The guy that’s replaced him has carried the football a few times, too, and I’ve seen him more than my share of times. We’re both from the same area of town, area of the country, area of the state, but that doesn’t give me an advantage with much. Lovie Smith on Texans native and Titans RB Adrian Peterson
The Texans are back from the bye and looking to turn things around in the second half of the season. First up are the 8-2 Tennessee Titans, who have won six in a row and are currently the top seed in the AFC. Here are the top stories and quotes heading into Week 11.
Head Coach David Culley and Titans HC Mike Vrabel will face each other on Sunday, but the two know each other well from their time in Pittsburgh. Culley served as the Steelers wide receivers coach from 1996-1998 when Vrabel was drafted in the third round in 1997 and said the Titans were a reflection of Vrabel as a player.
"I happened to be coaching with the Pittsburgh Steelers when he was a young player there," Culley said. "He was a very selfless kind of player, the kind of player you want on your football team. His football team is a reflection of him. He was also very tough. It was always about the team, and his football team is a reflection of who is his offensively, defensively and special teams."
The team was back at practice on Monday and had referees officiating this week to help alleviate the issue with too many penalties each week.
The Texans will start Eric Murray opposite Justin Reid at safety this week. Head Coach David Culley announced that Lonnie Johnson Jr. will move back to cornerback, where he played as a rookie in 2019.
"There's a process to everything we do that we feel like is fair," Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith said. "There's video to kind of tell you what you should do with guys. Lonnie, he's at the corner position, and we're seeing marked improvement daily."
QB Jeff Driskel is now known as TE Jeff Driskel. The move is official for the six-year veteran, who has been wearing a blue jersey (not red like the quarterbacks) and practicing with his new position group this week. Tight Ends Coach Andy Bischoff said having the knowledge of the packages from a QB perspective will certainly help Driskel in the transition as well as "great hands" and being a "willing blocker."
"He's a rare athlete," Bischoff said. "This is a guy who ran 4.5 coming out of college, and he has traits you don't often see at that position."
WR Danny Amendola said he missed his favorite Tex-Mex restaurant Pappasito's so much, he ate there twice during his first week after signing with the Texans.
Houston will use the same starting five offensive line as it did in Week 9 at Miami: LT Geron Christian Sr., LG Tytus Howard, C Jimmy Morrissey, RG Justin McCray and RT Charlie Heck. Against the Dolphins, Morrissey got his first NFL start and held up well enough to earn another start.
"I'll tell you what, he's jumped in there and done a heck of a job for us," Culley said of Morrissey. "He's a very smart kid. He hasn't had a bunch of playing time, but he went in there and upheld his end very, very well in the last game, making calls and doing all those types of things. We're very comfortable with him in there."
DB Terrence Brooks returned to practice after the Texans designated him to return off the Reserve/Injured list this week. Brooks suffered a lung contusion against the Colts in Week 13, which required him to stay overnight in an Indianapolis hospital.
Tyrod Taylor will get his fourth start on Sunday and says the offense can bounce back if they take care of three things.
"Stay ahead of the chains," Taylor said. "Stay in third and manageable, obviously, and executing the red zone. That's definitely key to our success this weekend."
The Texans travel to Nashville to face the Titans on Sunday. Kickoff from Nissan Stadium is set for noon CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.
The next time you can see the Texans at NRG Stadium will be on November 28 as they host the New York Jets in Week 12. Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.
The Houston Texans roster in photos.