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Notes: RB rotation, defending McFadden

Posted Oct 7, 2011

The third running back spot for the Texans will be a gametime decision, and linebacker Mario Williams is impressed with Oakland's run game.

Notes from the Texans' practice and locker room on Friday at Reliant Stadium:

Catching up with Andre
He didn’t practice on Friday, but wide receiver Andre Johnson spoke with the media and was optimistic about his return to the field following a hamstring surgery. For more on that story, click here.

Running backs against Oakland
Arian Foster will start, and Chris Ogbonnaya will back him up Sunday against the Raiders. After that, though, head coach Gary Kubiak said he’ll have to decide between Ben Tate and Derrick Ward for the third spot in the running back rotation.

“Derrick and Ben both practiced today and looked pretty good, so I’m going to have one of them available on Sunday,” head coach Gary Kubiak said. “I got to make a decision on which one I think is best. They’ve come a long way.”

Tate injured his groin last week against the Steelers, and Ward is recovering from an ankle sprain he suffered in the season-opener against the Colts.

Williams on the Raiders
With extreme brevity, linebacker Mario Williams pinpointed the Oakland offense’s capabilities and strong point.

“A run game,” Williams deadpanned.

With the NFL’s leading rusher in Darren McFadden, and a strong short-yardage back in Michael Bush, Williams elaborated on the ground attack and shared his respect for the Raiders running backs.

“They got one of the best backs in the League running the ball, so we got to bring our ‘A’ game and stop the run,” Williams said. “He’s a big guy, fast. We just got to get to him and close up the holes and bring him down.”

“Even when some of the coaches see me, they see like a pep in my step.” –Wide receiver Andre Johnson on how surprisingly well he feels after hamstring surgery.

“Because he’s the only ninja in the NFL. Nobody’s stopping the ninja if you’re the only one.” –Linebacker Mario Williams explaining defensive end Antonio Smith’s fast start in 2011.

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