Going into the offseason, the Texans formulated a checklist list of needs. Starred, highlighted and circled at the top was: strengthen the secondary.
It's a process that starts with cornerback Dunta Robinson, who is strengthening his leg after going through reconstructive surgeries to repair a torn ACL and a hamstring that had been ripped off the bone.
Many people have questioned Robinson's return. They just don't know how much toughness he packs into his 5-10 physique. For almost three months, Robinson endured full-day rehab sessions at the Alabama Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, which is run by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
The cornerback's day went something like this: rehab from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., a quick lunch and another session from 2:30-6:30 p.m.
Defensive backs coach Jon Hoke told me that Robinson, who has recently returned to Houston, has made it his sole mission to be back on the field by November.
Of course, the Texans will need a reservoir of depth for insurance purposes, and that means acquiring cornerbacks and safeties off the free agent market.
The team made its first move by signing Jacques Reeves, a cornerback who played his the first four years of his career with the Dallas. A symphony of Cowboys fans have been criticizing the Texans for giving Reeves a five-year deal, but what many don't understand is that Reeves will be switching to a defensive scheme that highlights his speed in turn-and-run coverages. The Texans play a 4-3 where the cornerback lines up on the receiver. In Dallas, Reeves lined up off of the receiver in a 3-4 scheme.
"He's a young veteran player that started 13 games last season for Dallas and shows a positive upside," defensive coordinator Richard Smith said. "He's got ideal size and good speed for our defense. Anytime we can add a player with good speed, we're moving in the right direction."
I also wouldn't be surprised if doubters from the Big-D only serve to light a fire under Reeves, a Texas native who seems genuinely excited to help take the Texans to the next level.
"This is a great organization from the top on down," Reeves said. "Everybody I met was straightforward with me and were real cool people. I love the facilities and it's close to home - it's not too far from my home - so those are all big things."
General manager Rick Smith is courting other free agent prospects. On Wednesday, safety Chris Crocker met with coaches at Reliant Stadium. Crocker played five seasons in Atlanta where cornerback Von Hutchins just signed a deal.
It also appears as if Will Demps, who was a Pro Bowl alternate last year, will resign with Houston. He would join safety C.C. Brown in the starting line up.
Returning both safeties would get the Texans a lot closer to knocking off an item from their offseason list. But, fans, what do you think the team must do this spring to strengthen the secondary?