DESHAUN WATSON SHOWING TREMENDOUS ACCURACY

11 observations from Texans training camp, July 29

Photo by @edclarke03/Eddie Clarke.

If you missed the coverage from Sunday July 28 you can find it here

Justin Reid returns

The second year safety was back out for the Texans after missing a few days. It is likely Reid would have been ready, but he was hit by a drunk driver while driving before camp started. He mentioned the team was being cautious with him by not having him start camp active. His wrist still has a cast, but he said after practice that was a precautionary situation.

One handed no problem

Justin Reid found himself with an interception on a target that seemed to be intended for Keke Coutee. The young safety was all over the field as the Texans like to move him and fellow safety Tashaun Gipson around. Reid has frequently heaped praise on Gipson and every time sounds excited to play with the veteran.

Watson whipping it

Deshaun Watson can sling it, and he is better than he has ever been throwing the ball. Sometimes in previous camps he had missed a spot here or there. Misses are the rarest of rare and his decision-making is better than we have seen. He finds the open man. No locking in on one player.

The other tight ends

Jerell Adams has had a very nice past two days for the Texans. The once highly touted prospect came to camp as an afterthought but as opportunities have presented themselves he has made big play after big play. His hands look really solid and though he has a long long road ahead and needs some luck to make the team, he is helping his chance to stay in the league.

Darren Fells is the best blocking tight end on the team. That's why he is here, not to catch. That being said he made up for some disappointing receiving performances the past couple days. He had a couple of nice snags today and one late in the workout Sunday.

Henderson solidifying

Right tackle Seantrell Henderson was a player, despite his history, I believed in coming into last season. Then he was lost for the year in game one. With hopefully a full camp ahead of him, Henderson seems to be the favorite for the right tackle spot. He had a couple of rough reps against J.J. Watt today but found himself a victory before the day was over against Watt. Not saying Henderson can't be caught at right tackle, but he's in the lead now.

Paying for your mistakes

Tytus Howard had a false start today and was then shown to the sidelines for the mistake. Hard to tell on Howard's overall performance today, but he held his own on more than a few snaps. He's not struggling regularly which is a good sign.

Watson magic

In some situational work for the team today Deshaun Watson's Houdini-like powers were at work again. The offense needed a first down and after surveying the field for a moment or two Watson took off rushing for the 16 yards needed to get the first down. Nobody was anywhere close to him. Now, would J.J. Watt have annihilated Deshaun Watson and stopped the play dead if it was a live rep? Probably. Can he do that in practice? No. We will call it a draw ultimately.

Tyron Johnson continues to push

"13 big play" is something I frequently write in my little notebook while watching practice. He hauled in a touchdown catch in team drills today. When the team is far away and the offense makes a lot of noise and signals touchdown we frequently ask "who caught that?" It is quickly answered when Johnson comes running out of the end zone with the ball tossing it to the coaches.

Veteran factor at running back

Taiwan Jones would make this team if the cuts were tomorrow. The ninth year veteran has actually played running back sparingly in his time in the NFL. He has just 44 rush attempts in his career and just once since 2016. But he's a special teams contributor at a high level, and played for the Texans special teams coordinator Brad Seely. Well, he might have matched half his career total in rushes the past couple of days. He can also catch the ball too. Jones is a threat to beat out young players for a spot.

Play of the day

Will Fuller skied for a pass, contorted his body sideways, landed on both feet, and kept running. It was smooth, seamless, and frankly looked easy for him.

Quote of the day

"Different strokes for different folks...with all those running backs with the exception of Lamar (Miller) it's special teams. Where are they on special teams? What type of effort do they give? When you watch guys like Taiwan Jones, Josh Ferguson, (Karan) Higdon, (Damarea) Crockett, and you see the effort they give on special teams that goes a long way. (Cullen) Gillaspia, obviously at fullback. That's a big part of it too."

When asked about what he is looking for in a backup running back Bill O'Brien mentioned each running back by name except for D'Onta Foreman and Buddy Howell.

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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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