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Houston Texans 2005 News and Notes
HOUSTON -- If you wonder how a player's exploits can catapult him into a pantheon of running backs that includes Barry Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Terrell Davis, Jerome Bettis and Curtis Martin, and how that youngster can exude so much humility despite being in such elite company, well, think about this:
Domanick Davis of the Houston Texans, one of only 13 players over the last 20 seasons to compile 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first two years in the NFL, was raised in Breaux Bridge, La. And while that rural city with a per capita income 42 percent below the national average boasts a population of just 7,281 residents spread across 6.66 square miles, according to the 2000 census report, the Texans tailback is only its second-most celebrated NFL player.
Now that will keep you unpretentious and, Domanick Davis acknowledged, keep your home-grown values in place, too.
"Oh, yeah, people know me, sure," Davis said last week after an evening practice session at the Texans' sprawling complex in the shadows of the monolithic Reliant Stadium. "But they probably know quarterback Jake Delhomme just a little bit better, I guess. That's fine. He's a good guy. I don't mind being the quiet one."
So quiet was Davis, claim members of the Texans' public relations department, that when the team selected him in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL draft and hooked him up with local media members on a telephone conference call, the cows mooing in the background came across the lines louder than he did. As the workhorse in the Texans' backfield, though, Davis has spoken volumes, and milked a lot of production out of relatively modest skills.
So much so that the Texans, who appreciate Davis' work ethic, dedication and diligence, even while conceding he probably is not an elite back, rewarded him a four-year contract extension two weeks ago. The deal, which came as Davis was about to enter the last year of his original contract, featured about $20.7 million in so-called "new money" and included a $5 million signing bonus.
That kind of windfall might not enable someone to buy all of Breaux Bridge, but it would sure spend pretty well there.
The city, northeast of Lafayette, La., and about a 3翻-hour drive from Houston, sits a tad south of Route 10 in the Saint Martin Parish. It bills itself as the Crawfish Capital of the World and the annual highlight, unless the townsfolk have convened a parade to honor Delhomme or Davis, is the Crawfish Festival every May. Besides Delhomme and Davis, the biggest Breaux Bridge celebrity is the actress Ali Landry, who won the Miss USA Pageant in 1996 and is best known as the "Doritos Girl," according to her Web site bio.
But it's family, not finances, that means the most in Breaux Bridge.
When he was young, Davis' parents separated and his grandparents took in his mother and her four children. They gave the extended family, which burgeoned with aunts, uncles and cousins, food and shelter and a sense that no matter how high you rose in life, you'd always be pretty grounded if you recalled your Breaux Bridge years. And it is clear from talking to Davis, one of the most unassuming young players that you might encounter in the NFL, that his values are deep-rooted.
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