Forsett, Ball could earn roles in Houston

Posted June 10, 2012 @ 10:39 a.m.
Posted By Arthur Arkush

Budget constraints and a lack of pressing needs made the Texans very quiet during the first wave of free agency, but earlier this week, they signed a pair of veterans, CB Alan Ball and RB Justin Forsett, who will compete for the fourth CB and third RB spots, respectively.

Word is the Texans wanted to sign Ball, who worked under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips in Dallas, months ago, but by waiting until after June 1 to make the move, Ball won’t figure into the compensatory free-agent formula (a little-known fact in the CBA).

The 27-year-old Ball played more safety than corner in Dallas last season, but the Texans view him as a corner who will compete with youngsters Brandon Harris, Roc Carmichael and Sherrick McManis. The Texans love Ball’s knowledge of Phillips’ system and he received very strong reviews from head coach Gary Kubiak.

The Texans were thrilled with the contributions of No. 3 RB Derrick Ward the past two seasons, and the possibility of Ward re-signing with the Texans if he can’t find a better opportunity elsewhere still shouldn’t be discounted, we hear. But while Forsett, a classic third-down back who made the most of his opportunites in Seattle, won’t be a major factor in the backfield barring injuries, he is a solid special-teams player — an area where Ward was not a factor — and he will have an opportunity to win Houston’s kick-return duties.

Don't be surprised when the Texans bring in a few more veterans to join the club for its official minicamp next week. The most likely position to be addressed is wide receiver — the Texans are thin on experience with Andre Johnson rehabbing his knee — and we hear veteran Mike Sims-Walker is a player who could get a look.