As we head into the back end of our trip to New Orleans for Texans-Saints Practicepalooza 2010 (also known as the "realizing there actually can be too much of a good thing" phase of the trip), I'd like to take a minute to wish a very happy third birthday to myself....and John Granato and Lance Zierlein and John Harris and Chance McClain and....
You get the idea -- 1560 The Game turns three today! This is approximately 35 months longer than many so called experts forecasted for our station's life expectancy, so I guess we're playing with house money (ironic considering Harrah's emptied my pockets on this trip). Thank you to the 1560 family -- co-workers, advertisers and listeners -- for a great three years and here's to many more.
Now onto your Texans Friday practice report.....
You are looking live at the inside of an empty Louisiana Superdome! I'm Sean Pendergast alongside Raheel Ramzanali and a handful of other media, including tomorrow night's color analyst for the game on Channel 13 (and the voice of 1560 The Game!) Spencer Tillman!
We're here for the final walk through before Saturday night's preseason game against the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints (heat check...still sounds weird). Because this practice largely consists of things like David Anderson elbowing his teammates during light jogging/stretching drills and the offense running plays against a defense that's running at about one quarter speed, there's not much to report in the way of guys "distinguishing themselves."
One piece of news, there was an extra linebacker running around with the third team defense wearing number 70 and no name on his jersey, which means (a) he is a regular player whose jersey was stolen by a stalker or (b) he is brand new and they haven't had time to sew his name on the back of the shirt yet.
As it turns out, the answer was (b) -- the new player is Will Patterson, a rookie linebacker out of Indiana University. If you're trying to gauge his chances of making the team, I can't say we were able to glean much from watching him run around against guys in no pads and no helmet, but here are a couple fun Will Patterson facts:
1.) When you Google him, you find out that Patterson doesn't have a Wikipedia page, never a good sign. What does come up is a link to Will Patterson Photography. I don't think it's the same Will Patterson, but it is admittedly fun to pretend that an NFL rookie also has a photography business on the side.
2.) Patterson attended Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis, IN, so there's a good chance that he might be a spy planted here by the Colts. Also, that's the same high school which Greg Oden attended, which means that Will Patterson is, at best, the third best athlete from his high school behind Greg Oden and Greg Oden's penis.
So with some innocuous plays being run in the background, let's talk with Spencer Tillman about things to look for on Saturday night (quotes from Tillman):
"Special teams wise, I want to see if Trindon Holliday can flash some of that world class speed. I'm a little confused as to what they were trying to accomplish against Arizona. A lot of middle returns which doesn't exploit his skillset at all. The first thing they worked on today was a side return, which is exactly what they should have been doing, trying to exploit his speed."
"I want to see John David Booty and how he responds in an extended play opportunity, which he will have. I think Gary likes him a whole lot. If he can show some of the consistency that you need to have in this league, I think he can contribute. He has a great background, his dad was a coach. Everything about this location should be good for him."
"Arian Foster is proving he can carry the load. If Steve Slaton can get his little fumbling problem corrected -- and I say little problem, I saw exactly what happened against arizona in a way that 5-9 is exposing himself on the front part of the goal line situation. They did some things with him this week to address that. He'll be fine. You hate to lose Ben Tate, that's going to hurt the depth, but slowly over the offseason, what was a weakness has become a quiet strength."
NOTE: Gary Kubiak said that Foster and Slaton would get the first half reps and Chris Henry and Jeremiah Johnson would get the second half reps. It'll be interesting to see if this group can show enough to keep the Texans from signing someone off the street.
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"This is the first time we can say with a straight face that our top three receivers are better than the Colts. That's pretty important. I think that the Texans could accomplish what they did offensively passing-wise with no run game, they should be better this year."
So there you go. That's what you do on a Friday afternoon in New Orleans when you've had a total of twelve hours of sleep all week -- you let someone smarter than you do the heavy lifting. Thanks Spencer Tillman!
Have a good weekend, everybody.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 PM weekdays on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.