Redskins

Texans want to improve on 3rd down against Colts

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Texans want to improve on 3rd down against Colts

HOUSTON (AP) Despite gaining plenty of yards, Houston's offense has had trouble finishing drives in the past few quarters.

Coach Gary Kubiak knows a big part of the problem is the group's inability to convert third downs and he's looking for ways to fix the problem.

``It's always a focus,'' he said. ``If you're making third downs, you're staying on the field. You've got possession time. You're helping your defense, all those things. We've been pretty good at it for about nine weeks ... and we have not been very good at that the last three or four weeks. You've got to make those plays.''

The Texans converted just four of 14 third down tries in Monday night's 42-14 loss to the Patriots. But it wasn't the first time they'd struggled in that area.

They converted just four of 17 third down chances a week earlier, but used a dominant defensive performance to get a 24-10 win over Tennessee.

Quarterback Matt Schaub said better execution will help them get back on track when they host the Colts on Sunday with the AFC South title on the line.

``We've got to be on top of every situation ... and be able to make adjustments in the game,'' Schaub said. ``We just need to handle those situations because at such critical points in the game we have to be at our best.''

Left tackle Duane Brown believes some of the trouble on third down comes from inconsistency in the running game.

``We left a lot of yards out there Monday night,'' he said. ``We had some big runs that broke, but in this league you have to be consistent. You can't have a 15-yard run and then two negative plays. You have to be able to get five here and eight there ... to set up the rest of your offense.''

Kubiak has been disappointed in his running game recently. He attributes some of the struggles to tackle Derek Newton and tight end Garrett Graham missing time recently with injuries. But that certainly isn't the only problem.

``It's not good enough right now across the board,'' he said. ``It's something we got to get back to, something we got to do better. It's everybody, but it has not been good enough.''

Kubiak was encouraged by the improvement of running back Ben Tate on Monday night in his second game back after missing four games with a hamstring injury.

Houston used him as a complement to Arian Foster before his injury, and Justin Forsett has filled that role recently. But Kubiak said Tate could return to being Houston's second back soon if his conditioning improves.

``He has taken steps forward the last two weeks and I would say he's very close to being ready to go back in there for Arian and maybe carry the ball 15 times, that type of thing,'' Kubiak said. ``We'll see how he works this week, but he's taken positive steps.''

Although they've had trouble in a couple of areas recently, the Texans are still averaging the sixth-most yards in the NFL (384.5) and are fourth in scoring (28.1).

But they know that they'll have to get these problems cleared up if they hope to finish out the regular season strong and make a push in the playoffs.

Receiver Andre Johnson thinks Monday's loss will help them clean things up and be better in the future. He isn't concerned about the defeat lingering into this week's game.

``I think you learn from any loss that you have,'' he said. ``I'm sure what happened Monday night there is a lot to learn from. I'm not worried. I'm fine. I can't speak for everybody else. You'll have to ask them. I'll be ready to go on Sunday. That's pretty much it.''

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The Browns called the Redskins 15 years ago hoping to trade up for Sean Taylor, but the Redskins said 'no'

The Browns called the Redskins 15 years ago hoping to trade up for Sean Taylor, but the Redskins said 'no'

Thanks to his illustrious career at Miami, Sean Taylor caught the eyes of Joe Gibbs and the Redskins heading into the 2004 NFL Draft.

Not surprisingly, though, Washington wasn't the only franchise interested in adding a do-it-all, safety-in-a-linebacker's-body prospect to their defense.

In a terrific look-back at that draft from Sports Illustrated — a draft in which a record six Miami products went in the first 21 picks — you'll find this excerpt:

But at the last minute, the Browns, owners of the No. 7 pick, called asking to trade up. Butch Davis, Cleveland’s coach and EVP, had previously been the head coach at Miami and had recruited all six of these Hurricane prospects out of high school...

[Vinny] Cerrato says the Browns were coming for Taylor. Davis is more diplomatic about it: “It was probably about 60-40 that we would’ve taken Sean [over Winslow],” he says. He wanted to know what it’d cost to get Taylor. But Washington wasn’t budging. “There was no interest whatsoever,” Cerrato says. “We wanted Sean Taylor.”

Cleveland also reportedly contacted the Giants about their fourth overall selection so they could skip the 'Skins entirely, but New York ended up orchestrating their own deal to land Eli Manning.

Fortunately, the Burgundy and Gold stayed in place and got Taylor despite the calls. Often times, trading back in the draft is an attractive option. This time around, however, that option paled in comparison to the opportunity to acquire Taylor.

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2019 NFL Draft Preview Special: How to watch

2019 NFL Draft Preview Special: How to watch

Were the countless mock drafts not enough? Do you need a little more explanation before the nail-biter that is Round 1? NBC Sports has you covered.

Representatives from every branch of the NBC Sports Regional Network will be breaking down the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 25th just hours before one of the most anticipated and nerve-wracking shows in all of sports. Beginning at 3 p.m. ET, experts and insiders will preview Round 1 and the draft needs of their network's respective teams.

So obviously, we've got Redskins insider JP Finlay on set and ready to discuss what's in store for the 2019 Burgundy and Gold.

<<CHECK OUT NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON'S LATEST NFL MOCK DRAFT>> 

The special will be available exclusively on the MyTeams by NBC Sports App. If you haven't already downloaded the MyTeams App, you can do so right now, RIGHT HERE.

How to watch NBC Sports's 2019 Draft Preview Live Stream

When: Thursday, April 25th

Time: 3 p.m. ET

Who: JP Finlay and team-specific NFL experts across the Regional Sports Network

Steam: MyTeams App

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