Thread: Early Camp News
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Old 07-31-2004   #37
aj.
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Ramon Walker going on the PUP is not a surprise. He's less than 8 months off ACL surgery.

Time to move on at TE. Joppy may never realize his dream and we may never see what he can do. Hope like HELL that Aaron Glenn doesn't also reinjure -- he's a high risk, so I'm told.

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AP article by Mark Babinek from the San Jose Mercury News:

Texans look for Bradford to go deep more in 2004

MARK BABINECK
Associated Press

HOUSTON - Corey Bradford's streaking catch between two defenders down the left sideline on the first day of training camp didn't go unnoticed.

In fact, considering his disuse last season, it was kind of an event.

"It was nice to see David Carr hit Corey Bradford on a deep throw up the field. It's something we're putting a lot of emphasis on this season," coach Dom Capers said Saturday after Houston's first workout of camp.

"We think we've got the speed and we know we've got the quarterback to get it there and we can make some big plays down the field. It's nice to come out here in the first practice and see that happen, because it didn't happen enough last season."

And how.

Bradford, whose blazing speed prompted the Texans to sign him away from Green Bay before their 2002 expansion season, has averaged a staggering 48.1 yards on his team-high 10 touchdown catches. His 16.8-yard average overall is second best in the league over the past two seasons.

His problem isn't quality, it's quantity. He caught 24 balls last year for an average of just 1 1/2 per game.

"I get paid all this money to try to perform," said Bradford, heading into the last season of a three-year, $5.25 million deal. "Reporters, fans, say, 'Y'all are going to make all that money and you're not doing anything.'

"Hey, you can't do anything if you don't have the opportunity to do it."

Even with David Carr incurring an NFL record 76 sacks and running for his life on several other plays, he managed to connect with Bradford 45 times for 697 yards and six scores in 2002.

Last season, with a better line and No. 3 overall draft pick Andre Johnson attracting attention at the other receiver slot, Bradford seemed in line for a big year.

Instead Bradford, the former sprinter who didn't play college football until his senior year at Jackson State, seemingly became missing in action after a 78-yard TD catch in Houston's opening day upset at Miami. He finished with four TDs and 460 yards.

The drought led the seventh-year veteran to be wistful about what might be.

"Sometimes I wonder how it would feel if I got 75 balls in a season, just to see how many yards, how many touchdowns I'd have," Bradford said.

That would come out to 1,260 yards based upon his averages as a Texan, which would have put him seventh on the receiving production list last season.

Until he gets a chance to do more, Bradford vows to produce as much as he can given the chance.

"When I do get the ball, it'll be a first down, touchdown or a big play. That's the way I look at it," Bradford said. "I know when I touch the ball, something will happen. I don't even need a step - just put it in my hands and I'll make something happen every time."

NOTES:@ TE Bennie Joppru's second season is getting off much like his first, and that's not good. The Texans put him on the active physically unable to perform list Saturday because Joppru injured his groin just before camp. He had the groin surgically repaired last summer and missed his entire rookie season. "It's tough, it's tough for Bennie. He's got to try to get it healthy and we've got to pick up and move on," coach Dom Capers said. Joining Joppru on the PUP list were two expected names, S Ramon Walker and QB B.J. Symons, both of whom are recovering from knee surgery. The move gives the Texans six weeks into the regular season before deciding whether to activate them or shelve them for good. ... The Texans will conduct their two-a-day sessions outdoors and their one-practice sessions indoors throughout training camp to give players a break from the notorious Houston heat. Last season, Capers kept his team outside as much as possible to prepare for the balmy season opener at Miami, which Houston won 21-20.

Last edited by aj.; 07-31-2004 at 07:48 PM.
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