Today is 5 questions day. This install comes from Tim at our SB Nation Houston Texans blog, Battle Red Blog. On a side note, Tim loves Bud Adams.
BRB: I like the way you put that; fact is, many Houston fans did seem to hold it against Super Mario that he wasn't VY. I'd like to think we've all moved on, but I seriously doubt it. VY will always be a hometown hero, and Mario Williams will never win a championship at The University of Texas. Because of that, I fully expect to see lots of burnt orange and No. 10 jerseys in the stands on Sunday.
Super Mario started off with a bang--two (2) sacks and a fumble recovery for a TD in the opener. Since then, he's notched another sack (particularly impressive, given that he did it with one arm, going the opposite way) and been fairly disruptive. He didn't play very well last week against Jacksonville, but the same can be said of the entire defense. Teams are still running away from his side more often than not, and he's drawing double-teams on almost every passing down. Plus, he's one of the few DEs who can actually keep a RB from turning the corner; he's that athletic. While his sack statistics may never justify his selection in some minds, I believe that fans who truly study the game would tell you that he's a difference-maker. Don't get me wrong--Mario Williams still has ample room for improvement. But he's definitely progressing.
2. When I first saw how much the Texans gave up for Matt Schaub I thought it was to much. What was your initial reaction, and how do you feel about that deal now?
BRB: My initial reaction to the deal is memorialized here. At the time, my chief criticism was that one of the second-rounders should have been conditioned on his performance. Now? I think The Schaub has been worth every proverbial penny. Compared to his predecessor, Matt Schaub looks like the love child of Tom Brady, John Elway, Brett Favre, and Joe Montana. He stands tall in the pocket, makes good reads, gets rid of the ball quickly, and has shown a suprising ability to make a big play on the run. His attitude has re-energized the team and the organization. His performance against Carolina is a microcosm of what he means to this team; he had no doubt he was going to get the job done in the face of adversity, and he delivered. While his decisions in the red zone have left a bit to be desired, we have to remember that, for all intents and purposes, he's still a rookie. The Schaub will get this team and its fans where they so desperately want to be.
3. It seemed there were a lot of people cheering for Vince Young down there last season. How much different, if any, will the crowd be if Vince plays or doesn't play?
BRB: I think you'll see a marked difference. Last year, I'd say that half of the crowd at Reliant for Vince's homecoming was there to cheer him on. As players on both sides have said, it was closer to a home game for the Titans than for the Texans. But if Vince isn't out there? I think there will be a lot of people in burnt orange or Titans gear sitting on their hands, which should sway the crowd decisively toward the team that, you know, is ACTUALLY PLAYING AT HOME.
4. I am a big Alabama fan. How happy are you to have DeMeco Ryans on your team? How much better has the defense gotten overall?
BRB: On a scale of 1 to 10, with "1" being "happy" and "10" being "ecstatic"...I'm at a solid 43. He's unbelievable, and he should be anchoring the Houston defense for years to come. With regard to the defense overall, there should be little debate that it's significantly better, particularly in the front seven. They looked terrible last week when the Jags ran the ball down their throats at will, but I do not expect to happen again, even against the vaunted Tennessee running attack. Something to keep an eye on, especially if Kerry Collins gets the nod: The secondary is extraordinarily vulnerable, save Dunta Robinson. Shots can and should be taken at them. Wait--why am I telling you this? Never mind. Just run the ball at the center of the line. Those guys suck.
5. Can this Texans team make the playoffs? Why or why not?
BRB: This year? I don't think so. Next year? Absolutely. While I do believe that the AFC South has the potential to house both wild cards, I think the Texans are still a year away from playing in the posteason. This team is more talented across the board than any of its predecessors, but I think one more offseason of acquisitions is going to be necessary to make Houston a bona fide playoff contender. I'd love nothing more than to be wrong about this.