11 observations from Texans training camp Day 6

Chris Moore handled Bradley Roby with no problem. Photo by SportsMapStaff.

The Houston Texans had their first day of pads and saw a few players hit the practice field for the first time.

1. Texans Quarterback Deshaun Watson was absent from practice today. Watson was working with a trainer and looking at his foot yesterday, but no official reason was given for Watson missing his first practice. Texans head coach David Culley offered there was "nothing new" on Watson.

2. Defensive backs Lonnie Johnson and Cornell Armstrong returned to practice as did tight end Pharaoh Brown. Those three players, along with defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker, had all started camp on the active/non-football injury list.

3. Lonnie Johnson didn't practice the whole time as it seems the team is easing him back in, but he looked quick and athletic on the field. Johnson blitzed in a team rep and nearly got to quarterback Tyrod Taylor, but Taylor kept the play alive and hit rookie wide receiver Nico Collins in traffic.

4. It was the first day with pads for the team and veteran running back Mark Ingram made the defense pay with an early rush busting through defenders and barreling forward for a few yards. Ingram has looked young and spry, despite having been in the league for 10 years.

5. The defensive line is far from settled. A lot of different players get work along the defensive front and the team mixes and matches quite a bit. This is a highly competitive position.

6. It has been a good camp for big Vincent Taylor. Taylor blew up a play in the backfield on Tuesday and has been disruptive in darting between, and Tuesday, through defenders.

7. Shaq Lawson has yet to stand out for the Texans. After trading for Lawson in the offseason, there must be more from a player who was expected to fill a need in the pass rush.

8. Wide receiver Chris Moore is having a nice camp. The former Ravens pass catcher had a highlight-reel play earlier in camp, catching the ball with one hand falling out of bounds. His success continued Tuesday as he constantly found himself open. Moore handled Bradley Roby with no problem in two 1-on-1 reps.

9. Rookie tight end Brevin Jordan looked lost early on Tuesday. He had a drop and ran some sloppy routes, but he bounced back in team drills.

10. Davis Mills threw two interceptions right to Vernon Hargreaves. The first one Mills locked onto a target and Hargreaves just stepped right in front of the intended target. The second one saw Mills toss it up in a situational drill and Hargreaves came down with the under-thrown pass.

11. Wide Receiver Anthony Miller had a tougher day than usual. Miller dropped a deep pass over the shoulder which would have been a score. Miller also bobbled a catch that during a live game would have seen him annihilated and not holding onto the ball.

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1. The Houston Texans had a mentally tough practice Saturday. The team has worked a lot in pads and Lovie Smith noted the days starting to build up on them during this practice. The head coach said this is a good practice because it is like the fourth quarter of the games the team will end up playing.

2. Davis Mills threw one of the best passes he has thrown all camp on Saturday. In a red zone drill, he dropped back and whipped a pass between two defenders into the tightest window he has had all camp. Nico Collins hauled in the threaded pass for a score.

3. A few reps later Davis Mills struck again. With traffic from linebackers and defensive backs, he found Chris Conley for a score. It wasn’t as tight of a window as the first one, but Mills snapped it off nonetheless.

4. Pharaoh Brown made something hard look very easy on Saturday. With Mills rolling out and tossing the ball to Brown in the back corner Brown hauled in a one-handed catch and had both feet down. Touchdown. Brown then acted like it was no big deal.

5. Pharaoh Brown has had a wonderful camp. Lovie Smith named him the starting tight end. The thing that really jumped out to me today is he makes his work look easy. He isn’t straining to excel in his opportunities. The good ones always make it look easy and it has looked easy for Brown so far.

6. Rookie linebacker Christian Harris is on the shelf for a few days. He joins fellow rookie Kenyon Green as players who are injured. Max Scharping played left guard with Green down. Wide receiver Phillip Dorset practiced while veteran wideout Chester Rodgers did not.

7. Roy Lopez flashed again today. While Friday was about the rushing attack and Lopez made his presence felt at defensive tackle, he got into the pass rush Saturday. Lopez would have had a bone-crushing sack in a live rep.

8. Ross Blacklock hasn’t been consistent. A statement like that is good and evil. There are some plays where Blacklock looks like he isn’t a factor. I watched one today. A play later he had what would have been a sack on the play. He’s a player to watch in the preseason games closely.

9. Don’t expect to see Derek Stingley in the preseason opener next Saturday. Lovie Smith wouldn’t commit to the rookie cornerback playing in the preseason. Smith did say Stingley is on track to play week one in the regular season.

10. Brevin Jordan has had a nice camp and should be an important piece for the team. Jordan had a bad drop in 7-on-7 drills that he was beating himself up over for a few minutes. That was out of the norm. He’s been used a lot and will be on the field a bit it seems for the Texans.

11. Brevin Jordan also rattled off a few contenders for the quote of the day. He exclaimed he had taken care of himself this offseason and he finally had abs. He also revealed he’s quite the fisherman and once caught a 125-pound tuna. When asked what he did with the tuna Jordan laughed and said “RIP tuna!”

Listen to Cody Stoots weekdays afternoons 3-7pm on his show "The Wheelhouse" live on ESPN 97.5 + 92.5 FM or anytime on demand at the podcast here.

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