The 49ers will be hosting the Houston Texans on Saturday in a week 3 matchup of the preseason. The 49ers offense showed a lot of improvement against the Raiders last week however the offense will have their hands full with the Texans new and improved defense. The 49ers defense will get their biggest test of the preseason as week 3 will see the starters playing more and the 49ers secondary will have to show they handle big receivers like Andre Johnson and Jacoby Jones.
Q. The Texans landed one of the top cornerback free agents, Johnathan Joseph, is he the answer to the Texans secondary problems?
It’s hard not to improve on a 32nd ranked defense regardless of who you signed. Or so it would seem. Two years ago Joseph was a top ten corner and he is still young. The addition of Manning and Joseph to the secondary should yield tremendous results. The biggest improvement that will affect the secondary will be the improved pass rush. The 49ers will get a chance to see Joseph as will Texans fans for the first time this preseason. 49er fans along with both Alex Smith and Colin Kapernick should get acquainted with the new improved Texans pass rush.
Q. Is this a do or die year for Gary Kubiak?
If Kubiak doesn’t get the Texans into the playoffs this year after the toys they added on the defense. Then we would think Gary’s chances of stay would be next to none. The Texans seem to be the most stable team in the AFC South at the current moment. Every team has questions except the Texans. Some may argue that the Texans have questions on the defensive side of the ball but regardless of it being preseason at the moment, the Texans are quickly silencing those critics and questions.
Q. Can Arian Foster repeat his success last season in his sophomore season?
Arian Foster probably won’t put up the numbers he did last year but Foster shouldn’t be far off. With the recent coming out party of one Ben Tate everyone even Foster is celebrating the second year running backs return to the football field. Between Foster, Tate, Ward and Chris Ogbannaya the carries shouldn’t have to be as abundant.
Q. What is the most interesting training camp battle for the Texans?
It should have been at the right guard spot. A competition between Mike Brisiel and Antoine Caldwell but Caldwell went down with a high ankle sprain so it seems Brisiel wins by default. So now it seems eyes are on the number four wide out slot. Undrafted free agent rookie Lestar Jean has really made an impact during training camp. Jean has consistently made plays in the red zone. Jean’s 6′ 3″ frame gives opposing defensive backs fits. Jean made a couple big catches during the Texans primetime game versus New York Jets. Jean and Dorin Dickerson are expecting to compete for the fourth wide receiver position. The only thing that could hamper that battle is that Jean sustained a shoulder injury during the Texans second preseason and it’s not known if the undrafted free agent will make the trip to San Francisco.
Q. A lot of attention goes to wide receiver Andre Johnson, for good reason, but is Jacoby Jones poised for a big season?
Last year that was the question regarding Jacoby Jones going in to the season. While Jones has speed and can threaten to explode at any moment, Jones rarely does. Jones reminds us of a Donte Stallworth type of receiver. A player that could but just doesn’t. Jacoby Jones will more than likely have one really good year during his career but the rest of his career will be journeymen type numbers. However, we hope Jones proves us wrong. Nothing would make us happier.
Q. What is the Texans biggest weakness heading into the season?
The biggest weakness for the Texans would be the cornerback slot currently occupied by Kareem Jackson. No one has stepped up enough to overtake him on the depth chart and while Jackson has flashed signs of improvement, the second year cornerback is still a work in progress.