Plenty to work on for a few players hoping to make the team

11 Texans-Packers observations

Observations from the Texans preseason opener against the Packers.

Coutee's injury

The Texans might have escaped a serious mishap with Keke Coutee their standout slot wide receiver. He later tweeted, then deleted, he believed his injury wasn't serious. He is a key player for this offense so his health is a huge story going forward.

Crockett claws for more

There is still hope for the young players trying to make the Texans at running back. Duke Johnson only solidifies the second spot, not the third. Crockett had some solid runs.

Max it out

Max Scharping handled himself well in his return home. Plenty of friends of family and he had some nice push on the right side. He looked better today than he has in some practices and he picks things up quick. I am excited to see what he looks like against a stout Lions front in joint practices.

Busted but balling

Tyron Johnson was able to cobble together some catches on some not so good plays for the offense. The above play was a broken one but he kept his focus. Later he came back and won a rep to catch another. He has had a solid camp.

Hot and cold for Tytus Howard

Howard played a ton at left guard even after the starter tonight at left tackle, Matt Kalil, left the game. He did ok. Some nice reps but he had a goal line whiff. When he played left tackle he didn't allow much pressure but one play didn't look great. He has played so much more guard than tackle this seems ambitious to now ask him to play tackle.

Lonnie gets beat

One of the Green Bay touchdowns came at the expense of rookie cornerback Lonnie Johnson. The Packers wideout had plenty of space to work and Johnson just misplayed it a little as the Packers player came down with the score.

Mancz hobbles off

Backup center Greg Mancz was injured and didn't return to the game for the Texans. He has been playing a ton with presumed starter Nick Martin also hurt. Zach Fulton is the team's third center. Mancz has not had a very solid camp. This team needs Martin to get back and play well.

Decent start for Roby

Bradley Roby had some good work in the game. The Packers were able to complete a few on him but he also came up and made some stops. He sticks with guys he will just need to make a play or two.

Akins plays well

With no Jordan Thomas and no Kahale Warring the bulk of the fun tight end work went to Jordan Akins who had a couple of catches. He made a couple of defenders miss and fought for a first down. He's a solid player.

Higdon's here

Karan Higdon had some nice plays tonight on special teams and running the ball. There is a long way to go as he is behind after missing some work in the spring but there's a chance for him.

It's not nothing

I get it is preseason and the games don't matter. Bill O'Brien's challenge was a horrible challenge and in a real game would have been terribly costly. It is practice for something like that as well and the Texans, again, bungled it.

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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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