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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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans loss rests squarely on this decision

Another tough loss for the Texans. Photo by Getty Images.

There are times in which you gamble and it pays off. Then there are times in which you gamble and lose badly. Today was definitely the latter. The Texans fell to the Titans 42-36 in an overtime thriller. The loss rests squarely on the head of interim head coach Romeo Crennel and his ill-timed gambling at the end of the game.

It started with the gamble to go for it on 4th&1 on the Titans' 35-yard line with 4:37 left in the game. That move said two things: A) we're on the road at 1-4 against the 4-0 division leader up by one point so let's try to end this, or B) I don't trust our kicker to make a 53-yard field goal. They converted because David Johnson is good for slamming into the backs of the offensive line for at least a yard or three. The next gamble came eight plays later. It was 4th & Goal from the 1-yard line. The play call was a pass. Deshaun Watson found Randall Cobb after scrambling to extend the play and putting the ball in a tight window on the sideline where only Cobb could catch it. Here's where I started to have a problem with the gambling.

That touchdown made it 36-29 in favor of the Texans. Up by seven with less than two minutes left in the game, the "right" call would be to kick the extra point to potentially go up by eight. That forces the opposition to have to score a touchdown and convert a two point conversion in order to tie the game. Alas...Crennel gambled by trying to force things, went for two, and came up short. Kenny Rogers once said: You've got to know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run.

The porous defense, however, gave up the game tying touchdown and extra point with four seconds left to send the game into overtime. From there, the Titans got the ball in overtime and drove down the field for the game winning score. A team that played a game on Tuesday evening bullied a team on Sunday at noon. Let that sink in. Sure, Derrick Henry is a linebacker playing running back, but the amount of yards you gave up to him was unacceptable.

Not kicking that extra point to go up by eight with less than two minutes left (1:50 to be exact) was the key coaching move that I feel cost them the game. There's no coming back from blunders like that when you're now 1-5 and would need to go at least 8-2 with tons of help down the stretch to have an outside shot at the newly created seventh spot in the playoffs. You had the division leader down and were in position to get a division win to go to 2-4. Instead, you're now in position to help the Dolphins continue to improve their franchise from the boneheaded decisions Bill O'Brien made before his exit. Crennel and staff coached a good game, until the end when it mattered most. With an extra playoff spot available, they still have an outside shot to make it, but it'll be difficult.

This city and fanbase deserve better. One day, they'll get it and get a winner. Until then unfortunately, they'll have to settle for purgatory, disappointment, and mediocrity. Hold tight. I see good things coming one day Houston football fans.

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