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Texans Still Have Work Before Being a True Contender

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Texans still have work to do before they will be one of the top teams in the league. Here’s his Texans Training camp preview:

Entering his fourth training camp as the Texans’ coach on Thursday, Gary Kubiak is under pressure to produce the franchise’s first winning record and first playoff appearance.

The consensus around the NFL is that the Texans have their deepest and most talented team, and that they should be a playoff contender in the franchise’s eighth season.

The Texans earned league-wide respect last season by going 8-4 after an 0-4 start, including a 5-1 finish.

They didn’t tinker much with an offense that ranked third overall but only 17th in scoring. However, Kubiak made a lot of changes on a defense that ranked 22nd.

The changes began on the coaching staff. Frank Bush was elevated to defensive coordinator. Bill Kollar (assistant head coach, defensive line) and David Gibbs (secondary) were hired.

General manager Rick Smith signed defensive end Antonio Smith, defensive tackle Shaun Cody and outside linebacker Cato June. Smith also used their first two draft choices on outside linebacker Brian Cushing and defensive end Connor Barwin.

Since finishing 8-8 for the second consecutive season, Kubiak has emphasized to his players that winning must begin in the AFC South – the division they reside in.

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