Well, Houston fans…the Texans season has come to its bitter end. It’s been an incredibly tough couple of months for our city and the team’s loyal fan base. After many heated debates over social media, I often found myself turning my phone on silent every Sunday to avoid all the negative tweets and texts about my beloved Texans.


Houston Texans Introduce Bill O'BrienBut despite all the injuries, the bad decisions and the unavoidable loss of Gary Kubiak after seven seasons, Texans owner Bob McNair has an ace up his sleeve. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that is the acquisition of new head coach, Bill O’Brien. Needless to say, O’Brien has swiftly axed several coaches from the old guard, including offensive coordinator, Rick Dennison, and defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips. It has yet to be determined who O’Brien will bring on in the DC position, but all bets are on his former New England Patriots colleague, Romeo Crennel.


Now, the real quandary that remains, of course, is the matter of the franchise quarterback. With the eminent departure of “Bearded Schaub,” do we exchange our first round pick in favor of a potential trade? Or should we take our chances with Aggie superstar, Johnny Manziel, and attempt to build around him? Could he stay healthy as an NFL QB? What about Blake Bortles, who just entered the draft a few days ago? O’Brien is still tight-lipped on the matter.


What we do know are the three qualities that O’Brien will require above all else in his new quarterback:


One. Throw the ball accurately.


Two. Make good decisions, both on and off the field.


Three. Be intelligent and have a great football IQ. O’Brien says, “If he can’t learn it, he needs to play another position.”


In addition, we know that Coach O’Brien is all about those two buzzwords: “adaptability and accountability.” He will adjust his game plan and plays to fit the mold of the team’s opponents precisely, and not forge on with an original game plan that may no longer be relevant.


Overall, the addition of Coach O’Brien is an A+ decision by Mr. McNair and Rick Smith. O’Brien is no stranger to adversity, and already possesses the attribute Houstonians are best known for… resiliency, even during the worst of times.



Photo Credits: CBS Houston

It’s a bittersweet time of the year.

The biggest football game of the season is on Sunday, but it is also the last one – the Super Bowl. For either the Ravens or the 49ers, a dream will be realized sometime late Sunday evening in the Louisiana bayou. For the loser, they will feel somewhat like the rest of us casual/hardcore football fans…

Sad. Lonely. Lost. 

Saying to themselves, “Sh*t.. now I have to watch the NBA?!”

But do not fear, there is a way to survive this awful time of the year – better known as the NFL offseason. Here are some suggestions.

1. Watch some old games – bonus if they include Brett Favre.

I’d suggest this even during the season, I mean watching old Brett Favre games on TV .. lets just say without DVR these games may hit four hours and I’d have to see a doctor .. I mean I mean it’s BRETT FAVRE. But anyway, if you’re a fan of a team that had a good season – what better way to kill some of the long offseason by re-watching an old game on a Sunday? Unless you’re a Chiefs or Jaguars fan.. then you might need to watch a game from the late 90’s or just focus on maintaining your lawn.

2. Spend time with your wife/husband/significant other

2. Play Madden 2013 on the Playstation 3 or Xbox360 In stores now! (CHA-CHING!)

3. Take a vacation…. Via a giant bus!

Planes freakin’ suck. And you get to your destination way too quickly! Take a bus, you won’t regret it.

4. Experiment in a kitchen with some crazy genetic splicing.

How do you think I created a turkey with a chicken and duck stuffed inside of it all while having the aforementioned turkey have like 15 legs? I was bored in the offseason. Hello!

5. Drink a LOT of beer.

Though you should probably do this during football season too. You know what goes great with beer? Ace Hardware. No no.. Outback Steakhouse.. yeah that’s the one. Either way the more you drink, the more likely your days will morph into another and then next thing you know – hey hey, football!

So you see folks, if you follow these five steps – the offseason will fly by and before you know it… SEVEN LONG MONTHS will have passed and we will have football back.  After dealing with the agony of having nearly THIRTY weeks without football, it will just zip on by, zip on by….. and after watching a lot of basketball and baseball and ten minutes of hockey – football will return!

Damn it.  The offseason sucks. 

@FauxJohnMadden is a satire Twitter account created in 2009 by a 25-year old Seattle Seahawks fan, stranded in Albuquerque.  He now is 28-years old and still a Seahawks fan, which is a sad story that can be told some other day. 

On December 12, 2011, the Houston Texans took their franchise seventeenth loss to the Indianapolis Colts. On this, their twentieth matchup versus the 1970 and 2006 Super Bowl Champs, the “Bulls on Parade” simply had their float deflated by the Colts late in the fourth quarter.

Both the Colts and the Texans fought that day at a disadvantage. Although favored to win this game, the Texans’ star WR Andre Johnson was inactive, and, lest we forget the great QB debacle: Matt Schaub out for season, followed closely by Matt Leinart. Noticeably absent from the Colts offense was star QB Peyton Manning, and with the Texans’ 10-5 record versus the Colts’ 2-13, it looks like Indy’s fate was sealed.

Defensive captain, ILB Brian Cushing, sacked Colts QB Dan Orlovsky on the first play of the game, but that is where the momentum stalled: after a pretty boring game of field goals, the Colts pulled it out in the second half to defeat the Texans 19-16. So what happened?

Well, all the experts concluded that the Texans just played too conservatively, and foolishly at that. Houston picked up eleven total penalties, three in the last quarter alone. QB T.J. Yates finished 13 of 16 for 132 yards; solid, yet his offense scored only one touchdown in the first (by RB Arian Foster, who ran 23 times for a total of 154 yards), and two field goals in the Red Zone. Additionally, there were no third down conversions till late in the fourth (1/10). Colts WR Reggie Wayne caught a 34-yard pass with 51 seconds left, where Texans DE J.J. Watt picked up two of the three penalties in the fourth quarter that ultimately cost Houston the dub. Orlovsky then completed to Wayne at the buzzer for the TD.

Fast forward to December 2012: week 15 will bring these two teams together once again, this time at Reliant Stadium. And although a win is comprised of a full and solid team effort, I truly believe that this particular match up will be rooted in a battle of the quarterback. The Texans have Schaub back once again, and the Colts….well, the Colts have “Golden Child” number one draft pick, Andrew Luck.

Luck has won more games (eight) than any rookie QB drafted number one overall in the Super Bowl era. * In Week 13 against the Lions, Luck was probable to play; however, Fantasy experts still chose him 87%-13% over Schaub. Luck completed 24/54 for 391 yards, including four touchdown passes. Season to date stats put Luck at 3,596 yards with 17 touchdowns.

Matt Schaub, in Week 13 versus the Titans, was 21/35 for 207 yards, with two touchdown passes. Year to date, he has a total of 3,062 yards and a total of 21 touchdowns. It is plain to see there is a bit of a tug-of-war going on between these two and their stats going into their matchup in Week 15.

Clearly, judging by overall performance, Luck is poised to launch himself into QB stardom, among the likes of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Not only that, he is in the running (and my pick) for the NFL’s Rookie of the Year. Even the most die-hard Texans fans will tell you, Schaub just does not fit that particular mold. With that said, I will tell you what mold Schaub does fit, and to a tee: Houston’s.

Knee-jerk reaction would be to call Luck the “better” quarterback, but perhaps that is a relative term. After all, what makes a good QB is one who brings his team together, where all the stars align and you just have that dynamic that no one can touch. That is precisely the case for this 11-1 Houston team.

The Colts will need to be acutely aware of the Texans’ defense. In Week 13, Luck was picked off three times. He has had a total of sixteen interceptions this season to Schaub’s nine (zero in Week 13). [To put this in perspective, Rodgers has eight picks on the season, while Brady has only four]. Arguably, this is Luck’s rookie year, and fewer picks will come with experience, but this will be an imminent danger to Indy’s offense.

Texans challenges include two things: the first being the absurd amount of injuries they have seen in the past few months (hell, the past few years). Offensive coordinator, Rick Dennison, and defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips, have done well shuffling their players around to fill the holes. However, in recent weeks, Cornerback Johnathan Joseph’s absence has been a large obstacle, probably the most notable one. Alan Ball and Brice McCain both suffered subsequent injuries trying to fill the CB’s shoes. Rumor has it Joseph will be back for Week 14 versus the New England Patriots, but with this weakness prevalent in all football-related media, this could prove to be the Texans’ Achilles heel (sorry, Cush).

The second challenge for the Texans will be to get the proverbial ball rolling in the first half, preferably the first quarter. It is imperative to score early against the predominantly offensively-driven Colts, especially with Luck at the helm. The Texans have the propensity to rely a bit too much on their “Bulls on Parade” to get them out of a jam; this was evident in their consecutive OT games against the Jaguars and the Bears.

Regardless of the outcome, this game is sure to be substantially more interesting than last year’s special teams dog and pony show.


**BONUS: WEEK 14 AFC South, explained

Texans v. Patriots (TBD)
Colts v. Titans (TBD)
Ravens v. Redskins (TBD)
Broncos v. Raiders (Broncos)

1) Houston WIN and Indianapolis LOSS or TIE
2) Houston TIE and Indianapolis LOSS

1) Houston WIN and Indianapolis LOSS or TIE PLUS Baltimore LOSS or TIE
2) Houston WIN and Indianapolis LOSS or TIE PLUS Denver LOSS or TIE

1) Houston WIN and Indianapolis LOSS or TIE PLUS Baltimore LOSS PLUS Denver LOSS

*Stats via, Photos via:  Bob Levey/Getty Images

By P.D. Starr, State of the Texans.

Everyone knows about the rigors of the Houston Texans’ training camp, the so-called “grind” of day-to-day practices for the players. The team is focused and hard working, to say the least, but it’s the comedic personalities that kept the team going in that unforgiving Texas heat.

Fortunately for me, I get to see this affable side of the team that is not often shown to the public, and tell you about it, too. The majority of fans know who the “funny guys” are, and if you follow these guys on social media, or listen to them at press conferences, you understand what I am talking about already.

Let’s count down the top 5 Texans Training Camp comedians and personalities:

5. Johnathan Joseph: Talk about one of the most active and talkative players for the Texans. During practice he is the ringleader of the secondary and is always giving his positive take to the cornerbacks on the team. He give his playful “trash talk” to the offensive players and lets them know they are not going to move the ball on him. The mentality of the defense starts with Joseph and he is always getting into the ears of J.J. Watt and Brian Cushing during practice pushing their buttons to make them better.

Highlight of Camp: When his teammate from Cincinnati, Shayne Graham, was kicking field goals during a team situation during training camp, Joseph was yelling on the sideline “That’ my boy “Money Graham”! Watch him do work.” Graham ended up going five for five on field goal attempts, and while running off the field the first one to congratulate him before getting to the sideline was, you guessed it, Joseph.

4. Arian Foster: He is very soft spoken on the practice field and is business when it is practice time. A hard worker learning his craft running and catching the football and other skills associated with the position. When the Texans get water breaks, his helmet comes off, a smile comes out and he is making other players laugh. He is the life of the party, when time permits, and that is what makes him special. He works when it is time and provides that “humor” that is needed to get the team through those tough times of camp.

Highlight of Camp: It was the end of the second day of camp and Foster was talking to Ben Tate and Justin Forsett about his basketball game. Foster explained how he could cross them over and dominate them in the paint. To make it better Foster also told Lestar Jean that his fade away game is something you need to worry about.  He also was showing his moves using his helmet as the basketball.

3. J.J. Watt: It is hard to imagine a second year player garner as much respect as Watt does when he hit the practice field. After dislocating his elbow, in the first week of training camp, his injury deflated the moral of the team. Watt ,not to be out done, was out at practice the next day in a sling, but still talking to fans and being with his position group during practice. The following week, Watt played water boy for the defense and pulled the ice chest around to his teammates and handed out towels and Gatorades. When he was fitted for his brace, he was catching of the football jugs machine with one hand. His presence was noticed by his teammates, and he let them know he was there despite his injury.

Highlight of Camp: At open practices he would get out to the field as early as he could, and talk to the kids that came to see him. He would get down on one knee and ask them for their name and a high five. One girl was holding up a handmade #99 poster board with “Watt” scribbled on it, Watt saw it went over to her gave her quick autograph and said “Thank You.” This all happened before practice started.

2. Shaun Cody: Cody instantly broke barriers when he came out the 1st day of practice with his silver hoop earring in his left ear. He was glad to show it off to fans and his teammates, but mostly to his position coach Bill Kollar. When fans would yell for one of the big named players, Cody would instantly yell back to the fans and say I am over here, waving at them. Cody works as hard as anyone out there, but he is definitely the guy teammates look to for an instant laugh.

Highlight of Camp: The Texans practice on their three practice fields away from Reliant and mainly on field three furthest away from the entrance to the field. Carts take the players from the locker-room to the practice field. On a tough day of practice, Cody faked having a cramp to get on the training cart so he wouldn’t have to walk. He covered his face with a towel so he could hide his smile, while lying on the cart.

1. Antonio Smith: Of all the players on the team and when being interviewed, there is probably nobody better when it comes to being in the spotlight. When asked questions in an interview, you never know what you might get as an answer, just last week he came out with “Tomfoolery” describing Richie Incognito’s play on Sunday. Smith does go out of his way to help the younger players and give them advice when it comes to technique used at the position. Smith is one of kind and he is able to balance football and being the center of attention very well.

Highlight of Camp: This goes with the Cody story above. While Cody was “limping” to the medical cart, Smith saw his opportunity to help and helped Cody to the cart. Then Smith started yelling that it was an emergency and told Coach Kubiak he had it under control. Both he and Cody were laughing, and needless to say, they both made the walk back to Reliant.

Texans fans love that their team is so readily accessible and easy to relate to. But, most importantly, they are our team, Houston’s team. This organization is finally turning the corner, and giving us a product that we can be proud of…and it looks as though this is just the beginning.


About P.D. Starr: After contributing for Texans sites across the web, Starr decided to open the State of the Texans, a site dedicated to the REAL fans of the Houston Texans. Dedicated to bringing fresh thoughts and information on the Texans to their fan base, it is Texans 100% all day every day here on State of the Texans. You can also find Starr tri-hosting with Mike Kerns and Aaron Close on Luv Ya Steel Blue, a weekly podcast during the season all about the Texans.

Photos via 

Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter and….Lestar Jean? If you haven’t heard this name before, it’s about to fall out of the sky and hit you in the head. ‘Big Play’ Jean has more than proved himself in his impressive start this 2012 pre-season. Despite a severe shoulder injury last season, Jean has come back stronger than ever. Pre-season highlights include Jean as the top receiver versus the Panthers August 11th with 50 yards, and a 9-yard touchdown grab from Schaub during the Niners game on August 18th.

Seventh of eleven brothers and sisters, Jean started playing football at the age of nine. He graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice from Florida Atlantic University in 2010, winning several awards throughout his college career: Most Improved, Offensive MVP , Second Team All Sunbelt, Conference Game MVP, and the “Big Hit” award. The first in his family to graduate from college, Jean now has an entire career ahead of him to continue to make his loved ones proud.

Lestar is a different sort: he is serious about his craft, and loves to talk football exclusively.  I respect that fact and, in turn, will give you the hard facts about our WR, with no added fluff. With that said, let’s check out our Q&A:

DreamShakeBarbie: Tell me a little about growing up; when did you realize you wanted to play pro football?

Lestar Jean: When I was playing little league.

DSB: Did you play other sports as a kid or in high school?

LJ: Yeah, I played basketball and ran a little track.

DSB: What was your first big play that you could never forget?

LJ: When I scored my first high school touchdown my junior year.

DSB: What’s your favorite spot in your hometown of Miami, and why?

LJ: My favorite spot is my mother’s house because that’s where everyone hangs out.

DSB: How much did your shoulder injury affect your mentality last year?

LJ: It was depressing, but I was just happy they gave me another opportunity to comeback.

DSB: What was your recovery like?

LJ: It was long but it was a good time for me to get better.

DSB: Do you have a specific diet you follow during the season?

LJ: No, not really. I just use the off-season to work.

DSB: What’s a food or beverage that you can’t live without?

LJ: I can’t live without burgers and fries!

DSB: There was a lot of controversy earlier this year around the fact that Texans were lacking in the WR position. How do you feel about the situation now?

LJ: It’s a good situation; a lot of players that can help this team win. 

DSB: Who would be in the lineup of your all-star ultimate Fantasy Football draft?

LJ: Everybody on my team because we have a lot of great players.

DSB: Players always say their goals are to help their team win. But in this, your first healthy season, what kind of numbers are you, yourself, shooting for?

LJ: I’m really just trying to help the team win.

DSB: With all the talk about concussions keeping parents from letting their kids play football, do you think that is just hype, or is there some truth to that hurting the game?

LJ: Yeah, this a big deal and I’m happy that they are doing something to change it around because it will benefit the players in the future.

DSB: Do you have anything special planned for after you catch your first touchdown pass?

LJ: No I just plan on scoring more. I just want to help the team.

DSB: Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?

LJ: I just have to catch a lot of passes before the game.

Follow Lestar on Twitter @LJean3.



photo credits:

Let’s get one thing straight: this girl (with two thumbs and a sweet Southern smile) knows Texans football. And chances are if you are reading this, you know a thing or two as well. So let’s cut the bullshit instead of rehashing a play-by-play of two “just meh” preseason games, and enjoy a rousing game of “Would You Rather?” Now, hold up menses, don’t go AWOL on me just yet; sure, one could probably assume that I am going to just pick the hotter teammate in a match up. But remember! A sweet ass doesn’t get you ups in Reliant Stadium. Let’s find out who makes the cut when we line up some of our new guys versus the vets.

Offensive Line:


Andre Johnson / Keshawn Martin / Lestar Jean

One thing stands out here, and that is that we have a lot of complexity to this once-worrisome, and rather depth-empty position. Johnson, a 2003 vet, and one of our very own hometown heroes, has been plagued the past few seasons with multiple injuries, even sustaining a groin injury right before the beginning of the 2012 pre-season. Despite that fact, AJ brings 9,656 career total receiving yards and 52 career touchdowns.

Bringing in rookies like Martin and Jean always presents some instability, of course, both for the fans and for the rest of the Texans O-Line. During last Saturday’s pre-season home opener against the 49ers, vet Johnson caught two passes for 49 yards before passing the baton to his younger counterparts.

Keshawn had three catches for a total of 36 yards, while Lestar “Mean” Jean caught my eye with four catches, 42 yards, and one touchdown. LJ got the crowd roaring and my Twitter buddies buzzing, all in keeping with his new-found nickname. I pick LJ.


Rashad Butler / Derek Newton

With the departure of Eric Winston in the offseason [sob!], these two cats will make a play for the starting RT position. Butler may have the inside info from Winston, but Newton will show that he is a force to be reckoned with, using his strength and endurance in hopes of outshining the seven-year vet. Although each got equal playing time in the first two pre-season games, it is hard to tell if Newton will be able to catch up to the accomplished Butler, in order to clinch that opening spot in time for regular season. I pick RB…for now.


Owen Daniels / Garrett Graham

Be still my heart: two of the hottest dudes on the team (who, most unfortunately, both have serious girlfriends.) Foiled again! Alas, we will just have to resort to comparing them based on their football skills, I suppose. “Tight end” jokes aside, these two bring some serious talent: the two Wisconsin-bred O-Liners make quite the team. Daniels 2011 season was on the better side of reliable: 54 receptions, 677 total receiving yards, 12/5 average receive yards per game, three touchdowns, and zero fumbles.

This season, Owen is projected to do even better, especially with his counterpart biting at his heels. Graham put up 44 passing and 3 receiving yards in the Texans/Panthers pre-season game on August 11th. Based on what we have seen thus far, OD will need to keep his head down and crank it up if he doesn’t want to be sharing his game minutes with Graham in the near future. For now, I pick Daniels.


Matt Schaub / T.J. Yates / John Beck / Case Keenum

Clearly, I can’t make an argument against Schaub starting, so I will delve into my argument here for rookie Case Keenum. I have been a Case fan for several years now, and I was greatly disappointed that I only got to see him play [less than] seven minutes of pre-season game time last weekend. Within seconds of being put in the game, I saw Case complete a beautiful 20-yard pass to TE Logan Brock. Although he later over-threw a pass to WR2 DeVier Posey, I sincerely believe that Case should, without a doubt, be in the number three spot behind Yates. Keenum is the Football Bowl Subdivision’s career leader with 19,217 passing yards and 155 touchdown passes in his college career. PS: Who is John Beck? [This is not Jeopardy]. For this vote? I’m taking a pass [pun intended].

Defensive Line:


Shaun Cody / Earl Mitchell

There is a noticeable absence up the middle where Shaun Cody normally resides. In light of Cody’s recent injury, Mitchell stepped in for the most recent pre-season jaunt versus the Niners last weekend but, to no avail: Texans defense left room for 94 yards rushing just in the first half. Unable to diagnose the 49ers plays, Mitchell is certainly no match for the OG run-stuffer Cody.


Connor Barwin / Whitney Mercilus

There are a few of you who know my feelings on Kramer…uh, Connor. He is a comedian, but a hard worker, too, coming back from being a Cinci-based no-name with a leg injury two seasons ago, to now as the face of the “Bulls on Parade” sensation. He’s put in the work and the fans know it. I, for one, would not want to be in the way of a Connor in black face paint and pads.

That being said, here comes Whitney on the fast track to fame, and, let me tell you, Wade Phillips knows it. Hell, the entire city knows it. The fans seem to have accepted him almost immediately; and boy, does he have the collegiate career highs to back it up: 9 tackles, 5 solos, 4 TFLs, 3 QB sacks, 3 QB hurries, 2 forced fumbles. Shall we list a few of his accomplishments as an NCAA badass? 2011 Ted Hendricks Award (top DE in the nation), 2011 CFPA National Defensive Performer of the Year, 2011 Consensus First-Team All American.

It could partly be Mercilus’ great big smile and sweet brown eyes, but it’s he who gets my vote in this WLB category. I know Coach Wade will be making a lot of headway with this matchup before the Texans head to Saints territory this weekend. Yet to be seen if the Texans will resign the 6’4” jokester Barwin; if they do not, Whitney’s got some very large shoes to fill.

Special Teams:


Shayne Graham / Randy Bullock

In last weekend’s pre-season game against the Niners, Graham successfully made two field goals 48 and 49 yards respectively, while Bullock missed from 51 (which really isn’t a ‘go sit in the corner’ type failure). While most are in favor of giving the rookie kicker the job, there are conservatives that believe that we should not be entrusting this position to someone with little to no NFL experience. One could also argue that Graham is ahead, in terms of pre-season games. There is also talk of Bullock suddenly getting “injured” in the coming weeks, so he can go on IR. Rookie gets my vote: for Graham to secure this position, Bullock would have to miss a few FGs in the 30-yard range (highly unlikely).

Lastly, let’s chat about Trindon Holliday. #DSB wants to know what you think: has he earned his spot as the team’s 6th receiver? After Trindon’s stellar performance on Saturday, (106 yards on four punt returns) he is just in time for the #HollidaySeason, if you ask me.

How did my picks measure up to yours? And girls, feel free to chime in and let your favorite man in Deep Steel Blue and Battle Red know you got their back.





photo credits:


  • International Stoneworks, Inc.

  • Side-Logo
  • Proformance Custom Made Guards

    Performance Guard logo