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Week 2 Notes: Foster sets mark, Texans use rotation at RG

Posted Sep 17, 2012

Notes from the Texans’ 27-7 victory at Jacksonville in Week 2 at EverBank Field.

Arian Foster

Notes from the Texans’ 27-7 victory at Jacksonville in Week 2 at EverBank Field:

Health check
The Texans came out of the game without any major injuries. Head coach Gary Kubiak said inside linebacker Tim Dobbins, the Texans’ special teams captain, has a minor hamstring issue but that the team was otherwise OK.

After being decimated by injuries last season, the Texans have had their entire starting lineup intact for both games so far in 2012.

Foster sets mark
With a nine-yard run in the second quarter, Arian Foster passed Domanick Davis-Williams for the Texans’ career rushing record. He received a game ball from coach Gary Kubiak in the locker room after the game.

“It’s a good accomplishment, a nice individual accolade, but that’s not why you play the game,” Foster said. “It’s a tribute to a lot of hard work by a lot of people – offensive line, coaches, receivers, tight ends, it’s a cumulative effort.”

Foster finished the game with 110 rushing yards, giving him 3,286 in 37 career games with 29 starts. Davis-Williams’ record was 3,195 yards, which he set in 40 games with 36 starts.  Foster now has 17 career 100-yard games.

Game ball #2
The Texans’ other game ball went to strength and conditioning coach Cedric Smith. Kubiak doesn’t often hand out game balls to non-players, but he felt it was warranted after the Texans pounded the Jaguars physically from start to finish on Sunday.

“I think you win games early in the season depending on how you worked in the offseason,” Kubiak said.

Smith, a former NFL fullback, directs the Texans’ rigorous strength and conditioning program year-round.

“He’s somebody that makes us fight every day to be stronger, get faster,” left tackle Duane Brown said. “Houston is not the easiest place to practice in, and he does a great job of making us fight through the weather, fight through the elements, and we’re stronger because of it. To come into today’s climate, it was extremely hot, run 85 plays on offense, have a 17-play drive and still play at a high level and not slack off at all… that’s a testament to the hard work that he put us through.”

Right guard rotation
The Texans rotated rookie Ben Jones at right guard with Antoine Caldwell throughout the game. Caldwell started the game and played 50 snaps (57 percent). Jones came in on the second series and played 38 snaps (43 percent).

“I told Gump (Caldwell) going into this week we were gonna play Ben every third series, we were gonna give him some snaps,” Kubiak said. “First off, Ben’s doing some good things, and obviously, I’m pushing Gump to be the best he can be as a player from a consistency standpoint. Everybody’s going to have to contribute. But it was a plan going into the game.”

The plan seemed to work well, as the Texans ran for 211 yards and controlled the clock for a franchise-record 43:16. Jones, a fourth-round pick, played center at Georgia but has been the Texans’ gameday backup at center and both guard spots. Caldwell won the starting right guard spot this offseason in a competition with third-round pick Brandon Brooks, who has been inactive for the first two games.

Too many penalties
The Texans’ one glaring negative in Week 2 was penalties, especially on special teams. They had a whopping 10 penalties on the day for 64 yards. On six punt returns, the Texans were penalized three times for 32 yards.

Inside linebacker Mister Alexander was flagged twice – once in the second quarter, once in the fourth – for an illegal block above the waist. Safety Quintin Demps drew the same infraction in the third quarter after the Texans’ defense forced a three-and-out on the first drive of the second half.

"Special-teams wise, we've got some issues with penalties, and we had too many penalties in the game," Kubiak said.

Inactives
The following Texans players were inactive on Sunday: rookie wide receiver DeVier Posey, quarterback John Beck, cornerback Roc Carmichael, cornerback Brandon Harris, outside linebacker Bryan Braman, tackle Andrew Gardner and Brooks.

The Texans made the seven players inactive in Week 1. Braman, who suffered a hamstring injury in the third preseason game, was the only injured player among the inactives.

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