The Texans had a telephone conference call with the players shortly after the selections were announced, and all four were understandably excited about being considered among the best the NFL had to offer.
Mario Williams, the first to address the media on the call talked about the honor of being named to play in the game for a second time. “It’s a huge honor. I think being selected to the Pro Bowl is a thing of respect among your peers. To be selected again is definitely a great honor.”
D’Meco Ryans also had a really good feeling about being selected to play in the game once again. “It is a huge honor to be selected to the Pro Bowl again, and it was a personal goal of mine at the beginning of the year to make the Pro Bowl. Seeing the guys that we have selected, it shows how far our team’s coming along. We’ve been growing and growing to get better each year, and you know, for us to get this type of recognition with four of us in the Pro Bowl is a huge honor for our organization.”
For rookie Brian Cushing, it was not only an exciting announcement, but it was a total surprise. “There’s no question, rookie or not, I’m thrilled. It’s one of those things you always look forward to growing up and playing football. You know, when coach (Gary Kubiak) called me today, I was just ecstatic. I couldn’t believe that could happen! I guess it’s just a lot of respect. You always have it your thoughts, but you don’t know how everything’s going to pan out. I’ve never played in the NFL before; this is my first year, things are new, I’m adjusting to a new system, and at the beginning of the year, you’re just trying to fit in. I think once you get over that hump, you realize this is something you’re capable of doing, and something you want to do. Making the Pro Bowl my first year, I’m just beyond happy right now.”
Being named to the Pro Bowl is nothing new for seventh year receiver Andre Johnson, who is leading the NFL in total yards receiving, but he still expressed thankfulness at making his fourth appearance in the game. “It will be a lot of fun. I’m just kind of anxious to see how it turns out with it not being in Hawaii (This year’s game will be in Miami a week BEFORE the Super Bowl, the first time the game has been on the mainland in over 25 years). I’m glad to be there, but I would trade my Pro Bowls for Super Bowls anytime. That’s what I play the game for. That’s one of our goals, just trying the get the organization to its first Super Bowl. That’s something that I’m going to keep trying to do until I can’t play football anymore.”
Odds are that it won’t be this year when the Texans make it to the big show, but after having bounced back with three straight wins, and moving their record to 8-7 on the year, IF they can manage to defeat the New England Patriots at Reliant Stadium this Sunday, and get a little help besides, they COULD actually not only have their FIRST winning season in team history, but could make the playoffs as well. That would be the icing on the cake for this team that has struggled season after season, and would provide a wonderful beginning to 2010.