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Marciano: Holliday would return kicks in “perfect world”; Tate an option, too

Posted by Nick Scurfield on June 10, 2011 – 3:09 pm

Trindon Holliday and Ben Tate both played collegiately in the SEC, were drafted by the Texans in 2010 and spent their rookie season on injured reserve.

Turns out that’s not all they have in common. Both are also candidates to be the Texans’ kickoff returner, according to special teams coordinator Joe Marciano.

That’s no surprise with Holliday, a 5-5, 169-pound return specialist with blazing speed. It’s exactly what the Texans had in mind when they drafted him in the sixth round out of LSU.

“If I lived in a perfect world, hopefully he’d be our kickoff returner and Jacoby Jones would be our punt returner, and/or one of ‘em being both or Trindon doing both,” Marciano told SportsRadio 610 AM. “But, you know, we may not have that luxury. And the depth chart is a long list. It’s open competition.”

Marciano said that “long list” includes wide receivers David Anderson, Derrick Townsel and Paul Williams; cornerbacks Roc Carmichael, Brandon Harris, Sherrick McManis and Glover Quin; and safeties Quintin Demps and Shiloh Keo. And Tate, who’s by far the most surprising name in the group.

“The last guy, who really came up to me when he was rehabbing and said he wants to have a shot at being a kickoff returner, and I’m all for it, is Ben Tate,” Marciano said. “I think the third running back, whoever that is, will be thrown in the mix, whether that’s him or whoever.”

Steve Slaton was the Texans’ third running back in 2010, and he shared kickoff return duties with Jones for most of the season. Tate (5-11, 219), a second-round pick out of Auburn, is slated to “take some turns” on offense behind Arian Foster in 2011. This is the first time the Texans have talked about the possibility of using him as a kick returner.

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