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Vinny
07-30-2005, 05:09 PM
Here we go
By Carter Toole
www.HoustonTexans.com

http://www.houstontexans.com/news_images/players/payne/payne_camp073005.jpghttp://www.houstontexans.com/news_images/players/davis/davis_juke_camp073005.jpg

Different players at different positions dotted the landscape as you scanned the Texans' practice fields Saturday morning. But one constant remains in this, the club's fourth training camp. It's hot. Very...very...hot. "I know one thing," defensive end Robaire Smith said. "If you get in shape here in Houston, you can go anywhere and play without a problem."

That's the idea. Houston kicked off training camp with the first of eight two-a-days and 27 total practices with a two-hour session. And while the heat was certainly a story, the Texans' reaction to it was not. This team is healthy, hungry and fit. And it showed. "I thought it was a good start," head coach Dom Capers. "I think the guys have been anxious to get out on the field. You always want to see what kind of carry-over you have from your off-season work. And I see that there has been some good carry-over. "We had quite a bit of offense and defense in for the first day. But when you have guys that have been in the system, you can do more of that. And we're a more healthy team starting out than we've been." Indeed, everybody was out there, save for one player (more on that later). Wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, who missed most of the team's coaching sessions with a shoulder injury, participated in drills, albeit with the precautionary red jersey.

But most eyes were focused on Houston's revamped defense, which features new players at four different positions. Kailee Wong was calling the plays in the huddle as the new buc linebacker. Morlon Greenwood showed off the speed that the Texans feel will make him an upgrade at weakside linebacker. Antwan Peek lined up at right outside linebacker opposite Jason Babin. And then there's the Texans' "new" No. 31, Phillip Buchanon, who looked sharp at right cornerback and shagged some punts during special teams. "I think I can make a big impact," Buchanon said. "I truly know I can but we have to win as a team."

Up front, the Texans look a little leaner along the defensive line. Smith reported yesterday 14 pounds lighter (309) than last season. Fellow end Gary Walker and nose tackle Seth Payne also met their target weight. "All of our linemen have done a good job with what we've asked them to do," Capers said. "We gave them a weight very early to give them a chance to do it right. You try to lose a bunch of weight in the last week or two and then try to come out here and go through the type of practices we have and these heat conditions, it isn't going to work. You're going to pull a muscle or have another problem." Smith can see a difference, both in himself and his linemates. "This is the best shape shape our defensive line has been since I've been here," he said.

Houston's one coaching change is also on defense, as Mike London replaces Todd Grantham as defensive line coach. But Capers envisions a smooth transition there. "Mike had worked in a system at the University of Virginia where they were in a 3-4 defense very similar to our. He's a very good teacher and an outstanding technique guy. He's got a good background in teaching this kind of defense."

One player that London wasn't able to tutor Saturday was first-round draft pick Travis Johnson, who has become the Texans' first holdout in their brief history. "It's hard for me to really comment," Capers said. "I know we're still working on it, but I don't know where we are. When he comes in here, we'll put him on a crash course."

Houston's offense returns intact, although the Texans experimented with some shuffling along their offensive line during coaching sessions. Seth Wand remained at left tackle during the first training camp practice with Chester Pitts to his immediate right. Running back Domanick Davis was his same old elusive self, perhaps due to his new, aerodynamic mohawk. Andre Johnson was gliding around the field and Corey Bradford made some nice grabs, including a spectacular one-handed snare of a ball behind his head during drills.

All in all, the mood was bright, as it is with most teams on the first day of camp. Every team is undefeated in July, right? But you also get the sense the Texans feel their on th verge of something. "I'm actually pretty excited," Payne said. "There have been some changes so there's some new blood in here. Guys are excited. We feel we're ready to take that next step forward."

That next step? Extending the season past New Year's Day. The playoffs may seem a long way off but the work towards that goal begins in earnest today. Johnson, for one, is ready. "That's all I keep thinking about. I don't like losing and having to go home and watch the other games on TV. I want to be one of those teams playing at the end of the year." For Texans fans, that would be the best change of all.

rdakers28
07-30-2005, 05:29 PM
Anyone seen any pictures of Domanick Davis with the new mowhawk they say he is sporting?

ATX
07-30-2005, 05:42 PM
remember the thread back a few months ago? "which texan will hold out first?" sounds like Travis Johnson is the one. lets just hope he gets signed really quick, so he can get in the mix.

12Gage
07-30-2005, 05:50 PM
Are the practices open to the public? Do they sell tickets or something? I'm not in Houston much, but I will be there next weekend, it would be great to see the team practice.

LikeABoss
07-30-2005, 06:01 PM
Robaire Smith went from weighing 328 to 309. I look forward to seeing big things from him this season :thumbup

F-minus67
07-30-2005, 07:08 PM
Were is the pick of DD with the mohawk? Has anyone else noticed that Fred Weary looks extremely jacked in the conditoning pictures?

Vinny
07-30-2005, 09:57 PM
Practice report
By Kris Krikes
www.HoustonTexans.com

http://www.houstontexans.com/news_images/players/lord_bell_camp073005.jpg

Back to work: There’s something to be said for starting work on a Saturday.

Hitting the field at 8:45 a.m. for their first preseason practice, the Texans looked like a group of men with a purpose rather than a team suffering from back-to-school blues. Pleased with his team’s conditioning test on Friday, head coach Dom Capers got things rolling straight away, opening practice with plenty of action on both sides of the ball.

After only two hours, it was apparent that the Texans committed to their off-season regimens and reported to practice ready to work. “Well, I thought it was a good start,” Capers said after the first of two practices Saturday. “I think our guys have been anxious to be out here on the field. You always look to see what kind of carry-over you’ve had from off-season work, and you can see there was good carry over.” Last season, 12 players either missed practice or were limited the first day of camp. This year is a different story, as every player participated in Saturday’s practice.

Weight watchers: The defensive line looked trim, and hungry, at the first team practice. At the request of the coaching staff early in the off-season, every lineman reported to camp much lighter than a year ago. “That’s just something they wanted us to do,” veteran defensive end Gary Walker. “I think everybody came in and made it. It’s part of disciplining yourself and having to get out and do a little extra stuff…I definitely didn’t get to eat a lot of the stuff I wanted to eat. So I had to go make up for that yesterday after the weigh-in.”

Aside from Walker , defensive end Robaire Smith lost approximately 30 pounds and tackle Seth Payne showed up trimmer as well. Capers knows that, to keep his line healthy and injury free, lighter is better. After 10 years in the league, Walker agrees. "(As a rookie) I was just worried that I wasn’t going to make it,” Walker said. “I was like four deep (on the depth chart) and behind some noticeable guys. The difference now is that you don’t worry about making the team, you just worry about making it through training camp healthy.”

Outside the lines: Linebackers coach Tom Olivadotti pulled aside Kailee Wong and Morlon Greenwood during the morning practice to help them with their new positions inside in the Texans’ 3-4 defense.

Wong, who has played outside linebacker in his three years in Houston , was a little fazed by the heat and the extra neck padding he’s wearing. However, he likes the change of scenery so far. “I do feel comfortable,” said Wong, who will play strongside. “I didn’t practice too well (this morning). I was a little sloppy but, you know, with that being said, this evening I’m going to have a much better practice. I just had to really get the pads on, get a feel for it…it’s still a little different just in terms of your anticipation of contact.”

TEXANS84
07-31-2005, 12:24 AM
Good practice out there today. Here are a few things that I gathered from tonights camp practice:

*Player that was impressive: Jermome Mathis, caught a deep pass that was thrown behind him.
*Biggest bulked up: Moran Norris is huge. Linebacker size as a fullback. Honorable mention: Antwan Peek, definintley put on some weight.
*Best in punt return: Hands down Phillip Buchanan as he juked a couple times after the catch en route to a sizeable gain.
*Thing that caught my eye: How small Morlon Greenwood is. He almost looks like a running back out there, extremely short. As a couple people stated, 6-0 on the profile is being generous.
*Limited action: Gary Walker and Jabar Gaffney. Gaffney was redshirted, but still played in a few drills, Gary was minimal throughout practice.
*Best QB: Carr, still has the zip. BJ Symons was unimpressive as a few passes he threw were severely underthrown.

Line of the night: Zach Weigert. As the offensive lineman and the defensive lineman were doing one on one's, a fan yelled "stop letting them to the quarterback!", and Zach replied "He (defensive lineman) didn't get through ****".

F-minus67
07-31-2005, 12:40 AM
Did anyone notice how Wand looked?

Texans_Chick
07-31-2005, 12:40 AM
Anyone seen any pictures of Domanick Davis with the new mowhawk they say he is sporting?

Sorry, I should have taken a picture. He stopped for a few autographs after.

It is a mohawk, but it is very very tight. Like an aerodynamic mohawk. The sort that would work OK in a helmet.


Agreed that Mathis looked intriguing. He has some quick initial speed, and then it is like afterburners.


BTW, Charley Casserly was the only person who was signing official autographs tonight. So those who weren't there, dint miss any player autographs.

Is it September yet?

TEXANS84
07-31-2005, 12:43 AM
Did anyone notice how Wand looked?

He got bulleyed a few times by Robaire on the one on one's.
Victor Riley looked like he was hurting out there (out of shape). Corey Sears pushed him back into the pocket fairly easily.

Texans Pride
07-31-2005, 12:43 AM
Line of the night: Zach Weigert. As the offensive lineman and the defensive lineman were doing one on one's, a fan yelled "stop letting them to the quarterback!", and Zach replied "He (defensive lineman) didn't get through ****".


I'd like to know what the **** word was that he said! Did he call the fan a name?

TEXANS84
07-31-2005, 12:46 AM
I'd like to know what the **** word was that he said! Did he call the fan a name?
No, he was just having fun with us. The fan was giving him a "friendly" (but funny) hard time.

Texans Pride
07-31-2005, 12:49 AM
Ok, glad I asked then lol

I didn't know tonights practice was open. Which players signed tonight?

You guys are so lucky. . . I'd love to go to a practice...soon enough, soon enough!

This is the time I miss living in Houston the most.

F-minus67
07-31-2005, 01:04 AM
What did the artical mean by "Wong, who has played outside linebacker in his three years in Houston , was a little fazed by the heat and the extra neck padding he’s wearing." Is he wearing something like what Chris Samuels wears or something like what Zach Thomas wears?

http://images.art.com/images/products/large/10115000/10115409.jpg

or

http://images.allposters.com/images/PHOTOFILE/AADV012.jpg

TEXANS84
07-31-2005, 01:05 AM
Neither. I didn't see either brace on Wong this evening.

El Tejano
07-31-2005, 01:12 AM
I just didn't like hearing him say his point of contact is off. That sounds a little scary to me. Than again, that is what preseason is for.

F-minus67
07-31-2005, 01:59 AM
If you want to see DD's new mohawk, there is a picture up on the website. It is under the Training camp day 1 slideshow.

Dionysus22
07-31-2005, 05:12 AM
The mohawk looks cool...just needs to hit with the clippers on the sides again. :thumbup

aj.
07-31-2005, 10:04 AM
Did anyone notice how Wand looked?

Maybe it's just me but I see no fire. What I do see is negative body language - shuffling around between plays and hanging his head. Contrast that with guys like Wiegert who strut around like a rooster with the look of confidence - just waiting to take someone's head off - including obnoxious fans. Maybe Wand was just tired. Steve Marshall was in his face a lot on those protection drills. Guys like D.D. Acholonu were eating him up. As 84 said, Riley doesn't appear to be ready to start anywhere on the OL, especially left tackle. He needs to stay away from the alfredo sauce.

SheTexan
07-31-2005, 10:19 AM
I'd like to know what the **** word was that he said! Did he call the fan a name?

NO, but the fan deserved it! OBNOXIOUS fans are a pain in the butt, and an embarrassment to the TEXANS! JMO!

SESupergenius
07-31-2005, 10:25 AM
TJ ended his holdout. http://www.houstontexans.com/news/news_detail.php?PRKey=1781

Vinny
07-31-2005, 01:02 PM
Keith always does a fine job reporting what he sees over at houstonprofootball.com. Click the link for the entire piece.

The Texans brought back Corey Bradford for a one-year deal, and Derick Armstrong has another season left on his contract. They seem like logical fits to round out the top four on the depth chart, but the two most exciting guys fighting for more playing time this fall are Kendrick Starling and Jerome Mathis.

Both Starling and Mathis were sensational on Saturday night. Neither is the complete receiver, but both are electric in their own right. Mathis made the play of the evening when he outran cornerback Lewis Sanders fifty yards downfield, adjusting to an underthrown ball from quarterback Tony Banks, then ripping it out of the hands of Sanders for a training camp version of a touchdown. Simply breathtaking.

Not to be outdone, Starling later broke free to be on the receiving end of another deep pass and blazed a clear path to a fake six points. Reminiscent of J.J. Moses the last two years, Starling then played it up to the fans to feel the love in the room. Who says training camp doesn't count?

http://www.houstonprofootball.com/scout/scout111.html

edo783
07-31-2005, 01:17 PM
Robair sound like he will make a difference this year. Great to hear he looks a lot quicker. Is ANYONE surprised that McKinny is being abused even by the backups? Even our own guys are pushing him back into the QB. I wonder what they will do about it besides yell at him.

Panther5407
07-31-2005, 01:49 PM
Mathis looked really good last night but the most impressive reciever I saw was Kendrik Starling. he had two great catches, one in double coverage falling down and another with faggins all over him. He reallly surprissed me.

nunusguy
07-31-2005, 01:53 PM
"Both Starling and Mathis were sensational on Saturday night. Neither is the complete receiver, but both are electric in their own right. Mathis made the play of the evening when he outran cornerback Lewis Sanders fifty yards downfield, adjusting to an underthrown ball from quarterback Tony Banks, then ripping it out of the hands of Sanders for a training camp version of a touchdown. Simply breathtaking."
******************************
This Weiland guy with HoustonProfootball.com writes good stuff.
I'm starting to get excited about Mathis - we knew about his speed but it sounding like he's got atleast one other asset to go along with that and that's good hands. He can learn to run routes, so now we gotta find out about the mental part of it - is he tough and resilient ?

Vinny
07-31-2005, 02:21 PM
Voice of the Fan
By Alan J. Burge
Special to www.HoustonTexans.com

http://www.houstontexans.com/news_images/players/wells/wells_block_night073005.jpg
EDITOR'S NOTE: Texans fan Alan J. Burge will continue to write a "Voice of the Fan" column throughout the 2005 season. His latest installment is below. Alan's views do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.

Camp notebook

The Texans opened camp to the public on Saturday and fans of all ages got a chance to see their team hit the field for the first time in nearly seven months.

Football Fiesta was the theme of the day and a blistering late afternoon sun finally gave way to a comfortable mid-summer evening as the Texans finished their first of several two-a-days under the lights at the Texans Practice Facility.

As Texans players get used to the grind, fans will also need some time to adjust as they look out on the field and see names like Dunbar, Halterman, Malone, Pendergrass and Wishom on the backs of Texans jerseys. Depth charts and bottled water are essentials at this time of year.

Everyone will want to know how the team and individual players looked, but being the first day of real practice it’s kind of like the first day of school. Simply knowing where to line up will probably get you a gold star in film sessions.

As we all know, the Texans practice is well choreographed. Something new for the fans is a sign near the mid-field entrance to the bleachers which shows the minute by minute breakdown of what to expect during the two hour practice.

There’s stretching followed by special teams’ drills, cadence drills, position drills, 7 on 7, 9 on 7, and full team drills. Coaches’ assistants monitor the clock and blow loud air horns to signal the transition to a new set of drills. When one set of drills such as punt coverage teams takes up most of the main practice field, other units such as the offensive line will move to an adjacent practice field to work on techniques.

Since after one practice there’s no way to tell you who’s going to the Pro Bowl and whether the Texans are going to the playoffs, you will have to settle for a few general observations from Saturday evening’s practice in no particular order:

* Jerome Mathis has world class speed but David Carr proved that it is possible to out-throw him. Carr launched a bomb down the far sideline late in team drills that was about three yards past Mathis' outstretched hands. Mathis and Kendrick Starling both made nice catches in coverage on deep balls in earlier drills.
* On special team drills, Chad Stanley boomed several nice punts from the back of the end zone under full pressure. Reggie Swinton and Phillip Buchanon among others shared duties shagging punts.
* Passing drills during 9 on 7 included a lot of short throws to the tight ends. Carr was throwing more from his ear than the sidearm sling we’ve seen in the past. His passes were crisp and on target.
* Marcellus Rivers showed nice hands on a few routes. When you see the really big guy wearing No. 84 this year, that would be Rivers and not an extremely bulked up J.J. Moses trying to sneak back into camp.
* Jabar Gaffney wore the red “do not touch” jersey when he lined up at wide receiver for a play or two.
* Ramon Walker is wearing 22 instead of his old No. 41. He worked behind sixth-round draft pick C.C. Brown, who is wearing Eric Brown’s old No. 24.
* Jonathan Wells got some good natured razzing from the fans when he dropped a pass near the sideline. He made up for it later with a nice catch and received a round of applause and cheers.
* Jammal Lord and Jason Simmons greet each other with jumping high fives as they rotate on and off the field during defensive drills.
* The talk about Robaire Smith being lighter and quicker appears to be true. He kept the offensive linemen busy with his power rush and spin moves.
* From a physical standpoint, Kenneth Pettway appears to have 3-4 outside linebacker written all over him. His greatest challenge will be to follow in the steps of Antwan Peek, Charlie Anderson and a host of other former college defensive ends who have to learn a new position.
* Seth Wand was getting a lot of one-on-one ‘attention’ from Steve Marshall during some intense one-on-one pass protection drills against D.D. Acholonu and others. Wand took a hand in the face during one of the drills and had to sit out temporarily.
* Vernand Morency (34) and Domanick Davis are very similar in size, and anyone looking for a difference between the two (besides DD’s mohawk) is that V-Mo appears to be more of a high stepper as he runs through traffic as opposed to DD’s quick and shifty feet as he hits the cutback lanes.
* Travis Johnson made a cameo appearance on the field in shorts and a t-shirt after agreeing to his contract earlier in the evening.
* One quick look at tall and lean wide receiver Devin Pitts (6-3, 200) will tell you who won the battles at the dinner table in the Pitts household. Devin is the younger brother of Texans 300-pound offensive lineman Chester Pitts (just kidding guys).

With three public practices this week, more observations will follow in a few days.

http://www.houstontexans.com/news/news_detail.php?PRKey=1785

aj.
07-31-2005, 02:32 PM
This Weiland guy with HoustonProfootball.com writes good stuff.

Keith is one of the best, and he and his wife are super nice people. They were out there last night with their two young children, taking it all in from the top row of the bleachers. He's bringing his kids up right too....had the seven month old wearing a Battle Red 80.

12Gage
07-31-2005, 02:43 PM
Are the practices open to the public? Do they sell tickets or something? I'm not in Houston much, but I will be there next weekend, it would be great to see the team practice.
:whoohoo:

Vinny
07-31-2005, 02:45 PM
http://www.houstontexans.com/fan_zone/messageboards/showthread.php?t=10410

Wolf
07-31-2005, 03:02 PM
I know it is one practice, and reading about our OL, well I hope they ate their wheaties and got a good night sleep. It seems a little rough out their right now.

I would give the dl credit but way the articles that I read it was all the way down the DL depth chart that got us(and not including TJ) . People talk about Wand getting beat, McKinny has got to give Carr a place to step up in .

Here is to a better day for the OL :party:

edit* I didn't really look at the smiley and no that isn't our DL on the left and our OL on the right :cool:

Ibar_Harry
07-31-2005, 03:34 PM
I appreciate being able to read what others have posted who were blessed to be able to watch the practices. To me the following are the key points both from a positive and negative point of view:

1) They must be working on Carr's delivery once again. That also might signify that his shoulder is healed after all of the pounding. The only question is he seems to revert to the side arm once the season starts. I hope he continues to modify his delivery as it will add time to his carrer and allow him to develop more touch.

2) McKinney is in the limelight and it will be interesting to see what happens. Sounds like we are beginning to employ our defense as a way of teaching and exposing the holes in our offensive line. A lot of us feel McKinney is a big problem and needs to be moved out of the center position. The real question is who can step up and replace him.

3) Wand is getting a lot of attention. What does that mean? Is he still thought to be the best we have given our LT and LG personnel? I'll throw a flyer at you. How about moving Pitts to center? He's smart enough and he says he will play anywhere they think he's needed. That would mean possibly moveing McKinney to quard which I believe is the position he played at Indy.

4) I have always felt that Wiegert was the leader of the O-line and its good to hear that he seems healthy and fisty. He has had all kinds of problems health wise the last two years and a healthy Wiegert would be a big plus for the O-line.

5) I have felt that Mathis and Startling are both people to watch and could make a bigger splash that people think. They are both burners and both have better than average hands. In fact they may possess excellent hands. Bradford and Gaffny could be in for a bigger challenge than they think. I'm not yet willing to buy into Gaffny's recovery by the start of the season. I listened to the interview and he was awfully evasive about the whole situation. He has one of those injuries that simply takes time to heal and he may have waited to long to have the surgery. Gaffny's problem is recovery, not ability, but then again the competion might be a whole lot better than thought. Armstrong has been sort of quiet in this discussion.

6) Sounds like are running backs are similar, and while not sensational, they both could be journeyman backs giving us 1500 yards at that position for the year. A rested Davis is far more effective than a tired Davis. Having relatively fresh backs at the end of the game could be a big plus. The 4th quarter has often been our nemisis.

7) Wells is back and what kind of impact will he have? Does he become our go to guy on the goal line and short yardage. He did it a few times last year and they say he is bigger and strronger.

Capers style is to begin TC with his verterns and starters and let them loose their starting roles. That's why the comments on McKinney and Wand are important to what is happening. I think right now most are saying the O-line looks the same and no solution has yet appeared. The O-line has to develop for us to have the season that all of us want the Texans to have. The defensive side of the ball has not been mentioned that much, but what has been said is encouraging except the young receivers were able to burn the secondary. That could be bad and good depending upon what was really happening. A couple of fired up D-linemen couldn't hurt this ball club. While it has not been in the limelight as much, the D must return to form and be dependable to above average if we are going to do anything. Its more likely we will be able to fix the defensive side of the ball. It looks like we have the personnel for the D-line, but the O-line is still the big question mark. I think every other position execpt for the O-line and the TE positions look to be in good to excellent shape. I think last year we had several inuries in the 1st session, and to be injury free from TC so far, has to be encouraging on that front.

Once again, fire away with your opinions, I'm obviously reading between the lines based on what you all are reporting, players are saying, and what others have said.

TEXANS84
07-31-2005, 03:43 PM
7) Wells is back and what kind of impact will he have? Does he become our go to guy on the goal line and short yardage. He did it a few times last year and they say he is bigger and strronger.

Good post Harry.

One thing that I noticed was that although Jonathan did look bigger and bulkier than years before, I don't see him as a fullback as some press has been reporting. Moran Norris and Jarod Baxter are just plain massive in their upper-bodies. They had Jonathan in runningback plays all throughout the night camp.
One person who did not impress me was Tony Hollings. He seemed to struggle, loosing his footing a few times.

FILO_girl
07-31-2005, 03:44 PM
Vernand Morency
Age: 25
Height: 5-10
Weight: 215 lbs.
Hometown: Miami, FL

The answer to the question floating around our immediate group in the 'Bullpen" last night. My bad, 84 nailed it (I should have not doubted in the first place).

Speaking of #34, I was impressed with what I saw last night. He is the player I saw the most of, out of the newbies.

What I saw of Mathis was encouraging too. Was nice to see that 'big white Tshirt" out on the field too. :)

Wish my pic of Robaire laughing at a certain Platinum lot fan turned out better, he sure was amused by the 'encourgement" this fan was giving..... :bomb:

nunusguy
07-31-2005, 04:15 PM
One person who did not impress me was Tony Hollings. He seemed to struggle, loosing his footing a few times.
I dunno....do they keep 3 or 4 Tailbacks ? Wells is such a good STP and a valuable short yardage back and the rookie from OKState is a pure RB who will probably be "the" primary backup for DD. With the addition of PB and Mathis, Hollings has little chance to catch on as a Kick or Punt Returner,
so there's not much doubt that he's on the bubble this year.

edo783
07-31-2005, 05:07 PM
I dunno....do they keep 3 or 4 Tailbacks ? Wells is such a good STP and a valuable short yardage back and the rookie from OKState is a pure RB who will probably be "the" primary backup for DD. With the addition of PB and Mathis, Hollings has little chance to catch on as a Kick or Punt Returner,
so there's not much doubt that he's on the bubble this year.

Based on VERY preliminary & hearsay type of data, he (Hollings) looks to be in the one most in danger of hearing from the Turk. That will be shame as he is a 2nd rounder that will go down the drain. Oh well, they all can't be golden. However it works out, our stable of runners is pretty solid. Not franchis/worldclass guys, but real solid. When Wells was first on the scene I was less than impressed and said so, but he seems to be making himself into one of those guys you can try to get rid of, but never seem to be able to. Good for him.