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Houston Texans

Eager to atone

Head coach Dom Capers admitted his troops were eager to get back onto the field Wednesday. The sooner the Texans could put their 21-point loss at Tennessee behind them, the better.

It was a crisp session, which was good for Capers on two fronts. One, his team is eager to atone for the loss to the Titans, which dropped the Texans to 2-3. Two, Capers' wife, Karen, is a Chicago native and die-hard Cubs fan, which means his house will have enough to worry about tonight.

"This was a day where you're glad to get back on the practice field," Capers said. "You refocus and rededicate yourself to go out and get yourself prepared to come home and play your best game this week.

"This Jets team is much better than their record indicates."

Indeed, the Texans are more concerned with New York's one win than they are with the Jets' four losses. The Jets regrouped during their bye week and the result was a thorough 30-3 beating of the Bills at the Meadowlands. New York recorded seven sacks and four takeaways and posted its highest-scoring output of 2003.

"The thing that jumps out at you is they ran the ball so much better than they had been and they stopped the run much better," Capers said. "They had a plan for the game and they executed that plan."

The Jets held the Bills to 53 yards rushing and topped the 100-yard rushing mark for the first time all season. Perennial Pro Bowl running back Curtis Martin gained 77 of the team's 118 yards, his best output of the season.

New York's front defensive four, led by Pro Bowl defensive end John Abraham, has helped the defense net 19 sacks for 122 yards. Meanwhile, veteran quarterback Vinny Testaverde has only been sacked four times.

The Jets also have solid special teams units, ranking third in the NFL in both kickoff and punt return average. Wide receiver Santana Moss is averaging 16.3 yards per punt return and veteran Michael Bates is averaging 27.6 yards on 12 kickoff returns. New York is fifth-best in the league in covering kickoffs.

"They're probably the best team we've played in special teams," Capers said. "They have a very talented kickoff returner, a talented punt returner and very good coverage units."

The Texans practiced under sunny skies as the temperature dipped under 80 degrees for a brief spell. Cornerback Aaron Glenn (groin) sat out practice as expected. Free safety Marlon McCree worked with the first-team defense Wednesday in place of Matt Stevens.

         going to work Marlon more this week," Capers said. "We'll
         make a decision towards the end of the week in terms of what we'll
         do for the game."
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