It’s getting to be that time of the year again when every Texans fan starts to get excited. Historically, the NFL Draft has been at the top of a short list of things that energize our fan base, just ahead of the period where management dumps our worthless free agent contracts following yet another dissapointing season. Maybe, just maybe we would end up winning a few games as well. But this year is different. Different even from the previous seasons where we proclaimed things would be “different.” There is a growing sense that, behind a stellar core of talented, character athletes, this team can actually make a splash in 2009, maybe even make the playoffs! Add me to the list of those drinking the kool-aid. No longer are we a team that strives for 8-8, but one who underachieves at 8-8. More importantly, no longer are we a team who reaches in the draft to take players at positions of need, but instead we possess the talent across the board that should enable us to take the best available player when our number is called. I have complete faith in Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith and the direction in which they are steering our team. And it is not the baseless faith that I have been a victim of in the past. It is based on a track record that has seen them produce Pro Bowlers from second day draft picks, play-makers from prospects that most deemed too small or too slow to be every down contributors, and serviceable starters from the practice squad scrap heap. 2009 is going to be different for the Houston Texans. We are going to be a force whether the rest of the NFL likes it or not. While the other teams in our division are getting older and slower, we are primed for a breakout. After boasting one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL last season and a defense consisting of talent at critical positions that no one around the league will deny, we will not be sneaking up on anybody this year. It doesn’t matter. This team is ready. The fans are ready. It’s time for the Houston Texans to reach the next level and ascend into the class of the NFL’s elite. Andre Johnson. Mario Williams. Demeco Ryans. Matt Schaub. Dunta Robinson. Steve Slaton. Owen Daniels. ‘Nuff said. Are you still a skeptic? Talk to me in January and we’ll see where we stand.