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Two Part Special: 10 Changes You Should Be Aware of For Your 2010 Texans

As promised, here’s the last five important changes to consider for your 2010 Houston Texans.

1. Andre Johnson’s May Contract Dispute. This May brought something few Texans fans could believe: Andre Johnson speaking out about his contract situation (five years left, yet being underpaid for his consistent performance). Johnson sat out from OTA’s for only days before returning, telling the media he “didn’t feel right at home.” On June 10, Texans GM Rick Smith announced that if Johnson’s contract will be modified, it will need to happen before the start of the season.  “Our policy’s been that we’ll look at deals and we’ll try to get things done during the offseason,” Smith said. “But once the season starts, our entire focus as an organization goes to football and playing games.”  Johnson’s definitely one of the NFL’s best and most humble receivers, so when you hear him speak out on this issue, it should ring bells.  Being underpaid for a receiver at his consistent level is something the Texans’ front office needs to address soon.

2. Texans Draft Ben Tate at Running Back. Although Steve Slaton made an impact starting for the past two seasons, and second-year Arian Foster impressed the Texans’ final two 2009 games putting up 216 yards and three touchdowns, rookie Ben Tate is already earning praise from Matt Schaub and the coaches.  He was hampered with a hamstring injury during OTA’s and the majority of voluntary mini-camps but he was still putting in work, mentally preparing.  As of now, Foster tops the Texans running back depth chart with Slaton and Tate battling out for the backup spot.  Look for Slaton to slip right into his drafted third down role, while Tate steals the starting job after impressing early as Foster finds out what its like to run for 16 full games.

3. Eugene Wilson’s Back to 100%. Last season’s defensive backs did impress with Bernard Pollard and Glover Quinn filling in voids the Texans have had in their defensive backfield since their inaugural season. However, the Texans starting FS Eugene Wilson suffered injury after injury, bring an end to any impact he could have made in 2009.  SS Dominique Barber had to fill-in for Wilson in 2009 racking up decent numbers at his new position.  However, expect Wilson, an eight-year pro with two Super Bowl rings (Patriots), to push the Texans defensive backfield to higher levels in 2010.

4. Jacoby Jones’ High Expectations, but Plenty of Wide Receivers Battling for Playing Time. Will this be the year that Jacoby Jones takes reign of the number two wide receiver job opposite all-pro Andre Johnson?  That depends?  Kubiak said the kid’s grown up a lot and is gravitating towards success.  Andre’s said he’s grown up a lot and success is in his future.  With expectations rising, Jones will have to beat out Kevin Walter, Andra “Apostrophe” Davis, and David Anderson for the job.  The Texans also have Glenn Martinez, Dorin Dickerson and Trindon Holliday pushing for a roster spot and playing time.  Dickerson needs to drop ten more pounds to 220 after dropping from 238 to 230 before minicamps.  Martinez told Impresiones Latinas,  “I always come to the camps to play as if my life were at stake, I have a family to support so I can not afford to go home and tell my son that I lost my job.”  Holliday has yet to impress coaches outside of his speed and athleticism.

5. Texans Play Cowboys Twice in 2010. One preseason game and one regular season game against the Houston Texans’ Lone Star rival Dallas Cowboys should make 2010 even more exciting.  The Cowboys have only improved their team since 2009, and the Texans have made similar leaps. Expect the Texans’ offense to match the Cowboys offense prowess; however, can the Texans defense match the Cowboys all-around team?  Only time will tell.  The Texans’ preseason game against the Cowboys is on August 28, while their regular season showdown happens Week 3, Sunday September 26.

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