Countdown to the draft: 8 days

We've heard some actual words from general managers around the league this week (as opposed to reports of what people close to them think they're thinking).

Thomas Dimitroff, the Atlanta Falcons' general manager, wouldn't say who he's talked to when asked specifically about the Texans. Atlanta has the sixth pick in this year's draft. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said Texans general manager Rick Smith is one of the GMs he's closest to in the NFL, but he doesn't know which way Smith is planning to go.

We'll hear from the Texans tomorrow at 3 p.m. Smith said on Fox Sports Southwest, "I know the guys we like." Well, I'd hope so. Time is running out, finally. Only eight days remain until their plans are revealed. (Smith also said he was open to a trade, so in the end he basically said nothing).

Anyway, we continue our countdown to the draft.

8: A number worn by only two players in Texans history -- David Carr and Matt Schaub.

These two quarterbacks each presided over one era of Texans history. Carr, the first, and Schaub, when the Texans finally admitted things weren't working with Carr, the second.

Given everything he went through last season, it seems odd to say this, but this limited history means Schaub is the best quarterback the Texans have ever had. He's the winningest and one who quarterbacked two playoff teams, though he only actually played in one year's playoffs. Yes, T.J. Yates also won a playoff game, but it was Schaub who got the Texans to that point.

The Texans are hoping -- owner Bob McNair expects -- that the era ushered in by the next long-term Texans quarterback goes better than both previous. It's hard to do, though, and it'll be interesting to see if it's an issue that is solved this year.