11 Observations from Day 12 of Texans Training Camp
It was a lighter day for the Texans as they get ready for a busy week
The Houston Texans had a light workout two days after their win in their preseason opener. It was also in the practice bubble as it was late afternoon.
Here are 11 observations from the workout on August 12.
Teagan Quitoriano is off the physically unable to perform list. The tight end has been working hard off to the side and looked close to coming back before the preseason opener. He should have the chance to be the second tight end on this team behind Dalton Schultz. I’m excited to see him get to work in the next week or so and start building chemistry with C.J. Stroud.
Speaking of tight ends, Dalton Schultz makes things look easy. I know it was a light workout, and far from full speed, but Schultz made some tough catches look easy. He had a one-handed snag over the shoulder. He’s sure-handed. I see Schultz going in fantasy drafts somewhere around the 10th to 13th tight end. I would be surprised if he doesn’t finish ahead of those projections.
Fullback Andrew Beck was back at practice. This was a great sign after he left the preseason game with an injury. The fullback will be important to this offense and Beck is the only fullback on the roster. Think about how San Francisco uses the best fullback in football Kyle Juszczyk. Now, Beck isn’t in Juszczyk’s zip code, but he will be a piece of the offense this year.
Offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik raved about one element of C.J. Stroud’s preseason start. Slowik said his rookie quarterback “knocked out of the park” the presnap operation. This was great to hear as it showcases Stroud’s ability to decipher some of what the defense was doing before the play. Now, nobody game plans in the preseason, but this is something Stroud can build on as he gets more experience in games.
The offensive line was a topic of conversation with the offensive coordinator. Bobby Slowik said what a few of us were thinking coming out of Thursday’s game. Slowik mentioned the offensive line needed to do better up front and also said that based on how some players around Stroud played, he was happy with Stroud’s performance. The linemen who did play didn’t get a pass it seems.
C.J. Stroud wasn’t the only rookie getting praise from the offensive coordinator. Bobby Slowik praised Tank Dell’s performance and highlighted his run blocking. The blocking by the wideouts is something that will be emphasized and necessary in this offense. It is a strength of Robert Woods and Noah Brown. It will be expected of Tank Dell.
Will Anderson looked good in his limited reps in the preseason game. Defensive coordinator Matt Burke stressed the jump up in speed when it comes to the difference between practices and games. Burke said even for Anderson, someone who played well at college football’s highest level, there is a bit of a wakeup call to the difference. It will be interesting to see how Anderson is unleashed in the joint practices with the Dolphins and the preseason game.
The Texans and Dolphins will work together on building out the joint practices. Defensive coordinator Matt Burke said while the team doesn’t actually script the entire workout to get certain looks, there is a collaboration between the teams. Burke mentioned even adjusting between periods what the teams might want to accomplish. Of course, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel coached with DeMeco Ryans in San Francisco.
Offensive line coach Chris Strausser is one of the most interesting position coaches for this team. He is the fourth different offensive line coach in four seasons. I asked Strausser if he ever shows players clips of Quenton Nelson as DeMeco Ryans does of a former linebacker he coached in Fred Warner. Strausser said he shows the team a lot of San Francisco highlights, with some Colts film mixed in, to help the team understand the system. He said a lot of times players don’t enjoy watching clips of other players, and Strausser simply says if they play well enough, he will show their film, not other player’s film.
The devil is in the details. The details are where Kenyon Green is spending a lot of time now said offensive line coach Chris Strausser. Strausser said it is tough to take much out of 12 plays in the preseason game so he didn’t offer much for specifics on Green. The hope that Green bounces back from his poor rookie season is there, and with depth a question, almost a necessity for the Texans.
The inside practice allowed a couple of funny moments when it came to the specialists. Ka'imi Fairbairn, Jon Weeks, and Cam Johnston were the only players who had to spend a portion of practice outside. There just isn’t a lot of room for the special teams to work during other periods. The practice bubble also presented a challenge for Fairbairn as he practiced kickoffs. He kept hitting the lights hanging down from the ceiling. It was a funny moment and after a few attempts, the specialists punted on the kickoffs. Forgive me for the pun.
The Texans will be back on the field Sunday for practice.
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