March 21, 2018

Texans OTAs Day 2 Review: Field Work

The Houston Texans opened day two of OTAs and were able to get on the field after yesterdays rainstorm forces the team inside the bubble. There was plenty of work to be done and once again it was all business for the Texans on Wednesday.


Day Two Review 


Keith Browner (98) and Jared Crick (93)

Keith Browner (98) and Jared Crick (93)

Batted Passes

The first three passes of the day were all knocked down by Texans defensive lineman. J.J. Watt, Jared Crick and Louis Nix III all knocked down passes and set the tone early for the defense. The Texans are back to their old ways of knocking down passes and making it tough for quarterback to find their throwing lanes.


Jared Crick Will Have the First Shot

Jared Crick will be leaned on early at the opposite defensive end of J.J. Watt; he is pushing 285 lbs. for the position. There has been a concerted effort by Crick over the offseason to get quicker with better footwork for this season. It is clear he is moving better while not losing the strength needed to play in the trenches. He should be a big contributor on defense this upcoming season and will have to be a stout two gap playing defensive end.


Ricardo Mathews a Versatile Piece

Ricardo Mathews has shown in two days why he could possibly be a solid free agent signing this offseason. Today while running stunts he does it at a faster pace and can create a push from the middle at 300 lbs. He will be counted on to make things happen in pass situations. He should not to be overlooked heading into training camp.


Alfred Blue Catching On

There was much discussion on why Alfred Blue was the Texans selection in the NFL draft but he is very similar to what Arian Foster is as a running back: a smooth and gliding running back that can catch the football out of the backfield. He is scheme versatile and has shown some good moves in one on one situations with the football.


Garrett Graham

Garrett Graham

The Texans Tight Ends 

This position group is rounding out to one of the most versatile positions on the team. With Garrett Graham, C.J. Fiedorowicz and Ryan Griffin they appear to be set. All three have shown early on how diverse the group is.

Graham has looked solid the first two days of OTAs; he is a blue-collar worker the way Head Coach Bill O’Brien wants his players. He is catching the ball with confidence and is showing that he can help either at tight end or the H-Back role in the offense.

Griffin is turning into a real pass catching threat and he has added some good NFL weight over the offseason. He is a big target in the middle of the field and has already made some tough catches like today when he one-handed a deflected ball in stride on a crossing route. He is still working hard on the fundamentals of blocking but he is taking to what Coach John Perry is teaching him and working hard on the field.

Fiedorowicz is an impressive specimen. Seeing how easy the rookie is making things look is encouraging. He is already a well polished run game blocker and he can deliver a blow with a “pop” when using his hands. He also is an underrated as a pass catcher and does a good job of catching the ball when it is in his vicinity.

There is a good chance that all three will be viable options in the offense and could all be on the field all at one time. The group is turning into one of the strongest on the team.


Justin Tuggle Looking For More 

Inside linebacker Justin Tuggle is another player the Texans seem to have a like on the field. He is a key player for the Texans special teams and was the best team player in 2013. He looks much more comfortable in his role on the inside and has looked good in coverage in pass situations. With a linebacker situation like the Texans currently have Tuggle’s ability to contribute at all four spots will be a positive for him and the team.


A.J. Bouye

A.J. Bouye

A.J. Bouye Stepping Up

Second year corner back A.J. Bouye has been impressive with the way he has picked up where he left off from last season. He has what you want in cornerback: a good feel for routes and more importantly on what to do when the ball is in the air. He is taking advantage of his opportunity when he gets on the field once again and is showing he belongs on this team.


DeAndre Hopkins Working Quietly 

All the attention has been pointed at who has not been at OTAs, but DeAndre Hopkins has been working as hard as anyone. He is still doing what makes him good, catching everything thrown in his direction. The way he plucks the ball out of the air is still as impressive as it what is was his rookie season.  His body frame looks much stronger; he was very lean  as a rookie, but this season his body looks more adapted for NFL level play. Hopkins has made it clear that learning the new offense has not been easy and it is taking more studying than last season to get the offense down.


T.J. Yates More Comfortable in the Offense

There is no about that T.J. Yates is the forgotten quarterback in this situation, but this offense is better suited for him. He has shown that he can make some NFL throws from the pocket and easily has the second best arm strength of the group behind rookie Tom Savage.

Yates looks much more confident on the field and it is showing with his early two days of work at OTAs. Quarterback coach George Godsey has been working hard with the quarterbacks and there is already a difference in his footwork and delivery of the football. There are some over looking Yates at the moment but he could be one to watch with a clean slate under this new coaching staff.


Trevardo Williams

Trevardo Williams

Trevardo Williams is Out of Place

Last year’s draft pick Trevardo Wiliams seems to be an odd fit for the Texans right now. At 6-1 and 236 lbs. Williams is undersized for the outside linebacker position and with what the position is going to asked do, he could have some trouble. Williams is still trying to learn technique, but despite the work he put in over the offseason to get stronger is not showing at the moment.

He will have to work to make this team as a situational pass rusher and special teams player. Outside linebacker at the moment looks like is could be too much to ask from the undersized linebacker.


Max Bullough Cutting Into the Learning Curve Down 

After a slow first day, Bullough looks like he shook the jitters out on day two. Bullough was flying around and despite struggling in coverage looked much better today when asked to do the same thing. If Bullough can understand what Romeo Crennel is asking from the inside linebacker position quickly, he will have a chance to climb up the depth chart and be called on to be more than just a depth player.


Contract Year Motivating Kareem Jackson? 

Entering his final season of his contract with the Texans and Kareem Jackson has looked like a seasoned veteran these two opening days of OTAs. He has picked off more than one pass and has been breaking up passes with ease. He has been talking to the younger players and taken on a leadership role with the secondary which is a good look for Jackson.

He looks much more in tune with what is needed to be an above average cornerback and he has not looked at well-rounded as he has to start OTAs.


Chris Boswell vs. Randy Bullock

This is Randy Bullock‘s job to lose, but today marked the first time we have seen Chris Boswell kick field goals. Boswell has an impressive leg and  the power he puts behind his kicks when his foot strikes the ball it evident. The talent is there for Boswell, He will be a handful for Bullock to hold off in order to keep his job.


Quick Hitters


– Rookie Cornerback Marcus Williams is letting his skill set take over and today he made a nice break on a ball that almost resulted in an interception.

– Wide Receiver Mike Thomas continues to do work and he is becoming that veteran presence for the wide receiver group to lean on.

– Running back Dennis Johnson has continued doing what he did last season. He has shown some good pass catching skills in open space.


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