Notes from the Texans' practice and locker room on Thursday at Reliant Stadium:
Corner playThe cornerback competition between Kareem Jackson and Jason Allen continues, as each has started multiple games this season. Jackson was the starter in Baltimore after returning from a knee injury, while Allen started against the Steelers and Raiders in Weeks 4 and 5. Both defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and Gary Kubiak weighed in on the pair after Thursday's practice.
"We're going to play guys in the game the way we need to play them," Phillips said.
Jackson played the majority of the snaps against Baltimore, but Kubiak elaborated on what Phillips said about both players seeing time against Tennessee.
"I think he'll play more," Kubiak said of Allen. "I do think Kareem played very well in the game and he continues to practice very well. They're going to both play and how it's going to pan out numbers-wise, we'll wait and see."
Improving the run game
After struggling on Sunday in Baltimore, Arian Foster said that he needed to play better. The 2010 All-Pro ball-carrier gained 49 yards on 15 carries. Foster and the Texans want to improve, but know that there's a long way to go before the season concludes.
"We had lulls last year and as a team, you're going to have lulls throughout the season," Foster said. "It's a long season, so we just got to not panic, do what we do and I think we'll be fine."
Kubiak also thinks the rushing attack will get better, and knows that Foster is only at the beginning.
"I think Arian's fine," Kubiak said. "My point is he's played in three games this year. Most of the guys that have played in three games are coming out of preseason and here we go, it's the regular season. Well we're in Week 7, so that's the difference. I don't want him to get frustrated and that's why I make that comment to ya'll and I've said the same thing to him."
Corralling Johnson2009 rushing champ Chris Johnson has struggled to regain the form of his first three seasons in the league, as he's only amassed 250 yards on 83 rushing attempts. He may have just a 3.0 yards per carry ratio, but the Texans defenders are still wary of what he can do to an opposing defense.
"You got to have everybody watching him all the time because he doesn't run the ball where the hole is all the time," Phillips said. "If it's not blocked here, go somewhere else. We don't want to get him started on a big game. That's for sure."
Nose tackle Shaun Cody also isn't discounting Johnson, despite the slow start to 2011.
"He could explode at any time," Cody said. "He's that kind of back who can make big plays happen. He's fast, makes something out of nothing and he's a very talented back. He's fast as heck so we got to definitely corral him."
"He's a home run hitter. Looks like the (Texas) Rangers need him." – Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips on the big-play ability of Titans' running back Chris Johnson.
"He's the head man, so if he says I played well, then I must have did alright." –Cornerback Kareem Jackson on hearing that Gary Kubiak said he played well in Baltimore.