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2017 Texans Training Camp

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  • #46
    31 observations from day two of #TexansCamp

    John Harris/Texans Analyst
    The Texans beat the rain by starting practice a half an hour earlier at the Greenbrier and, in so doing, got some solid work in throughout the day. Here are my observations from the team’s second workout in West Virginia.
    1. Marc Vandermeer and I have talked about Andre Johnson many times in our four years together and one of the things Marc mentioned today that there was always that one practice when Andre would completely take over. It was as if he was showing everyone, without having to tell them, that he was The Man. He’d dominate practice and Marc then put him in bubble wrap for the rest of the time...or wanted to. Fast forward to today in West Virginia and DeAndre Hopkins did that very thing. He reminded everyone that he’s The Man.

    2. During 1-on-1s, he made a diving catch for a touchdown near the facility on a beautiful deep throw from Tom Savage. The great part about it, though, was that Hop put a double move on the corner and lost him. After throwing the deep ball short a few times on Wednesday, Savage threw it as far as he could to the back end of the field. Hopkins caught it. Later in team drills, Savage threw backshoulder into a crowded space to Hopkins. 10 caught it. He threw a backshoulder in the end zone. Hopkins caught it. Deshaun Watson threw a fade into the far corner of the end zone. Hopkins caught it...then toe tapped for the score. It was reminiscent of what Hopkins did in 2015 when he caught everything in sight and showed that he was the no doubt, best player on the field.

    3. During team drills, Hopkins came up with a catch where the defense questioned the legality of Hopkins maneuvering to make the catch. There may have been some offensive pass interference on the play and the defense took offense, if you will. Hopkins then pleaded his case to Jadeveon Clowney and a few others. So, what was the defense’s response? On the very next play, Clowney and Whitney Mercilus blew past their blockers and met at Tom Savage before he could even think about making a throw. The competition level has risen every single day with this crew and that has to please Bill O’Brien and this coaching staff to no end.

    4. A defensive back that many people don’t know much about had some really strong moments on Thursday: cornerback Marcus Roberson. The former Florida Gator was claimed on waivers during the offseason and has come to the Greenbrier ready to compete. During 1-on-1s, he was in man coverage on Jaelen Strong on a deep route down the far sideline. It appeared that Strong was about to pull in a long throw with his right hand for the catch of camp, but right at the last moment, Roberson raked over his arms and knocked it away. Later in the day in team drills, Roberson also knocked away a pass intended for Wendall Williams.
    5. Roberson also had another break up on a fellow former Gator rookie Chris Thompson later in practice. That said, Thompson has made a few catches that caught my eye. He was a whale of a special teams player and was key on those units at Florida last year. But, as a receiver, he’s gotten deep a few times and caught the ball well when thrown his way.

    6. I was right down near the goal line for the team’s red zone period and I’m telling you, this group of receivers, defensive backs and linebackers run better than I can ever remember a Texans team. Guys were FLYING around.

    7. One guy that made his presence known, not only in those drills, but in 1-on-1s as well was Braxton Miller. I mentioned it yesterday and it bears repeating: Miller’s trajectory is swinging way up. His route running and ability to get separation are without peer in this camp. He will completely lose guys trying to cover him and get yards of separation. He’s not thinking about it and it’s not slower than it needs to be. The timing is nearly perfect and will only get better.

    8. During that red zone period, the offense got the ball into the end zone a couple of times and Braxton had one those. Miller shook free into space on a short route, made the catch (as Lonnie Ballentine nearly knocked it away) and burst into the end zone without being touched. The more Miller progresses, the more advanced this offense can get. That’s really exciting.

    9. Later during team drills, speaking of getting open, he spun around a rookie defensive back on a fade route to the sideline in the end zone for the touchdown catch.

    10. On Miller’s touchdown play in the red zone, Ballentine made a perfect read and an explosive break, but Brandon Weeden snuck one into Miller before Ballentine could knock it away or pick it off. What I loved was the defense’s reaction - “hey, close doesn’t count, got to make that play.” Lonnie knew it too.

    11. On the final rep of that drill, Deshaun Watson spied Wendall Williams in position for a back shoulder throw. He lasered one right on the money to the speedy wideout. Williams seemed to have control and was aiming to get both feet down, but Denzel Rice not only kept him from getting that second foot in, he knocked the ball away at the same time. Incomplete. Rice and the defense got charged up after that one, for good reason.

    12. Rice also had a breakup on a throw to Shaq Hill during 1-on-1s.

    13. I have written down “3 to 10, back shoulder, so pretty.” Feels like I wrote that all day long.

    14. During our visit with Executive Vice President and General Manager Rick Smith, we asked him about Jadeveon Clowney’s progress and versatility. He responded with a story that just seemed to add to the Paul Bunyun-esque nature of Clowney. He said that during the conditioning test to kick off training camp, Clowney ran with the “tanks”. The defensive linemen fall into the tanks category, of which Clowney is. Bombers (running backs, linebackers and quarterbacks) and jets (receivers and defensive backs) are the two other categories. Each group has a time for which each player must complete the test. So, Clowney ran in his group - the tanks - but he took a little bit of grief for it so once here in West Virginia, he decided to make up for running stride for stride with the jets - the receivers and defensive backs. That dude is unreal and he’s having a blast on the field, that’s for sure.

    15. Safety Andre Hal spoke in the offseason that he felt like he left some plays out on the field in 2016 and that he needed to play much better in 2017. He’s doing just that in the first two days of practice. During 1-on-1s, he was matched with speedy rookie receiver Deante Gray and read his route perfectly to create a pass breakup. Hal knows he has to be the voice in the back and he’s taking more control of the secondary from his safety position.

    16. Another name to watch in the secondary is cornerback Dee Virgin. I wrote his name in my notes a few times as he had a couple of pass breakups and one interception on a tipped pass during a team session for a pick six. He’s an intriguing player that took a little different path to get to the Texans than most guys take.

    17. Watching running back D’Onta Foreman, I can’t wait to see what he does tomorrow when the pads go on. He’s going to be an excellent inside runner. He has tremendous feet for a big guy, patience and burst to and through the hole. But, at Texas, he didn’t run much outside or outside zone. When he did, he just outran any, and all, of the college defenders down the field. THAT won’t happen in this league; there have been at least three or four runs where it appeared that he could get the edge and then BOOM the calvary arrived to tag off on him before he got two yards. That’ll change with more experience and reps in this offense, especially when the pads go on.

    18. Tight end Stephen Anderson catches anything in his zip code. He was open on a crossing route as Brandon Weeden threw the ball a bit behind him. In fact, safety Eddie Pleasant tipped the ball as he made a quick, explosive break on the throw. Anderson coolly got his head around, found the tipped ball in the air and snatched it down for the first down catch.

    19. Cornerback Kevin Johnson continued his climb as he made a number of key plays throughout practice. One of those was on a throw to DeAndre Hopkins. He read the route perfectly and when Hopkins broke to the inside, well, let’s put it this way, Johnson read it so well that he broke to the inside before Hopkins did. Johnson, then, knocked it away on the first play of a team session later in practice.

    20. The quarterbacks continue to throw the ball well. Marc and I had a ringside seat during our radio show, watching Tom Savage and Deshaun Watson throw, on air of course, to receivers during a drill. Marc has seen every single training camp practice and then some and he was still blown away by the accuracy, ball placement, etc...Before you say, yeah, John but it was against air, just know that it didn’t look quite like that last year. These quarterbacks throw the ball so effortlessly and with such good ball placement; it’s truly fun to watch.

    21. I’m ashamed to admit that out of sheer forgetfulness amongst my 31 observations yesterday I forgot to mention David Quessenberry (DQ). It’s really hard to put into words what this man has been through and now is that time to find out whether he’s still got it. If what he did against rookie defensive lineman Carlos Watkinsis any indication, DQ definitely still has it. Watkins tried to work the right side of DQ on a pass rush and David used his hands to get under Watkins’ arm pit and ride him out of the way. He’s strong as an ox and doesn’t get knocked back often. When the pads go on tomorrow, we’ll see whether DQ can take that next step in his return back to this offense. I wouldn’t bet against him, that’s for sure.

    22. After injuring his back last year, tackle Breno Giacomini seemed to be moving well in his first two practices. There were times watching Giacomini in 2016 that he seemed stiff and not 100%. He looked much more fluid on Thursday and he’s going to be a player that I watch and study on Friday in pads.

    23. Deshaun Watson got a ton of reps against all three defensive units late in practice. He didn’t shy from the moment at all, making a few completions and moving the offense against the first unit for a bit.

    24. Earlier in the practice, though, Watson got into trouble holding the ball a little too long and eyeing his receiver. When he did, speedy rookie linebacker Dylan Cole leapt up to snare the ball out of the air for an interception. I’ve talked about Cole for a while and those are the plays that are going to get the coaches attention.

    25. After watching him at Baylor for a few years, I thought center/guard rookie Kyle Fuller might struggle a bit in pass protection, but he had a couple of strong reps when I was watching him at both center and guard. I’ve been impressed with Fuller at either position this offseason, but the real test is tomorrow with the pads on.

    26. I once told safety Eddie Pleasant that he’ll be Eddie P. as long as he makes plays. Consquently, he’ll remain Eddie P. after today’s practice after a couple of outstanding plays that he made. He had a pass breakup right at the goal line while covering tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz. Later in a drill to emphasize positioning for tackles, the “tag off” drill, Pleasant and linebacker Brian Peters stripped the ball from a ball carrier and Eddie P. ran for six.

    27. During pass rush 1-on-1s, Ufomba Kamalu? Wow, he just blew past one of the Texans tackles on his way to the quarterback. That elicited some “ohhhhs” and “ahhhhs” from the fans watching and Kamalu’s fellow Texans defensive linemen.

    28. Rookie tackle Julien Davenport got his first glimpse, really, of one of the Texans star pass rushers and received a valuable lesson. Whitney Mercilus threw a spin move on him to get scott free to the quarterback. Sure, Davenport was upset, but it’s the best thing for him because eventually he’s going to learn how to stop those moves and when he does, he’ll be ready to be a player in this league.

    29. Outside linebacker Eric Lee. I wrote about him yesterday and will again today. Trust me, his long limbs and levers are difficult for offensive linemen to defeat on the pass rush and he won a couple of times rushing during 1-on-1 drills.

    30. Guard Chad Slade looked as good in his pass rush reps as I’ve seen him since he arrived in 2015. Now, he has to continue that progress when the pads go on, but he looks like a different player than he was at Auburn or in his first two years here.

    31. Oh, how could I forget my last observation? At the end of practice, the entire team ran some sprints, gassers, down and backs, whatever you want to call them. They ran in their three groups as always but had a special guest join them - Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Cal McNair. Guard Jeff Allen was a little surprised when he was charging down the field and turned and saw...Cal running right alongside.
    The Texans had a few special West Virginia homeboys stop by to see the practice - the Logo, the great Jerry West who watched the workout with Houston Rockets head coach Mike Dantoni. Their presence certainly made the day complete. Tomorrow thought, the pads go on and real football will begin.

    As such, no one will sleep tonight in anticipation. I know I’m ready. See ya then, everyone.


    • #47
      Camp Confidential – Watson Struggles, Defense Dominates (Thursday 7/27)

      Cody Stoots
      WHITE SULPHER SPRINGS (CBS HOUSTON)Editor’s Note: Camp Confidential will feature daily news and notes throughout Texans training camp. John Lopez and Cody Stoots of In the Loop reporting.

      >>>Deshaun Watson looked a lot like a rookie today. He missed a handoff because he turned the wrong direction. He has a play go sideways on him because he rolled the wrong way. There were a few quick tuck and run plays from him during some team activities. He had a beautiful deep ball sail deep on him. Watson did nothing to close the gap between him and Tom Savage today.

      >>>The defense forced Watson to use his mobility. He is by far the most mobile QB with a chance to start the Texans have ever had. He rolled and let his blocker reset on one play and then set his feet to make the throw. He also threw the ball away when a few of his plays got blown up by the defense.

      >>>Defense won the day. They were flying all over the place and batting passes left and right. Looking very strong against most offensive line units.

      >>>Jadeveon Clowney made plenty of offensive linemen have a teachable moment. He got the better of Chris Clark and of Julién Davenport in some one-on-one drills easily. Later when Tony Washington was demolished on a rep by Julién Davenport Clowney met him seconds later and started instructing him on what to do better. The leadership in the line groups is LOADED with Clowney stepping up last year and Watt’s return. Bill O’Brien hoped his team would be slowing Clowney soon. “Clowney’s doing good. I can’t wait until we’re out of shells . We can’t block them in shells. Maybe we can have a little bit better chance of blocking him in pads.”

      >>>Revenge was on D.J. Reader’s mind against Nick Martin today after yesterday’s stalemate. Reader demolished Martin, a rare Martin failure. Greg Mancz is behind Martin at center at this point.

      >>>DeAndre Hopkins got the offense a big win in some team work. He pulled down a signature catch. In the corner of the endzone he jumped, contorted his hands, caught the pass over a defender, and landed with both feet in bounds. Touchdown. He made it look easy.

      >>>Dres (pronouced Drezz) Anderson had a good start and bad finish to the day. He had a great deep play down the sideline and then later in a team portion put the ball on the turf for a huge defensive play that had the defense excited.

      >>>Whitney Mercilus, who joined In the Loop after practice, had a pass breakup in coverage on Ryan Anderson that had the defense getting hyped once again.

      >>>Kevin Johnson is going to make people forget about A.J. Bouye. He has popped out a lot over the first two days. He has changed his body a little and not missed a beat in his continued improvement. If healthy, he could end up being the team’s best cornerback.

      >>>D’Onta Foreman can fly. He has the ability to turn it on fast too.

      >>>It wasn’t all struggles for Watson today. He had some pinpoint accurate passes to undrafted rookie tight end Zach Conque and Deante Gray which were both dropped by the pass catchers.

      >>>Stephen Anderson turned a bad play into a huge gain when a ball batted by Eddie Pleasant bounced into the air Anderson corraled it and turned it up field for a gain.

      >>>If camp ended today Wendell Williams would likely be the fifth wide receiver and Stephen Anderson would hold onto the third tight end spot.

      >>>Brian Cushing and Eric Lee had what would have been sacks in a live rep but disrupted two nice play designs. Cushing forced Savage to make a throw into the feet of his receiver.

      >>>David Quessenberry stiffled a rush from rookie Carlos Watkins with ease. Quessenberry took another step towards making this team and maybe even competing for the starting guard spot to the left of Nick Martin.


      • #48
        Nick Martin is already ahead of Mancz according to Stoots even though Martin has only played in TC while Mancz played well all season?

        Hard to believe, Cody.


        • #49
          Brett Kollmann @BrettKollmann
          Reports on Braxton Miller out of camp this week have been really, REALLY positive. He's torching DBs on the regular in 1 on 1's.
          patrick @PatDStat
          71*, cloudy.

          Because we are in the middle of nowhere. The Greenbrier brings in medic helicopter every morning. #Texans Day three of #Texans camp on deck. Rain is headed our way.
          Padded practice, early start because rain is coming in.

          WV Governor Jim Justice flying in today. He owns The Greenbrier. He's kinda like an old Ben Jones billionaire.


          • #50
            Any news on how the first day in pads went?


            • #51
              I saw XSF in pads other than that, nothing yet.


              • #52
                OB, Cushing, JJo, Deshaun Watson video:

                Julien Davenport moving from right to left and back, looking okay on the switches.

                Braxton Miller is getting separation. Finally sinking in for him, has to keep it up. Got dinged too much last year.

                Savage/DHop chemistry is great. Like peas and carrots. (Forrest Gump)

                Goal-line, defense whooped some butt today. Lotta trash talking.

                Watson had a better day today. A lot being thrown at him.

                CJ Fiedorowicz made some plays today.

                Houston Texans‏ @HoustonTexans
                Watson on #TexansCamp: "It's good. It brings out the true competition and fight... I love resistance and I love to push through that."

                Watson: "I learned so much at @ClemsonFB... You have to do the same thing here too."

                Watson on #TexansCamp: "It's just football. It's what I love to do."

                Deshaun a Watson says training camp has been "a blast" so far. Says he's taking it one day at a time to not get overwhelmed. #Texans

                Watson on improving: "Just find a way to get better each and every day."

                Deshaun Watson on #TexansCamp: "It's a great environment. Just trying to find ways to get better."

                Joseph on the Greenbrier: "This weather is doing us a big time favor. I can't complain."

                Johnathan Joseph: "Once you get the pads on, everything is serious."

                Cushing on J.J. Watt: "To bring him back is just going to boost us that much more. I know he's excited. We're excited to have him back."

                Cushing: "Ninth year, I want to continue to get better. The fire is very much there."

                Cushing on first day of pads: "There's a lot to build upon and continue to work... This is real football."

                Brian Cushing on #TexansCamp: "The biggest thing I'm looking for is competition."

                O'Brien on Christian Covington[Brian Cushing, I think]: "He's the heart and soul of our team. He's a leader and does a lot for us."

                Bill O'Brien on #Texans first day of pads: "I just want to make sure these guys are working back to football shape."
                Drew Dougherty‏ @DoughertyDrew
                Watson said it's been cool seeing so many @ClemsonFB fans in attendance here @The_Greenbrier.

                1st day in pads in the books here at #TexansCamp in West Virginia.

                QB Deshaun Watson glad the pads came on today at #TexansCamp. Said he's focusing on improving at "little things".
                Deepi Sidhu‏ @DeepSlant
                .@ClemsonFB fans here in West Virginia at practice. Watson says he has seen them every day here. #TexansCamp

                Watson says biggest surprise was seeing speed of #Texans defense during goal-line drills today. #TexansCamp

                Deshaun a Watson says training camp has been "a blast" so far. Says he's taking it one day at a time to not get overwhelmed. #Texans

                Last edited by H2O4me; 07-28-2017, 01:42 PM.


                • #53



                  • #54


                    Quick Hitters: Houston Texans Training Camp Day Three

                    The Houston Texans wrapped up their third day at The Greenbrier and practice was pushed ahead due to the threat of rain in the area. Today marked the first day of players wearing pads, helping to separate and establish an early pecking order of where players sit on the field. With that in mind, here are your quick hitters from day three at Texans trianing camp.

                    Once the pads were strapped on, Brian Cushing was the early standout in the run game, especially in goal line situations. He got downhill in a hurry and was cleaning up ball carriers in the hole. It was all Cushing in those situations. His physical nature set the tone for practice and the defense pretty much took over the goal line period of practice.

                    It was finally good to see...


                    • #55
                      Camp Confidential – Watson/Savage Impress, Defense Wins Again (Friday 7/28)

                      CBS Sports 610
                      WHITE SULPHER SPRINGS (CBS HOUSTON)Editor’s Note: Camp Confidential will feature daily news and notes throughout Texans training camp. John Lopez and Cody Stoots of In the Loop reporting.

                      >>>Deshaun Watson rebounded from his day yesterday where he displayed some rookie mistakes. He was throwing darts fitting a throw in a football sized opening to Jaelen Strong and finding Riley McCarron in individual drills. He would’ve connected for a huge gain if Ryan Griffin hadn’t dropped Watson’s perfect strike. He looked much more confident and capable today than yesterday.

                      >>>Watson found Bryce Jones right in the numbers before Jones dropped the Watson pass. Jones, is of course, a cornerback for the Texans. One of the few mistakes Watson made.

                      >>>Watson’s escapability was evident. Even in a fully live game, no one would have stopped Watson as he made a scramble for a big first down in the teams situation.

                      >>>Tom Savage had his moments. He made a huge throw, about 40 yards, to Jaelen Strong which saw the third year wideout leap and grab the ball for a score. Today was Strong’s best day in camp despite a fumble.

                      >>>The defense was THRILLED to have the pads on. None more excited than Brian Cushing. In about 15-18 reps in goal line run situations, the defense allowed only a handful of offensive progress. Cushing let Hopkins know history had repeated itself. The excitement was the highest it has been in camp.

                      >>>The lone true without question touchdown scored was by D’Onta Foreman, the early camp standout. He flashed for a big run today too. Lamar Miller and Akeem Hunt got in on the big runs.

                      >>>The defense may have won goal line but the offense had their revenge moving the ball well in competitive situations. Competitive situations is a Bill O’Brien term that I really enjoy for some reason.

                      >>>The offensive line earned revenge later in drills as well. Jeff Allen and Kendall Lamm teamed up to win a rep against Whitney Mercilus and Christian Covington. Chris Clark and David Quessenberry worked together to stymie Jadeveon Clowney and D.J. Reader. Nick Martin held his own again today as he picks up where he left off before his injury last year.

                      >>>Breno Giacomini was dusted by Whitney Mercilus in one play and moments later Mercilus was working with him on how to anticipate and beat certain pass rushing moves. It was a cool sight as the two worked together for a few moments away from the rest of the team.

                      >>>C.J. Fiedorowicz had a great block on Jadeveon Clowney

                      >>>For the second straight day J.J. Watt was not participating in contact team drills.

                      >>>The running backs and linebacker engaged in some pass blocking drills and the results were mixed for both sides. Akeem Hunt POPPED Dylan Cole for a block but Cole would recover to get a sack in the next rep by him. Alfred Blue and Cushing reignited their Hard Knocks rivalry and it went the way I am guessing it always does, Cushing’s way. Rookie on rookie crime as Zach Cunningham stood out for the first time in camp and beat Foreman for a sack

                      >>>Treston Decoud stood out today. He had a huge tackle for a loss on the goal line and then almost had a pass breakup on Strong. After Strong had some choice words for Decoud the two got in each other’s face. Decoud impressed for someone in just his third day of work as an NFL player. He wasn’t with the Texans this offseason due to school rules.


                      • #56
                        35 observations: #TexansCamp Day 3

                        John Harris/Texans Analyst
                        There aren’t too many football folks that don’t look forward to the first day in pads. All the talking is done. The offensive linemen get a chance to finally run block. The linebackers get to deliver some blows. No more tagging off on running backs and ball carriers.




                        With rain in the forecast, the Texans took to the field about 45 minutes early to get their work done. The West Virginia weather gods looked kindly on the Texans, holding off the rain until the Texans players left the field. Here are my observations from a fun first day in pads.
                        1. As per usual on the first in pads, Coach O’Brien lined up his two units down on the goal line. I love the way that he does that because it sets a tone in practice that it’s about to go down.

                        2. The defense came away with a number of stops, but let me tell you a little secret, the defense cheats on the goal line (I should know, I was a safety and ran straight to the ball like a linebacker). They know that there isn’t a threat of the pass so all 11 guys are screaming to the ball no matter what. That said, it was HIGHLY intense.

                        3. Rookie running back D’Onta Foreman did have the best run down on the goal line, scoring one of the two touchdowns. That’s what the Texans need from him this year, if nothing else, and he punched one in from in close. More on Foreman in a bit.

                        4. Linebacker Brian Cushing dominated the drill, honestly. Ramping up the intensity and running through some people? That’s Cushing’s bailywick, if you will. He got some help from his front, too. Defensive tackle D.J. Reader, similar to the way he did against the Patriots on the goal line in the playoff game, stuffed the gaps and knocked interior people backwards to help Cushing and his linebackers make some plays.

                        5. The outside linebackers and tight ends went one-on-one in strictly a man on man drive blocking drill. Linebacker Ufomba Kamalu was tough as all get out to block. He was one of my overall standouts on the day. He fired into tight ends and powered them back off the ball. He held his ground when he had to bump inside to play against guards and tackles. He looked like a different dude than this time last year. He was as physical as anyone on the field.

                        6. Fellow outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett had some juice today as well. He was strong at the point of attack and nearly knocked out rookie linebacker Gimel President on a kickoff return 1-on-1 drill. I mean, Scarlett caught him good, but President got right up and won the next rep.

                        7. All in all, Scarlett played with some serious fire. Every time I looked up he was popping pads and moving around well. If there’s a position that needs some depth to step up behind a star (Whitney Mercilus), it’s this one. Scarlett and Kamalu seemingly did that today.

                        8. I mentioned rookie linebacker Dylan Cole yesterday and I’m going to do it again today. I don’t know that I’ve seen a linebacker run stride for stride with running back Akeem Hunt down the field...deep. Cole did that and knocked away a pass intended for Hunt in 1-on-1s. I wrote in my notes that “51 just seems to be in the right spot all the time."

                        9. Later in a team drill, he read a screen perfectly and was in the hip pocket of the running back. The quarterback had to throw the ball away to avoid Cole having his second interception in as many days.

                        10. I like the way that Kendall Lamm protected the passer in one-on-ones against the edge rushers. I’ve thought, for a while, that Lamm could progress into a starting role and he still has a ton of work to do, but he certainly looks the part at right tackle right now.

                        11. Cornerback Denzel Rice came up with a forced fumble during one-on-ones against the receivers. Jaelen Strong made the catch and started to turn up field and Rice poked it away from him. If there’s anything that ALWAYS gets the coaches attention, it’s turnovers. Rice has made a few plays the past few days.

                        12. Strong did struggle a bit early in practice, but during team drills later in the day, he made the catch of the day, diving for a deep ball in the end zone near the Sports Performance Center for a touchdown.

                        13. Another rookie that bears watching is former Missouri product defensive tackle Ricky Hatley. He had a couple of powerful pass rushes against interior linemen. He’s not going to be fancy, nor is he going to be a Watt/Clowney/Mercilus type productive pass rusher. But, he’s one strong dude worth watching in the middle of the line as training camp continues. He also made a stop at the line of scrimmage on a zone run from the backside, squeezing down on the ball carrier after defeating the block.

                        14. Watching Carlos Watkins work his hands and power through during pass rush one-on-ones, it was evident why the Texans were so intrigued with him early on day two of the draft. He won a few times convincingly in those drills against a couple of different guys.

                        15. During one-on-ones against the linebackers and safeties, tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz had a great catch, skying over the safety for a long catch down the seam. That’s where C.J. has to dominate again in 2017 for this offense to take a quantum leap from last year.

                        16. Eddie P. will remain Eddie P. after he knocked away a deep ball intended for speedy Akeem Hunt down the field.

                        17. It’s fun to watch running back Lamar Miller out in space. On the first play in team, he took an inside run and bounced it to the outside after the edge players collapsed a bit too much. That left him one-on-one on a defensive back and he “shook” him out of his shoes for a big gain.

                        18. Later in a team drill where the offense drove the ball down the field, Miller started the drive off with an inside out zone run for about 35 yards. He got outside the block of right tackle Kendall Lamm and inside the block of C.J. Fiedorowicz and then hit the gas back to the sideline. He flew up the field for the big gain.

                        19. Speaking of running backs, D’Onta Foreman ran hard and, most importantly, stayed inside his running lane. Meaning? Meaning that Foreman shouldn’t try what Miller tries. Lamar can get the edge and turn the corner for meaningful gains outside the numbers. Foreman isn’t quite that guy, but I love his feet and his interior vision, so I want to see him stay patient and find those more direct downhill running lanes.

                        20. One of Foreman’s best runs came against the number one defense. He started on a lead play to the left, but saw an alley to his right. So, without slowing down, he burst through the initial hole and darted over to the right and found his way for about ten to 12 yards.

                        21. One other aspect about Foreman is that he’s catching the ball very well out of the backfield and even, at times, adjusted to catching passes thrown behind him. That part of his game, well, it wasn’t even a part of his game at Texas. But, he’s showing he can do it in practice.

                        22. Jadeveon Clowney just pinballs 250-300 lb. men like it’s nothing. I’m amazed at the number of people he knocks backwards or on their wallets as he’s fighting through blocks to find the ball.

                        23. Watching linebacker Zach Cunningham, I can’t help but think about Benardrick McKinney as a rookie. The first few days of McKinney’s training camp back then, he wasn’t sure exactly where to be. He eventually soaked in this defense and became a second team All-Pro last season. I can see Cunningham struggling a bit with where to line up and some different responsibilities than he’s accustomed to, but he’s going to be fine. Hopefully, a lot like another former SEC linebacking star: McKinney.

                        24. I’ll say this, though, that dude can run and he can cover running backs. He showed that in one-on-ones against running back Alfred Blue as he knocked away a pass.

                        25. I don’t even know that I’ve mentioned the quarterbacks until now and that’s a shame. All three guys threw it well throughout the day. I mentioned yesterday that Deshaun Watson seemed upset with the way he performed at the end of practice, but he threw it much better on Friday. I thought his best throw was a lasered dart to receiver Will Fuller on a deep dig route, off of play action, during team drills.

                        26. Wait, I take that back, the best throw he made was on a deep over route to Ryan Griffin off of boot action but Griffin couldn’t hang on. That, my friends, was a gorgeous throw.

                        27. Watson needs to make all the great throws he can because Tom Savage is doing much of the same. He continued to go to DeAndre Hopkins and that synergy/chemistry is definitely developing. During 7-on-7, Savage went to Hopkins on consecutive plays - one for a sliding catch and another placed in the perfect spot on an out route. A few plays later, Savage dropped that deep ball on Jaelen Strong that I mentioned earlier for the touchdown. Savage also hit C.J. Fiedorowicz on a seam route during a team drive session following a long Lamar Miller run (noted above).

                        28. It didn’t always go swimmingly for the quarterbacks. During team drive session, Watson wanted to find Stephen Anderson on an option route for a first down. Inside linebacker Shakeel Rashad read it perfectly, anticipated it, broke like a defensive back in front of Anderson...and then dropped it. Luckily the very next play, guard Xavier Su’a-Filo opened the hole for D’Onta Foreman who ran for a first down and went toe-to-toe with hulking safety Lonnie Ballentine. I don’t think either guy had ever met someone like the other. Ballentine hasn’t seen too many 235 pound tank-like running backs and Foreman certainly did not see many 6-3, 220 lb. safeties in the Big 12.

                        29. Treston Decoud is getting a baptism by fire, but that man will compete. Even if he gets beat on one route, he’s coming right back to battle for the next one. A perfect example of that was in team drills when receiver Jaelen Strong caught a slant on him for a ten yard pickup. On the next play, Strong ran a dig route and Decoud broke up the pass. After the play, there were some words exchanged between the two. Decoud also knocked away a deep pass intended for DeAndre Hopkins later in practice. Slowly but surely, he’s getting more reps and gathering confidence.

                        30. I watched the offensive line and defensive line in 1-on-1s more than any other day because the pads went on and, quite honestly, I’d seen enough of the “jets” from OTAs/Minicamp and the first two days of training camp.

                        31. Jeff Allen looks like the Jeff Allen of old. I like seeing him mixing it up and getting feisty. He takes guff from no one, including his former Illinois teammate and pal Whitney Mercilus. Those two got tangled up in a stunt pass rush drill and there was some disagreement, shall we say, at the conclusion of the play. If Allen continues to progress, this offense will benefit greatly.

                        32. Center Nick Martin is a tank. I interviewed him after the practice and I was struck by his build. I’ve talked with Nick plenty but this time it felt like he towered over me. He was one of the last guys off the field and had a solid day, it appeared. His first pass rush rep was against D.J. Reader who can bull rush the best of them. Martin anchored against the bull then got his hands in position to keep Reader from throwing an arm under to get free. I’ve said for a while that Martin is a technician at his craft and it’s great to see him healthy again.

                        33. In this space yesterday, I remarked that I was highly intrigued to see how rookie tackle Julien Davenport would fare against the Texans edge rushers. Look, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but the young dude competed hard on both sides and had success too. Yesterday, Mercilus threw a spin move on him and left Davenport flailing. Today, Davenport faced Jadeveon Clowney and kept him at bay. Clowney wasn’t completely sure how to attack the long armed rookie and Davenport sort of enveloped him and held his ground. As I mentioned, he’s doing it on both sides of the line as well.

                        34. Rookie Eli Ankou completely bull rushed one of the Texans guards that got the defensive line yelling his name. That’s got to be a good feeling for a rookie when the veterans are hollering your name like after a successful rep.

                        35. David Quessenberry did a solid job slowing Carlos Watkins during a one-on-one rep. David’s strength is definitely there and the timing and the rest will hopefully come back soon. I can’t even imagine what today must have felt like for him.
                        Well, that’s about it for the first day in pads. Tomorrow might be the weekend, but trust me, there’s a ton of work to be done and I’ll be back with more observations from West Virginia. See ya’ then, everyone.


                        • #57
                          Ufo Kamalu got moved to LB? He's 6'5, 295. I think John misspoke.


                          • #58
                            Does anyone know why Watt hasn't practiced for the last 2 days?


                            • #59
                              Mark Berman @MarkBermanFox26
                              #Texans receiver Deante' Gray (TCU, Westside HS), injured suffering torn ACL

                              Originally posted by texansfan15 View Post
                              Does anyone know why Watt hasn't practiced for the last 2 days?
                              They're going to put as little mileage as possible on that back until games count.


                              • #60


                                Extended Cut of Houston Texans Training Camp: Day Three

                                Pads were strapped on and rookie Dylan Cole made his presence felt on the field. He showed some coverage ability breaking up pass he was initially beat on. Cole also showed on special teams that he will get downfield to make plays. Add in the interception he had yesterday, Cole is turning come heads at camp.

                                Brian Peters the Texans special teams ace is violent on the field. Working at linebacker he stuffed Jay Prosch back into the hole to make the run bounce outside. Add in his hustle on special teams, Peters was a physical player on day one of pads

                                Julién Davenport continues to...