Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: A season of potential

RB Chris Brown could help Texans in short yardage

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[August 18, 2009]  HOUSTON (AP) -- At 6-foot-3 and 234 pounds, Chris Brown could be the big back the Texans need to complement starter Steve Slaton in short-yardage situations.

He showed that skill on a 2-yard touchdown run in Houston's preseason opener. Now the Texans are hoping they can count on him in that role this season after a back problem kept him out all of last year.

"I think it made the whole team feel very good," coach Gary Kubiak said of Brown's performance against the Chiefs. "He wants to finish his career the right way -- playing good football. I think our guys are rooting for him because he's very well-liked in the locker room and very respected."

Slaton established himself as the starter by rushing for more than 1,200 yards as a rookie last season, but the Texans are looking for another back to ease his workload this year.


Brown is Houston's biggest back by far, a full six inches and almost 20 pounds bigger than Slaton. If Brown can contribute, he should be able to help Houston's offense near the goal line, a place where Slaton struggled last season.

"I feel like I can do that," Brown said. "I can go out there and get the job done, especially in the red zone. We've got two totally different styles and I think we complement each other very well."

Brown, who signed with Houston in March 2008, appeared in one preseason game last season before a problem with a disc in his back landed him on injured reserve. He hasn't played in a regular season game since the finale of the 2007 season when he was with the Titans.

He said it took a minute to get used to playing again, but that he got acclimated relatively quickly Saturday.

"It's definitely been a confidence boost for myself knowing I can go out there and play well," he said. "Hopefully I can just build on that and keep it going for the whole season."

He finished with six carries for 25 yards against Kansas City.

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Brown spent his first five seasons with the Titans where he ran for a career-best 1,067 yards in 2004. He had 851 yards rushing the next season but missed 15 games over his final two seasons in Tennessee with various injuries.

He said sitting out all of last season was difficult, but that his desire to help the team made his rehabilitation easier.

"That was a long road," he said. "But one thing I knew was that I was determined to get back. I knew that if I ever got the opportunity to come back I was going to make the best of it. I had to do everything I possibly could to get back on the field and get a chance to play."

Brown said he feels good and that his back problems are behind him.

"It's a good first week and we'll keep our fingers crossed that he keeps going, but (it's) very positive for our team," Kubiak said.

[Associated Press; By KRISTIE RIEKEN]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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