Bruce Bosley Jersey Store

The late Bruce Bosley, a former consensus All-American and College Football Hall of Fame offensive and defensive lineman, will be the third West Virginia University football player to have his number retired by the school.

WVU announced Wednesday that Bosley’s number will be retired at the Mountaineers’ season opener versus Missouri on Sept. 3. His No. 77 will join Sam Huff’s No. 75 and Ira “Rat” Rodgers’ No. 21 among the retired numbers list.

Bosley earned consensus All-America honors in 1955 for the Mountaineers as a two-way tackle for coach Art “Pappy” Lewis and was named to 12 All-America teams. He also was a CoSIDA Academic All-American and played in the College All-Star Game, North-South Game and the Senior Bowl.

Bosley teamed with fellow linemen Huff and Gene “Beef” Lamone to help West Virginia to a 31-7 record, including a 3-1 mark against Penn State and two wins over Pitt. He was a key member of West Virginia’s 1954 Sugar Bowl team that finished with an 8-2 record and a Southern Conference championship.

A second-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 1956, he went on to become an immediate starter for the 49ers at defensive end, moved to offensive guard and then to center in 1962. Bosley was a 49ers team captain in 1967 and 1968 and finished his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 1969. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 1961 as an offensive guard and again in 1966, 1967 and 1968 as a center.

After retirement, Bosley was well known in the San Francisco area for his charitable endeavors. He served on the board of directors for the San Francisco Annex for Cultural Arts, was on the mayor’s committee for the San Francisco Council for the Performing Arts, and was a long-serving volunteer with the San Francisco Film Festival and the San Francisco Ballet.

Bosley also went on to be the president of the NFL Alumni Association, and become a member of the 49ers “Golden Era” team from 1946-69. He was selected to college football’s Silver Anniversary team in 1981, WVU’s all-time football team (1950-59), inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982, the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1992, and the newly formed Mountaineer Legends Society in 2016. Bosley died in 1995 at age 61.

Currently, junior offensive lineman Marcell Lazard wears No. 77 for the Mountaineers, and will finish his career in that number before it goes into permanent retirement.

Austin Spitler Jersey Store

Welcome back linebacker Austin Spitler. The Miami Dolphins have announced that they re-signed their former linebacker after releasing him in the preseason. Spitler originally joined the Dolphins as a seventh round pick in the 2010 draft.

He’s been primarily utilized as a special teams player in his three seasons with Miami, although he has made appearances as a reserve linebacker. He was set to make a little over $1 million this season before he was released. No details on the terms of his new contract have been disclosed.

According to Jesse Agler, Spitler will be wearing number 45. He previously had been number 53, which rookie linebacker Jelani Jenkins now wears.

The Dolphins have roster space for Spitler following the waiving of safety Kelcie McCray and fullback Tyler Clutts yesterday. No word yet on who will fill the other roster slot, bringing Miami back up to the full 53-man roster compliment.

Willie Andrews Jersey Store

When I arrive in the beautiful, remote constituency of North East Fife for tea with the local Liberal Democrat candidate, she is apologetic. “We might have to rush,” Wendy Chamberlain explains, “because CNN is here.”

And sure enough, when I join her as she knocks doors on the quaint residential streets of St Andrews, we are followed by a TV crew. With a large team of eager canvassers, a 50:50 parliament tote bag swinging over her arm and a big smile on her face, Chamberlain has to walk up the same driveway several times, to help the cameramen get the right shot. “I’m glad I took amateur dramatics as a wee’un,” she murmurs to me. This isn’t the only TV crew to have been here in recent days.

Later, a vaguely familiar face joins our group, notebook in hand: it’s Hugo Rifkind from the Times, here with a cameraman. “I’m feeling terribly unoriginal,” he jokes as he discovers he is far from the only journalist in this corner of north east Scotland. It’s a terribly mediagenic choice, North East Fife, and not just because of the allure of St Andrews, famed for its golfing, beaches, and the university where Prince William met Kate Middleton. There’s a memorable tagline for this constituency: at the last election, the SNP beat the Liberal Democrats by only two votes, making this the most marginal constituency in the UK.

The narrative of the two-vote margin is more helpful to some parties here than others, however, and of contested relevance two years on. As I discover over the course of my visit to the constituency, much of the battle for North East Fife is a struggle between the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and, indeed, the Conservatives, over how to frame the contest, and how to relate to that 2017 result.

Out on the doorsteps with Chamberlain, the tightness of the last result is the first thing she mentions in her quick pitch. “This is the most marginal seat in the UK in terms of Westminster elections,” I watch her say on doorstep after doorstep. “There were just two votes in it last time. We’re pro-UK, pro-EU,” she adds with a warm smile, typically met with an encouraging nod, and then it’s on to the next door. The margin has captured the imagination of voters in the seat and fired up party activists, she explains. “People even talk about the recount on the doorstep,” she laughs. Indeed, there were three memorable recounts to confirm the result in 2017.

The Liberal Democrats see North East Fife as a straight contest between themselves and the SNP: two pro-Remain parties in a strongly pro-EU seat (it voted 64 per cent to Remain, higher than the Scottish average). The seat also voted 55 per cent against independence, in line with the Liberal Democrats’ pro-union message, and they are keenly aware that this is a historically Liberal seat: it was former party leader Ming Campbell’s seat from 1987 until 2015, and the historic seat of East Fife was the constituency of the Liberal prime minister Herbert Asquith, as I am reminded many times that day. “We should be able to win it back. We should never have lost it in the first place,” says one in Chamberlain’s huge team of canvassers.

And indeed, this is a fight they are throwing everything at. In North East Fife, Liberal Democrats aren’t using the printed sheets and clipboards used by canvassers up and down the country, but instead MiniVAN, the canvassing app used by the 2008 Obama Presidential campaign. If all canvassing is an effort simply to assess where the party’s vote is and where it isn’t, this app allows the Liberal Democrats here to collect data and plan canvassing with maximum efficiency.

“We have very, very good data,” confides one canvasser in the team, who whispers conspiratorially about the “software given by the Democrats”. (When I later check, it turns out to have been a purchase by the Liberal Democrats, rather than a gift, but only parties aligned with the Democrats’ progressive values are given that right. The Liberal Democrats, I am told, are the only party in the UK eligible to purchase the app.) “Guys, we have just hit 5,000 people!” Chamberlain announces to her team mid-way through the day. She tells me it is more than the local party managed over the whole campaign in 2017.

Chamberlain is a true MP-in-waiting: a charismatic former police officer, she is friendly, eloquent, and obviously optimistic about the campaign, but skilled at avoiding any predictions. It is her canvassers who chat more freely about how they really see things on the ground. They give a frank analysis of the problem in 2017: “Last time the Tory machine convinced people they could win here.” The Conservative candidate came in around 3,000 votes behind the Liberal Democrats and the SNP last time, with 24 per cent of the vote compared to the 32.9 per cent won by the two front-runners. The canvassers tell me that have spoken to “hundreds who confessed to voting Tory last time instead of Lib Dem,” a trend they are confident they can turn around.

Vince Newsome Jersey Store

After success playing football with the Vacaville Bulldogs in high school and the Washington Huskies in college, defensive back Vince Newsome was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1983.

Newsome noted several differences between the pros and his collegiate gridiron experiences besides the paychecks. They included the vastly accelerated velocity of the game, the size of the players and that it was more mental than physical at that level and required intensive studying.

Tony Wade: Back in the Day

“I went to a team that was loaded with talent,” Newsome said. “John Robinson had just became the head coach after being at USC and we had a lot of superstars like Eric Dickerson, Nolan Cromwell, Jack Youngblood, Jackie Slater and later Kevin Green and others. I played with a lot of players who would wind up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”

Because of the depth in the Rams’ roster, Newsome was not thrown immediately into the fire, but given time to learn how to become a pro.

“I competed against myself. I had this adage, ‘To stay a champion, you have to think like a challenger.’ So I never took for granted that I was in the NFL or that I was going to stay there,” Newsome said. “I had to improve each year and keep that ‘I’m a challenger’ perspective in my mental and physical conditioning.”

In addition to playing with some of the biggest names in the history of the NFL, Newsome played against many as well. They include Walter Payton, Tony Dorsett, Earl Campbell, Ken Stabler, Dan Marino, Warren Moon, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, among others.

The Rams went 11-5 in 1985 and made it to the Conference championship game. Unfortunately, they ran into the defensive juggernaut that was the Chicago Bears. Like the Bears, who made a popular rap video starring the team called “The Super Bowl Shuffle,” the Rams released “Let’s Ram It” ( which . . . has not aged well.

“That video needs to be burned. I’m just glad I’m not in it,” Newsome said.

Plan B Free Agency began in the NFL in 1990 and Newsome visited a few other teams and decided to join the Cleveland Browns.

“In Los Angeles you’d better be winning or fans have other things to do. When I went to Cleveland, you didn’t have to be one of the superstars, you just had to be one of the players and everybody wanted to touch you. They embraced the entire team,” Newsome said.

At that time, Bill Belichick was head coach and Nick Saban was the defensive coordinator. Newsome felt like he had to prove himself all over again as he played with several big names like Clay Matthews, Michael Dean Perry, Bernie Kosar and Kevin Mack, among others.

In 1992, after a 10-year career in the NFL, Vince Newsome hung up his cleats for good and retired.

Almost as soon as he left the field, he joined the front office. The Browns allowed Newsome to coach in mini-camps to get a taste of what it was like. But he was nudged toward the personnel side.

“I was approached by one of Cleveland’s top personnel guys and he suggested I follow the path of Ozzie Newsome (no relation) who was then the Director of Pro Personnel and who he predicted would be a general manager one day,” Newsome said. “Now, I knew Ozzie because I played against him and I thought ‘he’s going to be a GM?’ But I gave it some thought and went to the personnel side.”

After the 1995 season, the Browns franchise ceased to be – until it was resurrected as an expansion team four years later when owner Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore and they became the Ravens. Ozzie Newsome did become the GM and Vince Newsome became the Assistant Director of Pro Personnel, then the Director of Pro Personnel and is now the Senior Personnel Executive.

Newsome is glad he had coaches like the late Tom Zunino at Vacaville High School who encouraged him to stick with it when he wanted to quit. His football resume continues to grow to this day.

“To me the pinnacle was having the relationships and camaraderie with teammates when I was playing, but helping to build a team that wins a Super Bowl is immensely gratifying and we’ve done it twice,” Newsome said. “Your roster changes every year so it’s difficult to get the players to come together to where you’re hitting your sweet spot at the right time. But I would still rather play.”

David Fluellen Jersey Store

NASHVILLE — With the holiday season in full swing, Titans RB Khari Blasingame, TE Anthony Firkser, RB David Fluellen, TE Parker Hesse, TE Mycole Pruitt, TE Jonnu Smith, QB Ryan Tannehill and QB Logan Woodside put on red Santa hats, sang Christmas carols and delivered gifts to spread Christmas cheer by visiting new parents and orthopaedic patients at Saint Thomas Midtown hospital. Saint Thomas Health is part of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and nonprofit health system.

“We were able to visit families and welcome little girls and boys to the world,” said Tannehill. “Beautiful kids and happy parents – it’s special that we were able to share that moment with them to welcome that child to the world. Several of them were going home today and that’s exciting! To be able to see them before they go home and bring a smile to their faces was a lot of fun.”

More moms trust Saint Thomas Women’s Care to deliver their babies more than any other hospital in the state of Tennessee. More than 6,000 babies are born annually at the hospital which is the most among all hospitals in middle Tennessee. The OB floor made extensive and exciting renovations that began in 2016 to enhance the experience of the many families they care for each year. Some of the updates included a new registration area, renovated triage rooms, labor and delivery rooms and a new Titans Fan Zone Waiting Room. Additionally, the new Birthing Center offers expectant families a truly memorable childbirth experience: holistic, highly specialized maternity care in a home-like environment.

Saint Thomas also underwent a $25 million project renovating 94,000 square feet of space on the 8th floor of the Saint Thomas Joint Replacement Institute. This resulted in eight dedicated operating rooms that are larger and more appropriate for advanced total joint replacement procedures, leading to the best outcomes for patients. The final result brings Middle Tennessee patients a personalized experience.

“It means so much to everybody, especially around the holidays,” said Nicole Schlechter, Chief Medical Officer at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital. A hospital setting is not always the happiest moment and having them here brightens everyone’s day. Of course, the baby part of it is great too! They come and visit our newborn babies and they makes everyone so happy.”

“Just sang them some Christmas songs,” said Smith. “I’m not going to sing them on camera because I’ll embarrassed myself! The patients sang along with us and it was awesome. It was a great mood and great spirits. It doesn’t even feel like a hospital — it just feels like we are visiting some great people.”

“Having the relationship where we can come here on a Tuesday and bring a smile to their faces, cheer some people up and share some great moments with these kids and parents is a special thing,” added Tannehill”

There is a selflessness and sensibility not found anywhere else except by those who care for people when they are at their most vulnerable. Since we are in the season of giving thanks, it’s a good time to deliver a dose of gratitude to the physicians, nurses and staff for the skill, care, and compassion they provide.

There’s no doubt a hospital is one of the last places most families hope to find themselves over the Christmas holiday. The staff at Saint Thomas Hospitals continue to help families of Christmases past and present continue a tradition aimed at making the stay a little more joyous.

Joe Shearin Jersey Store

Billy Beale didn’t stay away for long.

Less than two years after retiring as CEO of Union Bank & Trust, Beale has stepped back into a chief executive role – this time in an interim capacity at Community Bankers Bank, a struggling Midlothian-based institution.

Beale’s been tasked with righting the ship at CBB, which is one of only about a dozen so-called bankers banks remaining in the country. Such institutions have a niche business model, with smaller community banks as both their customers and shareholders.

“This bank isn’t performing as well as some of the others, and some (CBB) board members that are friends asked me to come help them – and that’s what I intend to do,” Beale said.

Billy Beale

His first day on the job was Thursday and he replaces Howard Pisons, who had been with CBB since 2002 and was CEO since 2014. Beale said he’s signed on for an initial six-month period.

Joe Shearin, a member of the CBB board and CEO of Sonabank, said consolidation in the banking industry overall, particularly among community banks, has affected the bankers bank business model.

“The industry is shrinking, so its customer base is shrinking,” Shearin said of CBB. “When community banks merge and get bigger, they might not need a bankers bank as much. There’s a finite amount of customers.”

Steady, substantial profitability has been hard to come by for CBB in recent years.

It turned a profit of $335,000 in 2016, fell to a loss of $361,000 in 2017 and is in the black by $140,000 through the first three quarters of 2018.

This comes during a period of steady profit and growth for most banks, at least in central Virginia.

Its deposit base also has been shrinking. It had $109 million in deposits as of Sept. 30, down from a peak of $142 million in 2013.

Shearin said Beale’s experience growing Union from a small rural bank to among the largest regional banks based in Virginia – it was just shy of $10 billion before he retired in early 2017 and since has surpassed $13 billion – is why the board reached out to try to lure him back into the business, at least temporarily.

“We’ve got to look at a strategy and a global picture,” Shearin said. “That’s where Billy comes in – to help us run it and get the ship right and (determine) what’s our next step.”

Bankers banks act as correspondents to mostly smaller banks, helping connect its customers to go in on loans together that are too large to do on their own, and providing investment services, among other services.

CBB was founded in the mid-1980s as Virginia Bankers Bank, serving smaller banks in a time of expansion of interstate banking. It changed its name in the ’90s when it expanded its territory to Federal Reserve’s fifth district, which covers Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Bankers banks are owned by their customer banks. CBB, for example, has Union and Sonabank as shareholders. But illustrating how consolidation has changed CBB, one of its current shareholders is PNC Bank, a massive bank out of the northeast that received CBB shares as a result of acquisitions.

To prepare for the new role, Beale said he resigned from Union’s board of directors to clear up any potential conflicts of interest, as Union is one of the largest shareholders of CBB.

He said his initial plan of action at CBB is to help the bank find ways win more customers and business.

Beale said he was enjoying retirement, as he took three trips to Europe, and spent time with his grandkids and at the river. But he’s also excited about the challenge involved in the CBB gig.

“I would not have come seeking the challenge, but it’s kind of fun,” he said. “It’s fun to take over a bank that’s struggling and see what I can do with it.”

Derrick Williams Jersey Store

After a highly praised one-year stint with Bayern Munich, versatile forward Derrick Williams stayed in Europe for another season.

This time it was Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce that lured him to Istanbul. The five consecutive Euroleague Final Fours, the presence of Zelimir Obradovic, the winningest coach in European basketball’s history, in addition to an omnipotent roster with the likes of Nando De Colo, Kostas Sloukas, Luigi Datome and Jan Vesely presented a unique case for the 28-year-old to flourish overseas once again.

Halfway through the 2019-2020 season, Williams is averaging 11.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in about 28 minutes and 14 international games. Despite being on a team that aims high, those numbers haven’t helped Fenerbahce claim more than five wins in Euroleague action so far. The 5-9 balance is the worst ever for the 2017 continental champions, which means that the Final Four seems to be a rather far-fetched goal at the moment.

Panathinaikos OPAP dealt another blow to Fener at the empty OAKA Arena in Athens, Greece (81-78). Derrick Williams, accompanied by Luigi Datome, was the last man to exit the visitors’ locker-room and before stepping into the bus, the 2nd overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft answered a few questions for

To begin with, Williams was asked about the way for Fener to get out of the dead end, evident in the Euroleague standings and the bad performances: “I mean, it’s tough. Right now, there’s still a couple of guys injured. We just got to be a little bit better. The third quarter (against Panathinaikos) killed us again. It’s been like that for a few games this season. Maybe half of them in the Turkish League and the Euroleague we’ve been really bad in the third quarter. So, that’s the game, right there”.

Being a free agent last summer and having played seven years in the NBA meant that many offers would arrive at his door. Did NBA teams show any interest before he moved to Turkey? “Yes, they did. I had a few NBA offers, but I thought that this was the right decision. Even though we’re not playing well right now, it still was the right thing for me and my career, to try help this team win”.

In the light of Shane Larkin’s recent case with the Turkish National Team and drawing on other US players’ example, Derrick Williams admits that obtaining a European passport would not be a bad idea after all. By doing that, he could even get a taste of the Olympic Games. “Yeah, I’ve always thought about that. I think that playing in the Olympics while being overseas is sometimes very tough. You see guys from America on other teams playing for other countries. So, why not? I think it would be good”.

Euroleague competition this year seems to be more fierce than ever before: “I think it’s better than last season, from top to bottom. Even though right now we’re struggling, no matter which team you’re playing, it’s always going to be a tough match”.

Many NBAers have difficulties adjusting to the new environment. Wesley Johnson, an ex-teammate of Williams at the Minnesota Timberwolves, is perhaps one of the most telling examples. The key to making it overseas, according to the latter, is “to have an open mind, regardless of which country you go to. Just be open and try to stick with it. I think it’s tough with a lot of rule changes and things like that. It’s much different from America in a lot of these countries. You just got to keep focused, keep your head and embrace the culture wherever country you’re in”.

As our time with him was running out, Derrick Williams had no answer regarding his presence in Europe long-term and given the fact that his deal with Fener is for one year: “I don’t really want to comment on that. I don’t know yet. Anything is possible”, he replied.

Jerome Davis Jersey Store

The next time that you take a drive down a city street, or use a drinking fountain, try to stop and take a moment to think.

Remember, if just for a second, that all of the things we take for granted every day had to be built by someone.

There was a time when our roads, sewer systems, electric lines and public infrastructure simply did not exist.

They were constructed by dedicated workers, who also go about their business maintaining and fixing problems in perpetuity.

Most of us tend to only notice when something goes wrong, which most of the time, it doesn’t.

That is thanks to the work of people like Jerome Davis, who has been an employee of the Jamestown Public Works Department for over 30 years and will be retiring after the New Year.

“I went to Jamestown high school and graduated in 1982,” Davis said.

“That is how I got a job here as a college student, part-time. I loved what I was doing and wanted to stay.”

Like many of his colleagues, Davis got started out on labor crew and set to work with his team working on transportation projects.

Thanks to the winter weather enjoyed here in the Southern Tier, there is never a shortage of work to be done on city streets.

“In the springtime we have a lot of work to do usually,” Davis said. “I was on a patching crew and went to the paving crew from there. Then I was in skilled labor for many years on the big pipe construction crew. I did heavy equipment for a year or so and then I became a boss. I have been a boss for 16 or 17 years now on a big construction crew.”

Working his way up the ladder, starting as a part-time crewman and eventually become a labor foreman, Davis has picked up a few lessons along the way.

In his early years, he noticed what the successful bosses did, how they carried themselves and treated the people that worked under them. Now, he has a chance to put those lessons to work.

“They took pride in their work. That is what we were taught by the guys before us and that is what we try to teach now,” Davis said.

Over the years, the biggest changes in the public works department have come from technology.

New materials and equipment enter the fold to make work easier, hopefully, but when the rubber meets the road there still need to be people like Davis to get the job done.

Right now there are no specific retirement plans on the book for the longtime DPW leader, maybe just a vacation.

“It has been 35 years, I’m just going to relax for a bit and see how it goes,” he said.

Joseph Jones Jersey Store

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation announced today that Ocean Lakes High School (Virginia Beach, Va.) head football coach Joseph Jones has been named the Redskins High School Coach of the Year presented by Inova Sports Medicine. In his fourth year as the head football coach, Jones led the Ocean Lakes Dolphins to a 7-3 regular season record. The Dolphins made a playoff run that ended in the semifinals with a 36-6 loss.

Jones’ philosophy for the Dolphins this season was to be “All-In.” This mentality involved complete commitment between the players and the coaches. Coach Jones understood that achieving this would be difficult, but necessary. The Dolphins were short on individual talent this season, so Jones knew he would need something more from the team as a whole if they were to make a run for the title. The team would need to be “All-In.”

Coach Jones’ personal interest in his players helped him lead his team this season to have such success. Ocean Lakes High School Athletic Director John Williams said, “Jones goes beyond the X’s and O’s on the field. He has helped create a family atmosphere which has caused the kids on the team to gel together.” This family atmosphere is shown not only on the field by Coach Jones, but also through his school spirit. Williams said, “Coach Jones is one of the biggest cheerleaders we have. He is all in with Spirit Day, coming in a costume or whatever it is, he is all-in with the kids at the school.”

Jones Jones, Ocean Lakes

Joe Jones knows there is more for his student-athletes than football and helps his players know that true character is more important than winning football games. Coach Jones emulates great character, and it shows through his leadership style. Jones surrounds himself with other good people. He is a rare mix of a great general manager and a coach. He has complete trust in his coaches and what they choose to do with their team responsibilities. When Jones is with the team, he is a soft spoken man with a powerful message. He gets the message across without yelling or screaming. He treats his athletes like adults, causing respect to be given from both the players and the coaches.

As part of his character, Jones has done a great job with keeping the level of playing on the field clean. His players are very fundamentally oriented with the way they tackle and play the game. Safety is a priority for him and for the Dolphins.

“Coach Jones makes sure things get done the right way,” said Williams. “This is part of what makes Coach Jones the great man he is and helps him make great men both on and off the field.”

As a result of his Coach of the Year selection, Jones will be nominated for the 2019 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award and will be invited to Orlando for the Pro Bowl in January.

The Redskins Charitable Foundation will highlight all 2019 award winners and selection committee members with a pre-game ceremony on Sunday, December 22 before the start of the Redskins vs. Giants game at FedExField.

About Redskins High School Coach of the Week presented by Inova Sports Medicine

The High School Coach of the Week program is a league-wide initiative designed to recognize area high school football coaches who continuously demonstrate hard work and dedication to their football programs, the health and safety of their players, and who make a difference in their communities.

This season, in partnership with Inova Sports Medicine, the Redskins Charitable Foundation has convened a panel of local high school football media experts and high school athletic association representatives to provide nominations of deserving high school coaches for consideration and selection. Each coach chosen throughout the high school football season will receive a $2,000 donation from the Redskins Charitable Foundation to their football program and will be invited to a special event at the end of the season to provide additional resources and training to recipients and their coaching staff.

For more information on the Redskins High School Coach of the Week program or the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation

Neil Rackers Jersey Store

GLENDALE, AZ – JANUARY 10: Kicker Neil Rackers #1 of the Arizona Cardinals attempts a game winning field goal against the Green Bay Packers during the fourth quarter of the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. Rackers missed the attempt, sending the game in to overtime. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
After eight years in a Texans uniform, kicker Kris Brown’s days in Houston may be numbered.

This week the Texans announced the signing of 33-year-old veteran kicker Neil Rackers to a two-year, $4.1 million contract.

Rackers reached the end of his deal with Arizona and became a free agent this offseason when the Cardinals brought in Jay Feely to handle the team’s placekicking duties.

Brown says he wasn’t surprised by the move.

“I figured they were going to bring some competition in. It wasn’t surprising,” Brown told Fox Sports Houston. “That’s the nature of this league.”

The only kicker in Texans franchise history, Brown is coming off his worst statistical season as a Pro.

He completed 65.6 percent of his field goals (21 of 32) and converted 43 of 44 PATs in a forgettable 2009 campaign. Brown has a career field goal percentage of 77.3 percent in 11 seasons with the Steelers and Texans and has never been named to the Pro Bowl.

Rackers, by way of comparison, converted 16 of 17 field goal attempts (94.1 percent) and 37 of 38 PATs for the Cardinals in 2009. He has a career field goal percentage of 78.2 percent in 10 seasons with the Bengals and Cardinals.

Rackers set an NFL record in 2005 by successfully converting 40 of 42 field goals and was named to the 2006 Pro Bowl.

I’m excited,” Rackers told MyFoxHouston. “I’m a midwestern guy. It’s nice to be back around good people. It’s an opportunity to be a part of what I think is a team headed in the right direction. I’ll bring them a positive attitude and a hard worker.”

“Kris Brown is an excellent kicker, a guy I have a lot of respect for and has accomplished a lot in this league as well. I’m just here to compete and have a good time,” said Rackers.

If there’s a bright side for Brown, it’s that only $350,000 of Rackers’ two-year deal is guaranteed. That should help ensure a truly open competition at training camp.