Texans clean out lockers on first day of offseason
The 2012 season will go down as the best in Houston Texans' history.
They had a team-record 12 wins, a team-record eight Pro Bowlers and defensive end J.J. Watt led the team in sacks to name a few accomplishments, but it was the second straight early exit from the playoffs. That will certainly sit with the players and coaches as they prepare for 2013.
As players met individually with head coach Gary Kubiak and general manager Rick Smith on Monday, of course disappointment was still on their minds as they tried to stay positive about the team’s future.
“We didn’t win a championship, that’s the big disappointment, but our franchise won 13 football games and there’s a lot to be said for that,” Kubiak said. “Even though as tough as it is to swallow right now, I think this organization continues to move forward. And no doubt in my mind it’s got a chance to win a championship."
“We came up short and I’m disappointed,” Watt said. “I apologize to the fans for that, but I took away that personally I can get a lot better and I’m excited about where I can go. And I took away that this team has what it takes to win a championship. We just need to put it all together. We have the group of guys we need to do it and I'm really excited to move forward with this group.”
“It’s a success to certain standards, but not to the standards that we held to ourselves," center Chris Myers said. "We understood where we were last year as a team and where we wanted to get. And when you make it to the second round last year, and obviously we’re a young team in the playoffs, but we wanted to be able to get to the Super Bowl, and that was no secret. In that sense, yeah it was a disappointment, but from here on out you have to kind of just analyze yourselves now and move on."
“We had a good run,” safety Glover Quin said. “We won 13 games. That's hard to do in this league. Obviously you want to win the ultimate one game – the super bowl – but only one team can do that. It didn't happen for us this year, but we had fun. We played hard every game. We laid it out there and it just didn't go our way this year.”
With the team not in the Super Bowl, players have mixed feelings on whether or not their season was a success.
“I don't see it as a success,” Watt said. “We don't have a trophy, so it's not a success. In my mind in this league, if you don't have a trophy then you're not a success. So, we're work this offseason and put every single thing we have into it. We’re going to come back next season with that trophy on our mind.”
“Anytime you don't win a super bowl, for me it’s a failure because at the beginning of the season that's our number one goal is to win a Super Bowl,” cornerback Johnathan Joseph said. “We did a lot of other good things you don't want to take away, but that one thing you're always fighting for is the Super Bowl.”
“I know most guys say it's not because the ultimate goal is to win a Super Bowl, but I feel like we are in the process of doing something tremendous,” safety Daniel Manning said. “A lot of guys just can't see the full progress of it and I think we're building on something.”
Besides the eight Texans who will play in the Pro Bowl in Hawaii in two weeks, players said their immediate plans are to spend time with family, rest and get away from football.