Archive for the ‘Houston Texans’ Category

Charles Spencer Breaks Leg, Out for Season

September 21, 2006

Charles Spencer
As I mentioned yesterday in the belated NFL Roundup, Charles Spencer broke his left leg in the third quarter. The break was in the tibia, the lower bone in the leg. Really a sad break for Charles who had worked very hard to become the starting left tackle in his first NFL game. Lots of stories around the web on this, is reporting that Spencer has already had surgery and the break might not have been a clean one, which could put his timetable for return in doubt:

Houston Texans left tackle Charles Spencer had surgery to repair a broken leg after injuring it the previous day against Indianapolis and will miss the rest of the season.

Coach Gary Kubiak said the surgery went well, but a timetable for his return won’t be known for some time because of the severity of the injury to his tibia.

“I don’t think we’ll probably know a whole lot about his recovery for another couple of months,” Kubiak said. “They’ll probably go in and do some more scopes and stuff on it. It’s a very, very severe injury. We just hope things work out well.”

Spencer, a 6-foot-4, 352-pound third-round draft pick, was injured while blocking midway through the third quarter of Houston’s 43-24 loss to the Colts. The University of Pittsburgh standout nabbed the starting job over veteran Seth Wand.

Hopefully the healing process goes well and things aren’t as serious as they sound right now. The fact that after surgery they can’t even come up with a timetable for him to return for NEXT year sounds bad. Hopefully we get some more updates in the coming week.


Sunday NFL Roundup

September 20, 2006

On Wednesday…had some problems getting to a working computer the last few days, but better late than never I guess. Without any byes, the NFL still has a full slate and lots of Panthers in action:

Houston 24
Indianapolis 43

Charles Spencer had a tough assignment in his second NFL start. Not only was he in one of the loudest buildings in all of football, he was lining up against Dwight Freeney. Things seemed to be going pretty well for Spencer though. The Texans were averaging over 4 yards per carry on the day, Freeney had only one tackle and no sacks…and then the Texans got the ball for their first drive in the 3rd quarter. Spencer went down and his return was “questionable”. Turned out he had broken his leg and was done for quite a while. I’ll have more on this in a story later this morning.

Tampa Bay 3
Atlanta 14

Torrie Cox had an up and down day for the Bucs Sunday. He ended up with four total tackles, one on special teams, and was in on a play that led to a fumble that gave Tampa the ball in good field position although he wasn’t credited with the forced fumble. After playing pretty well in pass coverage most of the day he was flagged for illegal contact that kept an Atlanta drive alive, but they ended up missing a field goal so no real harm was done.
Dave Moore did not play because of his rib injury.

Arizona 10
Seattle 21

Larry Fitzgerald had a rare game with under 100 yards receiving Sunday, finishing with only four receptions for 52 yards. Seattle’s defense did a great job of covering down the field with their zone defenses. Running back Edgerrin James was the Cards‘ leading receiver.
Gerald Hayes had a much better day, finishing with only four tackles but he also intercepted a Matt Hasselback pass when the Seahwaks were driving to score again before the half. Unfortunately Neil Rackers missed the field goal before the half that would have given Arizona more momentum going into the half.

St Louis 13
San Francisco 20

Antonio Bryant had the game winning score on a 72 yard touchdown pass that I should have video of posted soon. That capped a four catch, 131 yard day for Bryant, who had been frustrated again in the first quarter with his lack of catches. More on that later today as well.
Shawntae Spencer started in his usual spot at left corner and his hamstring seems to be completely healed. He ended with four tackles and one pass defensed.
Andy Lee‘s job as the 49er punter isn’t as busy this year as it was last year, but he still had four punts Sunday, putting two inside the 20 yard line. The other two were from inside his own 30, and went 54 and 46 yards. He also held on all San Fran field goal and extra point attempts as usual.

New England 24
New York Jets 17

Kevan Barlow did not start as we thought he might on Sunday, but he did get more than twice the carries of starter Derrick Blaylock. Barlow finished with 14 carries for 42 yards and one catch for four yards. I should have some video of Kevan up tomorrow.
Washington 10
Dallas 27

Lou Polite had a quiet day, as most days are for fullbacks in Bill Parcell’s offenses. Bledsoe threw incomplete to Polite twice, and the rest of the day was all blocking for Lou and they don’t put that in the papers.

Kansas City 6
Denver 9

Kris Wilson got in the game but had no passes thrown his way again in a defensive game.

Rob Pettiti was inactive for the Saints.
Nick Goings was inactive for the Panthers.
Darnell Dinkins was out with a hamstring for the Browns.

Spencer Going Against the Best Early

September 14, 2006

To say Charles Spencer is getting a baptism by fire in his first starts in the NFL would be an understatement. Last week in his first NFL start he faced Darren Howard and Javon Kearse. This week it’s even tougher with Dwight Freeney lining up across from him:

Rookie left tackle Charles Spencer began his career blocking Philadelphia defensive ends Darren Howard and Jevon Kearse. Now he faces Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, one of the NFL’s best pass rushers.

“I always like going against a rookie, obviously, but the thing is that he’s very athletic and strong,” Freeney said. “You don’t really know how the guy’s going to play against you until you get out there.

It doesn’t sound like Freeney is exactly intimitaded…more like licking his chops. Charles did receive some praise from head coach Gary Kubiak for his play in week 1:

“I thought Spencer played like a rookie, but he played like a talented rookie,” Kubiak said. “He’s going to only get better, and I’m really looking forward to watching him make progress.

“Now, he’s got a whole new world this week, so it’ll be a learning experience for him.”

“I thought he actually protected the edge well,” Kubiak said of Spencer. “Technique-wise, he’s still late off the ball. He’s still getting used to playing in this type of (NFL) environment and this type of speed.

“He’s very physical. He shows you a talent level that should be able to hold up for a long, long time.”

Sunday NFL Roundup

September 11, 2006

Sorry for no posting over the weekend, but even bloggers have somewhat of a life…not much was happening until the season got into full swing yesterday anyways. Here’s a quick rundown of how former Panthers did in their games yesterday around the league, probably a more detailed follow-up on some of these later today.

Philadelphia 24
Houston 10

Charles Spencer started his first NFL regular-season game at left tackle. He did have a false start in the second quarter, but other than that no penalties. Houston only had 70 yards rushing and David Carr was sacked five times, not exactly good stats for an O-lineman to see. I’ll be looking around for some more information on how Spencer played later today.

New Orleans 19
Cleveland 14

Darnell Dinkins played special teams for Cleveland, but did not make a tackle.

Rob Petitti didn’t dress for the Saints.

Atlanta 20
Carolina 6

Nick Goings played special teams for the Panthers and recorded his only tackle covering a punt in the second quarter.

Baltimore 27
Tampa Bay 0

Torrie Cox also played on special teams for the Buccaneers. He finished with one tackle covering a punt in the first quarter. On a day Baltimore kicked off basically the entire game, Cox only had one kickoff come his way, but returned it for 26 yards. Maybe Baltimore was afraid and kicking away from Torrie.

New York Jets 23
Tennessee 16

Kevan Barlow made his Jets debut and scored on a one yard run in the second quarter. He was second on the team in carries with 11, but was only one yard behind Derrick Blaylock, who had 19 carries. Barlow ended up with 35 yards on his 11 carries for a 3.2 ypc average. Not too bad for a Jets team that didn’t seem like it could run the ball with anyone most of the day.

Cincinnati 23
Kansas City 10

Kris Wilson played sparingly for the Chiefs, and didn’t get any special teams tackles or receptions on offense. Maybe all that talk about three tight end sets in the preseason was just talk.

San Francisco 27
Arizona 34

Larry Fitzgerald is the headliner as far as Pitt alumni go in the league right now, and he didn’t disappoint on Sunday. He finished with 9 catches for 133 yards, but couldnt’ get into the end zone. Kurt Warner threw to Larry a total of 14 times and Larry dropped a few catchable balls, so he easily could have had 11 or 12 catches and gone over 200 yards if he had grabbed a few of those.
Gerald Hayes is the other starting Panther for the Cardinals, starting at middle linebacker. Hayes led the defense from the start and ended up with five tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery that he returned to the 49ers 5 yard line. Big game for Gerald’s starting debut.

For San Francisco, Shawntae Spencer was back from his injured hamstring to start at corner. He finished with 6 total tackles and a pass defensed. Can’t say it was a great day for him though as Kurt Warner pretty much threw the ball all over the field at will all day. I’m sure Shawntae’s receiver, whether it was Boldin or Fitzgerald, got their share of catches.
Antonio Bryant almost matchd Larry’s yardage total, with 4 catches for 114 yards including a 46 yarder. He also couldn’t get in the end zone though. He was thrown to five other times for incompletions, picked up a holding call on a running play, and was slapped with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting.
The final Panther in the game was punter Andy Lee. Usually punting for San Francisco is a pretty busy job, and Andy made the most of his opportunities on Saturday. He put three of his four punts inside the 20, including one downed at the 5 in teh second half. Andy also holds on all field goals and extra points for the 49ers.

Charles Spencer has a new nickname

September 8, 2006

In the tradition of Rob Dibble, Charles Spencer has been dubbed “Nasty Boy”. Just for clarification, nothing in the tradition of Rob Dibble is a good thing…however, if I wanted an offensive lineman on my team to have a nickname, that probably wouldn’t be a terrible choice:

Left tackle Charles Spencer has been through exactly one NFL training camp, and he’s already earned a nickname.

The 6-foot-4, 337-pound rookie flattened a teammate – he won’t say who – during practice, paving a huge hole for fullback Jameel Cook.

“The next day, the guys started calling me ‘Nasty,'” said Spencer. “It kind of grew on me a little bit.”

The moniker hasn’t taken away the butterflies – Spencer is one of five Texans who will make their NFL debuts Sunday.

“There are going to be a lot of emotions flying through this locker room,” said Spencer.

Spencer will get a fiery baptism – across the line will be three-time Pro Bowler Jevon Kearse. Quarterback David Carr was sacked 68 times last season, but the Texans allowed only four this preseason, the fewest of any AFC team.

Spencer may be the only rookie on the offensive front, but he’s caught up in the lofty expectations the unit is setting for each game.

“Our ultimate goal is no sacks, no pressures and getting as many rushing yards as possible,” Spencer said. “I believe that is a very good goal. We’re living by that.”

Thursday NFL Roundup

September 1, 2006

Seven games on the preseason NFL slate last night featured former Panthers, thank goodness the preseason is almost over…

New England 23
New York Giants 31

Mike Jemison might not have helped his case to make the Giants last night. He didn’t get in the game until the 4th quarter, which is a bad sign when almost no starters are playing, and got nine carries almost in a row. Those nine carries went for 22 yards, only a 2.4 average. That was the good part though, as he fumbled on his final carry and didn’t get another opportunity. To be fair to Mike the Giants only had time for one more rushing play in the game, but it wasn’t with Jemison. Check back for roster news in the next week, as there will be plenty of moves.

Carolina 15
Pittsburgh 13

Nick Goings was the only former Panther in this game, and most likely already had a roster spot locked up going into last night. He finished with only four yards on five carries, but did get two receptions for ten yards and one tackle on special teams. More on Nick later today.

Minnesota 10
Dallas 10

Lousaka Polite had a pretty uneventful night, a few passes thrown to him were all incomplete, but he did assist on a tackle on special teams. His play on special teams and his versatility out of the backfield is helping him make this team more than his ability to block as a fullback it seems. Parcells just doesn’t seem to use a fullback in the traditional role much.
Rob Petitti did play, but I haven’t searched around the web yet to get how much he played or if it was at right or left tackle. This was a big game for Rob and I should have some more info later on today.

Chicago 20
Cleveland 7

Ruben Brown started for the Bears, which is somewhat surprising in the final preseason game. I’m assuming he played only one series as there is basically no info on anything he did in the game.

Darnell Dinkins had three receptions for 27 yards, in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. He should be a lock to make the team as of today.

Tampa Bay 13
Houston 16

Torrie Cox did not play in this game, which could be a good sign for him, as mostly all the starters were held out. I have not seen any info that he was hurt, so I will assume it was a good thing he was held out of the game.
Dave Moore did play on kick coverage getting an assist and was the long snapper on most of the kicks and punts. More news on Dave’s situation later today, possibly not in a good way.

Charles Spencer did start at left tackle, as expected, and didn’t commit any penalties this game. Looks like Charles is getting more settled in his role as a starter.

New Orleans 9
Kansas City 10

Josh Lay played a good bit in this one, battling for that last roster spot with Anwar Philips. Josh got two tackles but did commit an illegal contact penalty. Philips seemed to play more though, with five tackles and an assist without committing any penalties. Look for updates here as they are available.

Kris Wilson played, but was only thrown to once for an incompletion.

Denver 29
Arizona 23

Larry Fitzgerald started and made one catch for 26 yards before exiting early with the starters.
Gerald Hayes seemed to play a lot more, starting and still being on the field to make a tackle in the 3rd quarter. Hayes finished up with three tackles, and committed a holding penalty on defense.

Brandon Miree did get in the game for Denver, but the only time the ball came his way was on an incomplete two-pointconversion attempt. Not a good sign for Brandon, although he may make the squad as a fullback.

New Wrap – Polite, Spencer, Goings

August 30, 2006

Just a couple short notes from around the web…

Lousaka Polite is Dallas‘ only fullback and he’s gotten some touches and good PT in the preseason, so it’s been widely assumed that he was a lock to make the team. This notebook type article is the first mention of “if” I’ve seen associated with Lou making the squad:

Parcells now views Lousaka Polite, who played fullback last year, as a utility player capable of 15-18 plays on offense and on special teams if he makes the final roster.

I assume that means Parcells doesn’t want to go with a real fullback. If I remember his other teams I don’t think he uses the FB much. Lousaka is considered one of the better young FB’s around the league, but a lot of temas don’t even use the FB anymore and very few carry more than one.

Charles Spencer will be one of the few starting linemen to play at all in the Texans‘ last preseason game Thursday, according to head coach Gary Kubiak:

Charles Spencer will definitely play, he’s a young kid and needs some time. He needs to get on the field, so he will definitely play.

Nick Goings was mentioned as one of Michael Smith’s reasons the Panthers are the deepest team in the NFL on

With the selection of DeAngelo Williams in the first round, they shouldn’t find themselves shorthanded at running back again this year. Brad Hoover, Jamal Robertson and Nick Goings all have performed well subbing for starter DeShaun Foster.

First Cuts: Postell, Jemison and Ramon Walker released

August 29, 2006

The first cuts of the presason will be made official today, and three more Panthers are going to be camp casualties.  This brings the total cut in this round to four. We reported last week that Matt Morgan was released by Buffalo in anticipation of these cuts. We also reported yesterday that Malcom Postell was cut by the Steelers.

Two more are on the block today, these will be made official later in the day.

Mike Jemison will be cut by the Giants, per the Journal News and

The cut to 75 will be made official today, but it is believed running back Mike Jemison was added to the list of 13 others Tom Coughlin made Sunday.

The Giants did not announce their first cuts yesterday, but RB Mike Jemison was not at practice. He is likely the 14th player released in addition to a group of 13 players absent from Sunday’s practice

Ramon Walker was also release by the Texans according to The Houston Chronicle:

Receiver Derick Armstrong and safety Ramon Walker, two backup players with a combined seven years of experience with the Texans, were among the 13 players who were placed on waivers Monday.

Ramon Walker was a fifth-round pick in the Texans’ first draft.

Charles Spencer featured on

August 28, 2006

Charles SpencerThe Texans official website has a feature article and some video of their new starting left tackle Charles Spencer. I don’t know how many times in the video/interview coach Gary Kubiak used the word “massive”, but he is definitely impressed with Spencer’s size and his speed at that massive size.

Here’s a link to the article and video, although you have to register for a free “insiders” account to view them. Takes a few seconds.

And some excerpts for those who aren’t on the inside with the Houston Texans:

Whatever he does, Spencer will do it with flare. The former University of Pittsburgh standout burst into the Texans training camp and made an immediate splash with the coaches. Coach Gary Kubiak especially likes Spencer’s aggressive attitude.

“Yeah, he’s pretty nasty,” Kubiak said. “I was teasing with him one day last week. I said, ‘I can watch you get into your stance, and I can tell when you are fixing to win, just by your attitude. I need you in that stance every snap.’

“I’ve told you guys (the media) that he has the ability to play in this league, and play very fast. The key is conditioning, and then mentally, catching up on what’s going on. It’s funny – lights just go on for some of these players when they’re young. You watch this kid every day, and he’s getting better. He’s massive, and he’s strong.

“It’s just a matter of when he’ll be able to do it down-in, down-out, and we’re working in that direction.”

Spencer admits this pro football hasn’t been easy.

“It’s been a lot different than I expected,” he said. “The NFL is a lot faster than college and it’s more physical. It’s definitely been hard.

“I would say adjusting to the heat has been the biggest thing for me. Coming from where I’m coming from, the heat has definitely been a factor. Every day I’m trying to get myself in shape.

“I think I’ve done pretty well, but I think there’s a lot of things I need help on. My footwork, my hand placement. Just the little things that count most for offensive linemen.”

Spencer played well in the Texans’ first preseason game against Kansas City, and started the second game at St. Louis. But he struggled more in the second game.

“I think we’re still searching,” Kubiak said. “I think we saw what we felt like was going to happen to Spencer. He did some good things, but he struggled getting off the ball. He was late off the ball in a foreign stadium like that, not in his comfort zone.

And of course Spencer is his own personal PR machine. This is the second or third article I’ve seen him put himself into the rookie of the year race:

“My ultimate goal is to get wins, to help the team win,” Spencer said with an easy smile. “But personal goals? Rookie of the Year, that’s my goal. It’s real tough and I’ve got some good competition even on this team in Mario Williams.”

No offensive lineman, or for that matter, no lineman, has ever won NFL Rookie of the Year, but Spencer is undaunted by the past.

“I just have to take care of business and play the best I can play,” he said. “That’s how offensive linemen get recognized, protecting the quarterback and getting the running back some yards.”

Sunday NFL Roundup

August 28, 2006

Only one game in the NFL last night, but it featured a starting rookie Panther…

Houston 14
Denver 17

Charles Spencer started at left tackle for Houston. Because of the Emmy’s I don’t think this game was on tv except maybe in Houston and Denver. I am in neither of those places, so I did not see the game. Spencer did pick up a holding penalty in the second quarter.

Ramon Walker made his first appearance of the preseason, but I am not sure if it was on special teams only or if he was in the defensive backfield late as well. I’ll try to find out.