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Houston Texans

OTAs practice report: Day 5


The Texans were back in action after taking a break for the Memorial Day weekend, and joining the team for the first time during OTAs was defensive end Antonio Smith who missed a week with a hamstring injury. Smith participated in all practice drills and will begin lining up opposite of Mario Williams.

So far, so good for Brown: No veteran has more to prove to the Texans than running back Chris Brown. His six-year pro career has been hampered by injuries and after signing with Houston as a free agent in 2008, he suffered a back injury that sidelined him for the season.

"It was frustrating what happened (last year)," Brown said. "But I know that I have to go out there now and prove my worth and show them that I am healthy."

Brown spent the spring in Chicago strengthening his back and now he is looking to be the guy who backs up Steve Slaton.

"In a two-back system behind Slaton, there's no telling what can happen," Brown said. "We are totally two different running backs with two different styles, and I think we will complement each other well."

{QUOTE}The Texans did not select a running back in this year's draft and they have been rotating in Brown and Ryan Moats behind Slaton.

Brown fits the physical prototype that the Texans are looking for because he has the build (6-3, 220) and the speed to be effective in third-down situations.

"He's showed in this league he can have some big games and also he should be a good short-yardage player for us," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "I could say, Chris, when he has been healthy and been out on the field in this league, he's been successful. The question is keeping him healthy and if we can work him with Steve, we should be able to do that."

So far, Brown is exceeding expectations. The Texans wanted to limit his participation in OTAs, but Brown wouldn't allow them.

"The good news for him was we were going to modify our program for him a little bit this offseason, but he won't let us," Kubiak said. "He's done everything everybody else has done and he's holding up well."

Smith back in action: Defensive end Antonio Smith went through his first practice as a Texan after missing a week with a hamstring injury.

"He worked today normal with everybody else," Kubiak said. "We'll take a look at how he worked when I go in today and decide how much of the team work he'll do tomorrow."

The Texans have a lot riding on Smith. They signed him to a five-year deal during free agency and want him to be playmaking pass rusher opposite of Mario Williams.

"He's the big strong, powerful guy opposite of Mario," Kubiak said. "He helps us with the tight ends and those types of things, not letting them off the line of scrimmage. He can go inside and rush the passer, which I saw him do throughout the playoffs very effectively. He's a key (to the defense), and that's why we brought him here."

Molden making progress: Cornerback Antwaun Molden is making steady progress rehabbing the foot injury that cut short his rookie season. Molden has been working with trainers during OTAs and hopes to return for training camp.

"His progress is really good," Kubiak said. "I want to say that he will be ready for training camp. It could be a slow process once training camp gets going, but he is doing very, very well. There was one point we thought about going in with a scope and cleaning something up, but he is doing so well that they decided not to do that. I would say he is on course now."

Molden will be competing against the two cornerbacks the Texans drafted this year: Glover Quin (fourth round) and Brice McCain (sixth round).

Jacboy takes a tumble: Wide receiver Jacoby Jones slipped at his home on Monday and suffered a tailbone bruise which held him out of Tuesday's practice. He should return to action this week.

"He fell somewhere in his house and has a tailbone bruise, so he misses today," Kubiak said. "He's moving around very slowly, but he did call his coach right when he fell."

Quotable: "Man, he's a very large individual. He got in my car the other day and his head was in the roof. He made me feel like a little punk and I'm like, man! I don't even want him no more. o, but he's a good dude. I've hung out with him a couple of times here and there. We went out and watched the game last week at a restaurant, but he's definitely going to add a dimension to our defense. He's big, he can come off the edge, he can cover, he can do it all."
-Linebacker Zac Diles on Brian Cushing

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