STOOTS ON TEXANS

Texans training camp: Davis Mills bounces back after struggling against Rams

Hopefully, Mills will play better against the 49ers on Thursday. Photo via: Cody Stoots.

The Houston Texans hit the field after their preseason victory against the Rams. Here are 11 observations from the practice.

1. Davis Mills failed to impress on Friday against the Rams. Sure, he had a few nice plays but overall, I was left wanting more from his performance. Practice on Monday saw Mills bouncing back. He was whipping the ball wherever he wanted. It was a solid bounce-back performance overall for Mills.

2. Davis Mills connected on a bomb to Brandin Cooks down the sidelines. This offense needs Cooks to be good and Mills relies on him quite a bit as almost a safety net. There is potential for Cooks to have one of his more statistically impressive seasons.

3. Phillip Dorsett is making this team. Dorsett had the hard grab on Friday before the touchdown and just seems to find an open area. He has the chance to be the yards after catch leader on this team. It was a slow start due to injury, but Dorsett has come on nicely.

4. Nico Collins had a few more highlight reel plays in practice. He makes some hard stuff look easy. It will be interesting to see how the dynamic of Collins and Brandin Cooks develops when both are on the field. Cooks has yet to play in the preseason.

5. Brandin Cooks did Derek Stingley dirty on Monday. It was almost like the recent weeks of praise for Stingley annoyed Cooks. It was a few moves and Cooks made it past the rookie for a score. Mills put the ball right on the spot. Cooks, remains, un-guardable in camp.

6. Derek Stingley is so smooth. He moved off a player he was covering to close the distance on Brandin Cooks coming across the middle. It was non-contact but assuming he makes the tackle it would have been stopping Cooks short of a first down, forcing a fourth down.

7. Rookie linebacker Christian Harris is still not practicing. Lovie Smith said he won’t play this week. With injuries to Harris, Garrett Wallow, and Kevin Pierre-Louis, undrafted free agent Jake Hansen has gotten a lot of work. Hansen played for Lovie Smith at Illinois.

8. The Texans have two players competing for fullback. Paul Quessenberry and Troy Hairston are the remaining options for that position. The team cut veteran fullback Andy Janovich. Hairston is a special teams ace capable of playing on almost every special teams unit. I’d think he has a shot to surprise and make the team.

9. Rookie tight end Seth Green made a fantastic play Monday. He caught a deep pass over his shoulder as he was headed out of bounds. Both feet in. There is room for Green on the practice squad, but the likelihood he can make the initial roster feels slim.

10. Steven Nelson had some very nice plays Monday. The combination of Nelson and rookie Derek Stingley is far superior to last year’s situation. I don’t know where it is compared to every top cornerback tandem, but they are so much better than last year.

11. Lovie Smith continues to say the third preseason game will be the main one for starters playing time. The 49ers could see Brandin Cooks, Jerry Hughes, and others who have yet to play in the preseason.

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