- Tania Ganguli, ESPN Staff Writer
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Reading the coverage of the Houston Texans...
This isn't a directly a Texans story, but there's an interesting look at Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski's struggles by Jim Trotter for The MMQB. Texans punter Shane Lechler was Janikowski's holder for 13 seasons, and breaking in a new holder hasn't been easy. Trotter quotes an anonymous kicker as saying: "Holding is not as easy as it looks. It’s even harder for a left-footed kicker. Most guys who have experience holding, it’s for a right-footed kicker. It’s very different switching to the other side. Even if the holder gets the ball in position — but they’re deliberate and slow — it makes it harder to kick because you don’t get to see the ball before kicking it. Janikowski is probably the fastest to the ball in the NFL, so that gives even less margin for error for the holder."
This week the Texans will face one of the teams that found success with the read-option last season. They faced another last week. Drawing off both, two outlets wrote about the read-option. CSNHouston.com's Dave Zangaro breaks down how the Texans defended it last week. And the Houston Chronicle's Brian Smith writes that teams are toning down their use of the scheme. Smith adds a notebook in which DeAndre Hopkins says he cares more about wins than awards. That much should be obvious from Hopkins' demeanor so far.
Brian Cushing is working through the concussion protocol, writes Deepi Sidhu of HoustonTexans.com. Also in this link is a video of Cushing miked up, which is always worth a listen.