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Practice report: McNair backs coaches


Texans owner Bob McNair expressed confidence in the players and coaching staff as they move past Sunday's heartbreaking loss to the Colts and prepare for the Miami Dolphins.

McNair backs coaching staff: Texans owner Bob McNair said he felt miserable after Sunday's 31-27 loss to the Colts, but he thought the game was the best he had ever seen his team play.

"I think the game we played this past Sunday is the best game we've played in the history of this franchise," McNair said. "We had a couple of mistakes at the end of the game that cost us, and we've got to correct that. But in terms of the way our team played, one of the things we've said that was a challenge is: How do we go out and play against somebody like Indianapolis and handle them? And we handled them. I think our players saw that. I think they have confidence going forward and know what we can do."

McNair also expressed in confidence in coach Gary Kubiak and the coaching staff.

"I'd say our coaching staff is doing a fine job," McNair said. "The players were prepared. They executed well. They played hard. What could anybody else do?

"You play with confidence when you are well prepared and you have confidence in what you're doing. Our coaches do have them well prepared and they're playing hard. As long as we do that, we're going to win a lot of games this season."

{QUOTE}The owner said the Texans must start by beating Miami on Sunday. Another area of concern for McNair is the possible sale of Reliant Energy Inc., which holds naming rights to the Texans' stadium.

"Yes, I'm concerned about it because I've got good friends there at Reliant, and they're a great partner," McNair said. "I'd like to see them continue as a partner, but they're looking at other strategic options. They're going to do what's in their best interest, and we'll work with them as they go forward."

Sparano praises Slaton: Steve Slaton keeps racking up the praise. The running back was nominated on Tuesday for NFL Rookie of the Week honors for the third straight week (vote for Slaton by clicking **here**). On Wednesday, he earned high praise from Miami head coach Tony Sparano.

"It's hard to put your finger on one of those type of backs, but he's so explosive when he gets his shoulders turned like that and he can make the first guy miss," Sparano said of Slaton. "I look at him and think maybe he's like a Barry Sanders-type of a guy with that type of explosive ability."

Thanks to the rookie, the running game continues to improve. The Texans are averaging 114 yards rushing and a 4.4-yard average per carry, which is the best in Kubiak's three seasons with the team.

Against the Colts, Slaton racked up 93 yards rushing and two touchdowns while sharing carries with Pro Bowler Ahman Green, who returned to the lineup for the first time since spraining is ankle in the season opener.

Green, who finished with 12 carries for 47 yards, thinks a two-back system will greatly improve the Texans' offense.

"It actually excites me because it keeps the defense honest and you've got two different runners interchanging throughout the game," Green said. "So somebody is always fresh every third or fourth play, which is a good thing when you're playing against an aggressive defense."

Green will spell Slaton, who earned a starting role while the veteran was injured. Green said he has shared carries before and does not mind coming off the bench.

"I'm used to it," Green said. "I did it in Green Bay when I first got there with Dorsey Levens, so I'm kind of accustomed to it so it doesn't bother me. I like it because it keeps the defense very honest."

Texans to play angry: The Texans are fed up with losing and they enter Sunday's game with a chip on their shoulders.

"You tend to get pretty pissed off," defensive end Anthony Weaver said. "This team's angry because our expectations are so high, and they still are. Regardless of where we sit at this point, our expectations are still there and guys still know the ability and the talent that we have on this team."

Green was so riled up that he was overheard in the locker room saying that he wanted to, "go out there and pop someone in the mouth." The running back, of course, has no intentions of hitting the opposition. He would prefer to stick it to them with a loss.

"I think should be our mentality this week," quarterback Matt Schaub said. "Exactly like Ahman said, we want to taste victory. We want to go after somebody and just jump on somebody from the start of the game on through the finish. We've been really close the past two weeks and we fell short."

The Texans lost to the Jags by a field goal in overtime and let a 17-point lead slip away in the final minutes against the Colts.

"There's not a guy in here that's not a little upset with the way things have gone for us especially the last two weeks," right tackle Eric Winston said. "We know we're a better team than where we are. We know we are a better team than we were last year, but now we've got to get out and prove it. We've got to prove it to the rest of the NFL, and it starts this week."

Team notes: The Texans brought back quarterback Alex Brink, signing him to the practice squad. Safety Will Demps practiced with the team after sitting out last week with a hamstring injury.

For the official injury report, click **here**.

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