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Houston Texans

Dear Drew: Extended written edition

It's been awhile since we did a 'Dear Drew'. Becuase there were so many good questions, I answered a handful in the video above, and decided to address a few more in the article below. So stop yelling at your sister.

Samantha Hallas: Dear Drew, who will start at LT in place of Duane Brown?
DD: Kendall Lamm will be the left tackle on Sunday afternoon. The third-year pro had a solid preseason and head coach Bill O'Brien's been very complimentary of him. Lamm said the limited experience he's had over the last few years has been beneficial, and that he'll be ready for the moment.

Serena Yvette: Dear Drew, I cannot wait for September 10! Should I bring ear plugs to Sunday's game?
DD: It's probably not a bad idea, especially if you have sensitive ears or a hearing problem. But I'm not a doctor or a masseuse, so I'm probably not the most-qualified to answer.

I'm with you, though, on being excited for the game. I've been pumped for the return of the regular season since the middle of last January.

Lauren Soto: Dear Drew, with Bill O'Brien calling the plays, what will be different?
DD: The recurring themes all offseason, preseason, and through the first few days of this game week have been "energy" and "accountability". Running back Lamar Miller said Monday that having O'Brien in the room and calling the plays has amped up the energy level. He also said the head coach's presence has everyone being more accountable. 

Scott Roberts:  Dear Drew, can Will Fuller make it back by Week 5?
DD: The second-year wide receiver has a collarbone injury, and Week 5 is a solid estimate. The early timetable was around early October, so Week 5 lines up around that time. The Texans play the Chiefs in Week 5, which is a Sunday-nighter at NRG Stadium on October 8. Fuller had four catches for 104 yards last year in Week 2 versus Kansas City.

Emily Esparza Delarosa: Dear Drew, how much playing time will we see from D'Onta Foreman?
DD: Emily, I think he'll get 10-15 touches this Sunday. After missing a bit of time because of a groin injury, he was a full participant in Wedensday's practice. That's a good sign. O'Brien said he liked what he's seen so far from Foreman, but like all rookies, he's still developing. With Alfred Blue likely out, Foreman will get some opportunities for sure.

Nicolas Villamarin: Should we limit Lamar Miller's carries like Miami did so he can be more effective?
DD: Nicolas, I think you'll likely see Miller's touches drop a bit this season. Game-to-game, it might vary. He may get 25 carries in one game, and then half that many in the next. I believe an improvement in the receiving corps and at quarterback will spread things around a little more evenly than what we saw last season. I also think the addition of Foreman and improvement by Blue might cut into Miller's total number of carries.

Kellen Newton: Dear Drew, what do you think the kind of damage our defense can do with Watt, Cush, Mercilus, and Clowney all healthy and finally playing at the same time?
DD: Great question, Kellen. I can't wait to see what this front-7 will do at full strength. So many 'pick-your-poison' decisions for opposing offenses. Last year, Jadeveon Clowney routinely was double and triple-teamed by blockers. When that wasn't happening, he was held. In the four years prior, Watt was experiencing the same. 

The main damage I think you'll notice is a jump in takeaways. I think the Texans will get more interceptions and force/recover more fumbles with so many defensive weapons.

Nick Battista: Dear Drew, going to my first ever game at NRG (I'm from Connecticut) what can I expect from the best fans in the world?
DD: Pandemonium, Nick. Pandemonium. Beforehand, though, I think you'll see a nice dose of Texas hospitality. Make sure you tailgate!

Mike Ledesma: Dear Drew, who do you think is going to be the next breakout player? (Example: Reader, Hal, Lamm, Ellington, Ervin)
DD: That's a really good list, Mike. I think I'll go with Elllington and Ervin, though all on that list are great choices. I'm rolling with the two offensive playmakers because I think they'll get a lot of touches this year, and they'll show some electricity that we've not seen around here in some time.

Ellington had a nice preseason game against the Patriots, and Ervin's looked really good in training camp and practice.

Natalie Boone: Dear Drew, how much playing time will J.J. Watt get?
DD: Natalie, he's going to get some breathers. He'll likely play the bulk of the game, but he'll sit out a play or two from time-to-time. He's acknowledged that his back injury will limit his playing time a bit compared to years past, when he was on the field almost every defensive snap.

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