The Texans return some explosive returners.
Houston's special teams look to improve the punt and kickoff return units after experiencing some success with defensive backs Desmond King and Tremon Smith in those roles last year.
King took over the punt return duties in Week 7, and his first three returns went for 14, 20 and 17 yards. The veteran cornerback would finish the season with a 9.1 yard average on 17 total returns.
Smith, meanwhile, became the team's primary kickoff returner that same week as King. He led the way with a 25.6 yard average, and broke a 98-yarder for a score in the road win at Jacksonville.
Special teams coordinator Frank Ross is enthused by the duo's return, and also by the competition developing as well. Whether that competition is coming from more defensive backs in white practice jerseys, or offensive players in the blue practice jerseys, Ross likes the direction the return game is headed.
"Excited about the return group," Ross said. "Anybody in a white or blue jersey has the opportunity to come out here and win that job, Tremon and Dez coming off of last season. Those guys are going to be leading the pack as it stands right now. Happy with the depth that's hopefully rising to the challenge, and we'll finish that up once the preseason is completed."
Ross emphasized the importance of an "all hands on deck" commitment to the return game by the entirety of the team.
"If there's a defensive back that's not catching punts post practice and getting work in the period, you're wrong," Ross said. "The more value you can add as a wide receiver, defensive back, or running back. We've got to have depth that can handle the ball on the starting 53-man roster and then on the active 48."
Ross and company are off until the start of training camp, which begins July 29 at the Houston Methodist Training Center.