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Deep-Seeded, Unshakably Fundamental Beliefs I Have Held Since About 10 A.M. This Morning (A/K/A Training Camp Round-Up)

Before we go on to the crunchy verbal goodness that is today's training camp roundup, I want to go on a brief aside about something related to training camp.

In an attempt to stay current on Houston sports, while living in Seattle, I listen to Houston sports radio on my computer at home.  I won't mention which one because frankly they haven't paid me to do so.  But one of the canards I keep hearing from the sports twerps on these radio shows is that because players no longer have two-a-days anymore, this must mean that it's the beginning of the "wussification" (H/T to an unnamed sports radio twerp who blathers on about this constantly for the word) of the National Football League.  Today while driving around Houston and Humble, due to being locked out of the house, all I heard today was callers and hosts who complained that these players are soft; that somehow, they're not as manly as the players of the past.

To them I say this:  If it's such a manly thing to put on heavy padding and run around in the blazing heat, why don't you take a crack at it?

Korey Stringer, Rashidi Wheeler, and a slew of other football players, the vast majority of which are just kids, have died from heat stroke; heat stroke brought upon by this obsolete, macho, borderline-psychotic attitude that unnecessarily putting your life in jeopardy somehow makes you more of a man.  Bullcrap.

First of all, the heat doesn't make anyone a better football player.  If it did, the Texans would have won the last 9 Super Bowls.  If anything, we should have them practice in meat lockers since, aside from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints, every team that has won it all in the last decade have come from the colder climes of this country (Baltimore, Boston, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Green Bay).

Second, I don't know about you, but I don't want Andre Johnson burning himself out in August because people think it'll show just how much of a beast he is.  He doesn't need to prove his beastliness to us.  I'd rather he be fresh for December and January when we will actually need him.

So please, if you hear anyone talking about these players being a bunch of soft, whiny girls, do the world a favor; heck, do me a favor, tell them to put on the pads and run air raid drills for two hours and see how they cope.

Anyway, end tirade, now on to what you really wanted to learn about.  Click on the jump for's the macho thing to do.

1.  I have to say, Chris Ogbonnaya is really playing hard in training camp, hoping to steal one of the three running back spots that will be available.

2.  In a related story, Ben Kerns Tate missed part of practice today due to tightness in his hamstring.  The sound you are hearing right now is Mike Kerns shrieking obscenities to Durga for Tate's fate.  Considering how Ogbonnaya's playing, and the fact that Tate hasn't been out on the field much, there's no guarantee that Tate will make this team.

3.  Speaking of running backs, Steve Slaton fumbled the ball today.  I can tell you're all stunned.  There's no way he makes this team, and I sincerely doubt they can find a partner to trade with because they all likely know he'll be cut.

4.  There was an Anthony Hill sighting today.  You know what that means?  Six more weeks of Winter injured reserve.

5.  After watching Matt Leinart throwing in practice, I no longer wake up screaming in the middle of the night at the thought of having him play in relief of Matt Schaub.  That said, if Schaub does get injured (Durga forbid), I will still be first in line for the bleach.

6.  Of the college free agent wide receivers on the Texans' roster, I think Jeff Maehl has the best chance to make the team.  He has caught everything thrown his way and looked good doing it too.  Terrance Toliver has been a non-entity at training camp so far.  He was only thrown to once today and the pass got knocked down by Jason Allen.

7.  Houston Texans "fall-down" count today:  Kareem Jackson 0, Shaun Cody 2.  And both of those incidents were just an embarrassment.

8.  Speaking of Kareem Jackson, he blocked a pass thrown to Andre Johnson today.  This can only mean one thing:  The apocalypse is nigh.

9.  Something of interest I saw today, also speaking of Kareem Jackson.  For a couple of snaps today, Kareem practiced with the second team defense opposite Brice McCain.  The corner who replaced him on the first team?  Jason Allen.  I don't want to read too much into this, but I don't think Kareem Jackson has the second corner spot locked up by any stretch of the imagination.

10.  During kickoff returns, three players brought back kicks from the end zone:  Danieal Manning, Trindon Holliday, and Derrick Townsel.  I think Townsel did a very nice job bringing back kickoffs, but Manning was...well...the man.  Personally, I don't care for the idea of having our starting safety returning kicks, but he was extremely impressive in doing so, running one back for a touchdown.

11.  Glover Quin is already a better safety than Eugene Wilson ever was at any point last season.  He's always at least in position to take out a receiver if a completion is made, and he also deflected a pass intended for Derrick Ward today.

12.  I think J.J. Watt may end up being to me what Ben Tate is to Mike Kerns.  Aside from generally causing misery for the offensive line, after practice he picked up Mario Williams' pads off the field.  But before leaving the field, he came over to the bleachers, gave one of the kids in the crowd his autograph, then took off his gloves and gave them to said kid.  You just can't not root for the guy.