The Houston Texans have struck a deal with the Texas Lottery for their own new scratch game. What does this mean to you, the average Texans fan? On the surface very little, other than the fact that you can now have your very own chance at buying a ticket worth up to $10,000.00 that comes with a fancy Texans logo. The deeper interest here is that the NFL seems to be edging closer and closer to the dreaded gambling issue. Interesting.
The Texans started off their 2009 mini-camp and welcomed two players that had never played or practiced with the team before--Rex Grossman and Connor Barwin. Grossman is saying all the right things right now but I sincerely doubt he will overtake Dan Orlovsky as the number two QB. Orlovsky has the advantage of being extremely similar to Matt Schaub and therefore easily trainable with little change to the offense if he is needed, while Grossman suffers from the curse of being short and marginally talented. Seriously, if you can't do that well with the defense that the Bears had, something is wrong.
Connor Barwin, however, received rave reviews. Kubiak had a lot of good things to say about him such as "He was the fastest player on the field," and "I'm impressed by his strength." I know that doesn't sound like that much but it's nice that Barwin could step in on day one and impress. Barwin also had a conversation in the media in which he was confident bordering on cocky, which I like. My man-crush for Barwin is growing by the second, and I couldn't disagree with BFD more when he drew comparisons with Barwin and Jason Babin.
Speaking of BFD, he did a good roasting of Peter King, who is not one of my favorite NFL journalists either. I won't take away from BFD's poetic musings, but he basically stated his case why King is an idiot for insinuating that Grossman will overtake Orlovsky. Get him BFD.
Finally, Paul Kuharsky of ESPN takes a look at whether the vocal contract disputes of Owen Daniels, Dunta Robinson and DeMeco Ryans will be a debilitating distraction for the team. I have to say that I respect DeMeco's position a lot more that the other two, not only because he deserves a new deal more, but also because of the way he's handling it. In a chat with Kuharsky he aired his grievances but he also stated that he just wants to continue to prove himself on the field because that's all he has control over. This attitude gives Ryans a powerful piece of leverage the other two don't have--fan support.