OTAs Day 13: Competition at kicker continues

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With the final practice of organized team activities (OTAs) approaching on Thursday, the Texans' kicking competition continues between Kris Brown and Neil Rackers at the Methodist Training Center.

The competition didn't begin until last Thursday, when both kickers were a perfect 8-for-8 in competitive situations in front of the team. During Tuesday's indoor practice, Brown was 5-of-5 to Rackers' 4-of-5.

Texans coach Gary Kubiak said that Rackers was 5-of-5 on Wednesday, while Brown went 4-of-5.

"They're both kicking good," Kubiak said. "Like I said yesterday, they're both fine kickers and it's going to be a great competition. One of them is going to kick for us and the other one is going to be kicking somewhere else. They're two quality kickers, and we're lucky to have that type of competition in our camp."

Feeling winded
Kubiak joked on Tuesday that rookie running back Ben Tate was faster than everybody else in his first full practice with the team. Understandably, Tate's legs were less fresh on Wednesday.

"I can tell his condition level today, his speed dropped off today," Kubiak said. "He was very quick yesterday. These guys have 10 or 11 practices ahead of him, so we'll catch him up a little bit next week."

Learning from the bestOne of the most impressive players during OTAs has been wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who developed a newfound focus and maturity late last season after he was suspended for a road game at Jacksonville.

At least some of Jones' improvement can be attributed to Pro Bowler Andre Johnson, who has taken Jones under his wing over the past few seasons.

"I just think Jacoby's grown up a lot," Kubiak said. "He's had highs and lows in his NFL career. He's made some great plays and had some tough ones and struggled off the field a little bit. But guys tend to gravitate to success and people that have a lot of class, and that's what he's done with Andre. Couldn't be a better example for him to learn from."

Kubiak speaks at TD ClubImmediately after practice, Kubiak hurried over to the JW Marriott in the Galleria area to speak at the Touchdown Club of Houston's "Houston Texans Day."

The event was emceed by Marc Vandermeer of SportsRadio 610 AM. University of Houston football coach Kevin Sumlin and Madison High School coach Ray Seals also attended the event.

"I appreciate them having me out here," Kubiak said. "It's tough this time of year with our schedule and everything that's going on, but I appreciate everything they do. It stands for all the right things, so I appreciate them letting me be a part of it."

In the past 11 years, the Touchdown Club of Houston has awarded approximately $155,000 in scholarships to more than 200 kids in the Greater Houston area. It also has partnered with the Texans to distribute excess cleats and tennis shoes to needy area schools.

That's what he said"He bothers me a lot. I treat him like a baby brother. A lot of times, he bothers me, he gets on my nerves and I get a little serious with him to run him off, but he comes right back. It's a lot of fun. He's grown so much as a player. He has a lot of talent, and I think he's going to continue getting better. You look at him out here in OTAs, he's getting better and better. He's going through a lot to help this team."
- WR Andre Johnson, on WR Jacoby Jones

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