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Practice report: Grossman named top backup


Quarterback Rex Grossman's experience and strong play at Tampa Bay in the preseason finale helped give him the nod over Dan Orlovsky.

The Texans practiced outside Tuesday morning at the Methodist Training Facility and began their preparations for Sunday's regular season home opener with the New York Jets at Reliant Stadium.

Robinson's first full practice: Cornerback Dunta Robinson joined his teammates at this morning's practice, and he was back in action with the rest of the Texans for the first time since last season. On Sunday morning, Robinson signed his one-year deal with the team and quickly went to work with strength coach Ray Wright and head athletic trainer Geoff Kaplan away from his teammates. This morning, though, Robinson was glad to join his teammates.

Click **here** for Nick Scurfield's detailed report on Robinson's return.

New number two: Rex Grossman is now Matt Schaub's backup at quarterback. Head coach Gary Kubiak told Grossman and the previous No. 2, Dan Orlovsky, today before practice.

"I'm leaning toward Rex's experience and the way he's handled himself and handled the team the other night," Kubiak said. "I'm kind of drawing from what I've seen him do in the past and I'm just very comfortable with him right now. So as we get started, Rex will be the two."

Kubiak stressed that the new order isn't necessarily a permanent one.

"I told Dan that I expect him to be ready to go," Kubiak said. "It doesn't mean we are this way the entire season. You never know, but this is the way I feel like we should start and I expect Rex to handle it like a pro and step up. I expect Dan to handle it like a pro and get better every day out here."

{QUOTE}Grossman got more reps today in practice because of the switch, and was excited about the change.

"It's a good opportunity for me," Grossman said. "I'm going to be ready. I'm going to go into this game like I would even if I was number three: ready to play. In this situation, it would be a little sooner."

Even though Grossman's experience in training camp was limited because of injury, he says he's still confident in his abilities to execute.

"I feel good about this offense," Grossman said. "I don't get a lot of reps, but when I was out there, I felt comfortable. I was having fun. There seemed to be a place to go with the ball every snap. This situation is exciting for me, to be part of this organization and this offense. If I get another opportunity to play, I'm just going to have the same mindset: Have fun and let it go."

Orlovsky's move to third on the depth chart was tough, but he vowed that it wouldn't change the way he prepares.

"I'm just going to continue to work," Orlovsky said. "I will take what Coach said to me to heart and improve on it. It's something that is placed ahead of me that I can either let beat me down or build me up. That's the way I'm looking at it."

Speaking of Schaub: The Texans' starter under center was back at it today, and Kubiak liked what he saw out of Matt Schaub.

"He took a big step forward today," Kubiak said. "He took half the reps today in practice, so he's progressing toward getting ready to go. So it was a positive move forward for him."

Schaub's status for Sunday's opener against the Jets is still uncertain, but the time he saw in practice was certainly encouraging.

The first injury report will be announced Wednesday afternoon.

Jets prep: New York comes to town with rookie quarterback Matt Sanchez as the starter, and even though the former Southern Cal Trojan is inexperienced, Kubiak is impressed with the team as a whole. Typically during the regular season, Tuesday is a day off for the players, but that wasn't the case today. Understandably, the Texans' boss was happy to have the extra day of work.

"They present a lot of problems," Kubiak said of the Jets. "They're a different scheme than we are, so it gives us a chance to get everybody comfortable with what spots are working out this week. So we needed the extra day."

The Jets missed the playoffs in 2008 despite a 9-7 record. Much has been made of the impact defensively that new head coach Rex Ryan will make on the squad, and receiver Andre Johnson is among those who are impressed.

"They're very confusing," Johnson said of the scheme employed by Ryan, who was in charge of the Ravens' defense for the last four years. "A lot of times you'll see them just stand up. They'll pretty much do the same thing that Baltimore did, so at times they're kind of confusing because guys would just stand around everywhere and you wouldn't know who's blitzing."

Kubiak emphasized that the squad coming to town Sunday afternoon is an excellent one.

"They were a hell of a football team last year," Kubiak said. "They were a two-minute period the last game of the season from being a playoff team. So you start with that. They were one of the top teams in the league at taking the ball away, stopping the run. Offensively, they were in the top 10 in the league scoring points and running the ball. They've got one of the best return men in the game. We know we've got a challenge."

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