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77 + 62 + 55 + 6th round pick = Chris Myers

The Texans are getting new fans and a new center. I spoke with Chris Myers, Sr., also know as 55Olinesdad. He is the father of Chris Myers, who was acquired last month for this year's 6th round pick. After talking to Chris' dad, I learned that the Texans are getting their best 6th round pick ever. Read the interview and see. (We did the interview on the phone, so this is a summary of my notes from the conversation).

How many games in a season do you attend?

The Myers family lives in Miami, Flordia. They attended 3-4 games in 2005 and 2006. They made it to just 2 games in 2007. They have DirecTV, so they watch Chris play every game. His father really enjoys attending parts of training camp. He's working on arrangements to attend training camp here in Houston this year.

Other than your son, who is your favorite Bronco?

Without missing a beat, he said, "Tom Nalen." Nalen has been mentoring Myers for the last three years. Myers was a little starstruck playing with Nalen, but has grown into the same mold as the All-Pro center.

And other than your son, who is your favorite Texan?

He told me that Eric Winston was his favorite Texan. He said that he's known Eric personally since he and Chris played in Miami. Eric comes to his home for dinner and has come to his office on several occasions. They too affectionately refer to him as "Neanderthal."

Have you bought a battle red Chris Myers jersey yet?

He's waiting to be sure that Chris is No. 55. Once training camp is complete, he can be sure what Chris' number will be. Then he'll buy a Chris Myers Texans jersey.

Does anyone else in your family have football ties?

The Myers family has a long pedigree of football players. Tom Kelleher, Chris' maternal grandfather was an NFL referee. He holds the distinction of officiating in 5 Super Bowls. Now the NFL restricts referees to 4 Super Bowls in their career, so his grandfather's record could stand forever. The Myers family is campaigning for him to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. They even have a picture of Tom Kelleher arguing with Vince Lombardi on the sideline. Chris and his siblings keep this picture in their locker as inspiration.

Chris Myers, Sr. was a rugby player. He would have been a football player, but his high school didn't have a football program, so he played rugby as much as he could.

Chris' mother watched her father go to games every Sunday during the season, so she's well-versed in all things football. She goes to many of her family's games.

Chris' uncle, Dennis Kelleher, was a defensive end on Miami's 1987 National Championship team

Chris' brother Joey Myers is a tight end at Florida International University.

Chris' youngest brother, Matthew Myers, is an offensive lineman for his high school team.

When you rough house with your kids, do you still win?

All of the Myers children have outgrown their parents. They are all over 6 feet tall and at least 220 lbs.

How do you spend time with your son these days? (fishing, hunting, drinking beer...?)

Chris is limited by his contract as to what physical activities he can pursue. When he's with his family, he just likes to hang out. When they're out, he goes sightseeing with his family.

He started playing in the 10th grade. When did you realize that your son could play the game at a high level?

Chris attended his uncle's, Dennis Kelleher, games. At 6 years old, Chris was telling his dad that he was going to play for Miami and win a national championship like his uncle.

Chris started playing football in the 10th grade. At the time, the 9th grade was part of the middle school. All the Myers kids have started playing football in high school.

Chris plays for the love of the game. It wasn't until his junior year that he took stock of his talent and realized that he could play at the next level.

What do you remember being Chris' first impressions of the NFL?

Chris has always had a commitment to be the best player on his team. Both in college and in the NFL, he patiently waited his chance to become a starter. Even though he wasn't practicing with the 1st team, he still gave maximum effort until he caught the attention of his coaches.

Being traded this year really opened his eyes to the business side of the NFL. The biggest thing is that he wouldn't be teammates anymore with guys that he's worked with for 3 years. He signed with Houston for 4 years, and he's hoping to finish his career in Houston. He was hoping to spend his whole career on one team.

How did you feel when he made his NFL debut (10/30/05) against the Eagles?

The Myers family didn't attend the game because Chris told them he probably wouldn't play much. They were proud when they saw him take the field on special teams.

The Myers family has seen Chris in a lot of big games; he was part of Miami teams that have been to the Rose, Fiesta, Orange and Sugar Bowls. Chris' dad says it's an impressive sight to see those rings lined up.

Can you take us back to the 2005 draft. What were your expectations leading up to the draft?

There were a lot of injuries to Miami's offensive line in Chris' senior year. He moved from LG to RG and finished the year at RT. He was top-ranked nationally as a guard. He did whatever the team needed when he moved to RT. He was only in the top 20 for RT. He entered the draft without a clear position, but Chris' father feels he would have gone in the 2nd round if he had stayed at LG the whole year.

Chris Myers is far beyond a 6th round talent. He has experience at LG, C, RG and RT. He feels that his natural position is at C, but he's willing to work at any position. He is an NFL starter.

Did you have a draft party? Who with?

It was only family and Chris' agent Drew Rosenhaus at their home. They weren't sure where Chris would be drafted so they didn't want any partygoers at the house. Chris was on the phone with Dallas when Drew Rosenhaus got a call from the Broncos saying that they had just drafted him.

Could you share your impressions of some of the coaching staff that Chris has worked with? Mike Shanahan? Gary Kubiak? Alex Gibbs?

Chris Myers, Sr. said that Mike Shanahan is a class act. They met at Chris' first training camp; Chris Myers feels a lot of loyalty to Shanahan. He was really worried that being traded to Houston would hurt his relationship with his coach. Shanahan called him just after the trade went through and congratulated him on his new deal and his opportunity to win the starting job. After that, Chris felt good about the trade.

Chris' father is grateful that Shanahan went out of his way to take care of his son. Shanahan worked with Kubiak to get the deal done since there wouldn't be a starting position for Chris when Nalen and Hamilton returned to the OL. Chris' father feels that Shanahan really put his son's interests first in this deal.

Chris Myers, Sr. has known Kubiak for a few years now. Kubiak has nothing but praise for Chris on and off the field. Chris' father feels that it was Kubiak that wanted to draft Chris in 2005 and now they are reunited.

Chris got to meet Alex Gibbs after the trade and has had dinner with him. Chris' father hasn't heard anything specific about Gibbs from his son yet.

Have any of his new teammates reached out to him? How does he feel about rejoining some of his Miami teammates in Houston?

Chris has gotten back together with some of his former Miami teammates like Andre Johnson and Eric Winston. He's gone to dinner with several Miami guys.

Chris has been working out with teammates at the Texans facility.

Chris was really worried how the team would accept him since they just cut Mike Flanagan and Steve McKinney. Chris knew both guys were well liked and that he was coming in to replace them. He feels like part of the team now.

Chris really feels that Houston's OL will be solid this year.

Does Chris join the players that return to Miami and work out in the off season?

Chris returns to Miami every off-season for 2-3 weeks and works out with his former teammates there.

Chris will occasionally meet other Miami teammates on the field. Last year he went up against Warren Sapp in Denver. Chris' father feels that Chris dominated that game. Warren talked with Chris after the game about Miami and jokingly called him out for the next match-up in Oakland.

How did he take Sean Taylor's death?

He took it pretty hard; Chris knew him personally. Chris, Cecil Sapp and T.J. Williams all caught a plane to Miami immediately after practice the day of the funeral. They then flew to Oakland to play the Raiders the very next day.

What's his biggest non-sports accomplishment?

Chris was pursuing his masters degree in Denver. He will again pursue his degree once he gets things established in Houston.

Chris has done a lot of volunteer work in Miami and Denver. Chris has been involved with the Darrent Williams Foundation in Denver.

Chris' father shared a really special experience he and his son had while Chris paid in Miami. One of their neighbor's children had an accident and a brain injury. The boy was in the hospital and largely unresponsive. He didn't want to talk or eat or get out of bed, but the boy was a huge Miami Hurricanes fan. Chris and his father visited him in the hospital. In a matter of ,the boy was up and about and excited to be talking with a Miami Hurricanes player.

Chris' father also volunteers at Miami Children's Hospital and performs magic for the children.

Does Chris have a foundation? Does he do any charitable work?

Chris has established the Chris Myers Foundation. His sister, Tara Perrin, is running the foundation. She has a Masters degree in Sports Marketing and Sports Management. She also had an internship with NASCAR, so she is well qualified to run the foundation. Currently she and Chris' father are working to gain non-profit tax exempt status so that they can solicit donations. They are planning golf tournaments and other benefits to raise money. They are also speaking with corporate sponsors in the Houston area. The Chris Myers Foundation will hold summer football camps for underprivileged children. They will also provide other programs aimed at improving the lives of children.

The Foundation is working on updating the website with Texans colors.

Your son graduated with a bachelor's degree from Miami and studied history, political science and sports administration. What will he do with his degree? Does he have any post-football plans?

Chris is happy playing football right now, but he knows he needs to prepare for life after football. He intends to pursue sports-related vocations when he retires from the NFL. He has looked into sportscasting, and he's also investigated the possibility of opening a sports bar.

How has the move to Texas gone?

Chris is floating right now. He's currently staying with friend and fellow teammate Eric Winston. He will be house shopping in the next few weeks in the Houston area. He is really anxious to get settled in Houston.

He took a trip to Jamaica this off-season with his long-time girlfriend.

What are Chris' strengths on the field?

Chris is a very technical player and really understands his position. He's good at making line calls.

Chris' favorite thing to do is lead block. He loves to get down field and block linebackers and safeties. He gets upset when the play runs the other way and he's not blocking in front of it. Willis McGahee was interviewed after the Fiesta Bowl and asked what he would remember about the game. McGahee said "running behind Chris Myers' butt."

Chris trains hard to be mobile and quick enough to always get out in front of a play and block for it.

Another thing Chris works on is finishing his blocks. His father watches him every play as long as the camera is on him to see if he finishes every block.

What are his weaknesses on the field?

The hardest person on Chris is Chris. He calls his parents immediately after every game. They usually have praise for him, but he tells them about the 3-4 plays where he screwed up.

He works hard on his weaknesses and drills until they're gone.

Chris' father said that Chris' weight and mobility are a trade-off. Chris usually plays around 290-300 lbs. He is really mobile at this weight, but he can be pushed off the ball. He's a fighter though, and will fight for every inch. Even if he gets pushed off, he can often stop the rusher in his tracks. He's looking forward to squaring off with Haynesworth and Henderson.

What is his off-season training regimen?

Chris focuses on cardio in the off season; he goes running wherever he is. He runs around his neighborhood, on the beach, wherever he finds himself. He works on cardio to maintain his mobility.

Chris starts lifting about a month before training camp. He is back to game shape by the time he reports to camp.

Have you ever seen him injured? Have you ever cringed at anything?

Chris has been injured a few times. His knee was injured in 2000, and the doctors told him that he shouldn't play football again. He rehabbed his knee and returned to the field; he hasn't had any problems with it since.

Chris has fought through injured fingers and wrists. Last season Chris got a high and low ankle sprain in Week 12. He played the next 4 games with the sprained ankle. He never missed a game.

Does he have any pets?

Chris has a Siberian Husky. The Husky is currently staying in Miami with Chris' parents while Chris gets settled in Houston.

Does he have a game day meal?

Chris eats whatever the team provides. He's not a picky eater.

How does he approach game preparation?

Chris always wants to get on the field and play right away. He doesn't like waiting. He'd rather wake up, lift, eat, and play an afternoon game rather than wait to play in a night game.

He listens to music in the locker room to relax him while he waits to take the field. He can't wait to get out there.

Does he ever read his own press on the internet?

He doesn't look for any of his own press, but he occasionally runs across something about him.

His parents send him clippings from time to time. They tell him to read it because they're proud parents.

What sign could Texans hold up to cheer Chris on?

Chris Myers, Sr. is "Chris" in their home. Chris Myers is "CJ" in their home. He's still a huge Hurricane fan. If you have a sign with his number, CJ, and something about Miami, he'll see it. He may not acknowledge it (he's professional on the field), but he'll see it. He looks in the stands from time to time.

There's a lot more about Chris Myers out there:

Chris Myers press clippings
Meet Chris Myers
Broncos TV: Chris Myers
UM Player Comments
Mason's Morsels