March 22, 2018

Texans OTAs Day 10: Texans Wrap Up OTAs

The Houston Texans ended their OTAs schedule today and it came with plenty of news concerning the team.  The team is heading into Mandatory Mini-Camp next week and it will be an extension of what the Texans have been doing during OTAs.

The Texans are working to get all three phases installed before the extended break happens before training camp kicks off.

Here is the Day 10 wrap up.


OTAs Day 10

Bill O’Brien Has Derek Newton’s Back

Many thought the right tackle position was open for competition but Bill O’Brien put that all to rest today on the last day of OTAs. He called Derek Newton his starting right tackle for the upcoming season. O’Brien said,

 “Derek Newton is our starting right tackle. He’s had a good offseason.”

This comes as a disappointment for some but O’Brien is only worried about how Newton has looked in his offensive system. Anything concerning personnel that happened prior to O’Brien arriving in Houston means very little to the new staff. Newton has lost at least 10 to 15 pounds this past offseason and is clearly healthy and recovered from a knee injury that slowed him during the 2013 season.


J.J. Watt Out 

It came as a little surprise but J.J. Watt was held out of the last day of OTAs with a hyperextended knee. Watt took a tough spill on Thursday but despite the knee issue he finished the practice with no real issues. This was a precautionary measure by the Texans and O’Brien said it was nothing “serious at all.”



Shane Lechler

Shane Lechler

Shane Lechler and the Coffin Corner

Shane Lechler was not asked last season to coffin corner punts like he will be called upon to do this year. Lechler was showing his Hall of Fame pedigree today when he placed at least three punts out-of-bounds inside the 10 yard line.

He makes it look easy and he literally has the ability to make the football dance in the air. He can kick it in the normal spiral for distance and height, a knuckle ball to create a tough punt to catch and another spin to make the ball die when it hits the grass.

We know punters are not appreciated the majority of the time, but Lechler shows every day why he is one of the best to ever do it.


Randy Bullock and Chris Boswell Start Kicking

For the first time, Randy Bullock and rookie Chris Boswell showed off their leg strength on kickoffs today. At the moment, Bullock is much better than Boswell with the kickoff and he can drive the ball for distance and height. Boswell has the leg strength but getting the ball to hang in the air is no where close to what Bullock is able to do.

There was talk of Boswell possibly pushing Bullock for the kicker position when the season opens, but right now it is not even close. Boswell has time to make up ground but the clock is ticking on him to get the job done.


Garrett Graham

Garrett Graham

Garrett Graham Growing in the Offense

The veteran tight end Garrett Graham will be one to watch on how the Texans use him on offense. The move tight end of the Texans will be used to create mismatches and give them the flexibility to be a passing or running offense with him on the field. Graham is confident in what he is being asked to do in the offense and it starts with him catching passes in voids of the defense.

O’Brien is a big fan of Graham’s work ethic and he fits the blue-collar mentality the team is starting to display. Graham showed today that he is one of the most reliable pass catchers that the offense has right now. During the entire OTAs, Graham has been catching everything in his vicinity and developing a nice on field relationship with Ryan Fitzpatrick. 


Ben Jones Looks Better at Center

Third year offensive lineman Ben Jones has been working at left guard all OTAs with Xavier Su’a-Filo still at UCLA finishing up classes. Jones got his chance at center today and looked comfortable with what he was asked to do. He will be the Texans interior player to back up all three spots for the offensive line, and a good insurance plan for the season.

Jones took control of the situation today and was calling out protections and linebackers as if he has done it before in this offense. Seeing Jones able to handle a second position with no busts or real issues is a positive sign for an offensive line looking for depth.



Arian Foster

Arian Foster

Arian Foster is All In

The questions about the commitment of running back Arian Foster should and can be put to rest. Foster has been dialed in with the offense and looks much more invested in what is being asked of him. The effort of the offense will be getting Foster back to what makes him successful, running and catching the football.

Foster is talking to his running back coach Charles London after every play and series the Texans run. He is buying in to what Bill O’Brien is selling and seeing him look like the Foster the city appreciated is a good thing for the Texans. A rejuvenated and focused Foster has been something to watch during OTAs and he is looking like the Foster that can carry an offense when needed.


Xavier Su’a-Filo Has an iPad with him at UCLA

Bill O’Brien said they plan on throwing Xavier Su’a-Filo into the mix when he arrives from UCLA where he is finishing up his time at school. Su’a-Filo has an iPad from the team and is keeping up with the offense with film and his playbook.

The Texans knew what came with drafting Su’a-Filo and that he had to return to school at UCLA, according to NFL rules. Expectations are that Su’a-Filo will be the starting left guard at some point this season for the Texans.




%d bloggers like this: