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Thursday, September 30, 2010
Texans more than ready for first pick

By Paul Kuharsky

The Texans need a turnover.

Through three games the defense has one takeaways, and takeaways can do wonders to offset the sort of passing yardage they are giving up.

The Texans are tied for 27th in the NFL at minus-four in giveaway-takeaway ratio. They’ve recovered one fumble, but are one of just three teams with no interceptions. The others are Buffalo and Baltimore.

“[We’re] very hungry,” safety Bernard Pollard said. “I think we’ve dropped three in three games, and I think as a secondary guy, you want to get your hands on the ball. I think when we’re playing the way we’re playing, you really don’t have an opportunity to get picks like you want to because, what, we’re giving up almost 400 yards passing a game, all they’ve got to do is just back up and throw the ball right down the field.

“You’ve got a one-on-one with a cornerback, you’ve got to hope your free safety gets over the top or your strong safety if we’re in Cover 2, so we’ve got to get better; we really do. We’ve got to get better. We understand what we’ve got to do and we’re ready to do that.”

The free safety at the start will be Dominique Barber instead of the dinged Eugene Wilson. We could see some of second-year man Troy Nolan too.

Wilson’s a problem. I’m not sure Barber is the solution. But the Raiders passing offense could be -- Bruce Gradkowski and Jason Campbell have thrown two picks each.

But Oakland has fast receivers as always, and being overly anxious for a pick could mean trouble over the top. The Texans can’t force it.

Houston will be thinking turnover all game.

“Yeah, we’re all talking about turnovers,” DeMeco Ryans said. “… I think now, guys are more conscious of it during the week, so I feel like it will carry over on Sunday and I feel like we’ll definitely get a couple out.”