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Houston Texans

Texans ink veteran cornerback Poole


Cornerback Tyrone Poole (38), pictured covering Carolina's Steve Smith in Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston, brings experience and versatility to the Texans secondary.

Relief is on the way for the beleaguered Texans secondary.

After losing starting strong safety Glenn Earl to a fractured foot and reserve cornerback Jason Horton to a broken arm, the Texans announced Tuesday that they have signed veteran free agent cornerback Tyrone Poole.

Poole worked out for Texans front office personnel Tuesday morning along with two other defensive backs, but Poole's workout drew particular praise from head coach Gary Kubiak.

"We're very impressed with his workout," Kubiak said. "He's been on some good football teams. He takes care of his body. He's a big health nut guy. As I said yesterday, if we're going to bring somebody in, we want to make sure he's legit, and he's got a chance to help us. This guy definitely fits that mold."

An 12-year NFL veteran out of Fort Valley State, the 35-year old Poole was not only in shape, but was also a familiar face for Kubiak, who coached Poole with Denver in 2002.

Poole also should feel comfortable in Reliant Stadium, as he started for the Super Bowl XXXVIII champion New England Patriots, who beat the Carolina Panthers in the February 2004 game in Houston.

Poole played in 13 games for Oakland last season and started two, recording 14 tackles and one interception. Poole has 18 career interceptions during his stints with Carolina, Indianapolis, Denver, New England and Oakland.

In addition to Poole's experience, Kubiak said that Poole's ability to play outside cornerback in coverage situations and also inside in nickel packages was a major factor in the team's decision to add him.

"We're concerned about our nickel right now." Kubiak said. "(We need) a guy that can play inside and play outside. That's what he gives us right away - versatility."

Kubiak said that although it often takes a while for new signees to get up to speed, he hopes to have Poole playing soon.

"One thing that you're always concerned about is that a guy can work out and look good, but it still takes a while to get in football shape," Kubiak said. "Hopefully, we can get him going here real quick."

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