"Heart" is one of those buzz words you hear a lot in the NFL. You hear it as a compliment with other phrases like "high motor" and "finishes plays." On the flip side, you hear people question the heart of talented athletes who under-perform. Why is this important today? Follow the Jump.
Wade Phillips has said several times that he's impressed with the Texans defensive players' heart and effort, as he did yesterday during an interview with KILT in Houston. Reading between the lines, I think Wade's repeated praising of the effort is his way of saying "Don't give up on some of these guys even though they've been terrible. They were lost out there, it wasn't their fault and I'm going to fix it." I hope he's right.
If Richard Justice's article yesterday about Mario Williams wasn't enough to piss you off, he has a fresh one today in which he says Mario's stats are deceiving and he hasn't been as dominant as they imply. My take is that Justice exagerates the problem greatly and obviously has an axe to grind because his love for Vince Young, but the honest truth is that he's not entirely off the mark. I think that injuries and who has surrounded Mario is mostly to blame, but honestly, he has disappeared for long stretches every season. I know that's not the way to win a popularity contest around here, but a spade is a spade.
No one can question the determination of Andre Johnson, who underwent ankle surgery yesterday. Despite being hampered by the injury all season, he was elected to yet another All-Pro honor. Other Texans players elected were Arian Foster and Wade Smith. Surprisingly, no defensive players were selected.
Arian Foster is certainly increasing his media exposure since his rushing title season, most recently yesterday on ESPN's First Take. Chris Myers showed up to raz Foster a bit during his on air appearance.
Rick Dennison has been hailed for his assistance to the running game, but as Alan Burge points out, he may be one and done in Houston. Dennison is obviously lobbying heavily for the Denver job as he was quoted as saying, "I just coach in Houston now." While I hope he doesn't get the job from a selfish standpoint, I don't have a problem with how he is trying to get the job and his lack of allegiance to the Texans.
Despite the continuous carousel at the offensive coordinator position, it's still the defense that has the most major issues to be fixed. Rivers McCown gives you five reasons to be optimistic that the defense will be better next year.
Draft talk will dominate the blogosphere shortly, especially without the usual free agency period this off-season. Here is a list of all underclassmen who have declared for the draft. The official deadline is two days from now, so this list probably won't change too much before Saturday.