Running back Samkon Gado hauls in a reception during practice Friday.
Everything's A-go for Chicago: After running his team through an abbreviated practice session indoors at the Methodist Training Facility Friday morning, coach Gary Kubiak said that even after 14 days of practice, the truest verdict of his team's progress so far will come this weekend.
"We'll find out Saturday," Kubiak said. "I think everybody feels good right now. Nobody's played yet. Preseason is a time for your team to come together and it's a time to find some young players, but your veteran players have got to also be doing their job and getting ready for the regular season. There are a lot of things you're trying to get accomplished, but the biggest two we're looking for from this team is composure and being more physical as a team.
And in terms of his team's health, Kubiak was glad to report that he will have the services of defensive lineman Tim Bulman and wide receiver Bethel Johnson, both of whom were earlier considered questionable for Saturday's game.
"According to this morning's practice, they'll play," Kubiak said. "We've got everybody ready to go. Let's go see where we're at."
Andre's at home: After a six-month offseason, Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson is ready to start the season – and he's glad it will begin at home.
"It's great to be back in Reliant Stadium, playing in front of our great fans," Johnson said. "It's been a little while."
Johnson, the franchise's career leader in receiving yards and receptions, will look to add to his impressive career numbers in 2007. But for the 6-3, 222 pound receiver, the preseason is the first thing on his radar screen.
"I'm definitely looking forward to it," Johnson said. "I think all the guys are. We've been going against each other for about two weeks now. It's time to go against somebody different. We have a good physical team coming in and we get to see where we're at."
From the fast Lane to the NFL: Rookie wide receiver Jacoby Jones, a third-round draft choice out of tiny Division II Lane College (enrollment: 1,150), knows something about speed. He originally enrolled at Southeastern Louisiana on a track scholarship and later ran track as a multi-sport athlete at Lane. But when he first hit the NFL practice field, he found speed somewhere he didn't expect.
"These defensive linemen, they move like cats," Jones said. "They move pretty quick."
Jones is still adapting to the NFL game but he has been helped by some veteran mentors at his position.
"I'm starting to learn the concepts in the offense, and I have some veterans like Keenan McCardell and Andre Johnson that have helped me out a bit," Jones said. "I think I'm adjusting."
But Jones also concedes that the first true test will come on the field Saturday, a moment that Kubiak is also awaiting.
"He's got so much talent, we're trying to reel it in," Kubiak said. "I think when he sees those black helmets this Saturday he'll start to reel it in this league. He's got a lot of confidence, and the kid feels like he belongs. He sure looks like he belongs. Let's go play and let's see."
Miscellaneous: Kubiak announced his plans for playing time Saturday, with his starters expected to play either 15 snaps or a quarter, whichever comes first. The second-team players are expected to play from the start of the second quarter to halfway through the third, while the remainder of the team's reserves will finish out the rest of the game.