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Texans begin last week of OTA's

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Ahman Green leads a strong group of Texans running backs.

Gado impresses: At this point in the offseason, anyone who follows the Texans is aware of their situation at running back. After the position was one of the weakest prior to last season, it has emerged as the strongest heading into this season.

"We've got six guys lined up back there, including this young guy from Notre Dame (Darius Walker) that can play," head coach Gary Kubiak said Monday. "The competition is exceptional and the work load is very even."

Cleary all six won't be on the roster when the Texans host the Chiefs Sept. 9 and it had been widely speculated that the quartet of Walker, Wali Lundy, Chris Taylor and Samkon Gado may be fighting for just one roster spot behind Ahman Green and Ron Dayne.

Since Gado is the eldest of the four, it seemed logical that he had the most ground to make up this offseason in order to keep his spot on the team. It appears he has made up the ground and perhaps more.

"I'm impressed with what he's doing on the football field," Kubiak said. "He reminds me, I told him the other day, I had Mike Anderson in Denver that had a rough year one year and then all of a sudden came back in the offseason and it was like he was possessed the way he practiced and worked.

"It was like holy smokes. You watch the kid out here practice right now and his effort on the field is incredible. He plans on getting something done. I would be very surprised if he doesn't do it."

Mathis on the mend…again: Jerome Mathis missed all of last week's workouts while attending to family business after the death of his father. It was hoped that the time off would be good for an ailing hamstring. Apparently it was not.

Just 10 minutes into Monday's workout, Mathis was on the sideline having that sore hamstring wrapped and was limited during practice. His condition is of growing concern to Kubiak.

"I'm extremely concerned," Kubiak said. "Jerome has been through a lot the last week or so, and we're going to support him in his life and his family.

"But, I'm very concerned about his body and helping this football team right now. We have got to somehow get him to the point where he is on the football field like every other player. That is just honesty. I am telling him the same thing I am telling you. We have to figure out why there is always something and we've got to figure out a way to get the kid on the field full time."

Comfort level increases: Matt Schaub continues to show progress during each workout and Monday was no difference as deep passes were on the agenda for the offense. He rarely leaves the deep ball short and instead misses long, making it much easier for a receiver to make a play on the ball and not a defensive back.

Schaub said Monday he is growing increasingly comfortable with Houston's offense.

"I'm feeling really comfortable," Schaub said. "It's a day to day thing, but we're getting better every day. Watching the film and meeting and just talking with the guys and getting a good feel.

"We have most of the stuff in right now so we're able to go back and repeat some of the things from the beginning of camp. I'm feeling really smooth and it's coming together nicely."

The new quarterback has also seen some improvement in his teammates, not just himself.

"A ton of improvement," Schaub said. "Everyone is working hard and getting better. We are coming out with a purpose every day and focusing on situations and guys are working hard. As a whole group, we are competing with the defense and they are competing with us and we're challenging each other every day."

Faggins finally healthy: Demarcus Faggins missed part of the 2006 season with a foot injury. Most fans are aware of Faggins' time spent on the PUP (Players Unable to Perform) list last season, but few realized that Faggins was not at 100 percent at any time in 2006.

Faggins said Monday that his foot is now completely healed and he's looking forward to competing against the players Houston has brought in over the past few months to compete with Faggins for time in the secondary.

"It's nothing new to me," he said of the competition. "Every year since I've been here I've had to prove myself every single time. That's no problem because I love to get better and I love to compete against other players."

Kubiak has stated that Faggins is the frontrunner to play opposite of Dunta Robinson, a spot Faggins would like to continue to fill.

"It's nice," Faggins said of playing opposite of Robinson. "We have that chemistry. We have been playing with each other a couple years and we kind of have that chemistry.

"We know how to pump each other up. We are not even saying anything. He makes a play; I say 'ok, I have to make the next play'. I make a play, I know he'll be saying the same thing."

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