Here are the previous Roster Rundowns. Check them out quick, because Pauly Shore is in Houston and soon the streets will run with the blood of the innocent.
Brian Cushing – Are you like me? Were you feeling good about the Texans’ chances in 2010 despite their rough schedule? I sure was, until Cushing got himself suspended. Cushing’s absence is going to be a real pain to deal with these first four games, especially considering the team starts with a huge game against the Colts at home. It’s a bitter disappointment that he’s going to miss not only that game, but the game against the Cowboys. The problem with losing a guy like Cushing is that you don’t just lose a good player at one position – you lose his intensity, his budding leadership, and the infectious nature of his playmaking. It’s a HUGE blow to a team already notorious for slow starts.
DeMeco Ryans – As most of us expected, DeMeco finally got his new deal in the offseason. He’s been the picture of consistency in Houston, and he’s helped Cushing develop. They’re quite a tandem on the field, as we all saw in this mic’d up segment (that just never gets old). With Ryans, the only question is health. He doesn’t miss games, but there have been stretches where his effectiveness has been limited due to playing through injury. There’s no fix for that, but hurt or not he’s one of the top MLBs in the league.
Zac Diles – Diles has improved steadily since his rookie season, but there seem to be a lot of varying opinions on his play. Gary Kubiak has said that Diles is playing at a near-Pro Bowl level. That one, I’m not buying – but I’m not down on the guy. That said I wouldn’t be surprised if he has some stiff competition from rookie Darryl Sharpton. Diles isn’t the playmaker type, but how much of an upgrade to that position can we really expect when Cushing and Ryans are holding down the other two LB spots?
Danny Clark – It’s good to see Clark in the fold again. From everything I read he was a pretty popular guy in the locker room in his time with the Texans. He rejoins the team after a stint with the Giants, and figures to fill the considerable four-game void that Cushing’s suspension has brought. Once the suspension is over, I assume he will fit nicely into the Texans’ plans as solid linebacker depth, but who knows? Clark is very fan-friendly and if you haven’t checked him on Twitter, you should. He responds to fans all the time.
Kevin Bentley – Since signing with the Texans in 2008, Bentley has quietly had a pretty nice career in Houston. He’s a special teams captain, and as far as backups go – he’s got to be in the top third of the NFL. He can play all three LB positions in a 4-3, and he’s proven himself quite durable. Bentley’s one of those guys that does what he’s asked to do, and does it well, but isn’t seen as a key piece of the team. That may be true, but guys like Bentley aren’t as easy to replace as you might think.
Xavier Adibi – Adibi was the Antoine Caldwell of his draft class, meaning he was the one pick that everyone seemed to almost universally love. He had health issues in his first year, but showed some flashes on the rare occasion he would actually see the field. Since then, he’s been a disappointment. Many, myself included, figured he would eventually overtake Diles for the starting WLB job, but it hasn’t happened. Adibi needs to make something happen this season or he could soon be a victim of the numbers game.
“To me, Zac’s on the verge of becoming a Pro Bowl WILL linebacker in this league…”
But following the draft, Kubiak talked about rookie LB Sharpton this way:
“We think he can play the Will linebacker, he’ll work as a back up Mike linebacker as well… We think he’ll be able to handle all the spots for us as a swing player and compete possibly to be a starter on the team.”
Right, so Diles is so good that Sharpton is going to take his starting job, despite how close Diles is to being a Pro Bowl selection. I mean, it’s not like Kubiak was talking about Sharpton taking Cushing or Ryans’ job away.
Darnell Bing – I don’t know much about Bing other than I like following him on Twitter. He’s a funny guy and his teammates seem to really like him. He was a practice-squad guy last year after being waived by the Lions, and he figures to fill that role again in 2010.
* Isaiah Greenhouse – Is he a fullback? Is he a linebacker? I don’t know. He was signed as an undrafted free agent as a fullback, but on the HoustonTexans.com official roster, he’s listed as a linebacker. Also worth noting, his jersey number (61) is neither a linebacker number, nor a fullback number. I know the NFL made some changes to jersey assignments, but I believe the “new” LB numbers are 90-99. So, I’m even more confused.
*Denotes a reported Undrafted Free Agent signing. These players are only reported to have signed with the Texans but as of this entry none of the signings have been confirmed by the team.