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Houston Texans

Notes and quotes: Leinart, Ogbonnaya impress

After a day-and-a-half break, the Texans started their second week of training camp on Tuesday morning with an open practice at the Methodist Training Center. They had a walkthrough in the afternoon.

Here are some notes from the day:

Leinart looking goodBackup quarterback Matt Leinart was especially sharp on Tuesday morning, showing excellent touch and placement on throws of every variety.

The 28-year-old former Heisman Trophy winner, who re-signed with the Texans last week, continues to earn high marks from head coach Gary Kubiak.

"He's been very good," Kubiak said. "He's been exceptional. He's very comfortable with what he's doing. He's a guy who's got his confidence back as a player and a pro after everything we went through last year. I think you're going to watch him grow every day."

Ogbonnaya, tooChris Ogbonnaya is the fifth of five running backs on the Texans' depth chart, but he has impressed Kubiak in extended practice reps with Arian Foster and Ben Tate sidelined by hamstring injuries.

"I tell you what, he wants to be on this team," Kubiak said. "You all see it; you watch practice. It's fun to watch. He's got a lot of confidence in what he's doing. He's making a big push."

Ogbonnaya, a Houston native and former Texas standout, spent last season on the Texans' practice squad.

"I just try to come with the same workman's lunch-pail mentality and bring it every day, because you never know what's going to happen," Ogbonnaya said. "I think Arian (a practice squad player in 2009) is a great example of that. I just want to have the same opportunity."

CB competitionKubiak said "there's absolutely no doubt" that Jason Allen could push Kareem Jackson for the Texans' starting left cornerback spot.

"I think he's doing that every day," Kubiak said. "We're going to play our best two guys, but he's done a heck of a job… He's just consistent. He's made a lot of plays on the ball, got a few picks in camp. He's always been an effort guy. He's more comfortable being here this year, in my opinion, and he's playing better."

Allen, a sixth-year pro, was claimed off waivers by the Texans on last November. He had six interceptions in 2010. Kubiak also said that second-year cornerback Sherrick McManis is "having a really good camp" and that he and Allen are both pushing Jackson.

Feeling goodTight end Owen Daniels said after the morning practice that this is the best he has felt physically since before he tore his ACL in 2009. The 2008 Pro Bowler spent all of last offseason rehabbing and dealt with a nagging hamstring injury for much of last season.

"It was a great offseason for me, being able to focus on just conditioning and getting stronger," Daniels said. "Hopefully, it's paying off now. I think it is."

Big-play TuesdayWide receiver Dorin Dickerson had one of the highlights of the morning during red zone work. On a jump ball from Matt Schaub to the left side of the end zone, the second-year receiver leapt up and muscled the ball away from cornerback Johnathan Joseph to come down with a touchdown.

"He's a big guy that can make plays with his body," Kubiak said. "He does have excellent speed. He's got to learn to bend a little more and those type of things. The thing Dickerson has night and day improved on is his conditioning. He can practice two hours in the heat, make plays at the end of practice as well as the beginning of practice. His conditioning level has given him a chance to become a better pro."

Several other receivers made crowd-pleasing catches in 11-on-11 drills in the morning. Kevin Walter had an acrobatic touchdown from Schaub on a corner route near the right sideline. Undrafted rookie Jeff Maehl made a spectacular one-handed touchdown catch on a pass to the left from Leinart.

Lestar Jean, another undrafted rookie, made a leaping 25-yard catch on the left sideline from rookie quarterback T.J. Yates, catching the ball over cornerback Antwaun Molden and skillfully keeping his feet inbounds.

Health check
Kubiak called Foster (hamstring) "day-to-day" and said that the 2010 rushing champ is still probably a few days away from returning to practice. Linebacker Brian Cushing (knee) could be back on Wednesday.

"The question on Cushing is does he go tomorrow or Thursday?" Kubiak said. "The plan all along was the middle of this week, so we'll see. Hopefully tomorrow."

Tate, who missed his 2010 rookie season with an ankle injury, left practice on Tuesday with a sore hamstring.

"He hasn't been out here much," Kubiak said. "He's missed a lot of time. He came out today and said his hamstring is sore again, so we pulled him out. He's missing a lot of work since he's been out here, so we're all just waiting on him to get back out here and get going. Those other guys are working their tails off and had another good practice."

Rookie cornerback Roc Carmichael, a fourth-round pick from Virginia Tech, sprained a shoulder in practice on Sunday. Kubiak said that he'll probably be out for "a week or so."

Linebacker DeMeco Ryans (Achilles) said he's "progressively getting better and better each day" so far in camp. Ryans has been practicing but also working with team trainers to build back strength, endurance and explosiveness in his foot.

"I'm feeling good," Ryans said. "I find myself doing a little bit more each day. It's a good time to be back out here in training camp, running around. (I) missed a lot of football last year, so it's exciting to be back here."

"Wade will get in if anybody screws up and he'll let you know when you mess things up and he'll let you know when you did a good job. Wade is just a great coach."
-LB DeMeco Ryans, on defensive coordinator Wade Phillips

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