Texans Tracker: Peter King Gives Us the Most Absurd Update Yet

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Click to see updated Texans Tracker
If this were every other year, we'd be around 48 hours away from the NFL Draft, with all of the conjecture, smokescreens and posturing set to expire this weekend.

But it's not every other year. It's 2014, and in 2014, where the draft has been moved back two weeks so the NFL can usurp more of the calendar because of a Radio City Music Hall scheduling conflict, we are going to get even more baseless speculation and anonymous sources whether we like it or not.

Up until now, my personal favorite euphemism for anonymous sources had been "people around the league," as in "people around the league believe the Texans will draft a human being."

But Peter King destroyed "people around the league" on Monday in his weekly MMQB.com column.

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Texans Exercise J.J. Watt's Fifth-Year Option on His Rookie Contract

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The rookie cake scale is much sweeter.
When the NFL players and owners agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement prior to the 2011 season, one of the most crucial elements was the implementation of a rookie wage scale.

The key benefit at the time seemed pretty simple -- the scale would stop the marquee, high draft choice rookies from getting "second contract" money on their first contracts, before they've even played a snap in the league. (Sam Bradford's guarantee of $50 million in 2010 ultimately spoiled the fun for everyone. That seemed to be the rookie contract straw that broke the owners' backs.)

There's still a pecking order with respect to salaries, with the first overall pick making the most and so on down the line, but the starting numbers are far more sensible. That is probably the primary benefit, but it's followed closely by an element that is becoming relevant for the first time this off-season -- the fifth-year option on first-round picks.

Nowhere around the league is this clause more relevant than here in Houston, and Thursday the Texans put it to use, exercising J.J. Watt's fifth-year option for 2015.

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Five Reasons Why Sports Talk Radio Is Ignoring the Rockets

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Photo by Marco Torres
Out of sight, out of mind on the radio waves.
I am and have always been an avid listener to sports talk radio. I enjoy the banter with callers, the analysis and I even manage to make it through the randomly juvenile antics that occasionally make their way across from morning shock jock-ery on other stations. Listening during the past few months, however, has been frustrating for fans of sports other than football.

In the case of the Astros, that might be warranted despite recently opening the season with a pair of impressive wins against the Yankees and finally calling up George Springer from the minors. But the Rockets are good...really good. They have secured home court in the first round of the playoffs and the team is populated with young, athletic guys who are fun to watch. They might be one of the most entertaining teams in the NBA.

Yet, outside of a scattering of segments with players and coaches, finding Rockets talk on the sports dial is damn difficult. Unfortunately, it isn't likely to get much better with the playoffs and there is a reasonable explanation, however unpalatable that might be for fans.

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Texans Tracker: Texans Have Allegedly Already Decided on Jadeveon Clowney

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Clowney talk updates the tracker.
In previous years, we'd be in the home stretch for NFL Draft season now. Forever, the draft has been in or around the third weekend of April, but for reasons that don't really matter at this point, the league has moved it to May 8 through May 10.

And in the age of social media and a land rush to be the guy who guesses what the Texans do with the No. 1 overall pick, this means three more weeks of worthless conjecture, anonymous sources and "people tell me" journalism.

Currently, if there were a title for the king of this sort of reporting, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report would be running away with it.

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Awkward Nick Saban Photo Is Pretty Awesome

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Photo by Gymtide.com
This 2011 shot may be a cardboard cut-out of Nick Saban.
At its best, a major college athletic department is about synergy.

When you compete against the Goliaths of your sport in all sports, teams at a school need to be helping the other teams. All for one, one for all. (Add here whatever other cheesy motivational slogan about togetherness you can think of.)

Being the head coach of a perennial championship program even brings an added burden of giving back. Call it a rub, call it osmosis, call it the "magic touch," but if you're a championship coach, the other coaches at your school will and should want to tap into whatever strand of DNA it is that allows you to compete at such a high level.

Nick Saban knows this. I think. I'm pretty sure he knows this.

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Texans Defensive Line Coach Bill Kollar Once Wrestled a Bear

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R. H. Trueman. Library and Archives Canada, C-014070
Bear wrestling was how you proved your manhood, or earned a few bucks. Back in the day.
When Bill O'Brien was assembling his staff that would lead the Houston Texans into the new post-Kubiak frontier, it was widely assumed he would bring in entirely his own staff, and truth be told, he would've been completely justified in doing so.

I mean, 2-14 is 2-14. Clean house. Nobody would've had a problem with that.

However, when the new coaching staff was announced, we found out that there was one assistant coach who would be remaining on board -- defensive line coach Bill Kollar. (Eventually, it wound up being two, as special teams assistant Bob Ligashesky kept his gig as well, but this is a Kollar-centric post.)

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Fantasy Crime League Update: Aldon Smith Begins What Could Be 49er Surge

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Aldon Smith and his poor choice of bomb joke venues.
If Vegas had put out a big board on Sunday afternoon with a futures bet on "Next San Francisco 49er most likely to be charged with a crime," the prohibitive favorite would have been quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

After all, Kaepernick is under investigation for a "suspicious incident" in Miami where a woman was doing shots and smoking weed with Kaepernick and two other players, got naked with Kaepernick, and then woke up the next day in a hospital.

Kaepernick's been charged with nothing so far, but certainly he would seem to be teetering the closest to an arrest.

But when you're Aldon Smith, I guess you're always teetering close to an arrest just by being Aldon Smith, and on Sunday, you Kaepernick bettors would've had to crumple up your tickets.

Aldon Smith, Criminal, is back!

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Kliff Kingsbury Launches the Debate: Which College Football Head Coach Is the Best Dancer? (VIDEO)

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Photo by Don O'Brien
A lady killer like Kingsbury?
Every year, there's a weeding out process in college football, where the certain percentage of head coaches are cut loose, retire, or move onto other endeavors. The coaching carousel begins spinning and schools that fired their coach generally begin looking for something the opposite of the guy they just let go.

Schools that fired an offensive guy look for a defensive guy. Schools that fired an energetic spaz look for someone more stoic. Schools that had Charlie Weis or Mark Mangino look for someone thin.

And around and around we go.

However, Texas Tech may have completely changed the game with last year's hire of Kliff Kinsgbury.

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Houston Texans' Tough Choice: Number One Draft Pick Is a Blessing and a Curse

Categories: Football, Sports

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Even a solid career from Johnny Football would probably appease Texans fans.
You wouldn't think a team would consider having the number one pick in the draft an unenviable position, but the Texans may indeed find themselves in that very spot come May. Much like the last time the Texans picked at the top of the NFL draft, there is no consensus sure thing. In 2006, it came down to a hometown boy, a dynamic offensive threat and a pass rushing stud. That year, the Texans passed on both Vince Young and Reggie Bush for Mario Williams. Turns out, it was the right call, but it was never a popular move.

Even though Young went on to fail as an NFL quarterback and Bush had some moderate success as a back, Williams was saddled with whipping boy status almost immediately and never fulfilled expectations.

Ironically, there are some similarities to this year's choices. There isn't a Bush-like third option, but there is a Texas hero in Johnny Maziel, a big time pass rusher in Jadeveon Clowney and a pair of other QB prospects for the Texans to consider. It leaves them with some difficult choices to make.

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2014 Texans Cheerleader Tryouts (Video/Photos)

Categories: Football, Sports

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Photos by Groovehouse
Cheerleading is the hardest part-time job you can get.
Over 1,000 women, including at least one guy in jeans, took part in the 2014 Houston Texans Cheerleading tryouts this Saturday.

Like they do every year, the Houston Texans set up a panel of judges that included coaches and super-fans.

Slideshow: Texans Cheerleader Tryouts 2014

You think of cheerleaders as the ultimate guy fantasy, but many of the participants who came out were there just because. No one was turned away and of the hundreds that signed up they all got their shot to learn the moves and show off their dance moves.

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After seeing so many people strut in awkward unison for over two hours everyone started to look the same. But, if you really paid attention all the women were distinct and they all fell into four different categories of cheerleader hopefuls.


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