Jan 07, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (80) runs off the field during the second quarter of the 2011 AFC wild card playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE

Morning Bull

The esteemed Houston sports media personality John McClain had some really interesting tweets on Friday. He basically suggested that for the first time since the Texans’ inaugural season in 2002 (before the days of Andre Johnson), the team’s defense is better than its offense.

It’s not like they’re practicing their version of the Super Bowl Shuffle, or really practicing anything until they take the field today, but the Texans didn’t avoid any questions about the high expectations of them this season during Friday’s media day at Reliant Stadium.

The last time the Texans watched outside linebacker Brooks Reed he was registering 3 ½ sacks in the playoff victory over Cincinnati and the divisional loss at Baltimore.

“Expectations for us can be no lower than the Super Bowl,” said Smith, who played in the NFL’s championship game as a member of the Arizona Cardinals. “Everybody should have that goal. “I think everybody would agree with me on the team. If you don’t have that goal, it’s like a defeatist mindset.”

Left tackle Duane Brown was the first Texans player brought to the media room today when the players reported for camp.

Carolina center Ryan Kalil bought a full-page advertisement this week in the Charlotte Observer predicting the Panthers would win the the Super Bowl this season, which means he is rallying teammates and fans; that NFL players, even centers, make too much money or that he’s trying to help out the newspaper business.

How will the right side of the offensive line hold up without stalwarts Eric Winston and Mike Brisiel? Who can emerge as dependable receivers behind Andre Johnson? How will Johnson and quarterback Matt Schaub hold up?

Entering his 10th season and just weeks after from his 31st birthday, he’s hearing he’s too old to excel the way he did before suffering two hamstring injuries that cost him nine regular-season starts last year and undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery that forced him to miss OTAs and minicamp this summer.

Matt Schaub’s return: The perception is he gets hurt a lot. I thought he got past it with complete 2009 and 2010 seasons, but bad luck knocked him out with a serious foot injury last season. Critics wonder if he’s clutch. We do need to see him in situations with a lot at stake. It’s a contract year. It’s a good team. The table is set for him to excel. The spotlight will shine on his play brighter than ever before.

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