Final thoughts from Houston, with Twitter news
HOUSTON -- A couple quick thoughts on the Texans before I wrap-up my three days in Houston and head back to Nashville:
The second running back: This team wants Chris Brown to step up and be a healthy second back to complement Steve Slaton. But it's hard to count on Brown for a full season. He missed all of last year because of back issues and missed 26 of 80 games in five years in Tennessee.
Experienced guys did not work in these three days of practices. In one team period Wednesday, I saw evidence of equal opportunity shots for four guys as they all got touches. Ryan Moats and undrafted rookies Arian Foster and Jeremiah Johnson are the primary candidates. It's hard to distinguish one of them from the others, and Johnson is just getting started after a late graduation for Oregon. I saw Clifton Dawson involved, too, but he's not being mentioned much.
Look too for the possible addition of anyone let go by Denver.
The breakout year: Guys who've been around know the Texans have been picked by some the last two years as a breakout candidate, and both years they wound up 8-8. Guys like Andre Johnson and Amobi Okoye talk about a hungry team, but seem to strike just the right tone when asked why they are more believable as a playoff candidate than in years' past. They say they have to go out and do it for people to trust the idea.
Kicker in the house: I wrote a news story about Kris Brown's contract extension that you can see here. The big emphasis on offense is on reducing turnovers and producing more in the red zone. The Texans want Brown around through 2013, but they'd love to call on him significantly less for field goals, and a lot more for extra points.
Bromance: David Anderson's affection for Conan O'Brien is a little scary. I'll revisit this down the road, but O'Brien's got to have Anderson on "The Tonight Show."
Tweeters: I talked to 14 different people in interview settings by my rough count, and continued my quest to provide you with Twitter accounts to follow. You already knew about Eric Winston, of course. He's "ericwinston."
Found only two more here:
Johnson says he isn't very linked into his, but offered up "johnson80."
Slaton is "ThaDoubleS."
And if you're not with the AFC South Blog on Twitter, you're against us. So please follow "afc_south."