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Monday, December 15, 2008
Robinson and Robinson big for Texans' D

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Robinson and Robinson have played a big role in the Texans' recent defensive surge.

Monday, coach Gary Kubiak talked about how much the full return of veteran cornerback Dunta Robinson and the play of second-year tackle DelJuan Robinson have helped key what's going on with the Texans, who have made it back from 0-4 and 3-7 to 7-7.

In the upset of the Titans on Sunday, the interior lineman made four tackles, three of them for a loss. The Texans hit Titans ball carriers for a loss seven times.

DelJuan Robinson was an undrafted free agent in 2007 out of Mississippi. He spent the bulk of his first year on the practice squad, before he was elevated to the roster for the final game. He was an inactive.

Now he's telling reporters in Houston he's staying in No. 66 -- hardly a glamour number for a D-lineman -- so he doesn't forget how he got where he is.

"DelJuan doesn't talk much," coach Gary Kubiak said. "So, evidently you got a lot more out of him than we do. But, no, he's a young kid with a lot of ability. I remember [former Mississippi State head coach] Jackie Sherrill telling me when he came out, 'You give this guy a chance, he's going to make it in your league.' So, that's where I kind of first found out about him."

"But, he's worked extremely hard for [defensive line coach] Jethro [Franklin] and [senior defensive assistant] Frank [Bush]. He's had his spots where he's done some good things, but I think [Sunday] was obviously a big bright spot in his young career so far to step up and play the way he did. He's our defensive player of the game. He played extremely well."

Meanwhile Dunta Robinson has helped boost the confidence of the defense. He started the year on PUP, recovering from a terrible knee and hamstring injury suffered last season. Many thought he might never be as good of a player again, He played in five games in a limited role, but took back the starting right corner job in Cleveland on Nov. 23 and Houston hasn't lost since.

"I think when he went out there it gave us some confidence just as a group that, 'Hey, he's back at his old spot,'" Kubiak said. "Jacques [Reeves] has really grown up as a player and has played extremely well throughout the season and is playing his best football. Amobi [Okoye] makes a big play [Sunday], and like I said, I just think if you look across the board the group has settled down. But you've got to give Dunta a lot of credit. Since he's come back, they've obviously played with a lot more confidence."