A few players bounce back as the pads stay on for another day

11 observations from Texans training camp, July 28

@edclarke03/Eddie Clarke

If you missed the Saturday July 27 observations you can find them here

Good day for Tytus

Texans OL Tytus Howard at Training Camp 2019

@edclarke03/Eddie Clarke

Tytus Howard had a very nice day. He worked a lot with some of the veterans getting an off day. The most impressive rep was him stoning D.J. Reader and stopping the veteran defensive lineman cold in his tracks. He had some nice reps against other rushers too. He even earned a measure of revenge on Joel Heath after Heath won some reps in the first padded practice. He moved around really well too getting out and leading the charge on a few blocks.

Miller's the leader

Lamar Miller at Texans Training Camp 2019

@Cody_Stoots/Cody Stoots

Lamar Miller is the best running back in camp for the Texans and it isn't even close. That shouldn't surprise you. What may surprise you is this might be the best version of Lamar Miller the Texans have ever seen. Going into his third year in Houston last year Miller slimmed up a little. This year I would say he is trimmed up. Not smaller, but lighter was the way he spoke about his body. His level of scoot, if you will, is the best I have seen it.

Concerns about Foreman

​Running back D'Onta Foreman has done a great job getting his body ready for camp. He hasn't done a great job being a running back yet. He did not have a good drill when the backs were practicing pass blocking against defensive backs. He struggled and didn't even see any premier pass rushers while doing so. A few of his movements were sluggish. With a break coming up soon how he finishes the week will be something to monitor.

More Moore

A.J. Moore was singled out by head coach Bill O'Brien on Sunday as a player who is a special teams contributor and thouroughly relishes the opportunities. Well, Moore is getting it done on defense too. He has had a strong camp. Today while watching a blocking drill Moore came running by in our sight line with the ball. I was confused at first until I realized he had run a pick-six back from his drill down the field.

Pushing for a spot

Former Oklahoma State wideout Tyron Johnson had a really solid first day and then a couple of decent days. He was back to a good day today showcasing his various talents. He has a chance to force the Texans into keeping six wide receivers on this roster. He has strong hounds, is physical, and seems to pick things up with ease. It is worth noting, before ending up at Oklahoma State he was a five-star recruit who picked LSU.

Under the radar push up front

Carlos Watkins and Angelo Blackson had a few nice plays on Sunday. They are a part of a room that has some severe competition if you'd like to stick around the Texans. Albert Huggins who was at Clemson last year had a nice play that caught my eye as well. There is a lot of talent in the defensive line room. This could be one of the most competitive units on the team.

Not as Scharping

Offensive lineman Max Scharping had a day that left something to be desired. He struggled with extending his arms and really getting into defenders. One play it took him a second to establish his grip but once he got set and could plant he slowed the rusher down. Unfortunately for him he was deep into the pocket by then.

Watt a monster, just like we like it

J.J. Watt worked today but nothing looked like work for him. He took a few strolls to the QB or the dummy posing as the QB today. Veterans and rookies alike had no shot against Watt. This isn't shocking but just your reminder we are witnessing one of the all-time greats.

Gilly bounces back

Fullback Cullen Gillaspia had a much better day today in pads. He held his own in the individual blocking drills looking very strong. I was worried after Saturday where he looked a little over matched but he handled his challenges today in the drills well. When he gets to working against linemen and linebackers he will need every ounce of his being to make sure he nails the assignments on them. He did whiff on one block in a team play that should have been and easy one for him to finish but it was a much better day today for him. He is smooth running routes.

Play of the day

Jordan Akins and Deshaun Watson hooked up for two magnificent plays back-to-back. The first saw Akins sky into the air and rip down a Watson bullet with one hand to move the chains for a huge gain. The very next play Watson put it right on Akins and away from the defender for a score. It was an amazing throw both times, showcasing Watson's pinpoint accuracy.

Quote of the day

Karan Higdon at Texans Training Camp 2019

@edclarke03/Eddie Clarke

"It's wide open."

Texans Head Coach Bill O'Brien talking about the team's running back spots after Lamar Miller. There are a lot of names, and maybe even some not on the roster, to fill our the two spots behind Miller.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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