Postgame notebook: Texans vs. Saints


Welcome Back: Wide receiver Andre Johnson and running back Arian Foster both played for the first time this preseason. Johnson pulled down four passes for 100 yards, while Foster carried five times for 47 yards and a pair of scores. Playing so well in a victory made things enjoyable for both.

"Extremely fun," Foster said. "I haven't played since February at the Pro Bowl.  It's fun to get out there, bang heads and just have fun with the team you went through training camp with."

Johnson, who missed the final two games of 2010, also relished the chance to get back on the field in what was a high-powered Texans offense on Saturday.

"I was just excited to get back out there," he said. "I felt like it was my first time playing. I think us being comfortable with the offense makes it easier if we do miss time to still come in and play at a high level."

Reed impresses: Rookie outside linebacker Brooks Reed impacted the game on Saturday night by finishing with three tackles, a pair of sacks and a couple of forced fumbles.

"He's coming along every day," Kubiak said. "Remember now, Brooks is playing a new spot. He's a hand-down (defensive) end in college, so it's been a change for him, but every day he gets better. The quicker he comes along, the better football team we're going to be."

Reed, though, wanted more.

"Besides those two plays, I feel like I could've done a lot better," Reed said. "That's what the preseason is for. So far, it's just been a huge learning experience for me. I just hope that I can improve day-by-day."

Watt's swatts: Moments after J.J. Watt was selected in the first round by the Texans, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips remarked how impressive it was that the former Badger was second on Wisconsin's squad in passes defensed.

Watt continued his trend of batting down passes through the first two weeks of training camp. He also did so on Saturday night against the Saints, getting a mitt on a third-down pass by Drew Brees.

"I think it's luck," Watt said of the frequency with which he bats down balls. "Obviously, I put my hands up at the right time, and I've kind of got a knack for it because I've watched the quarterback's eyes."

TO Margin: The Texans forced three turnovers as cornerback Brice McCain picked off a third-quarter Chase Daniel pass and Antonio Smith and Brooks Reed both forced fumbles that were recovered by teammates. The Texans, meanwhile, didn't turn the ball over.

"That's been going on all camp," Kubiak said. "Our defense has gotten our hands on a lot of balls, and I'm proud of the offense to miss a whole offseason and protect the ball like they did. You win turnover battles in this league and you usually win games."

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