The Suicide Boys

The Houston Texans are the Suicide Boys of the NFL

"Suicide girls is a term my friends and I had been using to describe the girls we saw in Portland's Pioneer Square with skateboards in one hand, wearing a Minor Threat hoodie, listening to Ice Cube on their iPods while reading a book of Nick Cave's poetry. They are girls who didn't fit into any conventional sub-culture and didn’t define themselves based on musical taste like punk, metal, goth, etc. I think the only classifications right now people identify with are mainstream and outside of mainstream.” - Selena Mooney (aka Missy Suicide)

Since 2002, the Houston Texans have never really fit into NFL society. Looking at the Texans this off-season, they have quietly become the Suicide Girls of the NFL, the punk rock kids at football school: sexy, dirty, cool, and ready to take the gridiron world by storm. We know Houston can handle the Jaguars (6-4 against Jacksonville since they came on the scene) but with a first win against the Indianapolis Colts last year and a weakened Tennessee Titans team, Houston can slam dance its way to the first winning record in franchise history this fall.

You can pick almost any character on the squad and find a tale about how they can change the Texan team and culture. The stories of Matthew Rutledge Schaub and the chronicles of former first round selection Mario Williams and his nagging plantar fasciitis are notable, but what makes the Texans a riveting team to behold right now are the unsuspecting and unsung sidekicks and characters. Here are some “outside of mainstream” individuals to keep an eye on.

Amobi Okoye
This young man’s performance on the playing stage will be attractive to the eye, but it’s his personal accounts I plan to watch. Graduating from the University of Louisville in three year with a psych degree, the Nigerian native has a humanitarian promise unlike few in professional sports. I would like to see what he does with his fame, his money, his life, and how he evolves over the next decade. He could become the Barack Obama of the sporting news.

Jethro Franklin
The new defensive line coach was imported to cultivate the likes of young Williams, Okoye, and former first round selection Travis Johnson. The philosophy of the entire defense is built around Franklin’s young, and highly paid, group penetrating the opposition’s backfield. Franklin is not the grandest name in position coaching, but considering his days at USC and Green Bay he is one of finest at teaching fundamentals.

Jordan Black
In the entire National Football League the signing of this Rowlett native
from the Kansas City Chiefs must be the most under-reported story of the
off-season. Black is perfect for the zone blocking approach of the Texans,
and may provide enough time for Schaub to throw the pigskin before he is
introduced to the floor of a stadium.

The first test for the new and improved Texans will come on August 11 when they face the Super Bowl surviving Chicago Bears in preseason action. I expect the Bears will be on the losing end of a fierce surprise.

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