MINI-CAMP REPORT

Cody Stoots: 11 observations from Day 2 of Texans minicamp

Bill O'Brien has elected to cancel the third and final day of practice. Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Texans wrapped up their final on-field workout on Wednesday before training camp begins in West Virginia. They will meet tomorrow and then reconvene as a team for training camp. Here are 11 observations from the final day of practice:

1. Aaron Colvin mentioned after practice that he plans to show off this year. He said he is past talking about his previous NFL stops and how he was viewed, and also said there is something burning inside him to show how good he can be. Colvin stated that some of the league may have slept on him, and he plans to play where the Texans need him, but the opportunity to play outside corner was attractive to him in picking the Texans. He played the slot corner position for the Jaguars last year with Jalen Ramsey and former Texans cornerback A.J. Bouye playing outside. 

2. The line of the day came from Colvin.  His response to what he was going to do until West Virginia was simple. "Grind my ass off."

3. Yesterday, rookie safety Justin Reid mentioned the veteran wide receivers help him get used to how NFL pass catchers will attack him. Today, Colvin said it doesn't matter how old or experienced anyone is when it comes to the advice shared between defensive backs and wide receivers. He mentioned rookie Keke Coutee and All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins as resources for him to get better. The goal he mentioned is for everyone to help everyone get better. 

4. Speaking of Keke Coutee, the veteran corner Colvin said he believes Coutee will be "special" for the Texans. He said the skill set the rookie pass catcher possesses isn't easy to find, and his work in the short area of the field is something he can utilize in which some can't. Coutee and backup quarterback Joe Webb hooked up for a play over the middle where the 5'11" Coutee showed off his 34-inch vertical snatching a ball out of the air. 

5. The wide receiver position is very crowded. Braxton Miller had an extreme display of athleticism in one pass catching drill where he jumped, extended his arms fully, snagged the ball, and was still able to land both feet in bounds in the back of the end zone. Undrafted free agent Vyncint Smith from Limestone College shook loose on a couple of plays today including a huge play in a team drill. 

6. Sammie Coates, the former Browns and Steelers pass catcher, will have a tough time beating out the competition for a spot on the offense, but he showed today, a couple of times, his experience paying off for him. Coates beat Justin Reid on a deep ball for what would have been a touchdown in a team drill, but it was the adjustment that was impressive. Coates readjusted on the ball's trajectory whereas the rookie safety lost the ball. Coates is also the most psychically imposing wideout on the team by his look. He checks in at Hopkins' height, but has more mass than all the other wideouts. 

7. Don't be fooled by the praise for the offense above because the defense won the day in most of the drills. With mostly guys competing for roster spots or playing time getting the reps, the secondary and even a little of the pass rush had a solid day. Will Fuller and Johnathan Joseph squared off early in a drill that saw the veteran defensive back victorious. Also, Justin Reid absolutely mauled Jordan Akins with a jam near the line of scrimmage taking the tight end out of the play. It would have been a completely legal play on a Sunday. 

8. Some live reps in the team drills saw coverage sacks be the end result. A couple of times the quarterbacks had to make decisions after what would have been a sack from the pass rush. There was one coverage sack where the QB didn't even throw the ball. The offensive linemen and defensive linemen were pretty active for players who don't have pads on for practice. Romeo Crennel has to be happy about what he saw from the young and inexperienced players up front today. 

9. The young tight ends, Jordan Thomas and Jordan Akins had the defense's attention today. Akins nor Thomas seemed to get as free as they did yesterday. Thomas had a tough drop after a pass hit him in the hands and fell incomplete. Matt Lengel, a former Patriots and Browns tight end who the team claimed in April, had a great route and got free by a few steps on Kurtis Drummond for what would have been a score. Ryan Griffin looks to be in incredible shape and is faster than previous years. 

10. Yesterday, Troymaine Pope had a nice showing, especially in the passing game catching a touchdown. Today, Lavon Coleman got some reps in minicamp run situations. The room is very crowded though. Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue are veterans of the team, and D'Onta Foreman is supposed to be ready for training camp. Tyler Ervin is still on the team as well. Showing up in June and August could lead to one of the young players earning a practice squad spot. 

11. Deshaun Watson and his knee are fine. Watson said in multiple ways that he feels good about his recovery from the ACL injury, and praised the staff and the plan put together for his rehab. With a year learning under his belt, Watson said he is "light years away" from where he was as a rookie quarterback in understanding the game. He said working on defenses is good, but knows you can only study so much before teams show you something new. He also said his plan to account for teams having film on him is to work "ten times harder." 

Other Notes

The Texans will return from West Virginia after their preseason game with the Kansas City Chiefs as they get ready that week for joint practices with the San Francisco 49ers. 

Second-year linebacker Zach Cunningham knows there are more eyes on him with the departure of Brian Cushing eliminating any potential obstacles to playing time. He also looks a little bigger than last year. 

Brandon Weeden has an absolute rocket for an arm. Some of the throws he makes were misses from Tom Savage last year. I'm not saying to feel comfortable about the backup QB, but it could be better than the Tom Savage situation last year. Joe Webb and Stephen Morris are battling for the third QB spot. If I had to tell you who should make the team, I would say keep an extra wide receiver or offensive lineman and roll with two quarterbacks. 

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Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

UPDATE: With the Angels loss on Friday night, the Astros have secured their playoff berth. They will be part of the MLB postseason for their fourth-straight season.

After the big offensive showing to take the opener on Thursday, the Astros entered Friday's game at Globe Life Field against the Rangers just one win or Angels loss away from securing their spot in the playoffs. Here is how the game unfolded:

Final Score (10 innings): Rangers 5, Astros 4.

Record: 29-29, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Brett Martin (1-1, 1.98 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Enoli Paredes (3-3, 3.05 ERA).

Urquidy goes seven while allowing two

The Rangers would strike first in Friday's game, getting a two-out solo home run against Jose Urquidy in the bottom of the second to grab the early 1-0 lead. Urquidy did relatively well on the night, though he would allow another solo homer in the bottom of the fifth. Those were the only two runs he allowed, working in and out of some trouble throughout the game on his way to finishing seven innings. His final line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 HR, 98 P.

Houston grabs their first lead late

Unlike their hot night at the plate the night prior, it took the Astros until the fifth inning to get on the board. It came after Carlos Correa hit a leadoff single, then came all the way around to score on an RBI-triple by George Springer, making it a 1-1 tie at the time.

After the Rangers went back in front 2-1 in the bottom of the inning on their second solo homer of the night, Alex Bregman would tie it up again with a solo home run of his own, making it 2-2. Houston would get their first lead of the night in the top of the eighth, with Altuve working a leadoff walk before scoring later in the inning on an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel.

Rangers get the walk-off to keep Houston waiting for playoff bid

After Urquidy, Blake Taylor would take over on the mound in the bottom of the eighth, retiring the Rangers in order for a scoreless inning to hold the one-run lead. Still 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Houston turned to their closer, Ryan Pressly. After two quick outs, he would allow a game-tying solo home run, making it 3-3 to postpone Houston's celebration at least another inning as the game headed to extras.

In the top of the tenth, Jose Altuve was placed on second as the free runner. He advanced to third on a groundout to start the inning, then scored on a sac fly by Alex Bregman, making it a 4-3 lead for Houston. Enoli Paredes would load the bases before Texas would tie the game on a sac fly in the bottom of the inning, keeping runners on second and third. Houston made the change to Brooks Raley to try and extend the game another inning, but instead, the Rangers would get the walk-off win, spoiling Houston's chance to clinch their playoff spot themselves with a win.

Up Next: The third game of this four-game set will get underway at 6:05 PM Central on Saturday. On the mound for Texas will be Kyle Gibson (2-6, 5.87 ERA), and, as of now, the Astros still have Lance McCullers Jr. (3-3, 4.24 ERA) listed as their starter.

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