Tag Archives: Houston Texans

Smith, Antonio

Card: Upper Deck Reflections 2004
Acquired: TTM 2009, Texans Blitz

A 5th round pick of the Arizona Cardinals out of Oklahoma State at 6’4″, 282.  After not starting any games his rookie season in 2004, Smith would be penciled in at right defensive end, starting 8 games. He’d make 3 sacks and 16 tackles. His time at defensive end over the next 3 seasons would continue to grow, and he’d have an impact post season helping the Cardinals make their first Super Bowl appearance in 2008.

In 2009 Antonio Smith would sign with the Houston Texans to play opposite Mario Williams in the lineup. In 2 seasons he’s made 8.5 sacks, forced 3 fumbles, and 49 tackles. With the team’s planned conversion to the 3-4 in 2011,  Antonio’s job appears secure as the team hopes he will buy into the new defensive scheme.

G/Gs  93/70      Tac  149     Sac  23.0   Fum 6   Int   0   Yds  0   Avg -.-    Td 0    Lg -.-

Walter, Kevin

Card: Score 2009
Acquired: TTM 2010, Texans Blitz

Kevin Walter was a 7th round pick of the New York Giants back in 2003 out of Eastern Michigan. Unable to make the roster of the Giants the Bengals snapped him up off of waivers. Walter would play primarily on special teams  as his playing time increased over the next 3 seasons.  In 2005, he’d start two games and log 19 receptions for 211 yards for the Bengals.

The offseason would start with Walter being a restricted free agent and the Texans would quickly pay the bargain price of a 7th rounder to get Kevin from the Bengals.  (Being that Walter was from the same draft as Andre Johnson, it is inferred that the Texans really did their homework on wide receivers that year with an unusually deep class at the position.) While 2006 would be more of the same for Walter, he’d quickly work himself up the depth chart in 2007 opposite Andre Johnson with new starting quarterback Matt Schaub in the lineup. As injuries would limit Johnson’s production, Walter would step up and become the primary receiver for the majority of the season logging career highs in all receiving categories. He’d follow 2007 up with a just as productive 2008 making personal career highs in all receiving categories with 60 receptions for 899 yards, 15.0 average, 61 long and 8 touchdowns. As he plowed into 2009, optimism was high that the Texans would have 2 1000 yard receivers, but nagging injuries would limit Walter’s production to 14 games, and he’d log 611 yards and 2 touchdowns. In the offseason, the Texans resigned him insisting he was part of their overall strategy (over rumors that he wanted to sign with the Giants,) to a fairly lucrative contract, and his 2011 was a slight rebound off of his previous season with 5 touchdowns and 621 yards. Walter has experienced exponential growth as a receiver over the past few seasons in Houston and has even been praised by former teammates in Cincinnati. Overall he is considered one of the team’s smarter pickups and is ranked second All time on the Texans’ receiving charts behind Andre Johnson in yards, receptions, and touchdowns by a hair over teammate Owen Daniels. A precise route runner with extremely good hands, Walter is continued to be expected to work opposite Johnson for the foreseeable future.

Score 2009 cards are great. I really like the framing and design of the cards. They lack the perceived border restriction that a lot of cards have, while the design is current and relative with the splattered ink style. The delivery of the important information about the player is clever, yet slightly understated, and the photography is strong.  Something that I’ve never understood is why card companies make high glossy cards, because isn’t the other function of these cards other than collecting them, is to get them signed?  (So the ink never completely set on this card but did dry because of the gloss.) Oh well. Walter is a great sleeper still in many deeper Fantasy Football leagues. If I can I typically take a flyer on him in the latter rounds or even luckier on waivers.

I was told that Walter loves receiving football cards, collecting all his own, and even likes fan art. Below are his statistics through the 2010 season.

G/Gs  121/64      Rec 267      Yds   3387     Avg  12.3       Td 20      Lg  61


Ryans, DeMeco

Card: Score 2009
Acquired: TTM 2009, Texans Blitz

The Texans in 2006 took Mario Williams with the overall #1 pick, but it was their second rounder- DeMeco Ryans that would steal the show. Ryans was taken by the Texans to play MLB after checking in at 6’1″, 236 and ran a 4.65 40 at the top of the 2nd round. He’d be moved from outside linebacker to middle linebacker by the team, where he immediately assumed a leadership role and started calling plays. A head hunter who has great instincts, Ryans was dominant right out of the gate he ended up winning the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year Honors in 2006 with a remarkable campaign  making 156 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 5 pass defensed, and a pick. He’d follow this up with a decisive 2007 and be named AP and to his first ProBowl.  His dominance would continue, and in 2009 he was named to the Pro Bowl again and the Texans offered him a lucrative contract.

DeMeco’s 2010 would be a let down. Injuries would limit the Pro Bowl star to only 6 games, yielding to an Achilles injury that would end his season and would spell the death knell for the Texans’ defense. He’d finish with 54 tackles and 1 forced fumble while the team would collapse even further going 2-7 down the stretch. It’s obvious looking forward that Ryans is the key to the Texans’ defensive plans. As the team moves to his native 3-4 defense and DeMeco continues his rehabilitation, all signs point to go for the young rising star.

G/Gs  70/70      Tac  436      Sac  8.5      Fum  8
Int 2       Yds 17      Avg 8.5        Td   0        Lg 16