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  • Thu., Oct. 08, 2015 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM CDT Texans Friday: Kolache Factory

    Thursday, October 8
    7am-8am – Kolache Factory, 811 Louisiana St., Houston, TX 77002

    Proudly wear your Texans gear to get a FREE sausage & cheese kolache (1/person) for this hour at any area Kolache Factory

    Houston Texans Cheerleaders signing autographs and taking pictures at this Kolache Factory location

    More info: http://www.houstontexans.com/fan-zone/Texans-Friday.html

  • Sat., Oct. 10, 2015 6:30 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Texans Extra Points

    Tune into KTRK ABC 13 in Houston (or check local listings across Texas) each Saturday at 6:30 PM for this weekly in-season Houston Texans show that previews the upcoming Texans game in-depth with special guests and is hosted by Drew Dougherty from Texans TV.

  • Sat., Oct. 10, 2015 11:00 PM - 11:30 PM CDT Texans Late Night

    Tune into KTRK ABC 13 in Houston (or check local listings across Texas) each Saturday during the regular season at 11 PM for this  show that goes 1-on-1 with Texans players to get to know them on a personal basis and is hosted by Voice of the Houston Texans Marc Vandermeer and Texans Insider Deepi Sidhu.

  • Sun., Oct. 11, 2015 10:35 PM - 11:05 PM CDT Houston Texans Inside the Game

    Tune into KTRK ABC 13 in Houston (or check local listings across Texas) each Sunday at 10:35 PM for this in-season show that recaps each Houston Texans game in-depth with coverage and analysis from Greg Bailey and Spencer Tillman.

  • Tue., Oct. 13, 2015 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM CDT Verizon Texans Players Show

    Meet TBD Texans player(s) at the Verizon Destination Store, 1700 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX 77056.

    Lots of Texans prizes & giveaways!

    Player(s) subject to change.

    In order to provide a positive, memorable experience for all fans, please be aware of the following:

    • Each fan will have the opportunity to have a picture taken with the scheduled player(s) as well as receive a signed autograph card, provided by Verizon. Alternatively, fans may bring a Verizon-branded item to be signed.

    • Autographs are only allowed during designated timeslots as part of the event. Players will not sign autographs during any other time. Fans are not to ask players for autographs before or after the show, or outside of the store.

    • This is a free exclusive opportunity for all fans. Let’s keep it that way. No items obtained during the Verizon Texans Players Show should be sold or traded for profit.

    Exclusive for Verizon Customers:

    Show us your active Verizon device and you and a guest can skip the line and have one personal item signed.

  • Tue., Oct. 13, 2015 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM CDT Player Signing at XFINITY

    Meet Texans running back Alfred Blue at the XFINITY store located at 1501 Lake Robbins Dr, Ste. 180, The Woodlands, TX 77380.

    Celebrity(ies) subject to change.

  • Tue., Oct. 13, 2015 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Duane Brown Live from Fuddruckers

    Join Texans offensive lineman Duane Brown every Tuesday during the regulars season from 6-7 PM at the Fuddruckers (3929 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77027) for a Texans Radio live broadcast on SportsRadio 610 with Voice of the Texans, Marc Vandermeer, and special guests!

    Plus, all Houston area Fuddruckers will be feature a buy one Texans Burger, Get One Free every Tuesday during the season for fans showing up in their Texans gear, whether the Texans win or lose their previous game, so don't miss out!

    Then stay for Texans Live from 7-8 PM.  Lots of Texans prizes & giveaways!

  • Tue., Oct. 13, 2015 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Player Signing at Kroger

    Meet Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson at the Kroger located at 11003 Shadow Creek Pkwy., Pearland, TX 77584.

    Celebrity(ies) subject to change.

  • Fri., Oct. 16, 2015 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT Texans Friday: Fuddruckers

    Friday, October 16
    Noon-1pm – Fuddruckers, 10101 South Post Oak Rd., Houston, TX 77096

    Proudly wear your Texans gear to get a FREE classic shake (1/person) for this hour at any area Fuddruckers

    Houston Texans Cheerleaders signing autographs and taking pictures

    More info: http://www.houstontexans.com/fan-zone/Texans-Friday.html

  • Sat., Oct. 17, 2015 6:30 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Texans Extra Points

    Tune into KTRK ABC 13 in Houston (or check local listings across Texas) each Saturday at 6:30 PM for this weekly in-season Houston Texans show that previews the upcoming Texans game in-depth with special guests and is hosted by Drew Dougherty from Texans TV.



2010 season in review: Linebacker

Posted Apr 4, 2011

Linebacker was a position of strength for the Texans in 2009, but an injury to DeMeco Ryans dealt a crushing blow to the group - and the entire team - early in the 2010 season.

Top performers: Zac Diles (81 tackles), Brian Cushing (76 tackles, 1.5 sacks)

Newcomers: Darryl Sharpton (draft, fourth-round pick), Stanford Keglar (free agent), David Nixon (free agent), Isaiah Greenhouse (undrafted free agent)

Major injuries: DeMeco Ryans (Achilles, Week 6), Sharpton (shoulder, Week 16)

Position coach: Johnny Holland (16th NFL season, 5th with Texans)

Year in review: Linebacker was one of the Texans’ strongest positions in 2009, but the group took a major hit before the 2010 season even started. Brian Cushing, the ’09 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, was suspended for the first four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

The Texans managed to go 3-1 in Cushing’s absence, but the defense suffered another setback in Week 6 when Ryans was lost for the season with an Achilles injury. The two-time Pro Bowler and defensive captain had started all 70 games in his career up to that point.

Cushing moved to middle linebacker after Ryans’ injury, but that experiment lasted all of two games. He then returned to his natural strongside position and finished the season fourth on the team in tackles, with eight tackles for loss and 12 quarterback hits.

Sharpton, a rookie from Miami (Fla.), played his way into the starting lineup midway through the season. He notched his first-career sack in Week 14 against Baltimore and moved inside to middle linebacker in Week 16 at Denver. A shoulder injury ended his season a week early.

Special teams standout and ninth-year veteran Kevin Bentley stepped into the starting middle linebacker role when Cushing returned to the strongside. Bentley totaled 51 tackles, a pass defensed, three tackles for loss and two quarterback hits.

Diles had a career-high 81 tackles despite being hampered by various injuries. The fourth-year pro played in 15 games and started 10, including eight on the weakside.

Third-year linebacker Xavier Adibi filled in on the strongside during Cushing’s suspension, starting three of the first four games. He finished the year with 19 tackles, including 14 solos and two tackles for loss.

The Texans signed Keglar, a third-year pro, after losing Ryans. He made a big play early in Week 9 vs. San Diego, tipping a punt deep in Chargers territory that quickly resulted in a Texans touchdown.

Nixon played in three games with the Texans, recording six tackles before he was released on Oct. 19. Greenhouse, an undrafted rookie from Northwestern (La.) State, played in two games and had one special teams tackle at Oakland.

Season highlight: Week 11 at New York Jets. Though it came in a loss, Bentley had a standout game with a season-high eight tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery. The two turnovers both came in the fourth quarter to help spark a furious rally by the Texans that ended up falling just short.

Cushing had four tackles, including one for a loss of eight yards, and forced the fumble that Bentley recovered. Sharpton made his first-career start and had five tackles, one tackle for loss and two special teams tackles.

Season lowlight: Week 6 at Kansas City. The Texans won the game, but they lost their defensive captain for the season. Ryans, the team’s all-time leading tackler, tore the Achilles tendon in his left foot in the second quarter.

Ryans was hurt during Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe's 17-yard touchdown catch with 13 seconds left in the first half. His leg gave out when he planted and tried to jump to make a play on the ball. Ryans was carted off the field to the locker room several minutes later and was on crutches after the game. It was the first major injury of his football career.

Notable number: 157 – Tackles that Ryans was on pace for before his injury. He had 54 tackles in only five and a half games. Ryans’ career high in tackles is 156, set in his rookie season of 2006.

Key splits: The Texans’ defense struggled with Ryans in the starting lineup, but they did enough for the Texans to win. With their defensive captain, the Texans were 4-2. Without him, they were 2-8.

Cushing started 10 games at strongside linebacker and two games at middle linebacker. The results were appreciably better on the strongside, where he averaged 6.6 tackles per game compared to five per game in the middle. He also was more active pressuring the passer, with all of his 1.5 sacks and 5.5 of his six tackles for loss coming from the strongside in 2010.

Quotable: “I almost threw my remote through the TV a couple of times, but I kind of restrained from doing that. It’s been tough because you look at about six of those games were close games and could go either way, and we didn’t find a way to win those games. We’ve been in all of those games, but somebody didn’t step up to make a play to actually win the game… To be just sitting at home and not being able to help or being able to say something to the guys, it was very difficult. You’re just helpless, and it’s a feeling that I would never like to have again.”
- Ryans, in the Texans’ locker room on Dec. 30, on having to watch as the team collapsed after a 4-2 start to the season

Looking ahead: Like the defensive line, the linebacker unit will get a facelift in 2011 as the Texans switch to a 3-4 under Wade Phillips. New linebackers coach Reggie Herring said earlier this offseason that Cushing and Ryans will likely be the two inside linebackers. Ryans would be the Mo (weakside) linebacker, while Cushing would play the Mike (strongside) position. The Texans see Cushing as a potential anchor in the run game who also can pressure and blitz from the inside.

Connor Barwin and Jesse Nading are moving from defensive end to outside linebacker. Barwin, who’s coming off a season-ending ankle injury, is expected to start at one of the outside linebacker positions. The Texans will rely on him and whoever mans the other outside spot for plenty of sacks and pressure. Defensive end Mark Anderson, who’ll be a free agent, also could be an option as an outside ‘backer.

Sharpton is a thumper who could thrive on the inside in the 3-4. Diles has not been re-signed, meaning he’ll be an unrestricted free agent later this offseason.

Content on HoustonTexans.com does not necessarily represent the views of the Houston Texans front office staff, coaches or executives.