March 18, 2018

Texans Mandatory Mini-Camp Day One: Shuffling the Deck

Once again, another busy day was wrapped up with Head Coach Bill O’Brien naming his starting quarterback and news coming out that the quarterback group was reduced to three. The absence of Andre Johnson was the topic of discussion but the team is moving on without him at the moment.


Here are some notes from the first day of Mandatory Mini-Camp.


Mandatory Mini-Camp Day One

Jadeveon Clowney Present

Outside Linebacker Jadeveon Clowney returned to Houston after undergoing surgery to repair a sport hernia. Clowney was walking gingerly but took in the entire practice with his position group and the defense. He was actively talking with teammates and position coach Mike Vrabel during practice about particulars of plays on the field.

O’Brien expects Clowney to be ready for the opening of training camp.



Xavier Su’a-Filo

Xavier Su’a-Filo Returns to Houston 

Rookie guard Xavier Su’a-Filo arrived to Houston, signed his rookie deal and was back on the practice field for the first time since Rookie Mini-Camp. He was working on the field and looked like he had a good grasp of what the offense was asking from their lineman. Working at left guard, Su’a-Filo will be heading to training camp trying to unseat Ben Jones for the position.

Su’a-Filo was at UCLA finishing up the last quarter of the school year and had an iPad with him with the playbook and practice film from the Texans. He pointed out that any questions he had regarding the playbook he would call offensive line Coach Paul Dunn who would clear up any issues.


Ryan Fitzpatrick Takes the Bulk of the Snaps

During practice, Ryan Fitzpatrick took the majority of the snaps and Head Coach Bill O’Brien made it clear why this was when he named him the starting quarterback for the upcoming season. He looked much better when it came to commanding the team today and was efficient when the Texans worked in the red area. He was making quick decisions to his receivers and getting the ball in the end zone.

He has looked more and more comfortable with the offense over the past month and being named the starter prior to practice looks like it made a big difference in his confidence.


DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins Stepping Into a New Role

Wide Receiver DeAndre Hopkins has turned into a go to player for the Texans with Andre Johnson currently not attending practices. He has been connecting with Fitzpatrick on the field and building confidence as a target offensively. He has been steady catching the football and been working quietly in the shadows of the offense. Hopkins is one of the few wide receivers that knows he will be in the starting lineup when the season opens and he has been a constant in the receiver group the past month.


Jonathan Grimes Pushing to Crack the Top Three

If there is a real threat to make any noise to crack the top three running backs, look no further than Jonathan Grimes. Grimes’ value comes in the fact he proved he can run and catch the football at the NFL level and most importantly play special teams with a purpose. He has fit in well with this new offense which features more of the things he does well, especially catching the football.

With a team that is looking to maximize every roster spot, Grimes’ versatility could be something not to overlook. Today he showed he can get vertical against linebackers and he made a leaping catch in the back of the end zone that showed some athleticism that has not been seen before from him.


Max Bullough Catching On

The slow rise of rookie inside linebacker Max Bullough has been interesting to watch. Like all rookies, the speed of the game seems to be the one thing that takes the biggest adjustment and it was evident early on that it was too fast for Bullough. With the majority of the work being done through the air with no pads, Bullough has improved his coverage game much better than he showed from day one at rookie mini-camp.

Bullough is showing he is retaining what is being coached and he has shown he can improve in areas of need. He forced a fumble on one of the Texans tight ends after a reception which got the defense excited, and plays like that keep the coaches aware of his on field improvement.


Tim Jackson

Tim Jackson

Signing a New One

The Texans signed free agent rookie Tim Jackson who will be helping out on the defensive line during training camp. At 6-4 290 lbs., Jackson fits into the type of personnel the team wants at defensive end and he signed his contract prior to starting his first day with the Texans today at mini camp.


T.J. Yates Released

It came as a little surprise to see the Texans release quarterback T.J. Yates after practice to leave the roster with three quarterbacks under contract. Yates was looking solid to this point, but it was not enough to keep O’Brien happy concerning the position. Yates was entering his last year of his rookie deal and this move will leave the quarterback to find a new team. He will be placed on waivers which gives another team a chance to claim him and if not he will get a chance to find a team that will give him an opportunity to make a 53 man roster.


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