Texans work the Lions in last practice before preseason home opener

11 observations from Texans training camp for Aug. 15

@EdClarke03/Eddie Clarke

If you missed Wednesday's observations from training camp you can find them here

Texans win the day

The Texans worked the Lions today. They moved the ball and kept the Lions from moving the ball. The Lions looked like they didn't have any juice out there today while the Texans took care of business.

Safety domination

The Texans safeties feasted on the Lions today. Jahleel Addae had an interception on Matt Stafford. Rookie safety Chris Johnson from North Alabama had one as well. The Texans got him those two times in about a five play stretch. Later Johnathan Joseph dropped an interception. The team has a nice group of safeties and the Lions got a taste of that today.

Roderick Johnson's opportunity

Matt Kalil was given a day off and Roderick Johnson took advantage of the work. He looked really good and much better than Kalil did in the first joint practice against the Lions. There is certainly an argument to be made he could push Kalil. I'm not sure there has been a practice where Kalil wasn't up and down in a long time. Johnson was steady today. He might have made the left tackle spot a competition.

Julién Davenport filling in nicely

Davenport got some work at left tackle as well against the Lions. He also handled himself well. The tackle spot gets interesting with Kalil's spot being less sure each day. Kalil provides no versatility while Davenport has the ability to play on the right and left side. Davenport should be the team's swing tackle if Johnson pushes for playing time as the team's starter at left tackle. Obviously, in this scenario, Kalil isn't on the team. Davenport has done a great job making himself a factor.

Watt are you talking about Patricia?

J.J. Watt gave the Lions offensive line fits. He looked damn near unstoppable in some situations and seemingly was always affecting the play some way. He blasted past the Lions in one rep and tapped Matt Stafford on the shoulder as the play continued. Watt, of course, would have demolished Stafford but he let the play go. Lions head coach Matt Patricia was not pleased with Watt's actions and they exchanged some words.

Ready to thump

The Texans linebackers can hit. My goodness. Zach Cunningham pulled up before making full contact with a Lions back and he still blew the guy up. Peter Kalambayi can fly around as can Dylan Cole. Of course, Benardrick McKinney isn't afraid to stick his nose in there. They are ready for the regular season today.

Quick game kings

The ability to get the ball out fast is one of the best for Deshaun Watson and the offense. It feels like everyone can make it work too. DeAndre Carter, and eventually Keke Coutee, will get a lot of looks quick. Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins are also factors on slants and quick routes. Even the tight ends know to turn and look quick. Watson's decision making has been really solid.

Steady goes it for the rookie

Tytus Howard has a pass blocking drill today from the tackle spot and absolutely stoned the Lions player. I don't believe he will play tackle this year if the Texans can afford to play him elsewhere but there is definitely a future for him at tackle. His tackle pass blocking rep actually looked better than his guard blocking rep.

A few penalties in two days

I have seen a few more jumps by the offensive linemen and offside from defensive linemen in the past two days. Maybe just having an opponent in camp has been an element of that. The Texans played it pretty clean from the defensive backs standpoint though. This offensive line can't afford penalties. Even if they're better, they can't overcome those.

Play of the day: Cullen Gillaspia

The Texans fullback mad a great snag in the corner on the end zone but the journey there is what was almost as impressive. He came out of the backfield and was looking left, then he adjusted to look right as the ball came and he hauled it and tapped the toes for a score.

Quote of the day

"Had a pretty good day today. I think we were six for six with the ones in the red area."

Bill O'Brien just casually throwing out how his team dominated the red zone. They stunk last year so this is a nice development.

BONUS: Watt plays catch, his QB for the day hopes for Watt at tight end

BONUS: Houston basketball great at camp

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The Texans should swing for the fences. Composite image by Jack Brame.

With each passing day, the Deshaun drama thickens. It's progressed to Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeting, basically humbling himself to Deshaun.

A city that a few short weeks ago offered up mega star power across the board, has now seen James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and George Springer all depart for a variety of reasons. The impact of Deshaun leaving would be irreversible guaranteeing the Texans resting comfortably in the bottom of the AFC South for the next decade, wallowing in futility.

The saga will only intensify in two weeks should Patrick Mahomes collect another Lombard Trophy. As 2017 draft class contemporaries, Deshaun is comparing his career to #15. Another ring would place Mahomes up 2-0 in that discussion with Watson.

Perhaps the Texans should take a play from the Oilers playbook and inquire on Dabo Swinney. In the pursuit of securing the services of Warren Moon, the Oilers made a power play and secured the services of Moon's former CFL coach, Hugh Campbell. I've attended several luncheons and engagements in which Deshaun served as the keynote speaker. In many of those venues, a short video presentation would include personal greetings and feel good overtures directed to Deshaun from Dabo. The end result was Deshaun lighting up like a Christmas tree. There's a viable relationship in place there.

At the end of the day, Deshaun is a competitor. Losing DeAndre Hopkins was a major loss, but not to the degree that you might think. Deshaun still went out and threw for over 4,000 yards this season, and with a sub-par supporting cast, even pulling guys off of the practice squad in late December contests to fill out the receiving corps. The issue for Watson is trust, and culture. Hence, the recent headlines surrounding the Jets as a future home make very little sense. The Jets in 4 of their last 5 seasons have had double-digit losing seasons. Until the recent resurgence of the Browns, the Jets far and away have held the title of the "laughingstock" of the NFL.

The biggest challenge for the Texans is who could persuade Deshaun to stay? Could team President Jamey Rootes calm down the noise? It certainly won't come from Texans Ring of Honor recipient Andre Johnson. If I were Cal McNair, I would place a call to 105 Sikes Hall in Clemson, SC and ask for Dabo's office. That's as good of a place to start as any other.

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