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Jadeveon Clowney injury caused by Texans field turf?

Jadeveon-ClowneyJadeveon Clowney is expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks after suffering a torn meniscus in the Houston Texans’ win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday. According to Texans safety DJ Swearinger, the turf at NRG Stadium could be to blame for the injury.

“He told me on the field when it happened, he was just like, ‘Bro, I just jumped, came down and hit one of the holes on the field,'” Swearinger said, per NFL.com’s Albert Breer. “There are a few holes in the grass, so he said he thought he stepped on one of those holes and got hurt. So I told him to try and walk it off, see if he could go. He went in the next play and couldn’t go, so I told him to go to the sideline and see what’s up with it. And he went over to the sideline, and I guess that’s when they told him (he had to stay out).”

NRG Stadium has a retractable roof, and the grass is grown outside on trays which are pieced together to make up the football field. As Breer reminded us, Wes Welker suffered a non-contact injury and tore his ACL back in 2010 when the New England Patriots traveled to Houston. Bill Belichick blasted the playing surface the following day.

“The turf down there is terrible,” Belichick told WEEI at the time. “It’s terrible. It’s just inconsistent. It’s all the little trays of grass and some of them are soft and some of them are firm and they don’t all fit well together, those seams. … Some of it feels like a sponge, some of it feels real firm and hard like the Miami surface. One step you’re on one, the other step you’re on another. I really think it’s one of the worst fields I’ve seen.”

If the field is creating problems with safety, the Texans need to do something about it. They either need to install an artificial surface or find a better system for growing and piecing the field together. NFL fields shouldn’t have “holes.”

Report: Andre Johnson tells Texans he wants out

Andre-Johnson-Texans-PreviewIt has been very obvious throughout the offseason that Andre Johnson is not happy with the Houston Texans. The veteran wide receiver has already missed both organized team activities and minicamp and chosen to work out on his own. Now, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that Johnson has informed the Texans he wants to be traded or released.

The biggest reason for the divide between Johnson and the Texans supposedly has to do with a $1 million workout bonus. By skipping some workouts, Johnson gave up his right to the bonus money. He recently asked the team if he could earn it back by putting in extra work and was told he could not.

That furthered the divide between Johnson and the Texans, driving a wedge between the parties. That caused Johnson to tell them he wanted to play for another team. He is now working out, “not thinking about the Texans,” a source said.

As he has expressed publicly, Johnson believes the team is rebuilding, and he has said he has doubts about if he wants to take part in another similar process, as he has several times in his career.

Johnson wondered out loud if “Houston is the place for me” back in May. The 32-year-old has restructured his contract in each of the past three seasons to make his deal more team friendly, and he was reportedly hoping that the Texans would return the favor by allowing him to earn back the $1 million bonus. On Wednesday, Johnson was noncommittal when asked if he will show up to training camp.

“Hopefully. We’ll see what happens,” he told NFL Media’s Marcus Smith. “Training camp’s three weeks away, so we’ll see what happens.”

Rapoport says four teams have expressed interest in trading for Johnson, though the Texans have given no indication that they are willing to deal him.

This is obviously about much more than just a $1 million workout bonus. Johnson is scheduled to make $28 million over the next three seasons, so he could just report to work and collect his paycheck if money was the issue. He’s sick of losing and is finding creative ways to show it.

Bill O’Brien bans Texans from using segways

Duane-Brown-Segway

Bill O’Brien is making some big changes with the Houston Texans heading into the 2014 season. We know the former Penn State coach is going to implement a new offense, but does he really need to take away the toys? Segways are no longer allowed around the Texans’ facility.

According to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle, O’Brien was recently asked if players will still be using segways to travel to the practice field and throughout the halls of NRG Stadium.

“No,” O’Brien said with a straight face.

O’Brien was then asked if players would still use the cart that transported them from the stadium to the practice field. He then pleaded with the media to not make a huge deal out of nothing.

“I mean, don’t make — we’re going to practice,” O’Brien said. “We go in the locker room. They put their stuff on, they grab their helmet, they walk out the door, they go right down to the right and they walk over that bridge over the highway and then get to the practice field and we start practicing.

“I mean, come on now, guys. Don’t make that a big deal , please. That is not a big deal.”

From the sound of it, O’Brien is taking the Charlie Strong approach with the Texans. That’s a little more risky with professional athletes, but he’s the boss. Arian Foster is not going to be happy about this.

Texans not set on Jadeveon Clowney first overall in draft?

Jadeveon ClowneyThe Houston Texans are on the clock with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft, and there are plenty of questions about whom they will select.

The expectation has been that Houston will take former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney at No. 1 despite any concerns about Clowney’s work ethic. The Houston Chronicle’s John McClain has suggested that the Texans could trade down and select Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles or even Khalil Mack. It seems like that may be their plan.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said on Sunday that the Texans aren’t 100 percent sold on Clowney and are willing to trade. Peter King says he does not know whom the Texans will take, but he says he’s hearing the same thing.

Are you buying this? It could be the source of the reports are executives fielding calls from the Texans about making trades, which would make the report very solid.

For what it’s worth, Texans GM Rick Smith said last week that they know whom they will pick.

“If we take the first pick, we know who we want,” Smith said Thursday. “It’s interesting to me that it’s a big deal that we know our board, and all of a sudden we know who we want. That’s our job. I think we ought to know that.”

There was one qualifier — Smith said “if” they keep the pick. That meshes with the talk that they are considering trading down.

Texans reportedly prefer Khalil Mack over Jadeveon Clowney

Khalil-MackThe NFL draft is quickly approaching, and it remains unclear what the Houston Texans intend to do with the top overall pick. Matt Schaub is gone, so they certainly have a need at quarterback. There is little consensus when it comes to who the best quarterback in the draft is, though some have claimed they are intrigued by Johnny Manziel. Then there’s Jadeveon Clowney and the freak athleticism he has been showcasing during the offseason.

But what if the Texans draft neither? Andre Johnson has already said he believes Houston should trade the top overall pick. On Monday, Peter King cited a friend of Texans general manager Rick Smith who claims the team likes Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack over Clowney.

“FORS (Friend of Rick Smith) told me the Texans general manager likes Khalil Mack over Clowney, and we still don’t know which quarterback Houston would choose if it chooses one first overall,” King wrote. “I still think the Texans would go with a more sure thing with the first overall pick than a quarterback — and that sure thing could also be tackle Greg Robinson.

“But imagine Mack, the outside linebacker from the University of Buffalo, being the first pick in a stacked draft. Wouldn’t that be something — a second straight Mid-American Conference player (Eric Fisher, Central Michigan, by Kansas City) as the top pick in the NFL draft?”

That would indeed be something. Mack was a first-team All-American last year and is a tackling machine. He also terrorized opposing quarterbacks with 9.5 sacks. As Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk noted, some believe Clowney would be a better fit for a 4-3 defense rather than Houston’s 3-4. Smith’s buddy could also be trying to get more teams to offer trades for the No. 1 overall pick.

Given some of the things we have heard NFL executives say about Clowney’s work ethic, we would not be shocked if he is not the first player taken. Having said that, a Buffalo linebacker being taken No. 1 overall in a stacked draft would be quite the curveball.

Andre Johnson: I would trade Texans’ first overall draft pick

Andre JohnsonAndre Johnson is not a GM, but occasionally he plays one during interviews.

Johnson spoke with our friend David Nuno of KTRK in Houston on Wednesday to promote his charity golf tournament next month and was asked what he would do with the No. 1 draft pick if he were running the Houston Texans.

“I have thought about different scenarios. Me personally, if I had it, I would probably trade it, but that’s just my opinion,” Johnson told Nuno.

“That doesn’t make it right,” he said. “Doesn’t mean they should listen to me, because I am not the GM. I have never had to sit in the draft room like that.”

Johnson, who was drafted third overall by the Texans in 2003, believes the Texans are not that far away from becoming contenders again. Houston went 12-4 in 2012 and lost in the divisional round of the playoffs and they were expected to be a Super Bowl contender in 2013. Unfortunately Matt Schaub had a disastrous season and they were unable to win many games. After a 2-0 start, they fell flat on their faces and lost 14 in a row to finish 2-14.

Houston probably isn’t far off from contending again, but the key piece they need is a quarterback. I think everyone says they would try to trade out of the No. 1 spot, but most of the time that’s not too realistic. And if the Texans don’t like any of the quarterbacks available at the top, they can always go Jadeveon Clowney to pair him with JJ Watt for what would be one of the best defensive lines of all time.

Texans share report about Texas reportedly having interest in Bill O’Brien

Bill-OBrienThe Houston Texans have begun their head coaching search, and one name that is now being thrown around is that of Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien. Former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith is believed to be one of the top candidates for the job, and the Texans may have already interviewed him. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, O’Brien is another top choice.

On Thursday, Rapoport reported that O’Brien and the Texans have agreed to an interview. That would mean the interview has either already taken place or likely will in the near future. O’Brien’s buyout at Penn State was reduced from $13 million to $6.5 million in March, which would make it easier for him to jump to the NFL.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this story development is that the Texans official Twitter account linked to a story about Rapoport’s report on Friday morning. The story they linked to is one from the Texans’ official website. Typically, a team’s Twitter account and website would have the best interest of the team in mind and would not fuel speculation about a potential coaching hire.

If nothing else, this is somewhat of a first.