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State of the Texans - Training Camp Preview
David Dorey
July 24, 2009
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This series of analysis on the 32 NFL teams takes a look at where teams have been over the last three years for each position - where they have ranked in the most notable categories and the hard statistics produced. This is to give a view of each team heading into training camp and what they most likely need to improve on this season and where their strengths lie that likely won't need any changes. Ending each team review is a brief summation of what to watch in training camp in August to uncover those developing situations that you can take advantage. Combining where teams have come from and what they have done in free agency and the NFL draft gives you the very same thing that NFL coaches are looking at as they attempt to improve their team for 2009.
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ARI ATL BAL BUF CAR CHI
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Training Camp Opens: July 26 (rookie), July 31 (veteran)
Head Coach: Gary Kubiak (4th year)
Stadium: Reliant Stadium (Retractable Roof)  Surface: Grass
2009 Schedule   2009 Roster   2008 Statistics   2008 Record: 8-8

QB Carries Rush YD Rush TD Pass Comp Comp % Pass YD YPP Pass TD Int Rank YD Rank TD
2006 58 198 2 481 329 68% 3030 9.2 14 13 26 28
2007 38 103 1 529 346 65% 3925 11.3 24 21 11 13
2008 42 105 2 554 367 66% 4474 12.2 21 20 4 11

Quarterback - Kubiak hits his fourth year and he needs to get something down to get over the hump of being average. These last two years have been far more successful in the passing game thanks in part to Matt Schaub and even more to Andre Johnson. Schaub has only managed to play 11 games in each of his seasons as a starter and could be a top fantasy quarterback if only he would remain reliably healthy. All Schaub needs is to enter the season injury-free and then stay that way.

RB Carries Rush YD YPC Rush TD Target Rcv Catch % Catch YD Rcv TD Rank YD Rank TY Rank TD
2006 362 1439 4 11 114 91 80% 574 1 26 21 15
2007 372 1493 4.0 10 105 81 77% 486 2 23 26 18
2008 385 1705 4.4 14 96 76 79% 526 1 12 20 16

Running Backs - Ahman Green predictably sputtered last year and the surprise was the diminutive Steve Slaton turning into a fulltime back for the final six weeks of the season. With 268 carries, Slaton was getting a lot of work for a player who barely pushes 200 pounds. The Texans are wisely saying they want to lessen Slaton's load from the 320+ carry pace that he ended 2008 with but they did not add anyone to the backfield mix. Chris Brown is humorously expected to remain healthy this year and contribute. And otherwise, there's only Chris Taylor and Ryan Moats. This is no different than last year other than Ahman Green is gone. The Texans may want to mix the others in this year (unlike 2008) but if Slaton ends up as a fulltime, heavy load back again it would be no surprise. At 201 pounds, he'll be the next Tiki Barber if he can remain healthy.

WR Target Rcv Catch % Catch YD YPR Rcv TD Ranks YD Rank TD
2006 273 182 67% 1918 10.5 6 20 31
2007 297 186 63% 2529 13.6 16 11 13
2008 327 210 64% 3009 14.3 18 4 4

Wide Receivers - Andre Johnson is in his prime now and comes off an NFL leading 115 catches for 1575 yards and eight scores last year. He's had his injury issues as well but when he remains healthy, he's as productive as any wideout and a gold mine in leagues rewarding receptions. Kevin Walter gets the benefit of being across from Johnson with his own 60 catches for 899 yards and eight scores last year. There's not much left over for the slot with two productive starters but David Anderson and Andre Davis each had over 200 yards last year and stand ready to play if either Walter or Johnson were injured. Nothing much to prove here other than keeping everyone healthy.

TE Target Rcv Catch % Catch YD YPR Rcv TD Ranks YD Rank TD
2006 88 56 64% 537 9.6 7 18 9
2007 111 73 66% 862 11.8 6 9 13
2008 118 81 69% 939 11.6 2 7 23

Tight Ends
- The Texans are plenty happy with Owen Daniels who has been a valuable outlet for Schaub with over 750 yards in each of the last two seasons and yet only three or less scores in those years. Daniels is a big help on third down and much less so near the goal line. No changes here.

Training Camp Fantasy Angle - This will be a rather uneventful camp in fantasy terms since the same players remain at the same skill positions. Preseason games could indicate who may help relieve Slaton this year and if Brown can enter the season without visiting a trainer. More than anything, this team needs to enter the season healthy and then make 2009 a different year so HC Gary Kubiak doesn't need to start worrying.

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