Thursday, August 13, 2009
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: A season of potential

Chester Pitts, Kris Brown are last original Texans

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[August 13, 2009]  HOUSTON (AP) -- They've outlasted a head coach, a handful of assistants and dozens of teammates, including 2002 top overall pick David Carr.

Chester Pitts and Kris Brown are the only players who've been with the Texans since their inception.

The pair has survived the struggles and growing pains of being part of an expansion team. Now they hope Houston's eighth season will be the one in which the team finally moves into the playoffs.

"I believe it in my heart that this is by far the best chance we've had of all the years that we've been here to make it," Pitts said. "This will definitely be the year where it's the biggest disappointment if it doesn't happen."

Pitts, an offensive guard, and Brown, the team's kicker, have played in every one of Houston's 112 games. Pitts was drafted in the second-round in 2002 and has missed just seven plays in his career.


They both count Houston's win against the Cowboys in the inaugural game in 2002 as a high point in their careers. Another favorite for Pitts is Houston's first win over the Colts in 2006 and Brown liked last season's win at Green Bay.

But for all the good memories, there's also been plenty of tough times. That win over the Cowboys was a rare bright spot in a season where the Texans would win just three more games. Houston improved its record in the next two seasons but fell to 2-14, the NFL's worst record, in 2005.

That led to the firing of coach Dom Capers and the majority of the team's assistants. A good chunk of the players didn't last through the coaching change and Carr was released after one disappointing season under coach Gary Kubiak.

Kubiak said it's no secret why Pitts and Brown have hung on in Houston.

"They're both good players," he said. "It doesn't matter what's going on with an organization, good players have a tendency to play a long time and hopefully you can keep them in one place. They have been good players and good people for this place and we're all trying to get them to where they want to go."

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Brown, a seventh-round draft pick who spent his first three seasons in Pittsburgh, said the most difficult part of outlasting almost everyone from the original squad is seeing so many friends come and go.

"You think back to the first couple of years and us getting started in the organization and all of the sudden four or five years into it we're already making a big change," he said. "But that's just part of this business and you kind of become numb to it and immune to it a little bit. You just kind of go with the flow."

They occasionally reminisce about their years with the team, but spend far more time discussing the future and what they want to help Houston accomplish this season.

If the Texans get that elusive playoff berth it will be special for the entire team, but for these two who have been here for the entire ride it would mean much more.

"I think that it will probably be a little sweeter or a little bit more of a reward for us," Brown said. "But I think if we can just do the things that we want to do and achieve some of our goals, I think everybody's going to be happy."

[Associated Press; By KRISTIE RIEKEN]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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