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OTAs practice report: Day 13


Defensive tackle Travis Johnson spent most of OTAs on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. He still is not 100 percent, but he's participating in all team activities. Johnson said he has a lot to prove this season as he enters his contract year.

Daniels still absent: There were no developments on tight end Owen Daniels' holdout from team activities because of issues with his contract. Daniels participated in the first three weeks of OTAs, but did not show up to the team's voluntary workout Tuesday.

Coach Gary Kubiak said he called Daniels but had not heard back from the Pro Bowler as of Wednesday's practice. Teams cannot make offseason OTAs mandatory.

"The offseason activities and the practices from when I played have really changed, as far as the time we get with players, but the bottom line, it's still voluntary," Kubiak said. "He's been our best worker. He's been working his tail off and he's made a decision as of yesterday that he's not going to participate, so I've got to respect that and what's going on. But I count on Owen Daniels. I wish he was here, though. I'm not going tell you anything different."

Daniels and cornerback Dunta Robinson are the only two Texans missing workouts because of their contract situations.

{QUOTE}Pressure's on for Johnson: Defensive tackle Travis Johnson is entering a contract year and he said that the pressure is on for him to perform. Johnson was selected 16th overall by the Texans in the 2005 draft and has recorded 106 tackles and two sacks in four seasons with the team.

"I've had ups and downs," Johnson said. "I think it's been like a mountain to climb. Hopefully, the Lord can help me to climb that mountain and get to the top of it. I think it's been an up-and-down road. I've had good days, had bad days."

Johnson is going to need a lot of really good days if he wants to reclaim his starting spot. While Johnson was sidelined with a hamstring injury for the first two weeks of OTAs, defensive tackle DelJuan Robinson took his place with the first team. Kubiak has said that it will be hard to take Robinson off the field, and that Johnson has a lot to prove before that happens.

"He's got a lot of work to get done here over the course of the tomorrow and the next week so he can catch up with the rest of the football team," Kubiak said. "But when Travis has been on the field, he's done some good things for us. Staying on the field, being a consistent contributor has been the problem."

It wouldn't be surprising if defensive line coach Bill Kollar brings out the best in Johnson during training camp. The veteran coach is known for being tough on his players, and Johnson likes Kollar's aggressive brand of defense.

"Everybody's really buying into running to the ball, running full speed everywhere," Johnson said. "I think that'll be the biggest thing.

"He shares that attitude that - what we learned the first day, running to the ball, enthusiasm and hustle. I like it."

Seen and heard: Indiana Pacer T.J. Ford, also a star at the University of Texas, attended the Texans' practice on Wednesday. While he was there watching friend, wide receiver Andre Johnson, Ford said he had the urge to suit up and run routes. He promptly said that urge would disappear the moment a linebacker put pads on and hit him.

Johnson, however, said Ford probably could translate into a pretty good deep threat for an NFL offense.

"I think he could," Johnson said. "Look at him on the court. He has the speed, he has the moves. He definitely could be a wide receiver or even a DB on the football field."

Transactions: The Texans signed offensive tackle Brandon Torrey. He was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2006 after playing college football at Howard. Torrey had a cup of coffee with the Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals. He earned a Super Bowl ring while on the Giants' practice squad in Super Bowl XLII and last played on the practice squad for the Oakland Raiders.

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