Week 5 Preview with linebacker DeMarquis Gates

Roughnecks are back home on Saturday

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I sat down with DeMarquis Gates today to get to know him more and preview some of this week's upcoming game. In case you missed it, Gates had the amazing game winning play last week against the Dallas Renegades.

Many players view the XFL as a stepping stone back to the NFL. How has this league helped you?

"It's helped me get exposure, more film and have time to work on my technique, nail down the things I need to work on. Exactly what you said, try to get back into the NFL."

How are you liking the defensive scheme here in Houston?

"It's wonderful. Coach Cottrell and the rest of the defense staff put up a good game plan, a good defensive scheme. We just try to get in and make the plays that we can."

Seattle looked a lot better when they changed QBs. What do you judge them on? The prior three three games or what you saw late against St. Louis?

"You can take all games into account. We feel like they're going to use both quarterbacks. Both QBs have played so we're just going to be ready for both of them."

Preparing to go 5-0 is a big deal. Is there added pressure being the last unbeaten team in the league? Does that add a target?

"It definitely adds a target on our back but I don't think it's any pressure. We just have to take it one day at a time, play by play and come out with the W."

Game at a glance

The Roughnecks' defense had five big turnovers last week. This week they're expected to face both QB's from the Dragons, BJ Daniels and Brandon Silvers. The last time a team switched up QB's on Houston, it caused some confusion. The standards are set high for your Houston Roughnecks this week as they come back home to face the Seattle Dragons Saturday at 1 p.m. Make sure you purchase your tickets here. Let's get TDECU Stadium rockin' to welcome the 4-0 team home!


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The Houston Texans seem to be focused on repairing their image. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

"It's a new day, yes it is!" That's how the theme song from one of my all time favorite wrestling tag teams/groups starts. One of my favorite lines says "Can't change the past/Gotta let it unfold." If this doesn't apply to the 2022 Houston Texans, I don't know what does.

Over the last few years, the Texans have been a laughingstock. From a comedy of errors under Bill O'Brien, to Cal McNair's reputation as Tommy Boy, Jack Easterby was once thought to be some sort of Boogeyman, to the fans finally having had enough and fighting back with their wallets. Things haven't been smooth sailing on Kirby Drive. It started to look like a never-ending rainy day for a while. Then it happened. Nick Caserio came in riding his white horse and the weather started clearing up.

Initially, some were still skeptical, yours truly included. We had every right to feel that way. He was yet another in a line from New England. "Patriots South" was beginning to look like a real thing, even though Cal denied it. Before he could get settled, his franchise quarterback wanted out and was also found out to be an alleged pervert. That's when Caserio started to push all the right buttons.

Some people thrive under pressure. Some crumble worse than a dry ass Popeye's biscuit. Caserio is one of the ones that has managed to make coals into diamonds. Armed with a bad cap situation, devoid of draft picks in his first draft, a talented QB who wants out, and an owner trying his best to do the right things, he navigated it all masterfully so far. He traded Watson for a nice haul and used those picks in this past draft to address some concerns. Knowing the QB talent was better in the upcoming draft, he's giving Davis Mills an opportunity to show what he's got. Their collective appearance on The Pat McAfee Show recently was to show the national media something we here in Houston see every day: there are new faces of this franchise, and it's headed in the right direction.

While Mills still has to prove he can be the franchise QB, Caserio has done a good job of putting talent around him to place him in a position to succeed. If Mills is a hit, the team can use the draft capital to improve other areas of the team, and Caserio has another feather in his cap. If Mill isn't "the guy", the team will draft one of the top prospects and move on. Third round QBs that don't work out aren't seen as failures per se because expectations aren't as high. However, I believe Mills' floor is a career backup and he still holds value even if he isn't seen as a starter. Besides, who wouldn't want a guy who went to Stanford in the QB room?

Easterby has faded into the background after being thrust into the spotlight. He seems to have been thrown in the ring with a grizzly bear and come out unscathed. Lots of us were wrong about him. I now believe he was forced into a situation he wasn't prepared for, made the best he could out of it, and is now settling back into the role he originally sought out, which is the owner's right-hand man and a team/player development type of guy.

The person who deserves just as much, if not more, credit than Caserio is Cal. He went from Tommy Boy to Boss Hog in the matter of a year or so. The story of him playing video games sitting on the floor of his office fed into the perception of him being a doofus. Now, he's literally kissing babies, handing out shorts, and grilling for the fans. He's been seen at the forefront of food/water drives, as well as being very visible and accessible to fans at training camp.

These are the new faces of this franchise moving forward. Look for newer players to take some of their places when their play starts to equal wins for this team. "Get us back on the right road/On the right track/On the right flow (That’s right)/Live in the future that we all know."

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