By the middle of the afternoon on Saturday, the speculation had ended. The hay was all the way in the barn. The Houston Texans had chosen their 53-man roster. They even did a solid for those of us who like to take Labor Day off by not making any waiver pickups, and thus, this post is actually still highly relevant and timely.
And if I may say, this episode of Hard Knocks will be about as emotional an hour of television for me as, well, last week's episode of Hard Knocks. (I still miss you, Travis Labhart.) Charles James cut? Kourtnei Brown cut? What are you trying to do to me, O'Brien?!? Why not cut Chris Polk's mom while you're at it!
So with the final guillotine coming down on Saturday, and the 53-man roster in place, let's rate the shock factor of each of the cuts. We will rate the shock factor on a scale of 1 (sun rose in the West this morning) to 10 (sun exploded and swallowed the universe this morning).
Here we go (* denotes on Texans practice squad):
* Dan Pettinato, DE
I'll be honest, if he didn't visit that bat cave with Christian Covington, I wouldn't know who he was.
Joseph Treadwell, T
When my girlfriend Amy got the notification on her phone that Treadwell was cut, she called him "Treadmill". That's what I'll always remember Joseph Treadwell for. The moral of the story — try to get a girlfriend who likes sports enough to have PUSH notifications on her apps, it can bring some unplanned comedy!
Tevita Finau, DE
Finau had the coolest name of any of the fringe, training camp guys. Could definitely slide into WWE as a cousin of the Uso brothers.
* Corey Moore, S
He should've "JUST LISTENED" to Charles James II. (Although he did make the practice squad.)
* Kurtis Drummond, S
Matt Feiler, T
Damaris Johnson, WR
If you're wondering how much deeper this team is at receiver, just note that Johnson walked in off the street and was the slot receiver in Week 1 last season. This season, he couldn't crack a WR corps that wound up with six guys. Also, they think Keshawn Martin is better than him, which can be a blow to the ego.
Brandon Deaderick NT
Fili Moala, DE
* Max Bullough, ILB
Awesome college player, just can't quite get over the hump in the NFL. Had lots of opportunities.
James Ferentz, C
Ferentz didn't clear waivers, getting picked up by the Broncos. Truth be told, Ferentz, who is on the smaller side, might wind up being a great fit there.
* Chandler Worthy, WR
Texans had to feel a little lucky a young guy with 4.3 speed and return ability made it through waivers.
* Kenny Hilliard, RB
As frequently as Hilliard got hit at or around the line of scrimmage, I think this training camp might have taken three years off his career. He may as well be 30 years old now.
EZ Nwachukwu, WR
EZ signed with the Dolphins practice squad. For someone who is scared of grasshoppers and fish, wait until he gets to Florida and encounters flakka users.
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Kourtnei Brown, OLB
Brown was actually picked up early in waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which means he will make a 53-man roster for the first time in his career after giving it a go with six teams. I can only imagine the tears that were shed when he was cut, and tears of joy when he was picked up. Just so many tears. EVERYWHERE!
Charles James, CB
Not much more that needs to be said here. The scene where the team cuts Charles James tonight will be like the Red Wedding on Game of Thrones, Hank getting killed in the desert in Breaking Bad and every Sopranos Season 6 whacking combined. I was legitimately bummed when I found out he didn't make the team on Saturday and again Sunday when we found out he had signed with Baltimore. As Red once said about Andy in The Shawshank Redemption — some birds aren't meant to be caged, their feathers are just too bright.
Louis Nix III, NT
Credit Bill O'Brien for knowing when something just isn't working, draft slot be damned. That type of decisiveness is admirable. That said, Nix felt like a guy who was clearly more of a "jolly college player" than a pro who understood the dire straits his Texans' career was in. That type of player evaluation will get fans to turn on you quickly if it's repeated.
(NOTE: The Texans placed the following players on injured reserve: Lynden Trail, OLB; Tony Washington, OLB; Tom Savage, QB; Chad Slade, G.)
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast.