Saturday, August 20, 2011
Three things: Saints-Texans
By Paul Kuharsky
Three things to look for in tonight’s preseason game for the Texans against the Saints at Reliant Stadium, where kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET.
How do the defensive starters look in their second go-round working out of the 3-4? Mario Williams wasn’t super-smooth or super comfortable in his debut as a standup linebacker, but it’s unreasonable to expect the transition to be seamless. What the team hopes to see is forward progress from him and the rest of the front. They’d also like guys lower down the depth chart like Jesse Nading, Xavier Adibi and Bryan Braman to build on great performances in the opener.
Andre Johnson should make his preseason debut after sitting out last week while a finger continued to heal. As always, it’d be nice to see the starting quarterback and the top weapon connect in a reassuring way that says things are business as usual. And if the Saints pay extra attention to Johnson, can Schaub and the Texans make them pay with throws to Owen Daniels, Kevin Walter and/or Jacoby Jones?
The Saints were pretty blitz crazy in their preseason opener, a win against San Francisco. Houston needs to be ready to match up with such pressure, picking up defenders making runs at Matt Schaub, Matt Leinart and T.J. Yates and seeing all three make sound decisions about getting rid of the ball in the face of such pressure.