"One guy tweets a lot. One guy doesn't have Twitter." Gipson aims to prove he's different

Tashaun Gipson not aiming to fill departed Mathieu's role

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The Texans may have let Tyrann Mathieu walk and replaced his starting spot with free agent Tashaun Gipson. They both play the same position but that's where Gipson wants to make clear the similarities end.

"I'm big on everybody is different," he said. "What he brought to the table, I respect his game. I truly do...I'm a different guy."

Gipson is indeed. Mathieu is infamous for his back and forth's on Twitter with fans and media. Gipson made it clear he doesn't have Twitter. The former Jaguars defender wanted to be clear he isn't coming to Houston to be compared to the current Chiefs defensive back.

"I might not be as rah-rah or as vocal as he is about certain things," Gipson said. "Certain things might push his buttons different than mine. The biggest thing is I don't want anybody to compare me to him, especially with things that the naked eye can't see."

One of the things that is easy to see is Gipson's success against tight ends in his career. He promises more of the same with the Texans.

"Obviously, we're just getting our feet wet and we haven't cemented a role, but just know the best tight ends that are coming into NRG (Stadium), I'm going to put the clamps on them."

Gipson on Justin Reid: "Oh man, the first thing that you realize is that he's definitely a smart guy. I sit next to him in the meetings and I try to pick his brain. Other people had said he's almost too smart. He's a guy who knows everything."

On the team welcoming him: "Obviously, they don't know anything about me besides the stuff they've heard about me or seen whether we watch crossover film and things of that (nature), but I think the one thing I can say about here – and I'm not one to compare – but, it's just a bunch of guys that just want to have fun, go out there, play football and win games. I was accepted with open arms. It's a little different. A lot of teams have guys with egos and things like that."

On playing in Texas where he now lives: "Just being home, I'm a Texas boy. I love the state of Texas. I love the offseason. I love coming home, so for me to be able to be back here in my home state of Texas, I'm three hours up the street. My house is literally three hours and 10 minutes. I GPSed it, trust me. It's three hours and 10 minutes, so for me to just be straight up 45, I can't express how excited I am about this opportunity. You have no idea. I'm going to give this organization everything I got."

"I'm excited. My son is my protégé. He's a good football player. If you haven't checked out my Instagram, you might need to. He's that nice."

He wasn't lying.

Kalil aiming to prove worth and health

The Texans signed oft-injured left tackle Matt Kalil this offseason. He represents a bargain option for the offensive line that struggled last season. Kalil has played in just 30 of the 48 possible regular season games the past three seasons. He's aiming, on his only year of his contract, to prove he still belongs in the NFL.

"I kind of like being on a one-year deal," he said. "I think you learn a lot about yourself when your back's against the wall. All the cards are against you, but at the same time here, I've put good film on tape. It's always been everyone always knows what kind of player I can be."

Kalil said he believed in the Texans to take care of his body and get the most out of him this season.

"I feel like here, with everything they have going with their weight lifting, their sport science side of it, their training staff – kind of all that accumulated together, I think, it was going to keep me healthy and get the results that I want on the field."

Watt's Fun Offseason

J.J. Watt was thrilled to be healthy this offseason. The first time he has had an healthy offseason in three years.

He's also been hanging out this summer with his brothers Derek Watt, the Chargers fullback, and T.J. Watt, the Steelers outside linebacker.

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Composite photo by Jack Brame

As things continue to relax as far as the COVID-19 pandemic is concerned, a return to a semblance of normalcy seems imminent. The NBA has some parameters in place for a potential return. Training camps are set to open late this month and the season is supposed to open July 31. Whether that's the rumored Disney-centered one-stop shop or another form, they have a plan in place to return. There's also no argument between the league and players going back and forth about money either (MLB could learn a lesson here).

So when it comes to the potential return, how does that fare for the local team? The Rockets were 40-24 and tied for the fifth seed in the West when the season was shut down. Since they're getting ready to return potentially, we need to be looking at what chances they may have in making a run in the playoffs towards an NBA title.



Harden's new physique

According to his new trainer, James Harden has done more cardio workouts and lost some weight. Specifically, he's done more football player workouts as opposed to basketball player workouts. There was a pic of Harden floating around showing an obvious loss of weight. His new-found cardio and weight loss could mean more late-game and late-season success for Harden and the Rockets.

Westbrook's edge

Russell Westbrook has a competitive fire that can't be put out. It's like one of those never-ending burning torches you see at monuments. He wants nothing more than to prove he's a winner on a high level. Given that he's reunited with a long time friend in Harden, his competitive nature could help fill the gap where Harden may lack. These two have proven they can coexist very well this season. Now could be their time to take surge.

Small-ball

When the Rockets traded Clint Capela, they fully committed to small-ball. There were times they didn't have a guy in the lineup over 6'5. The tallest guy that gets regular time is roughly 6'8. The smaller, quicker lineup is an advantage on the offensive end, but can be a huge liability on the defensive end. Given the stoppage and restart of the season, it could help them. Suppose other teams are sluggish and can't get their chemistry straight. Houston's advantage is that they go through one or two guys and eat off their shooting. Shooting can be worked on during times like these, whereas other aspects of your game can't.


I'm not saying the Rockets have a built-in advantage, but they have as good a shot as they've ever had in the past. The field is wide open to any team that's in the playoff hunt. No team will have a built-in advantage over others. With the Rockets' unique brand of ball, they may be able to make a run at a title this season. Couple that with Harden's weight loss and Westbrook's competitive nature, it could be very interesting. Whenever the NBA comes back this season, which I believe they will, I think this team has a legit shot at winning it all.

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