The well is dry when it comes to football analysis and football writing. It’s all re-visitation of the past and plopping back through previous footprints on old trails, or research about schemes and changes that passed us by during the whirlwind that is the football season.
This is the former. It isn’t the latter. These are old steps, a remembrance of things past.
Today I laid on the carpet, took my lunchtime nap, and I thought about Corey Bradford. You know, the first competent receiver the Texans had. He was a deep threat on the inaugural team in 2002 after coming over from Green Bay. In Houston’s first season, Bradford had a catch rate of 42.5% (lmao) and led the team in catches, targets, yards, and touchdowns. He of course caught a 65 yard touchdown pass over an undercutting Darren Woodson to seal the first win in Texans’ history.
His life as WR1 was shortly lived. The Texans drafted Andre Johnson after the Lions drafted Charles Rogers (RIP) in the 2003 NFL Draft. Dre immediately became the Texans’ WR1 and will always be Houston’s WR1 in my heart.
The other day, I was thinking about Alfred Blue, but not in the typical sense of how many plays were wasted by giving him the ball. Instead I relished that one beautiful day in Cleveland Blue had in 2014. What a glorious day. J.J. Watt caught a touchdown pass. Ryan Mallett started at quarterback. And Blue led the Texans with 156 yards on 36 carries, which came out to 4.33 yards a carry. It was the most banal dominating performance a running back ever had. Up 17-7 in the third quarter, there was nothing to do except kill the clock. Enter Alfred Blue. He had 2.88 yards a carry the following week in a loss to the Bengals.
Right now, I’m thinking about Keshawn Martin. Houston drafted him in the fourth round way back in 2012. He was a fine punt returner, but his arms were short and stubby. Watching him catch passes was like that scene in Tropic Thunder where Ben Stiller’s exploded hands were caressed by Robert Downey, Jr.
Houston traded Martin to New England in a pick swap back in 2015. Naturally, he caught a touchdown against Houston in 2015 during New England’s decade long reign of terror. Keshawn eventually retired after being cut by the Lions during 2017 training camp. He’s 30 years old now. I hope whatever he’s doing is lovely, beautiful, and he’s making the most out of his second life.
With all that being said, let’s remember some Texans of days gone by. Guys like:
- Billy Miller
- Gary Walker
- C.J. Fiedorowicz
- Jeff Tarpinian
- Ben Tate
- C.C. Brown
- Jeff Zgonina
- Kasey Studdard
- Darryl Sharpton
- Danieal Manning
Who would you add to the list?