Houston Texans Game C -- 4 Winners, 4 Losers
Had I been planning ahead, this might not have been a bad little weekend to get out of town and head to the West Coast. You had my Houston Astros (I know they are mine because the slogan tells me so -- "These are YOUR Astros!" Why thank you, Drayton! Thank you so much!) in San Francisco taking on the Giants in my favorite ballpark in the major leagues, [Whatever phone company it is this year] Ball Park in San Francisco.
Mario Williams: MIA
Then Saturday night, in Game C of the preseason (continuing to respect the "letter the preseason, number the regular season" nomenclature) the Houston Texans (can they be MINE, too?) took on a bunch of guys wearing San Francisco 49er uniforms (wait, that was their real team?) in a stadium that last week doubled as an Ultimate Fighting cage when the Raiders came to town.
Add to that potential trips to Fisherman's Wharf for the clam chowder and maybe a trip to Alcatraz (say it like Sean Connery, kids -- "Welcome to the ROCK!"), and if I were thinking ahead that would have been a sweet 48 hours.
But alas, I am an idiot. And I am here. Blogging. For you. Let's do this. Four winners and four losers from this weekend's Texans-49ers tilt:
1. Brooks Reed and his high motor
There are a lot of little draft dork terms that I like -- fluid hips, wing span, arm slot, great feet. But my favorite is "high motor." Basically what that means is that from the time the ball is snapped to the time the whistle blows to end a play, a player is doing something disruptive, or at the very least attempting to do something disruptive. And at the very, VERY least, moving around feverishly a lot so as to make the uneducated football fans say "WOW he tries hard!" ("High motor" is usually accompanied by "overly exuberant celebrations" and "primal screams.")
Linebacker Brooks Reed has a high motor. All you had to do was watch him in college at Arizona to ascertain this. On the stat sheet last night, Reed had one tackle for loss. That was it. Yet, it felt like he disrupted about five or six different plays and was in the opposing pocket all night long. That's the thing about the high motor; it defies the stat sheet sometimes. Brooks Reed definitely needs to get more playing time, but more on Mario Williams in a minute...
2. Troy Nolan and his Bay Area swag
The safety position certainly feels like it's more under control than it was this time last year. (Actually, what position on defense doesn't feel that way?) Glover Quin appears to be making a smooth transition and Danieal Manning is the first true "plus player" veteran they've had back there in the Kubiak Era. (Sorry, Bernard Pollard fans, When you're let go outright by two teams in three seasons...well, I don't need to explain.) The battle for the two spots behind Quin and Manning was going to be interesting. Dominique Barber can't seem to stay healthy, Shiloh Keo is a rookie, so Nolan seemed to have the inside track on a reserve spot anyway. But just to make sure, he had two picks last night including one for a weaving, zig-zagging touchdown. If you remember, last season the Bay Area was kind to Nolan as well when he registered his first two picks of his career against the Raiders. Unrestricted free agency can't get here soon enough for Nolan, who likely has a five-year, $65 million offer from Al Davis waiting for him in two years as a result.
3. San Francisco police
I don't personally know any San Francisco police officers, but I would assume most of them are fans of the 49ers. I would also assume the ones who work the beat at Candlestick probably could have used a night off after last weekend's bloodbath in the stands during the preseason game with the Raiders.
I wouldn't blame any of the Bay Area 5-0 if they were privately rooting for a Texans ass kicking so the crowd would leave by halftime and get a night off. Well, wish granted. By the third quarter, Candlestick looked like a Florida Marlins game.