The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rank 30th in the league with just 15 passing plays for 20 yards or more, in part because of their inability to beat man coverages in the secondary.
"We've found that a lot of teams are trying to man up on us,'' QB Josh Freeman said. "They're rotating a safety and their alert guy is (moving toward) Mike Williams' side or Kellen Winslow's side, because those are our good guys versus man.
"So, we've seen a lot of man, and this week's going to be no different. The Texans play a lot of quarters, and man-to-man and they're pretty good at it. So, no, we haven't seen a lot of zone. When we do, we're usually pretty successful.''
Hits and misses
By defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake's count, the Bucs have dropped more interception opportunities than they've caught this season.
"We only have eight interceptions right now,'' Lake said. "We should probably have 11 more tacked on that we've missed, and all of those could have really changed the outcome of games."
The Bucs are off to a good start in correcting the problem, coming off a game against New Orleans in which they had no missed interception opportunities.
"The only missed opp we had was on a sack by Tanard Jackson,'' Lake said. "Tanard got in there on a blitz but missed the tackle, but (CB) Ronde (Barber) caught our only interception opportunity against Drew Brees last week.''
Williams (thigh bruise) and Jackson (hamstring strain) returned to practice Thursday. DT Frank Okam (calf) remained out. Everyone else on the injury report — Freeman (thumb), C/G Jeremy Zuttah (knee) and Winslow (non injury related) — participated fully in the workout and is expected to play Sunday.