Texans believe run game can protect Leinart

Foster, Tate poised to carry the load on offense. Terry McCormick

Print This November 18, 2011, 10:58 AM EST

Matt Leinart has been out of the spotlight as an NFL quarterback since he lost the Arizona job to Kurt Warner in 2008.

But with Matt Schaub out for the season, Leinart is about to take the reins of the Houston Texans, a team poised to make the first playoff appearance in its history if Leinart can guide them home in the AFC South over the final six games without too many hiccups.

In order to help Leinart, the Texans believe their best approach is to use their running game of Arian Foster and Ben Tate, and let them help Leinart out the same way Schaub benefited from their success.

“We’ve got a trio of awesome backs,” Leinart told the Houston Chronicle. “The effectiveness of our running game is obviously a great luxury to have. I have the mindset that I don’t have to go in there and be a hero week in and week out. I’ve just got to get us in the right situations, make the right check-downs and let (the backs) move the chains as much as they can. It’s a great situation for me to come into.”

Indeed, both Foster and Tate are on pace to reach 1,000 yard this season. But still, the Texans will need Leinart to contribute some at the quarterback position to keep teams from loading up to stop the run game. The Texans have a bye week to get Leinart ready before they hit the stretch run with Leinart at the helm.

Follow me on Twitter @TitanInsider247 and @terrymc13

Terry McCormick covers the Titans for

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