jones
2 Andre Davis
1 Dunta Robinson
If teams want to run, the Texans can keep up. Duane is fast but still larger than probably anybody on the court. Andre and Jacoby could probably hold up as forwards, and let Apostrophe and Dunta run all over as guards. This would be fun to watch.
But This Is A Football Blog
So what does any of this have to do with the Texans? I see three things bubble to the surface in this experiment.
The Texans have a lot more depth now. It was hard cutting 80 players down to a 13 player basketball team, and I'm sure there are arguments for other players to be made.
There's a lot of athletecism on both the offensive and defensive line now.
Everyone already knows this, but we suddenly have an awesome WR corps. It's just cool to see it shake out on a basketball team.
This was just something fun to do while we wait for kickoff. Can you think of anyone else who should have made the Texans basketball squad?