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News » Houston Texans Inside Slant 2008-08-28

Houston Texans Inside Slant 2008-08-28

Houston Texans Inside Slant 2008-08-28
Before training camp, the Texans had some major questions surrounding their roster. Now that it's over, most of those questions still remain.

One thing is for certain though. The Texans are once again an improved team. Whether that is good enough to lift them to their first winning record and first playoff appearance is still unknown.

The Texans know they must execute in the regular season -- and especially against their foes in the AFC South. The Texans went just 1-5 against their division opponents last season.

There are a lot of changes taking place in the organization, however. And while the team still has some gaps in its roster, the players hope the changes that have taken place will be enough to help lift them to their best season in franchise history.

"When I first got here, the attitude of the team was totally different than it is now," wide receiver Andre Johnson said. "I think things now mean a lot more to the guys that are here than they did before. We have that goal of getting to the playoffs, and that is my goal."

For the Texans to achieve that goal, they will need a little luck to go their way. They need a solid running game, which would benefit greatly from Ahman Green, if the 30-year-old veteran can stay healthy. He was injured on the first play of the preseason opener, but is expected to be completely healthy by the season opener. The Texans hope that is true.

Last season, Green was injured in the season opener and was never able to complete even one game before landing on IR. This season, Chris Taylor and Steve Slaton will likely be his top backups. But Green is the experienced back in the group, and when healthy, is still difficult to stop.

Defensively, the team must develop more of a pass rush. In the preseason, the concerns in that area only grew. The first team didn't record one sack and they rarely even hurried opposing quarterbacks. Opponents had too much time to find their receivers, making it impossible for the secondary to make many plays.

The other major area of concern is in the turnover area. The Texans had a minus-13 turnover margin, ranking them the second-worst in the league last year. In the preseason, they have done better. Through the first three games, the Texans were tied for fifth in the league with a plus-three turnover ratio. The Texans haven't committed only two turnovers -- none by the offense. Both turnovers came on special teams.

"We've had a good camp," coach Gary Kubiak said. "There have been some good things. We're going to end up with some new faces that are going to make us better. We've got a tremendous challenge ahead of us. But I like what we're doing right now."

COACHING: Gary Kubiak, 3rd year, 3rd with Texans (14-18).

REMEMBERING: 2007 record: 8-8 (4th in AFC South)

PREDICTING: 2008 regular season record 9-7 (3rd in AFC South); no playoffs

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 28, 2008

Chester Pitts Name: Chester Pitts
Position: OT
Age: 29
Experience: 7 years
College: San Diego State
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