Solomon: Anderson’s return to Texans is a talker
By JEROME SOLOMON, Copyright 2011 Houston Chronicle
Updated 10:12 p.m., Friday, September 16, 2011
Original Posting: http://www.chron.com/sports/solomon/article/Solomon-Anderson-s-return-to-Texans-is-a-talker-2175033.php
It has been relatively quiet around the Texans this season.
No distractions, no disputes and, of course, no David Anderson.
It is a bit unfair to list Anderson in the same sentence as the first two, which can be major problems for a football team.
Anderson is far from that. He is a team-first guy and a leader. But he is a noisemaker, a chatterbox.
The resident comedian and jokester, who was released before training camp and re-signed this week after Kevin Walter suffered a shoulder injury against the Colts in the season opener, returned to the team the same way he left: talking a lot and cracking jokes.
“Oh, since he came back, he’s picked up where he left off,” said Andre Johnson, the elder, and far more reserved, statesman of Texans receivers. “It was a little quiet, peaceful even, without him. But it’s nice to have him back.”
That is the general sentiment among the Texans when it comes to Anderson. Quiet without him here; more fun with him around.
It is easy to overlook Anderson. Aside from standing around 5-9, the seventh-round draft pick in 2006 has never been an integral part of the attack. For opponents, he is an afterthought.
His professional career high in catches and receiving yards came in a preseason game against Denver in 2008. Anderson, 28, who has 81 career receptions, isn’t a star and never will be.
But he is a football player.
“He knows his role, and he does a heck of a job at it,” Walter said. “He’s smart, understands every position and is very versatile. He brings a lot to the table.”
Anderson is also one of the most popular players on the Texans; one of the franchise’s all-time fan favorites.
He is probably the only No. 4 receiver in NFL history to make an appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien
Though Anderson left college as possibly the greatest receiver in Colorado State history, there were 250 players taken before him in the 2006 draft; only four after. On draft day, Anderson told reporters that a lot of guys taken ahead of him were not as good as he was.
He was right.
He was the 28th receiver selected. Twenty-one of those drafted before him have played fewer games in the NFL than he has, and 16 weren’t on a season-opening roster.
Anderson is a survivor.
“A lot should be said about people who do things the right way and persevere,” said Texans tight end Joel Dreessen, who played with Anderson in college. “If you do things the right way, you’re going to get knocked down a time or two, but if you keep at it, keep believing, keep the faith and keep getting better, you’ll stick around in this league.”
Dreessen speaks from experience. He has been cut twice by NFL teams.
“It hurts when people say, ‘We don’t believe in you and you’re not good enough to be part of our team,’ ” Dreessen said. “It can be very discouraging.”
Added Anderson: “You just got to figure out a way to be in the NFL, find out what kind of player you can be in the NFL and go with that.”
The Broncos were set to sign Anderson as an undrafted free agent when coach Gary Kubiak called to tell him the Texans were going to draft him. In 2009, Denver signed Anderson to a three-year contract, but the Texans matched it to retain his services.
After missing the first few workouts in Denver because of the post-lockout rules, Anderson thought he had done enough to make the team, but the Broncos were interested in going with younger players. Nope, 28 isn’t young in NFL years.
Walter’s injury opened the door for a return to the Texans.
“When Kevin went down, the first thing everybody around here said was, ‘We need to go get David back,’ ” Johnson said.
‘Hop in there and go’
One advantage in bringing Anderson back is that even with Walter possibly having to sit out Sunday’s game (officially he is listed as day-to-day), the Texans will carry their “normal load” into Sunday’s game at Miami.
“With David coming back, nothing has changed,” Kubiak said. “We didn’t feel like we had to stop. Just hop in there and go.”
That’s what Anderson will do: Hop in there and go. But he won’t go quietly.