Rookie Mini Camp Notes: Day 2
Day two is in the books for the Houston Texans rookie mini camp. Only one day remains on the start of the Texans 2013 football season, and there has been plenty of bright spots during this two-day stretch. Head Coach Gary Kubiak was absent from the first practice to attend his son’s graduation from Rice University, but was there for the second practice.
Players looked fatigued during the first practice and the humidity was taking a toll on some players on the field. The second practice was short and crisp and the players looked more in tune with the practice.
Day Two Notes
- DeAndre Hopkins and D.J. Swearinger showed their leadership today with the young group on the field. They are always first in drills and lead by example. Both stole the show with their respective team units, and Swearinger intercepted a pass from Case Keenum and took it in for a touchdown. Hopkins once again made impressive catches, especially one across the middle then he slid low to catch a low pass. Both have also renewed a good rivalry on the practice field from their Clemson and South Carolina days, and the pace picks up when they are both on the field. They are easily the cream of the rookie crop in the early part of the season.
- Texans had a scare when drafted offensive tackle Brennan Williams left the 1st practice session to the locker room after he was rolled up on, which required ice and a trip to the training room before practice was over. Williams returned to practice for the second session, but did not participate. He had an MRI between practices which came up negative, which is a positive sign. Gary Kubiak said Williams will not participate in the remainder of mini-camp, but expects him to return when the veterans report for the start of conditioning.
- Nose tackle Chris Jones impressed with some run technique in drills, and held his own in double team drills. He delivers a strong punch when he comes out of his stance and currently looks like he is the penciled in back up nose tackle for the 2013 season.
- Sam Montgomery showed some coverage skills today versus the tight ends in the team session. There has been questions about Montgomery’s ability to play in space, but for the first time he was not that bad. He showed his ability to run with the receiver and be in the right position. He will need to work on ball skills, but the initial trial run was better than expected.
- Drafted tight end Ryan Griffin looked much better in day two of camp. He has a good feel for finding soft spots in the zone and can catch the ball with ease. Griffin started slow trying to catch up to the offense, but it is good to see him take a step in a day to get going in the offense.
- Collin Klein is a streaky player at quarterback and shows some wow moments, but then struggles at times to make his reads. His athletic ability is very good but the game as a quarterback looks a little fast at times for him. Klein works well on the move and made some good passes to running backs down the sideline on the run. When he has to stand in the pocket to make a throw he either checks down to the running back or scrambles to get yards. He lacks zip to fit the ball in tight spaces and on deep passes it hangs in the air too much which allows defensive backs to make plays. It will be interesting to see if he can turn this tryout to a contract for training camp, but it is hard to see the Texans taking five quarterbacks to camp.
- Outside linebacker Willie Jefferson is a new name that has shown up. He looks like a wide receiver, but plays on the edge of the defense. His long strides make it tough for offensive tackles to get a good chance to slow him down. To plays on the outside, Jefferson possesses speed to get to the sideline in a hurry. He is going against other rookies, and when the gets to training camp that is when the real test begins for him.
- Delano Johnson has beefed up to 290 lbs. and moved from outside linebacker to defensive end. Johnson is an athletic and powerful player who showed some of that skill set today. On the practice squad last season, Johnson has been a sleeper for us and has a chance to stick with this team if he can get the position down quickly before camp opens.
- Inside linebacker Evan Frierson showed some good coverage skills versus faster running backs. Frierson is 6-1 and 240 lbs. and has slowly worked himself into standing out from the pack.
- Wide receiver Eze Nwachukwu has impressed us especially with his willingness to go across the middle. He also showed he can go over the top of the defense when needed. At 5-11 199 lbs. he is not as tall as his counterparts, but he has some quick feet and good hands. Where Nwachukwu fits in the Texans plans moving forward is a question, but he has impressed early. ‘
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