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Pleased with win, Kubiak still wants improvement


A day after his squad's thrilling victory, Gary Kubiak discussed the Texans' 34-31 triumph over the Titans

The day after his Texans ballclub won their first game of the season, head coach Gary Kubiak answered questions from the media about the 34-31 victory over the Titans, as well as the upcoming contest with Jacksonville.

Fixing the run: For two games now, the Texans' run game has failed to generate much yardage. In Week 1 versus the Jets, Steve Slaton and Chris Brown combined for 32 yards on 12 carries. Sunday in Nashville, the yardage total was slightly better with those two churning out 59 yards.

But their number was called 25 times, more than double the week before against New York. The commitment to the run very likely played a factor in opening up the passing game, as Matt Schaub and the receivers had wide-open opportunities at various points in the contest.

Kubiak is not thrilled with Slaton's performance through the first two games, but he's more concerned with the second year back's ball security in 2009. Slaton fumbled twice against the Titans, and the Texans were fortunate to recover both. Slaton also had the ball knocked loose against the Jets, and New York was able to capitalize on the turnover, scoring its first touchdown of the contest and taking a 10-0 advantage.

"He can run better," Kubiak said of Slaton. "He's had three balls on the ground in 20 carries, and that can't happen. That can't happen once. As far as how many yards are there, those things are always up and down and that's just part of the game."

Kubiak also said he has liked the play on special teams by running back Ryan Moats and wants to see him integrated into the offensive plans more frequently.

"We need to give him a chance to touch the ball, and we will do that," Kubiak said.

Pitts is out: Sunday's victory didn't come without a price. Left guard Chester Pitts, who started his franchise-record 114th consecutive game, left with a knee injury. Today, Kubiak said he didn't know much about Pitts' future for the next few weeks but was certain that one of the two original Texans on the roster—the other being kicker Kris Brown—needs arthroscopic surgery.

"We're going to scope Chester on Wednesday," Kubiak said. "Obviously, he's going to miss some time. How much time? We'll hopefully have an answer for you as we come out of practice Wednesday."

{QUOTE}Kasey Studdard filled in for Pitts yesterday and will continue to do so moving forward. Kubiak described Studdard, a third-year veteran out of Texas, as more than capable.

"Kasey plays the game on emotion and effort," Kubiak said. "He fits with the group. There was no fear there (after Pitts' injury during the game) as far as where we were going or how we were going to do. Our guys expected him to do his job, and he did. I'm excited to see him play. He's earned the right to play."

Dre's big day: Receiver Andre Johnson's big afternoon in Nashville was highlighted by his first-quarter 19-yard touchdown grab. On the scoring play, Johnson was interfered with, tipped the ball up, gathered it back in and still managed to keep both feet inbounds. It tied the contest at seven-apiece, and was just one of many crucial grabs for the Pro Bowler.

"That's got to be one of the best I've ever seen," Kubiak said of Johnson's juggling score. "With my angle, I listen to what the guys up in the box say. I said 'Well, he caught the ball but there's no way he was in.' They said 'No. He was in.' It was incredible. We had worked on it all week. It was going to be one of our short-yardage calls."

On the day, Johnson finished with 149 yards on 10 receptions, and he also snuck behind the Titan defense for a wide-open 72-yard touchdown.

Up next: On Battle Red Day at Reliant Stadium, the Texans host the winless Jaguars. Jacksonville was picked apart by Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner, who was a sterling 24-of-26 passing in a 31-17 victory at Jacksonville Stadium.

The Jags are now lumped with Tennessee and six other teams in the NFL sporting 0-2 records. Kubiak was quick to point out the Jaguars' thought process to his own ballclub today.

"I told the guys today that you've got a team coming in here that felt just like you felt all last week," Kubiak said. "That's part of this league: when something good happens, you better let it go. When something bad happens, you've got to move on. We've got a big week ahead of us."

The Texans' defense has allowed a 100-yard rusher in both of its first two games, as the Jets' Thomas Jones picked up 107 yards on 20 carries in Week 1 and Chris Johnson carved up Houston for 197 yards on 16 carries in Week 2. The Jaguars feature running back Maurice Jones-Drew, a ball carrier with whom Kubiak is supremely impressed.

"He's licking his chops," Kubiak said of Jones' frame of mind entering Week 3. "I would think he's probably pretty excited about the yards we've been giving up on the ground. He's as good a back as there is in the league."

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