Cody Stoots: 11 observations from Texans training camp for Thurs., Aug. 23

Keke Coutee turned some heads today. Photo by Edward Clarke

1. Jordan Thomas had a nice day on the field for the Texans. The rookie tight end hauled in two one-handed catches with coverage draped all over him. Later in the practice, he beat Tyrann Mathieu in a one-on-one matchup. Thomas is much further along from a catching perspective than other Texans tight ends have been as rookies. He is a willing blocker too. 

2. Jordan Akins didn't feel like getting left behind today. He had a nice play shaking loose in an individual drill. Think of Akins as last year's Stephen Anderson. Anderson, by the way, is barely noticeable. His time with the team may be short. 

3. Ryan Griffin ended up challenging rookie safety Justin Reid, and he found out the hard way the rookie is improving. Reid came out as the winner in that rep as his progression against tight ends continues. He is winning more of those reps than he is losing these days. 

4. Short of a surprise, the tight end room looks set with Griffin, Thomas, and Akins. Matt Lengel could be a surprise addition to give an emphasis on blocking, but keeping four tight ends cuts another spot elsewhere. 

5. Treston Decoud had a nice couple of plays to stand out today. The switch to safety seems to a better use his physical gifts, though he still has hiccups that allow teachable moments. He is likely to factor into the safety position when the 53-man roster is set. 

6. Speaking of new safeties, Kareem Jackson showed off instincts and speed on a nice breakup down the field. The coverage aspect is the only worry about Kareem at safety as his run stuffing ability is top notch. On this rep, he put the coverage worries to bed. 

7. Dylan Cole ended up on the right end of a tip drill much to the delight of the defense. Cole was a standout last year before his injury and the offseason of seasoning shows. He is sure of himself and his confidence is up. He fits nicely with Benardrick McKinney and Zach Cunningham. 

8. Sammie Coates drew some laughs when he pointed out how open he was at the end of a rep. He was a good 15 yards away from where the ball went and no defenders were close to him. It was just a missed rep, but it showed Coates' ability to lose defenders and stretch the field.  

9. Deshaun Watson dropped jaws on two plays today. He effortlessly put the ball a good distance down the field right where he wanted to on the run. It was the type of play forcing defenders to look at each other and just shrug. He doesn't have to show it in practice, but he can find himself in the unstoppable groove the greats showcase. 

10. Keke Coutee was incredible today. His quickness is stellar, and he displays some good shake on his routes getting himself open. He isn't afraid to lay out for balls as well. He made a "wow" play on a Watson rollout that pumped the offense up. 

11. Drake also owes Coutee an apology. Drake's hit song "In My Feelings" has led to the popularization of the phrase "Keke do you love me?" It has also sparked a social media dance trend. "I'm really tired of the Drake song," the rookie said with a smile. "Everywhere I go it's just 'Keke do you love me?'"

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After Yordan Alvarez suffered an injury on Thursday from colliding into Jeremy Peña in short left field, many fans and media are questioning whether Alvarez should DH exclusively to keep injuries like this from happening.

While this may prevent injuries from happening in left field, there are numerous ways of getting hurt, such as running the bases, and we saw Alvarez miss some time recently with a hand injury from swinging the bat.

Plus, playing Yordan in left where he's at least an average outfielder, allows veterans like Michael Brantley and Jose Altuve to slide in the DH spot to get some much-needed rest over the course of the season. And there's an argument being made that Yordan is better at the plate when he's playing the field.

Be sure to check out the video above as we debate this hot topic!

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