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Texans Down 'N Dirty: Day 16 Recap Edition

We know the offense is going to be explosive this year. That's a fact. It's undeniable. The defense? There are unanswered question marks all around. Will Amobi Okoye bounce back? Will the cornerbacks hold up? Will the new defensive scheme pan out? Is Frank Bush ready to handle full time defensive duties? Who is this man and why is he hitting on my girlfriend? All valid concerns that haven't quite been solved. However, good reports are always nice and all we can hope for at this time of year.

Paul Kuharsky, who's currently in Houston visiting training camp, had some nice things to say about the defense and potential contributors. Connor Barwin is looking good, continuing his quick, explosive play from the Chiefs game. Amobi Okoye, unfortunately, was beat on two consecutive snaps by the Saints right guard, Jahri Evans. Concerning? A little bit. Recently, I've heard nothing but solid reviews on Okoye's play, so this might be just a minor setback. It's not like he should be expected to dominate on every play. Still, it's a little worrisome that he was beat "with ease."

The offense really bogged down in the afternoon and made some nice plays. Kuharsky expressed some concern that Ryan Moats was taking the majority of snaps away from backup Chris Brown. To that, I say the team does not want to risk Brown injuring himself. He's been durable thus far and played well in the Chiefs game, but he's still an injury risk on any given play, which surely concerns Kubiak. It's no surprise that Moats is being given some extra reps in place of Brown, especially given the team was practicing inside on turf.

Interesting read on the nature of many of the players jersey numbers. Mario Williams said he thought 90 would look "pretty."  Hey, if Mario believes it, I believe it.

Not enough credit from the success of the receiving corps goes to their coach, Larry Kirksey. The man has done an outstanding job improving an already amazing Andre Johnson, turning Andre Davis into a potential starter, and progressing David Anderson, among other many accomplishments.

Here's the day's recap from the Chronicle and the team website. The two teams are really going at it with each other, practicing in pads against each other for the first time yesterday. Today should be interesting, as there will be full contact drills as well as the return of Drew Brees. Brees' return will be a true measuring stick for how far the Texans defense has come, as Brees is easily in the discussion as to who the best quarterback in the league is right now.

Best quotes of the day:

The first time he took a handoff, Saints running back Reggie Bush burst through the Texans' defense as if he wanted to make a point. - John McClain

Make what point? That you've been injury prone the past two years and have regressed statistically each year you've been in the league? Or, that you're a glorified third down back? Which one of those points are you trying to reiterate again? OK, maybe I'm being too harsh. Not. Bush should be producing much more as the second overall pick.

On the Texans' second offensive play, running back Steve Slaton broke to the outside of the pack and burned linebacker Scott Fujita. Fujita showed much frustration after watching Slaton trail several yards up the field on what would likely have been a breakaway touchdown run. Texans fans in the stands cheered and probably took a sigh of relief after Slaton didn't show much against the Chiefs. - Jordan Godwin

Glad to see this. Though it was always more likely that Slaton just had an off day coupled with poor blocking, it's still a relief to see that he's back to tearing up opposing defenses.

Defensive end Mario Williams had one of the highlight reel plays of Wednesday's morning practice when he manhandled Saints left tackle Jamaal Brown in one-on-one pass rush drills. During his first rep, Williams got Brown off-balance and tossed him aside, knocking the former Oklahoma tackle to the ground as he reached the pocket. - Team website

I love that man. I'm not afraid to admit it.

Smith went against starting left guard Carl Nicks and didn't do much on his first try, then got around him off the right edge on his second try. - Paul Kuharsky

Smith was nonexistent in the opening pre-season game, so this is encouraging news. Smith played under a similar defensive scheme in Arizona, so it probably isn't a matter of familiarity. Hopefully we see something out of him in the game against the Saints.

(on if the University of Texas or USC is going to win the NCAA national championship) "This year? I think we (USC) got you guys, man. If our quarterback gets right, I think we got you. Vince Young's (former Texas QB) gone, that's when you guys got it, with Vince Young." - Shaun Cody

Oh man, is he trying to start something here involving beefy, BFD, and Tim? Any USC fans reading that feel like sparking an argument?

"I picked 89 because it's a really popular receiver number," David Anderson said. "(It's) not because I want to look cool or anything but just in case some big-time receiver comes here wanting his No. 89. Like if Steve Smith ever comes here, I'll get a pretty big buyout." - David Anderson

Gotta love the man.