Well, I guess this post is cheating a bit when Neil Rackers was announced as your 2010 PK for your Houston Texans. In my favor, I already called it, but it was an easy call. The only true advantage one kicker had over the other was Kris Brown's ability to hit from long range. When he came up so short last night, the deed was decided. Someone even mentioned in last night's thread that Rackers had the look of somebody who'd sewn up the job. There was little doubt.
But, as DisplacedTexan mentioned, it is a sad moment. After Chester Pitts last year, Brown was the last original Texan, and he was cash money in his Texans career before 2009. After the jump, we'll take a look at my guesses for the final 53-man roster. Here are my original takes on offense, defense, and special teams.
QB: Matt Schaub, John David Booty, Dan Orlovsky
QB Thoughts: With his strong open, I thought Orlovsky had the backup QB job wrapped up. A couple of quick picks later, including that beautiful pick six and awesome tackling effort, I'm not so sure anymore. At this point, it's purely in Smithiak's hands. For now, I have us keeping three QBs as we did last year (Conglomeration of Shit Theory), but last year was the first time we'd kept three under Kubiak. Booty's 17-37 last night doesn't exactly inspire confidence, either. (3)
RB: Arian Foster, Steve Slaton, Jeremiah Johnson (IR), Derrick Ward?, Ben Tate (IR),
Chris Henry (6)
RB Thoughts: What we do here is entirely dependent upon Johnson's injury. We're bringing Ward in for a look as insurance. I thought Henry's blitz pickups last night weren't bad, but for somebody has physically talented as he is, he simply has no football instincts. UPDATE: It appears Johnson is out for a while. He's ineligible for the PUP, so I think he goes to IR and we sign Ward as his replacement.
FB: Vonta Leach,
Jack Corcoran (7)
FB Thoughts: Dear Vonta: It's time to prove 2009 wasn't a fluke in a bad way. Hugs, Me.
WR: Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Jacoby Jones, David Anderson, Dorin Dickerson,
Glenn Martinez, Trindon Holliday (IR) , Andre Davis, Trey Stross, Bobby Williams (12)
WR Thoughts: Holliday is on IR, so he's out of the equation. The last spot here comes down to Dickerson and Davis, and after last night's performance, there is simply no way Dickerson can slide to the practice squad. He is supremely talented, and there really isn't a battle between he and Davis. Since we're keeping a third QB, we keep only five WRs.
T: Duane Brown, Eric Winston, Rashad Butler,
Adam Stenavich, Cole Pemberton, Steve Maneri (15)
T Thoughts: I think we'll comb the waiver wires for a veteran T. We did carry only three Ts last year, but that's not normal for a Kubiak team.
G/C: Mike Brisiel, Antoine Caldwell, Kasey Studdard, Shelley Smith, Wade Smith, Chris Myers,
Chris White, Brett Helms (21)
G/C Thoughts: If there was one player who had a worse night than DanO, it was Chris White. And I don't think it's an outlier, either. With Brisiel able to fill in at C, we still have a very deep line where we can handle the three positions with "only" six players AND we get to keep Shelley Smith as a project. There is a good chance Smith goes to the practice squad and White stays, but White has just been that bad. Between Foster and the upgrades and improvement (Caldwell) at G, I'm truly jazzed about the run game.
TE: Owen Daniels, Joel Dreessen, James Casey, Anthony Hill (IR), Garrett Graham,
Derek Fine (25)
TE Thoughts: Not really much to say here. But how about Casey with the spin move last night? I guess he thinks he was playing Madden or something.
DE: Connor Barwin, Tim Bulman (IR),
Pannel Egboh, Tim Jamison, Jesse Nading, Antonio Smith, Mitch Unrein, Mario Williams (30)
DE Thoughts: Do both Jamison and Nading make the squad? I originally had Nading being cut, but Bulman's injury gives him a reprieve. However, it's not like he's been especially impressive.
DT: Shaun Cody, Earl Mitchell, Frank Okam, Amobi Okoye, DelJuan Robinson,
Malcolm Sheppard (35)
DT Thoughts: Sheppard was simply pushed around last night. However, he's a prime practice squad candidate and should be able to clear. If the Texans are unsure, I believe they'll keep Sheppard and Jamison is out. Robinson seems to outplay Okam at every opportunity. With Smith's ability to slide into DT, especially on passing downs, I think it's possible we'll carry only four true DTs with Okam being the odd man out.
LB: Kevin Bentley, Darnell Bing (IR), Danny Clark, Brian Cushing*, Zac Diles,
Isaiah Greenhouse, DeMeco Ryans, Darryl Sharpton, Xavier Adibi, Will Patterson (though there are seven listed, we get a roster exemption - 41)
LB Thoughts: The questions here are between Clark and Greenhouse, and then who is to replace Cushing for the first month. I thought Adibi was atrocious last night. We're in a lot of trouble these first four games defensively. The drop off between Cushing and his replacement is akin to the drop off between Christina Hendricks and Rosie O'Donnell. Once Cushing returns, Clark and Adibi will be on that infamous bubble.
S: Dominique Barber, Troy Nolan,
Nicholas Polk, Aaron Webster, Torri Williams, Eugene Wilson, Bernard Pollard (45)
S Thoughts: So, I was wrong about Nolan. He makes it easily.
Fred Bennett, Brice McCain, Sherrick McManis, Antwaun Molden, Mark Parson, Glover Quin, Jacques Reeves, Kareem Jackson (51)
CB Thoughts: Speaking of awful, there was Reeves' performance last night. Parson is a practice squad candidate, though after last night, it's possible he beats out either Reeves or Molden, who just can't seem to stay healthy.
PR/KR: Slaton, Jones, and McManis will likely split duty here.
P: Matt Turk (52)
K: Neil Rackers (53)
LS: Sorry, LisaK, but I don't think Jon Weeks makes the roster. His greatest chance is for Jamison or Okam to be cut. Because Weeks can only long-snap, his utility is quite limited. I believe the reason Weeks has been snapping over Dreessen is to keep the latter fresh. With Owen Daniels returning for Week 1, and Casey showing quite a bit, Dreessen will see fewer offensive snaps, thus handing him the position.
What do y'all think? Here are a couple more takes:
UPDATE: Because of the threatening email* I received from LisaK (I really can't believe you'd do that to my kittens), I changed my mind. Add Weeks to the squad and PS Shelley Smith. h/t to those of you who talked it out.
* email may or may not be real. And I still haven't received my Internet cake. THE CAKE IS REAL!!!