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A long weekend after four more workouts

Another week of OTA's in the books and another week of evidence that this year's Texans are going to be the best version yet.

Marc Vandermeer conducted a live chat with Shawn Barber yesterday and he said that this Houston roster was just as talented as any roster he's been a part of. That's pretty high praise considering that Barber has been a part of several solid playoff teams in Philadelphia.

Barber has a confidence about himself, evident in the video, that is reassuring. He's had a lot of success during his NFL career and you get the feeling being around him that he doesn't expect anything different this season.

The legend of Matt Schaub continues to grow. We won't know if Matt's the real deal until September, but every ounce of evidence points to success for Schaub, who's already endeared himself to many Texans fans.

We wired him for sound last week at All Access and as you can see, he's a personable star in the making.

Schaub made a throw yesterday in practice that well, I've never seen on the Texans practice field before. Looking first to his right after a three-step drop, he wheeled left and fired a strike to Andre Johnson 15 yards down the field on the opposite sideline.

You would expect an NFL quarterback to be able to hit a Pro Bowl receiver 15 yards down the field, but the throw was just over an outstretched linebacker and just before a safety who was coming over to help.

The pass also hit Johnson perfectly in-stride, and since it came through the smallest of windows, it was only that much more impressive.

That play aside, the defense has looked good through seven OTA sessions. You would expect that early as the offense is still finding a rhythm, but when you study each position during drills, it's hard to see a glaring weakness on the defensive side of the ball.

The defensive line especially looks stout so far with Mario Williams back to full strength and Amobi Okoye improving every day. Anthony Weaver remains out, but he's progressing as scheduled and will be ready to go opposite Mario come Week 1.

I expect the defense to start the season ranked among the league's best especially with Kansas City, Carolina and Atlanta being three of Houston's first four opponents.

Offensively, the running back situation is probably the most intriguing storyline. I think Kevin Walter will lock up that receiver spot opposite Johnson relatively easy with Jacoby Jones and André Davis battling for time in the slot.

But behind Ahman Green and Ron Dayne, competition is fierce between Wali Lundy, Chris Taylor, Samkon Gado and Darius Walker for a spot on the roster.

Taylor has been spending some time at fullback and looks to be in great shape, adding some muscle during the offseason. That versatility combined with some raw talent that has yet to be tapped makes me believe that Taylor will make the 53-man roster.

It's hard to imagine Walker doing more than making the practice squad, but that still leaves Lundy and Gado fighting for no more than one roster spot. There is going to be some serious competition come training camp.

A long weekend lies ahead. The Texans will conduct three OTA's next week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

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