HOUSTON -- Samkon Gado has made no secret of his plans to
become a doctor when his playing days are through.
So when the Houston Texans running back asked if he could miss a
few practices to finish a prep course for the MCAT he plans to take
in July, coach Gary Kubiak gladly agreed.
Gado missed a handful of the Texans workouts last month, but is
back in Houston and has returned to practice. He'll take the test
on July 15.
Kubiak wasn't worried about Gado missing the time for such a
"He's an impressive human being," Kubiak said. "He's got his
stuff together and he'll be fine."
He first took the test two years ago but decided to take it
again to try to improve his score before applying to medical
school. He enrolled in a class in South Carolina to prepare.
"It wasn't an easy class and that's why he let me stay and miss
some of the offseason workouts," Gado said. "It was good. It was
long and arduous, but I think it prepared me for the test."
Gado was traded to Houston from Green Bay in September in
exchange for Vernand Morency. As a rookie in 2005, Gado was the
feel good story of the Packers' 4-12 season. After injuries
devastated Green Bay's backfield, the undrafted free agent rose
from the practice squad to a starting role. He started five games
and ran for 582 yards and six touchdowns.
Things didn't go so well in his first season in Houston when he
had just 210 yards rushing and one touchdown. He hopes for more
success after having some time to adjust to his new team.
"I think individually a year in the system has really helped,"
he said. "Being here and not coming in the middle has kind of
helped settle my mind a little bit."
Kubiak has been encouraged by Gado's work this offseason and is
confident that he can bounce back after last year's struggles.
"He reminds me ... [of] Mike Anderson in Denver that had a
rough year one year and then all of a sudden came back in the
offseason and it was like he was possessed the way he practiced and
worked," Kubiak said. "It was like holy smokes. You watch the kid
out here practice right now and his effort on the field is
incredible. He plans on getting something done. I would be very
surprised if he doesn't do it."
The Texans were left at the start of last season with no proven
running backs after Domanick Williams was placed on the injured
reserve. Now Houston has an overabundance of players at the
position, including four-time Pro Bowler Ahman Green and 1999
Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne, which could leave Gado's job in
"We have a tremendous situation," Kubiak said. "We went from
it being a big-time weakness when our season started last year to
it being the strength of our team right now."
Gado said his goal is to make the team. He said he will set more
goals after he accomplishes the first one. But regardless of what
happens with the Texans, he already has a great backup plan.
"Medicine has always been priority No. 1," Gado said.
"Football has been a very welcome diversion and I'd like to
entertain that as long as possible. But for as long as I can
remember, the plan has always been med school. Everything I can do
right now in the offseason is tailored toward that end."