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Notes: Learning curves and Atlanta offense


Notes from the Texans' practice and locker room on Thursday at Reliant Stadium:

Cushing health
After missing Wednesday's practice with a rib injury, linebacker Brian Cushing was back at work Thursday. He downplayed things and said he's feeling "excellent", and is ready for Atlanta.

"I'm just a little banged up from last week," Cushing said. "I was able to do some stuff today. I'll do more tomorrow and by Sunday, I'll be fine."

Fullback Lawrence Vickers (hamstring) and defensive end Tim Bulman (calf) did not practice today.

Powerful Offense
A high-octane Falcons' offense comes to town Sunday, and Cushing believes this is the best offense he and the defense will have seen since the Week 3 matchup with New Orleans.
"They're a very deep offense," Cushing said. "They've got a lot of good weapons. On top of it, they've got a very good quarterback running that team. They're explosive. They can run the ball really well. They got a lot of weapons as receivers and it's definitely going to be a challenge for us."

Head coach Gary Kubiak is also mightily impressed with quarterback Matt Ryan and company.

"It's exceptional," Kubiak said." It's got to be as powerful probably as there is in the League when you look at the weapons across the board. It'll be the biggest challenge for our team in awhile."

Learning Curve
His second day on the job was another day of learning for quarterback Jake Delhomme. The backup has spent the past three months at home in Louisiana on his horse farm, and is now learning a new offense and meeting new teammates. He described the transition

"It's a grind and you just have to work and learn," Delhomme said. "It's difficult because it's a new language. No matter any way you slice it, it's a new language, the verbiage and certainly the little nuances."

"Without a doubt, 100 percent." –Quarterback Jake Delhomme on if this is the biggest challenge of his career.

"Watching him being taken off the field opening day last year and then to see the award he got yesterday, that's why you do what you do, to watch that happen." –Head coach Gary Kubiak on his happiness for Connor Barwin after seeing the linebacker's season end in the first game of 2010.

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