On Monday I presented my knee-jerk reactions to the first cut, which brought the team down to 75 in advance of the final preseason game.
Earlier today, the Texans completed their moves to bring the team down to 53. They're certainly not done, as I guarantee there will be more moves as players from other teams are released and waived, so we don't yet know exactly what the opening day roster will be.
But there's plenty to talk about right now, anyway.
Sherrick McManis traded for Tyler Clutts (Chicago).
I'm a bit surprised they got rid of McManis, but I suppose there was a numbers element, with Harris and Carmichael doing well. They were probably willing to move one of those three and McManis was the one Chicago wanted. Draft level certainly played a part. Clutts is a fullback, so I expect the Texans think he's at least serviceable as a lead blocker.
Rashad Butler placed on IR.
This stings. While far from a disaster, you could make a good argument that the offensive line was the least solid unit going into the game with Minnesota, and it's certainly that now. Butler gave you confidence backing up at both tackle spots, and the team had already released Nick Mondek. Getting a trustworthy backup tackle is now priority No. 1 for the Texans.
(Instant Update: Andrew Gardner is listed as a guard by the Texans website, but is on the depth chart as a tackle. He was also named as the team's third tackle in an article by Nick Scurfield on the site. So HoustonTexans.com outvotes itself two to one.)
Jerrell Jackson waived/injured.
This kid was not making the squad anyway, so it's no loss. Otherwise he'd have been put on IR.
After Mondek's release, Menkin was the second backup tackle. After Butler's injury, he was the only backup tackle on the roster. Now there are no backups. Did I say tackle was the No. 1 priority? It's now also priority two through eight. Texans staff will be anxiously checking every tackle that puts his foot outside an NFL door.
Cody Wallace, Cody White
Sucks to be named Cody on this team, I guess. Wallace unsurprisingly lost out to fourth-round pick Jones. White was the odd man out as the Texans kept five(!) other guards. Either Shelley Smith or Andrew Gardner is gone as soon as the Texans find a tackle they like, unless they make a trade for Brandon Brooks.
The undrafted nose tackle wasn't impressing enough. Possible practice squad candidate, but they might just cut bait on this one.
Grimed made a couple waves, but not enough to get by Justin Forsett. Grimes is sort of the Chris Ogbannaya of this year. Good, but not good enough to stick on a team that is so talented at the position. Highly probable to make the practice squad if he's not snatched by another team.
Logan Brock, Philip Supernaw
I thought it was a coin toss between the two tight ends, but the coin landed on its edge. Technically the team is carrying just two tight ends (three with James Casey), which is unusually low for a team that likes tight ends and linebackers for its special teams, and sometimes plays three tight end sets. But with special teams specialists and a third QB eating spots, the cuts had to come from somewhere, and I guess these guys weren't making any statements. Luckily, second-stringer Garret Graham has been, which probably made the decision to let these two go much easier.
Juaquin Iglesias, Jeff Maehl
The team likes both of these guys, who were on the practice squad last year, but they didn't do enough to make the team. With two draftees, an ascendant veteran/rookie in Lestar Jean, and the final nail in the coffin, a dazzling Trindon Holliday all standing in their way, there was just no chance for them. Look for one or both to return to the practice squad at some point in the season, and if any receiver on this team goes down, look for them to at least try out again.
No surprise. Will probably avoid being picked up by another team, and if so, will definitely be on the practice squad. Kubiak loves him, and his best asset is his brain, which will be great for someone mimicking other teams' plays every week. I don't anticipate him joining the team even if they lose a QB to injury, as long as there are decent veterans to be picked up. If they lose two again, he would be the third-stringer.
I found this one surprising. They liked Quintin Demps more since they got him, but I always thought Nolan was ahead of Shiloh Keo, who they love for his special teams work, and who was flashing some ability defensively this preseason. Nolan had shown some ability at finding the ball in 2010 but was quieter last season. Keo doesn't have nearly the in-game time that Nolan had.
(Instant Update: Apparently he was the final cut. You could argue he lost his job to Beck or Holliday. The Texans would take him back if they had a spot come open, if that somehow happened before another team gets him.)
Just goes to show, just because a guy doesn't have any competition at his spot in the preseason, it doesn't mean he's not fighting to keep his job. The team traded for a fullback from another team and said goodbye.
D.J. Bryant, Shawn Loiseau
I heard both of their names come up a few times, but not enough times, it seems. Tim Dobbins, Jesse Nading, Bryan Braman and Mister Alexander all held them off... at least for now.
David Hunter, Keith Browner, Delano Johnson, Mitch King, Rennie Moore