orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Sports Headlines

September 9, 2013

Texans open at Chargers, hope for Super run

SAN DIEGO — The Houston Texans think they're capable of reaching the Super Bowl after winning consecutive AFC South titles, although they were one-and-done in the playoffs both times.

The San Diego Chargers have a more modest goal, such as trying to get rookie coach Mike McCoy his first victory.

The Texans and Chargers play in the second game of a Monday night doubleheader, the final game of Week 1.

It'll be Houston's first since a 41-28 loss to New England in the divisional playoffs.

It'll be San Diego's first since coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith were fired following San Diego's first losing season in 10 years and its third straight year out of the playoffs.

Here are five things to know about the game:

1. MCCOY'S DEBUT: McCoy, hired away from his job as offensive coordinator with the division rival Denver Broncos, will debut his offense against a Texans defense led by J.J. Watt. With the Broncos, McCoy retooled the offense to accommodate Tim Tebow in 2011 and then changed it for Peyton Manning last year. Now he's working with Philip Rivers, who in the last two seasons combined was sacked 79 times and committed 47 turnovers. McCoy said Houston coach Gary Kubiak gave him some advice in February that he posted on the board in his office: "Just remember, it will get done. There will be so many things that are thrown at you, that you always have to remember that you'll get it done."

2. FOSTER'S HOMECOMING: Texans running back Arian Foster attended San Diego's Mission Bay High before playing at Tennessee and then joining Houston as an undrafted rookie in 2009. Foster strained his right calf in an offseason practice in late May and struggled with a sore back after recovering from that injury. He was removed from the physically unable to perform list Aug. 21 and practiced for the first time that day.

Foster didn't play in either exhibition game he was eligible for. He said it was a bit frustrating to deal with his back situation after recovering from the calf injury, but he was never concerned that the problems would bleed into the regular season.

"I know my body and I knew it wasn't a huge issue," he said. "I had to give it time." Foster rushed for 1,424 yards and 15 touchdowns last year for his third straight 1,200-yard season.

3. CUSHING'S BACK: Monday night's game will be the first for Texans linebacker Brian Cushing since he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Week 5 last season. The Texans signed him to a big contract extension Wednesday. Cushing, the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2009, saw limited action in the exhibition season while easing his way back after surgery. He had never experienced a major injury before and had a difficult time dealing with being away from his team for so long on top of the physical demands of rehabilitation.

"It was a very dark time," he said. "Any previous injury before that was maybe missing a game or two. And now having a season taken away from, watching the guys go out and practice every day and not being able to contribute was a helpless feeling. It was something that I just didn't want to feel anymore. It motivated me to get back and to just push every single day." The Texans are hoping he is as effective as he was before the injury, when he finished with 114 tackles and four sacks in 2011.

4. WITHER TE'O? Chargers rookie inside linebacker Manti Te'o hasn't practiced since spraining his right foot in the exhibition opener against Seattle on Aug. 8. He's spent most of his time since in a walking boot, although he says he's been taking mental reps. It's possible the former Notre Dame star will make his NFL debut on Monday night, although Bront Bird is expected to start. McCoy is loath to discuss injuries and lineups, and everything in his world is "day to day." However, wide receivers Malcom Floyd (right knee sprain) and Eddie Royal (bruised lung, concussion) and defensive end Corey Liuget (sprained right shoulder) should be good to go.

5. SMITH'S SUSPENSION: Texans defensive end Antonio Smith will sit out as he serves the final game of his three-game suspension for ripping off Miami guard Richie Incognito's helmet and then hitting him with it. Smith appealed the suspension, but it was denied. There's a chance safety Ed Reed will play for the Texans after being moved from the physically unable to perform list to the active roster Saturday. He spent all of camp recovering from offseason hip surgery. The nine-time Pro Bowl player signed with the Texans after spending his entire career with the Ravens.

 

1
Text Only
Sports Headlines
  • Ragsdale, Cole racking up at collegiate level

    West Orange-Stark product Rebekah Ragsdale, a senior at Mary Hardin-Baylor and Little Cypress-Mauriceville product Raven Cole, a freshman at Louisiana State University Eunice are both racking up big numbers on the collegiate circuit.

    April 24, 2014

  • Lemoine Team Lemoine Named to USA Baseball Collegiate National Team

    Houston Baseball sophomore Jake Lemoine has been selected and accepted his invitation to compete for the 2014 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this summer, announced by USA Baseball.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big 1st frame propels Mustangs past Cardinals

    Using a monstrous six-run first inning, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs handed District 21-3A champion Bridge City their first loss in 21-3A play with a 6-3 victory at Anderson Field Tuesday night.

    April 22, 2014

  • Softball playoffs crank up Friday

    Softball playoff teams will be busy at the end of the week including the Orangefield Lady Bobcats, the Bridge City Lady Cardinals and the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears.

    April 22, 2014

  • Ragsdale to take softball talents to LU

    Lamar University softball coach Holly Bruder announced that three student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent this week to play for Lamar starting in the 2014-15 season.

    April 22, 2014

  • Cardinals roll past Hawks for 20th victory

    The district champion Bridge City Cardinals pelted the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks 9-3 to continue their dominance of District 21-3A Friday night at Cardinal Field.

    April 18, 2014

  • Mustangs nip Cougars 2-0 to net 20th win

    West Orange-Stark’s magical 2014 campaign continues to reach nice milestones as Coach Shea Landry’s “crew” picked up win No. 20 by downing the Buna Cougars 2-0 Friday night.

    April 18, 2014

  • Lady Cards take second by downing H-J

    Getting a definite different kind of “grand slam” home run from senior Kelsey Fults, the Bridge City Lady Cardinals sealed the second-place playoff spot out of District 21-3A by toppling the Hardin-Jefferson Lady Hawks 6-1 at Lady Cardinal Field Friday evening.

    April 18, 2014

  • Bears blank Raiders to give Griff his 500th win

    A young Little CYpress-Mauriceville team gave long-time head coach Steve Griffith his 500th career coaching victory Thursday night as the Bears defeated the Lumberton Raiders 4-0 in District 20-4A action at Don Gibbens Field.

    April 18, 2014

  • Several Bear tracksters punch regional tickets

    Several Little Cypress-Mauriceville tracksters will move on to the Class 4A Region III Track & Field Championships after having success at the Area Meet featuring District 20-4A and District 19-4A Teams.

    April 17, 2014

Leader Sports
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide