HOUSTON – Line backer Joe Mays wants to leave the past right where it belongs.
The newest Houston Texan worked out with the team for the first time on Wednesday morning. He may be in a new uniform, but no one has forgotten the hit he put on quarterback Matt Schaub last year.
“We talked, man. It’s over with. I’m just glad to hear that everything is okay,” Mays said after practice. “Hopefully the fans can accept me. I know how mad they were about it and believe me I was upset too.”
Mays was suspended last year for 1 game and fined $50,000 after he delivered a huge helmet-to-helmet hit to Schaub that took a piece of his ear off. It drew lots of outrage from Texans fans, who now will most likely cheer him for those big hits.
“I think they will be alright once I do that,” Mays said. “I just got to go out there and play my butt off and do whatever I can for the team.”
Mays will get plenty of reps with the linebacker group which is having its fair share of injuries. Brian Cushing is still recovering from knee surgery, Daryl Sharpton is out and so is Whitney Mercilus, who has a mild hamstring strain.
“They told me they wanted to get me in there and throw me in the fire to see what I can do,” Mays said. “Hopefully I did okay enough, but it’s still a learning process. I’m trying to do whatever I can and I’m trying to learn the playbook as fast I can.”
“It’s exciting bring him in. I think he’s a tremendous football player and he adds a lot to the team,” Brian Cushing said. “Anytime you add a play maker like that it only makes you better.”
All the Texans are happy to have Mays on the team; a guy who they feel will help strengthen the defense. The veteran line backer isn’t worried about what his teammates think. He was more concerned with the fans.
“I read blogs and all that stuff. My wife does, too. She went on the internet and see all that stuff about they wanted to kill me and all types of stuff,” Mays said. “I was just laughing, but I think I was more worried about the fans and how they would respond to me coming here. Hopefully, it’s a good one.”