Martin will return Texans' punts and kicks

HOUSTON -- Texans coach Bill O'Brien didn't announce a backup quarterback Friday, but he did resolve one competition.

Keshawn Martin will be the Texans' kick and punt returner this season.

"He’s done a good job," O'Brien said. "... He’s a guy that’s one of the most improved players on our team. He’s got to continue to go that way. He came back in training camp, whether it was his return ability or his play on offense, he’s done a really good job of taking what we coached him in the spring ... and come here and improved a lot."

O'Brien met with Martin after organized team activities (OTAs) to go over the ways in which he wanted to see him improve. Martin had plenty of struggles in both the return game and as a receiver last season, and had to fight his way onto the roster. By midway through training camp, Martin had clearly moved himself off the bubble.

He competed with Mike Thomas, Travis Labhart, EZ Nwachukwu, running back Dennis Johnson (released earlier this month) and DeVier Posey for those return roles. If you want to get really technical, starting cornerback Kareem Jackson took some returns during OTAs and training camp, but there was no reason to ever take those seriously.

Labhart was released today, but could be back for the practice squad if he clears waivers. Thomas will likely make the team as the slot receiver. No word on Nwachukwu just yet.