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Texans to use Demaryius Thomas "even more" this week

He’s only been here two weeks, but the Texans plan to have Demaryius Thomas more involved this Sunday.

“We’ve got to be able to use him more,” head coach Bill O’Brien said Monday. “Even more than we did.”

In his debut two Sundays ago in Denver, Thomas sparked the Texans’ first touchdown drive, catching a screen pass and taking it 31 yards up the right sideline, then going over the middle on the next play for an 18-yarder. Thomas added a 12-yard reception later in the opening quarter, and finished with 61 receiving yards in the victory.

It was a strong opening performance, and even more impressive considering he’d spent just a few days in the new offense. His position coach, John Perry, was impressed by how quickly Thomas got to work.

“He reached out to me once the trade was done and asked me, ‘What are the availabilities?’ and things like that,” Perry said. “We came in each day, early, before the team and we went over all of the different things he needed to do. I give a lot of credit to DT. He took the onus upon himself to really come out there and prepare.”

Thomas has spent more time since, and the bye week off helped a bit in terms of absorbing up the new playbook.

“He’s a very smart guy, excellent pro,” O’Brien said. “He was in here last week, meeting extra on Thursday, Friday, trying to get some more of the offense down.”

That extra time paid off, and the head coach saw quite a bit of progress in Monday’s practice out of the new pass-catcher.

“Go out there today, have a lot of plays we ran in practice today, knew where to line up, change his position, change his identity by personnel, knew what to do,” O’Brien said. “I think we’re going to make a lot of strides with him from week to week.”

The Texans will practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before flying to Washington on Saturday. They face the Redskins at FedExField on Sunday.

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