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Benitez thrives in first year at North Shore after full circle journey

The philosophy that Benitez has brought back to North Shore has worked. Via VYPE

Originally Appeared on Vype

HOUSTON – Life is a journey and sometimes just because you leave a place doesn't mean you will never return.

Sam Benitez's coaching journey kind of played out that way as it took him away from North Shore after the 2012-2013 season. Benitez, who had served as an assistant coach under David Green for six seasons, took the top job at Cypress Springs.

When North Shore needed its next head coach Benitez made his return to the East Side.

"It's been great, I feel like it is coming full circle," Benitez said. "I left to have an opportunity to be a head coach and build a foundation as far as a philosophy as a coach. To be able to come back and put that philosophy to the test and seeing we can be successful is great."

The philosophy that Benitez has brought back to North Shore has worked.

It has worked really well.

In his inaugural season as the Mustangs' head coach, North Shore is 23-2 and ranked No. 5 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Weekly Poll after climbing as high as No. 1 in Texas in the past few weeks.

"I feel like we have a good group of kids that have a chance to be pretty successful," Benitez said. "They bought into what we're preaching and put in a lot of time and effort and we were able to do some things to get off to a pretty hot start."

North Shore rattled off a 19-game winning streak already this year, not losing a game between November 20 and January 15.

"I think we're still a work in progress," Benitez said. "We definitely have some pieces and we've definitely been successful. It just goes to show you can get beat any night. With that in mind we take it with a grain of salt, get back to practice, work on some things that we need to improve on."


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The Houston Texans have just a couple of practices before their preseason debut. Here are 11 observations from Tuesday’s workout.

1.The offense stunk on Tuesday. It was inconsistent and resembled more of last year’s disappointing performances than any other practices in this training camp.

2. Davis Mills and his receivers had a few miscommunications on Tuesday. Mills sailed a pass to nobody when he and Brandin Cooks weren’t on the same page. There were some other throws to nowhere in the day. It was something that hadn’t been present at all in training camp to this point.

3. There were a few “good coverage” notes on Tuesday. Not to say there was one specific player, but a handful of team-level efforts that led to the note.

4. It wasn’t all wrong from the offense. After a pass to nowhere Davis Mills and the offense bounced back. It was a second down during a team drill and Mills fired a pass to Chris Moore for six yards. Rex Burkhead would pick up a first down on a rush a play later. A non-positive play last year on first down doomed this team. That hopefully won’t be the case for this year’s team.

5. Chad Beebe is going into his fifth season in the NFL, his first with the Texans. The former Vikings pass catcher has flashed a few times in training camp. He has an uphill battle being new to the team but is trying to make himself a factor.

6. Phillip Dorsett had a big catch over the middle. Davis Mills stood back and delivered as the offensive line held up and Dorsett reeled it in for a huge gain. No defenders were around him. It is between Dorsett and Chris Moore for the chance to be the slot wideout opening day. With Dorsett’s return to practice, it is becoming a fun camp battle.

7.Speaking of returns to practice, Tytus Howard was back. Howard has his reps managed and after practice, offensive line coach George Warhop Howard was “getting his wind” back. When Howard was having his reps managed rookie tackle Austin Deculus played at right tackle. Deculus looks much more consistent than minicamp and OTAs.

8. Kenyon Green is still out with an injury. It is getting to a critical time where the time missed might prevent the first-rounder from starting week one. Max Scharping hasn’t looked bad in his chances with the first team. Offensive line coach George Warhop said they believe in Green and his ability and he has been in meetings to stay up to date.

9. Ka’imi Fairbairn was perfect in one of the special team periods. He drilled all five kicks, each further than the last, and was crushing the football.

10. Derek Stingley was very sticky in some early reps on Nico Collins. The third overall pick is so smooth when he is working. Later his coverage forced a throw from the offense that had no chance of being completed.

11. The play of the day was made by Derek Stingley. The offense was about five or six yards out of the end zone needing a touchdown to win. With six seconds left on the clock, any completed pass that wasn’t a touchdown was game over. Davis Mills dropped back a step and fired to Nico Collins who Stingley covered. The rookie kept the second-year player out of the end zone to earn the defense a win. This was one of the better Stingley days and he did a lot of work. At one point, it looked as though he and Rex Burkhead had some words and almost led to an offense and defense scuffle, but it stayed to just some shouting. The rookie shined today.

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