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The Texans cheerleaders are one of the most popular entities in our city. Even though he won't be donning a two-piece workout uniform and tight-fitting over-the-calf dancing boots anytime soon .... the Texans new assistant head coach in charge of offense, Alex Gibbs, certainly encompasses the spirit of the group.
Gibbs ... at age 67 ... seems to have more energy than Reliant, Centerpoint, and all the other companies combined. After trying retirement for one year ... this former offensive line coach who (along with Texans head coach Gary Kubiak) helped shape two Super Bowl winning teams in Denver .... Gibbs apparantly just had to get back to work. I say apparantly ....because Gibbs doesn't like to do interviews. I introduced myself to him earlier this week ...and although he was cordial .... he said he doesn't do interviews.
From a reporter's perspective .... that makes things a little tough. He's the most talked about coach in camp ...and he won't be interviewed. Hmmm.....actually it wasn't that hard to do a story for our evening newscast about Gibbs .... because everyone in camp seems to have an opinion about the guy.
"First off ... he's a helluva football coach and he helps our football team," Kubiak told me. He went on to say,"He has a passion for this ... he took a little time off ...and decided he wanted to do it again. I think he's really enjoying himself." "I love Alex," says offensive tackle Ephraim Salaam. Salaam worked under him while they were both in Denver. "He'll make you good ...or he'll make you gone. Ha...that's what he always says ... you gonna get good ..and you're gonna be gone. I love him ... he's high energy all the time"
I have to tell you watching Gibbs at work ..... is a joy. He shouts encouragement one minute ....and rips into a player showing a weak effort one minute later. Whatever he thinks works to motivate his guys he'll do. "Psychologically ...he seems to know what to do differently to each player. How to get the best out of everyone, says Eric Winston.. the Texans starting right tackle.
Gibbs rides his guys hard during different drills ....but during the break periods ...he regularly is laughing and cutting up. Texans defensive coordinator Richard Smith says,"You've seen how he coaches the guys hard ... but he has a way ...that ...they like it ...ya know.. He's a great coach." Smith also worked with Gibbs in Denver.
Winston says,"When he yells ...we don't even consider it yelling ...he's just trying to communicate with us. With everything else he brings to this team (a modified zone blocking scheme and a history of winning) .... he brings a attitude that let's enjoy what we're doing and have fun."
Of course ...this cheerleader isn't always smiles and laughs ...he's also very demanding of his players ....but if the first week is any indication .... he's building a more cohesive unit ....and if the Texans enjoy more success on offense ..... a 67 year old guy ...who doesn't like to talk to the media ....will be one of the big reasons. I for one ....don't mind at all ....as long as it means added success for this city that is so starved for an NFL winning team.