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Texans end second week of OTA's


The Texans now have four days off before returining to practice Thursday.

Seven down: The Texans completed their seventh OTA Thursday and will now enjoy a nice four-day weekend before returning to the Methodist Training Center Tuesday.

When the players return they should be ready to switch gears a bit according to Gary Kubiak.

"We're seven practices into it and we've been pretty basic really for those seven practices and now we'll take a little break and come back and start getting into some other phases of the game like two-minute and goal line and short yardage and start teaching some different stuff," Kubiak told reporters Thursday.

The coach is also happy with what he's seen so far.

"I'm very pleased with our work," Kubiak said. "I like what we're doing. Guys have a lot of respect for each other in the way that they're practicing and I'm just excited about the competition. Our football team is very competitive right now and that's a good thing."

New edition(s): There's several fresh faces to the Texans and Kubiak said all along that the key to Houston's offseason program would be catching those new players up on the Texans schemes offensively and defensively.

So far, so good.

"I have told you guys from the start, the key was catching those guys up with the rest of our football team and the nice thing is that has been pretty easy," Kubiak said. "Ahman (Green) is kind of ahead of some of the other guys in a way because we have changed a little bit with Sherm (Mike Sherman) becoming the (offensive) coordinator, so Ahman is very comfortable with what Sherm does so that was an easy transition.

"Matt (Schaub) speaks the same language that we're speaking here so he's made that transition pretty easy. Really, I have been happy with the way that that has taken place."

Schaub said Thursday that his comfort level is improving every day, especially with his receivers.

"It's coming along well, especially in one week with seven practices," Schaub said. "We are very far along and just keep talking about it and hashing out the routes and the concepts because you only get so many reps during the day.

"We're going to watch film and talking about and getting on the same page. The exciting thing is when we talk about it and work on those things in meetings and then come out and execute them, it shows a lot of improvement."

Rookie review: It's still way too early to be playing judge and jury on Houston's 2007 draft class, but to this point the group has looked pretty solid.

Excluding Brandon Harrison, who is still attending Stanford, each of Houston's draft picks has looked as advertised so far with none standing above any other to this point.

"It would be hard for me to put a finger on one of them," Kubiak said of his rookies. "I just think we're very pleased with them and they're exactly what we thought they were.

"Amobi (Okoye), his biggest impressions have been working in pass rush and stuff like that, but that's what we knew. He's got to learn the game inside as far as anchoring the run game and those types of things."

Okoye realizes that he has a lot to learn about playing defensive tackle in the NFL. He also knows that expectations are high on the Texans defensive line this season.

"We understand the pressure and we understand that we have to go out there and perform," Okoye said. "The defensive line, especially, our goal is to be the best unit on the field every time we take the field and we're working hard at it."

Kubiak also had some positive remarks about his third-round pick, though there is still plenty for him to work on as well.

"Jacoby (Jones) has been extremely impressive as a returner and as a receiver he's kind of up and down right now but that's to be expected," Kubiak said. "He's been very impressive as a returner."

All off the rookies are getting a ton of action, many are staying after practice each day for extra work. That's probably one reason why Kubiak has no regrets to how things turned out in April.

"We feel as good about the draft as the day we did it and we feel even better this week. We just have to keep those guys going," he said.

Injury update: The Texans have not suffered any major injuries through seven days of OTA's. N.D. Kalu has been sick the past two, but observed from the sideline both days.

Jerome Mathis has a hamstring issue and sat our for the first time Thursday. It's a trend that's becoming alarming to Kubiak given Mathis' history since Kubiak's arrival in Houston.

"Yes, it concerns me and I know it concerns him too because nobody is more frustrated than him, I can tell you that," Kubiak said of the 2006 Pro Bowl selection.

"He was working and doing a heck of a job, but it's got to be a concern because he's having a hard time holding up over a period of time and being a successful pro in this business means you have to hold up so we have to figure it out.

"Hopefully it's an isolated incident. He's got four days here to get treatment and get ready to come out here next Tuesday and compete against a tough group that he's having to compete against."

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