CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Trindon Holliday has always had game-breaking speed.
He finally got a chance to show it.
the Texans’ first kickoff return of the 2012 preseason, Holliday (5-5,
169) raced 90 yards for a touchdown through the Carolina Panthers’
coverage unit at Bank of America Stadium. He finished the preseason
opener with three kickoff returns for 159 yards (53.0 average) and three
punt returns for 23 yards.
Holliday didn’t play a single snap on
offense, but if he continues to return kicks like he did on Saturday
night, it won’t matter.
“If Trindon’s going to make this team,
he’s going to have to be a special returner, and we’re going to give him
every chance to do that,” Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said after the
game. “Tonight, he had one hell of a start. He was not only excellent on
the big play, but I thought he was very good on all the others ones,
too. That could be huge for our team. If’s he’s going to be with us,
that’s the most important thing.”
A sixth-round draft pick out of
LSU in 2010, Holliday was brought in to be a return specialist, a
difference-maker on special teams who could flip field position on a
Instead, he missed his entire rookie season because
of a thumb injury suffered in the preseason. He was cut before the
start of last season and spent the year on and off of the Texans’
practice squad. He was on the Texans’ active roster for a total of one
game in his first two NFL seasons.
No surprise, then, that
Holliday couldn’t help but smile when asked about his big touchdown on
Saturday in the postgame locker room.
“It was very special,”
Holliday said. “It’s a long time coming. I’ve been waiting on that one.
My guys gave me a lot of blocking; I just seen one seam and I just hit
it and it opened up.”
On the touchdown, Holliday fielded the kick
at the 10, bounced it out to the right, followed his blocks and cut
left past Panthers kicker Justin Medlock at the Houston 40-yard line. He
weaved back to his right and turned on the jets, outrunning any
would-be tacklers on his way to the end zone.
“He’s got wheels,” said tight end Garrett Graham, a member of Holliday’s draft class. “He showed it tonight. Trindon can definitely be explosive in the return game.”
has been clocked in the 4.2s in the 40-yard dash. He won the NCAA
100-meter sprint title in 2009 with a time of 10.00 seconds, the
fourth-best time in the world that year and the fastest time in history
for a college football player at the time.
He was an eight-time
All-American in track and field at LSU. At Northeast High School in
Zachary, La., he posted the nation’s fastest indoor times in the 55 and
60-meter dash in 2005. He was a four-time Louisiana state champion in
the 200 meters and three-time state champion in the 100 meters. He also
was second in his high school state meet in the long jump.
football field, Holliday averaged 24.7 yards per kickoff return and
15.0 yards per punt return in four seasons at LSU. He returned four
kicks for touchdowns in his career.
Saturday night offered a glimpse at all that talent, but Texans special teams coordinator Joe Marciano still wants to see more.
thought he could’ve played a little cleaner,” Marciano said on
Saturday. “I thought he could’ve made a better decision fair catch. On
one of the punt returns, I thought we had a cutback. On one of the kick
returns, looked like he should’ve stayed with the point of attack. Until
I see the tape, I could be wrong, but that’s what I saw. I see a young
talent with a lot of room to grow. Let’s not anoint him yet; he’s got a
long way to go.”
It should be noted that Marciano did smile a minute later when asked about Holliday’s speed.
“I saw it in college,” he said. “I can coach fast guys.”
Holliday knows that one game does not a spot on the roster make. He’s determined to show that Saturday was no fluke.
all starts and finishes with consistency,” he said. “I’ve got to be
consistent in what I do and just come out, work hard and continue to
build off of this.
“It’s been very hard (the last two seasons),
but I just have to stay positive. Just have to stay positive with a
positive mindset and come out every year and just work hard, and I think
this’ll be a special year for me.”
Article by: Twitter.com/NickScurfield
Props to HoustonTexans.com for the info.