2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Without Kubiak, Texans look to end 6-game skid

By BOB BAUM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-07 16:38

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Bruce Arians knows what it's like to be an interim head coach. Now he gets a chance to go against one.

The Houston Texans will have Wade Phillips at the interim helm Sunday when they face Arizona in an attempt to end a six-game losing streak. Phillips replaces Gary Kubiak, who collapsed on the sidelines of last Sunday night's game against the Indianapolis Colts and was hospitalized for what was described as a ''mini-stroke.''

Arians, in his first season as head coach of the Cardinals, took over as interim coach of the Colts a year ago and led the team to a 9-3 record, a performance that earned him coach of the year honors and propelled him into the top job with the Cardinals. Now Phillips, a former head coach in Dallas and Kubiak's defensive coordinator, must try to end a skid that has tied a franchise record. The Texans (2-6) never have lost seven in a row.

''It was certainly shocking what happened in the ball game and the aftermath of that,'' Phillips said. ''We're certainly glad that he's getting better. We've had kind of an upside down season. Generally, things haven't been going our way very well. This was another example of that.''

The Cardinals (4-4) had a bye week after a 27-13 victory at home over Atlanta, a team that, like Houston, was supposed to be a lot better than it has been. The Texans, despite their poor record, enter the game first in the NFL in defense and eighth in offense.

''They're extremely well-coached and they're loaded with talent,'' Arians said. ''How they are 2-6 is beyond me.''

Here are five things to watch when the Texans play the Cardinals.

TEXANS MOOD: It's difficult to judge how the coaching situation will affect the Houston players, who were having a difficult season before their coach collapsed during a nationally televised game. The Texans say they have taken developments in stride. ''It's just part of being a professional,'' defensive end J.J. Watt said. ''You're dealt certain types of adversity or dealt certain hands. You just have to go out there and play. You have to deal with the situations that come your way. And right now we're dealing with a situation where Wade (Phillips) is our interim head coach and he's a very knowledgeable guy and knows what he's doing. We're in good hands.''

CARDINALS MOMENTUM: The Cardinals hope their week off doesn't stem the momentum from their victory over Atlanta. Quarterback Carson Palmer says the time off should be beneficial with no problem getting back to work. ''It was great for the entire team to get off their feet for a little while,'' he said. ''I know some guys went home to see family and friends and all that, but it just kind of gives you a chance to recharge.'' The time off gave wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring) and running back Rashard Mendenhall (toe) a chance to heal.

HOUSTON'S OFFENSE: Kubiak called most of the plays, and now that duty falls to offensive coordinator Rick Dennison. Arians says that makes defensive preparation for the Cardinals more difficult. ''Once you have a different play caller, that's a change,'' Arians said. ''There are no tendencies. You throw that out the window. There's nothing we have on Rick Dennison other than a half of football (Sunday).'' Dennison downplayed the chance of any significant change in what the Texans do. ''It's pretty much the same,'' he said. ''I just don't have anybody bouncing ideas off me and me bouncing ideas off them.''

KEENUM IN CONTROL: Case Keenum will get his third straight start at quarterback for Houston.

In last weekend's 27-24 loss to Indianapolis, Keenum completed 20 of 34 passes for 350 yards with no interceptions. It included touchdown passes of 62, 41 and 5 yards to Andre Johnson.

Keenum's ability to get the ball downfield has been a big plus for Houston.

''We've had some great opportunities and they've kind of presented themselves in different situations as far as what coverages they're playing and we can attack certain areas,'' he said. ''It's having guys like No. 80 (Johnson) and you feel good about putting the ball up and letting him make a play. He does it more often than not, so you kind of keep looking his way when it's crunch time.''

CLASS OF `04: The Arizona Cardinals had one of their greatest draft classes in 2004 and four of those picks will be on the field Sunday. They are: Fitzgerald (first round), inside linebacker Karlos Dansby (second round), defensive tackle Darnell Dockett (third round) and, now playing for Houston, defensive end Antonio Smith (fifth round). All four played significant roles in Arizona's 2008 Super Bowl season.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Aldon SmithApr 17 09:32p

The San Francisco 49ers do not plan on releasing LB Aldon Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to be suspended at the beginning of the season, but the length [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 17 08:52p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee) said he expects to receive medical clearance to resume football activities in the near future. He underwent knee surgery in January but [ More ]

Sebastian VollmerApr 17 08:42p

New England Patriots OG Logan Mankins said OT Sebastian Vollmer (leg) has looked good this offseason while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered during the 2013 season.

Chris SneeApr 17 07:32p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (hip, elbow) is expected to participate when offseason workouts begin next week even though he is not 100 percent.

Rolando McClainApr 17 06:02p

The Baltimore Ravens reinstated LB Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list Thursday, April 17.

Russell AllenApr 17 05:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen, WR Jabin Sambrano and DEs Will Pericak and D'Aundre Reed Thursday, April 17.

Chad JohnsonApr 17 02:22p

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League Thursday, April 17.

Brian CushingApr 17 01:32p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) was medically cleared Thursday, April 17.

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group