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Texans Down 'N Dirty: Day 11 Recap Edition

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Hey look, I'm on time today. What's that? I should be prompt everyday? No idea what you're talking about. I have to say, these titles are becoming even more bland by the day. Any suggestions for some new ones?

What defines an elite NFL quarterback? Elite stats, or elite leadership skills? Someone who leads the league in total yards, or someone who is average in that regard, but outstanding at motivating a team? In almost all cases, the quarterback that combines those two abilities is considered one of the best at his position. You'd be hard pressed to find a follower of the NFL who categorizes Rex Grossman or Michael Vick elite. Jeffri Chadiha and Kyle Shanahan agree with the assessment that "elite" involves not only the ability to rack up yards and points, but being competent enough to stay calm and guide a team to the playoffs. As has been said around here and by the players, it's playoffs or bust and if Schaub is at the helms of a post-season appearance, he'll have reached elite status in my book.

According to Gary Mihoces of USA Today, Andre Johnson still holds the title of "best receiver no one knows". I'm going to disagree with him and argue that 'Dre is pretty well recognized after his 115 catches, 1,575 yards season last year. Oh sure, Larry Fitzgerald is probably atop most fans lists of best receivers in the league, but I feel very confident in saying that those same people would undoubtedly have Johnson second. The whole "unkown star" persona is nice, but I think it's a bit misplaced at this point. And 'cmon, how could a commercial like this not coment your place in stardom? "Don't forget to stay hydrated." As for who does hold that prestigious title, I'll put my money with Dwayne Bowe, who the Texans corners will be forced to cover come the first pre-season game. Since the regular season is still a while away, I'm all for him proving me right.

Andre Caldwell loves to use the words "fast" and "faster". Seriously. How much would you be willing to bet that was the first word he ever muttered?

Here's a recap of yesterday's practice from the Chronicle and the Texans official website. The biggest news is that Dominique Barber was given first team reps over last year's starter, 34 year old Nick Ferguson. It's great to hear about the progress Barber is making as a former sixth round pick to potential starter, but it also speaks to the lack of quality depth at the position for the Texans. Depending on the play of the group this year, it could be a key point of interest next off-season.

And here we go with the most interesting quotes from yesterday's practice:

(on how DT Shaun Cody has played) "We've been impressed. He had really good OTAs with us. I like his quickness off the ball. And what we're trying to do with Shaun, it's about me practicing him the right way, keeping him off the turf, and I think he can contribute to this team a great deal." - Gary Kubiak

Could the team finally have legitamate depth on the defensive line for the upcoming season? If Cody continues to improve, he could be invaluable as a key rotational lineman. The Texans have never had consistent play from their backups, which will be needed in case Amobi Okoye's knee continues to derail his play.

(on LT Duane Brown's development as a player) "Yeah, he's a better player in year two than he was in year one. He's got to become one, because think about the guys he plays. You talk about (Kyle) Vanden Bosch and (Dwight) Freeney, those guys that he lines up against on a regular basis, he's got to work to a Pro Bowl-level player, so he's having a good camp. He's a better player this year than last year." - Kubes

If Brown really is meeting Kubiak's expectations of playing at a "pro bowl-level", he's certainly come along farther than expected in what is only his second training camp.

(on CBs Brice McCain and Glover Quin saying they're learning a lot from the receivers) "Yeah, well at the same time, we learn from them. We have our battles. Some battles are real physical and it just makes us better. Not only in knowing how to beat a guy and be wide open, but learning how to beat a guy when he's right on you. So we're out here just trying to make each other better and get ready for the Chiefs." - Andre Johnson

McCain and Quin have impressed greatly in camp, to both players and coaches. GQ's playmaking skills have been on display recently and if he keeps it up into the pre-season, Mr. Holdout will lose even more leverage on his contract. Even with the loss of Reeves for 6-8 weeks, he's still not in a position to demand more than what was offered to him previously. McCain has turned out to be an outstanding find in the sixth round so far.

Speaking of McCain...

(on ever being beat in a race) "I lost in a couple of track meets, but a track meet is different from a 40, that's a 100-yard dash. No, I never lost even in a street race." - McCain

Dude is quick.

(on if he's taken any grief about his commercial) "Everybody on the team was kind of messing with me about it. I think (FB) Vonta (Leach) and (G) Chester (Pitts) have probably given me the most hell about it. They were in practice yesterday reciting the whole commercial. So it's been fun. A lot of my friends have been calling me, texting me saying they've seen it. A lot of people were surprised that I did it. Everyone says that I don't talk and they were wondering what did they do to get me to talk that much on the commercial? It was a lot of fun." - 'Dre

This team is awesome.