Benard Clifton - Houston, TX, US: After the punt return against the Texans from the speedster Johnnie Lee Higgins, will the Texans be extra careful with Pro Bowl returner Devin Hester awaiting punts and kick offs for the Bears? If not, they should!
Texans fans, this will be the last question of the day. Thanks, as always, for all your emails. Have a very merry holiday week!
You are right on the money. The Texans are going to make special teams a huge focus this week in practice. Johnnie Lee Higgins has returned three punt returns for touchdowns this season, so he's no slouch. But Devin Hester is considered one of the scariest returners in the league. He can change games, and the Texans want to make sure they stop him.
Eric - houston, TX, US: The dt postion is postion is a big concern to me. There is not much pressure on the quaterback spot other mario williams. Do you think the texans could get anthor linesman coach or upgrade in the offseason
The Texans are determined to get a pass rush threat opposite Mario Williams, so that he is not smothered by double teams. Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye is a pass-rushing defensive tackle, but the Texans wanted to see more production out of him this season. They will look for him to take bigger steps next year. The Texans probably will look for a big, nasty run-stopping defensive tackle to line up next to Okoye. That kind of player can take on two blockers and serve as a clog in the run game.
Ted - NYC, NY, US: Who is the meanest player on the Texans?
As far as personality goes, all the players are pretty nice guys. They just flip a switch when they get on the field. Cornerback Dunta Robinson and defensive end Mario Williams are perhaps the best at doing that. Dunta is considered one of the hardest hitting corners in the league, and Mario has been playing with a mean streak when goes after the quarterback. He showed that when he got three sacks against the Jags on Monday Night Football.
Blake - Austin, TX, US: Brooke, I love watching you on Texans TV! How much did the Texans miss rookie LB Xavier Adibi this past week in Oakland and will he be back for the Chicago game this weekend?
The Texans definitely could have used linebacker Xavier Adibi's speed on Sunday. Adibi has done an excellent job of quickly wrapping up running backs, and Raiders back Justin Fargas slipped through the defense too many times. Adibi is listed as day-to-day with a groin injury, but coach Gary Kubiak said they will try to get him back for the game against Chicago. That decision probably will be made on Friday.
Ray O'Sunshine - Hollywood, CA, US: Brooke, Your great! I think they should vote you to the Pro Bowl as team reporter!!!! Anyways, why are people so down on the team after a loss to the Raiders? If we win versus the Bears, we will be 4-1 in the month of December. Teams are supposed to peak in December and I think the Texans have. Also, I saw the question on Haynesworth and was wondering if there were any other big name free agents that the Texans might look at.
You are lighting up my day with that Pro Bowl talk! Thank you. And you are very right about the Texans' success in December. Yes, they did lay an egg in Oakland, but they also beat teams like the Packers and the Titans this month. They have gotten quality wins and earned national respect for those performances. As for any big-name free agents, it's hard to say. The Texans didn't want to sign any huge contracts last season. Teams that try to get a quick-fix in free agency often fall short of expectations. But I wouldn't be surprised if the Texans looked at big-name defensive tackles or pass rushers to play opposite of Mario Williams.
Coopa Troop - New York, NY, US: As a Texans fan way up in New York, it's hard to keep track of my team sometimes. With the playoffs and a winning record out of the question, how is the team staying focused and preparing for their season finale against the Bears?
It's all about respect for the Texans. After beating the Titans, they earned huge kudos from the national media. When they lost to the Raiders last Sunday, they felt some of that respect slip away. The Texans want to finish the season by making a statement: That they can beat another playoff-caliber team. That's something they didn't do a lot of in seasons past. They also want to finish 8-8 and carry momentum into next season, when they host teams like the New England Patriots and New York Jets.
Mike Roberts - Houston, TX, US: Has Richard Smith sealed his fate with that dredful display on Sunday?
Defensive coordinator Richard Smith has been on the hot seat for most of the season, except during the Texans' four-game winning streak. During that period, the defense was putting pressure on the quarterback and forcing turnovers. It looked like Smith's unit had turned a corner. All that changed in Oakland. The Texans didn't blitz too often or make plays in the secondary playing their man-to-man defense, and that doesn't help Smith. After the season, general manager Rick Smith, head coach Gary Kubiak and Texans owner Bob McNair will evaluate all the players and coaches and make their decisions about who stays and who goes.
We'll keep you posted on all of the action.
Kandyce - Houston, TX, US: I am trying to find information on the Andre Johnson foundation and how can you donate?Thanks.
Wide receiver Andre Johnson runs his own foundation, which does great work in the community. Here is the link: http://www.andrejohnsonfoundation.org/. Last week, he took a group of deserving children on a shopping spree for 80 seconds (he wears No. 80). You can check out our community page on Texans TV for video coverage of the event.
Marco - Woodlands, TX, US: What do you think is the Texans' most disappointing loss this year - vs. Indy, at Indy, at Jacksonville, at Oakland? If we get two of those we might be playing for the postseason this week.
The loss to Indy on Oct. 5 might be the most hearbreaking because the Texans had that game won and then fumbled it away in the last three minutes. After that game, Indy went on a surge and has made the playoffs. That game really was a turning point for both teams. The loss at Oakland probably was the most disappointing because the Texans were coming off a win over a team with the best record in football. They had just earned the respect of most national media and were playing for their first winning season in franchise history. Then, they played their worst football of the year. It was upsetting for players and coaches, who now want a chance to redeem themselves on Sunday. An 8-8 record during a season when Hurricane Ike altered a quarter of the schedule is the best the Texans can hope for now.
D.J. - Houston, TX, US: If Kubiak switches up the rotation this week to check out some of the younger players, who do you expect to see more reps?
There are a few rookies that could get more reps on Sunday against the Bears. Coach Kubiak already has been using defensive end Jesse Nading in four-man rush situations and he has shown great improvement getting after the quarterback. Rookie safety Dominique Barber could see time on defense, especially with starter Nick Ferguson nursing a swollen knee. Barber has been contributing on special teams, but the coaches want to see him get more time in the secondary.
Stu - San Antonio, TX, US: What are the chances that the Texans pursue Albert Haynesworth now that he's guaranteed to be an unrestricted free agent?
The Texans certainly could use Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth in the middle. He's a run-stopper who can get after the quarterback and play nasty when need be. Haynesworth is in his contract year, and some people worry that he will play softer once he is signed to a big deal. The other hang up is that he sprained his left knee this year against the Texans and won't finish the regular season. Teams hate seeing that, but he is a Pro Bowler who can change a defense.
Tony - Houston, TX, US: Assuming our linebackers remain the same next year, who do you think will be the starters? Will Greenwood and Bentley be reserves?
Great question. When Zac Diles went on IR with a broken leg, the second-year pro was replaced by Kevin Bentley. Bentley is seen as more of a special teams player, but he has made some big plays as a starter (ie: a sack of the Ravens' Joe Flacco). Before Diles went down, he was leading the team in tackles and had recorded an interception and a sack. Bentley and Diles will compete in the offseason. The coaches were impressed with Diles' playmaking ability, but it will depend on how he recovers. Rookie Xavier Adibi took over for Morlon Greenwood as a starter on the weak side and came on late in the season. The coaches like Adibi's speed, but they want him to bulk up in the offseason. If Adibi can get stronger, he has a strong shot of being a starter in 2009.
stacey - Baytown, TX, US: I'm trying to find out some information about Owen Daniels' charity. Is there any activity going on for Christmas and can you volunteer?
Hi Texans fans! Thanks for logging in for our weekly Live Chat. I will here until 2:30 to answer your Texans questions, so keep them coming!
Tight end Owen Daniels is part of a TACT group with wide receiver David Anderson and tackle Eric Winston called 'Small, Medium and Large.' They have gone to Shriners Hospital to visit children twice this season, including a holiday visit last week. I don't think they have much else planned this year, but make sure you check our Community page for the latest listing of community events.
Click here to check out Daniels' community appearance with Anderson and Winston.