After a year and a half of grieving, Trey finally forgives the Texans for passing on Vince Young in the 2006 NFL Draft.
It still hurts from time to time, but I'm cool now. Let's revisit this first.
17 months ago, my Houston Texans made the (at the time) unthinkable decision to draft workout wonder Mario Williams over Houston native Vince Young and Heisman winner Reggie Bush.
Young had just come off an undefeated junior season (not to mention a 30-2 record as a starter at Texas) which ended in one of the greatest championship game performances in sports history (200+ yards passing and rushing each in the '06 Rose Bowl vs. USC). Bush had just spent the previous two years dazzling college football crowds everywhere while recreating the aura of Gail Sayers and the acquitted-of-double-murder-former Heisman winner who shall not be named in this space. He was that great.
The Texans used the 2005 season to delight us Houstonians (read: torture) with record numbers for sacks, a defense that was laughable at best (You know that feeling when you're playing Madden against someone, and they're driving the ball down the field almost at will, and you can do absolutely nothing about it? That's how it felt every Sunday in '05), a bunch of rookie mistakes from a fourth-year quarterback, and the excitement of a funeral. It wasn't so much that the Texans sucked, it was that they were totally boring in the process.
When we got the number 1 pick (after tanking in the last game of the season against the 49ers, mind you), it was a foregone conclusion that Bush would be dancing and prancing in the Texans backfield for years to come. That is, until Young announced he was leaving UT for the NFL. Then everybody from Pearland to Baytown started dreaming of Texans #10 "Young" jerseys. Forget Bush, we wanted VY.
You know the rest of the story, GM Charley Casserly took Mario, he did squat in '06, Vince won Offensive Rookie of the Year and came thisclose to taking the Titans to the playoffs, and Bush helped the Saints to their first division title ever and a spot in the NFC Championship Game.
So why am I not bitter anymore? Because, at this present time, I'm sorta happy with Super Mario, and we don't want those other two players. (Well, at least one of them.)
Why? Because the Houston Texans are actually a decent football team now. We're 2-1 (as of September 28), with a great chance to go 3-1 after we thump the Falcons in Atlanta this Sunday. The defense is playing great despite a truckload of injuries and the running game is solid for the first time since Dominick Davis (Williams? Whatever) was healthy.
And we finally have a quarterback who doesn't make you wish the Texans held open tryouts in the Reliant Stadium parking lot on every Saturday. Matt Schaub hasn't just provided much-needed consistency and intelligence at the QB position, he's been a steady and calm leader, something the previous regime never managed.
Don't get me wrong, I still dreams of watching Vince every weekend playing for the home team. But I'm 22 years old now, and we all have to learn how to let stuff go. Plus, I realize that it's just the nature of Houston franchises to get torched by certain athletes, for many different reasons. It did hurt a lot more seeing VY tear up the Saints on the road in his first Monday Night Football appearance while leading Tennessee to a convincing win last week, though.
But, for the record, I was strongly against us drafting Bush. His recent string of dropping open passes ala Terrell Owens (sorry, Frank) and his uber-exciting 2-yard rushes to the sidelines prompted one ESPN analyst to call him a "overhyped kick-returner". Ouch.
So, I'm good. I'm happy with my Texans team, regardless of who we passed up 17 months ago. Of course, if we pass up DeSean Jackson or Darren McFadden (if we get the chance), then we never had this discussion.