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“What he had to go do is not easy to do,” Kubiak said.

When the Texans drafted Yates, Kubiak compared him to Schaub with his skill set and knack for understanding the game.

He was also attractive to Houston because he ran a similar offense at North Carolina, where he set the school records for yards passing in a career (9,377) and a season (3,418). The Tar Heels’ offensive coordinator was John Shoop, who worked on staffs with the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders, among other teams.

“He had a lot of things going for him when he stepped in the NFL, as far as how he had been taught,” Kubiak said. “He plays the game fast, you have to play fast in this league. You have to be able to get rid of the ball, you have to be able to move.

“He’s got those things going for him,” Kubiak said. “Now it’s just a matter of a ton of reps and we’ll see how much progress he can make.”

It certainly helps that Yates has the league’s best defense and one of its most productive running games supporting him. The Texans gave up only 151 yards in the second half Sunday to preserve their lead.

“Well, the whole group’s impressive right now,” Kubiak said of the top-ranked defense, yielding 268.4 yards per game. “They’re just playing very, very hard. The thing that’s most impressive, I use the word `group’ because everybody’s making plays. It’s contagious.”

Houston rushed for only 88 yards in Jacksonville, its second-lowest total of the season, and Kubiak blamed his conservative play-calling for the struggles.

“I don’t know if I put our guys in great position,” Kubiak said. “I was concerned having one quarterback out there, and making sure that I was trying to find a way to win the game that day. I don’t like some of the things I did. We played hard. We just didn’t play very good offensively in the second half.”