11 Observations from Day Four of Texans Training Camp
The young wideouts had themselves a day in front of the fans.
The Houston Texans got back to work after an off day and had a busy practice. There were a lot of team segments of practice as well as some 1-on-1 work. It wasn’t a full padded practice, that will occur on Monday.
Here are 11 observations from the workout on July 30.
Rookie wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson finally had a standout day. There wasn’t much to note about the wideout from Iowa State before today, but he was getting open and making plays. His best rep of the day was in 1-on-1 work where he beat Derek Stingley deep for a significant gain. Later he ran his route, chopped his feet, and got right into the zone of the defense for an open look.
Tank Dell excelled on Sunday. The rookie wide receiver got locked up early by Steven Nelson in a drill but that was about the last time anyone covered him well on the day. Dell’s quickness is brutal to defend. DeMeco Ryans called Dell quarterback friendly after practice. He’s starting to build and stack day.
Tank Dell’s best play wasn’t an amazing big gain. The best play Dell made was something he will be needed for in the regular season. He simply moved the chains. Dell started the rep cutting inside then darted back out. C.J. Stroud hit him. First down. It was crisp and looked easy. Dell also was in the right place at the right time late when Davis Mills overthrew a pass and Dell slid to catch it for a huge gain.
John Metchie doesn’t look like a player who hasn’t played football since December 2021. Metchie is smooth in his route running. He finds space and the quarterbacks find him. He seemingly can play from almost any of the wide receiver spots. Solid day for him.
The defense had a big day and is yet to “lose” practice to the offense. Every level of the defense was making big plays with the linebackers making some great plays on Sunday. The secondary is menacing to the offense. Robert Woods caught a pass and ran down the sidelines while Jimmie Ward and Derek Stingley hounded him the whole way down trying to get the ball out. It elicited a “good finish” from Woods to his teammates.
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The quarterback battle was yet another draw today. I feel like both quarterbacks had hard days dealing with this defense. There was a rotation with the first team as head coach DeMeco Ryans promised there would be. C.J. Stroud had a couple of misses early that he corrected. Davis Mills hit one deep shot but would miss others. The linebackers and defensive backs were playing tight coverage. The offensive line stunk on Sunday. For those keeping score at home with the combat sports scoring, the count is 10-9 Stroud, 10-9 Stroud, and 9-9 the past two practices.
I thought Mills might steal the day late in the workout. He completed some nice passes all in a row late in team drills. Brevin Jordan had a nice catch in space from Mills. Nico Collins and Mills connected on some stuff in space. Solid day for Mills overall.
C.J. Stroud was dealing with some ugly protection today. The pocket was messy and led to some weird throwing angles. Some were completed and some fell incomplete. Tank Dell’s quick routes helped Stroud on a few occasions. Stroud took to the podium after practice. He stressed he didn’t care who worked with, the work now is about learning and maximizing the reps. He praised the offense saying he “fell in love” with the playbook. Stroud mentioned there were some long nights getting through the offense.
The defensive line was terrorizing the offensive linemen. Dylan Horton had a play where he wasn’t fooled on the play action that would have been a sack. Roy Lopez and Will Anderson combined for what would have been a sack. Jacob Martin had a clear run at the quarterback that would have been a sack. Kurt Hinish blew up a draw play. Sheldon Rankins also made his debut returning from the Active/Non-Football Illness List. There isn’t much depth to this offensive line.
Blake Cashman was money, man, on Sunday. Get it? Money man. Cashman. Ok sorry, I couldn’t help it. I believe his final line included a few pass breakups, one that was almost an interception, an interception, and a ton of sticky coverage reps where he was all over the pass catchers. Cashman is a special teams standout but this defense seems to be a great fit for him as a piece at the linebacker spot.
The best cornerback in practice has been Steven Nelson. He’s played tight coverage in all the drills and seems to always be around the ball. The best defensive lineman has been Will Anderson. He continues to blow up play after play. Veteran defensive end Jerry Hughes said he sees “Von Miller abilities” in Anderson’s game.
BONUS: C.J. Stroud said he’s finally done a lot of exploring of the city of Houston and loves the food. He mentioned he loves soul food and has to stay away from fried foods so he can stay on his nutrition play.
What’s the best fried food in your opinion?
The Texans are on the field on Monday again as training camp continues.
Enjoy this video from my YouTube about some of the comments C.J. Stroud’s teammates have had about the offense the quarterback will be running.