The first day in pads were big for a few different Texans

11 observations from Texans training camp, July 27

If you missed day two you can find them here.

First day in pads

There wasn't a ton of thumping in pads but there was some solid work. The defensive line had a solid day despite not having J.J. Watt or Jadeveon Clowney. The defensive backs and wideouts got good work in today with each other as well. The running backs had a long day with the linebackers.

Learning Lonnie

Imagine being a rookie and trying to cover DeAndre Hopkins. This rep didn't go Lonnie Johnson's way but after some quick instruction and another chance later the rookie won a rep against Hopkins via solid technique and being physical. A huge asset for Johnson is he seems to pick things up quickly.

Testing Tytus

Tytus Howard has a solid day. There were certainly some moments where he looked less than impressive but he held his own on a few different reps including a pseudo-pancake of D.J. Reader. He got a little tired and the technique was a little loose later in the practice. These early days will be huge for testing his conditioning and ultimately improving it. O'Brien noted he worked more at left guard but got some tackle work as well. Howard said he uses Matt Kalil as a resource to learn.

Key piece on the line

D.J. Reader was a terror today for all the offensive linemen. Wherever he worked he annoyed the offense. He got into the backfield more than a few times. He will be a key piece to the Texans defensive line this season. Nobody else can do his job.

Welcome to the NFL moment for Scharping

Max Scharping looks the part and he had a decent day on the offensive line. He did have some moments where he will likely want those reps back. There's plenty to work on for the second round pick but there are moments where it is clear why the Texans invested in him.

Healthy Heath

Joel Heath has been around the Texans for a few years and has been in and out of the lineup. He had a really good day Saturday and showcased his length and athleticism. There are plenty of options for the Texans to choose from on the defensive line but the numbers will start filling up quick. Heath will need to build on this day and stay healthy but he looked solid.

Tougher than college

Fullback Cullen Gillaspia had a long day. His first year playing fullback was last season for his college team Texas A&M. There were moments where he looked like he had a tough time with the strength of some of the defenders he was asked to block. He also had a few miscues in the passing game. O'Brien mentioned technique and fundamentals are an early emphasis for the younger players.

Omenihu stands out

Rookie defensive lineman Charles Omenihu stood out a few times. He flashed strength and speed on a couple of occasions. He looked like he was more ready than some for pads. I will be anxious to see a rep against Matt Kalil down the line for Omenihu to see if the veteran can use his experience to tame the young defender.

Johnnie Dixon's opportunity

​Former Ohio State wide receiver Johnnie Dixon has been stringing together solid days. He has an opportunity for this team with the final two wideout spots up for grabs and maybe some special teams action as well. He has a lot of competition but among the young wideouts he had one of the best plays of the day. He used his agility to dip away from a defender and create a ton of separation.

Play of the day

Will Fuller had a couple of plays where nobody was even close to him. He's making it look easy.

Quote of the day

Texans OL Tytus Howard

Cody Stoots

"70 yards"

Texans OL Tytus Howard when asked if he can still throw the ball far. Howard was a former high school quarterback.

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Many of the games have been hard to watch. Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

They say that breaking up is hard to do, then comes the rebuilding, and that's where the real pain happens. Last week, the 4-9 Rockets lost a tough game, 103-91, to the very average San Antonio Spurs at Toyota Center. That night, Ben McLemore scored 21 points, while P.J. Tucker contributed four points.

Every other point for the Rockets was scored by a player who wasn't on the team last year. That's no way to build a fan base of young people, or older people, or anybody. Because of COVID restrictions, the Rockets can sell only 3,000 tickets to games, and they're still having to offer special deals like four tickets and four drinks (soda, water, wine or beer) for $79.

The night the Rockets fell to the Spurs, DeMarcus Cousins was out with an ankle injury (surprise), John Wall was out with a sore knee (shock), and Eric Gordon sat with a lower leg injury (stunning). They were not sidelined by COVID protocol, it was age creakiness. All three are on the other side of 30. All have a history of missing games because of injuries. Danuel House also missed the game because of a bad back and COVID protocol.

The Rockets took to the floor with able-bodied Mason Jones, David Nwaba, Rodions Kurucs, Kenyon Martin Jr., Jae'Sean Tate and Christian Wood. They're nice players, for sure, they're on an NBA roster. But the NBA is a megastar-driven operation. How many of them would you recognize if they were standing behind you at Costco? The way the Rockets sign, trade and cut players, many or most of the current roster won't be around next year. Becoming a fan of a current Rocket is like falling in love with the Rug Doctor you rented for the weekend at a supermarket. It's going back Monday.

Last year, the head coach was Mike D'Antoni, the general manager was Daryl Morey. Both are established and respected figures in the league. Would you recognize the Rockets new coach Stephen Silas? Can you even name the Rockets new general manager?

And that's how you sink to 14th place in the Western Conference standings, inevitably a lottery team, the end to the Rockets' eight-year run of making the playoffs … the longest current streak in the NBA. The 2021 Rockets aren't just a lousy product, it's worse, they're a boring team. Gordon and Tucker, maybe the two most popular Rockets veterans, are rumored to be traded soon. Fans will have abandonment issues.

Maybe the Rockets should offer something stiffer than beer on "Guys Night Out" next Thursday when the Portland Trail Blazers visit Toyota Center. Good seats available.

That's not what you want to see

Did you see where the New York Mets fired their general manager Jared Porter because he sent explicit, uninvited, unanswered text messages to a female reporter?. Porter absolutely deserved to lose his job. What he did was awful and cruel. More than just losing his job, he should be committed to a home for the terminally stupid. Who does something that moronic? So unconscionable and abusive, on top of being job-killing.

But not all junk shots are meant to be hurtful – here's one that's actually funny, and totally inadvertent and innocent. Several years ago, a local sportscaster not only took a photo of his naked, anatomically correct body, he posted it on Facebook for all of his friends, indeed the world, to see. I won't name the local sportscaster because he was the victim of his own innocent lack of focus. It could have happened to anybody. Not me, thankfully, but anybody else.

Here's how it happened. The sportscaster was taking a shower, and when he emerged, he noticed his kitten curled up in the bathroom sink. Aw, isn't that cute? The sportscaster grabbed his phone and took a photo.

And posted it on Facebook. He didn't notice that, in the background of the photo, in the mirror, was his naked body. You can't say he was butt naked because it was full frontal nudity. You can't say it was a wardrobe malfunction because there was no wardrobe involved. Fortunately his wife noticed the mishap and told the sportscaster to delete the photo.

Here's the real problem, and his solid alibi. Whoever thought it was a good idea to put huge, wide mirrors in the bathroom, especially opposite the bath tub? There's a good look, you're naked, dripping wet, with patches of soap you missed rinsing off. This should be a fleeting disturbing image, not one to be preserved on film or online. Solution: don't bring your phone, or any photographic equipment, into the bathroom. We've all taken accidental photos. Nobody needs to see a photo of your disgusting body. You are not Michelangelo's statue of David. I don't let my dog watch me take a shower or any other business conducted in the bathroom. There is a reason that bathroom doors have locks. Use them.

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