Capers sends message
By Carter Toole
On Monday, there was a sense of urgency in the Texans' auditorium as head coach Dom Capers announced that Joe Pendry was his new offensive coordinator.
Today that urgency made its way to the practice field. The message? No job is safe after Houston's 0-2 start.
Three new faces were working with the Texans' first-team defense Tuesday. Shantee Orr lined up at left outside linebacker in place of Jason Babin, while Demarcus Faggins lined up at left cornerback in place of Phillip Buchanon.
Rookie Travis Johnson also lined up at left defensive end in place of Gary Walker, who is nursing an injured shoulder. But it was the first two moves that prompted the most attention.
"We're always to search and look for what we think is going to be the winning combination," Capers said. "You could possibly see Phillip Buchanon or Jason Babin on the field early in the game, but I don't think they played up to our expectations or their expectations in the (Steelers) game, along with a number of other people."
Enter Orr, a third-year pro, and Faggins, a former sixth-round pick who has been with the Texans since day one. Both players entered the Steelers game late and stood out.
Orr started training camp at inside linebacker before the Texans decided to move him outside.
"I think it was after the first or second preseason game," Capers said. "He went out and showed what he could do on special teams, and with his burst and playmaking ability we moved him back outside. When he's had his opportunities, he's shown up."
Orr knows what catches his coaches' collective eye.
"Not stopping, just playing until the whistle blows," he said after practice. "That’s what they like. That’s what they preach to us everyday. They want somebody who’s going to give them constant effort on every play. That’s what I want to give them."
Faggins had a breakout season in 2004, intercepting a career-high three passes and breaking up nine passes. He has three career starts, but two of those came when Houston opened with three corners.
“Right now, I just see a lot of things happening," Faggins said. "There are putting me out there with the starters. I love the opportunity. And I know I just got to come in and make plays. We have to play better – a lot better.
"When we’re not winning, sometimes things have to change. And right now, we’ve got to set an example because things need to change. We’ve got a couple people out there that can make plays, and now they’re getting an opportunity."
"When you're 0-2, that's an attention getter," he said. "Hopefully, that has everybody's attention out here."
We're guessing it did the trick.