NFL teams were free to start signing players to their respective practice squads at 11 a.m. CDT this morning. As I write this post at 8:30 p.m. CDT, your cheap houston texans jerseys have yet to announce the eight (8) players they signed to their practice squad. Why? I'm guessing that the fact that a handful of the guys they cut--and subsequently hoped to sign to their practice squad--got claimed off waivers by other teams threw a wrench into Smithiak's plan.

Matt Schaub is fifth among active quarterbacks in completion percentage at 64.3, eighth in the league with a 91.9 passer rating and he's thrown for 20,911 yards and 114 touchdowns since joining Houston in 2007. Despite those accomplishments, Schuab has been viewed, fairly or unfairly, as one of the culprits for the houston texans jerseys cheap not reaching the Super Bowl. Houston drafted receiver DeAndre Hopkins to complement steady Andre Johnson, and there's the potent running attack led by Arian Foster. Reigning Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt is a force at end, and the unit should get a boost with the healthy return of linebacker Brian Cushing.

The Colts were "Chuck Strong" last season en route to a stunning appearance in the playoffs while coach Chuck Pagano missed most of the season battling cancer. Quarterback Andrew Luck emerged during his rookie season with 4,374 yards and 23 touchdowns on 627 attempts, the most ever for a rookie, but was sacked 41 times, fourth most in the NFL.

Chris Johnson, aka "CJ2K," again said he expects to reach 2,000 yards rushing this season but has failed to eclipse 1,400 yards since 2009. And with the addition of Shonn Greene, it isn't clear how many touches Johnson will get. The Titans drafted Alabama guard Chance Warmack, who should open holes for both backs once he gets used to the transition from the left side to the right of the line.

The Jaguars ranked at or near the bottom of nearly every major statistical category on both sides of the ball in 2012. Jacksonville drafted versatile playmakers such as wide receiver Ace Sanders of South Carolina and Michigan's Denard Robinson, who should help the Jags score a few more points. Offensive tackle Luke Joeckel was drafted No. 2 overall to solidify the line and protect the blind side of disappointing quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

Sometime today, your cheap texans jerseys will announce which players they've signed to their practice squad. Often times, after a player is cut, fans will immediately clamor for that player to be signed to the practice squad. But there are rules in the Collective Bargaining Agreement about which players are and are not eligible for the practice squad.

Our friends over at Cincy Jungle took the time to flesh out the relevant language from the CBA in this absurdly informative post, which tells you everything you'd ever want to know about the nuts and bolts of NFL practice squads. Here's the skinny from the CBA, courtesy of CJ, about which players are eligible for the Texans' practice squad:

The Practice Squad shall consist of the following players, provided that they have not served more than two previous seasons on a Practice Squad: (i) players who do not have an Accrued Season of NFL experience; and (ii) free agent players who were on the Active List for fewer than nine regular season games during their only Accrued Season(s). An otherwise eligible player may be a Practice Squad player for a third season only if the Club by which he is employed that season has at least 53 players on its Active/Inactive List during the entire period of his employment.

A player shall be deemed to have served on a Practice Squad in a season if he has passed the club’s physical and been a member of the club’s Practice Squad for at least three regular season or postseason games during his first two Practice Squad seasons, and for at least one regular season or postseason game during his third Practice Squad season. (For purposes of this Section, a bye week counts as a game provided that the player is not terminated until after the regular season or postseason weekend in question.)

Magnolia student Ethan Townsend had an opportunity of a lifetime recently.

A third-grader at Nichols Sawmill Elementary, Townsend was chosen to hold the Texas flag at the texans jerseys cheap pregame show Aug. 25 at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

Ethan’s mother Jenny Townsend received an email from the coordinators of the event.

“Congratulations! Your child has been selected to be one of our Texas Flag holders for the August 25th State of Football Game vs. the New Orleans Saints! Due to your participation in the Houston Texans Youth Football Camp presented by Under Armour, you have been selected for this pre-game flag holding experience,” the email stated.

During the summer camp, Ethan learned about safety, nutrition and the importance of being part of a team from hand-selected coaches from the Houston area.

“Next thing, I get an email saying he was selected,” Jenny Townsend said.

Ethan received two tickets to the football game and he and his father, David, went together.

When Ethan arrived, he did a practice run holding the flag. Ethan held the portion of the flag where all three colors met. During the game, the camera man zoomed in on him and his dad.

“They were on the mega-screen in the stadium for all to see. Ethan was smiling ear to ear,” Jenny said. “The camera panned out to show the whole flag and then zoomed in on just Ethan. His face took up the whole mega-screen.”