Friday morning is finally here Texans fans, and we can officially begin to gear up for the weekend! To help us get through the day we once again have our morning huddle. Today we see head coach Bill O’Brien dispute claims he is guilty of knee-jerk reactions as well as a look at some Atlanta-Houston connections. Enjoy;
Vince Wilfork: “We can’t take a step back” – by Deepi Sidhu, HoustonTexans.com
"The Texans will face a big challenge in an undefeated Atlanta Falcons team this Sunday. The upcoming matchup, though, is no bigger than any other, according to Vince Wilfork.“Every week is a big week,” Wilfork said Thursday. “I don’t care if a team is 0-3 or 3-0. Each week is a big week, so we treat every week different. We treat each week big. Name a game, let’s win it. That’s the key. We’re going to do everything in our will power to try and walk away with a W. That’s our goal.”It’s their goal, to win on the road against a Falcons team with a red-hot offense right now. After starting the season with two consecutive losses, the Texans made a point of getting off to faster starts and playing with more consistency.Wilfork likes the progress that’s been made, resulting in Sunday’s 19-9 win over Tampa Bay. The Texans allowed just one third down conversion in the win and rank second in the NFL in third-down defense. Opponents have converted just 8-of-38 third downs (21.1 percent) for the season. The offense finished with both a 100-yard receiver (DeAndre Hopkins) and rusher (Alfred Blue) for the first time since Oct. 20, 2014 at Pittsburgh."
"The Houston Texans cut Randy Bullock this week after the veteran kicker struggled in last Sunday’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, missing an extra point and a field goal attempt.Bullock, who also missed an extra point in the the Week 1 to the Kansas City Chiefs, was replaced with on Tuesday former San Diego Chargers kicker Nick Novak.The Week 4 kicker swap was the second high-profile change the team has made thus far. In the season-opener, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien benched starting quarterback Brian Hoyer in favor of Ryan Mallett late in the game. Mallett has started every game since.Although the perception may be different, O’Brien, stressed the team seeks to avoid making any impulsive decisions when it comes to personnel."
Texans, Falcons share many college connections – by Eric SanInocencio, HoustonTexans.com
"The Texans travel to Atlanta on Sunday to face off with the undefeated Falcons. Atlanta is in the heart of ‘SEC Country’, with the Georgia Dome serving as the back drop for the Southeastern Conference’s Championship Game. Atlanta and the Dome also host college kickoff and bowl games, so many football fans, both pro and college have made the trek to Georgia’s capital city.The Falcons and Texans share several collegiate connections. The biggest involves Atlanta’s top receiver Julio Jones and Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson. Jones and Jackson played at the University of Alabama on the 2008 and 2009 Crimson Tide teams. Those two squads combined to go 26-2, winning the 2009 National Championship.On Sunday, the two will face off against each other in one of the key matchups of the contest. Jones spoke about his former teammate this week and is expecting a big challenge. ““I know he’s going to be competitive,” Jones said. “He’s going to come play. He’s going to play for four quarters, just the way he was taught at Alabama.”For Texans running back Chris Polk, this week’s reunion with a former University of Washington Husky is part of a recurring theme. Polk played at Washington with Falcons corner Desmond Trufant from 2009-11. “I’m going to hit him up because I want to trade his jersey. Because every week that we’ve played we’ve played against a Husky,” Polk mentioned this week."
Ryan Mallett limited in practice with chest injury – by Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
"And another starting quarterback in the NFL is dealing with an injury.Texans quarterback Ryan Mallett was a limited participate in practice on Wednesday, according to the official injury report.Neither Mallett nor coach Bill O’Brien said anything about any injury during Wednesday press conferences, which presumably happened before the injury report was released. It’s a dynamic worth paying attention to, given that Mallett landed on injured reserve a year ago with a torn pectoral.Also limited were tackle Duane Brown (hand), linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (shoulder), and running back Arian Foster (groin). Although Foster’s limitation was news to O’Brien."