Head Coach Lovie Smith addressed the media on Monday afternoon. After a weekend off following their Thursday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Houston Texans get back to work this week against their Week 10 opponent, the New York Giants.
Here are three takeaways from Smith's Monday presser:
1. The Astros
The Houston Astros celebrated their 2022 World Series championship with a parade, taking place during the Monday press conference. Smith and Astros General Manager Dusty Baker have been friends since their time in Chicago.
"Dusty Baker has been such a great manager for so long," Smith said. "You just kind of just assume that he had won a World Series and led his team multiple times. But for this to be his first one is pretty special. It couldn't happen to a better guy. Excited for our Astros."
Smith shared the inspiration that Baker provides to the city of Houston and other sports teams looking to win a championship. Read more here.
2. Next up, the Giants
Players will return to the team facility on Tuesday to begin their week of preparation against the Giants, who are 6-2 on the season and coming off a bye week. RB Saquon Barkley has scored five rushing touchdowns and leads the NFC and ranks third in the NFL with 779 rushing yards. QB Daniel Jones is completing 65 percent of his passes for 6 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He's also rushed for 363 yards on 64 carries for three rushing touchdowns. Smith said that Jones is "a lot better athlete than he's given credit for."
"Everybody assumes he's just a stand in the pocket thrower," Smith said. "He can make all the throws, but I think he's been really effective when he's gotten out on the perimeter. They do a really good job with boots. Mike Kafka of course and (Brian) Daboll, I mean their coaches have done a great with designing some plays to take advantage of his talents. It always starts at quarterback, but Saquon Barkley, the conversation goes to him quickly. Loved him in college and what he's done in the league. He's an outstanding player. A big guy that can run in between the tackles, he can make you miss in the open field and he also has excellent speed. So that'll be a good, big challenge for us."
3. The Return of the Collinses?
WR Nico Collins and DL Maliek Collins missed the last two games after suffering injuries in Week 7 at Las Vegas. Nico Collins left the game with a groin injury while Maliek Collins exited early with a chest injury against the Raiders. Both could be back at practice this week, according to Smith.
"I'm hoping," Smith said. "We talk about how good the Giants are, rightfully so, we need all hands on deck. They're getting better. Like I said, these last couple of days we let the guys get away a little bit. You know, guys are starting rehab and injury checks today, but we hope they will be able to. They are right on schedule and have made a lot of progress. We'll see."
The Texans will travel to MetLife Stadium to face the Giants on Sunday. Kickoff is set for noon CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.
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