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Mr. Laz
05-19-2005, 02:18 PM
:deevee: :deevee:


:harumph:


Texans release popular Moses

Kick returner expendable after offseason pickups
By JOSEPH DUARTE
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

J.J. Moses makes a living being chased around the football field But he couldn't outrun the inevitable.

The Texans released Moses, one of the most popular players in the team's three seasons, on Wednesday after upgrading the list of challengers for the kickoff and punt return duties this offseason.

The Texans signed unrestricted free-agent Marcellus Rivers to take Moses' spot on the roster. The need for a tight end became paramount with the loss of Bennie Joppru to a torn knee ligament earlier this week.

Moses' two-year tenure as the primary returner was marked by reliable hands (he had only one fumble in 72 punt returns) but an otherwise ineffective, unspectacular performance. The Texans failed to score a touchdown on a kickoff or punt the past two seasons and finished in the bottom half of the AFC in both categories.

Moses, 25, was expected to be a long shot during training camp this summer with the Texans placing a high priority on upgrading return talent during the offseason.

"As happens in this league, you have to make tough decisions that you feel are in the best interest of the team," coach Dom Capers said.

Among the list of candidates to replace Moses are wide receiver Reggie Swinton, newly acquired cornerback Phillip Buchanon and fourth-round selection Jerome Mathis.


A JOB'S AVAILABLE

Among the list of candidates to replace kick returner J.J. Moses, who was cut by the Texans on Wednesday:

Wide receiver Reggie Swinton has been among the NFL's most productive return men the last two seasons, finishing sixth with a 24.1-yard kickoff return average with Detroit in 2003.

Phillip Buchanon, acquired in late April to be the starting left cornerback, is regarded as a top-notch punt returner with three touchdowns in three seasons with Oakland.

Fourth-round selection Jerome Mathis, arguably the fastest player on the roster, has been handling punts during on-field coaching sessions after primarily being used on kickoffs at Division I-AA Hampton.

Capers said "several other" current players on the roster could be considered, presumably wide receivers Jabar Gaffney and Kendrick Starling and backup running back Tony Hollings. Gaffney handled kickoff duties when Moses missed the next-to-last game of the season against Jacksonville with a sprained ankle.

"Your hope is to get good competition at every position," Capers said, "and that brings out the best in everybody. We have several options."

Capers said the timing of the move was to satisfy the team's need for a fourth tight end and to give Moses the opportunity to find work. Moses, the NFL's shortest player last season at 5-6, put the Texans at a disadvantage in regards to roster flexibility with his inability to be used at wide receiver.

"We just felt J.J. was not getting any reps as a receiver," Capers said. "We thought it would be in the best interest releasing him now so he could catch on with another team."

Moses ranked 19th in punt return average (8.2 yards) and 20th on kickoffs (21.0 yards) last season. During his two seasons, Moses had some electrifying returns, although he was mostly a zig-zagging tease, and he lacked downfield speed and was prone to getting caught from behind.

Capers said he has no preference whether the kickoff and punt duties are handled by two players or one. He also wouldn't hesitate to use a starter such as Buchanon despite the risk of injury.

"We have to go through this process," Capers said. I've been around places where the return man was a starter. If that's what we think it takes to win, that's what we will do."

In four seasons with the New York Giants, Rivers caught 27 passes for 227 yards and four touchdowns. He'll join a depth chart that includes Mark Bruener, Billy Miller and Matt Murphy.

alpha_omega
05-19-2005, 02:24 PM
I always liked that guy.

Bob Dole
05-19-2005, 02:31 PM
Well, there's a WR we'll pick up.

big nasty kcnut
05-19-2005, 02:32 PM
He not a bad player. Hope he get on a nfc team.

Lzen
05-20-2005, 08:32 AM
Dante Hall is no JJ Moses.

whoman69
05-20-2005, 09:49 AM
He pretty much single handedly beat Iowa in his single season. Every week he was here there was a training camp story about a miraculous catch he made. If Capers says he isn't a receiver, he must not have been looking close enough.