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Old 08-19-2011   #1
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Default Texans Preview: Week 2 Preseason

The Texans will be looking for answers to a lot of important questions.

Houston Texans Week 2 Preseason Preview: Spotlight Shines On Saturday For Tate, Others
Another week, another preseason game, another chance to make the Texans 53-man roster.


Aug 19, 2011 - Earlier this week, I took a crack at putting together a 53-man roster for the Houston Texans on Battle Red Blog. After one week of preseason, the position battles I talked about last week are sorting themselves out. As opposed to writing about the battles this week, I want to talk about the five (or so) players who are playing more than just a meaningless preseason game on Saturday night when the New Orleans Saints come to town. Any list like this must begin and end with…

…Ben Tate, the second-year running back out of Auburn University.

Tate, who returned to practice earlier this week, has declared he will play this Saturday night. It's great to hear that because Tate needs to get on the field and he knows that. After seeing Chris Ogbonnaya take the majority of the team’s snaps, in practice and during the Monday night game, Tate’s position is not as secure as it once was. While he had a 2.2 yard per carry average on Monday, Ogbonnaya showed himself to be a viable third down back with good blocking and very good receiving hands (67 receiving yards and a touchdown). Tate needs to hit the field and show the talent that made him a second round pick, and once-pegged starting running back, or he'll find himself fourth on the depth chart or an injured reserve stash. Hopefully, young Benjamin will get better blocking from guys like….

…second-team guards Darius Morris, undrafted rookie out of Temple, and Shelley Smith, second-year man from Colorado State. With injuries likely to keep Antoine Caldwell and Kasey Studdard out of action, Morris and Smith will get plenty of opportunity to push one of them, preferably the woeful Studdard, out of Houston as they take on a talented and deep New Orleans defensive line. If you're like me, this weekend has potential to be the weekend that gets Studdard off the roster. A good performance here for either young guard will go a long way…

…almost as much as Lester Jean’s good performance did for him. Climbing out of the muck that is the receiver position battle, Jean has a strong hold on the fifth receiver spot thanks to 53 yards against New York and three weeks of good practices. The lanky receiver from Florida Atlantic will likely see snaps with the 2nd team and another good game may be the icing on the cake for Jean and…

…the undrafted rookie outside linebackers - Bryan Braman and Steven Friday. Wade needs OLBs with a nose for the quarterback and both undrafted rookie free agents had a sack-and-a-half on Monday. Coming off equally strong performances, Braman and Friday should grab some snaps in the second-team rotation. It’s one thing to beat up on fellow third-teamers, but these guys will need to impress against better competition to lock down a roster spot…

...which could be there for the taking because none of the return specialists showed anything last week. Trindon Holliday was hurt, Derrick Townsel was ineffective, and Quintin Demps is still running backwards on punt returns. Overall, the Texans averaged 3.6 yards per punt return and 15.4 yards per kick return. Contrast that with New York’s 13.8 YPPR and 28.5 YPKR, and you’ll see why many fans are disgruntled with the lack of return prowess. Houston will likely trot out the duo of Jacoby Jones and Danieal Manning to return if no one can separate themselves from the pack. It’s a fan’s nightmare as no one wants to risk injury to guys critical to each starting unit.
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Old 08-20-2011   #2
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Default Re: Texans Preview: Week 2 Preseason

I am so ****ing glad that Tate is going to play along with Foster thank god.

That's all I had to add.
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Old 08-20-2011   #3
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Default Re: Texans Preview: Week 2 Preseason

I'm most excited about seeing the corners play.

Most specifically Joseph's debut as a Texan and to see if Harris can make some plays and impress.

EDIT: JJ's supposed to be 50-50, so crossing fingers.
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Old 08-20-2011   #4
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Default Re: Texans Preview: Week 2 Preseason

Am I the only one who would be concerned to see Daniel Manning returning kicks for us? I'm optimistic that he can be a huge help for our secondary and it would be devastating to lose that guy on a special team injury. I would rather find someone else to fill that role. JMHO
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Old 08-20-2011   #5
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Default Re: Texans Preview: Week 2 Preseason

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Am I the only one who would be concerned to see Daniel Manning returning kicks for us? I'm optimistic that he can be a huge help for our secondary and it would be devastating to lose that guy on a special team injury. I would rather find someone else to fill that role. JMHO
When you start worrying about injuries..........that's when they happen.
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Old 08-20-2011   #6
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Default Re: Texans Preview: Week 2 Preseason

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Originally Posted by Cjeremy635 View Post
Am I the only one who would be concerned to see Daniel Manning returning kicks for us? I'm optimistic that he can be a huge help for our secondary and it would be devastating to lose that guy on a special team injury. I would rather find someone else to fill that role. JMHO
While, strategically, I agree with you in that I'd rather not see one our best DBs on the return team, he WANTS to do it. Remember what he said during his intro presser...
Quote:
Danieal Manning
(on what he can bring to the team) “For myself, I feel like experience is number one. I played in several big games, including the Super Bowl, we played there. You guys around here know a lot about Peyton Manning. I have my experience with him in the Super Bowl and things like that. Number two would be my versatility; what I can bring as a safety and as far as covering guys, my range that I have and tackling ability. In special teams, being a returner. I feel like I can bring a spark to the team and give us great field position there. Like I said earlier, getting us into the playoffs.”
Sounds like he came here expecting to contribute in the return game. And as sad as that phase has looked so far, I'm ready to give him a shot.
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Old 08-20-2011   #7
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Default Re: Texans Preview: Week 2 Preseason

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Originally Posted by Cjeremy635 View Post
Am I the only one who would be concerned to see Daniel Manning returning kicks for us? I'm optimistic that he can be a huge help for our secondary and it would be devastating to lose that guy on a special team injury. I would rather find someone else to fill that role. JMHO
thats exactly what I was thinking when we first got him
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Old 08-20-2011   #8
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Default Re: Texans Preview: Week 2 Preseason

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thats exactly what I was thinking when we first got him
Honestly IK thinbk returning kicks for us will probably amount to catching the ball in the endzone or watching it roll out the back... Now should he bring it out I would hate to see him injured but I tend to feel that your best chance of winning comes from playing the best player you have for each position and if that is manning so be it...
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Old 08-20-2011   #9
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Default Re: Texans Preview: Week 2 Preseason

After watching the Steelers and Eagles game, they may just ask him to just catch and take a knee.
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Old 08-20-2011   #10
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Manning can return kicks. He is exceptional at it. With that said, I'd rather have exceptional play at the safety position and meh on kick returns.
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Old 08-20-2011   #11
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Default Re: Texans Preview: Week 2 Preseason

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Manning can return kicks. He is exceptional at it. With that said, I'd rather have exceptional play at the safety position and meh on kick returns.

This is especially true since, with this year's rule, you can almost be assured of having the ball at the 20-40 with just a decent return STs. There will still be the occasional long returns, with again just a decent return man........ although our returners left a lot to be desired to say the least, returner protection scheme and play is what was so horrendous last year...........and is at least as important if not more than placing all hopes on an "elite" returner for great field position.

If you watched some of the returners that have been starters in positions that require a great deal of "running and reacting," you can see that returning kicks takes a lot out of them, despite being in great shape. I've seen returners appearing exhausted and sluggish in their primary positions by the 4th quarter, a time when their performance can be most critical.........especially for a D.

And another way I look at it. I doubt that anyone would argue that it is not more likely in a season that a return man gets injured as opposed to a safety. Yes, you may have an "elite" valuable 2-position player. But, if he becomes injured, you then have TWO "elite" valuable players lost.

I forgot who said it, but I've never forgotten what was said.

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The career of a kick returner often resembles a comet, as it shines brightly for a short period of time before fading into oblivion.
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Old 08-20-2011   #12
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Default Re: Texans Preview: Week 2 Preseason

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
If you watched some of the returners that have been starters in positions that require a great deal of "running and reacting," you can see that returning kicks takes a lot out of them, despite being in great shape. I've seen returners appearing exhausted and sluggish in their primary positions by the 4th quarter, a time when their performance can be most critical.........especially for a D.
While generally agreeing with your comments I can't help but think of Deion Sanders who ran all game long exceptionally as cornerback, kick returner and wide receiver.
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Old 08-20-2011   #13
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Default Re: Texans Preview: Week 2 Preseason

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While generally agreeing with your comments I can't help but think of Deion Sanders who ran all game long exceptionally as cornerback, kick returner and wide receiver.
He was indeed arguably in a class of one, as close to the real life NFL SUPERMAN as anyone in football history.
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Old 08-20-2011   #14
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Default Re: Texans Preview: Week 2 Preseason

Alan's blog tidbits
http://www.examiner.com/houston-texa...e-game-tidbits

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The Texans and Saints square off at Reliant Stadium Saturday night for a preseason Week 2 matchup.

When: Saturday, Aug. 20, 7 p.m. CT
Where: Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas (71,054)
Series: tied 1-1 in the regular season; 2-2 in the preseason
Television: locally on ABC-13, nationally on NFL Network (Direct TV 212)

Last meeting

The Saints crushed the Texans in the second week of preseason in 2010, jumping out to a 28-10 halftime lead and cruising to a 38-20 victory. The game was a precursor of the season as the Texans defense allowed 409 yards.

Head coaching comparison

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