Texans prepare for talented rookie Luck

Texans prepare for talented rookie Luck
December 13, 2012, 7:54 pm
Share This Post

Indianapolis Colts' Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(APWF)

HOUSTON (AP) The last time the Houston Texans faced an inexperienced quarterback they forced second-year pro Jake Locker into five turnovers and sacked him six times in a win over the Titans.

Two weeks later, they get a shot at Andrew Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft last April, and they can clinch the AFC South title with a win.

Luck has thrown for 3,792 yards for the Colts, but leads the AFC in interceptions with 18, and has lost five fumbles. He's also been sacked 32 times, and will now have to deal with AFC sacks leader J.J. Watt.

``We need more sacks,'' said Watt, who has a single-season franchise record with 16 1/2. ``I need to rush the passer better. As a defensive line, we need more pressure and we need to bat some more balls. We'll put it on us up front.''

Coach Gary Kubiak noted that Luck is challenging because even if the defense gets to him for a sack, his size (6-foot 4, 234 pounds) makes him difficult to bring down.

``It's got to be a big conscious effort for us to keep him contained, and then when we do have our opportunities you got to really work to bring him down,'' Kubiak said. ``You can make just an incredible highlight reel of people just hanging on to him and him still making plays.''

Kubiak likened Luck to Ben Roethlisberger because of his size, and said that when he was studying the draft last year he thought he was the best quarterback to come out since his predecessor Peyton Manning.

``He's sure as heck hasn't disappointed,'' Kubiak said. ``He's been excellent this year. I told the team he's playing like an eight-, nine-year football player. He's handling a ton of offense.''

Despite his development, Luck hasn't found a way to limit his turnovers. He's had three games this season with three interceptions, and two of them have come in the last four games. He has nine interceptions in the last four games.

The Texans, who are experts at batting down passes, definitely noticed those numbers.

``It's our goal always to create turnovers,'' Watt said. ``We know what that does for momentum. We know how good our offense is, so we want to get them the ball as many times as possible, so we're always looking to create turnovers.''

Watt has batted down 15 passes this season. He's the only player since the league began tracking passes defensed in 1991 to have at least 15 sacks and 15 passes defensed in a single season.

Some teams have used brooms or other sticks in practice to try and replicate what it's like to throw against Watt when preparing for the Texans. But Indianapolis interim coach Bruce Arians said he just used his tallest players and had them put their hands up in front of Luck this week in practice.

``I've seen ladders, brooms, everything, and balls still get batted in games,'' Arians said. ``They're so good at disengaging when they're not going to get to the quarterback and getting in that throwing lane that it's really hard to replicate.''

The Texans plan to use a variety of tactics to try and make Luck uncomfortable on Sunday. But from what they've seen from him so far, they know that will be difficult.

``You always want to try to rattle the quarterback,'' nose tackle Shaun Cody said. ``(But) his progression has been so fast where he started the year and where he is now. He's obviously better. We want to rattle him and get to him, but I think he's learned from the mistakes he's made in the past so It'll definitely be a challenge for us.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Texans - Team News
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. Johnson briefly exited Sunday's game against the Bills in the fourth quarter. He said after the game that he was "fine," but felt a "pop" in the ankle. ...
Oct 1 3:41PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. Foster is likely going to miss plenty of practice reps this week before being a game-time decision against the Cowboys on Sunday. Foster said he wasn't 100 percent in Week...
Oct 1 3:38PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (meniscus) has resumed jogging, and hopes to return in a "few... Sidelined since September 7, Clowney was given a 4-6 week timetable upon going down. That makes a "few weeks" attainable, but not ahead of schedule. The Clowney...
Sep 30 3:18PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Texans coach Bill O'Brien referred to Arian Foster (hamstring) on Monday as "day to... Foster himself acknowledged he wasn't 100 percent in Sunday's win over the Bills, managing six yards on eight carries. He'll likely continue to be limited in practice all...
Sep 29 4:20PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Following Sunday's win over the Bills, Arian Foster (hamstring) admitted he "just wasn't... Foster rushed eight times for six yards while playing on just 54.1 percent of the snaps, but did salvage his box score a bit with seven catches for 55 yards. The good news...
Sep 29 8:42AM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson said the ankle injury that briefly sidelined him Sunday is "fine." "I was more scared than anything because I felt a pop, so I went in and got checked," Johnson said. We never like to hear about pops, but Johnson did come back...
Sep 28 5:37PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham caught three passes for 28 yards in Week 4 against the Bills. He was targeted five times. Graham is on pace for just 36 catches and 380 yards this season, but should be more involved going forward now that he's healthy. He was used in...
Sep 28 5:25PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue had nine carries for nine yards in Week 4 against the Bills. With Arian Foster playing through a hamstring injury, Blue was used in a committee and finished with more carries. He added two catches for 16 yards on three targets. Blue...
Sep 28 5:22PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins had five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's Week 4 win over... Hopkins beat Corey Graham for a 35-yard touchdown at the end of the first half. He finished with just six targets despite Andre Johnson missing time with an ankle injury....
Sep 28 5:03PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster totaled 61 yards on 15 touches in Sunday's Week 4 win over Buffalo. Foster was held to six yards on eight carries, but was targeted 10 times by checkdown artist Ryan Fitzpatrick. He was clearly running at half-speed and looked sluggish...
Sep 28 4:07PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 25-of-37 passes for 268 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions... Fitzpatrick's only notable play was a 35-yard touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins at the end of the first half. He managed the Texans to a win without any help from Arian Foster or...
Sep 28 3:55PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson left Sunday's Week 4 game against the Bills with an ankle injury. Johnson came up lame on a pass in the fourth quarter and was taken to the locker room. He was able to jog off under his own power and later returned to the game. Johnson...
Sep 28 3:01PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, Arian Foster (hamstring) is moving with a slight limp... Per Breer, the Texans will "monitor his hamstring early in the game, determine his workload from there." It's similar to what was reported by beat writer Tania...
Sep 28 11:40AM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (hamstring) is active for Week 4 against the Bills. Foster will be available for a full workload after sitting out last week. He's Rotoworld's No. 12 running back against the Bills' top-five run defense. Inactive for the...
Sep 28 10:33AM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
According to the Houston Chronicle, Arian Foster will "definitely" play in Sunday's... The chronic hamstring issue Foster has been battling for two months is good to go. "Foster would't be active if he wasn't 100 percent. That means he'll get a full...
Sep 28 10:03AM Read More