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OTAs practice report: Day 3

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The Texans went through a new install in their third day of OTAs, and several rookies managed to impress while picking up their assignments. Cornerback Glover Quin and linebacker Brian Cushing earned praise for making plays on the ball. Quin is seeing his fair share of reps with Dunta Robinson absent and Antwaun Molden still limited because of the ankle injury he suffered last season.

Glover catches on: Fourth-round draft pick Glover Quin showed playmaking potential when he picked off a pass in practice for the second consecutive day. Quin has been getting a fair amount of reps as a backup with Dunta Robinson and Antwaun Molden unavailable to play.

"He's made some plays out here the first couple of days," coach Gary Kubiak said of Quin. "He's gotten his hands on the ball a couple of times. We're playing him at nickel, also; (defensive backs coach) David (Gibbs) tells me he's very sharp in the meeting room.

"He can return some, too. So there's plenty of reps to go around, especially with Dunta not being here. It's moved all those guys up as far as reps go, so he's taking advantage of it."

{QUOTE}Quin was a three-year starter at New Mexico, where he earned the reputation as a big-hitting cover corner. At 6-0, 200 pounds, Quin has the build of a safety and has said he would be open to changing positions.

"I want to play where I need to play," Quin said. "If they need me to play safety, I won't have a problem learning and trying to play safety. If they need me to play corner, nickel, wherever they want me to play, I'm willing to learn and try to help and contribute."

Defensive coordinator Frank Bush said he won't rule out eventually moving Quin to safety, but he wants to the rookie to work out at corner first.

"We have plans for him on the edge right now," Bush said. "He's going to do some stuff in the slot and nickel, but there's always a possibility at safety. He's built that way, anyway.

"He's a big, thick, good-looking kid. He moves around well. From the tape, we know he's not afraid to hit. So we're encouraged by him."

Travis update: On Tuesday, Kubiak was somewhat vague about why defensive tackle Travis Johnson has been sidelined from practice this week. Kubiak said Johnson is dealing with "issues" and has a "long, long way to go" before he is ready for training camp.

On Wednesday, the coach got more specific about the issues hindering Johnson.

"You know, he was having a good offseason," Kubiak said. "Like I said yesterday, everything was going fine, and it got time to go back to work and he's got some issues bothering him: a hamstring, I think his pelvic region, his knee was sore. So we'll do everything we can to get Travis healthy before we get him out here."

Slaton playing bigger: A lot will be expected of running back Steve Slaton this season after leading a talented rookie class with 1,284 yards rushing last year. Slaton finished with five 100-yard games, a 4.8-yard per carry average and nine rushing touchdowns.

"I guess you could say that it will be a little harder," Slaton said. "It's all eyes on you now and everybody knows what you can do, but you just have to go out there and do a little bit more."

To help him carry the load, Slaton has gained about nine pounds of muscle.

"You know, I had a little problem with third-and-short, and that'll hopefully help me move a little bit more pile," Slaton said.

"I'm out here now working with this and I feel good, and hopefully in training camp I can slim down to the place I need to be."

Matthews takes to coaching: Hall of Fame offensive lineman and legenday Houston Oiler Bruce Matthews is used to sweating for hours on practice fields. He went through 19 years of training camps. Now, he is learning what it takes to lead those workouts in his first year as an offensive assistant with the Texans.

"Coming to work every day was an adjustment," Matthews said. "But this is the part that I really look forward to when I signed up—the relationship with the players and just trying to have fun.

"I think, more than anything, I really enjoy the game and as a coach, and coaching in general. Installing a game plan or a plan of attack and seeing it come to fruition and guys buying into it and actually helping them out, that's something that I really enjoy.

"Over the years, the first couple of years I wasn't a huge Texans fan, but over the years I've become a big fan of the Texans. So it's exciting for me not only as a fan, but to get in there and be part of the nuts and bolts and operations."

Quotable:"I think they told them who I am. They're like, 'Some old guy.' Like (Antoine) Caldwell, for example: 'Yeah, when I was a kid, I used to play with you on Madden,' and I'm like, 'Oh, my God.' You know, not Tecmo Bowl, when the games first came out; he doesn't even know what Tecmo Bowl was. But these are second- and third-generation video games, so it's kind of interesting."
- Bruce Matthews, on if the players know who he is and what he accomplished in his Hall of Fame career

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