Cody Stoots: 11 Observations from Texans training camp for Monday, Aug. 13

Cody Stoots: 11 Observations from Texans training camp for Monday, Aug. 13
Deshaun Watson looks healthy and mobile. Photo by Edward Clarke


1. The defense were the big winners today in team drills. The offense never really got anything going on a consistent basis having just small spurts of success. Bill O'Brien was not happy after the practice and said they'd be working today to fix what happened in the morning session. When asked about why his team was sluggish O'Brien simply stated to ask the players about the sluggish play. 

2. J.J. Watt would have sawed Deshaun Watson in half if it was a full live rep in team drills. Watt skirted around a mass of blockers and defensive players and slowed up just short of eliminating Watson. Instead, he held up his giant paws forcing Watson to alter his trajectory. 

3. Tyrann Mathieu is so quick and description of his movements often lands on sleek. He fires through on blitzes and rarely sees himself far away from the ball when the play is headed his way. His versatility from the safety spot will give the defense a fun chess piece to play with. 

4. The inside linebacker trio of Benardrick McKinney, Zach Cunningham, and Dylan Cole is an absolute blast to watch play. This might be the most athletic the Texans have been at inside linebacker ever. Cunningham joked after the workout he almost came down with an interception off Deshaun Watson. Cole is sudden in his arrival to the play and squeaks through if offensive linemen aren't careful with him. 

5. Kareem Jackson is a veteran and despite newly being at safety he can still impart knowledge from his new position. He had a teaching moment with Cunningham on a play where he and the second-year linebacker got together after play with what looked like Jackson suggesting a different approach to the play to Cunningham. Watson nearly threw one to Cunnigham later in practice. Jackson looks natural at safety with Mathieu and Justin Reid. 

6. The defense had a tough time catching Deshaun Watson today on his pocket movement. There were a few plays where Watson showed off his mobility in short pocket movements and flat our evasion of the rush. The plays didn't often end up as big positives for the offense, but it was nice to see Watson move around with ease. 

7. Watson has a unique ability to change his arm slot and complete passes. One play he ended up scrambling and fired a pass into the end zone in what looked like an unusual throw but it ended up getting where he needed it to be. This isn't a habit as much as a tool for Watson. Traditional looking throws are as pretty as ever. 

8. Jadeveon Clowney was in some position reps early in practice as he works back into form for this team. 90 appears to be on schedule to get some good practice done and play in the first week of the regular season. 

9. Sammie Coates got a lot of work today. He is in an uphill battle to steal a wide receiver spot on the team but with rookie Keke Coutee out and Chris Thompson dealing with a concussion, Coates found himself running plenty of routes. He stands out among the wideouts as the most physically impressive. He made a diving catch on a broken play from Watson but had an end zone drop and was on the wrong page with the Texans QB once. With the potential to contribute on special teams, Coates may carve out a roster spot. 

10. Duke Ejiofor and a few other players mentioned they are excited about the 49ers coming to town for joint practices Wednesday. Ejiofor said he is thrilled to be healthy and is working on the consistency the coaches demand from him. He mentioned he talks with veterans and other pass rushers about what moves might be more effective against certain offensive linemen. 

11. Former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was taking in Texans practice today. He was clad in Texans gear as he spent time with Bill O'Brien early in the workout. He is the older brother of John Pagano who is the team's Senior Defensive Assistant and outside linebackers coach. 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM

With both Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers making their way back from surgeries that sideline that Astros pitchers last season, and given the team's thin depth in their starting rotation, Houston fans and media have waited on bated breath for scraps of information to leak out of the notoriously secretive organization regarding their progress.

In a week full of mostly Hurricane Beryl-related bad news, the Astros organization had some discouraging news of their own when manager Joe Espada told the media that Lance McCullers has been shut down from pitching after his arm did not respond well to his latest bullpen session. The team says they are "formulating a plan for what's next."

Another Astros starter making his way back from injury is HOF-bound Justin Verlander. Verlander has been on the IL since June 16th with neck discomfort and, while there was initial hope that JV would only miss a start, his status has become increasingly murky as he is still apparently not close to returning.

Shifting from the health questions of the starters to the performance questions of the bullpen, some Houston fans have voiced concern via social media that Astros big-ticket 9th inning pitcher Josh Hader is not looking like a "shut-down" closer. Hader gave up more home runs in the first week of July (3) as he did the entire month of June (2).

In this week's episode of Stone Cold Stros, Charlie Pallilo and Brandon Strange discuss how the fluid dynamics of Astros pitching is impacting the competitive landscape of the division race. To watch the conversation, just click the video YouTube embedded in this article. To listen to the entire episode on podcast, search "Stone Cold Stros" in your favorite podcast app or click one of the following links.

Amazon | Apple | iHeart | Spotify

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome