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Texans-Buccaneers postgame notebook


Cornerback Dunta Robsinson shows he's ready to lead the defense into the regular season.

Spreading the wealth: Texans head coach Gary Kubiak kept most his starters on the sidelines in the team's game against Tampa Bay so that he could evaluate players fighting for roster spots.

Kubiak and his coaching staff were paying close attention to the tight end, running back and wide receiver positions. Back Wali Lundy impressed coaches with his ability to get the ball down the field and then punch it in for a touchdown. Tight end Joel Dreessen notched 41 receiving yards, the most on the team. And receiver Keenan McCardell led all wideouts with 16 receiving yards.

"We got to look at a lot of players," Kubiak said. "We got to play a lot of guys. Our one's showed us good stuff. We've looked at those guys. Now's the tough part. Now's the worst part of the business."

Back to business: Kubiak is not looking forward to cutting his roster down to 53 players, but he knows he has no choice. It's the NFL's rule.

"When you've got 75 guys in there that gave me everything they had for the last six weeks, and I've got to go tell 22 of them no," Kubiak said. "It's very difficult."

Kubiak and Texans general manager Rick Smith will sit down on Friday and make the final decisions. The team will then announce the regular season roster on Saturday.

From A to Z: Rookie quarterback Jared Zabransky faced his first extended NFL test when he played three quarters against the Bucs. Zabransky looked like he might fail when he threw an interception in his first play, but the quarterback bounced back, marching the Texans downfield and setting up a Kris Brown field goal before the half.

Kubiak, who prefers to keep just two quarterbacks on the roster, was most impressed with Zabransky's tenacious attitude.

"I see a tough-minded kid," Kubiak said. "His first play in the NFL he throws an interception, but he comes back and battles all night and gave us a chance to make some plays. We didn't protect him too good early, but that's the NFL. I think the kid has shown that he can play this game, and there's a lot he has to learn."

The question now becomes: will Zabransky be playing and learning on the team or the practice squad?

The real deal: The preseason has ended. The Texans are ready to bring on the real deal, regular season. Kubiak likes what he has seen from his starters and from the guys fighting their ways up the depth chart. He sees a team that has come together over the last six weeks and proven they can be playmakers.

"I thought our starters played pretty good against a Chicago football team," Kubiak said. "I thought we went on the road and handled noise and those types of things. I thought we played with poise. I thought we beat an excellent team in Dallas when were treating it like a regular season game and we raised our level of play."

The Texans won't have to wait much longer for their first regular season contest. The team squares off against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Houston home opener on Sunday, September 10.

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