METAIRIE, La. - The NFL Network is covering the Texans' practices with the New Orleans Saints this week. Former NFL player and television analyst Brian Baldinger took a moment during practice Wednesday to speak to Texans TV's Brooke Bentley about his thoughts on the Texans this year.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): What are your initial thoughts on the Texans going into the season?
NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger: Well, I like the Texans a lot. I like what they've done in the offseason. My favorite coach is here, Alex Gibbs. So anywhere Alex goes, you're going to have an improved football team, especially an improved running game. I just that they play maybe in the toughest division in football. So when you're competing against Indianapolis and Jacksonville and Tennessee, that is a battle every time you play one of those teams, and you have to play them six times.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): What do you think (the Texans) need to do to increase their chances of winning in the AFC South?
* NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger:* You have to match them physically, which they've been trying to do. They've been building both lines. I think they can match them in the trenches right now, so not it depends on just really the skilled positions. The secondary right now, which they're trying to rebuild. Trying to get Dunta Robinson back is going to be huge. I don't know where he's at in his rehabilitation right now, but he is a really, really good player, and he makes a big difference out there. So it just becomes that, and can the passing game step up? We know what Andre Johnson is like in this offense when he's healthy. Can he stay healthy? And can they find really that third or fourth receiver to help keep up with a team like Indianapolis.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): What about quarterback Matt Schaub?
NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger: Well, I like Matt. He gets the ball out of his hands fast, and that's key…Any time you get signed to be the franchise quarterback and you don't make it for 16 games, that's the question that always follows you. That's the question that's following Matt right now. Can he stay healthy? Can he stay upright for 16 games? The good thing is Sage came in last year and played really well. So it looks like that position, to me, regardless of what happens, is in good hands.
Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): You talked a little bit about the running game with Alex Gibbs, but also about the running backs. Ahman Green is injured right now. There have been some questions about his durability.
NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger: Well, any time you get into 10 years in the league and you get over 30 you're going to talk about it. And he's had a history of injuries right now in Green Bay and then last year in Houston. That's got to make you a little nervous, but there are some people in this business that think Slaton was the best running back in this draft. And he's a perfect fit for this style. I know one thing about the style of offense that they run here with Alex Gibbs is rookies can play in this thing. They can play early. they can play fast.