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Battle Red Newswire: The Curse of Kevin Walter Looms?

It's inevitable that our old battlefighter finds a way to hurt us as a member of the Titans, isn't it? Let's try and forget about it by focusing on Dresdynn and Schuyler instead. (Warning: Twins Alert.)

She made the right choice.
She made the right choice.
Bob Levey

Texans News

The Curse of Kevin Walter?

Hopefully, there are other things that will bring you excitement today, as the Texans news cycle is about as dull as the gray skies over Houston at the moment.

Let's go for a reach by discussing the potential karmic ramifications of Kevin Walter signing with the Tennessee Titans on Monday. Does this essentially guarantee that Gary Kubiak's favorite former player will come back to haunt us in some way in 2013? Can we make the Brad Lidge comparison?

Is a Jacoby Jones reference so played out by now that people will probably stop reading the moment they see it used again?

At this point, with the draft still 23 days away and our activity in free agency at a standstill, the odds of having to discuss the looming tryout date for the Texans cheerleading squad at some point in this space is at about 50%.


R.I.P. Jack Pardee

Jack Pardee has nothing to do with the Texans, but as the man who ran the Oilers in the early 1990s, he's still the first NFL coach many of us remember from our childhood. He was, after all, the coach of this team.

It almost seems improper to bring that up in light of the news that Pardee died on Monday after a battle with cancer at age 76. He was, as Warren Moon put it today, a "genuine Texas legend."

Pardee's deep Texas football roots dated back to his playing days at Texas A&M, when he was one of the few dozen "Junction Boys" to make it through Bear Bryant's brutal preseason training camp regimen, an experience that was eventually chronicled in a book and an ESPN film, and which defines the old school generation. He went on to become a two-time All Pro linebacker with the Rams and Redskins before getting into coaching. For Houstonians in their 30s and over, Pardee will also be remembered as the man who coached Andre Ware at UH, back when UH was a true sports school.

R.I.P. Jack Pardee.


Around the NFL

Nice, Colt

Let's all take a moment and give a slow clap for Colt McCoy, who finally escaped Cleveland on Monday when he was traded to the 49ers. The Browns included a sixth round pick in the deal, getting a fifth rounder and a seventh rounder in return. McCoy is going from a team where he had basically been demoted to a third string role behind Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell to backing up Colin "One Non-Slide Away From Breaking My Collarbone" Kaepernick. He's going from a team that hasn't made the playoffs since 2002 to one that has 7-to-1 odds to win the Super Bowl this season.

Plus, he gets to move to the Bay Area.

There's a reason the genius who made these Cleveland tourism videos made two of them, and it's so that I could reference them in back to back weeks.


The Raiders Making QB Moves: Like it Matters

If the Oakland Raiders are going to do what I would love to see them do, which is give Vince Young a chance, I'm hoping it's going to be in the form of a backup role to Matt Flynn, and not as a third stringer behind Flynn and Carson Palmer. Flynn, the Seahawks' prized free agent acquisition from just a year ago, is now a Raider, dealt to Oakland on Monday in exchange for a fifth round pick in next year's draft and a conditional pick in 2015. Within hours of the trade going down, the team was already reportedly on the verge of completing an agreement to ship the incumbent Palmer to Arizona for next to nothing.

Oakland's desire to jettison Palmer less than a year and a half after giving up a first round pick and a second round pick to get him is about money, as these things always are. He is due to make a base salary of $13 million in 2013, with a cap hit of $15.335 million. When asked by the Raiders' front office to take a pay cut, he reportedly refused.

Jason La Canfora got even more specific with the rumored compensation package Arizona had presented to Palmer: $8 million plus incentives. La Canfora also reported, however, that negotiations between Palmer's camp and the Cardinals had "hit a snag." Palmer did travel to Arizona Monday night to have dinner with Cardinals executives, so there is definitely interest on his part in going from one moribund franchise to another. For now, though, Oakland has on its roster a $13 million back up quarterback who doesn't want to be there.

Pretty awkward situation if I may say so.


#Heyward-Beywatch Officially Over

Darrius Heyward-Bey signed a one-year, $3 million deal with Indianapolis on Monday in yet another personnel change for the Raiders heading into 2013. The former first round draft pick will likely be the number two wide receiver across from Reggie Wayne this season. For all the Heyward-Bhaters out there - and I know there are several - take a moment to watch him describe what it's like to experience a concussion like the one that got him carted off against Pittsburgh last year, and how the mentality of an NFL player has to be in order to get back on the field afterwards:

Notice which word NFL players refer to as "the 'F' word."

I will never view the obligatory injured-player-cart-off-thumbs-up the same.


Salary Cap U

Has anyone else out there also recently tried to teach himself the intricacies of the salary cap starting from scratch in the last month? You've been explaining prorated bonuses and "dead money" to anyone who will listen, haven't you? You feel good about yourself, I'm sure.

Congrats. Now read this. And commence with feeling poorly about yourself.


The Meaning of the Word "Voluntary"

Kansas City Chiefs tackle Branden Albert has no plans to attend voluntary offseason workouts for a team he believes is actively shopping him. Albert is reportedly upset that the Chiefs slapped the franchise tag on him instead of giving him the long-term deal he covets and is showing his displeasure by refusing to report.

This kind of story is unremarkable, but automatically brings to mind one of the all time classic NFL quotes that appeared in a 2001 Sports Illustrated article about former Colts running back Edgerrin James.

James had pissed off some of his teammates and coaches for his preference to spend his offseason chilling and working out on his own, and was asked about it by Michael Silver. His reply:

"I only went to college for two years, but I think I know the meaning of the word voluntary."

The same article also catches James in a moment of candor when discussing life after football:

"I'll be 26 when my contract is up, and I may not ever do another deal because I don't think my attention span is that long. If I'm not interested anymore, I'll gladly walk away. Then, let the chilling begin. I'm curious to see what it feels like to have a year-round off-season."

For those like me who naturally assumed after reading this that the chapter following retirement in The Edgerrin James Story would be the familiar tale of ex-NFL star blowing his fortune at The Cheesecake Factory, quite the opposite appears to have transpired. A short description of his "year-round offseason" of a life from a September 2012 Naples Daily News article shows that much more chilling is in store for He of Still Gilded Teeth:

"That's my youngest, Euro," said James, glimmering a gold tooth smile in appreciation of the inherited speed. "I call him moneyman. He's going to be in control of the family fortune."

Let us all hope that the value of James' euros do not suffer the same fate as those currently stored in Cypriot banks.

Getting back to Branden Albert, he, like James, also played two season of college ball, one of them overlapping with me at Virginia. With such a top notch education, Albert clearly also understands the meaning of the word "voluntary," I'm sure. I applaud his decision to use what little leverage he has in milking the Chiefs out of everything they've got.

I hear the Chiefs are planning to draft someone who plays Albert's position, by the way. And I hear the Texans are in the market for a right tackle, too.



While We're All Here

You Should Just Work for Goldman Sachs

Like any good father, my girlfriend's dad is concerned with his daughter's professional career, which only recently began following her graduation from Texas in May. One of his classic lines is, "You should just work at Goldman Sachs." No knock on my girlfriend or anything, but this would be roughly the equivalent of The Bob telling me I should "just replace Kevin Walter." Because life is that easy.

Luckily for Jasmine, I discovered something I did not realize about Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan this morning. Like her dad, he is also a Pakistani immigrant to the U.S.

Which means she has a new rebuttal for her parents' exhortations to "just work for Google" from now on: "You should just buy an NFL franchise."

Yo McNair, Talat is coming for you.


Speaking of Career Moves

It's a new month. That means new Texans cheerleaders of the month: Dresdynn and Schuyler.

(Purposefully trying to block annoying "with the twiiieeeens" jingle from Coors Light commercial from memory.)

(Purposefully trying to block annoying "with the twiiieeeens" jingle from Coors Light commercial from memory.)

(Purposefully trying to block annoying "with the twiiieeeens" jingle from Coors Light commercial from memory.)

Click here to hear these two Texans cheerleaders/scholars discuss in fascinating detail what it's like, to like, pose for, like, pictures in the pool. Or, if you prefer to watch an embedded video, here is their tryout video from 2011, which sets all sorts of records for awkward viewing.

This reminds me, my little sister is about to graduate from Virginia, and she is in the market for a job. For some reason, she has become obsessed with the idea of moving to Nashville. I have no problem with this, as her NFL loyalties are not in doubt (mainly thanks to J.J.), and this would give me an excuse to go to at least one Texans road game a year. But I just feel like she could do so much more with her life than toil away in Nashville. Garland is a former gymnast, was the captain of the cheerleading team in high school (which explains where I got that Strake Jesuit cheerleading uniform) and dances like the daughter of a preacher man. She needs to be the next Dresden or Schuyler.

Tryouts are on April 6. There is still time to get her on a plane to come home for the weekend. The riches she would surely obtain if when she makes the squad would easily pay for the flight in the end. Garland isn't a big Twitter user, but if people could just tweet at her with any sort of link about Texans cheerleaders, along with #jobsearch, I would really appreciate it. Let's all try and convince her that there's no sense in fighting the Nashville blues after college when her entire life has clearly been pointing her in one direction: Reliant Stadium.