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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Kailee Wong: Brawn Meets Brains

    [size=18px]Brawn Meets Brains[/size]

    By Bob Rodman
    The Register-Guard

    Published: Tuesday, July 11, 2006


    Kailee Wong is inching toward his ninth season in the National Football League.

    A linebacker for the Houston Texans, the one-time North Eugene High and Stanford University star quickly became a firm defensive fixture in the NFL, first for the Minnesota Vikings, then the Texans.

    Until one Sunday afternoon in mid-October last year.

    On the first series of Houston's game at Seattle, Wong was subjected to an athlete's worst nightmare becoming reality.

    The knee injury. And his was about as bad as one can get.

    Wong, born in Eugene 30 years ago last May, sustained a ruptured patella tendon and a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

    After eight months and two surgeries, and with the second of two rehabilitation endeavors continuing, Wong said he remembers the event but still has not watched it on film.

    Playing on Qwest Field's artificial turf, the Houston linebacker was focusing on Seattle running back Shaun Alexander when Wong was blocked by the Seahawks' Steve Hutchinson, who then fell on Wong.

    advertisement "I got my foot stuck in the turf," Wong said. "I was trying to redirect, something blew out and I got hit at the same moment."

    The recovery continues, Wong said, but it is possible that he could return for active duty later this month when the NFL training camps begin.

    "It was the first injury of my career, and it had to happen in Seattle where I was playing in front of family and friends for the first time," Wong said. "It was a rude awakening for me. I had not realized how lucky I had been."

    The Stanford All-American was a second-round draft choice of the Vikings in 1998, the 51st player selected. He spent four seasons with Minnesota, leading the team in tackles his last two years.

    He was signed by Houston as an unrestricted free agent in 2002 and started all of his 53 games with the Texans.

    But the business side of the NFL surfaced two days after Wong was injured last season. The Texans placed Wong on injured reserve and signed another linebacker.

    "It was that added dynamic to an injury, and I'm having to deal with it," said Wong, whose wife, Marissa, is the sister of Mario Lopez, who played A.C. Slater in the "Saved by the Bell" television sitcom. "The plan now is to be ready for training camp, but if that doesn't happen I'll be placed on the physically unable to perform list.

    "That will get me six weeks into the season and then I can go."

    But he fully understands the barrier he must clear.

    "I have to start all over again," said Wong, who has 639 career tackles, 21 1/2 quarterback sacks, six interceptions and 21 passes defensed.

    Houston has a new coaching staff, that of coach Gary Kubiak, who replaced Dom Capers after last season.

    "They don't know me," Wong said. "I have to show them what I can do, that I can compete and win my starting job back."

    Not many with his kind of injury have.

    "This one is a case study," Wong said. "If I can make it back in 10 months, that will be pretty good."

    It has been a process that is new to Wong.

    At North Eugene High, he was an all-league and all-state player, rushing for a Midwestern League record of 1,658 yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior.

    At Stanford, he was a two-time all-Pac-10 Conference defensive end and was the defensive MVP in the Cardinals' 38-0 win over Michigan State in the 1996 Sun Bowl.

    "He was extremely athletic and very technically sound," said Phil Zacharias, Wong's position coach at Stanford who has also been an assistant with the NFL's Baltimore Ravens and recently signed as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland. "He has God-given athletic ability, but he also is a student of the game, and knowledge is power for Kailee.

    "Now he has another challenge on his hands," Zacharias said of Wong's injury situation. "Kailee is not a youngster anymore, but you can stay in the league with brains as well as brawn."

    The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Wong, the father of a 2-year-old son, Makai - with a daughter on the way - has the brains. An economics major at Stanford, he has written a book - "Mom's Pocket Guide to Watching Football" - with his mother, Linda Wong.

    For the past two years, Kailee Wong has participated in an entrepreneurial program at the Harvard University School of Business as well as furthering his education at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.


    Brawn Meets Brains

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Kailee Wong: Brawn Meets Brains

    KFFL
    Texans | K. Wong hoping to be ready for training camp
    Tue, 11 Jul 2006 14:09:12 -0700

    The Associated Press and KGW.com report Houston Texans LB Kailee Wong (knee) told the Eugene Register-Guard that he hopes to return for active duty when the NFL training camps begin later this month. Wong is trying to comeback from a serious knee injury and two sugeries. Houston has a new coaching staff, and there are no guarantees for Wong heading into the 2006 season.

  3. #3
    Ltrey33 is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Kailee Wong: Brawn Meets Brains

    Boo!!!

  4. #4
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Kailee Wong: Brawn Meets Brains

    "Ltrey33" wrote:
    Boo!!!
    :scratch: Boo?

    I've always liked Kailee Wong.

    Just because a player has played somewhere else since leaving the Vikings is no reason to "boo" him.

    I.E.;

    John Randle
    Alan Page
    Cris Carter
    Randle McDaniel
    Chris Doleman

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

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    Re: Kailee Wong: Brawn Meets Brains

    Kailee Wong had a fairly good run here, he's definitely not the worst linebacker we 've had here recently...

    I didn't know he was injured last season; he had been pretty solid for the Texans the past few years.
    Proud member of PP.O since April 5th, 2003!

  6. #6
    boognish's Avatar
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    Re: Kailee Wong: Brawn Meets Brains

    "singersp" wrote:
    "Ltrey33" wrote:
    Boo!!!
    :scratch: Boo?

    I've always liked Kailee Wong.

    Just because a player has played somewhere else since leaving the Vikings is no reason to "boo" him.

    I.E.;

    John Randle
    Alan Page
    Cris Carter
    Randle McDaniel
    Chris Doleman
    I think he was trying to scare you...[size=24px]BOO!![/size] ale:
    I am a dipshit!!!

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