The Texans hit the practice field today after a three-day recess during the bye weekend. As expected, there was a bit of rust that had to be shaken off. More evident, though, was an extra hop in the players' steps and a collective sense of excitement that hasn't been seen since the beginning of training camp.
QB David Carr and the Texans hope to be flying high against the Titans for their first divisional road game this season.
"It's good to be back on the practice field," head coach Dom Capers said. "It's a good week for us to have the extra preparation time. The guys came back after a long weekend. We had a good work day today on Tennessee."
The Texans are poised to meet the Titans, who boast a 3-2 record mostly due to the playmaking ability of quarterback Steve McNair. Out of the Titans' 12 touchdowns this season, he has played a part in 10 of them. Having faced him several times over the years, Capers understands his strengths and weaknesses as well as anybody.
"McNair--he is a tremendous football player," Capers said. "He is a guy that can win the game on any given play. I've had the misfortune of playing against him for a lot of years now and he is the guy that makes it all happen. I think he is a very underrated player in the league. I think probably people realize more now what a tremendous player he is."
Many Texans players were able to watch McNair play yesterday, when the Titans lost to the New England Patriots 38-30 on the road. If they didn't know prior to Sunday, they quickly found out how potent the Titans' offense is in the hands of McNair.
"(McNair) can do some remarkable stuff," defensive end [Gary Walker]() said. "I think yesterday he threw a ball left handed and completed it. He is multi-talented. He is probably the best running back on the (Titans) as well."
The bye week was not only an opportunity for players to relax and maybe watch the Titans play on Sunday, but also a chance for some
of the injured Texans to heal. Coming into the bye week, a number of players were either nursing injuries or just banged up from the wear and tear of the four preseason and four regular-season games.
"I feel rested," Walker said. "I feel good. I'm ready to play. I think a lot of guys needed a break. You know after training camp the bye week is kind of like your breaking point of the season."
Another key player whose health has improved is cornerback [Aaron Glenn](), who sustained a groin injury in the team's win against Jacksonville. As a precaution, Glenn sat out practice today, but there is still a possibility that he will see action in Nashville.
"Nobody wants to get hurt but I'm still getting treatment and hopefully it comes around pretty quick," Glenn said. "I've made a lot of improvement but if I improved enough to say I'm going to play this week or if I'm going to be out the practicing tomorrow I don't know."
The Texans players will have Tuesday off before resuming their preparations for the Titans on Wednesday.
**PRACTICE NOTES:**The Texans began today's afternoon practice outside under partly cloudy conditions, but they moved into the practice bubble halfway through practice due to rain and lightning…Linebacker [ Charlie Clemons](), who sat out last week's win due to complications from a cyst being removed from his shoulder, practiced today and looked like he hasn't missed a step…Safety [Jason Simmons]() highlighted the first half of practice when he intercepted one of [Dave Ragone]()'s passes during a practice drill…Capers expects each player to practice on Wednesday except for Glenn, who will likely rest his groin.