HOUSTON -- Matt Schaub has shown enough poise and flash during Houston's first two preseason games that the Texans should feel good about their new-look passing game.
The running game? That's more of a mystery.
While the starting running game hasn't been bad, it would be a stretch to call it good. While Schaub was 9-of-12 for 108 yards and ran for a touchdown to post a 102.1 quarterback rating in a 33-20 win over Arizona on Saturday, fellow offseason addition Ahman Green gained just 19 yards on six carries.
Coach Gary Kubiak said Green took a hard hit on the third play of the game and was a "little woozy" after that.
"I would've liked to have seen Ahman carry the ball a little bit more," Kubiak said. "He was dinged like the third play of the game, guy came up and put a pretty good lick on him."
But Houston's other running backs didn't do a lot either. Samkon Gado led the group with eight carries for 29 yards and Ron Dayne added 23 yards on six carries.
The Texans' longest running plays on Saturday both came on reverses by receivers. Standout rookie third-round pick Jacoby Jones gained 14 yards on one and Bethel Johnson added 17 yards on another.
"We ran the ball better," Kubiak said. "I don't think we ran it good enough, but we ran the ball better. Our wide receivers played very well in the run game. They were part of the run game and getting them involved with the reverses."
The team finished with 143 yards rushing on Saturday after gaining just 75 yards in the exhibition opener.
In very limited play in the first game, Green had three carries for seven yards. The 30-year-old signed a four-year, $23 million contract in the offseason to replace franchise leading rusher Domanick Williams (formerly Davis) who was released after missing all of last season with injuries. Green has 8,491 yards and 54 touchdowns in his nine-year career.
Green was brought in to shore up a running game that struggled last season while relying on inexperienced backs until Dayne finally got healthy and emerged in December. The Texans averaged an NFL-worst 68 yards rushing a game through the first six weeks of the 2006 season.
Coaches have raved about Green throughout camp and Texans offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, who coached him in Green Bay for several years, said he looks better than ever. Yet the four-time Pro Bowler has yet to show his stuff in game action for Houston.
"I think we can run the ball better than we're running it," Kubiak said. "We improved it the other night, but I don't think it's where it needs to be."
The Cowboys game will likely be Green's last opportunity for significant action before Houston's regular-season opener as Kubiak uses the final preseason game against Tampa Bay to evaluate the backups. Gado and Wali Lundy, who are competing to be the third-string running back, will see most of the work against the Buccaneers.
Notes: Offensive tackle Kevin Barry has a torn biceps that could require surgery. His injury will be re-evaluated on Monday to determine if surgery is necessary. ... Guard Fred Weary, who sprained his right ankle on Saturday, should return to practice Wednesday.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press