Houston Texans coach/GM Bill O'Brien is "still in training camp mode'' as opposed to focusing completely on Week 1's test at Kansas City. And part of "training camp mode'' is this week's roster cutdown to 53.
"We probably will start chipping away at that,'' O'Brien says. "The whole league has to get down to 53 by Saturday. We'll probably use all of that time. We'll begin to start chipping away here.''
Before the "chipping'' transactions comes a "building'' one: The four-year, $58-million contract extension for linebacker Zach Cunningham.
READ MORE: Houston Locks Up Zack Cunningham
"All of us (coaches in the NFL) talk about culture, and culture is defined by the people in the culture,'' O'Brien says. "'DTS' - 'dependable, tough and smart - and that's what Zach is. And he's a really good player. ... We were very happy to get something done.''
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Adds Cunningham via a statement: "I'm incredibly proud and excited to remain a Houston Texan for years to come.''
Other summer Texans aren't going to share that same fate, however. Roster moves to begin the week:
*Tight end Dylan Stapleton sustained a small fracture in his shoulder while diving for a pass, per a report from Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, who suggests a release and an injury settlement is forthcoming.
*Third-string QB Alex McGough is heading out the door, per Wilson.
*Defensive lineman Albert Huggins is being released, per Wilson, who calls him "a prime candidate to join the (Texans) practice squad'' should he go unclaimed.
*The Carolina Panthers have released LB Andre Smith, per NFL Network, causing our Anthony Wood to speculate that Smith - a core special-teamer in Carolina - might be a good fit with O'Brien's club. In the end, however. Carolina engineered a trade of Smith to the Bills.
*The Texans are cutting just-acquired veteran linebacker Daren Bates, per Wilson.