Nick Scurfield has newly signed punter Shane Lechler's first words as a member of the Houston Texans.
"Words can’t describe this," Lechler said at Reliant Stadium on Saturday afternoon. "Getting to come home and play football, man, this is a dream come true. I was fortunate enough to play in the Silver and Black for 13 years and had a great time doing it. I always followed the Texans since they brought the franchise here. It’s just something that I’ve been looking forward to for a while."
Lechler would have signed with the Texans back in 2009, but Raiders owner Al Davis (being Al Davis and all) offered a 4 year / $16 million contract that would make him the richest punter in league history. Money talks! Instead, the Texans nab him four years later for considerably cheaper.
2012 Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt celebrated his 24th birthday on Friday. It looks like he had his cake but refused to eat it. Did he think he was supposed to eat the whole thing? I hope he allowed himself a slice at least.
Thank you to my dad & his fire dept for the 25,000 calorie birthday cake yesterday. I guess they forgot I make a living by staying in shape.— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) March 23, 2013
I'm a bit of a highlight junkie, so in honor of Watt's birthday, I found this video from NFL.com showcasing all of Watt's 20.5 sacks last year. Considering these sacks alone (and the impeccable timing of them in some cases) makes him phenomenal, and then throwing in all the tipped passes and runs stuffed, we might be looking at a future NFL legend. Happy Birthday, Mr. Watt.
Thank you to everyone for the birthday love. Best fans in the world. 23 was fun, but working hard to make 24 even better. #JustTheBeginning— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) March 22, 2013
Since my last update on the Titans, there's been a bit of news coming from running back Chris Johnson. He can't seem to fathom why the Titans would need to spend money on a free agent like former New York Jets running back Shonn Greene.
Greene's hard, downhill running style seems like a natural complement to Johnson's speed and agility, but Johnson is less than thrilled to have him on the squad in 2013:
"I have never been a big fan of the two-back system, so I don't know how we plan on using him," Johnson told USA TODAY Sports. "I'm not afraid of competition, but I was thinking we'd maybe get a draft pick for the other back. And you don't give a guy that kind of money to be just a goal-line guy and in tough-yardage situations. So we'll see what happens."
~ Chris Johnson
He's right on the money; head coach Mike Munchak has made it clear that Greene will have a larger role on the team than Johnson's recent backups.
Enter Javon Ringer, Johnson's recent backup. He has a few questions of his own regarding the Titans' signing of Greene. After four ineffectual years as the backup, Ringer is upset that he never got a real shot to shine.
"All this talk about them needing another running back to help C.J., it kind of made me upset. I'm like, 'Man, they had some good running backs behind C.J., and they just never really got a chance.' And because we were not able to play, it made it look like C.J. didn't have any help. C.J. had some help, but they never used it. It's frustrating."
~ Javon Ringer
I love Marc Sessler's first line in this article. "It's not easy being Shonn Greene." If you don't get the reference, click here.
It will be very interesting to see how this plays out during the upcoming season. Johnson accounts for a $12 million dollar salary cap hit in 2013 according to Spotrac.com, with $29 million on the way. If he's smart, he'll keep his mouth shut and do every thing he can to make himself uncuttable by the Titans if he wants to see that money. Creating discontent in the locker room is a sure fire way of being shown the door.
The Jaguars finally make a move and re-sign former Texas Longhorn Jordan Shipley. The fourth-year wide receiver was picked up by the team in the last half of 2012 and caught 23 passes for 244 yards.
I enjoyed watching Shipley in Texas and have been hoping for him to make a big comeback after the season ending injury he suffered in 2011. It will be tough to do that with "Blame" Gabbert throwing him the ball, but best of luck either way on the Glitter Kittens, Jordan.
Have a happy Sunday, and have a nice cold beer as you lament your decimated March Madness bracket.