Texans’ Mini-Camp: Culture Shock

Posted by Patrick D. Starr+ on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 · 2 Comments
Bill O’Brien

The 2014 Houston Texans hit the field for the first time under Head Coach Bill O’Brien in their first voluntary mini camp. There has been a considerable change in the culture with the Texans and it started today when the Texans hit the field on Tuesday.

Here are some notes from day one.

Voluntary Mini-Camp Day One

– It was Bill O’Brien‘s first day on the field with his new team and they hit the ground running. There was a hands on approach from O’Brien as he walked around to position groups and coached them along with the position coaches. O’Brien had plenty of new gadgets on the field for his team, that were not there from previous seasons. He was in the middle of stretching talking to players and making his presence felt on day one. He has introduced a new pace to practice which involved little standing around.

– Linebackers coach Mike Vrabel is a breath of fresh air and coached outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus the most we have seen him coached the past two seasons. Vrabel just like O’Brien has a hands on approach and his energy is evident with his actions on the field. If first impressions are important, Vrable made a big one today.

– Romeo Crennel is an interesting sight on the field. Full of smiles and shook hands with anyone and everyone he saw, but when practice started he was full speed ahead. Running the defense with his coaching staff like busy bees around him, Crennel was calling out numbers of players who messed up on a particular drill. Then in the next breath was quick to praise players for a good job on the field.
Kendrick Lewis

Kendrick Lewis

– All of the new free agents signed were at practice. Chris Clemons, Kendrick Lewis, Zach Potter, Paul Hazel, Ricardo Matthews, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jerrell Powe were just an indication on how much has changed in less than a year.

– Injured rookies from the 2013 season Alan Bonner and David Quessenberry were a full practice today. Both looked focused early to make a difference, and Bonner picked up from last training camp. Bonner was catching everything in his vicinity and started the young football season with a quality day.

– New tight end Zach Potter comes in at 6-7 and 269 lbs. and he is a big target at the position. Right now working with Garrett Graham and Ryan Griffin, Potter will be an interesting to watch. He looks like an offensive tackle with his height, but his movement skills do not make him look too big for the tight end position.

– Newly acquired safety Kendrick Lewis was a plug and play in the secondary and instantly made calls and helped line up players. Lewis who played for Crennel in Kansas City, looks much healthier than he did at Kansas City last season and was moving with ease.
Arian Foster during warmups.

Arian Foster during warmups.

– It’s early but running back Arian Foster looked very fluid despite having back surgery in 2013 that ended his season early. From the first time we saw in 2013, Foster still looked cumbersome from his high usage from the 2012 season. Early indications look like Foster is healthy for the first time in a long time for the Texans. He appears to have his burst back that he lacked the past two seasons.

-Ryan Fitzpatrick, T.J. Yates and Case Keenum dove into the new offense under O’Brien. Quarterbacks coach George Godsey was pushing the three quarterbacks to make all the throws, and the timing was off as expected. It is easy to see that Fitzpatrick is ahead of the curve when it comes to Yates and Keenum, especially in overall arm strength and accuracy.

-Andre Johnson was absent from the first day of minicamp, but there should be no real reason for concern for it.

– Side note: The Texans have changed the offense to blue practice tops and the defense to white. Also the quarterback are in red jerseys.

Quote of the Day

(Bill O’Brien on if he has a timetable for Brian Cushing) “No.”

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

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Filed under 2014 NFL Season, Houston Texans · Tagged with 2014, Alan Bonner, Bill O’Brien, Chris Clemons, David Quessenberry, Houston Texans, Jerrell Powe, Kendrick Lewis, Mike Vrabel, Mini Camp, Pual Hazel, Ricardo Matthews, Romeo Crennel, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Whitney Mercilus, Zach Potter

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