Battle Red Newswire: "You Come At The King, You Better Not Miss."

Vince Young haz a sad. - Jonathan Ferrey

All Texans fans need to learn some lessons in etiquette. But so does Rolando McClain, and he is still drawing interest from a team that won't surprise you. Also, Peyton Manning's sense of humor is so good, it could probably win more games than the Houston Astros this season.

Texans News

"You come at the king, you best not miss."

That should be Houston Chronicle Texans beat writer Tania Ganguli's sole description on her Twitter handle, because if you come at her with any dumb questions, false accusations or rude comments, she will come back at you hard.

I know this from experience, from the time when I tried to get sassy in the wake of the Thanksgiving game at Detroit.

Turns out the Internet had cut off for a brief moment in the Chiapas restaurant where I was watching the game, and my feed had not loaded entirely, making me miss what I had accused her of omitting.

I learned my lesson, but others have yet to do so. Take the news that the Texans resigned inside linebacker Tim Dobbins on Wednesday. Ganguli did a great job of spinning this into an extremely positive event by using 26 precious characters out of the 140 allotted to include "and special teams captain" in her description of Brian Cushing's injury sub last season. One audacious fan had the nerve to ask her for the dollar amount on the deal.

And she showed him who's boss.

If he had taken the time to just click and scroll, he would have gotten the answer he was looking for.

Lesson learned.

Another Texans fan - and by the looks of the username, potentially a Battle Red Blog reader - took issue on Wednesday with a story the Chronicle published on the near free agent signing of the century: Mohamed Massaquoi, formerly of the Cleveland Browns, currently of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Massaquoi said Wednesday that he had considered signing with the Texans before choosing Jacksonville and the two-year, $4.7 million contract they offered him. Instead of simply being happy that the Jaguars had prevented Houston from ending up with him as a replacement for Kevin Walter, the reader pointed out his displeasure with the fact that the article did not synch up with the original headline.

The headline appears to have been changed after the guy who wrote it was publicly shamed. Maybe I should have taken that same tactic when one of my editors ran a previous issue of Battle Red Newswire like so:

Life_after_foot_medium

*****

Mrs. Ben Jones

Congrats to Texans second-year right guard Ben Jones, who did on Wednesday what I hope to be able to do one day: get engaged to a girl who finds proposals conducted on athletic fields to be romantic.

His fiancée is also not creating any reasons for young men applying to colleges to not consider the University of Georgia.

Ben_jones_fiancee_medium

*****

Rock the Vote: 2013

Drew Dougherty is really making up for lost time. The fellow Strake Jesuit Crusader may have spent four years of his life in a high school devoid of girls, but just look at him now: interviewing aspiring Houston Texans cheerleaders and living the dream. The offseason team media employee dream.

Between 600 and 1,000 - depending on which Texans media personality is reporting - young women came out last week to try out for the 2013 squad. Only 51 remain. And from what I can gather, it will be up to the people to decide which 35 make the final cut. You have from now until April 16 at 5 p.m. CST to text 88222 with the names of those you'd most like to see dancing to "Thunderstruck" in the end zone of every Texans game next season.

That's right, our team not only has letterman jackets, but Homecoming queens as well. And if the qualifications for this vote are anything like the ones that exist in high schools across the land, the feature that allows those at home to zoom in on the individual photos of the finalists not once, but twice will be utilized to the max by the few Texans fans who happen upon this portion of the team's official website before the close of the online polling stations on Tuesday.

There are so many places I could take this discussion. Few of them would lead past the Battle Red Blog editors, and even fewer would lead me into the good graces of my girlfriend. For now, my true feelings will be relegated to the Texans-related email blasts I regularly send to a select few. I didn't vote in last year's presidential elections. Partially because there's really no point when you're a registered Texas voter; partially because I was in Central America and couldn't be bothered. But I'll be voting in this election. Several, several times.

*****

Around the NFL

Roddy White very politely burns his head coach

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White appeared on ESPN's "First Take" Wednesday to let the world know that it's "Super Bowl or bust" for his team in 2013. White also let the world know that Atlanta got "out-coached on that one play" at the end of the NFC Championship game - the incomplete pass on 4th and 4 that sealed the 49ers comeback win.

Here is the play to which White was referring. For some reason, he, Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith mistakenly refer to it as the 4th and 7 play multiple times. Regardless of the distance, White wasn't open, Matt Ryan threw it anyway, and the 49ers went to the Super Bowl.

The interview is interesting if only to hear White's rendition of events. He credits the adjustments San Francisco made in response to the offensive formation Atlanta went into after breaking from the huddle, where the play call had been for a crossing route designed to get the ball into the hands of the Falcons number one receiver. When the Atlanta players got to the line of scrimmage, they saw a defensive alignment that San Francisco had not featured against such a formation all season long. Instead of playing two-deep against a three wide receiver set, as White said the 49ers had usually done, they dropped in the safety and played a single high instead. There was no time for Ryan to make the adjustment and spot a momentarily open Tony Gonzalez for the first down, White said. And there went the Falcons' 2012 season.

*****

Ravens take another ILB with a violent past

Former Oakland Raiders linebacker Roland "F**k Y'all" McClain agreed to a one-year contract with Baltimore on Wednesday, reportedly worth $700,000 with incentives. It is a contract fitting for a man that always keeps a smile on his face in any situation.

Ravens Insider Aaron Wilson sums up the thinking on Baltimore's part perfectly.

History has highlighted for the Ravens the wisdom in taking chances on inside linebackers with a checkered past when it comes to problems with the law. We'll see if they can strike lightning in a bottle twice.

*****

Winfield's options down to Seattle and Minnesota

Thirty-five year old free agent cornerback Antoine Winfield is close to signing with Seattle, according to unnamed sources. Winfield was released last month by Minnesota after nine seasons with the Vikings, with one year remaining on a five-year deal. After a three-year run of Pro Bowl appearances from 2008-2010, Winfield is not the player he once was, but rumor still has it that Minnesota wants him back, only for cheap.

Again, evidence that NFL contracts are not contracts, but merely suggested terms that teams can sh*t upon any time they like.

*****

Eric Decker: At least that invoice wasn't from Hamas

Even for a Virginia grad, it would have been cool to have been hanging out at the Duke practice facilities on Wednesday. The Manning brothers both got to come to Durham and have play dates with their friends: three receivers each. Peyton invited Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker, in the first time the two had thrown together as teammates. Eli brought Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Louis Murphy. Duke head coach David Cutcliffe was Peyton's offensive coordinator at Tennessee and Eli's coach at Ole Miss, and has been known to let the two use the Blue Devil facilities for offseason workouts before.

Oh, and also, Peyton Manning is hilarious.

We have the same sense of humor, apparently. Giving people fake invoices is the best.

George Makes a Donation to Hamas (via billyparsley)


Eli Manning is pretty funny, too. Click here for evidence of that.

*****

Mike Holmgren Smells Like Teen Spirit

One time Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren is digging through boxes in his attic right now, searching for his old flannel shirts and tattered blue jeans in preparation for his new job at a Seattle radio station. No word on whether his recent unemployment and Pacific Northwest ties have driven him to develop a taste for smack yet.

*****

Bryant McKinnie may be next Raven to leave

Baltimore Ravens left tackle Bryant McKinnie said Wednesday that he doesn't expect talks on a new contract to resume until after the NFL Draft. McKinnie, who is entering his 12th professional season, said he is not interested in taking a hometown discount to spend a third season in Baltimore. The 6'8", 354-pound former Viking is expected to utilize the reported interest San Diego has shown as leverage in extracting as much as he can out of the Ravens, a team that in 2012 didn't start him until the postseason, but which still wants to bring him back. McKinnie's agents heard from the Chargers on Wednesday, although discussions have been preliminary in nature, while no visit to San Diego has been planned.

*****

Ahmad Bradshaw is already considered old? That makes me feel old

The Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly plan to bring veteran running back Ahmad Bradshaw in for a second visit, two weeks after he undertook a physical from Steelers team doctors. Though the 27-year-old Bradshaw's shelf life may be in question, his sincerity in all matters when swearing upon his mother's name is beyond reproach.

Ahmad Bradshaw Invokes the Name of HIs Mother in a Fantastic Double Negative (via billyparsley)

*****

Pats stocking up on secondary receivers; low on draft picks

After a brief flirtation with the New York Giants, Julian Edelman is returning to New England, agreeing on Wednesday to a one-year contract of undisclosed value. Edelman is expected to play backup to the recently acquired Danny Amendola, brought in to replace the departed Wes Welker. This obvious pattern among Patriots receivers was somewhat disrupted with the news that Pittsburgh Steelers restricted free agent Emannuelle Sanders had signed a one-year, $2.5 million offer sheet with New England on the same day.

Ready for some startling news about the Patriots? If Pittsburgh neglects to match the offer sheet and lets Sanders walk, New England will only have four picks in this year's draft: a first rounder (and late in the first round at that), a second rounder and two seventh-round picks. Should the Steelers opt to bring Sanders back, the Patriots would still only be left with five. Seems very unlike Bellichick to allow for such a situation.

*****

Seneca Wallace? Wow. Sorry, Vince.

Poor Vince Young.

Seneca Wallace, who was also out of football last year, secured on Wednesday the coveted third string quarterback spot in Oakland that I had so badly hoped VY could get.

"The Raiders apparently chose Wallace over Tyler Thigpen as they were looking for another quarterback to go with Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor."

Damn, so he wasn't even the fourth option? Poor, poor Vince Young.

*****

I guess he Hurd his boys were ratting him out

Former Bears and Cowboys wideout Sam Hurd will plead guilty on Thursday to a federal drug conspiracy charge, nearly 16 months after being arrested while trying to buy 10 kilograms of cocaine and half a ton of shwag from undercover officers. Hurd faces up to ten years in prison with a $10 million fine; he could also receive nothing more than probation. The decision to cop a plea comes after two of Hurd's boys - one of whom is described by the Chicago Tribune as his "cousin" - agreed to plead guilty and testify against him.

Should Hurd avoid jail time, many expect him to land a tryout with either Oakland or Cincinnati.

*****

Richard Sherman: Half of NFL players can write a term paper in one night

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman told the Vancouver Sun Tuesday that "about half the league" takes Adderall, the prescription drug for which he allegedly tested positive last season. Sherman appealed the decision and got off on a Ryan Braun-type loophole, avoiding a four-game suspension after claiming that there had been irregularities in the testing method.

No word on whether Sherman believes the percentage of Adderall users among the student body at his alma mater of Stanford is higher or lower than his estimates for the NFL.

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