GOAL LINE WORK FOR TEXANS

11 observations from Texans training camp, July 31

@edclarke03/Eddie Clarke

If you missed the observations from Monday, you can find them here

No more worry about Warring

Texans third round draft pick Kahale Warring made his debut for the team today. It was his first practice with the team. He is a physically imposing tight end from the looks but his development will be interesting to watch going forward. He will need to make strides in a hurry after missing almost a week's worth of practices.

Ok, maybe worry a little bit about Warring

Bill O'Brien was not willing to praise Warring just yet. He mentioned he didn't feel like he moved around as well as some have said he did today. O'Brien stressed he thinks being available and on the field is one of the most important factors for the young players.

I was impressed with the little we saw Warring work. He didn't have any awful blocking reps from what I saw. He had one really bad drop that would have been a nice play. It hit in the hands and bounced off of them to the turf. He might be one of the patented members of Bill O'Brien's rookie doghouse.

D.J. Reader is a scary monster

The coaches on defense have to be smiling ear to ear when they see Reader work in camp. He has been fantastic in all his reps. Rarely is a lineman beating him or pushing him to a draw. He wins rep after rep. If Reader keeps this up, the Texans defensive line could be even stronger than it has been.

Pads down, have fun

The Texans finally did goal line work with a full complement of their offense and defense. It is later than some years for the first goal line work but it was still very entertaining. I would say the offense and defense each had things they should be proud of but also a few things to work on here or there. It was the most fired up we have seen the players in a few days.

Damarea Crockett's good day

A really solid day for Damarea Crockett the rookie from Missouri. He had some juice to his runs and in the goal line work he really shined darting through whatever holes he could find to gain yards or score. He is in a dog fight for the chance to make the roster and there have been a few backs taking turns at that third running back spot. It was a good day for Michigan rookie Karan Higdon too as he had a nice jump cut to the crease and took off.

Know the name

Angelo Blackson's contract was a bit of a surprise this past offseason but the defensive lineman has had a nice camp so far. Today he announced his presence with authority in the goal line drills. He darted past the offensive line cutting through blocking to blow up a play. Blackson needs to be a factor for this team's rotation.

Physical vet

Matt Kalil wasn't an exciting addition to the Texans, but he has been more than solid at camp. He got smoked by Whitney Mercilus on one rep today but held his own for the rest I saw. One play saw him throw a defensive lineman down, then block another downfield as he cleared the way for the running back. If the Texans had to play a game tomorrow, he would be the left tackle.

Peter do-it-all-ayi

Peter Kalambayi is making this team and could have a key role. Wednesday saw him do a little bit of everything. He was running step for step with backs in coverage, filling the hole in the rushing attack, and darting through the line to make a backfield tackle. He was perhaps a surprise addition to the roster out of camp last year but there will be no surprise with his status going forward.

Not Rankin real high so far

Martinas Rankin is struggling in camp. He is getting work on the interior of the offensive line but he has yet to put together an impressive or solid performance. He disappointed last year after getting hurt and missing some camp. He has seemingly been healthy, but he hasn't shown much. The numbers game is getting tight on the offensive line and Rankin might have to hope the investment, a third rounder last year, gets him some leeway.

Play of the day

There are two today really so I will cheat a little here. Angelo Blackson's huge stuff in the goal line drills is the first one. The second one was rookie on rookie crime as Tyron Johnson put Lonnie Johnson in a blender and cut outside for an easy catch.

Quote of the day

"It was alright. They miss all this time and they come out there. What you may think is moving around well, I'm not sure that I would agree with you...Getting him out there, that was a miracle in and of itself."

Texans Head Coach Bill O'Brien on his third-round tight end who practiced for the first time today. O'Brien was obviously joking with the last part but Kahale Warring clearly has some catching up to do.

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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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