11 Observations from Day 13 of Texans Training Camp
The defense was fired up and physical in a tough practice
The Houston Texans had a bit of a slow day on Saturday but business picked up on Sunday. The defense was flying around, and the offense landed some blows of their own.
Here are 11 observations from the workout on August 13.
C.J. Stroud had a tough day against the defense. It was a physical practice and the offense didn’t put together a ton of consistency. It wasn’t dissimilar to the way New England played against Stroud on Thursday. There is stuff to learn from in this practice no doubt.
C.J. Stroud made some really lovely plays despite the defense having a solid practice. The best play was a dime dropped into Noah Brown's basket for about 40 yards. Derek Stingley was in coverage. Stroud stepped up into the pocket and uncorked it and placed it perfectly into Noah Brown’s outstretched arms. Credit to Brown, his part wasn’t easy. It was an effortless throw from Stroud that he missed in the early days of training camp.
The defense fell victim to the mobility of C.J. Stroud on one play. Stroud felt some pressure and started to take off. He didn’t run for long though. As Stroud took off, Tank Dell flashed across the middle. Stroud sent it to his fellow rookie and Dell was off to the races. It was a quick maturation of Stroud who hasn’t showcased the ability to use his eyes while mobile until I saw that.
Tank Dell was fun to watch on Sunday. He skied for a pass on the sideline, came down with it tapping his toes inbounds, and was delighted at the official’s ruling of a catch. Later as Dell approached the podium for his interview after practice head coach DeMeco Ryans joked with him to “stop taking the defense apart.”
There wasn’t much in the way of running the football on Sunday. It wasn’t for lack of effort. The offense tried to run, but the defense was quite aggressive. There was one moment where Christian Harris had a little extra push for Devin Singletary as the two went out of bounds. Singletary took exception to the shove. The two got close and had words and maybe it would have been a little more before all their teammates arrived and split them up.
Jimmie Ward was a menace on Sunday. He was all over the place. Ward forced a fumble on Noah Brown. He had a pass breakup that was almost an interception. I am excited to see Ward play against the Dolphins when they’re in for joint practices. Ward and Jalen Pitre will make quite the safety duo. Ward set the tone for the defense on Sunday.
Rookie defensive end Dylan Horton is back practicing after an injury sidelined him. Horton got a lot of reps as the team likely is trying to catch up after the lost time. I was surprised to see him in on a few tackles for a loss. There didn’t seem to be much rust. He was around the ball a few times. He’s a player to watch as the preseason continues.
Derek Stingley made a freak play that few defensive backs can make. Stingley jumped into a passing lane and batted a ball away, almost intercepting the pass. Stingley has been on the receiving end of a big play here or there in camp, but a lot of times the quarterbacks just don’t test him. The wideout was open until he wasn’t and Stingley was batting the ball down.
Will Anderson had a long day, but he was productive. I haven’t seen him beat Laremy Tunsil in a rep in practice. George Fant got a rare win over Anderson in a team rep. The rookie defensive end was still disruptive in the practice darting in for tackles for a loss and pressuring the quarterbacks.
Davis Mills found a couple of receivers for nice plays on Sunday. Xavier Hutchinson reeled in a well-placed Mills pass that was just over linebacker Jake Hansen. Steven Sims caught a screen pass and weaved his way through the defense for a huge play.
I felt like the defense got a memo on Sunday that the offense didn’t get. The intensity of the defense was much higher than that of the offense. The chippiness was something head coach DeMeco Ryans had said he had been looking forward to seeing in training camp. I will be interested to see if the offense responds on Monday.
The Texans will be back at work Monday before an off day on Tuesday. Kenyon Green was absent from practice on Sunday after practicing Saturday. No update yet. Then the Miami Dolphins are in town for joint practices.
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