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. 

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