Skip to main content
Houston Texans

Postgame notebook: Texans vs. Bucs


Toe problems: Running back Jeremiah Johnson, who got his first start on Thursday, left the game in the second quarter with a dislocated toe.

Starter Arian Foster (rest) and backup Steve Slaton (toe injury) did not play against the Bucs, leaving Chris Henry as the lone running back standing after Johnson's injury. Henry finished with 51 rushing yards on 16 attempts.

Johnson had averaged 5.4 yards per carry in the first three preseason games, moving up to third on the depth chart behind Foster and Slaton.

"We've got issues," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "Steve is out, we're hoping he's ready to go against Indianapolis. Jeremiah looks like he's going to miss some time. Chris, I'll have to go back and see how he played. I've got one healthy running back right now, two counting Chris, on this football team. We'll see where we're at. It's going to be day to day.

Right guard rotation?: Right guard Antoine Caldwell was the only Texans starter to actually start Thursday night's game. Caldwell, a second-year pro out of Alabama, is competing for a starting spot with Mike Brisiel.

Kubiak said after the game that Caldwell has done a good job this offseason but that Brisiel has "pushed him to the limit."

"We'll go and take a look at it, and if one of them separated himself, then we'll go with him," Kubiak said. "If not, we very well could be in a rotation starting opening day."

Big game for Booty: Quarterback John David Booty played the entire second half, his most extensive playing time as a Texan, and set a team preseason passing record with 209 passing yards. He was 17-of-37 with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

"It was impressive," Kubiak said. "He's missed a lot of time. His shoulder has been sore, so he hasn't gotten a lot of reps and all of a sudden he just goes in there and handles himself really well. He's playing with a young group of players who he was really having to direct in the right spot. He had a lot of things to worry about other than just his job with the group he had, and he gave us a chance to win the game. I'm really proud of the job he did."

Did Booty do enough to make the team?

"I'll have to look at everything and make those decisions tomorrow," Kubiak said, adding later: "You can't dismiss what J.D. came in and did with not many reps at all as a player."

"O" well: Backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky started Thursday night's game 8-of-8 for 85 yards. He followed that with two interceptions in his next six passes.

Kubiak didn't feel it was indicative of the progress Orlovsky, who had zero turnovers in the first three preseason games, has made this offseason.

"I feel bad for him," Kubiak said. "He had a great camp and really progressed as a player and he really did some good things tonight. He's almost automatic, and then all of a sudden he'll make some poor decisions in the red zone. I don't know if that led to the next one, but the bottom line is that if you're playing quarterback in this league, you have to protect the ball, and that's something that I've been battling him on.

"You just hate for him to end the preseason that way. I've got confidence in him, I think he's grown up a lot, but obviously, these things just can't happen."

Catching on: Second-year tight end James Casey set a Texans preseason record with eight receptions. That topped the previous record of seven, set by wide receiver Andre Johnson last week against Dallas.

Casey's 81 receiving yards were the most by a Texan in a single game this preseason. It was the third-highest preseason total in Texans history.

"It felt like once they started throwing the ball to me a couple of times, they kept calling my number," Casey said. "It kept coming back to me. They kept calling plays for me; it was fun. It was like back in the college days when they started calling plays designed for me. Hopefully I showed them that if they do that, I can make some plays and be involved in the offense. But that's totally up to the coaches and I just need to keep on proving every day that I can help the team."

Vying for a spot: Rookie wide receiver Dorin Dickerson, a seventh-round draft pick out of Pitt, had five catches for 45 yards in his final audition for a roster spot. The highlight was a SportsCenter-worthy one-handed 27-yard catch down the right sideline in the fourth quarter.

Dickerson also picked up 19 yards on a reverse, flashing his 4.4-second 40-yard dash speed.

"He's got a lot of potential," Kubiak said. "We'll have to make a tough decision from a receiver standpoint. We've got four veterans and then after that, it's going to be some tough cuts to make."

Gone soon: Linebacker Brian Cushing will begin serving his four-game suspension effective Saturday at 3 p.m. CT, the deadline for roster cuts around the league.

During his suspension, Cushing cannot be at the Texans' facility at Reliant Stadium. The 2009 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year will be able to return on the Monday before the Texans' Oct. 10 game against the New York Giants.

"You can't even explain how tough it is, there's no question about it," Cushing said. "I mean, I'm not even sure I'm going to be able to watch (the first four games). You realize how much you love something when it's taken away from you and like I said, I've just got to stay mentally prepared, stay as fresh as I can, and in Week 5 be the best player I can possibly be."

X marks the spot: Linebacker Xavier Adibi made his preseason debut after missing several weeks with a groin injury. He finished with four tackles.

"It looked impressive, what (Adibi) did," Kubiak said. "I thought he played pretty good. I wanted him to play 25-30 snaps. We'll go see where he's at. What I thought I saw was pretty good, so that's nice that we have that option again."

Adibi is one of the leading candidates to start at strongside linebacker during Cushing's suspension.

"There's definitely a chance," Kubiak said. "He was option one when we started camp. He missed camp; there's nothing you can do about that. Can he still be the guy? Yes, he can."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content