A star returns
Texans star pass catcher DeAndre Hopkins made his return to the practice field just one day after the workouts started. He worked on some very specific drills during the workout. He practiced catching the ball from different body positions like squatting and leaning. He will be on a rep count for the Texans during camp.
Roby's run continues
Bradley Roby frequently cites how the #Texans struggled in the secondary last year. Said he wants to help correct that and play on the top defense in football.— Cody Stoots (@Cody_Stoots) July 26, 2019
Make it two days of impressive work in a row for new cornerback Bradley Roby. He ripped down a pass for a pick-six which Bill O'Brien claimed occurred because a pass catcher ran the wrong route. Roby didn't mind how it happened though, he took the ball the 70-plus yards for a score.
Speaking of pass catchers
This may be the deepest pass catching depth in history for the Texans. It feels like everyone can catch the ball well. We know about Hopkins and Will Fuller but Keke Coutee is the first real slot the Texans have had and the tight end room is loaded with every kind of tight end you would want. Deshaun Watson has a plethora of options to hit on the field.
The other Jordan
Jordan Thomas will get a lot of love during camp, as he should. But, don't forget about Jordan Akins. Though he had some plays Friday he might want back he had plenty of play maybe only he can make. Akins should be quite the chess piece for Bill O'Brien to move around the field. A few linebackers had a rough day trying to matchup with him.
Zach Cunningham and Dylan Cole are here for among other things their reliability in coverage. The duo showed again today how athletically gifted they are as they chased down tight ends and running backs. It will be imperative Cole stays healthy this season and give the team the much needed depth for that job.
A.J. Moore day
The special teams standout from last year had a strong day between the lines today. He was all over the place breaking up plays. He hauled in a long pass for an interception which really fired up the defense. He has plenty of opportunity while Justin Reid is out to add to his resume on defense.
Reid returns next?
While there is no timetable for Justin Reid to be activated for the team Bill O'Brien didn't seem concerned about his second-year safety's timeline. Reid was hit by a drunk driver before camp started and is currently on the Active/Non-Football Injury list. In his absence Jahleel Addae, most recently with the Chargers, has been getting a good amount of work.
AJ day 2.0
Backup quarterback A.J. McCarron diced up a few defensive sets. He rolled out a few times confusing defenders and extending a play just long enough for his players to come open. He threw a laser into the back of the end zone for a touchdown. He also isn't afraid to take a deep shot.
Pads come on Saturday
The team will have their first padded practice on Saturday. This is where more can be learned about the offensive and defensive lines. The list of most interesting players to be in pads tomorrow for me is as follows:
OL Tytus Howard
OL Max Scharping
OT Julién Davenport
DE Charles Omenihu
Play of the day
Fullback Cullen Gillaspia made the play of the day. He caught a pass in the corner of the end zone over his shoulder with a linebacker right on him in coverage. The defense protested saying the catch wasn't made in bounds. Gillaspia smacked into a storage shed finishing the rep but popped right back up.
Quote of the day
"We'll only keep him on the left side and he'll get his tackle reps."
Texans Head Coach Bill O'Brien on rookie offensive lineman Tytus Howard.
So far this offseason for the Astros, there's been way more news about players possibly leaving the organization rather than free agents joining the club.
We've all heard the Alex Bregman rumors, and GM Dana Brown making it seem like spending big money this offseason isn't likely to happen.
But it's not like the Astros are unwilling to spend money, the problem is, they've already spent it. The Astros currently have a whopping 10 players being paid over $11 million for next season.
And a big reason for that is the lack of talent/depth in the farm system. We all know it takes a few years for prospects to develop in the minors before being ready to make an impact in the big leagues.
So as we sit here awaiting the 2024 season without a decent option to replace Bregman in 2025, we can't help but wonder if that would be the case had the Astros not been docked 2 first round and 2 second round picks in the 2020 and 2021 draft for the sign-stealing scandal.
While many national fans complained that the Astros were not punished enough, Houston is certainly feeling the ramifications now. And the Bregman trade rumors are evidence of that. The Astros have let multiple star players walk year after year, but all of a sudden we're hearing rumors about Bregman being traded before a season in which the Astros appear all-in to compete for another championship.
The Astros have been forced to spend money to compete at the highest level because the farm system isn't spilling over with big league talent. Many fans will point to the bad contracts that are on the books. The deals for Jose Abreu, Rafael Montero, and Lance McCullers come to mind.
But think about this. What if one or two of those picks from 2020 or 2021 had turned into a quality big league player by this point. Maybe the club wouldn't have felt the need to overpay Rafael Montero or Jose Abreu. It's not crazy to think one of these draft picks could have developed into a decent bullpen arm or first baseman with some pop in his bat.
While the money saved from these deals probably wouldn't keep Breggy in an Astros uniform past 2024 based on his alleged contract expectations, we doubt the club would have considered trading him before the final year of his contract. Just like George Springer, Gerrit Cole, and Carlos Correa.
Plus, it's interesting to see all these MLB fans clamor for Bregman to join their favorite team after booing him incessantly for the last several years. When players leave the Astros, fans seem to treat them completely different. Just look at George Springer and Carlos Correa.
On the other hand, some fans say they would never want an Astro to join their team in free agency, they could never root for them. Which is ridiculous if you think about it. SportsMapHouston's Ken Hoffman pointed out recently how Yankees and Red Sox fans quickly started rooting for players from their rival after they put on a different uniform. Some good examples would be Roger Clemens, Johnny Damon, Jacoby Elsbury, and Wade Boggs.
Fans may take shots a Bregman now, but they'll change their tune if he's hitting home runs for their favorite team.
Be sure to watch the video above for the full conversation.
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