Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's first priority September 7 is to slow down Andre Johnson's productivity. Let's hope that Johnson's groin injury isn't serious enough to help him out. After going 2-5 in the seven games #80 missed last year, the last thing the Texans need is for their star player to be banged up. When Johnson came up hobbling after going for a Matt Schaub pass in practice Saturday, the crowd gasped as if they just saw their season go up in flames. The injury is not thought to be serious and if it turns out to be the biggest concern in camp, then the Texans are on the right track.
There is depth on the Texans in a variety of positions for the first time ever. But the last thing you want to see is a test of that depth early.
Think about it. At quarterback, they have a one-two punch that is one of the best in the league. The wide receiver corp is a strength as opposed to being a mystery at this time last season. Even the offensive line looks like it's finally able to take a hit or two and keep on producing. Defensively, linebacker could be this year's wide receiver group with Kevin Bentley, Chaun Thompson and Xavier Adibi filling out the second line. We'll call Rosevelt Colvin a defensive end and declare him and Earl Cochran, Tim Bulman and Frank Okam a potentially fierce second unit. And if cornerback Antwuan Molden performs as projected, the secondary could be interesting with the emerging depth at safety.
The bottom line is the Texans have enough talent to make things happen, instead of hoping they happen. They should respect but not fear Pittsburgh. They have the personnel to get out of fourth in the division. They have to execute splendidly and make their own luck, but there's no denying they have the tools to accomplish the task.
Up first is Denver on Saturday. When Gary Kubiak first met his ex-boss in the preseason two years ago, the Broncos were coming off AFC Championship game appearance and the Texans were trying to rebound from 2-14 and an unpopular No. 1 draft choice. Now it's the Broncos looking for a reboundm as they slipped to a nine loss season including a 31-13 drubbing by the Texans with that same draft pick racking up 3 and a half sacks. Times change.