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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Jae'Sean Tate had himself a night. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

No Christian Wood. No Kevin Porter Jr. No Jalen Green. No problem. Jae’ Sean Tate became a complete superhero for the Houston Rockets versus the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

He recorded 32 points, 10 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 5.0 blocks, and 2.0 steals and shot 73 percent from the field. With that stat line, he joined former Rocket Hakeem Olajuwon and other historic big men from the past, which Tim MacMahon reported.

Tate is known for his leadership and the ability to be humble. When a reporter asked Tate about the stat line, he said, “How many turnovers? Nah, 25 assists, that’s what sup! Can’t be mad at that.” An expression like that shows the importance of putting his teammates first before taking all the shine. Tate is providing more passion with communication and being the rock that the "Baby Rockets" can lean on.

Coach Silas' confidence in Tate is something built from last year and it shows. Those two have constant dialogue throughout the game, and it’s seen before the huddle or when Silas is standing on the sideline before he calls a play. Silas has run consistent sets for Tate, as he did that within the 15-game losing streak. He dialed up an out of bounds action with 33.4 seconds left, so Tate could make a clutch layup towards the rim.

“Long, long, long ago in his rookie year…we definitely have a bond and with those two guys out, we needed some scoring,” Silas said. “He was the guy who was playing the hardest from start to finish and down the stretch we ran that elbow iso for him. And he just went through his defender and finished. And he made some huge plays in the 4th quarter, which is what you need. Yeah, I trust him as much as anybody else, and he has earned that, and he deserves it.”

“That just shows the confidence Coach Silas, and my teammates have in me,” said Tate. “We lost some of our primary guys tonight. And not only me, but everybody also stepped up.”

His usage rating is slowly going up, which is posted at 18.9 percent per NBA stats. In isolation, Tate is averaging 1.00 points per possession, which puts him in the 75th percentile(!) per NBA stats. Tate is seeing more action out of the corner, so it can allow him to get to his left hand on offense. The elbow iso action is a play that Tate has run since high school, college, overseas, and in the NBA now. He mentioned that the set allows him to get comfortable when his number is called.

“That’s not my primary role and I think everyone knows that,” Tate said. “I am very confident [in] what I bring to the table offensively. Not only scoring wise but seeing the floor and being able to make [a] decision in space. And that kind of helps me when they overlook the scouting report.”

“[I've] been running that play since I was [in] high school. At Ohio St. I ran that. Even when I was overseas, Will Weaver, that was a play he put in. To have that called tonight, it felt familiar and it’s one of my strengths. And playing in the mid-post area and getting to my left hand.”

Tate was excellent for the Rockets on both sides of the ball, as he had a 116.9 offensive and 108.5 defensive rating with an 82.5 percent in true shooting versus the Thunder. Hopefully, Tate can be the leading catalyst again, as the Rockets face the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Pelicans, which are winnable games. It should become a six-game winning streak, as John Wall might play if his condition is right.

Up next: The Rockets face the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

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