ET: Where's former Colt Steve McKinney on the offensive line this year? And how has he looked the past couple months?
JP: I love Steve, he's a great guy. Unfortunately he's been struggling with small, nagging injuries that seem to keep popping up. First, during training camp, it was his ankle. Then his groin started to bother him. But he's got great heart and is out there playing again as soon as he can. During the season opener against Philly, McKinney was on the field and recovered a fumble. He is no longer playing center for the Texans, instead behind Fred Weary as the backup LG.
ET: Who's been the most pleasant surprise this year for the team compared to last year?
JP: So far, I'd have to say the most pleasant surprise for the Texans has been QB David Carr. We all knew that he could play, but really hasn't had the support structure on the field to make plays happen. In the first half of the game against Philly, Carr has a QB rating of almost 160, and ended the game with a rating of 102. If he can get the help he needs from the offensive line, I think this will finally be Carr's year.
ET: What's the best aspect of Mario Williams' game at the pro level? How much did all the shuffling around at different positions help or hurt his development?
JP: Mario is a great guy and a fantastic athlete. The problem he has is his impact isn't measured in stats. There is no column for being double- and triple-teamed, but his teammates definitely feel his impact on the field. Peek totaled 2 sacks in the preseason game against the Rams, and both of those were due to Williams occupying multiple blockers. I think his moving around this early isn't really a problem. He's young and still learning the playing style of the NFL. Early exposure to many techniques used by offensive linemen in different positions will just benefit Williams in the long run.
ET: What matchup do you think the Texans have to win to defeat the Colts on Sunday?
JP: In order for the Texans to beat the Colts on Sunday, the Texans must control the trenches. Defensive linemen have got to put pressure on Manning if they hope to disrupt his rhythm. The Texans are in a position where they must develop their team according to Indy's strength and weaknesses if they hope to win the division in the next few years. If the Texans want a win against the Colts, they have to win it defensively on the line of scrimmage.
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