OUTSIDE LOOKING IN:Unseasonably mild weather descended on Reliant Park Thursday afternoon, but the Texans stuck with the plan and started preparation for Saturday's game against the Dallas Cowboys indoors.
Head coach Dom Capers called the workout a modified version of a regular game-week practice. That involved some players running with a scout team and coaches confined more to the sidelines.
"For 18 practices they've had us in their ear coaching them every down," Capers said. "As we get ready to play a game we kind of withdraw because we're not going to be there Saturday night."
The coach also began to answer the question that has been on everyone's mind – how much will starters play Saturday night?
As of Thursday afternoon, Capers was leaning toward keeping starting running back Domanick Davis on the sidelines.
Davis has been banged up early in camp and sat out Wednesday with a bruised quadricep and a puffy ankle. It has kept the 2003 Rookie of the Year out of the huddle, but the coach said it is not an injury that could linger into the season.
"At that position those guys take a good pounding," Capers said. "We've got some young running backs we want to take a good look at. We'll talk about it tonight. I'm probably inclined not to play Domanick."
HIGHLIGHTS:The defense intercepted three Ragone passes. Ragone was getting the majority of the snaps during practice.
Ragone did well during the two-minute drill, completing six of seven passes, which led to a field goal.
Carr went 3-for-4 during his chance with the offense, completing two passes to wide receiver Andre Johnson, the second for a touchdown.
QUOTABLE:Quarterback B.J. Symons on being on the physically unable to perform list: "Even though I'm not on the field I have to try to learn and transfer as much mentally as I can. My feelings are I'm doing everything I can to try and make an impression. When I get my chance I want to be ready. I want to be able to perform. That's what it comes down to in this league. When you get your opportunity and the coaches give you a chance you've got to perform."
OWNER VISITS:Texans owner Bob McNair watched practice Thursday afternoon. He expects a good showing in Saturday's game against the Cowboys.
And a good season to follow.
"I think we've done very well," McNair said. "I'm pleased with the progress. I think our young players are coming along and I think we've filled in with some people we've picked up… We're going to be a lot stronger this year. We don't know how strong the other teams are going to be. But I think it's going to be tough for other people to score points on us. Likewise on offense I think we're going to be able to move the ball. Any team that steps on the field with us, we believe we can beat them."* *