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Ed Reed to visit Houston Texans

Ed ReedEd Reed could be the latest Baltimore Ravens player to become a former Baltimore Ravens player.

According to Houston Chronicle writer John McClain, Reed will be at the Houston Texans’ facility on Thursday as their first unrestricted free agent visitor. The Texans need a replacement at safety for Glover Quin, who signed with the Detroit Lions.

Reed is a free agent after spending his entire career with the Baltimore Ravens, and there does not seem to be a consensus about what he will do. The San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts have been mentioned as other spots where he could visit.

If Reed, 34, decides to leave the Ravens, now might be the right time. He just won his first Super Bowl, and the exodus from the team has begun. LB Ray Lewis is retiring; LB Paul Kruger is signing with the Browns; LB Dannell Ellerbe is signing with the Dolphins; S Bernard Pollard was released; and WR Anquan Boldin was traded to the 49ers. The other side of the exodus is that the Ravens should have money available to make Reed a strong offer.

Antonio Smith: Manti Te’o ‘would be the butt of every joke’ in Texans locker room

Manti Te'o combineIf Manti Te’o intends to enjoy a successful NFL career, he is going to have to carry with him some pretty thick skin. No matter what the former Notre Dame linebacker says or does, he is never going to escape the embarrassment of the fake girlfriend hoax he supposedly fell victim to.

Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith reminded us of that this week. According to Smith, Te’o had better be prepared for some serious heckling in the event that he gets drafted by the Texans.

“Our locker room is full of clowns and, oh, man people would kill him,” Smith told NBC Sports Network’s Pro Football Talk. “I mean he would be the butt of every joke for at least two, three years.”

By that time, Te’o should be more than used to being ragged on. If Te’o’s NFL teammates keep quiet about the hoax, there is always going to be an elephant in the room. Once he begins his professional career, the best thing Te’o can do is just accept the verbal beating and laugh it off.

“You just got to be a good sport, man, it is what it is and you know it is out now, it’s out in the papers and on TV, so all you can do now, you can’t worry about it, you can’t change it, all you can do now is laugh — laugh with us while we’re laughing at you,” Smith said.

Terrell Suggs recently said the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens would welcome Te’o into their locker room, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t give him a hard time. Te’o has already heard it from airline companies and hotel chains, so what’s a little more ribbing? Lord knows he already has enough to worry about with that disappointing display he put on in the 40-yard dash.

Johnathan Joseph: Texans are a better team than the Patriots (UPDATED)

The Houston Texans had a chance at redemption against the New England Patriots last weekend and failed to cash in. Just four weeks removed from an embarrassing 42-14 loss at Gillette Stadium, the Texans were once again dominated in every facet of the game. Anyone who watched both games was left with one simple conclusion — the Patriots are a better team.

Johnathan Joseph does not agree. Despite the two beatings, the Houston corner feels that the Texans are still a better team than New England.

“Obviously we had the right guys in here to win 13 ballgames to get up to that point,” Joseph told CSNHouston.com on Monday. “For whatever reason, we didn’t advance. I still can’t put that over because I think we were a better team. I think we just didn’t make the plays at the right time.”

I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that. The 2-14 Jacksonville Jaguars were a play or two away from beating the Patriots in Week 16. Does that mean they are a better team? New England outscored Houston 83-42 in their two match-ups, and a couple of late touchdowns made the playoff meeting seem closer than it actually was. However, Joseph doesn’t think the numbers mean much.

“Not at all,” he said when asked if New England is a significantly better team. “Just four or five plays. You take a few of those plays that they made and go the other way, it’s a different ballgame.”

Whatever helps you sleep at night. The not-so-athletic Wes Welker (according to Wade Phillips) caught eight passes for 133 yards. Tom Brady threw for 344 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions against a typically solid Houston secondary. I can understand Joseph thinking the first beating was an outlier, but twice is not a coincidence. At the end of the day, the Texans handed the Patriots two of their easiest wins of the season. Considering some of the poor opponents New England faced this year, that certainly has to say something.

UPDATE: CSNHouston.com has since changed their headline after the Texans’ PR staff informed them that Joseph was simply speaking about the gap between Houston and New England, not saying the Texans are a better team.

Photo credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

Houston Texans show off new letterman jackets (Pictures)

The Houston Texans are taking it back to high school. The team’s players decided to order a bunch of customized letterman jackets, and they plan to wear them on the plane to the team’s Monday night game against the Patriots in Foxboro, Tania Ganguli reports.

Each jacket features the Houston Texans logo on the chest, and the player’s number and position on the right sleeve. Linebacker Connor Barwin (pictured at left, along with Antonio Smith) told Ganguli that they will add patches for division titles, captains, and future accomplishments. Danieal Manning says the team had other ideas for the jackets but they were too nerdy to share.

Nose tackle Shaun Cody had the idea to get the jackets made, and he told Barwin, who loved the idea.

“The jackets turned out awesome,” Barwin said Friday.

“I used to say before the season it feels like we’re on a college team,” Barwin told the Houston Chronicle. “Everybody gets along, we have so much fun. And this jacket, you feel like you’re on a high school team where it’s all about winning, it’s all about being around a group of guys. This jacket is just another symbol of that. There’s no names on it. You just have your number, your position group and the Texans logo.”

We have seen other teams do similar things in the past, and the Tampa Bay Rays actually had customized letterman sweaters made, not jackets. Teams often coordinate their outfits for road trips as bonding experiences, but that’s in sports like baseball and hockey, not football, so this is pretty unique.

These jackets are pretty slick if you ask me. I bet there are thousands of fans salivating over them and hoping to receive one as a Christmas gift. If you’re looking to get one, Scurfield says the team had local company Bull Shirts make them.

Here are a few more photos of players posing with the jackets:

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Old Navy selling shirt that says Texans were 1961 AFC champions (Picture)

If you’re going to start a line of NFL-themed clothing called the NFL Team Champions Collection, it’s probably a decent idea to know who the champions were and when they won the championships. Old Navy had a decent idea with the collection, but unfortunately their historical accuracy leaves a lot to be desired.

As you can see from the photo above that The Big Lead shared with us, Old Navy has crowned the Texans the 1961 AFC champions. One problem with that is that the Texans were not a franchise in 1961. The other is that there was no such thing as the AFC in 1961.

It’s possible the shirts are referring to the Houston Oilers, who won the AFL title in 1961. The Oilers, however, are now the Tennessee Titans — not the Texans.  The mistakes were not limited to Texans shirts, as Old Navy has also called the Lions the 1957 NFC champions and the Browns the 1964 NFC champions. They also crowned the 1968 Jets and 1969 Chiefs NFL champions.

At the very least, Texans fans can take comfort in knowing it was Old Navy that screwed the facts up and not their own team. Redskins fans can’t exactly say the same.

Male Dixon Hernandez tries out with 1,000 women to become Texans cheerleader (Video)

Around 1,000 people tried out to become one of the 35 cheerleaders for the Houston Texans over the weekend, and there was something unique about one of the candidates: Dixon Hernandez tried out for the team despite being the only male in attendance.

Hernandez is a young man from Houston and he decided to give it a shot.

“I was like, ‘why not try out, and just go for it and have some fun?’ I’m here to have fun, and for the experience and, you know, just to see what it’s all about,” Hernandez said in an interview with KTRK. “Who wouldn’t want to be a Texans Cheerleader?”

Hernandez has expressed a desire to become a Texans cheerleader for the past few months, and he told the TV station he’s planning to try out again next year if he doesn’t make the squad this year.

The Texans don’t appear to have any gender-based restrictions for their cheerleader team, but male cheerleaders have been a controversial subject for years. However, if Hernandez is anything like this amazing male Chinese cheerleader, they should definitely put him on the team.

The Texans cut Eric Winston two weeks ago but still want him to buy a suite

The Houston Texans sales staff may need to update their mailing lists. Offensive lineman Eric Winston was surprisingly released by the team two and a half weeks ago, but that didn’t stop them from sending him the above letter asking him to purchase a suite for the upcoming season. Winston signed a four-year $22 million deal with the Chiefs a few days later, so he can afford all the suites that he wants. I’m just guessing his purchases will go toward Chiefs games.

Nothing signifies personal touch quite like sending a mailer to a fired employee.

Picture credit: Eric Winston
Thanks to Robert Neagli for the tip