Eric Winston Update

The ugly brawl during the Miami-Florida International game on Saturday bothered Texans rookie offensive tackle Eric Winston more than most. Winston, a native of Midland, played for the Hurricanes the past four years.

"I'm sure FIU was trying to make some kind of statement," said Winston, who made his pro debut last Sunday against the Cowboys, playing right tackle in the fourth quarter. "Emotions are going to run high. The big thing is when something like that happens, you have to do everything you can to not let it spread.

"There is a fine line. You have to protect your guys out there. That doesn't mean swinging helmets."

Winston defended embattled Hurricanes coach Larry Coker.

"I think he's a great guy," Winston said. "You don't run across many coaches who genuinely care about you, care about your grades, care about your family. He doesn't get a lot of recognition for how hard he is on guys, suspending players for the Florida State game for not getting all their hours in at study hall. They've been off the police blotter.

"People forget they were yelling for Butch Davis' job in '98. Now everybody's mad he left. They've got a lot of short term memory down there."