Sunday was a day to be expected for your Houston Texans. On one hand is all eight Houston Texans rookies, led by defensive end and first round pick J.J. Watt, are signed and ready for training camp. With the new rookie cap that the collective bargaining agreement provides, it was really matter of when and not if. All the rookies attended today's team meeting and are expected on the practice fields on Monday. Aside from Watt, second round picks Brandon Harris and Brooks Reed are expected to be significant contributors to turn around a porous defense.
The other expectation? All-Pro fullback Vonta Leach has left to greener pastures in Baltimore. The greener comes in the form of an $11 million, three-year contract that Houston couldn't match. It will be a loss, but I don't believe it will be a huge loss. As the esteemed bigfatdrunk has said on Battle Red Blog, Leach only played 38% of the offensive snaps in 2010 - easily his best season in Houston. Do you commit all that money in Leach or put it towards a safety who can contibute more throughout the game? It's not an easy question, but the Texans opted for defense and rightfully so.
To fill the Leach void, James Casey will get an opportunity to earn the job. Per John McClain's Twitter feed, Cleveland fullback (and bulldozer for Madden cover boy Peyton Hillis) Lawrence Vickers said his agent is talking to the Texans. Perhaps we will hear that he's signed on Monday in time to practice. Stay tuned for that news and more on this site and Battle Red Blog.