EVERY-THING SPORTS

Examining several hidden gems the Texans have uncovered

Tyrell Adams has stepped up beautifully. Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

After a heartbreaking loss, there's often a hard time finding the silver lining. The lead up and last offensive play from the Texans in the loss to the Colts was a microcosm of this season: it started bad, got brighter, and eventually flamed out in horrible fashion. Nick Martin could've snapped it better, but Deshaun Watson could've also caught or handled it better. No matter what side of the fence you fall on, it was as bad. But there are some bright spots.

One of them was the performance of the wide receivers, specifically Keke Coutee and Chad Hansen. Coutee is the Texans' Great Value version of what T.Y. Hilton is to the Texans. He performs well against the Colts, but not as much when going against other teams. Some of that has to do with the previous coach's distaste of him. However, if Watson has formed a connection with him, he deserves to stay on as cheap labor. Speaking of cheap labor, Chad Hansen literally came out of nowhere! He was on the practice squad and last played in an NFL game in the 2017 season for the Jets after being a fourth round pick (15 games, nine catches for 94 yards). This pair combined for 13 catches on 16 targets and 242 yards. Coutee and Hansen gave Watson some good targets as both seemed to find themselves open and making plays. If they can continue to perform at a decent level, this could help alleviate some of the issues at receiver.

Another position of concern that has some promise is linebacker. When Benardrick McKinney, Dylan Cole, and Brennan Scarlett all got hurt, it killed the depth the team had at an already underwhelming position. Tyrell Adams has stepped up beautifully playing next to Zach Cunningham. Starting with the first win against the Jags, Adams has 86 tackles compared to Cunningham's 76. That eight game stretch has shown me enough to say I'd like to see these two next to each other moving forward. Another linebacker I'd like to see more of is Jacob Martin. He flashes some pass rush ability off the edge and I think with more reps, he could turn into something. In eight games played so far, he only has three sacks, and that's been in limited playing time. In these last few games of this season, and going into next season, I'd like to see him get a real shot. They won't have high draft picks to get young, cheap labor, so giving guys like Martin a chance to be your edge rusher would be ideal.

Honorable mention goes to Max Scharping and Kahale Warring. A couple of draft picks that appear to have been busts actually played in the loss to the Colts. They didn't make an impact or anything, but being on the field and playing is a lot more than what they've done so far in their couple years with the team. My other honorable mention goes to A.J. Moore. Moore has been a special teamer, but pressed into playing duty due to injury/suspension. He had a sack in the Colts loss, but appeared to have given up the 39-yard touchdown to Jonathan Taylor. Scrappy guy who plays hard.

I'm not saying this team is destined for greatness as far as any of these guys are concerned. They're making the most of the opportunities they've been given. Finding a silver lining in such a crushing loss is hard, but these guys did enough to make me take notice and want to see them more moving forward. Out of them all, Hansen and Adams are my two favorites. I like players who scrap and fight for their place in the league. These two guys are both in their fourth NFL seasons and are finally getting some playing time. Looks like they may have found a home.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM

TEXANS TRAINING CAMP WATCH

11 Texans training camp observations from August 7th

Houston Texans insider dishes on why Derek Stingley Jr was the right pick

The Houston Texans had a “vanilla” day of light work. Here are 11observations from the workout.

1. It was a light day for the Texans. Some would say sluggish, I wouldn’t agree with that. Did it look like a day off was in order? Yes. Did anyone make mental mistakes because of their energy level? Not that I could see. With it being a lighter day, it might be worthwhile to focus on some of the depth on the roster.

2. Isaac Yiadom (pronounced YEAH-dum) has had some moments in training camp. With rookie Derek Stingley having a light day, Yiadom played opposite Steven Nelson. Yiadom has had a few pass breakups and seems to be physical in coverage. He has a little speed to him, or he’s shown the ability to stick with wideouts. He is a top preseason game target to watch.

3. Phillip Dorset had a very nice back-of-the-end zone catch. It might have, likely even, been a sack for the defense in a live rep or team rep, but Davis Mills ripped the ball out as the whistle was starting to sound. Dorset with two feet in the back after juking a defender. He is squarely behind other wideouts having missed time but being a veteran should catch up quickly.

4. Wideout Connor Wedington had a few nice plays on Sunday. He has an uphill battle to make the roster, but Davis Mills’ former teammate might squeeze his way into the conversation. There are opportunities for him with a few other wideouts banged up.

5. Rookie tight end Tegan Quitoriano bodied his way for a touchdown. The rookie hasn’t done much in camp, but his size is clearly an advantage. Game reps and more padded practice will be important for him this preseason.

6. Chris Moore is a veteran taking yet another swing at making this team. If the Texans played tomorrow, I would have him on the roster. Probably even starting at slot wideout. He had a very nice leaping grab today.

7. Versatility for a couple of backup offensive linemen may lead to them making the team. Well, it certainly won’t hurt their case. Justin McCray has played all three interior offensive line spots. The veteran could start if needed, but I have to imagine he is a key backup inside. Scott Quessenberry (yes related to former Texans lineman David and current fullback Paul) played guard on Sunday. He is a factor to be Justin Britt’s backup at center.

8. Charlie Heck was not a pick I was in love with when Bill O’Brien selected him a couple of seasons ago. Heck has grown a lot in his game and physically and is surely the backup tackle for this team. He can play left and right tackle.

9. Tae Davis plays linebacker and wears 19. It is the strangest thing to see a linebacker in that number. It has not been strange to see Davis make a play here or there in practice. The linebacker room is loaded but Davis is making the most of his chances.

10. Ka’imi Fairbairn HAMMERED a ball right down the uprights after Davis Mills had led the team into field goal range on a last-minute drill. Mills easily moved the team down the field without the normal group of linemen or weapons. Good finish to practice.

11. Jonathan Greenard did some pushups after he couldn’t replicate history. Greenard almost had his second interception of Davis Mills, but the ball fell incomplete. Greenard has been a force in training camp.

Bonus Quote of the Day: “I was a fat guy last year” said Pharaoh Brown as he talked about his leaner and quicker frame compared to last year.

Listen to Cody Stoots weekdays afternoons 3-7pm on his show "The Wheelhouse" live on ESPN 97.5 + 92.5 FM or anytime on demand at the podcast here.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome