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In fairness to Charley Casserly on this one (don't worry, I'm going to take that back in just a moment), trading back two places in the 1st Round in 2005 and picking up a 2006 3rd Round pick for your troubles could've been a good thing. Except.
Except for the fact we passed on Derrick Johnson, a true impact LB, who was taken at 15 by the Chiefs.
Except for the fact we opted for Travis Johnson over...well, anybody else. I've always thought Casserly simply got his Johnsons mixed up (TWSS). Here are some thoughts by Tim on Travis way back at the beginning of this blog. I wonder whatever happened to that MDC chap.
Now, if you'll read that thread above, you'll notice a certain handsome, smart, witty, hilarious, and debonair commenter defended Travis. It's true! Even after two years, and in large part due to our incompetent coaching staff, I hoped Travis would be able to turn things around. 2007 saw him start off with what I like to call "frame time." Travis was in the camera frame just long enough to make it look like he was doing something protective. But he wasn't. It's one thing to actually hustle and get to plays, it's an entirely different pursuit to actually make plays. In October, his career climaxed with his all-time Texan highlight. After 2007, Travis disappeared into the football ether again, eventually traded to the San Diego Chargers before the 2009 season for a 6-pack of Coors Light and half a box of gently used kleenex.
As a point of reference, think of Travis as you do Nick Fairley. Travis was considered a one-year wonder, somebody who wouldn't translate well to the NFL. This is akin to Fairley's rap, however fairly warranted, today. Travis turned out to be too weak to beat offensive linemen with strength and too slow to shoot gaps. His work ethic was questioned from Day 1.
As a UT fan, passing on Derrick Johnson simply killed me. We had the opening at LB for Johnson to slide right in, and had we drafted DJ, Zac Diles would've never been thrust upon us.
Fortunately, Casserly was out of the picture in 2006, and the team was able to turn the 3rd Round pick into Eric Winston, who just might appear on the Top 10 Texans Draft Successes list.
Travis Johnson was a massive, Casserellian bust. It was almost as if it was one last gigantic middle finger to the franchise from the man who did his best to destroy the Texans from the inside. Travis left the Texans after accumulating the incredibly horrid stats of 106 combined tackles and just one stinkin' sack. One. Of course, Johnson's greatest legacy to Texans fans is probably his inspiring the best Fake Conversations with Real People in blogging history.
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