This is the last in this mini-series of my first takes on the 53-man roster come Opening Week. Here's the offense and the defense. I guarantee I will be dead-on accurate, or your money back.* After the jump, we'll take my usually high-brow look at the Special Teams, and I'll try to not get the blog a new referral for "zombie sex."^
PR/KR: Trindon Holliday. Maybe.
PR/KR Thoughts: Can Mighty Mite win the job in pre-season? That's really the question here. As we've reviewed, Kubiak was not impressed with Holliday during OTAs (though Holliday's narcolepsy does seem to be impressive, via Jakespeare on Twitter). If he does not, Jacoby Jones will return punts while, I'd imagine, Andre Davis does make the team as the
fifth sixth WR and KR. Jacoby, by the way, was far more impressive at kick returns than was Davis last year. And if I said it once, I said it at least a couple of times: Davis seemed to have this "tackle magnet" in his belt, seemingly purposefully running into mobs last year. It's not that Davis' 23.7 kick return average was bad, but he clearly has lost a step in the return game. Another year of aging will exacerbate the problem.
Right now, I don't see a scenario where Dorin Dickerson doesn't make the team. This means we carry a minimum of Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Jakespeare, David Anderson, and Dorin. That's five WRs already. In other words, unless a defensive player wins a return job, we are going to carry a return specialist of some sort regardless. Whether that's Davis or Holliday, it's too early to call. I'm going with Holliday primarily because I can visualize him busting a couple of huge returns in pre-season. That, alone, might warrant him a starting job,
P: Matt Turk
P Thoughts: Turk is what he is at this stage of his career: a middle-of-the-line punter who doesn't hurt you. In that respect, he's no Chad Stanley.
(Waits while Tim convulses)
K: Kris Brown
K Thoughts: Wait, what? Did I...hold on...(looks above, I typed that? Oh crap. Need to justify somehow. Ummmm. Oh, I've got an idea)...yes, you read that correctly: Kris Brown.
(That's right, bfd, they're putty in your masterful hands.)
Here's why: I think the Texans are going with the evil they know. Both are 34 years old, so it's not like there's some age factor. And, before last season, our own chrisd21 had coined Kris Brown as Ca$h Money. With good reason.
At this stage of their careers, Brown likely has the better long-distance range. Neil Rackers is just 4-11 over the past three years from 50 yards plus, while Brown, even with his struggles, is 9-12 (including 2-4 last year).
Brown will win this battle.
LS: Joel Dreesen
LS Thoughts: My biggest miss last year was believing Kubiak that he would take a dedicated long snapper. That bastard lied to me. LIED! This year, I'm not going to fall for it.
The team has only so much room for specialists, and if my Holliday hunch is correct (isn't Holliday Hunch a restaurant off Piedmont?), Jonathan Weeks, the only true long snapper on the roster, is pushed out. From what I hear, Weeks is a heckuva nice guy, so don't be surprised if I root for him (though, you know, he did go to Baylor. GAG!).
So, let's review and see where I'm over (I love this part).
QB: Matt Schaub, Dan Orlovsky (2)
RB: Arian Foster, Steve Slaton, Ben Tate (5)
FB: Vonta Leach (6)
TE: Owen Daniels, Joel Dreessen, James Casey, Garrett Graham (
WR: Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Jacoby Jones, David Anderson, Dorin Dickerson, Trindon Holliday (16)
OT: Duane Brown, Eric Winston, Rashad Butler, Adam Stenavich (20)
OG/C: Mike Brisiel, Wade Smith, Kasey Studdard (weep), Chris Myers, Chris White, Antoine Caldwell (26)
DE: Connor Barwin, Tim Bulman, Tim Jamison, Mario Williams, Antonio Smith, Jesse Nading (32)
DT: Shaun Cody, Earl Mitchell, Frank Okam, Amobi Okoye, DelJuan Robinson (37)
LB: Kevin Bentley, Danny Clark, Zac Diles, DeMeco Ryans, Darryl Sharpton, Xavier Adibi, Brian Cushing (43 without Cushing for the first four games)
S: Dominique Barber, Bernard Pollard, Eugene Wilson (46)
CB: Brice McCain, Sherrick McManis, Antwaun Molden, Glover Quin, Kareem Jackson, Jacques Reeves (52, and uh oh)
K: Kris Brown (53)
P: Matt Turk (54)
It looks like I'm one over. If I had to choose, my current last cut would be Stenavich, but I'd more strongly prefer to carry only three tight ends.
That's it for now. I'll re-visit this throughout the pre-season, right up until roster cuts.
* Offer not valid in the Milky Way.
^ Seriously, somebody googled "zombie sex" and actually wound up here. Who knew? I blame papabear.