Texans morning huddle: Playoff road map, fixing Mallett


Good morning and a happy mid-week to all of the Houston Texans fans out there. I feel good about the upcoming game this weekend as the Texans look to get a check mark in the W column. Let’s check out the news around this team and see if I may be alone in this feeling.

Playoff road map for 0-2 Houston Texans: Fix the QB situation – by Alex Marvez, FOX Sports

"Excitement about the Houston Texans generated by the franchise’s appearance on “Hard Knocks” has been dashed following an 0-2 start. Here are two things the Texans need to get some positive buzz once again.*The return of Arian Foster: Alfred Blue began the season as Houston’s starter but Chris Polk played a bigger role in a Week Two loss against Carolina. Neither running back scares defenses like Foster, who is inching closer to playing again after undergoing preseason groin surgery.*Difference-making play at quarterback: Head coach Bill O’Brien’s decision to bench Brian Hoyer after just one start in favor of Ryan Mallett didn’t pay immediate dividends. Mallett played better in the second half of last Sunday’s loss to Carolina but still finished 27 of 58 passing for 244 yards with one touchdown and an interception. Injuries on the offensive line aren’t helping his cause."

Texans’ defense suffers first-half letdowns – by John McClain, Houston Chronicle

"The defense that was supposed to dominate hasn’t.The defense that was supposed to create a lot of turnovers hasn’t.The defense that was supposed to pick up where it left off last year hasn’t.Unlike the injury-ravaged offense, though, the Texans’ defense has no excuses.Defensive end J.J. Watt is off to an outstanding start.Inside linebacker Brian Cushing and outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney are healthy.Nose tackle Vince Wilfork and free safety Rahim Moore are celebrated free agents.Yet the defense hasn’t come close to where it was in December, when it ranked second in yards allowed during a 4-1 finish that helped the Texans go 9-7 and miss the playoffs on the last Sunday of the season.“There are a lot of things we can do better,” coach Bill O’Brien said Monday, one day after a 24-17 loss at Carolina. “We can communicate better – coach to player, player to player.“The big thing is on defense, we’re all in it together. We’re going to really try hard to put together a good game plan for Tampa Bay.”They better or they’ll lose to rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, who led the Bucs to an upset victory at New Orleans."

O’Brien: 2 key areas where Ryan Mallett can improve – by Drew Dougherty, HoustonTexans.com

"Bill O’Brien is optimistic about Ryan Mallett’s future.As he said after Sunday’s loss at Carolina, Mallett did some things well and struggled at other times.During Monday’s ‘Bill O’Brien Show” on Texans Radio, the head coach detailed a few key areas where Mallett can get better.“Part of what we have to work on this week, some of the checkdowns and the shorter throws,” O’Briensaid. “He does throw very hard. We’ve gotta work on his footwork. Some of those things he can clean up. When he’s on the money with his footwork, and his throwing motion and things like that, he’s really very, very good.”Mallett completed 27-of-58 passes for 244 yards at Carolina. He threw a touchdown, ran for another, and was picked off once. Ultimately, O’Brien stressed that game reps will go a long way toward the fifth-year quarterback’s improvement.“I think the more he plays, the better he’ll get,” O’Brien said. “When you look at it, he’s only played really three games in this League. So I think the more experience he gets, the better he’ll get.”"

O’Brien wants players “fresh” for Week 3 – by Deepi Sidhu, HoustonTexans.com

"After their 24-17 loss to the Panthers, the Texans look to get back on track this week against Tampa Bay.With Ryan Mallett throwing 58 times in the second-highest number of passing attempts in team history, tackle Jeff Adams being carted off the field, and multiple players day-to-day with injuries, head coach Bill O’Brien wants players to recover from Sunday’s game. O’Brien discussed his Week 3 preparation on his Monday Texans Radio “Coaches Show.”“We’re pretty banged up so I would say our practices this week won’t be as physical,” O’Brien said. “That game at Carolina was a very physical game. We’ll walk-through, we’ll practice. I mean, we’ll get out there and get some things done in practice but overall, meetings, walk-through, and just have these guys fresh as they can be, ready to go on Sunday.”"

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