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Old 08-15-2006   #1
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Default "Texans have some talent" by Gil Brandt

(Aug. 9, 2006) -- Houston was one of the latest stops on my training-camp tour, and I must say I liked what I saw from this squad. The team may have finished 2-14 last season and then switched coaches, but the Texans have been practicing with a bounce in their step. Under new head coach Gary Kubiak, they are exuding confidence. And that attitude can't be underestimated.

There was a time when Denver was known as "Dallas North," because Broncos head coach Dan Reeves, a former Cowboy player and coach, brought a lot of Cowboys in. Well, Houston has now become "Denver South." Kubiak, the former offensive coordinator in Denver, has brought along Troy Calhoun (Houston's new offensive coordinator), Rick Smith (general manager) and various others.

The Texans are hoping top pick Mario Williams will have an immediate impact on defense.
The atmosphere in Houston is completely different. This is a team that could surprise some people. The Texans have some good young players. With first overall draft pick Mario Williams at defensive end and a good young linebacker in second-round pick DeMeco Ryans, the defense should be improved.

Kubiak is really working hard on David Carr. The former first-round quarterback did throw more touchdowns than interceptions last year (14-11), and he should only get better with Kubiak's guidance. He could have his best season as a pro.

Receiver Eric Moulds, acquired in a trade with Buffalo, has brought a lot to this team. He'll open things up for Andre Johnson, as teams will not be able to focus all their attention on Johnson. Moulds is looking great in practice and Johnson has been shadowing him all over camp.

The much-maligned offensive line has improved simply by the addition of line coach Mike Sherman. Another key was the signing of free-agent center Mike Flanagan from Green Bay.

Running back Domanick Davis is a question mark due to injuries. He might not gain 1,000 yards this season, but Houston should be fine with a running back by committee. Despite uncertainty at the position, though, I still think they made the right decision by taking Williams over Reggie Bush with the top pick in the draft.

The Texans are going to be a better team. They have a chance to make the playoffs -- it's a slim chance, but they do have some skill players. They drafted well -- four picks in top three rounds will all help. As defensive tackle Robaire Smith said, "It's a new lease on life. Moving from 3-4 to 4-3 will help on defense. More importantly, they are exuding confidence.

Finally some positive remarks from the media that I do feel is well deserved.
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