Posted May 31, 2012 on AP on Fox
Dallas_cowboys_v_c5fd
(Updates. With AP Photos.) Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub approached veteran linebacker Bradie James with a wide grin. ''Did you know you're the oldest player on our team?'' Schaub teased at workouts this week. At 31, James is just five months older than Schaub, and 34-year-old kicker Shayne Graham is actually the oldest player on the roster. But for James, the message was loud and clear. ''All that means is that this is a really young team,'' James said with a laugh. ''At this stage in my career, it's time to get a ring.'' After trading longtime leader DeMeco Ryans to the Philadelphia Eagles in March, the Texans were looking for a veteran inside linebacker to fill the void. James signed with the team in April after spending 10 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. James said his familiarity with Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and linebackers coach Reggie Herring, who both coached him in Dallas, ultimately helped him choose the Texans. ''They tasted success last season and we need to build upon that,'' James said. ''It was a natural choice because this is a team that can compete for a championship, and it became a no-brainer.'' Many fans didn't like the team's decision to trade Ryans and sign James, who experienced a major dip in production last season. James had just 44 tackles and no sacks after leading the Cowboys in tackles for six consecutive seasons from 2004 to 2010. He also ended his five-year streak of seasons with more than 100 tackles. Herring said he feels that the decline had less to do with James and more to do with the changing of the guard with Dallas' coaching staff. ''You can talk about his age all you want, but he moves around better than a lot of the 21-year-olds out here,'' Herring said. ''To be honest with you, he didn't fit well in Dallas' scheme because there wasn't really a place for him, for whatever reason.'' To have James back in Phillips' 3-4 defensive scheme has Herring excited about the veteran's potential this season. Herring said James' familiarity with the scheme will make him more valuable to a defense that went from third-worst in yards allowed in 2010 to second-best last year. ''We feel like we've gained back what we lost with DeMeco leaving and then some,'' Herring said. ''On top of that, he knows our defense and he knows how to run the show.'' Through the first two weeks of organized team activities, James has competed with the first team, and he is expected to be the starting inside linebacker. ''The guy knows exactly what we're doing, and he knows how to do it well,'' Phillips said. ''And above all, he's a great guy, a great person and the kind of guy you want to be around.'' When James began to see the writing on the wall in Dallas, his charity work was one of his first concerns. James established Foundation 56 in 2007 to raise breast cancer awareness among inner-city women. James' mother, Etta, died in 2001 when he was playing for LSU, and he later helped fund a resource center in Dallas and mobile units in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La., to provide mammograms. ''I always wanted to do something that would have an impact,'' James said. ''I wanted to help those underserved women get mammograms and help them out as much as possible.'' Although he now wears No. 53 with the Texans, James is hoping to bring Foundation 56 to Houston. ''He's been everything Wade and Reggie said he would be,'' coach Gary Kubiak said.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

A New Week: Texans OTAs

Here are some notes from Tuesday Houston Texans OTAs.   - The big news was that UDFA Dwight Jones left the team because he doesn’t want to play anymore football. The Texans still have yet to confirm that Jones has left the team, and Head Coach Gary Kubiak said they were still going to talk to Jones about the situation. With all of the news flying around it seems like Jones has...

Beck competing for Texans back-up QB spot

A team coming off of a playoff season is unlikely to have a plethora of position battles, but some of the competition for back-up jobs can get interesting. Presuming that Matt Schaub's surgically repaired foot allows him to open the season as the starter and presuming that T. J. Yates would have to have a miserable training camp to lose the back-up job, only one quarterback...

Good Vibes: Texans OTAs

Here are some notes from OTAs on Thursday.   - Head Coach Gary Kubiak said the door remains open for recently departed rookie wide receiver Dwight Jones. He is still currently listed on the Texans roster, but only time will tell if Jones will return after him leaving in the middle of OTAs. - Kubiak feels the competition on the field is the best it has ever been. He also feels...

Other Side of the Ball: An Interview with Derrell Smith

    “It’s a challenge because I have to get used to listening to a huddle call rather than deciphering a hand signal. But, with practice comes experience and I think that each day I am working towards getting better at my new position.” - Derrell Smith, Houston Texans Fullback Derrell Smith is going into his 2nd year with the Houston Texans and is facing a big transition...

Experience left wanting in Texans' receivers

HOUSTON Mike Sims-Walker was out of sight at the Methodist Training Center on Wednesday morning, but he most certainly wasn't out of mind for those pondering the significance of his private workout. The consideration of Sims-Walker, 27, as a viable addition to the Texans' roster reveals the state of upheaval within their receiving corps. With Andre Johnson (knee) unavailable...

Texans’ Dwight Jones no longer wants to play football

Dwight Jones had 2nd or 3rd round talent, but went undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft. He was scooped up by the Texans as an undrafted free agent, but it doesn’t appear he’ll ever play for them. Jones has reportedly told the team that he no longer wants to play football. This is not surprising at all. Because he’s so talented and has never had a major off the field issue, there...

Jones reportedly leaves Texans

HOUSTON (AP) -- Undrafted rookie wide receiver Dwight Jones missed Tuesday's organized team activity with the Houston Texans. Jones' absence came amid online reports that he had quit the team. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak did not provide details on Jones' status with the team after Tuesday's practice. Kubiak says Jones is "a young man with a lot of information...

Coach Speak:Texans OTAs

Here are some notes from Texans OTAs on Wednesday.   - Head Coach Gary Kubiak talked about standouts from today’s workouts and mentioned tight end Garrett Graham, wide receiver Trindon Holliday, safety Torri Williams, and outside linebacker Bryan Braman.  - Rookie wide receiver Keshawn Martin was called automatic by Kubiak when talking about his punt return abilities, but...

Losses of Winston, Brisiel leave holes in O-line

HOUSTON The concern over the right side of the Texans' offensive line has yet to reach its crescendo. With one week of organized team activities plus mini camp and training camp left to complete, ample time remains to fretfully analyze the losses of Eric Winston and Mike Brisiel. It was a testament to Winston and Brisiel that their departures triggered such widespread panic...

Super Mario Mouth

Look, we have been trying to be reasonable about this business separation between the Houston Texans and former defensive standout and #1 overall pick, Mario Williams. As we previously talked about a LONG TIME AGO, the idea of the Texans letting Williams walk was a bullet the organization had to bite. Now that he has taken his talents to the Buffalo Toronto Bills (* see note), everything...

Houston Texans Rank a Lowly 24th in Latest ESPN Popularity Poll

Success brings admiration from others. In the NFL, a team needs prolonged success to build a national fan base. ESPN sports polls continually conduct telephone interviews with football fans to gauge which of the 32 NFL teams are the most popular. The most recent poll has the Houston Texans at 24th, coming off a season in which the team broke through mediocrity with the franchise’s...

Who is Lestar Jean?

Brought to you by: Dynasty League Football It’s May and this is typically the time where news is pretty slow. However, every once in a while there’s a blip we just can’t ignore. Lestar Jean has been on our radar for a bit and he’s starting to make so much noise that we can’t ignore putting something out there to answer a very important question. Who is Lestar Jean? Simply...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.