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Hard Knocks: Houston Texans 2015

Hervoyel

BUENO!
I enjoyed this preseason more than any other Texans preseason ever, mostly because of HK.
I did too. Maybe it's because we don't have anybody like Rex Ryan or Jerry Jones around here but I thought Hard Knocks ended up being the exact opposite of what I expected. I was worried it would be a massive distraction and something would happen that made the Texans look really bad in front of the whole country (Well, Hoyer did win the QB competition) but instead it was informative and helpful. I wish they did that to multiple teams every year. Maybe do a team in each conference.

I really enjoyed it. Didn't see that coming.
 

Lambert

Waterboy
I'm ready for the finale of Hard Knocks and watching all of the cuts. We can see another third-round pick wasted by Rick Smith aka Louis Nix III. Oh boy. But for good reason this time. Christian Covington beasted and deserved to make the team over him. I heard the Giants claimed Nix off waivers too. Interesting.

I wish we could hire a GM to draft in the second, third and fourth rounds. And then Rick Smith can work the fifth, sixth, seventh and undrafted rookie list. He does better with those hidden gems. He's okay in the first round I guess. J.J. Watt is the best player on the planet. Clowney may still be a superstar. We'll see.

I'm not terribly upset with Rick Smith's first-round track record.
Other than perhaps not being more aggressive for a franchise QB?
I'm busy right now. I'd have to dig through all of his selections to tell.

It sort of pisses me off though that we just threw away a third-round pick in 2013 (Sam Montgomery) and 2014 (Louis Nix III). Why not trade those two third-round picks for a useful veteran at a position of need? But yet Rick Smith likes to value draft picks and is reluctant to trade a seventh-round pick to John Elway for Chris Clark. Right!!!!!

That's probably because Rick Smith is more likely to draft a good player that late in the draft. LOL

Let's not forget Earl Mitchell, third round draft pick who was supposed to be replaced by Nix.
 

amazing80

Fire Billy O
Is it just me or did it sound like OB was leaning towards keeping James until Smith opened his mouth and convinced him to keep Rolle....because he is "longer"
 

Dutchrudder

King of the Potato People
Is it just me or did it sound like OB was leaning towards keeping James until Smith opened his mouth and convinced him to keep Rolle....because he is "longer"
They definitely had different opinions on who to keep, but Rick appears to have final say.
 

Tolar's Ghost

Waterboy
Is it just me or did it sound like OB was leaning towards keeping James until Smith opened his mouth and convinced him to keep Rolle....because he is "longer"
Right you are.

After watching the series, I like O'Brien more but Smith less. He's just too full of himself. The shot of him playing with the golf club while the cuts were going on was pretty nauseating.

If they're sub-500 this year, I can see Smith moving on. Not a big loss.
 

infantrycak

Admin & Mod
I haven't seen the episode yet but let's remember Smith was a db. Have a buddy who was a plumber. I'd defer to him on that.
 

Marcus

Ruthless pragmatist
Is it just me or did it sound like OB was leaning towards keeping James until Smith opened his mouth and convinced him to keep Rolle....because he is "longer"
Did you not know what he meant by that?

Charles James didn't make the team because of one reason, and one reason only. His lack of height. If he was 2 inches taller, he wouldn't have even been trying to make the team. Because he'd still would be playing with the Giants.

So yeah, it was just you.
 

Tolar's Ghost

Waterboy
He (the poster) knew what "longer" meant.

His observation was that Smith let James go solely because of his height. O'Brien obviously saw more than that, but deferred to Smith.

It was an interesting exchange, and not just because of the discussion about the player. It pointed to the dynamics of the team management.

I didn't think Smith came across well in the series. He seems too confident, and as a friend once said, "for no real reason."
 
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paycheck71

Hall of Fame
He (the poster) knew what "longer" meant.

His observation was that Smith let James go solely because of his height. O'Brien obviously saw more than that, but deferred to Smith.

It was an interesting exchange, and not just because of the discussion about the player. It pointed to the dynamics of the team management.

I didn't think Smith came across well in the series. He seems too confident, and as a friend once said, "for no real reason."
I find it odd to hold someone's confidence against them. Plus, you're talking about someone who's in a leadership position where there are only 32 such jobs in the world. How the hell does he get to that point without being confident? And how in the world can anyone who's hired for that job and has done it for almost 10 years not feel confident?
 

Lucky

Moderator
Staff member
Is it just me or did it sound like OB was leaning towards keeping James until Smith opened his mouth and convinced him to keep Rolle....because he is "longer"
I like James. He would have made a lot of Texan teams of the past. But his size is a liability and I would have kept Rolle as well.

Really enjoyed the series. I think everyone now realizes the anxiety over this was overblown. Even O'Brien. Hope they do it again one year.
 

thunderkyss

It's good to be me... again.
Staff member
Contributor's Club
I like James. He would have made a lot of Texan teams of the past. But his size is a liability and I would have kept Rolle as well.
After that one play, I'd have found a way to keep James on the 53. I'm not one of those, "We need to add speed on the offense" guys, but damn. Kind of hard not to notice when that little spark plug took it to the house.

I'd line him up all over the place, just to f'k with defenses. Even at full back. They better be watching him.
 

banned1976

American
The pregame conversation between Jason Garrett and O'Brien looked odd. Garrett with that bizarre ear to ear grin on his face and O'Brien looking totally creeped out by him, like he was talking to Ed Gein. Hey Jason, we're going to run the ball a lot in this game. OK, would you like to come to my home and meet my mother?

Even after the game O'Brien looked like he was trying to get away.

 

Marshall

Not pretty, but ALIVE!
Did you not know what he meant by that?

Charles James didn't make the team because of one reason, and one reason only. His lack of height. If he was 2 inches taller, he wouldn't have even been trying to make the team. Because he'd still would be playing with the Giants.

So yeah, it was just you.
I'd say the lack of height contributed to the real problem. Tall receivers could still catch the ball, even with him on their hip pocket. Short players have to have something to overcome that and James didn't. If he could jump like Spud Webb, he'd be a superstar, even at his height.

In the long run, I think the right decision was made, even though his attitude was top notch.
 

Honoring Earl 34

Something Witty !
I'd say the lack of height contributed to the real problem. Tall receivers could still catch the ball, even with him on their hip pocket. Short players have to have something to overcome that and James didn't. If he could jump like Spud Webb, he'd be a superstar, even at his height.

In the long run, I think the right decision was made, even though his attitude was top notch.
James was a good story but he wasn't stopping Cowboy WRs who got cut .
 

FuzzyLogic

Mathematically Possible
Is it just me or did it sound like OB was leaning towards keeping James until Smith opened his mouth and convinced him to keep Rolle....because he is "longer"
They definitely had different opinions on who to keep, but Rick appears to have final say.
Right you are.

After watching the series, I like O'Brien more but Smith less. He's just too full of himself. The shot of him playing with the golf club while the cuts were going on was pretty nauseating.

If they're sub-500 this year, I can see Smith moving on. Not a big loss.
I don't really like Rick Smith as the GM, I think he has made more than his fair share of bad moves and we should look to bring in a proven GM. However I seem to keep ending up defending him.

I think Rick reminded Bob of his own rules, Bob has said before (multiple times) that he has a specific set of measurable's in mind for each position and that he wanted the team to be bigger, longer, faster, basically more athletic. So I see it as Bob really liked the guy but reminded of what direction he himself has given to scouts went with the longer guy.

As for the swinging a golf club comment - I'm not sure if you are in a position where you have to have difficult conversations with co-workers or employee's where you work, but when I have to let someone go or give them bad news (especially over the phone) I pace, toss a ball in the air, hell I have been known to bust a move while on the phone (in a crazy I can't dance a lick but look at me go kind of way) to release nervous energy, clear my head whatever the case may be. I wouldn't read to much into it.
 

Playoffs

Hall of Fame
...Garrett with that bizarre ear to ear grin on his face and O'Brien looking totally creeped out by him, like he was talking to Ed Gein. Hey Jason, we're going to run the ball a lot in this game. OK, would you like to come to my home and meet my mother?
What? :spit:
 

JCTexan

Hall of Fame
Is it just me or did it sound like OB was leaning towards keeping James until Smith opened his mouth and convinced him to keep Rolle....because he is "longer"
That conversation looked like a legitimate evaluation of both Rolle/James. James brought juice to special teams and could be versatile but both Rick Smith & O'Brien saw Rolle as the better DB. If that's why they kept Rolle over James I'm perfectly fine with it. We defintely need the better DB to cover the Colts WR's
 

Playoffs

Hall of Fame
Did anybody notice the girls at the Cowboys game holding signs...



I kinda enjoyed that re-mix HK did, too.

Probably got most football insight from this episode, especially with Brown and James and EZ.

Nix, III looked extremely upset going into OB's office. I doubt he expected it and bet he lost it.

"Guys, don't fart in the meeting room. If you got to, facking leave. Seriously. That's nasty."
 

Bulls on Parade

2017 Astros: Earn It!
First time ever, going back to our expansion 2002 season, that we had to release a lot of good players. A handful of the guys we let go were quickly signed by other teams. Some of them used the waiver wire to claim them instantly.

That's how competitive it was this training camp and preseason. That's good to have around here. In the past we could let guys go, no other teams wanted them, and they'd be signed to our practice squad because they weren't that good.
 

Playoffs

Hall of Fame
‘Hard Knocks: Houston Texans’ Season Finale: The Last Cuts Are the Deepest
by SHEA SERRANO|Deadspin

The Houston Texans are the subject of this season’s Hard Knocks, HBO’s wonderful mini-documentary series that follows a professional football team for the weeks leading up to the start of the season. Disclosure: The Houston Texans are going to win the Super Bowl this year. Another disclosure: They’re going undefeated, too. One final disclosure: I root for the Texans.

Some things that happened last night in Episode 5, the final episode of the series.

The FUCKs Competition Between Bill O’Brien and Linebackers Coach Mike Vrabel Ends With a Clear Winner

There was no way that Vrabel was ever going to beat O’Brien. There just wasn’t. There’s this really boring and tired joke people say whenever someone does something crazy or wild about how that person: “has zero fucks to give.” I probably see it online something like 600 times a day. Coach O’Brien is the inverse of that. He has many FUCKs to give. He has a surplus of FUCKs. He has a plethora of FUCKs. Should you happen to not have any FUCKs, I would direct you toward O’Brien. Surely he will have some that you can borrow when you see him.

Final Series Tally of FUCKs: O’Brien defeats Vrabel, more than doubling up his score, 57.5 FUCKs to 28 FUCKs.​

Does This Happen To You, Too?

There’s a thing that happens with professional athletes, or at least that happens with me when I watch professional athletes. They’re all just so big and fast and strong that when I watch them I feel like they’re definitely grown men and adults and all older than me and wiser than me. It almost feels like they’re dads and I’m a child. I guess it’s because they’re so big, so it always seems like they’re definitely in control and dads are always supposed to be in control or something. I don’t know. But when I watch the NFL or the NBA that’s a thing I almost always end up thinking about, especially when something bad happens, like if they lose a big game or get cut from the team or whatever. My first reaction is always, “Well, he’s a fully mature man, so I’m sure this won’t affect him that much.” But then I remember, “Oh. That guy’s only 22 years old,” and then I think about how much of a baby I was at 22 (or even 32) and it’s just like, “Man, I don’t think I’d be able to handle that kind of stress.” Does that happen to you, too?​

All of the Things J.J. Watt Did, Ranked

1. J.J. Watt talking about the price of carpet on a private jet.

1a. J.J. Watt not being able to open a hotel door on the first try.

1b. J.J. Watt doing a Chris Farley impression.

1c. J.J. Watt not smiling.

1d. J.J. Watt lining up for a play.

1e. J.J. Watt wearing a checkered shirt.

1f. J.J. Watt lifting weights.

1g. J.J. Watt smiling.

1h. J.J. Watt wearing a beanie.

1i. J.J. Watt saying to do things with pride.

1j. J.J. Watt standing on the sideline during the preseason game against the Cowboys.

1k. J.J. Watt being J.J. Watt.

1l. J.J. Watt listening to fans shout “J.J. Watt” at a game.

1m. J.J. Watt sitting in a stadium suite while watching his two younger brothers play football for Wisconsin.

1n. J.J. Watt playing quarterback at practice.​

The Secret MVP of the Series
HBO

J.J. Watt is the MVP of the team, obviously. And Charles James II is the MVP of our hearts, obviously. And Uzoma “E.Z.” Nwachukwu is the MVP of our affections, obviously. But the secret MVP of the series, the one guy who, without question, whether he was in a scene for 10 seconds or two minutes, was going to say something or do something to make the people around him feel like they made a good decision by choosing to be around him: Vince motherfrigg’n Wilfork. Easy. This episode, it was him in a field goal kicking contest with Carli Lloyd. But don’t forget him telling that joke to the rookies during film study. And don’t forget him making fun of the coarseness of his own feet. And don’t forget him playing basketball. And don’t forget him not trying to spell “spaghetti” with J.J. Watt or eating barbecue with J.J. Watt or talking about breakfast and brunch with J.J. Watt. And don’t forget the overalls — God, don’t forget the overalls.1 Vince Wilfork is beautiful. When Lloyd showed up to practice, after she finished giving her speech Coach O’Brien said that they wanted to do a little competition with her. He called out to Vince to kick against her. He said, “How about Vince? Mr. Wilfork. Are you loose, Vince?” Vince, his helmet tilted back on his head, arms crossed over his refrigerator chest, shot back the slickest, coolest, most nonchalant, “Hell yeah, I’m always loose.” The players laughed, O’Brien laughed, Lloyd laughed. Vince Wilfork then kicked field goals from 25 and 35 yards. Vince Wilfork is the secret MVP of the series.​

The Four Most Excruciating Cuts to Watch, Ranked

4. Lynden Trail, rookie linebacker

HBO

Here’s the thing: I don’t imagine too many people (not directly associated with the rookie linebacker) built up as strong of a bond with Lynden Trail during Hard Knocks as maybe they did with Uzoma Nwachukwu or Charles James II or even Kourtnei Brown. But he makes it into the Top Four Most Excruciating Cuts to Watch because it seemed like each of the times he was featured on the show it was him talking to his woman and his daughter, which means that after he got cut he had to go home and tell his woman and his daughter that he’d just lost his job, and telling your woman and your child (or children) that you were unsuccessful at something is always just so unbelievably hard. I hate that feeling. I hate that feeling so much.

3. Uzoma “E.Z.” Nwachukwu, wide receiver

HBO

It never really felt like E.Z. was going to actually make the team, but watching him exist within the Hard Knocks universe, especially watching him become a beam of warm light when he was shown doing anything besides playing football, made it nearly impossible not to pull for him. Even in this last episode, when he was shown off in the background falling in love with Carli Lloyd while she spoke with the team, he just kept emoting his way into your favor. Into your heart, really. He just always seemed so sweet and sincere and charming and, I mean, how do you not get attached to someone like that? How do you not root for someone like that? How do you make it not hurt when you have to sit there and watch the one guy on the show who seemed to only ever approach football/space shuttles/rope swings/everything with wonderment get told very plainly that he’s just not good enough? (“For me, I’ve gotta get a guy that can, you know, run the gamut of routes, all of them, a little bit better than you.”) There’s only one player I’m going to miss more than E.Z. …

2. Charles James II, cornerback

HBO

Charles James II, too short and too small and not fast enough and not long enough, was definitely the most beloved long shot on Hard Knocks (and also the one who seemed most aware of his status as a long shot, which probably isn’t a coincidence). And when I read online that he was let go from the Texans a few days ago, I felt a very real sadness and even a little bit of resentment. But the thing that I came to realize shortly thereafter was that it wasn’t that I just really wanted Charles James II on the Texans — I mean, I definitely did want him on the Texans; I would’ve loved for him to be on the Texans. But really I just wanted him anywhere in the NFL, and I didn’t know that until he got picked up by the Baltimore Ravens after he was rejected by Houston. When I saw that he was grabbed by the Ravens, it was just such a neat and exciting moment. There was real joy there. There was real fulfillment.

I don’t want to get into this whole thing about what Charles James II represents or what him earning a job in one of the most competitive and ruthless job environments can be extrapolated to mean for the rest of us long shots who sometimes feel like we’re looking at a world that was designed to make us fail. I don’t want to do that. I just want to say that Charles James II being successful makes me happy. Charles James II being happy is a thing that I think we can all use more of.

1. Kourtnei Brown, linebacker

HBO

Oh, God. Kourtnei had been featured a bunch on Hard Knocks, and it seemed like every time they showed him they mentioned how he’d been cut seven different times in the past three years, but I’d not expected his release to generate so much heartbreak inside of me. It was because he was so quiet while it happened, so broken while it happened. He didn’t say a single word. GM Rick Smith called him into his office and Brown didn’t say a thing. Smith asked him, “How you hanging with this,” and Brown just gave a forlorn look and sighed and sat down and shook his head. Smith asked, “Not good?” and Brown just shook his head again and looked off at nothing. Smith explained why he was let go and again, talking for two full minutes, Brown said nothing back. He just held his head down and looked devastated. He pursed his lips, he nodded occasionally, he let the disappointment and hurt run all the way out of his face, but he never said a word. It was brutal. It was so bad. It was the worst.​

The Most Houston Moment of the Show

The Hard Knocks guys took sounds from a practice vignette and instead of just keeping it a regular practice vignette, they turned it into a rhythm section thing. It was wonderful, and maybe the best Cool Extra Thing they did, beating out that one thing from last episode where they showed Brian Cushing going through a full day but played it in fast forward and mushed 10 or so hours down into a one-minute clip. It was also the Most Houston Moment of the Show. Because anybody who has ever been in Houston for more than five minutes has heard somebody make a beat out of something that wasn’t supposed to be a beat originally.

My twin sons are in the third grade right now. The school they go to takes all of the kids into the cafeteria and teaches them to bang out beats on the table for two hours a day. In fourth grade, they teach them how to freestyle rap over the beats. And then in fifth grade, they teach them how to email everyone a link to download their mixtape. Houston is very music-driven. I remember being at the hospital when my third son was born and when he came out the doctor picked him up and was like, “I done came dine / I done brought joy / I done did what / I done delivered a damn boy,” and I was like, “Are you fucking freestyle rapping at me right now?” That’s a true story.

Houston is great.

Houston is beautiful.

Shout-out the 2016 Super Bowl champion Houston Texans.​
 

dalemurphy

Hall of Fame
We're talking about third round picks who are no longer with the Texans.
He was here and productive for 4 years... When he was signed away on a large contract, the Texans received a 4th round compensatory pick as a result. Value wise, he was one of the best picks of the 3rd round that year (for any team).
 

PapaL

Loose Screw
I realize how truly absurd some people here are. Just watched the episode and the criticism toward Rick Smith is unwarranted. He didn't come off as weak or any of the other things people said. Golf club while talking to BoB is a huge reach by the Rick Smith basher club.
 

DocBar

Hall of Fame
Contributor's Club
I realize how truly absurd some people here are. Just watched the episode and the criticism toward Rick Smith is unwarranted. He didn't come off as weak or any of the other things people said. Golf club while talking to BoB is a huge reach by the Rick Smith basher club.
I really enjoyed that segment and it showed me two professionals, working together, trying to get the best team possible. I think it also showed a glimpse of what draft day is like for the Texans. There doesn't have to be one person calling the shots. Bouncing thoughts and ideas off of each other probably makes for a better decision, as long as both parties remain open minded and willing to concede that maybe "their" guy isn't all they thought he was.

I truly enjoyed watching this series. I came away very impressed with the whole organization. I can't wait to see the Texans play live on Sunday!! One of the few chances I get to catch a game. It will be my baby girl's 1st live game!
 

Vance87

All Pro
Cool story bro alert:

Was at Cheesecake Factory with the misses tonight. While looking at the menu noticed a dish named Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp. So now I know where Polk got it from.
Pretty sure Cheesecake stole it from Bonefish. We need to go deeper.
 

disaacks3

Moderator
Staff member
It's the HK effect. If it wasn't for HK, no one would really give a damn about this guy. People quickly forget how well Rolle & Morris played for us last season in REAL games against REAL starters. We are deep at corner, CJIII was an extreme long shot to even get as close as he did at making the 53.
We get to keep 53, he was 54. If we found a trade partner for Rolle, he's 53. This long-shot, nowhere close to making an NFL roster B.S. is just that.

I wasn't in favor of ditching Rolle for him either. Keyshawn Martin is another matter entirely.
 

Scooter

Funky
I'd rather have held onto James for that 5th/6th scat option than Demaris or Keyshawn. As O'Brien said, he brings a ton of versatility and for the guys at 40-53 on the roster, that's a huge deal IMO.
 

Double Barrel

Moderator
Staff member
Contributor's Club
I lost it at that part and had to scramble to find the pause button through the tears lol.
lol! My son is now a patrol leader in his scout troop, and he said this is going to be there new patrol yell. :thumbup

I liked it when O'Brien punished himself with push-ups for making a mistake. He obviously doe snot have to, but shows that accountability starts at the top and he's not above it.
 

ChampionTexan

Hall of Fame
We get to keep 53, he was 54. If we found a trade partner for Rolle, he's 53. This long-shot, nowhere close to making an NFL roster B.S. is just that.

I wasn't in favor of ditching Rolle for him either. Keyshawn Martin is another matter entirely.
I like to think that Keshawn was actually #54, and only became #53 when Savage went on IR. Just gives me hope that at some point soon, we could still see that roster spot given to someone else.
 

Mollywhopper

Facilitator
Staff member
Am I crazy in wanting to think that a guy like James, who has an infectious personality and who's influence as a great teammate, that that can have a strong value alone in being the 53rd man on the roster? Not to say that we should go looking for talentless chearleaders to build a squad with, but also to not want to underestimate the factor his personality can be on the overall chemistry of a lockerroom.

I've always thought every championship club, whatever sport, should have someone who is a pitbull type, to set an authority in the team chemistry. The Rockets had it with Mario Elie, I thought the Astros had it briefly with Carl Everett. The Texans have had theirs in Cushing for years now. A different kind of that would be in having a guy like James who can inspire through grit and drive, who knows he's a longshot but refuses to ever let that alone get him down, who day to day in the lockerroom can be an extension of a coaching staff's mantra.

Maybe I'm being a little too rah-rah about the guy and I should just go watch Rudy again to flush it all out of my system, but I can't help but think his lack of being a great CB could have been mitigated by being the very last CB, by the versatility he brought, and far and away by the type of guy he appeared to be at all times when working with and around this team from a chemistry standpoint.
 

Scooter

Funky
I'm in complete agreement Mollywhopper, Mario Elie is a great example. I've never coached professional football, my job isn't on the line. In my make believe world from the couch though, I want a handful of those guys on the roster. Two that we previously let go are Bryan Braman and James Casey, and I'd now add James to the list. I don't want any of them seeing a lot of time at their natural positions, instead their real value is their work ethic, versatility and I think the best word to use is TENACITY. I'd want to hold onto a handful of guys at the back end of the roster who are fighters - every play, every practice rep - fighting for their lives. Give me a few of those instead of someone who might be better at their natural position but isn't going to see the field or make a real special teams impact - Steve Tasker comes to mind, the tenacious guys have a spot on my roster.
 

Malloy

Hall of Fame
Am I crazy in wanting to think that a guy like James, who has an infectious personality and who's influence as a great teammate, that that can have a strong value alone in being the 53rd man on the roster? Not to say that we should go looking for talentless chearleaders to build a squad with, but also to not want to underestimate the factor his personality can be on the overall chemistry of a lockerroom.
I agree, but I think the problem is that a roster spot is a premium, and if you're not doing your primary job (CB) at 100%, then it does not really matter what else you bring to the table. It would be nice to have room for 'jokers' and 'jack of all trades' players, but when it comes to covering a good WR or TE, socks, return ability or team motivational skills wont help you in breaking up the pass.

We need 'designated' roster spots ;)
 

steelbtexan

Hall of Fame
I really enjoyed that segment and it showed me two professionals, working together, trying to get the best team possible. I think it also showed a glimpse of what draft day is like for the Texans. There doesn't have to be one person calling the shots. Bouncing thoughts and ideas off of each other probably makes for a better decision, as long as both parties remain open minded and willing to concede that maybe "their" guy isn't all they thought he was.

I truly enjoyed watching this series. I came away very impressed with the whole organization. I can't wait to see the Texans play live on Sunday!! One of the few chances I get to catch a game. It will be my baby girl's 1st live game!
I would agree if so many 2nd/3rd rd draft choices weren't being blown every yr. It's obvious that the current process is badly flawed.
 


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