Cuero's Wallace welcomes opportunity with Texans
Aug. 17, 2011 at 3:17 a.m.
Updated Aug. 18, 2011 at 3:18 a.m.
MIKE FORMAN :: ON SPORTS
Cody Wallace wasn't away from Texas long enough to forget what summer's like.
He got a reminder when the Houston Texans opened training camp.
"It's definitely been rough coming from California," Wallace said. "I guess I got a little soft out there."
The thought of Wallace getting soft is laughable to anyone who remembers him shoveling mud out of his grandfather's car wash in Cuero.
Dealing with the heat was a fact of life for Wallace when he was an all-state lineman for the Gobblers, and when he earned all-Big 12 honors at center for Texas A&M.
"The first day was rough," Wallace said. "The second day I felt fine."
Wallace is doing his best to make the Texans' roster after being a member of the team's practice squad last season.
Wallace was a fourth-round draft choice of the San Francisco 49ers in 2008.
He was released last season and was a member of the New York Jets' and Detroit Lions' practice squads before joining the Texans in November.
He signed a futures contract with Houston in January and played in the Texans' 20-16 exhibition win over the Jets on Monday night at Reliant Stadium.
"I like it here a lot," Wallace said. "The guys on the team are great. It's been a lot of fun working with them in training camp. I was able to come in and work on all the normal stuff. I feel like I have a chance to make it."
Wallace, 26, got married while he was playing for the 49ers and resides in Livermore, Calif., where he trained during the NFL lockout.
"I came to Texas for a few weeks, but mostly I was out there working out," Wallace said. "The team sent us an offseason workout sheet and I was following that so I felt like I came to camp in pretty good shape."
Wallace has played mostly guard for the Texans, but has also been used at center.
He knows his versatility will increase his chances of making the team.
"I think last year they kept eight linemen," Wallace said. "I try not to think about numbers. You can drive yourself crazy worrying about that stuff."
Wallace got a scare when he twisted his right knee against the Jets.
"I was playing guard and releasing on a screen," Wallace said. "Somebody put a helmet or shoulder pad on my thigh and it bent back a little."
Wallace returned to practice Wednesday and should be able to play Saturday against the New Orleans Saints.
Practicing in the heat, Wallace has dropped from 300 to 295 pounds, which is light for an offensive lineman.
But Wallace feels the Texans' zone-blocking scheme plays to his strengths.
"I've put a lot of time into it and I've watched a lot of film," Wallace said. "I've benefited from being around it. All you can do is go out and play as hard as you can."
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361- 580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.