Assistant to watch: Texans

Kicking off our look at new assistant coaches in the AFC South who will be especially important in 2012, we head to Houston.

Gary Kubiak’s got continuity with his staff, so we’ve only got two guys to choose from. Quarterbacks coach Karl Dorrell is the easy selection. He replaced Gregg Knapp, who went to Oakland to be the offensive coordinator. Quarterbacks Matt Schaub and T.J. Yates loved working with Knapp.

Now they are getting to know Dorrell, who came to Houston from Miami, where he didn’t have much quarterback talent. He’s got a Denver connection, too, and the three seasons he was with the Broncos when he overlapped with Kubiak there produced the tie that landed him this gig.

Schaub is coming off a serious foot injury that sidelined him last season and heading into a contract year. He hears constantly about being fragile -- a label that’s not really fair -- and hasn’t been in position to produce in the big moment of big games very often.

While Kubiak and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison will be heavily involved in the offense, a new position coach is certain to have a bearing on Schaub’s performance. And Schaub’s performance may be as important of a story as there is in the AFC South this season.