The Houston Texans continued OTAs today after the long weekend for Memorial Day. Today seemed like a slow day in terms of on-the-field action (or at least what was reported), but several key issues for the 2009 season were addressed with the media after drills. Even that was a welcomed oasis in the vast expanse of the boring NFL offseason.
Antonio Smith was healthy enough to participate in today’s practice. Kubiak seems hesitant to declare him completely healthy, but he did discuss Smith’s importance for the defense this year:
“He’s very important. He’s the big, strong, powerful guy opposite of (DE) Mario (Williams) is what he is. So he helps us with the tight end and those types of things, not letting them off the line of scrimmage. He can go inside and rush the passer, which I saw him do throughout the playoffs very effectively. So he’s a key, and that’s why we brought him here.”
Kubiak went on to talk about Smith, Mario, Amobi Okoye and Connor Barwin together on the field during passing downs. I know this notion has been discussed ad nauseum, but it still excites me, especially considering the pass rushers the Texans have utilized in previous years.
Zac Diles and Antwaun Molden are both on the road toward full recovery. Diles is already at a self-described 90 percent, and says that the only symptom that remains in his leg is fatigue. Molden has a little further to go and still needs a scope on his ankle to clean the joint out one more time. The team has set training camp as the target for Molden to be fully healthy and able to participate in practice. Both Diles and Molden will be important for the depth of the team, although Diles could win the WLB spot and Dunta’s absence has created a vacuum at one of the starting CB positions.
The most discussed issue of the day was RB Chris Brown. Everyone and their mother seems to be excited about the notion that Brown is healthy and possibly able to back up second year starting RB Steve Slaton. Even Kubiak had this to say:
“The good news for him, we were going to modify our program for him a little bit this offseason; he won’t let us. He’s done everything everybody else has done and he’s holding up well. So that’s a good sign.”
Huh? Forgive me if I’m not starting up the Chris Brown fan club because of the revelation he turned down special treatment that no other professional football player is currently receiving. The worst part is that everyone is genuinely surprised and pleased that he’s made it through half the offseason without being injured. Shouldn’t that tell everyone something about our collective expectations from Brown?