Reliant Stadium's first game of the season is also the debut of the new high-definition video boards that span the length of each end zone. Now the Texans have another thing over the Dallas Cowboys, other than that win in the first regular-season game in franchise history in 2002. Houston's video boards are the largest in the NFL, surpassing the monster hanging above the field at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Other than the new bells and whistles added to the stadium, here are five things to watch for in Saturday's game:
1. The Texans will use Shiloh Keo to return punts against the Dolphins. Keo played college ball at Idaho and will need to show he's capable of breaking free for yardage with last season's starter, Keyshawn Martin, remaining as an option. Whatever happens with the return job, let's just hope the Texans don't experience another Trindon Holliday situation. Holliday's production was lacking in Houston, and he was cut early in 2012. But he impressed with several touchdown returns when he was signed later in the season by the Denver Broncos.
2. Inside linebacker Brian Cushing makes his return to the lineup for the first time in nearly a full year against the Dolphins. Cushing tore his ACL in 2012 and wasn't able to play in the first preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. His return along with the addition of Ed Reed should solidify the Texans' defense.
3. Starting left tackle Wade Smith is out with a knee injury, leaving the starting job up to a competition between Ben Jones and rookie David Queesenberry. With Matt Schaub's injury history, the offensive line is a crucial piece to the Texans' potential Super Bowl puzzle. Queesenberry is the bigger of the two, but Jones played in the SEC for the Georgia Bulldogs and has a year of experience under his belt. At San Jose State, Queesenberry was a walk-on but has made the most of the opportunity.
4. The backup quarterback competition was spiced up in practice with Schaub missing time early in the week. Texans coach Gary Kubiak reportedly said after Thursday's practice that Case Keenum will get the ball once Schaub and the starters are pulled after the first quarter. Keenum will get a taste of a higher level of competition with the earlier appearance, which should give a better indication of where he stands compared to T.J. Yates.
5. Another area of depth for the Texans is at tight end. Garrett Graham has impressed as the backup to Owen Daniels and will see plenty of time, even if Daniels is healthy for the full season. The Wisconsin alum had five catches for 49 yards against the Vikings and hauled in three touchdowns during the 2012 regular season.
Scott Joiner (@fbheraldsports) is the sports editor of the Fort Bend Herald in the Greater Houston Area and has covered the Houston Texans for two years and has followed the team since its inception.
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