April 24, 2014

Texans Training Camp: Day Five

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The Houston Texans conducted their first open practice of training camp for the fans to come watch the team. Over 5,000 fans pack the Methodist Training Center to catch a two-hour practice of the Texans.

 

 

Camp Notes

 

Greg Jones and Tyler Clutts have really gotten into the flow of what the offense is asking from them. Both were clearing the way for running backs and giving linebackers all they wanted today. Both understand how to accelerate into players and finish blocks.  It is hard to realize how big Jones is from a football standpoint. Jones who measures at 6-1 and 268 lbs. as a fullback is impressive, especially the way he moves and catches the ball.

- Outside linebacker Bryan Braman had a day he would like to forget, especially in run defense. He spent the majority of the time peeling himself off of the ground from taking on blocks from fullbacks and offensive lineman. Braman is having trouble at the point of attack and he even missed about three open field tackles today on ball carriers.

Brandon Brooks continues to impress at offensive guard for the Texans. Today during one on one drills he handled J.J. Watt’s pass rush which led to a not too happy Watt after the drill. To cap off an even better day was when Brooks pancaked Tim Dobbins on a run play and laid on him until the play was over. Brooks is coming into his own and blessed with great strength his technique will come along too as he gets more practice time.

Dennis Johnson

Dennis Johnson

- Rookie runningback Dennis Johnson is making a good impression and took the bulk of the carries today during drills behind Ben Tate. Johnson is an elusive back who can make players miss in open field. With his low center of gravity, he can protect himself from big hits. Today he showed some wiggle on a toss play by letting blocks develop and accelerate down the sideline for a touchdown. His stock is rising early for the offense.

- Rookie wide receiver Alec Lemon keeps impressing. Today he made an impressive one-handed catch in the corner of the endzone on a well placed ball from T.J. Yates. This has been two strong days for Lemon in full pads.

- Inside linebacker Cameron Collins put together a solid day and showed some downhill attack needed from the inside linebacker position. Collins was not afraid of contact from the two big fullbacks and met them every time in the hole. Collins has stood out with the depleted inside linebacker group and has put together some solid film for coaches to see.

- Recently signed Daniel Muir gave the offense fits from the nose tackle position in the team portion of practice. Muir is a load at 322 lbs. and showed he can create havoc in the backfield when he plays low. Cody White and Tyler Horn had issues with Muir and keeping him out of the backfield was one of them.

Keshawn Martin

Keshawn Martin

- The catch of the day came from Keshawn Martin on a deep pass from the arm of Case Keenum. The coverage was top notch from Brandon Harris but it was just a better pass and catch that the defense could do nothing about. Both Martin and Keenum have looked sharp during the early part of camp.

- Inside linebacker Brian Cushing took part in 7 on 7 drills today and this was the first action for him in a drill. He has been doing all the individual work with his position group and now he did “some” work in this drill. He didn’t cover. He just went through his steps on certain blitz situations but this was a good sign for Cushing’s comeback to the field.

- Right tackle Derek Newton is taking the right direction to take over the starting tackle position for the 2013 season. Newton is the penciled in starter for the season and has looked good in the early part of camp. His run blocking has gotten much better and he looks much more agile than last season. He looks healthy and early signs are encouraging for the right tackle.

- Rookie Brennan Williams showed some pop in the run game and showed some life today. He is still rough around the edge but it is easy to see why the Texans drafted him where they did. Williams has good athleticism and more impressive is his speed to get to the second level. It still looks like he is also trying to get back into football playing shape but today was a positive step for the rookie.

- Wide receiver Alan Bonner caused all sorts of issues in the middle of the field in the passing game. He has good burst and short area quickness to create mismatches in the middle of the field and the speed to hit big plays. He has shown the rookie mistakes but he can make the impressive plays look easy.

Ez Nwachukwu finally displayed his speed today and finished it off with a catch on a deep ball in 1 on 1 drills. He literally has another gear to get passed defensive backs and he is easily the fastest wide receiver the Texans have on the field. Consistency will be key for Nwachukwu to keep making an impression on his coaches.

- Safety Shiloh Keo has quietly had a good start and he had an interception in 1 on 1 drills where he jumped high to make the play over Ryan Griffin. Keo understands the defense and, not gifted with any outstanding trait, he does exactly what the coaches want him to do.

Johnathan Joseph

Johnathan Joseph

Johnathan Joseph looks healthy and fully recovered from two hernias that slowed him 2012. He intercepted a Matt Schaub pass intended for Andre Johnson on an out route, and he jumped to it like the 2011 version of Joseph. He has been vocal with his teammates and pushing them everyday and he is back to leading by example on the field.

- Not much has been said about Andre Johnson but he is getting his work in and gets the majority of his work done at the beginning of practice. His timing with Schaub looks great and he is working hard with Hopkins in between plays to get him familiar with the offense. There is no question about Johnson’s work ethic but the most impressive thing is him taking Hopkins under his wing.

 

 

You can follow Patrick on Twitter.  He is the Editor of State of the Texans.

 

 

 

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