Biggest Surprises in Texans Training Camp So Far
With just over a week of practices in the books here are the biggest surprises
The Houston Texans will scrimmage Saturday night and the 11 observations will go out this evening when that is completed.
There have been eight practices for the Texans in training camp. Here are the biggest surprises through these eight days of work.
I knew the secondary was going to be a key part of this team and had the chance to be the backbone, but they’ve been even better than I expected. Jimmie Ward and Jalen Pitre are everywhere with Pitre earning the nickname “Superman” from Derek Stingley for his ability to cover so much of the field. Oh, and Stingley, he’s been solid and had his fair share of wins.
The cornerbacks have been good in camp as well. Steven Nelson showed up ready to work. Shaquill Griffin is a good depth piece. Desmond King and Tavierre Thomas are reliable. The secondary has been better than I expected.
High Level of Linebacker Play
The linebackers have also been much better than anticipated. Rookie Henry To’oTo’o has been perhaps the biggest surprise. He is a rookie but doesn't look or act like it. He’s drawn praise from DeMeco Ryans and general manager Nick Caserio which isn’t easy to do. Veteran free agent additions Denzel Perryman and Cory Littleton have played well.
Blake Cashman is another big surprise. He’s been fantastic in camp with a few interceptions and pass breakups. He’s in on tackles for loss too. Christian Harris is a menace. There were high expectations for Harris but he has played right into them. His play recognition and speed are apparent with almost every rep.
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Offensive Line Disappointing
The offensive line hasn’t been as good as I had hoped. Certainly not as good as you would expect from the highest-paid left tackle, fourth-highest-paid right tackle, a guard who was extended before playing a snap for the team, and two high draft picks.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Laremy Tunsil is amazing. The rest of the line has all had their moments, but there isn’t much consistency. Now, there should be a grace period. The line, as constructed, has had zero practices together. Juice Scruggs has taken over at center after the injury to Scott Quessenberry and his first full day was a Tunsil off day. But, it should still look a little better.
The depth is non-existent here. I worry one injury could doom the unit.
No Amazing Skill Position Performances
Nobody in the skill positions has been a standout every day. Sure, there have been big days, but it doesn’t feel like any one player has stood out multiple days in a row. And perhaps this will come in camp eventually.
Rookies Tank Dell and Xavier Hutchinson have had a day here or there. Robert Woods is steady more than spectacular. John Metchie has shown it a time or two, but again, not a daily occurrence. The closest thing has been Nico Collins who hasn’t seemingly had a bad day yet. Thursday and Friday were probably the two best back-to-back days for a skill position player.
The running backs aren’t totally at fault here. It’s hard to showcase what they can do when the contact is not full contact.
As you can see the defense, which has spent all of camp ahead of the offense, has been able to surprise. The offense I believe will catch up. Offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik has stressed the building of a foundation before getting deep into the offense. I liken it to math. You need to learn addition and subtraction before you start adding in algebra, calculus, and trigonometry.
I was live on YouTube for almost two hours talking about the Texans. I discussed C.J. Stroud’s big Thursday and Friday as well as the potential for this defense. I also answered a variety of questions. Check it out below.