In continuing with tradition, I had a chance to talk with Tim over at SB Nation's Houston Texans blog Battle Red Blog. I asked him all the important questions we need to know about our opponents this evening and he answered them, in hilarious fashion. Check out what he had to say about Texans receivers vs. Saints receivers! Tim runs a great blog and is incredibly funny. For more research on the Texans, check out Battle Red Blog. You can also see my responses to his questions. he asked me some good ones.
CSC: How have your draft picks been looking?
BRB: By and large, the rookies have looked outstanding. After coming into camp a bit heavy and out of shape, Duane Brown may just pull this rookie-starting-at-LT thing off; he was great against Denver. Antwaun Molden has been a standout in practice; he sat out the Denver game with an injury, but will be making his first preseason appearance tonight. Steve Slaton has shown his speed, though there are some early concerns about his ability to break tackles at this level. Xavier Adibi is pushing to get on the field at LB; we may end up remembering the '08 draft because of his contributions. Frank Okam had a couple of plays last weekend that made you sit up and take notice; we're optimistic that we may have finally found the DT we've been missing all these years. has a steep climb up the depth chart at safety, but should contribute on special teams this year. Haven't seen Alex Brink in game action yet, but word is that he'll play the fourth quarter tonight.
CSC: What are some other key acquisitions?
BRB: The two biggest key arrivals were Chris Myers at C (he's the starter) and at CB (he should start to open the year, but we're hoping he gets pushed hard by Molden to keep that spot opposite Fred Bennett). Oh, and the Texans signed Chris Brown to keep Ahman Green company in the training room. Does that count?
CSC: Who left the team this offseason that might leave a hole?
BRB: Truth be told, I wouldn't really say anyone who left the Texans leaves much of a hole. Dunta Robinson's absence, of course, is huge, but he didn't leave the team; he's clawing his way back from a catastrophic injury suffered in Oakland last year.
CSC: Which player are you guys most excited about?
BRB: I am positively giddy about Xavier Adibi. While I don't believe that he begins the season starting at one of the LB spots, I feel confident saying that he's going to start for many years to come. He reminds me of a certain Texans linebacker who wears No. 59.
CSC: What are fan expectations for the team this season?
BRB: Safe to say the expectations for this team are higher than for any edition before them. You'll see the word "playoffs" bandied about; that might be a bit too optimistic in a division as tough as the AFC South, but it's certainly not unreasonable. I'd definitely say that fans are expecting the first winning record in franchise history in 2008.
CSC: I guess we have to talk about the whole Reggie Bush/Mario Williams thing. Two seasons later, do you guys feel like it was the right decision by the Texans?
BRB: Yes. Yes, we do. Quite simply, Super Mario is already one of the best defensive ends in the league. I don't think you can say any of the other guys the Texans considered at No. 1 are one of the best at their respective positions right now.
CSC: It's always good to get an outside perspective. Care to share your thoughts/feelings/expectations about the Saints?
BRB: I like the Saints a lot this year; they're my pick to win the NFC South. Like everyone else, I expected considerably better from them in 2007. But I think last year was more of an anomaly than the year before, and I love the acquisitions they've made since the end of last season. The Saints are a clear playoff team in my mind.
CSC: I noticed over at BRB that you said you wouldn't trade Houston's receiving corp for any other teams in the NFL. The Saints are a team in the NFL. Does that mean you think Houston's receiving corp is better than the Saints, because we got some pretty solid guys?
BRB: No disrespect to Colston & Co., but I do think Houston's receiving corps is better. I give the edge over Colston, and I think Houston's remaining receivers are also slightly better than the guys the Saints trot out. I am interested, however, in watching this year; he's got a lot to prove, but all the talent necessary to do it.
CSC: Does this mean Saints fans should be worried about you're team tearing up our secondary as teams have wont to do?
BRB: I would be if this was the regular season, though I think you'll see a concerted effort to run the football tonight. The Texans know they can move the ball through the air; we don't know if they can do it on the ground yet. Given the meaningless nature of tonight's game, I think the Texans will devote much of their offensive game plan towards trying to establish some sort of running attack.
CSC: What positional battles are raging on the Texans? What are you guys going to be focusing on during this game? What should Saints fans watch for in the Texans?
BRB: I'd say that the starting CB spot opposite Fred Bennett is wide open, and the SLB battle is also up for grabs (though Zac Diles is the clear favorite to win the gig). With regard to focus, as mentioned above, watch the running game. and the zone blocking scheme are here now; we're all eager to see if it means the improvement we're all counting on in the running game materializes.
CSC: Who won't be playing tonight?
BRB: Well, it is a football game, so Ahman Green is contractually obligated to sit it out.
CSC: Wanna make a prediction on the game?
BRB: Nah...it's preseason, which means it's as meaningless as it gets. I just want everyone on both teams to stay healthy.