No 14: Jason Babin
Depending on who you ask, defensive end Jason Babin was either a draft bust or a late bloomer. Jason left the Houston heat in 2007 and eventually ended up in “temperate” Nashville, where he flourished as a player, made the Pro Bowl twice, and won a CMA award (okay, I made that last part up). Good for you, Jason.
No 13: Connor Barwin
In his years in Houston, defensive end Connor Barwin was a cherished member of the “Bulls on Parade” defense as well as a focal point of the city’s hipster scene (yes, that exists in Houston). It was painful to see his value get too high for Rick Smith’s management strategy, but it’s been nice to watch him thrive with the Eagles. Here’s wishing you all the best, Connor.
No 12: Trindon Holliday
Trindon was a special teams guy who fumbled the ball a few too many times for Smith’s liking, so he was released. He was picked up by Denver (a specialist in using former Texans employees correctly) and changed his ways, setting the postseason record for a punt return (90 yards) in 2013.
No 11: Tramon Williams
Tramon didn’t make it through Texans training camp before he was cut, but he later developed into a Pro Bowl, Super Bowl-winning cornerback for the Packers. That sentence alone says a LOT about the Texans organization.
No 10: Justin Forsett
After he and the Texans went their separate ways in 2013, running back Justin Forsett eventually found himself on the Ravens with a massive contract.
No 9: Brooks Reed
It pains me to think that eventually the “Bulls on Parade” will be as forgotten as the glory days of MTV. Brooks Reed was another of the guys whose Bulls membership got him a huge contract, this time with Atlanta. I was pulling for him during Super Bowl LI, I really was. His hair is still stupid though…
Jk, jk lol. But in all seriousness–Schaub was technically on a team that went to a Super Bowl. You did it, Matt.
No 7: Glover Quin
Quin is another defensive stand-out who the Texans couldn’t hang onto. He’s now on the Lions and going to Pro Bowls and stuff like that. #FML
No 6: Vonta Leach
The Texans weren’t able to hang onto fullback Vonta Leach: all he did was continue to rack up Pro Bowl selections and win a Super Bowl with former Texans teammate Jacoby Jones. Needless to say, the latter wouldn’t have happened in Houston.
No 5: Jacoby Jones
Jacoby was a villain in Houston after blowing a kick return in the first play of a second round playoff game against the Ravens. He was cut shortly thereafter, but was quickly picked up—by the Ravens. The following season he made the longest kick return in Super Bowl history, for a touchdown—for the Ravens. Here’s to you, Jacoby.
Tight end Owen Daniels broke his leg during the last season of the Schaub era, and new coach Bill O’Brien cut him to save a few clams. Daniels then followed Kubiak, first to Baltimore, then to Denver, where he caught the last touchdown pass of Peyton Manning’s career and won a Super Bowl. I’m guessing he hasn’t regretted leaving for a single day. #LiterallyNoRegrets
No 3: Antonio Smith
The Ninja Assassin was another of the main cast of the Texans’ glory days who went on to win Super Bowl L for Denver (and there’s still more…). It’s hard to think of someone more deserving of Super Bowl glory than the person with perhaps the best sack dance in league history. Sayonara, Antonio.
No 2: Wade Phillips
In the wake of the Matt Schaub era, Rick Smith fired as many people he could to create the perception that radical changes were taking place (he then went on to hire as many former Patriots staffers as he could, but that’s a different story). Included in these firings was defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, the brilliant son of legendary Oilers coach Bum Phillips. Both Wade and his former boss Gary Kubiak made their way to the Broncos and won the Super Bowl. So lol, Rick.
No 1: Gary Kubiak
Kubiak paid a very heavy price for standing by his quarterback Matt Schaub. But after his Texans career was over and done with, the Houston native went to Denver and won the fifth Super Bowl that had so eluded him when he coached at home. We’re happy for you, Gary.
But in the wake of all of these arguably bad decisions, Rick Smith redeemed himself by picking up Brock Osweiler.
Just kidding, he hasn’t left to go back to the Patriots and win more Super Bowls yet…
Did we miss anyone? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org