March 19, 2018

Training Camp: Making Impressions

On Day Three of the Houston Texans training camp, the shoulder pads and live contact took place at Reliant. After plenty of walk through work and no contact, that all quickly changed.


Check out our camp notes from Day Three:

– Head Coach Gary Kubiak pushed his team a little harder in day three with pads on and the Texas heat. It was evident which players were ready for this heat, and plenty of players got tired out there on Monday.

– The offense came out with plenty of false starts especially from the young guys. Fullback Derrell Smith had some issues opening up at fullback as the first offensive play of the game he had a false start. There seems to be a bit of uncertainty at the fullback position right now. Moran Norris is also alternating with Smith until the battle is decided.

– Rookie guard Brandon Brooks looked good in pass protection.  He has to tighten up his technique when run blocking, like getting his head on the play side of the defensive lineman.  Overall he impressed on the first day of pads.

Derek Newton and Rashad Butler are fighting for the starting right tackle position. Newton is the young upstart player who is an athletic big man that can push his weight around, while Butler is more of a finesse type of player at the right tackle position. They have been getting equal time working with the first team offense and will be an important camp battle for the Texans.

– Defensive Tackle  Ra’Shon “Sonny” Harris and nose tackle Loni Fangupo impressed against the second and third team offensive lines. Harris is a big and fast player who caused havoc today against the run game and made a handful of plays in the backfield. We have been waiting to see Fangupo in action and he did not disappoint early. He literally walked the center into the running back without any real technique.  It took two players to keep him from breaking through the line, but that didn’t stop him either. He didn’t make any tackles but he was so disruptive to the offense that he made lanes for other players to make the play. The only thing that stopped Fangupo was his conditioning, and learning to use his hands more is something that needs to be worked on.

– The leadership of veterans Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning is something to watch. Both veterans are talking and flying around to the football. They are encouraging the younger players and keeping up the pace the entire practice. They take zero plays off when they are on the field and raise the bar for other players to follow their example.

– Wide Receiver Lestar Jean is an interesting player, and despite all of the expectations surrounding him, he seems unfazed. Jean, who has been working inside and outside of formations, looks like a real threat in the slot position. He creates such a mismatch with his 6-3 frame and he has shown he can work from the slot. If Jean can move around, the Texans could create some mismatches in their favor on game day.

– Defensive back Sherrick McManis  put together a nice day. He had an interception of  T.J.Yates with great coverage of Juaquin Iglesias. McManis looked great in coverage and has grown as a player. Injuries slowed him last season but he has nice skill set and he is a player under the radar.

– Rookie wide receiver Jerrell Jackson has had three good days of camp. He has excelled in one on one drills, and has pushed Joseph some to take notice. Jackson is a real athlete when he steps on the field.  He does a good job of running routes and most importantly catching the football.

– Running back Justin Forsett has been the offensive standout for the Texans early in camp. He is such a natural in the zone running scheme and has the quickness inside the tackles to make people miss. He shows veteran patience and has done a great job of seeing the cutback lane to break off some big gains. Catching the ball makes him a dual threat, and the running back group even more special than what it was last season.

– Quarterback T.J. Yates and John Beck struggled some today especially with reads. Even though they were completing the underneath passes, they were missing their primary targets running loose down the field. No real concern at this moment but something to watch for in the coming days.

– Outside Linebacker Bryan Braman has been quiet during camp. With high expectations entering his second year, from becoming a fan favorite last season, all eyes are on Braman. He has done some good things but overall has been unimpressive. He has worked hard this offseason getting ready for the new season but we are still waiting for results.

– The Texans signed defensive lineman Mitch King from Iowa, the four-year veteran has been with four teams. King has spent his entire career bouncing around practice squads and we will wait to see how the Texans use him.

– The kickers finally kicked on the field for the first time and Shayne Graham did not disappoint. His leg looked stronger than Randy Bullock, his competition for the starting job. That has been the most noticeable difference between the two and Graham hit all his attempts in the special teams session.


You can follow Patrick on Twitter.  He is the Editor of State of the Texans and is a draft analyst on Sideline Scouting.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: