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Training Camp/ Preseason Fodder Thread

Discussion in 'Houston Texans' started by Fantasma Negro, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. Fantasma Negro

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    Location: Methodist Training Center; Houston

    Camp opens: Rookies, July 26; veterans, July 31

    Joint practice: vs. Redskins - Thursday, Aug. 6-8 at Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.

    Houston Texans training camp is closing in fast so here is the ultimate player’s guide to get prepared for training camp. All 89 players on the roster are broken down in position groups and discussed in their player cards on their potential roles heading into training camp.

    Quarterbacks:

    Brian Hoyer
    There will be plenty of critics on the addition of Hoyer to the Texans but he is an upgrade over last year's starter, Ryan Fitzpatrick. His knowledge of the system is evident in the way he has worked early with the team during the spring. He has the quickest release of the group and the best mobility. One part of Hoyer's game that is overlooked is his touch on the deep passes and hitting receivers in stride, but throws outside the numbers are a concern. He can get erratic with his passes but being back in familiar territory with O'Brien could get him comfortable in a hurry. If Hoyer continues to build off his good spring, he could be named the starter early for the Texans. Outlook: Possible Week One Starter

    Ryan Mallet
    The fan favorite, Mallett, has a chance to take the reigns over as the starter for the Texans if he comes out strong to start camp. That the quarterback competition is dragging out to the start of camp works in favor of Mallett, giving him a fair shake to be seen when the pads get put on. Blessed with a strong arm, Mallett can make all the throws on the field and, with his natural pace on the football, he makes it tough for defensive backs to get their hands on the ball. Mallett's issues start with his footwork and when he gets lazy, his passes become inaccurate and can slow the offense in a hurry. However, when he is firing on all cylinders, he has proven he can move the offense in a hurry. The pressure is on Mallett to make the jump at the start of camp to prove he is the man for the job. Outlook: Possible Week One Starter

    Tom Savage
    Year one to year two is typically the biggest jump for young quarterbacks and the same applies for Savage. There is no doubt he is more confident with calls on the field that demonstrate recognition of coverages. Becoming a more vocal leader, his confidence can be seen in the huddle but throwing the football is a work in progress. Savage's reps on the field will shrink as the quarterback competition continues but the jump to year two looks like a positive one. Outlook: 53-Man Roster

    Running Backs

    Arian Foster
    Not enough is said how talented Foster is or how much he means to the well-being of the Texans offense. Coming off a solid season, Foster was used as a dual threat on the ground and in the passing game. Posting his best numbers since 2012, his use in the passing game was a positive. The offense will only be as good as Foster is and when he is on the field, the offense is able to keep opposing defenses honest. Outlook: Week One Starter

    Alfred Blue
    Penciled in as the Texans number two running back, Blue looks much more adapted to the NFL game this preseason. His offseason paid dividends and his body looks much different that it did last season. Blue is going to have to develop patience running the ball and improve his vision, but his potential for a three-down back in the future is there. Blue is also valuable for his ability to help on special teams, which fits what O’Brien wants from his players. Outlook: Texans #2 Running Back

    Kenny Hilliard
    The final selection of the Texans in the 2015 NFL Draft, Hilliard was watched closely during the entire draft process. O’Brien feels Hilliard is a first and second down running back who can help on special teams. When pads go on, Hilliard will have to prove that he can run the ball with authority and give the Texans an added dimension on offense. Running north and south is Hilliard’s strength and that is exactly what the Texans want to see from the rookie. Outlook: Fringe 53-Man Roster (possible practice squad)

    Jonathan Grimes
    One of the holdovers from the Kubiak regime, Grimes is one of the glue players of the Texans roster. A spot carry running back that produces on special teams goes a long way in the NFL. Grimes understands the offense and has some talent running the ball with a good instinct on where to go in traffic. A plus receiver out of the backfield, Grimes does plenty well for his skill set. Outlook: 53-Man Roster

    Chris Polk
    Added to the Texans late in free agency, Polk's best shot to make the Texans is to win the kick return job and prove he can be a special teams contributor in the coverage game. Polk will be used sparingly in the run game, especially with three returning running backs from the 2014 roster. He will be used in camp and preseason, but mainly to preserve Arian Foster and Alfred Blue for the season. Outlook: Win the Kick Return Job or Bust.

    Fullback

    Jay Prosch
    The only fullback on the roster, Prosch dealt with a hand issue all of last season after breaking a bone in his left hand which required surgery. Playing the majority of last season with a cast took away from how well Prosch could lead block. According to Prosch, he did not feel like himself until late in the season but things are looking up in year two. Fullbacks are dying breed and getting him to step up more in year two as the lead blocker will be a plus for the offense, especially in short yardage situations. Outlook: Week One Starter

    Wide Receiver

    DeAndre Hopkins
    The reason the Texans drafted Hopkins in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft was to be the bridge to the time when Andre Johnson's was no longer playing in Houston. That time is now and Hopkins has a chance to build off of a strong 2014 campaign, becoming the go to target in the passing game. Hopkins is coming off of off-season wrist surgery which held him out all of the spring practice sessions. Outlook: Week One Starter

    Jaelen Strong
    Considered one of the best value selections for the 2015 NFL Draft, Strong will not be rushed this season. Getting off to a rough start in his short time with Houston, Strong has had some issues with conditioning, weighing close to 231 lbs. early on. Now at 211 lbs., Strong will be in a better spot to compete for playing time in 2015. More of an outside receiver for the offense, he will have to spell Hopkins and Washington for rookie playing time. Any time on the field that Strong gets will have to be earned and he will additionally need to prove he can handle the complexity of the offense. Outlook: 53-Man Roster

    Cecil Shorts
    Brought in via free agency to help boost wide receiver depth, Shorts looks to be the penciled in starter at slot wide receiver. His talent was never the issue in his four seasons with Jacksonville; his health and numerous drops were. Shorts will be relied upon to bring his big play capability to the offense and help open up the middle of the field. Expect Shorts to contribute on the outside and help with punt return duties. Outlook: Week One Starter

    Nate Washington
    Possibly one of the best free agent value signings for the Texans this off-season, Washington is a perfect compliment opposite of DeAndre Hopkins. He has the ability to stretch the field and has been one of the better deep ball targets over recent seasons. Add in his durability to the equation and Washington will see plenty of time in 2015 in the passing game. Outlook: Week One Starter

    Damaris Johnson
    Brought back on a one-year deal, things have changed for Johnson in less than a year. After being claimed off waivers the week before last season's opener, he was instantly plugged into the starting lineup. Johnson has the best speed of the receiving group but his hands were suspect all season. His light frame led to being easily brought down but if he can get free, he can be dangerous, which was evident in his touchdown against the New York Giants last season. Competition is what O'Brien wants in camp and Johnson must be able to step up as both a returner and slot receiver. Outlook: On the Bubble

    Keshawn Martin
    In the final season of his rookie contract, Martin's three years with the Texans have progressively gone south since he was a rookie. One of the top punt returners in the NFL his rookie season, his production as a returner has been plagued with fumbles in 2013 and fair catches in 2014. As a receiver, he has had trouble getting consistent snaps on the field. Last season, he was bypassed as the slot wide receiver for a receiver claimed off waivers. He helps at inside and outside receiver and both return positions but does not stand out in any of those duties. Outlook: On the Bubble (with the clock ticking)

    Alan Bonner
    Bonner's first two seasons ended before they began: 2013 was cut short with a hamstring injury during camp and in 2014, his playing time ended on the first day of camp with a broken foot. Bonner has all the ability to make an NFL team but that has been the least of his concerns given his difficulty staying healthy. Bonner can return kicks and help out at wide receiver, but time is passing him by given he has not played in an NFL game since being drafted in 2013. Bonner needs to find a way to stay on the field to even get a chance to prove he belongs somewhere on the team. Outlook: Clock is Ticking

    Uzoma "EZ" Nwachuckwu
    Spending two seasons on the practice squad has helped Nwachukwu with his strength and speed as he develops into a polished wide receiver. His straight line speed is good enough to run by defenders but his biggest issue has been catching the ball consistently and playing naturally when there are defenders on the field. Entering his third season with the Texans, it feels like a make or break year for Nwachukwu. Outlook: Clock is Ticking.

    Travis Labhart
    The camp favorite of 2014, Labhart has arrived to 2015 bigger, stronger, and more confident than last season. Labhart is praised for his work ethic and numerous team personnel have talked about the work he put in after the 2014 season was over. Weight room time, film sessions, and work on the field were all on the schedule well before spring practices opened up. He is a true slot wide receiver with some return capabilities, but Labhart will have to produce an outstanding camp to stick on the roster. Camp Outlook: Practice Squad (with call-up potential late in the season)

    Keith Mumphery
    Not much was known about the rookie out of Michigan State, but Mumphery impressed with his strong spring practice sessions on the field. He has the ability to play both inside and outside receiver and the potential to help in the return game. Mumphery has one of the best opportunities to see a good amount of playing time his rookie season with the way he came in and picked up the offense, working against veteran competition. Outlook: 53-man Roster (key rotational piece)

    Chandler Worthy
    The rookie out of Troy State will win some over with his speed and big play capabilities. Worthy can get in and out of routes with ease and his acceleration is good enough to create separation. He will have to prove, with his small frame, that he can handle the physical play of NFL defensive backs. Also, Worthy has to show he can catch the ball at a better rate than he did during OTAs and mini-camp. The talent is there, now he needs to make it translate to the field during camp. Outlook: Practice Squad

    Jace Davis
    After spending the 2014 season on the practice squad, Davis comes in knowing the system. With decent speed and route running ability, Davis was plagued with drops during the spring practices. Given the Texans' fully staffed receiving corps, Davis is a long shot to make it to the final 53-man roster. Outlook: Clock is Ticking

    Tight Ends

    Garrett Graham
    2014 was a disappointing season for the veteran but all is not lost for the best hands of the tight end group. Considered the move tight end (H-Back), Graham worked well with Ryan Mallett last season during his two starts. In that two game stretch, Graham showed he can still help in the passing game. His season was cut short with a high ankle sprain but all is well going into the 2015 season. Don’t count out Graham in being a safety net for either quarterback this year. Outlook: Starting Tight End (H-Back)

    Ryan Griffin
    Griffin came on late last season, especially after Garrett Graham went down with an ankle issue. Griffin has the ability to help in the passing game and, in addition to his late season success last year, he has looked strong during OTAs. Catching the ball with more confidence and entering year two with O’Brien’s offense, there is a sense of comfort now for the tight end. He has the frame to help out at the H-Back or Y positions for the Texans. Outlook: 53-Man Roster, Used in Tight End Rotation

    C.J. Fiedorowicz
    It was a rough rookie season for Fiedorowicz that saw him only get a handful of passing targets and struggling at times run blocking. Even Fiedorowicz felt like the game did not slow down for him until late in the season. Despite having a procedure performed on his knee over the off-season, he is much more in tune with the NFL life coming into 2015. During the spring sessions, Fiedorowicz was moving much better in routes and his work developing his catching ability over the offseason was evident. Outlook: Week One Starter at the Y

    Anthony Denham
    A talented football player, Denham arrived to the Texans last season as unpolished college tight end. Mainly used in the receiving department for Utah, Denham has had to reshape his game and understand the nuances of the position. His pass catching ability is not the question but getting him up to par to block at the NFL level has been one of Denham’s biggest hurdles. Spending the latter part of the season on the practice squad, Denham was hardly used. Outlook: Fringe 53-Man Roster or Practice squad

    Khari Lee
    A raw prospect out of Bowie State, the Texans found an athletic and rangy player. The jump for Lee learning the system has been something that slowed him during spring sessions. Lee has a good catch radius and more than enough size to create mismatches on the field. Outlook: Possible Practice Squad but a Long Shot

    Michael McFarland
    Despite not being used much in the passing game at USF, McFarland checks all of the boxes the coaches look for in their tight ends: athletic, fast, and strong, which is comparable to his fellow tight ends. The Texans are building a mold for the position and McFarland has to show that the struggles he experienced in the spring don’t carry over to training camp. Running crisp routes was an issue for McFarland and getting the little things on the field straighten out will help him in the long run. Outlook: : Possible Practice Squad but a Long Shot

    Offensive Lineman

    Xavier Su'a-Filo
    The second round choice from 2014, Xavier Su’a-Filo is set to be the starter at left guard. Last year did not go as planned for Su’a-Filo and many times, he looked overmatched in pass protection. It could have been from the late start getting to the team (due to school obligations) and an offensive line coach who was fired after one season. His run blocking was a highlight of his season and Su'a-Filo looked better than average when he had the chance to move defenders out of the way. Now the set starter at left guard, he will have to prove the Texans made the right choice early in last year’s draft selecting him. Outlook: Starter at Left Guard

    Derek Newton
    His rise to becoming one of the better right tackles in the NFL started late in the 2013 season and came together in 2014, landing Newton a new contract to stay in Houston for the foreseeable future. Newton has reshaped his body over recent years and continued that trend coming into spring practices in even better shape that he was in last season. His pass protection was impressive and when teaming with Brandon Brooks off the right side of the line, holes were cleared with ease. Now Newton will have to prove last season was no fluke and that he can maintain his growth as a player. Outlook: Starting Right Tackle

    Ben Jones
    Jones returns to the position that made him one of the best college centers in the game coming out of Georgia. In the final year of his rookie contract, Jones enters the most important of his career. With the exit of Chris Myers, it is Jones' responsiblity to pick up the slack. With more weight warranted at the position and tighter room to work, Jones is a more ideal fit for the position. His fellow line-mates acknowledge how smart he is when making calls at the line of scrimmage, which shows his high IQ for the game. Jones will be a key for the offensive success for the Texans in 2015. Outlook: Week One Starter

    Duane Brown
    Now in his eighth season and the model of consistency for the Texans at left tackle, Brown will continue the legacy that he has built. Brown struggled with a comfortable playing weight over the past few seasons which created some anchoring issues in pass blocking, but it seems he has that situation figured out. Now the “old head” of the offensive line group, his leadership will be depended upon to lead the way. Brown is a dependable piece for the offense and, while often overlooked, his value is high and critical to the success of the Texans offense. Outlook: Starting Left Tackle

    Brandon Brooks
    Talent is not an issue for Brooks and putting together back-to-back productive seasons has him set for a big payday in the final year of his rookie contract. Slowed by a back issue during camp that carried over into the regular season and affected his conditioning, when Brooks is fully healthy, he is a guard who can dominate his opponent in the trenches. When teamed with Derek Newton on the right side of the line, the duo are one of the best combos in the league. Outlook: Starting Right Guard

    David Quessenberry
    It is amazing to see how Quesseneberry has made his way back from lymphoma over a year ago. Going through his treatments, Quessenberry eventually made his way back to the Texans facility and while his long term goal is to get back on the field with his teammates, heading into the break he had not yet been cleared for football activities. Back in the weight room, Quessenberry has pushed his weight up to 280 lbs. but his playing weight is around 310 lbs. The football field could still be some time away at this point. Outlook: Wait and See

    James Ferentz
    Don’t judge a book by it’s cover is the cliche most applicable to Ferentz. His frame does not look like a typical offensive lineman at 6'2"", 285 lbs., but he is a technician despite his size. Spending his entire rookie season on the practice squad, “Brick” has earned respect from his teammates. There is not much Ferentz will turn down on the field. He will lock up with bigger defensive lineman and do whatever it takes to get the job done. He will get the primary work as the backup center during training camp. Outlook: Fringe 53-man Roster (or practice squad)

    Will Yeatman
    Yeatman has starter potential which was derailed with an ACL injury prior to signing with the Texans last offseason. His playing time was cut short during training camp due to a concussion and while Yeatman has the versatility to play both guard and tackle, getting him out of camp healthy is priority number one. Having him healthy he add be a key depth player for the offensive line and help shape the roster as one an important backup. Outlook: 53-Man Roster

    Cody White
    After suffering a torn achilles on the first day of training camp, White spent all of the 2014 season rehabbing his injury. During his rookie season,n the Texans had to pull him off the practice squad to keep from the Carolina Panthers from claiming him. His value is in his ability to play both center and guard, which is key to the depth of the line. White will have to prove he is 100% back from his injury because he is one of the quickest lineman of the group. Depth is the key and if White can put together a good camp, he can help in more spots than most. Outlook: 53-Man roster

    Aaron Adams
    The Texans have been searching for offensive line depth since the break started and they recently signed Adams, who tore his ACL/MCL during the 2014 preseason with the Green Bay Packers. Now he will be added to the offensive tackle depth chart which, more than likely, will require one of the offensive tackles to be moved inside to guard. Outlook: Trying to Extend His NFL Career

    Jeff Adams
    Don’t forget the name Jeff Adams. He will be the swing tackle for the Texans in 2015 and he came in at the expense of the %%MATCH_34%% who cut him loose in 2014. Last season was a learning experience for him with little playing time but this year, the team will depend on Adams first off the bench if one of the tackles go down. The upside is there and he will get plenty of work during the preseason to get reps and ensure he is prepared for the regular season. Outlook: 53-Man Roster (Swing Tackle)

    Kendall Lamm
    Another rookie free agent the Texans added this off-season out of Appalachian State, Lamm will have to find his spot to get enough reps on the field. Lamm will have to impress early but with the season fast approaching, time will be limited during camp and preseason games. Outlook: Trying to Extend His NFL Career

    Greg Mancz
    Mancz was one of the priority free agents the Texans signed after the draft despite a shoulder injury he suffered after the collegiate season. He was considered a draftable prospect coming out of Toledo and the Texans took a chance on the center. Sidelined all of OTAs and mini-camp, Mancz worked on getting healthy for training camp. Where he is at healthwise is yet to be seen but he is an intriguing player. Outlook: If Healthy, Fringe 53-Man Roster or Practice Squad

    Chad Slade
    The rookie from Auburn will be one to watch, especially with the lack of real depth on the interior of the offensive line. A four-year starter at Auburn, Slade picked up plenty of experience in the SEC during his career. With Auburn's propensity to run the football, Slade could be a perfect fit with his experience. He will have a chance to prove he belongs and should not be overlooked when camp arrives. Outlook: Practice Squad (possibly more if everything falls his way)

    Matt Feiler
    The mammoth of a man that is Matt Feiler has the Texans wanting to see if he can put that size to good use in the NFL. The offensive tackle is a developmental player who spent all of last season on the Texans practice squad. He has to improve his quickness on the field and handle NFL pass rushers. Overcoming those issues is key to success in his NFL career. Outlook: Practice Squad

    Joseph Treadwell
    Invited to rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis, Treadwell came out of the three-day camp to be offered a contract after a strong performance. Treadwell will work primarily at offensive tackle but, like many free agent rookies breaking into the rotation for camp, reps are the most important thing. Treadwell has work to do when training camp arrives. Outlook: Trying to Extend His NFL Career

    Bryan Witzman
    A holdover from last year, Witzmann went down with an arm injury so the Texans stashed him on the injured reserve. Back in 2014, Witzmann was a developmental player to whom the Texans will give a chance to work in live action during camp and preseason. If Witzmann can show some potential, that will open the door for him to find a spot on the team. The Texans value offensive tackles and Witzmann has the frame and skill set to succeed. Outlook: Practice Squad

    Defensive Line

    Justin James Watt
    The defense runs off of Watt’s intensity and this will continue into the 2015 season and beyond. How he builds on his Defensive Player of the Year season from last year is quite astounding to consider. Watt will continues to work on his game and strives to improve in every area possible. His work habits are contagious and the younger players are trying to workout with him as much as they can. Keeping Watt healthy through camp is priority number one for the Texans. Expect him to see limited action during the preseason. Outlook: Starter at Defensive End

    Vince Wilfork
    Wilfork's presence on the field would be a positive for any team and his size is something to see in person. Set to play at nose tackle, he has the ability to be more than a two down player. Wilfork can play in sub packages on defense and provide some pass rush up the middle. With his big body blocking ahead of them, linebackers will be able to easily roam around and make plays. The addition of Wilfork brings a true leader to the Texans locker room. He could possibly be the best free agent signing of 2015. Outlook: Starting Nose Tackle

    Jared Crick
    With a breakout season in 2014, Jared Crick showed he can be a three-down player for the defense. Now entering a contact year, plenty is at stake for defensive end in 2015. While he tends to be overshadowed by the defensive line mates who play next to him, his value should not be overlooked. Crick is a model for what 3-4 defensive ends should be, especially 2-gapping in the run game. Gradually working on his pass rushing skills, Crick has developed into a complete player for the Texans. Outlook: Starter at Defensive End

    Louis Nix
    Nix struggled his rookie season, dealing with a knee injury from his time at Notre Dame which later required another surgery to clean it up prior to Texans training camp. Nix played sparingly during the preseason and was on the active roster before being placed on the injured reserve with an arm injury. Speculation in 2014 that coaches were frustrated with Nix's weight issues also existed, but this is a new year. He arrived to spring practices in good shape and did not miss a day on the field. Even O’Brien showed some appreciation for the way Nix came into the 2015 offseason. Nix is the future of the nose tackle position, he just needed some time to get acclimated to NFL life. Outlook: 53-Man Roster

    Jeoffery Pagan
    When his snaps increased late last season Pagan, put together a strong look defensively. A stout 3-4 defensive end, Pagan looks at home in the Romeo Crennel defensive system, which is similar to what was run at Alabama. He will be a key piece of the defensive line rotation and has the frame to help in short yardage situations. Outlook: 53-Man Roster

    Brandon Deaderick
    A veteran presence with some background in the Patriots Way, Deaderick comes to the Texans as a competitor on the defensive line. Deaderick was limited after he arrived during OTAs despite some real NFL experience. He should be a full go for training camp and how the Texans use him is yet to be seen. More of an insurance policy for camp, Deaderick understands the business of the NFL and why he is here in Houston. Outlook: Trying to Extend His NFL Career

    Christian Covington
    The Canadian Rice university product will be a fun player to watch, especially once the pads get strapped on. Covington is all business when he touches the field and will fit nicely into the defensive line rotation. He will look to lock down the sub-package pass rushing defensive lineman spot as the season approaches. Fully healed from his knee issue from college, Covington can be part of the Texans tradition of finding injured prospects late in the draft (Crick and Pagan) and developing them into solid players. Outlook: 53-Man Roster

    Cameron McLeod
    Another plugger at the defensive end position, McLeod faces much stiffer competition in the NFL than he did at Ohio and will have to make a considerable jump to stay with the organization. Reps will be scarce for McLeod and he will have to make every opportunity on the field count. Outlook: Practice Squad or Bust

    Tevita Finua
    Signed to a reserve/futures contract at the conclusion of last season, Finau brings an edge to the defensive line. Although pads were not on during OTAs and mini-camp, he was active on the field during sessions. Finau will have to show more in pads since there are still questions on what he can bring to the team. Outlook: Trying to Extend His NFL Career

    Dan Pettinato
    A rookie defensive end from Arizona, Pettinato is a plugger at his position. He will have to make his mark during individual and group drills to get his chance on the field. With the depth the team currently has at defensive end, Pettinato has the cards stacked against him. Outlook: Practice Squad or Bust

    Jasper Coleman
    Added late during OTAs, Coleman had to play catch up when he arrived and had little time during the spring to work on the field. Coleman has to hit the ground running when camp arrives. Outlook: Fighting to Extend His NFL Career

    Outside Linebacker

    Jadeveon Clowney
    The question mark of the defense, Clowney will return for 2015 after microfracture surgery on his knee that ended his season early last year. The Texans medical staff has used state of the art rehab techniques to get Clowney full recovered. With him working all off-season, the weight room has added some extra bulk to his frame and getting him eased back onto the field will be a positive. Clowney has done some field-work but nothing football-related with his teammates so seeing where he is when training camp arrives will be one of the bigger stories of the preseason. Outlook: 53-Man roster (eased back into the lineup)

    Whitney Mercilus
    Fresh off of a new extension, Mercilus rounded out his game last year, becoming efficient in defending the run. However, his pass rush opportunities took a slight dip due to him needing to be more than just a pass rush specialist. Focused during the spring, Mercilus’ confidence is clear and staying the course is his main goal. The team will depend on him to be a three down edge player in all defensive sets and seeing a spike in his pass rush would be a boost for the defense. Outlook: Starter at Outside Linebacker

    John Simon
    Simon is the poster child of what the Texans are made of: good teammate, hard worker, solid football player. The Texans reunited Simon with his former coach from college, Mike Vrabel, when they claimed him off the Ravens practice squad. Instantly inserted into the lineup, Simon did not disappoint when he touched the field and won his team over with his hard-nosed play. Now Simon is in position to see increased snaps on the field and with improved technique, added with his overall strength. Expectations have risen this year. Outlook: 53-Man Roster; Rotational Starter

    Jason Ankarah
    In and out of the roster as a rookie, Ankrah made the conversion from college defensive end to outside linebacker in less than a year. Ankrah is still learning the position but he definitely looks the part of outside linebacker. He is in the thick of things for a roster spot but he will need to show he has improved in all areas of his game. Outlook: Fringe 53-Man (possible practice squad)

    Lynden Trail
    One of the most intriguing prospects to come out of this year's NFL Draft, questions arose if Lynden Trail was a safety, defensive end, outside linebacker, or tight end. The Texans saw Trail as an outside linebacker and playing that position affords him his best chance to make the team. Trail covers plenty of ground in coverage and is athletic for his size but will have to show his physicality and that he can handle the rigors of the position. His 6'7" frame could work against him but if he can improve his technique to meet what the coaches want from him, he has potential. Outlook: Fringe 53-Man Roster (possible practice squad)

    Carlos Thompson
    Slowed by injuries in college, Thompson arrives to the Texans making the conversion to outside linebacker. If he can show that he can play the position during camp, Thompson could latch onto the Texans as a developmental player heading into next year. Outlook: Practice Squad or Bust

    Kourtnei Brown
    Brown comes to the Texans vying for a chance to prove he can play off the edge after spending 2014 on the team's practice squad. Brown has the frame to play the edge but there has been no real feel for him on the practice field. Outlook: Trying to Extend His NFL Career

    Inside Linebackers

    Brian Cushing
    Finally healthy for the first time in over two years, Cushing did not miss any time during OTAs or mini-camp. Cushing finally has help at his position which will allow him to continue getting back to form as a three-down linebacker. The Texans will work to preserve Cushing throughout the season but will keep him on the field when his skills are most beneficial. His early response to physicality in training camp will be key for Cushing to show the staff he can handle a full workload on game days. He will be the primary linebacker in base defense but it will be interesting to see what they want to do with him during nickel and dime packages. Outlook: Starter at Inside Linebacker

    Jeff Tarpinian
    A special teams component and spot defensive player, Tarpinian was bypassed last season on the depth chart defensively by a couple of players. Tarpinian is a key special teams player but with more athletic options at inside linebacker, he is going to have to fight for every opportunity to stay with the Texans. Outlook: Fringe 53-Man Roster

    Mike Mohamed
    Mohamed was one of the Texans break out players last season, turning into the team's go to linebacker in nickel and dime packages. He is the best coverage player of the linebacker group and his awareness in those situations is unmatched. Mohamed is the leader of the defense, directing traffic in sub-packages and is a key component to the versatility of the entire unit. Outlook: 53 Man-Roster; Sub Package Specialist

    Justin Tuggle
    Finally finding a home at inside linebacker, Tuggle ending up starting for the Texans early in the season. Having only played the position for one full season, it will be interesting to see how much he has improved getting another year inside. Tuggle showed flashes last season of understanding the position but staying consistent is paramount. Tuggle is arguably the best special teams player on the Texans and that element gives him a leg up on the competition. Outlook: Fringe 53-Man Roster

    Akeem Dent
    Brought to the team in a trade for T.J. Yates in 2014, Akeem Dent ended up being a positive acquisition for the Texans. After recovering from an ankle issue, Dent was a key player on the inside of the defense, especially after Brian Cushing struggled last year. As a two down player, Dent brings a physicality to the position and is a productive run stopper. Dent was brought back on a new deal and will be depended on in the same capacity for the upcoming season. Dent’s health is something to watch heading into training camp as he was held out all of the workouts prior to the break with an undisclosed issue. Outlook: Starter at Inside Linebacker

    Max Bullough
    Considered one of the smartest players on the Texans' defense, Bullough will have to come in and demonstrate improvement over his rookie season. Bullough struggled competing with quicker opponents and was exposed due to his lack of speed on the field. It will be interesting to see if he has improved in that department but right now, he should be looked at as a two-down player for the defense. Outlook: Fringe 53-Man Roster (possible practice squad)

    Bernardrick McKinney
    The Texans felt McKinney was too good to pass up in the NFL Draft and traded up to nab one of the best collegiate linebackers in 2014. An athletic linebacker who is a better fit than most expected, McKinney will be thrown into the mix early on defense. The Texans feel McKinney is versatile enough to play off the edge if needed, but will have to learn the inside linebacker position before that happens. He needs some work on his pass coverage skills but the early looks on the rookie have been positive. Outlook: 53-Man Roster

    Reshard Cliett
    Discovered at USF by one of the Texans lead scouts, Cliett won the Texans over during the draft process with his high football I.Q. and overall athleticism. Only at 230 lbs., Cliett will be an interesting fit at inside linebacker. Getting sideline to sideline is what Cliett does best and expect him to find his way on special teams and possibly in nickel and dime situations. Cliett has also been dealing with a knee injury so it will be interesting to see where he is health wise when camp arrives. Outlook: 53-Man Roster

    Tony Washington
    Arriving to the Texans as an outside linebacker, the Texans moved him to inside linebacker to provide depth at the position group. Washington is going to have to learn on the run and get physical in a hurry when pads are strapped on during camp. Learning a new position is not easy, especially when trying to get acclimated to the NFL life. Washington has plenty of work to do to try and get moved up the depth chart of a competitive position group. Outlook: Possible practice squad or bust

    Conerbacks

    Kareem Jackson
    One of the priorities of the off-season, Jackson landing back with the Texans was key for the continuity of the defense. The ability to cover and tackle, Jackson will play outside cornerback and bump inside to the slot in nickel and dime situations. Jackson is now helping groom the younger players on the team and it is clear his rise to where he is today did not come easy. Jackson is one of the most well respected players in the locker room especially on how he got to where he is today. Keeping him healthy is a priority for the season. Outlook: Week One Starter

    Jonathan Joseph
    The veteran of the group, Joseph was only one of four defensive players to play in all 16 games last season. Not gifted with the speed he once had, Joseph still has above average ball skills and still a frontline starter for the defense. Here for at least the next three seasons, Joseph will continue to help lead the cornerback group. Joseph gets nicked and banged around a little easier over the recent years, but he still has enough to make an impact on the field. Teamed with Kareem Jackson for the 5th consecutive year, they make the best duo in team history. Outlook: Week One Starter

    A.J Bouye
    Bouye had a solid second season in the NFL despite some ups and downs. He dealt with a shoulder issue that occurred during training camp and played with the injury all year, requiring surgery once the season was over. He was held out off all practice during the spring to ensure he could be a full participant of training camp. Bouye will have to beat young rookie Kevin Johnson to keep the position he had last year as the third cornerback in nickel and dime. Despite a solid season, Bouye now has some real competition to beat so he can stay on the field. Outlook: 53-Man Roster

    Jumal Rolle
    Claimed of the Packers practice squad mid-season, Rolle made a solid impact last year. A new year puts Rolle in the drivers seat to find himself on the roster once again for the 2015 season. Rolle can play either cornerback position but made his mark playing the slot cornerback. Limited during OTAs, Rolle will be in a loaded position group when camp starts. His contributions on special teams should solidify his spot on the roster. Outlook: 53-man roster

    Darryl Morris
    Another claim by the Texans last year, Morris is a solid player that the team added to the secondary. Morris has starter potential and can play both inside and outside cornerback. He made some strong plays last season when he saw extended playing time and is one of the better tacklers on the team. Add in some of the best quickness and speed of the group, Morris is a budding player that will be pushing to find his way on the field. Outlook: 53-man roster

    Kevin Johnson
    The Texans first round pick from Wake Forest is talented and Kevin Johnson has all the skills to be successful in the NFL. He showed some of that during OTAs and mini-camp, starting with his ability to break on the football. Add in some strong transitioning speed when he has to turn and run and Johnson will be hard to keep off the field when the season comes around. Johnson will be competing with Morris and Bouye to see playing time which should make for some interesting competition to watch as camp arrives. Outlook: 53-Man Roster

    Charles James
    This year name from left field, James spent last season on the Texans practice squad. Now James is buried in the depth chart, but he made some key plays during OTAs and mini-camp to raise some eyebrows. James is the prototypical slot cornerback and will be fighting for his football life when camp comes around. Talent is not the issue with James the amount of players in front of him is. He will be around until the end of camp but from there it will be interesting to see how the Texans feel about him. Outlook: Fringe 53-Man Roster (possible practice squad)

    Safeties

    Rahim Moore
    One of the Texans top free agent additions, Moore will be depended on to bring consistency to the safety position. The clear starter at free safety, Moore's duty will be to cover sideline to sideline and create turnovers. He looked comfortable in practices and adds some much needed speed to the secondary. He also brings some coverage ability to a safety position that was average at best in that aspect last season. Outlook: Starter at Safety

    Stevie Brown
    Brought to Houston on a one-year deal, Brown is the odds on favorite to start next to Rahim Moore when the season starts. Two years removed from a season when he was an interception machine for the New York Giants, Brown was derailed by an ACL injury that limited his time last season. Brown was held out during the spring with an injury issue, so there is no real read on how he will fit with the Texans. With the team having no experienced players at the safety position besides Moore, Brown has a leg up on the competition. Outlook: 53-Man Roster (favorite to start)

    Eddie Pleasant
    Back for his third season with the Texans, Pleasant is a key contributor on special teams. With some experience at safety, Pleasant has an outside shot of finding his way into the lineup. Tackling from the secondary is his strong suit but his coverage limitations could make him a liability on the field. It seems Pleasant has enough to make this team because of what he can do on special teams but he will have to go out and prove it once again. Outlook: Fringe 53-Man Roster

    Andre Hal
    Looking at a position change from cornerback, Hal has made the transition during the spring with ease. Hal learned the playbook of all the secondary positions last year and has a chance to be one of the top three safeties heading into the season. Determining whether his speed is good enough for the position plus how he handles the move in full pads are the real questions. Hal was a key component on the special teams unit and there should be little drop off in that department in 2015. Everything is lining up for Hal this season but he is going to have to take his position when camp arrives. Outlook: 53-Man Roster (possible starter)

    Lonnie Ballentine
    After missing his entire rookie season with a hamstring injury, Ballentine is back to find a spot on the Texans as a safety. A big, rangy player, Ballentine showed during OTAs that he can cover ground in a hurry but he still has some issues understanding angles in coverage and run fits. Seeing him get through camp is a must but his potential is evident and makes him one to watch when camp arrives. Outlook: Fringe 53-Man Roster

    Kurtis Drummond
    Some were surprised when Drummond went undrafted but the Texans found a way to get him to Houston. Drummond made a living in college with big play ability however many questioned his overall physicality from the secondary. He was worked in slowly during the spring but he had some good showings at practice. One thing to watch is his limited speed and how he can adjust to NFL receivers with their quickness. Drummond is going to have to be better than most with his technique to make sure he impresses his coaches. Outlook: Practice Squad (outside shot at the 53-man roster)

    Corey Moore
    Another rookie in the fold, Moore, just like fellow rookie Kurtis Drummond, will have to prove his speed limitations will not keep him from being successful at the NFL level. Moore jumped one hurdle when he was invited to to rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis and was offered a contract at the end of the three-day camp. Outlook: Practice Squad or Bust

    Terrance Parks
    A practice squad player from last season, Parks returns to a wide open safety position group. Parks is a rangy player that looks the part but training camp will tell the true story. Working with the starters some during OTAs, Parks will get a fair shake when camp arrives to see if he can possibly contribute for the season. Outlook: Working To Stay in the NFL

    Special Teams

    Randy Bullock
    His improvement was evident last season, especially with his long range field goal attempts and he was one of the top ranked long range kickers in 2014. Bullock is going to have to improve on his touchback rates and kickoffs but Bullock has the leg to be successful and, if he continues to build on last season, he could be the Texans kicker for the foreseeable future. Outlook: Starting Kicker

    Shane Lechler
    In possibly his last season with the Texans, Lechler still has the leg to be one of the best punters in the NFL. He struggled some last year and the rumor was he was injured during the New York Giants game on a blocked punt. In the final year of his contract, Lechler holds the cards on his future with the Texans. Outlook: Punter Once Again

    Jonathan Weeks
    Mr. Consistency for the Texans, Weeks is a machine when it comes to long snapping. With very little room for error, Weeks snaps an average of 80-120 footballs each practice to get ready for games. Also in his final year of his deal, Weeks is a must to keep in Houston. Outlook: Doing what he does best, snapping.

    Will Johnson
    He will put on a show when training camp arrives with his strong leg. Johnson can kick and punt and he will be asked to do both during the preseason. If the Texas State product can find his groove, there is a strong possibility Johnson stays on the Texans' speed dial this season, just in case his services are needed. Outlook: Will get plenty of work this preseason.
     
  2. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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  3. Sydeffect

    Sydeffect Member

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    I wonder if Max Bullough makes it this year
     
  4. Fantasma Negro

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  5. Jet Blast

    Jet Blast Contributing Member

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    Anybody going to the open practices and periscope them?

    Here are the open practice dates:

    Saturday August 1 8-11 a.m.

    Sunday August 2 8:30-11 a.m.

    Monday August 3 6-9 p.m.

    Tuesday August 11 8-11 a.m.

    Wednesday August 12 8-11 a.m.

    Wednesday August 19 8-11 a.m.
     
  6. Ericstocracy

    Ericstocracy Member

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    I'll be there Monday, I might give periscope a try.
     
  7. Raven

    Raven Member

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    Only two things I care about is who the starting QB is going to be and our 2014 number one overall pick who has yet to get a single freaking sack.
     
  8. Jet Blast

    Jet Blast Contributing Member

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    The Texans signed NT Chris Neild today. He played for the Redskins previously. He's coming off a torn ACL which happened last September.
     
  9. ynelilvs99

    ynelilvs99 Member

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    This ^^
     
  10. conquistador#11

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    if i was coach b.o.b I'd rig the entire practice field with tin foil paper so you people can't get the interwebs and do the periscope thingy.
     
  11. Uprising

    Uprising Contributing Member

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    Had to google this periscope thing. Looks kind of like Veetle, or just streaming via youtube.
     
  12. Nimo

    Nimo Member
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    #2 WR is also an important position I'm interested in
     
  13. Victorious

    Victorious Member

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    i went one year, it was hotter than a texas summer in hell. and you sit on these bleachers that are super uncomfortable after 15 minutes. this was a couple years ago so i dont know if it has changed but i have not been back since.
     
  14. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Texans?src=hash">#Texans</a> roster moves today: Signed DT Chris Neild (Redskins). Released OT Will Yeatman. WR Alan Bonner now active (passed physical)</p>&mdash; Adam Wexler (@awexler) <a href="https://twitter.com/awexler/status/627256925978263552">July 31, 2015</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
     
  15. Jet Blast

    Jet Blast Contributing Member

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    Quotes from some players today:

    G Brandon Brooks

    (on if he is happy to be back) “I’m excited to be back. For me, it’s like, another year in the system, comfortable. OB (Head Coach Bill O’Brien) came in his first year and really laid the law down. Now I think he’s starting to see some of the team that he wants. You can go out there, be yourself, have fun. I’m very excited to be back.”

    (on if Head Coach Bill O’Brien is more relaxed this year) “Oh no, he’s still going to be on you. Let’s not go too far. He’s still going to be on you.”

    (on Offensive Line Coach Mike Devlin and what he brings) “The first thing that Coach Devlin brings to the table is he’s a former professional offensive lineman. There’s things that on paper, X’s and O’s wise, should look like this but in a game it doesn’t. Sometimes it’s hard to come back to the sideline and explain what happened, and sometimes some people may not understand exactly because it wasn’t exactly how it was on the sheet. That’s the biggest thing and secondly, I’d say this, he’s a stickler for the small things but it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the league, it doesn’t matter what accolades you have, you still are going to treat everybody the same and you still are going to get the best out of everybody. Those are probably the two big things.”

    (on if Offensive Line Coach Mike Devlin is hard on guys and making them tougher) “You hit it right on the head. The biggest thing is he’s a technician. Hand placement, hat placement, foot placement, our first probably 20 or 30 minutes are all footwork type of stuff, steps right, steps forward, steps left, pulls, all that type of stuff before we even get started. So really I’d say he’s a technician. That’s what he really brings.”

    (on the changes in players on the line this year from last and how that affects his role) “The first thing about Ben (Jones) is, Ben played center all his life until he got to the pros and he switched to guard, so really for Ben it’s almost like being back home at center. Xavier (Su’a-Filo) got a lot of reps last year, whether I was out or something, or he wanted to rotate in with Ben and we’ve spent a lot of the spring together, a lot of OTAs, a lot of time outside of football together, so as far as the chemistry of us as a whole, I think Xavier said he’d keep pushing forward every day.”

    (on this being a big season financially for him with his contract coming up and how much thought he puts into that) “Honestly, not a lot. I know it’s cliché to say but the only thing that changes for me is I just kind of look at this year as leave it all out there, it’s really like being a senior in high school is kind of the way I look at it. Leave it all out there and whatever happens after the season happens. I just never wanted to really consume myself with you know, this is my last year, I have to do this, I have to press for this. I just want to go out there and play, really the contract situation or whatever will take care of itself. It’s really probably something I’ll concern myself with after the season in the offseason.”

    (on how much better could the offensive line could be with rushing yards and sacks allowed) “Well we could be number one in the league in rushing and no sacks at all. That’s what we’re always shooting for, each and every game, each and every year. How much better can we be? I think we can be much better. I think we will be much better. I think you kind of got a little glimpse of that during OTAs and hopefully you’ll get more of a glimpse of that throughout the training camp and preseason. Pads are on now so, you really get to see how far we’ve come.”

    (on how he assess his own development) “I’m nowhere near where I think I can be or where I want to be, but my first game in, honestly, it was a big jump for me, really all aspects, first the play book coming from Miami of Ohio, second the heat coming from Wisconsin and Ohio, thirdly, my weight and what it’s like to be a pro. I’d say once I got all that under my belt, I started playing and the coaches had confidence in me, in the playbook. So I started playing, I think Week 10, rotating in, that offseason I just really wanted to prove to myself that I belong here. I took it hard, 2013, went out and started to try to play to the best of my ability. Next year, just try to take a step forward. That’s really what I’m trying to do, each and every season, always take a step forward and never take a step back. So as far as my career right now, I’m productive to this point. It’s not where I want to be, but I got a long ways to go.”

    (on where he wants to be) “Honestly, I want to be the best, I just want to continue to work, continue to push forward, do some good things and not everything is perfect. The things that I don’t necessarily do the best are the things I’m really focused on.”

    (on if G Xavier Su’a-Filo comes to him and asks questions) “Yeah, he comes to me and he kind of asks, how do I sit on this, what am I seeing? If this is a certain guy, how do I play him? Things like that. I see at the same time, it’s funny, kind of being considered the old guy, I still go to like Duane (Brown) and ask him stuff, I still go to maybe (C) Chris (Myers) and (G) Wade (Smith) and ask them things. So he comes in from time to time and I try to give him the best advice I can give him.”

    (on still learning from C Chris Myers and G Wade Smith) “Yeah, they both played forever at a high level. You can always learn something from them and through their playing.”

    (on becoming more of a leader and learning from T Duane Brown after C Chris Myers left) “Yeah, you know he is the leader in the room, can always keep it light on the field and off the field, can always make you laugh. Duane has definitely stepped up into his role, or Chris’ (Myers) role, and especially me, Newt (Derek Newton) and Ben (Jones), we try be leaders in that room.”

    (on the whole line stepping up and being leaders) “Yeah, right, it’s us together as a room. We’re trying to fill that hole that Chris (Myers) left.”

    (on his relationship with Derek Newton) “Whenever I talk about Newt, I always say Newt’s like a true brother to me. I’m an only child so I don’t know what it’s like to have siblings. Newt’s like a brother. Like I said, every time I come in, really started off it was always Newton. We could always joke to each other and it’s to the point now where like, we basically sometimes are like alright, I’m like, ‘Newt,’ and he understands and shakes his head. So, our development together I think has helped us both on the field. It’s good to be able to just look at somebody and like just shake your head at them and they understand exactly, because we see out of the same set of eyes. I think Newt has helped me a lot.”

    T Duane Brown

    (on going to Richmond for training camp) “It is going to be pretty exciting. My phone has been blowing up with a lot of people wanting to come out there and support me. I never thought in a hundred years that I would be able to step into my city and perform, and have my family out there and my friends out there to witness it. It will be a good opportunity, but with that being said, I am very focused on competing against the Redskins and becoming a better player while I am there. That is the main thing, but it will definitely be good to see everyone.

    (on returning to the field tomorrow) “It’s always exciting man. Yesterday just coming up and checking into the hotel, you know, you get those butterflies that you know the time is here. Seeing everyone and putting your stuff in your room. Just getting going and being around the guys. Coming out here today, we just ran our conditioning test today, you know, and it wasn’t much, but just the feel of it feels good knowing that football is here. Just seeing everyone and knowing the love and excitement in the building is a great feeling.”

    (on Offensive Line Coach Mike Devlin and his personality) “Great personality, he is about his business and wanting to help us improve as a line, but he is also very humorous and has that side to him. He takes his job seriously, but he likes to have a good time, which is always good. Especially during this time of year in training camp you have to have some joking around at some point to break things up a little bit. But as a coach he is very technique-oriented and he is very focused on that, which helps us out a lot. So while we are learning our assignments and what to look for on defenses, he is always considering our technique. And that’s something as an eighth-year vet or as a rookie you have to be aware of and focused on.”

    (on if he feel like he needs to be more of a leader since Chris Myers is no longer on the team) “Yeah, Chris Myers was a huge key on our team as a leader, and definitely on our offensive line. So with me being the oldest and longest-tenured player here, I definitely take on that role a little more this year. Being more vocal, leading more by example and just trying to bring everybody along. I’m always trying to get better, that’s what I focus on more than anything, but also trying to bring the younger guys up to speed and help show them the way.”

    (on if he thinks the offense will be able to do big things with all the changes) “Absolutely. I think it starts with the system. I think the system is very effective in what can be accomplished. I think we definitely have the players and the talent. We have the talent up front, talent in the backfield, quarterback position, whoever is under center is going to perform well. We have a lot of weapons at receiver and tight end. We have all the pieces needed to perform well, we just have to do it. Just like I said based on last year, where we were at this point last year when we broke for OTAs, I think we’re a better offense. I know we didn’t have pads on and it wasn’t full speed, but it just looked better. I think it will be the same this year.”

    (on how much training camp is a time for trying new things out) “It’s always good. For a player like myself going against someone like J.J. (Watt) and he is experimenting different moves, it’s always great work. For me I have been going against him for a few years and I know kind of what to expect and if he does something different it helps to raise your awareness level. At the same time, I might not take the same pass set against him that he is accustomed to seeing me take. You just kind of experiment with those things so on Sunday if something worked against him then it might work against this guy. And if it didn’t work then maybe I’ll save it, you know what I mean? So this time of year is always a good time to perfect your craft and kind of what you’re good at, but also try things out that you haven’t before.”

    (on how much better the offensive line can be) “It’s always a goal, our rushing offense is always a point of pride that we have going into the season. We definitely want to improve on our rushing numbers more than we did last year and protecting the quarterback is a big deal for us, you know. In this offense he has to be comfortable in order for anything to happen he has to be comfortable and know that he has time to maneuver and operate. I won’t throw out predictions as to what we are going to do, but I think we have the makings of a solid, solid offensive line. We just have to go out there and perform.”

    (on what he wants to improve this season) “Everything. I want to have better technique, I want to be stronger at the point of attack, I want to be a lockdown tackle and not give up any pressures, I want to be better at everything. You can’t be complacent. I have had some pretty good years, but I’m looking forward to this being my best one."

    (on if there is more continuity on the team than people think) “Definitely. Like you said for one, us up front, we have been playing together for a while. Xavier (Su’a-Filo) was added to the mix last year, he has a season under his belt. The system in general we all learned for the first time last year. It was a lot of information to learn and go out there and put on the field. Like I said, just coming into OTAs this year having a year of learning it you could see a big difference. I think everyone is a lot smoother, the operations are a lot quicker, we are really able to go out there and put it together like we are supposed to. I think the continuity is there. We are more in sync than people think. We just have to keep doing it.”

    (on Hard Knocks affecting his life) “It’s exciting. First and foremost, I have to do my job and I have to play well or else nothing else will matter. Outside of that, I think it will be fun for people to see our personalities and see the kind of work we put in away from just Sundays. See a little bit of our personal lives, you know, you got to have some kind of fun with it, but you always have to keep the main goal in mind, which is to perform and that is what I am always keeping in the back of my head when I see a camera.”

    (on if it’s weird always having cameras around) “It’s very weird, very weird. Lots of cameras and lots of microphones. But you got to block it out.”

    (on his comfort level around Head Coach Bill O’Brien) “It’s definitely a better comfort level I think with us, with him, and with him and us. We all kind of know what to expect from each other. I think with us he knows that we are going to work our tails off and there is no substitute for that. I think having a year to learn the system, the expectations have risen for us. We just have to go out there and perform. I think he likes us as people. We definitely like him as a person, as a man and as a coach. The respect is there and that’s all you can ask for. Outside of that, he expects us to win and we expect him to put us in a position to win. That’s all it boils down to.”

    (on everyone buying in to Head Coach Bill O’Brien) “Definitely, you know he wouldn’t be here if that was the case. We know that his formula works and we believe in it and he believes in us as players that we can get it done. Now we have to work throughout this training camp to polish ourselves and to get to the best point we can be before that first regular season kickoff. After that, we have to put it together every week and we all have confidence, the upmost confidence in each other that we can get that done.”

    (on the importance of a starting quarterback being named) “No, it’s not important for me, for any of us. We are trying to be the best line that we can be for whoever is there to hold up in protection, to move guys off the ball in the run game and whatever else happens, happens.”

    S Stevie Brown

    (on making the transition to Houston) “It’s been good. All of the guys around here have been good, the coach has been good, everybody has been welcoming. It has been a pretty easy transition just getting used to a new playbook and new terminology, but other than that it’s been fairly easy.”

    (on getting used to the heat in Texas) “I’m still working on that part. Fortunately, I’ve actually been down here since the season ended last year, so I’ve had 7 months to just gradually be in it, but you’re never used to it until you’re actually in it.”

    (on moving to Houston) “I actually bought a house down here randomly, but I’ve been working out down here as well. My sister lives down here and has been down here since 2000. So I came to be close to her and some other family.”

    (on his health) “It’s good. You know that’s probably something that OB (Head Coach Bill O’Brien) will have to answer, but I’m good.”

    (on how the defense fits his skill set) “I think it is going to go well. The front they have and the linebackers and everything like that, it’s an attacking defense which suits well for me. If the quarterback has to rush throws or have tipped throws and things like that, I think I can visualize the quarterback and see what the quarterback is doing well so I will be able to break and make plays. It will all tie together.”

    (on considering playing with DE J.J. Watt when he was deciding where to go in free agency) “Yeah, it was definitely a strong selling point. They didn’t have to tell me, but you look down and see (OLB Jadeveon) Clowney, J.J. and (DT) Vince (Wilfork) as your front and you’re kind of like, ‘Yeah, I can make this happen.’”

    (on the strongest part of his game) “That is a tough one to answer. As an athlete and a prideful athlete you think you are good at everything. Things that you think you may have struggled at you work harder to become your best asset. That’s probably what I do the most, I study a lot. I like to see what I did wrong the day before in practice and make sure I go out there and not make the same mistake twice. Just continue to grow and try to always improve my game.”

    (on parts of his game that have changed as he gets older) “One of the main things was dropping down into the box from the safety position. I did a little bit in college, but not as much as I have started to later in my career. When I was first in Oakland all I did was stay back deep and since I have gotten older they have let me move closer and closer. So just being able to read fronts, see the offensive linemen pull and knowing the gaps I am supposed to fit in, in the run game are a lot of the things I have improved in.”

    (on the talent level of the team) “It is a good group of guys. There is talent at every single position and it is deep. It is definitely something I am looking forward to being a part of and being able to work with across the board, offense and defense.”

    (on progressing from his injury in 2013 and proving he can still do what he did in 2012) “It is just, as I was saying earlier, being in the film room and going back and studying myself and studying what I did do last year and seeing how I was playing. Being honest with myself and seeing what I needed to improve on, what I was making mistakes with and just trying to build off that and that’s what I am going to continue to do.”

    (on leaving the Giants) “It was definitely a tough decision, but at the end of the day, I think I made the right decision.”

    (on being around a new coach and getting to know him) “You know, one of the things I like about OB (Head Coach Bill O’Brien) is that he keeps it straight with you every single time he is talking with you. Whenever I first came on my visit, they had two starters and that’s what he told me. He was just like, we would like you here, I’m not going to say you are going to start right away even though that’s what everyone wants to do. He told me I was going to have to come in, work, play special teams, do everything I have to do to help this team win. That’s how he has been with me since I have been here. He always keeps it ‘100’ and that’s the thing that I like best about him.”

    ILB Brian Cushing

    (on being healthy coming into camp) “It is just exciting. I am really looking forward to a good camp and a good year. This is the best I have felt in a while. I don’t have to overcome anything or rehab, but I can just go full force right into practice and work on football, which I haven’t been able to the last couple of camps.”

    (on having a year in the system) “It is exciting as well. We are a lot more comfortable in the system and just better off in what we know now. I think we really saw in OTAs and minicamp that we are very comfortable and can kind of anticipate what Romeo (Crennel) is going to call now and overall just attacking a lot more.”

    (on talking with OLB Jadeveon Clowney about injuries) “We have talked a lot about what to expect and what to feel, what kind of mindset you have to have and the biggest thing is what to expect. He has had a rough year and I told him not to get down. There is going to be some days where you aren’t going to feel like doing some things, but to overall keep pushing through, feel it out and know that he is going to be okay. He is not going to be able to practice as much as he would like, but for the most part any questions he has had he has come to me and we have shared a lot of experience. Our lockers are next to each other and I have been through the whole knee deal a bunch of times, so I definitely have a lot of experience in that area.”

    (on what he is looking forward to during training camp) “I think people will find out a lot more about us this year especially with all the things going on around here and what we go through on a daily basis but it is a physical and mental grind. It is a very tough couple of weeks. It is a lot of hard practices, but it gets you ready for the start of the season. That is the biggest thing. The consistent grind going throughout these next couple of weeks getting you ready for the season. It is very tough, but at the same time, it is fun. It is a game we started off playing as kids and we are still doing it. So we love it and enjoy it and you can’t ever forget that. As hard as it gets, you can’t ever forget why you started playing it at the first point.”

    (on whether football is still fun) “It is still fun, it is just way more of a business now. It is fun. The games are fun, the week preparation is fun. This is kind of the hard part just getting into it and having some practice games and practicing against each other too. But you know we leave for Richmond not too far away either and will practice against another team and it will be very competitive. Just a change of pace.”

    (on expectations of the defense) “I don’t know, the biggest thing right now is to get the best grasp we can on the playbook. Get it down as best we can, you know tomorrow is only the first practice so go out there and day by day get better and better, keep our goals short term and continue to improve.

    (on going to Richmond early in camp) “Yeah, mentally I think it will help out a lot. I’m sure it will be cool there too. It will help a lot. It is just a change of pace. Sometimes camp can get very monotonous and you can kind of get into the same routine in days over and over and it seems like it never ends. That will change some things up and I think it will really help the mentality of this team and like I said, we will get some really good competitive practices also against another team so to have that kind of experience early on in camp will only help this team more.”

    (on important things for rookies to know as they transition to the NFL) “That it is a long season. It is a long season, it is longer than college. Pace yourself, learn as much as you possibly can, and stay healthy. I remember everyone always talked about the rookie wall when you come in. After the 10th game, you can see some guys fade out especially when they are rookies. Pace yourself and know that it is a long season. It takes a lot of endurance both physically and mentally. To pace yourself, but to be smart about it.”

    (on the evolution of Head Coach Bill O’Brien and the way he handles things being different than the past) “That’s fine too, sometimes he has to be and we understand that. He is a fiery coach, but he is a lot of fun. We all get along with him really well. I think he is a really smart coach and a really good coach to play for. I have been fortunate enough to have two really good head coaches that I have played for. You talk to other guys around the league and they can’t say the same so I have enjoyed playing for both of them very much, especially Coach O’Brien. He has done a great job since he has come in here. It was kind of a tough situation with the year we had before he got here. But obviously we turned it around very quick. I think all the guys have taken a liking to him and have done very well with all of them. He reached out to every single player individually. He does a really good job of staying in touch with everyone and knowing how to coach every single person in a specific way. He has done a very good job, definitely.”

    (on having doubts at the beginning) “You don’t know someone. You can just go based upon what other people say. You heard some things around the league, you talk to some guys, it was kind of just all the same. They all really enjoyed playing for him, they loved him, guys in New England and guys from Penn State. I kind of had a good feeling about him and everything was right.”

    (on how changes in his personal life affect football) “I think it definitely has, especially now having two kids and hopefully playing long enough so where they can fully understand what I do and come to games and really understand the game, and hopefully want to play it themselves one day. I always thought how cool it would be to have a dad as an athlete or a professional whatever, so I always kept that kind of in my mind to hopefully play long enough for them to see that. Hopefully that will be playing at the same time and really just enjoy it. I have talked to Coach (Mike) Vrabel about it a bunch of times because he was in a similar situation with two boys at a similar time in his career where I was. He just said it was the greatest thing ever. So that is one of the things and on top of it playing for them and my family as well.”

    (on what is fun about this year) “It is a very good locker room. It is full of a lot of good guys, a lot of leaders, but every year is fun, every year is fun. There is always a good feeling going into camp, but definitely a good feeling going into this year. We are very excited for what we can do.”

    OLB Whitney Mercilus

    (on this year’s training camp compared to last year’s) “Last year, we were still learning the system and everything, still fresh in it. Compared to this year, everybody is more comfortable. We understand it, running more fluent in it. Also, we know the communication things that we need to look out for. Understand the type of guys that we have on the defense and who can do what. Pretty much, it should be a good training camp.”

    (on understanding Head Coach Bill O’Brien’s expectations in Year 2) “Yeah, definitely. You understand exactly what your coaches want, what O’Brien wants. It’s all about what type of effort they want, what they look for as opposed to, say, the responsibilities that we have to carry out on the field and things like that. Pretty much, it’s all about knowing the expectations, which makes it an easier training camp for everybody.”

    (on changing the mentality of the defense) “Yeah, definitely. Of course, knowing the defense, we can be a lot more aggressive. Definitely all around, everybody is much more comfortable so they play like its second nature. Now, going out there, RAC (Romeo Crennel) puts in a whole bunch of the defenses that we can actually move around guys and actually attack from various points. It’s very exciting.”

    (on what he did over the summer for fun and how it compares to DE J.J. Watt’s summer) “This summer all I did was go out to Arizona to train. I don’t know exactly what J.J. did, but I had a little fun out in Arizona and all that. Mixed in with my training, trained twice a day. Standard, just working hard and all that. Just trying to improve every aspect of my game and stuff like that. That’s it. I won’t get into too much detail.”

    (on his finger injury from college and how it affects playing football) “Not really. Well, when mine happened, it was my last year of college before I even got drafted. I only lost the digit on my left index finger, so it didn’t affect me really all that much. Only thing that affected me was kind of like daily little things like typing, picking up coins, and things like that. Losing an entire finger, I don’t think that will impact a player, especially on this level, or like a defensive lineman like Jason Pierre-Paul. You can still be productive no matter what. He doesn’t need that finger.”

    (on his finger affecting his day-to-day life) “You’ll definitely have phantom pain and stuff like that. You’ll sit there and have an itch on your nose and try to scratch with that finger because you think it’s still there. Then, you realize it’s not there. Other than that, it shouldn’t affect you.”

    (on getting his contract extension done and if he feels good about it) “Yeah, I’d say so. Getting a deal done, knowing you have a little bit of security and all that, that alleviates a little bit of the pressure and things like that. Pretty much, all I can do is go out there and just play my game. Just improve.”

    (on having Hard Knocks at training camp) “With Hard Knocks there, it shouldn’t change anything. It’s just a camera that’s there all 24/7 in your face all the time. But as a veteran, you come in here and you have a job to do. The coaches are expecting you to be a veteran, to come in here and work every day without having any distractions, especially from these cameras and stuff like that. Just go about your daily business, that’s it.”

    (on his struggles early last season) “Big issue was just understanding coverages. The differences in the packages that we had. That was definitely something that was a struggle for me last year. Now, this year, I’m much more comfortable in the defense. I ran through it. I’ve had thousands of reps in it, game reps and practice reps. Coming into this training camp, I should be ready to go from day one.”

    (on understanding how Head Coach Bill O’Brien goes about his business now) “Of course, definitely. Knowing Bill, how he operates and all that, it makes it a lot more comfortable for you to understand what he expects out of you. I mean, granted he is not going to make it easy for you or comfortable for you in training camp or any practice time, but running through the system, being there with him when he first came in last year and then transitioning to this year, it makes it a whole lot easier.”

    WR Cecil Shorts III

    (on what his teammates said about his shirt saying he is the best dad in the world) “There was no discussion, just compliments. No discussion.”

    (on his first impression with the Texans after playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars) “I’m just excited to be here. You got a lot of guys that were here last year with DeAndre (Hopkins), DJ (Damaris Johnson), Keshawn (Martin), and some of the other guys that kind of know the ropes and know the offense a little bit. They help me and Nate (Washington) understand it. Nate does a great job of leading. He has been in the league for a long time. I was in high school when he started playing. I’m just excited to be here and get going with these guys. It’s going to be a competitive camp and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

    (on what he wants to work on during camp) “Timing and just routes. Running routes the way this offense does. It’s a little different than what I’m used to being in Jacksonville the last four years. Getting used to running routes a different type of way. I’m really playing a lot of different positions. It’s a complex offense, but once you get it down, it’s a really, really good offense for receivers and running backs. They move guys around a lot and it’s pretty good.”

    (on if the uncertainty at quarterback makes his transition more difficult) “No, I wouldn’t say so. I think both guys are getting reps, an equal amount of reps. All the receivers are getting reps with all the quarterbacks. Now, we’re getting on timing, understanding each other, where to be and stuff like that, so I wouldn’t say so. No.”

    (on having Hard Knocks at camp) “It’s a little different than Jacksonville. It’s been awful, they have been in the way (laughs) – no, it’s been cool. It’s been cool. We don’t really notice them that much. When you are focused on doing your job, there is nothing that’s going to get in your way. It’s been pretty cool to have them here.”

    (on how many kids he has) “Two and one on the way. That’s it, no more.”

    (on his kids names) “A four-year-old boy, Cecil IV, and then a 19-month-old daughter, Payton. Yeah, it’s pretty cool.”

    WR Nate Washington

    (on what it’s been like getting started today) “It’s exciting. I think the enthusiasm from the team is there. I think this is a team right now that’s hungry to get to a place that we know, we expect to be in. That’s in the playoffs right now. We can look at the long run, but at the same time we expect the best from each other. I think the best thing about this team is that every guy on this team is going to make sure he pushes the next. It doesn’t take a coaching staff. It doesn’t take a group of fans. It doesn’t take a family member. This team is ready to work and that’s very exciting.”

    (on if his transition to the Texans is more difficult with uncertainty at quarterback) “I don’t think so. At the same time, every quarterback has their own arm strength and has their different mentality. But the system is there. The expectation of the system is there, from George Godsey of what he expects the offense to look like. No matter whether we are taking shots or being methodical moving down the field, the system in itself will be there. I think it’s just a matter of us being in the correct spots as receivers, tight ends, and running backs of our routes. Doing everything that’s asked of us. With that being said, whoever is behind center, he’ll do whatever is asked of him at his position too.”

    (on the potential of the Texans offense) “It’s going to be like a thief in the night. A lot of people look at this team and they know our defense. They know the big names and they know what they expect of us. But at the same time, we have an outstanding offense at this time that we believe in. A lot of playmakers, a lot of speed, and a lot of guys that can make a heck of a lot of plays. It’s really just a matter of us being where we’re supposed to be at the same time. I know I’ve said that before, but this is a great system. I’ve been in the league for 10 years now. This is going on my 11th. I’ve experienced a lot of offenses and the way George Godsey calls plays, I think it gives us an opportunity to be great. It’s really just a matter of us going out and seizing the opportunity. We have the guys in the locker room that can make the plays. I know a lot of questions are in the air, as they should be. We expect them to continue to roll in, but we will be there to answer the call.”

    (on transitioning into this system as a veteran) “I don’t want to get in trouble saying this, but coaches say this all the time that this is a copycat league. Although things will be called differently, a lot of the plays and concepts in themselves are particularly the same. It’s really just a matter of learning the play calling. Understanding what’s expected out of that specific route and then just going out and being great. I think Coach (George) Godsey does a pretty good job of installing. Making sure no matter what you have, he’s going through the specifics of what is expected of you. No matter if you’re clearing it out for the next guy or you’ll be the main go-to guy on that play. So, it’s been pretty much a good thing of learning under this system and learning under the coaching staff here. They’ve been very patient with us all, all the new guys, whether it be rookies or incoming veterans. The guys that have been here, DeAndre Hopkins, DJ (Damaris Johnson), and a couple other guys that were here last year. They understand the system a lot, too. It’s also good to get some insight from them too. It was hard at first, but it’s been pretty much an easy go route so far.”

    (on his leadership) “Oh yeah, definitely. Like I said, when I opened in my opening statement, the best thing about this team is we all are going to push each other. I think that’s the number one thing to understand about me personally being here. With the absence of some guys, I will have to be a leader first. That’s the main thing that I want to make sure that I’m here for, whether it’s on or off the field. To be a guy that’s been around a little bit and understand the ins and the outs of this league and be able to push the guys on and off the field. Whether it’s running a go route or charity work, it’s important to understand what our position is in this NFL and to kind of be a leader in that aspect. I’ve been doing everything I can, but the best thing about it is it doesn’t matter if you’re in year 11 or year one. Guys have been speaking up. They’ve been expecting the most out of each other. I think that’s how it will continue to be.”

    (on how he would define his game) “Eleven years in, I’ve always been considered a deep threat guy, but I’m also a route runner. I pride myself on making sure my routes are crisp and making sure that I’m available when I’m called on. Throughout my career, there’s been a lot of things being said about me, but at the same time, I’ve always been an underdog. I get it. I love it. I thrive off of it every day in practice, every day in the weight room, and every day in meetings. It stays in the back of my head to remain humble about what I do. If they need me to be a deep-threat guy, then fine. At the same time, if they need me to be a third down, route-running guy, I’ll be that, too. Whatever is asked of me, I’ll make sure I am.”

    (on what he is working on the most during camp) “Just the timing of coming in with these new guys. Just really the timing. My speed is going to be different from other speed, not that I’m going to be faster or slower, it’s just different. One quarterback’s arm maybe stronger than the other. One quarterback’s mentality maybe different from the other. One maybe a little more methodical with five-yard dumps or 10-yard dumps. One maybe a deep-shot guy. It’s really just knowing the guy, knowing the personnel. Them knowing me and understanding what’s going to be required of me on that play or required of that quarterback on that play to be there for him.”

    DE J.J. Watt

    (on what was the most fun he had this offseason) “I don’t think you can really pick one moment. I think that it’s just the opportunities that I’ve been given and the experiences I’ve gotten to have are truly unbelievable. It’s really neat and really special to be able to see the things I’ve seen, meet the people I meet, have the conversations I’ve had. So, it’s been crazy and it’s been fun. I said this year one of those things I was trying to work on is making sure that I enjoyed everything that comes with this, so I’m trying to do that. It’s been great, but I realize that it’s all because of the work that has been put in to this point. So that’s why every single day the workouts come first. The training was never impeded by any of it, and I think that’s what’s the most important to me. When I was out in L.A. for that whole week my trainer was out there with me and I’m thankful to him for that because like I said, the reason I am where I am today is because of the work that’s been put in and the reason that I’m hopefully going to continue to have that success is because of the work that’s continuing to be put in.”

    (on being called the Superman of Houston by the Astros Manager) “That’s pretty nice of him. No, it was cool. Those guys are great. I’m very fortunate, you know that we have such a good relationship that they let me come hang out. They are obviously playing unbelievable baseball right now so it’s a lot of fun to watch and we just kind of had a conversation about how it’s a good time to be in Houston. You know, the Rockets playing well, the ‘Stros (Astros) playing well, the Dash out there doing their thing, Carli (Lloyd) and everything she’s been able to do and obviously us getting going in training camp. So, it’s a really exciting time and we can’t wait to get going. It’s a great time. It’s fun to be back.”

    (on taking a picture with MLB MVP Mike Trout) “You know, I mean it was pretty cool. I mean he’s probably the best player in baseball, and he’s a real nice guy as well. We’ve texted back and forth before, but never actually met, so it was nice to get a chance to meet him. It’s always nice to be able to connect with people in other sports who are doing big things and doing things the right way. I mean even in the ‘Stros locker room (Carlos) Correa and Dallas (Keuchel) and (Jose) Altuve. Those guys, they’re all good guys too. It’s just really nice when you can be a part of that community and everybody kind of sticks together and everybody’s friends because you can do big things if everybody’s on the same page and people are trying to do things the right way and I think that Mike does a really good job of that.”

    (on athlete camaraderie) “Yeah, I think there’s a lot of mutual respect. I think that I respect what he’s able to do and how great he is at what he does. I mean a baseball’s coming at you at 100 miles an hour and you got to hit that sucker out of the park. That’s unbelievably impressive, so I have a whole lot of respect for him and how hard he works and I hope he feels the same about me. He’s a great guy, so like I said, it’s just a lot of fun to be able to, he’s the best in his league and I get a chance to just say hello and hang out with him.”

    (on being the reason Carlos Correa chose baseball, not football) “He’s pretty good at baseball, so I think he picked the right one.”

    (on his social media reach) “Yeah, it’s incredible. It’s really cool how it all works because, I mean, on one hand I think about it and it’s a chance for my family and friends back home to see what I’m up to because I can’t call everybody every day. So, my grandma saw my Jennifer Aniston picture on Twitter for the first time and like so it’s really cool to be able to have that for them back home, but then there’s people all over the world that are watching too and thousands and thousands and thousands of people are checking it out, so it’s a really neat tool. And like I’ve talked about social media many times before, if you use it the right way, it can be an incredible tool and it can be an incredible way to connect with your fans and connect with people, but you also have to be very smart about it because it also can go the other way very easily.”

    (on his expectations for this season) “Come on, how do you expect me to answer that? We’re going to go out there tomorrow for our first practice and we’re going to try and be the best team we can be tomorrow. It honestly, today was a really good start. Today is just running with the guys and just getting back in the building. Guys have been working. Guys have been putting in the work and it’s honestly, we talk, we joke and we have fun talking about the fun stuff I’ve done and the great offseason I’ve had, but I really look forward to getting back with the guys because there’s nothing like the locker room. There’s nothing like being out on the field with the guys. There’s nothing like every single day out in that heat competing and trying to be better, and making your team the best it can be. None of those other experiences are really going to compare to that and that’s what I’m most looking forward to is just going out there every day and trying to lead this team and help these guys and make us the best we can possibly be.”

    (on Head Coach Bill O’Brien’s second year as head coach) “Yeah, I think he did a great job throughout the last year of establishing the mindset that he wants and culture that we’re trying to build here, and I think that going forward he’s just continuing right along with it. He’s done a really good job of making everyone understand everybody has a role. Everybody on the team has a role. You need to know your role. You need to perform it well and you need to go out there and do whatever you can to help the team win. Everybody’s role is going to be different, but everybody’s role is important. No role is more important than the other, it’s just a different role, so I think that everybody understands that and I think it’s going to be huge for us moving forward.”

    (on ILB Brian Cushing) “Right. Yeah, it’ll be great. Obviously, a great football player and really good to have him back out there, have him in the loop. It’s always good when he’s out there. Same goes with (OLB Jadeveon) Clowney. Obviously we want to get him out there, get him healthy and ready to roll. You just, you want your team out there. You want your whole football team out there playing because we’ve got some really great players and I’m really excited about our defense. I’m really excited about our team, but this defense is going to be a whole lot of fun to play in and we just, I look forward to getting back on the field with them.”

    (on what excites him about the defense) “The ability, you never know where the next play is going to come from. You never know who’s going to make the play. You got guys at every single position that can make big plays, game-changing plays. So that’s a lot of fun when you just you keep an offense guessing when they never know where the next play is going to come from and everybody’s accountable, everybody does their job and our chemistry is very good, so we’re looking forward to getting out there and meshing even better.”

    (on doing work on offense this season) “That was the first question they all asked me when I came in the locker room, so five hours before the baseball game, a little different sport mindset you have to be in at the start of the game. I’m going to do whatever it takes to help the team win. And if I’m asked to do that I’m absolutely more than ready. It’s something that I’ve obviously, I’ve worked on every offseason, but I’ve obviously worked on a little bit more this offseason. But, like I’ve said all along, my goal in the offseason is to create the best athlete I can possibly create, hand it to the coaching staff and say however you want to use it, use it. Offense, defense, special teams, whatever it takes to help this team win football games, I’m more than willing to do.”

    (on his commercial with Ronda Rousey and did he tap out) “I don’t know, I think it’s out now. I think so. Would I? Did I? We didn’t fight. I’m not that dumb. Yeah, it was good. She obviously, I think being able to team up with her and with Reebok I think is cool because I mean Ronda is one of the biggest bad asses on the planet. So for her and I to be able to be in the same campaign and be on the same team is really cool. I have a lot of respect for what she does and how hard she works so it’s been fun to be able to kind of get to know her and connect with her a bit and then obviously to present her with the best female athlete award at the ESPYs was really cool. And now I think she has a fight on Saturday night so hopefully, obviously I think we all expect her to go out there and do great in that.”

    (on his offseason) “I would have liked more time to just hang out with my family and friends, I think, I got a lot of that time. I did. And when we did get it, it was awesome. That’s the one thing every single year, I just, I really, really enjoy just quiet nights with family and friends. Just hanging out around the bonfire, and with the schedule, you don’t get nearly as much of that as you like, but I think that’s just something that you understand as a football player. Someday, my career is only so long, so I’ll have plenty of those nights down the road that I can look forward to, but for right now I’m really fortunate to have family and friends who understand how important my job is to me and how important this process is.”

    (on countering other teams’ offenses) “Right. That’s where film watching comes in and also anticipation, trying to figure out, talk with the coaching staff, figure out what teams may try and do. But then it also comes down to just playing your game. You have to go out there with that mindset that ‘Hey, I have to beat them but also they have to stop me,’ and at the end of the day you just go out there. You do what you do. That’s why you train, that’s why you prepare and you prepare yourself to handle any situation that’s thrown at you.”

    (on trying out new moves at training camp) “Yeah, yeah, so through watching film and through all my study, you look at things maybe that other guys do or that you’ve seen in the past and you say ‘Hey, I want to give that a shot’ and that’s why training camp is the best because you get to practice every single day and it’s an opportunity where you try something new, if it doesn’t work, scrap it, and if it does work, then you keep using it, but you can’t do it nearly as much in the season because you really have to hone in on things but training camp you get this month-long period or whatever it is and you get to actually go out there and I mean, you’ll see. Nobody wins every time, I mean I fail out there every single day, but through those failures I learn things that can help me succeed.”

    (on being voted number one by his peers) “It’s incredible. It’s so humbling and it’s so motivating at the same time. It’s humbling because it’s the National Football League. It’s the best players in the world. It’s guys who work extremely hard to get to where they are and so for them, especially from the peers, to name me number one, because those guys are watching film every day, they know what they’re looking for on tape. They know how hard we all work, so for them to name me number one was incredible, but then it’s also motivating because I want to go out there and prove that I’m worthy of that title. I want to go out there and prove to these guys and to everybody that I work my ass off to be great. So every single day I’m trying to do whatever I can to prove that I’m worthy of that title of greatness.”

    (on hanging out with Jennifer Aniston and guys at training camp) “If I could do both at the same time, that would be fantastic.”

    (on urging teammates to try new things) “Yeah, I think that everybody is in a little bit of a different position. You got young guys who are coming in who really we just need them to get the defense down and understand how to fit in and everything and get them on the same page as everybody else and then you got guys that are a little bit further along in their career where you say, ‘Okay, hey, how about we try this’ or maybe I’ll take a guy off to the side one day after practice and say ‘Hey, maybe you try this move,’ and same thing with me and other guys. They’ll say ‘Hey, what do you think about this?’ And we’ll just go back and forth and that’s really where that camaraderie and that chemistry is really starting to be built in training camp where guys are bouncing ideas off each other, guys are trying to see what works and what doesn’t, and then even conversations between position groups. I’ll talk to DBs or I’ll talk to linebackers about ‘Hey, what do you think in this defense and this coverage. Can this help? Can this help?’ And even talk to the offensive guys. ‘Hey, if I do this, what are you thinking? What’s the mindset of you guys and this scheme so that I can know what I can do to counteract it against other teams?’ That’s really what’s fun and that’s how you grow as a team and that’s how you grow as a player is when you start to think on those next level type topics. That’s really when you get to be great.”

    (on his second year with the same coaching staff) “There’s a lot of cameras around. I think that obviously things run more smoothly because it’s Bill’s (O’Brien) second year but I think the expectation level is there already, you know, last year you have a new coach and the expectations are being laid out and everybody is kind of feeling each other out, but this year everybody knows what to expect every single day and I think that that’s where the leaders of the team have also done a great job of enforcing what’s expected and I think that we’re doing a great job of building a culture. Our team here is building a culture of what it takes to be great, how hard we have to work, how hard we have to study, how much time, effort, has to be put in, how much sacrifice has to be made and our guys have done a really good job on their own in the offseason, but also in the building. Guys putting in extra work, guys putting in extra time, and I think it’s really starting to show. And we’re building that culture that we need to be great. Thanks guys.”

    http://www.houstontexans.com/news/a...-July-31/d598ee80-41ff-46af-9d37-50b24a3b1b06
     
  16. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

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    you can see the Hard Knocks crew following behind

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">No. 99 has arrived. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TexansCamp?src=hash">#TexansCamp</a> <a href="http://t.co/qOfuEEwkGA">pic.twitter.com/qOfuEEwkGA</a></p>&mdash; #TexansCamp (@HoustonTexans) <a href="https://twitter.com/HoustonTexans/status/627464875690758144">August 1, 2015</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
     
  17. tmacfor35

    tmacfor35 Contributing Member

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    PDS ‏@PatDStat

    Clowney is punting against Mike Vrabel.

    Texans wrapping up practice. Plenty of work done today. Quarterbacks the story of the day. See how things are split up tomorrow.

    Offense? Doing more push-ups. #Texans

    Offense is a small disaster. Another false stater the entire offense taking a jog to the other goal post for the bust.

    Arian Foster taking responsibility today. Did push-ups for dropping a pass now takes a lap around the field for a false start. #Texans

    First rep of team. J.J. Watt would have had the sack. Play blown dead. #Texans

    Mallett has a habit of trying to throw between targets covered by multiple defenders. #Texans

    Mallett struggling. A pass to no one then a throw into double coverage broken up in red zone work. #Texans

    Hoyer accurate with the intermediate throws and has a quicker release than Mallett. Making a difference early one day one. #Texans

    Rookie tight ends Khari Lee and Mike McFarland having good days. Big targets catching the football well today. #Texans

    Mallett back to back short TD throws to Martin and Fiedorowicz. #Texans

    Hoyer overcooks a corner route over his target. #Texans

    Arian Foster drops a pass in the end zone, that's a rare sight. #Texans

    Hoyer running the red zone work. #Texans

    Savage working with the youngsters during 7 on 7. Plenty of issues, poor routes and footballs hitting the ground. #Texans

    Keith Mumphery runs by Bouye to catch a deep ball from Savage. #Texans

    Both quarterbacks having decent days. Hoyer looking better but could be due to the personnel he is working with. #Texans

    Kevin Johnson active today. Back to back good coverage. Last play broke up the pass. #Texans

    Nwachukwu doing what he usually does putting together a nice day at camp. #Texans

    Stevie Brown picks off Hoyer. #Texans

    Mallett hits Mike McFarland on a corner route. #Texans

    7 on 7 starting. Hoyer starting strong. Him and Washington look in sync. #Texans

    Lots of coaching today on the field. #Texans

    Offensive lineman learning early Wilfork is not easy to move. #Texans

    Savage holding the ball too long during team. Whistle blows the play dead. #Texans

    Hoyer with a touch pass off Shorts finger tips. #Texans

    Hoyer hits Hopkins to open up the team session across the middle. #Texans

    Jaelen Strong teasing today. Showing some positives today catching the football. #Texans

    Nwachukwu with the catch of the day to this point on JJo. Full 180 to catch the back shoulder throw. #Texans

    Khari Lee showing strong look today. Big deep ball reception from Mallett. #Texans.

    Bouye and Shorts a good matchup. Bouye with the pass break up. #Texans

    Mallett sharp early. #Texans

    Nate Washington runs by Bouye to catch a deep ball in stride from Mallett. #Texans

    Jaelen Strong with a strong reception to start 1-on-1s. #Texans.

    Mallett bobbing his head to some Big Sean. #Texans

    #Texans hitting their stretches with music blaring.

    #Texans walking through team session. Both Mallett and Hoyer running huddles.

    #Texans going through special teams work.

    Jaelen Strong in much better shape. Looks the part now. #Texans

    Jaelen Strong looks nothing like he did during OTAs/Mini-Camps. Considerable difference in appearance. #Texans

    Punter Will Johnson and Jon Weeks first ones on the field. #Texans

    Bill O'Brien first on the field followed by his staff. #Texans

    No #Texans players on the field. Any guesses who might the first one out here? Go.​

    Tania Ganguli ‏@taniaganguli

    Overall Hoyer has had a good day. Looked very sharp on shorter throws.

    Couple nice touchdown throws by Brian Hoyer, then throws a pick to Stevie Brown. #Texans

    Everybody here and working, except the guys on PUP/NFI. Appears to be a very healthy team to start camp. #Texans

    Wow Jaelen Strong looks skinny. Those 20 pounds he lost are evident. #Texans​

    Brian T. Smith ‏@ChronBrianSmith

    Good morning of work for Brian Cushing.

    Clowney threw a pass on side, then did some type of kick/punt that went 25 yards. Put him in, coach. #Texans

    Offense did pushups, defense followed a couple plays later. #Texans

    Mallett had three consecutive incompletions during goalline drills. Hoyer's been on and off. #Texans

    Clowney hanging near huddle after working out on side field. #Texans

    Jeff Adams taking some first-team snaps at left guard. #Texans

    Hoyer continues to run first team. Full and 7-on-7 units. #Texans

    Ryan Mallett TD bomb to Nate Washington: https://t.co/OkELsGwGAl​

    Nate Griffin ‏@Coloranalyst

    Texans training camp is packed.​

    Mark Berman ‏@MarkBermanFox26

    Both Kenny Hilliard & Jay Prosch make nice catches in traffic at #Texans practice.​
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. rocketpower2

    rocketpower2 Member

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    Strong looks great physically. Seems to be in much better shape.

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The new and improved Jaelen Strong. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Texans?src=hash">#Texans</a> <a href="http://t.co/pRY9cR1QHP">pic.twitter.com/pRY9cR1QHP</a></p>&mdash; PDS (@PatDStat) <a href="https://twitter.com/PatDStat/status/627508891845181441">August 1, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
     
  19. rocketpower2

    rocketpower2 Member

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    Secondary is going to be nasty.

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">This is easily the deepest and most competitive Texans secondary I've seen since the teams inception <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TexansCamp?src=hash">#TexansCamp</a></p>&mdash; Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) <a href="https://twitter.com/LanceZierlein/status/627514243378606080">August 1, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
     
  20. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

    Joined:
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    @PatDStat: Arm strength is the a factor that clouds some on the #Texans qb race. Release, timing, pocket presence and accuracy in the formula too.

    @PatDStat: Decision making also a key and right now Brian Hoyer is ahead of Mallett in all those categories except arm strength. #Texans
     
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